We, the citizens of a democratic society, must utilize the legal opportunities for participation in decision-making processes on policies` design and adoption. This is particularly important when these policies target local and regional development, because it is us BUILDING UP OUR REGION.

EU in my region

EU policies and instruments in support of regional development

One of the European Union`s leading aims is to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion and solidarity between the Member states. 

Providing support in solving the challenges of more backward regions (amongst which Bulgaria and Romania) has an exceptional role in local economic development and infrastructure progress. Most important it improves the quality of life and wellbeing of local people. 

Distribution of EU support by regions

The programming process or how policies in support of the development are designed at European national and regional level.

The European Union, through its bodies, determines the development targets that the Community as a whole must reach over a period of time. Thus, it sets the framework, objectives and the budget of its policies in support of development . However, each country and even region in it has its own problems and challenges, whose solution it seeks for. Then, who and and at what basis determines the field in which the EU funds and interventions should be directed?

Levels and opportunities for participation of the EU citizens in designing the aims of strategic development

Citizens can participate in this process
and such participation has an increasingly important role for the future of their region and country

The concept of active civic participation is becoming increasingly important in the context of regional planning and strategic orientation. Citizens have an important role to play in increasing the transparency and accountability of public authorities, but above all in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public investment. And because of this, one of the goals of cohesion policy 2021-2027 is to move Europe closer to its citizens.

A series of documents at international, European and national level provide the legal mechanisms for civic participation and democracy in decision-making processes. They introduce “pathways” for involvement on several levels, even in the seemingly complicated process of design and implementation of operational programmes.

Citizens participation in the implementation of strategies and programmes for development and provision of tangible results

Citizens can contribute to providing real, concrete and measurable results

Initialization and implementation of projects in different fields is one of the most widely used and effective mechanisms for citizen participation in local and regional development. Logically, the bearer of a  idea is its greatest defender and most rational executor. EU funds provide opportunity for civil organizations to develop and implement their own and partner projects. This expands the possibilities for citizens to support local or regional development, or to be actively involved in solving a local problem by realizing their idea (relatively) independently, in their own way and with their own efforts.