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CONCEPTION FOR THE INTERACTION OF NON-PROFIT SECTOR - PUBLIC AUTHORITIES IN NORTHWEST BULGARIA


Preamble

We believe that:
- The social and economic problems in North West Bulgaria cannot be solved separately by neither the public authorities nor by any of the NGOs but only by an uniting the efforts cooperation;
- Such a cooperation could only be build on the base of partnership equal to equal, treating with respect the autonomy of the parties to make decisions as well as to criticize;
- The cooperation should not be occasional but an element of the strategy of local and regional development;
- Without a civil society there is no real democracy. The acknowledgement and support of the civil initiative should be an irrevocable part of the policies of communities and regions;
- The citizens are those in the focus of the activities of both NGOs and public authorities and that's why the merging of the efforts of the two parties is in citizens' best interest.
Consequently public authorities and NGOs of North West Bulgaria accepted the current Conception regulating the interactions between them.

1. Aims of the interaction:

- Sustainable socio-economic development of the municipalities, the districts and the whole region of North West Bulgaria by cooperation and partnership of the public and civil sectors;
- Development of local democracy by widening the participation of citizens in the process of decision-making, as well as in the control of the institutions of the local and national authorities.
- Increase of the significance of the role of the NGOs in the region as a warrant of civil participation.

2. Parties

2.1. The parties of the current Conception are:
- Public authorities (municipalities, districts and regions) of North West Bulgaria
- NGOs from North West Bulgaria united in municipal, district and regional Civil Forums
2.2. This document has a binding action only to the public authorities and NGOs that sign it

3. Adhesion

3.1. The adhesion to the Conception is open for all public authorities and NGOs from North West Bulgaria.
3.2. The public authorities adhere to the Conception at the following levels:
- At municipality level with decision of the municipality council
- At district level with decision of the district council for development
- At regional level with decision of the regional council for development
3.3. The adhesion of a NGO to the Conception happens with a written decision of its managing body, submitted to the coordinating organization.

4. Civil forums

4.1. The civil forums are democratic structures of voluntarily united NGOs in Northwest Bulgaria. They are build on three levels of interaction:
- Municipality. It is composed out of all NGOs signed the Conception and registered on the territory of the respective municipality;
- District. It is composed out of all NGOs signed the Conception and registered on the territory of the respective district;
- The region of Northwest Bulgaria. It is composed out of all NGOs signed the Conception and registered on the territory of the region of Northwest Bulgaria.
4.2. At each level of interaction can not exist more than one Civil Forum
4.3. The civil forums organize their structure, activity and representation according to the accepted by its members rules. They do not register as legal entities (NGOs).
4.4. The membership in the civil forums can be terminated only after a decision of the General Assembly of the organization submitted in written to the coordinating organization or after the cease of existence of the organization.

5. The coordinating organization

5.1. The coordinating organization is elected democratically by the members of the civil forums at each level of interaction. Until elections are carried out the coordinating organization of all levels of cooperation is the Agency for Regional Development and Business Center - Vidin.
5.2. The coordinating organization delivers in time to the public authorities up-to-date information about the NGOs that joined the Conception and coordinates the interaction between the two parties.
5.3. The coordinating organization is equal to all other NGOs, taking part in the Civil Forum and does not represent them in any way, save in the cases when it is explicitly authorized to.

6. Principles

6.1. The public authorities and NGOs will cooperate in the frames on the current Conception taking into consideration the following principles.
- Respect of the law. The current conception or any actions originating from it can not in any way contradict or be interpreted as contradictory to the Bulgaria laws;
- Transparency. The Conception is based on the principle of transparency for all activities and procedures;
- Democracy;
- Openness for adhesion and participation on free will;
- Equality among the parties - public authorities and NGOs;
- Independence and autonomy. The parties preserve their independence at autonomy of decision-making.

7. Forms of cooperation

7.1. Recognizing the civil forums for representatives of the interests of the NGOs, the two parties will use the following forms of cooperation:
- Exchange of information about the objectives and the priorities of the Conception;
- Supply of expert help. Consultations at the development of projects and programs and joint participations at their realization;
- Consultations with the Civil Forums about the definition of the priorities of local and regional development;
- Consultations on development of project and programs and joint participations in its realization;
- Inclusion of authorized form the Civil Forums representatives of NGOs as participants with the right of consulting vote or with a statute of observers:
- at municipality level in temporary and permanent commissions to the municipality councils
- at district level to the district councils for development
- at regional level in the regional council for development
- Creation of special commissions in the municipality councils on the questions of civil society and the determination of a person to be responsible for the interaction of the local public authority with the civil sector;
- Supply (if possible) from the public authorities of space and other material assets necessary for the work of NGOs on local and regional priorities, including the creation of purpose public and budget funds;
- Joint elaboration of clear and accessible rules and procedures for the recieval of formal support and partner statute of a NGO from the public authorities and for the access to the purpose funds;
- Supply of electronic space in the web sites and other promotional materials of the parties;
- Collaboration for the creation of contacts with similar organizations with sister cities and regions
- Coordination of the press information at realization of common initiatives;
- Participation with the authorized representatives in the commissions on the questions of interaction (the Conception)
7.2. The parties agree on discussing other forms of cooperation not mentioned above.

8. Spheres of cooperation:

8.1. This Conception is to be applied to the priorities of local and regional development defined by the public authorities
8.2. The Conception may be applied and out of the priorities set above if the both parties agree to.

9. Final conditions

9.1. At each level of interaction can be build consulting commissions on the questions of interaction (the Conception)
9.2. At each level of interaction can be discussed and accepted joint documents, concretizing the different aspects of the Conception (but without changing it) according to procedures contracted between the public authorities and the Civil Forums
9.3. Changes in the current Conception may be made only with the consent of the Regional Civil Forum, made after consultations between the parties. The altered Conception is to be ratified by the public authorities and NGOs at the procedure of adhesion described in article 3.


 
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