Mobile app facilitates the interaction with local authorities in regard to local growth

Today`s world is dynamic, digital, full with innovations. Mobile devices have long become more than a mean for communication and have taken most of our daily lives. They are source of information, tool for exchange of such, communication channel …and even a tool for stating own civic position.

Young people are vulnerable to actual themes. They are active, responsible and target-oriented. Youth value their time and resources and invest them in the truly important issues. What more important than forming the future of the local community or region?

A mobile app was developed in the framework of the RoBulUs project. It aims to propose the convenience of the new technologies and to provide the opportunity for inclusion in the decision-making processes regarding local and regional development.

The RoBulUs App ensures short information regarding the essence and application of the EU Cohesion policy and its priorities for 2021 – 2027. The application briefly presents the national, transnational and interregional programmes, in which Bulgaria participates in the previous and current programming periods. It also provides practical advices for applying the civic participation, incl. by providing access to some of the others project outputs – Step-by-step Guide `Vision for Cohesion` and video series with success stories from the implementation of the INTERREG V-A Romania – Bulgaria Programme. The application is particularly useful with the provided opportunity for interaction with local authorities and for participation in on-going public discussions of strategic documents and calls for proposals.

The mobile app is listed in Google Play and IStore

RoBulUs` interactive handbook `Vision for Cohesion` supports young people in becoming active citizens

Civic participation represents people`s right to legitimately participate in the processes of strategic planning and governance. It empowers stakeholders to take part in decision-making and thus, contributes to finding solution that is appropriate for all parties. Moreover, it forms a commitment for applying and monitoring of these decisions. 

Civic participation may have different forms and expressions. Most often, its main results is related to the creation of considerable social or societal change, which brings additional effects as well.  

Young people are key source of innovative ideas and carriers of resources and energy for their realization.

They are also the expected beneficiaries of that change. That means that it is them who need to undertake the role of legitimate partner in the strategic planning and to openly state their position on current themes. This means that they must use their right for democratic engagement through the proposed regulatory mechanisms.

The Interactive guide `Vision for Cohesion`, developed within the RoBulUs project supports them in this process. The handbook includes synthesized information regarding the established pathways for civic participation in the context of the Cohesion policy and also provides guidelines for their utilization and use in the real-life. This is a valuable helper, who serves to all interested citizens in the process of gathering information regarding the opportunities for engagement with the regional and local development.

The Guide is free and on disposal of all interested young people and active citizens.

International interest to the RoBulUs initiative and outputs

The RoBulUs ` team was invited by the EU-wide professional network Border Focal Point Network to share its achievements in the work with young people and in encouraging their civic participation.

The ‘Beyond Borders: Breakfast Debates’ series has been designed to highlight ways in which cross-border regions can be supported in tackling specific problems, building on their many assets. Central point in the sixth issue of the debates is 2022 European Year of Youth. It was held on February 3rd and the RoBulus project was one of the only 2 presented good practices in the youth work.

With deep appreciation for the invitation and the interest we are sharing the record of the debate here: 

Final conference `Vision for Cohesion` closed the implementation of RoBulUs project

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.

The RoBulUs` Final Conference `Vision for Cohesion` will be held on December 21st

During the last almost 12 months the RoBulUs team worked on the theme of civic participation and the opportunities for involvement in the planning, design and implementation of operational programmes of Romania and Bulgaria and the programme for cross-border cooperation  INTERREG VI-A

In that period, the project team surveyed the Bulgarian and the Romanian legislation, developed an Outlines and a Guide that support the utilization of the mechanisms for civic engagement, video-shot and presented 6 good practices for realization of own ideas in support of regional growth, proposed mobile app, which tested and experimented with its potential users.

Today, the same team organizes the project`s final conference `Vision for Cohesion`, in order to:

  • present our achievements;
  • Outline on practice the planning process of local development;
  • Present the national programmes of Bulgaria for the period 2021 – 2027 that are supported by the Cohesion Policy;
  • Encourage civic engagement and utilization of the capital of ideas, resources and motivation of young people for achieving local and regional development.
  • Create settings and pathways for discussing ideas and potential cooperation between citizens and local authorities.


The event themes are based on real-life practice and are considered useful for all young people, youth workers and leaders, who want to participate more actively in the processes of planning and implementation of the operational programmes of Bulgaria and Romania as well as the cross-border cooperation programme of the states Romania – Bulgaria.

The event is organize in hybrid form which enables all stakeholders to participate online or in presence in accordance with the current recommendations of the Ministry of Health.

The places are limited, so please request your participation before 17th of December.

Experimental sessions for testing of the RoBulUs pilot tools

In the framework of the RoBulUs initiative we have developed an Interactive Guide `Vision for Cohesion` and a mobile app. These are designed to serve young people from Bulgaria and Romania by facilitating their involvement as citizens in the planning and implementation of the EU Cohesion policy for 2021 – 2027 in the perspective of national and regional programmes.

