Municipal Budget, Refugee Inclusion Policies and Donations were the Topics of the Second
Training Day of the Second Course for Class 2022

The second day of the second course of the National Program at hotel “Lyon” – Borovets started with a training panel on the structure and principles of the municipal budget. Zdravko Sechkov, Executive Director of the Foundation for Local Government Reform, explained to the trainees what the budget of a budget organization is. He emphasized the fact that the budget was a way of influencing the local economy and a tool for setting priorities. After the members of Class 2022 were acquainted with the budget cycle and the process of developing, adopting and reporting on a municipal budget, they met with three current mayors. Vladimir Georgiev – Mayor of Samokov, Ilko Stoyanov – Mayor of Blagoevgrad and Lilia Donkova – Mayor of the Sofia district of “Kremikovtzi” spoke about the budget as a political tool and gave many different examples of their work. After the discussion with the representatives of the local authorities, the trainees worked in groups on a training case. Under the guidance of mentors, they took on the role of municipal councillors, representatives of various parties. Thus, they jointly developed and voted a municipal budget within the powers given to them by law and taking into account political, administrative and market restrictions. Each group chose a representative who presented the work and results of the group in the large hall. The groups received feedback from Zdravko Sechkov.

The second half of the training day started with the current topic of refugee inclusion policies at the local level. Iva Parcaleva from UNHCR and Colonel Valeri Rachev, Head of the Crisis Headquarters at the Council of Ministers for the Management of the Crisis Related to the War in Ukraine, spoke in detail about the problems of people fleeing the war, the mechanisms in place to resolve them and possible ones for the future. After this training panel, the members of Class 2022 again worked in groups. The training case provided for them to re-enter the role of municipal councillors and to come up with a position on the resettlement of refugee families in the municipal center of the municipality.

Three ladies, who graduated from the Bulgarian School of Politics in different years, spoke about donations and the donation causes that their classes have chosen and supported. The Executive Director of the Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation Iliana Nikolova showed the donation as an opportunity for local development, and then told about the cause, which was supported by Class 2008 of BSoP. Maria Ilieva from Class 2014 clearly showed and spoke about the stages her class went through – from choosing a cause to the realization of a fundraising event for it. Kalina Georgieva from Class 2018 also shared about the support of her class for children with proven talents and disabilities from Northwestern Bulgaria.

The training day ended with work on the modular task. In the second course it aimed at the trainees to acquire knowledge about the specifics of the Bulgarian municipality and possible solutions to problems, as well as to develop skills for analysis of local problems and policies.