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National Assembly President Tsetska Tsacheva underscores the importance of national parliaments in the fight against poverty and social exclusion
February 22, 2010

“The role of national parliaments in designing policies against poverty and social exclusion is very important , and even more so in the present period of economic crisis”, said the Chairperson of the National Assembly Tsetska Tsacheva. She took part in the opening, February 22, 2010, at the National Assembly, of the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion – 2010. This is a joint initiative of the Member States of the European Union and the European Commission.

“There is something symbolic in the fact that the Bulgarian Parliament is the first to open the marking of the Year, by gathering the social partners in charge of confronting these social issues”, said Tsetska Tsacheva. She highlighted the role of the Lisbon Treaty in the European social policy, which is based on the preservation of rights, values, solidarity and security. “In addition to the Social Assistance Code, the Law on Integration of People with Disabilities and a number of other initiatives, reflected in our domestic legislation, the main task is to provide information to each of our fellow citizens regarding the issues that the country is working on, together with the civil society, towards overcoming poverty and social exclusion, said the Chair of Parliament.

Tsetska Tsacheva also noted that on 22 February, the World celebrates the idea of fraternity which is interrelated with the issue of poverty . According to her, in times of economic crisis and not enough solidarity, Bulgaria has to help every citizen and people from vulnerable groups in need.

The Head of the European Comission Representation in Bulgaria, Zinaida Zlatanova, said that Europe needs to unite its voice and efforts in order to help the European citizens who are in a severe socio-economic situation. According to a social survey, carried out by Eurobarometer, during August and September last year, 9 out of 10 citizens believe that the problems of social exclusion and poverty are serious in the countries in which they live.

The Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Totyu Mladenov, said that in Bulgaria one of the priority topics would be child poverty and active inclusion of people far-off the labor market. He explained that local authorities are undertaking for the first time the elaboration of general plans for combating poverty at municipal level. Part of the social partners commitments, consecrated to the European Year, are to have meetings with children reared in institutions, and with nongovernmental organizations so as to understand their views on the subject. The Minister of Labor and Social Policy Totyu Mladenov said that it will be a success for everyone , if at the end of the year, a national, based on consensus between all partners, long-term strategy to combat poverty and social exclusion is drawn up.
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