Cabinet Minister of Labour and Social Policy,
Head of the delegation of Bulgaria
"World Summit for Social Development for all in a Globalizing World"
Geneva, 26 - 30 June 2000
Honourable Mr. Chairman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am deeply honoured to' be able to address this august body on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria. It is also a pleasure for me to take part in the assessment of the achievements in the follow up process to the Copenhagen Summit.
In the process of implementation of the Copenhagen final documents Bulgaria developed a National Program for Social development. This program was elaborated with the widest participation of representatives of the civil society and was broadly discussed at a specific international conference, organised with the support of the United-Nations Development Program.
Let me dwell for a few minutes on the steps undertaken by the Bulgarian government to stand by to the commitments from the Copenhagen Summit.
The 1997 Government program "Bulgaria 2001" envisaged specific measures aimed at preventing further impoverishment of the population and drastic economic destabilisation. A comprehensive legal reform was launched, comprising in the social sphere the adoption of laws of fundamental importance as well as of new economic principles and relations.
The Bulgarian Government succeeded in overcoming an unprecedented economic and social crisis. It achieved political and financial stabilisation, thus overcoming the political isolation and transforming Bulgaria in a source of stability and security on the Balkans.
The Government launched a package of active measures for alleviating poverty including the creation of incentives for private individual and collective income generating activities.
These measures were supported
by the social partners. Cooperation agreements on the implementation of the
reform and the development of market relations have been reached with the social
A comprehensive reform of the social security system was initiated by the Government, based on the the relevant ILO conventions, European Social Security Code as well as the experience of the developed countries. The new social security system reflects the new social and economic realities and suggests realistic solutions for the future. A three pillar social security system was adopted, comprising: - Compulsory public social insurance; - Supplementary compulsory pension insurance; - Supplementary voluntary pension insurance.
The Government social policy has benefited from international assistance. However, additional guarantees for the implemented policies were provided by the ratification of fundamental ILO conventions and the revised European Social Charter and with the opening of the accession negotiations with European Union.
With the support of the UNDP office in Sofia, a national "Anti-poverty" plan has
been developed aimed at:
1. Preventing the creation
of permanent poverty groups based on age, sex or ethnicity;
2. Stimulating individual economic performance in the fight against poverty
Bulgaria participated in the discussions and the preparation of the Council of Europe contribution to this special session and fully supports the embodied ideas, leading to democratic security on the basis of social justice.
As an associated country to the EU Bulgaria has aligned itself with the statement on behalf of the European Union at this session. We have done so as a country committed to develop social cohesion on the grounds of knowledge-based economy.
Globalization affects a growing number of economic and political processes. The world is networking in all aspects of life. We have set up emergency task forces to deal with conflicts all over the world. It should be the right time now to introduce systems for emergency actions against social problems, which are the reasons for conflicts. Against this background and taking into account that sustainable economic development and growth are prerequisites for social progress and protection, last October, at the Sofia ILO Conference, Bulgaria launched an initiative for the establishment of South-East European Council for Social and Economic Cooperation within the context of the Stability Pact.
I thank you.