More than 50 participants from Bulgaria and Romania took part in the `Vision for Cohesion` conference which was held on 21st of December in the framework of RoBulUs `Tools for enhancing youth engagement in Romania – Bulgaria cross-border cooperation. The project is implemented with the financial support of the European Union.

The conference was organized as a hybrid event, enabling both online and in-presence participation, and thus ensured opportunity for participation of all interested parties from the Bulgaria – Romania cross-border area.

The main aim of the event was to empower young people in the creation of economic and social change for the local community and the region by informing them about the opportunity to get involved in the strategic planning and decision-making, as well as to motivate the initiative and participation in the processes of design and implementation of the programmes supported by the Cohesion policy in the period 2021 – 2027.

Lecturers in the event were representatives of public and private organizations, of local authorities and active citizens. They gathered together to present the civic engagement in the prism of the Cohesion policy and the operational/cross-border programmes. 

In the first part of the event, the experts of Regional Information Center – Dobrich presented Cohesion Policy 2021 – 2027, the Partnership agreement and the Bulgarian programmes in the next 7 years. After that, the Managing authority of programme INTERREG VI-A Romania – Bulgaria outlined the programmes`s vision for supporting the development of the cross-border area between the 2 Member states.

The presentation given in the next panel defined the opportunities for citizens’ involvement in the processes of strategic planning on local and regional level and based on the example of the elaboration of the plan for integrated development of Dobrich explained the pathways for such engagement. At the end, representatives of one of the most active civic organizations in the region of Dobrich shared its motivation for initialization and realization of actions contributing to the local growth.

Active citizens, local authorities` representatives, private entities and NGOs are reported to be among the event auditory. This is particularly a sign for all parties` interest regarding the topic, as well as their readiness for common cooperation and achievement of more sustainable results of public policies.

At the end of the event, the project team presented the developed project pilot tools that are designed to facilitate civic participation and interaction between local authorities and people.