Within the project “Social economy – Regional policies to support social economy enterprises” /SECON/ under the INTERREG VI program with Europe 2021-2027, a working meeting was held between partners from 9 countries. The meeting was organized by the Municipality of Haskovo in the form of a practical workshop.
The SECON project aims to stimulate policy improvement and facilitate the exchange of best practices to promote the social economy in EU regions. Recognizing the potential of the social economy as a catalyst for sustainable growth and community development, the project intends to create an enabling environment that supports its progress. To achieve this, SECON undertakes a wide range of activities, including regional and interregional training initiatives, development of studies and reports, and knowledge exchange efforts.
All partner organizations in the project participated in the working meeting, and the majority of them managed to attend in person. Representatives of the Rhine-Neckar Region (Germany), Flemish Brabant Province (Belgium), Harghita County Council (Romania), Mazowieckie Region (Poland), Oliveira de Azemies Municipality (Portugal), Riga Planning District (Latvia) ), Haskovo Municipality (Bulgaria), as well as KMOP (Center for Social Action and Innovation) – a Greek non-governmental organization strongly involved in social projects. Representatives of the leading partner Peloponnese region (Greece), of the Spanish organization Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, Population and Territory – Extramadura (Spain), as well as representatives of local non-governmental organizations and social enterprises, of the Haskovo District Administration participated remotely in the forum and local non-governmental organizations with a social focus.
The participants learned about the current state of social entrepreneurship in Bulgaria and in the municipality of Haskovo. The good relations between the Municipality and local and partner organizations were discussed. A discussion followed, as well as an exchange of experience and good practices between the various partners. With the help of Ivelina Kadiri – a marketing expert with extensive scientific experience, case studies with a practical orientation were worked out, which clearly showed that despite the differences, social problems are identical everywhere. Rositsa Stelianova, Director of “Programs and Projects of the Association of Industrial Capital” in Bulgaria presented the legal framework, opportunities and obstacles to the social economy.
One of the objectives of the SECON project is to start a social enterprise within the community, so that disadvantaged people have a better chance for independent development, education and good work, for a higher quality of life.
Social entrepreneurship is included in the Integrated Development Plan of Haskovo Municipality, as part of the just transition to a circular and green economy. Within the European Union, social entrepreneurship plays an increasingly key role in the sustainable development of the community and is extremely important for establishing social justice and equal opportunities.
Within the framework of the International Forum, the Holy Virgin Monument and other important tourist sites for our city were visited.
SECOND: Social Economy – Regional Policies for supporting Social Economy Enterprises
The project is funded by INTERREG Europe.