During the last month 3 experimental sessions were organized, during which we met some of the prospective users of our products:

  • Students from Varna University of Management, on 23rd of November 2021;
  • Young entrepreneurs and youth leaders, online on 26th of November 2021;
  • Pupils from PPHS `Rayko Tsonchev` on 10th of December, 2021

In the framework of Agenda we discussed with the young people the essence and purpose of the Cohesion policy and the role of their involvement in the decision-making processes related to its planning and implementation. Further on, the content of the Interactive Guide `Vision for Cohesion` was reviewed in details, which enabled the participating young people to orient in the pool of responsibilities of the parties, involved in the processes of planning and implementation of the Cohesion policy at European, national and regional level. This review also provided preconditions for acquisition of skills and knowledge, necessary for practicing civic participation in the field of local and regional development.

Next in each event, the participants were given (group and individual) practical tasks related to the exploitation of the mobile application which aimed testing its speed and accessibility, as well as the comprehence of the information presented therein.

Each event was closed by an evaluation on behalf of the participants. The majority of the participants (87%) considers the RoBulUs pilot tools as useful means for civic engagement in the field of the Cohesion policy and supposes that they will improve the youth civic engagement in the debating and designing of decisions on local and regional levels.

RoBulUs` tools were presented to more than 50 Bulgarian municipalities

Project RoBulUS `Tools for enhancing youth engagement in Romania – Bulgaria cross-border cooperation` were presented during the `conference Closer Europe – open platform for civic engagement` which was held online on November 30th.

The conference was organized by Association for Social Responsibility and Development through Innovations (ASORI and more than 70 participants took part in it – including representatives from more that 50 municipalities.

Within our short introduction, we managed to present all project outputs but  logically, the focus was put on the mobile application. The representatives of the participating local authorities were informed about the possibility to be included in the mobile app`s communication channel for ease interaction with their citizens on the topic of local development and project ideas.

All interested municipal and district administrations may submit their interest for being included in the list of receivers of communications from the citizens by just connecting with our team.

Opportunity for participation in the RoBulUS`s mobile app improvement and update

In the framework of the RobUlUs project we created a mobile app which to supports the young people`s awareness regarding Cohesion policy and its contribution for the local community and wellbeing. The mobile app presents the national, cross-border and interregional programmes in which Romania and Bulgaria participate and encourages the citizen engagement in their planning and implementation.

The RoBulUs mobile app  is on disposal of all stakeholders, which besides using it may contribute to its assessment, improvement and upgrade.

Connect with us to present your ideas.

Videos of success stories of citizens` participation in the implementation of INTERREG RO-BG programme

Civic participation is an opportunity for sorting out local and regional challenges. It guarantees real involvement of people in searching for solutions to everyday problems, as well as implementation of actions that support the development of a better society. 

Although there are number of different mechanisms and pathways for civic participation, it is most often implemented in the form of variety by their type and character initiatives. The Cohesion policy of EU provides resources for the implementation of such activities, that support the economic and social development of regions in need. 

The cross-border region of Romania and Bulgaria is one of these  disadvantaged areas, that look for solution of common challenges in order to unlock the full spectrum of their untapped potential. Support in that is offered by the joint cross-border programme. 

Six success stories of civic participation in he pm INTERREG V-A Romania – Bulgaria 2014 – 2020 are presented in this section. The results of these stories have contributed to the solution of different problems of the region and have also boosted its development. 

Ruse, Bulgaria
Good practice of Foundation "Idein Development"
Silistra, Bulgaria
Good practice of Association `Youth Organization for European Silistra
Constanta, Romania
Good practice of ONG `Mare Nostrum
Vidin, Bulgaria
Good practice of Association `Free Youth Center
Calarasi, Romania
Good practice of AISSER
Vidin, Bulgaria
Good practice of Institute for territorial innovations and cooperation

Practical Outline of the Mechanisms through which the citizens can engage in the design and future implementation of the Operational Programs

Civic participation is the foundation of good governance. It lays the foundation for the application of the principles of transparency, openness and efficiency in the planning and implementation of state policy.

The active involvement of citizens (especially young people) in decision-making and action at local and regional level is essential for the sustainable development of a more democratic, inclusive and prosperous society in which they will live and develop. Cooperation with people should become an integral part of the processes for determining the development priorities of the region or the country, as well as of the procedures for decision-making and implementation of policies aimed at meeting important public needs. This requires the formation and use of inclusion mechanisms through which to ensure sustainable results on truly important topics, the problems of everyday life of the average citizen.

In this regard, in the framework of project RoBulUs: Tools for enhancing youth engagement in Romania – Bulgaria cross-border cooperation, we developed a practical outline of the mechanisms through which the citizens can participate in the processes of decision-making. The focus of this document is towards provision of measures and identifications of local and regional priorities, that need to be reflected in the design and future implementation of Operational programs in Bulgaria and Romania. 

This practical outlines identifies and presents in synthesized form the legislative provided mechanisms for involvement of citizens and their organizations in the processes of planning, decision-making and their implementation to ensure sustainable local and regional development. Next – by providing the necessary knowledge, our Practical Outlines strive to encourage civic activism for inclusion in the implementation of the Cohesion Policy 2021 – 2027 and the use of its funding opportunities. 

The European Commission’s support for the production of this website does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

RoBulUs stands for Tools for Enhancing Youth Engagement in Romania-Bulgaria Cross-Border Cooperation. It is an initiative that supports youth in becoming more aware and involved in decision making processes. 

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