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The European Economic and Social Committee Discusses Measures in Support of Vulnerable Regions and Citizens

The European Economic and Social Committee met in Sofia March 6 to discuss the policies in support of vulnerable regions and citizens.


The forum allowed for the exchange of knowledge and good practices on the promotion of economic development and the prevention of rural depopulation. The delegates discussed the ways to overcome regional employment and unemployment disparities and outlined the measures needed to encourage investment in rural and mountain areas. The discussion focused on the ways to create jobs for people with disabilities and the ways to protect the rights of vulnerable citizens. 


In order to overcome regional imbalances, we need to mobilize significant institutional and organizational resources and implement an integrated approach that unites the economic, financial, tax, social and employment policies, said Biser Petkov, Minister of Labour and Social Policy, at the conference.


The measures of the government and the social partners– as well as the economic revival– brought great results, the Мinister said: in 2017, youth unemployment decreased from 15 per cent to 12 per cent and the unemployment rate in Bulgaria reached a 10-year low – 6 per cent.


The best way to fight poverty and social exclusion of vulnerable groups islabour market integration, Petkov said. He presented the state measures in support of vulnerable groups in the labour market. These vulnerable groups include the up to 29-years-old unemployed, long-term unemployed, the people without profession, the unemployed over the age of 50 and the people with permanent disabilities.


Unfortunately not everyone can be integrated into the labour market, Petkov said, but all people who are physically able to work should be given this opportunity. Ensuring the rights of the people with disabilities is among the main priorities both of the Government Program for 2017-2021 and of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. We aim to create the right conditions and ways to guarantee the equal treatment and full participation of disabled people in all spheres of social life as well as to ensure their socio-economic protection. The government is at the same time making efforts to improve the legislation for the integration of people with disabilities in order to achieve better targeting, effective management and control of the financial resources spent on this policy, Minister Petkov said.

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