Civil society is impossible without its skeleton – the NGOs. The non-governmental sector accumulated expertise to feed the institutions, trained them, and launched better governing forms. NGOs are an indispensable service provider for the public structures, building on their capacity, Tomislav Donchev, Deputy Prime Minister, said at the opening of the public presentation of Active Citizens Fund in Bulgaria within the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism 2014-2018, cited by the online newspaper Marginalia.
A particularly interesting survey was presented during the forum – Public Attitudes towards Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Bulgaria 2018. Ivanka Ivanova, Legal Program Director at OSI-S, said: The survey registers a dramatic drop in the membership of political parties and trade unions. The representation of the citizens in other types of public organizations remains low too. Three factors motivate the high degree of exclusion from public life, Ivanova said, cited by Marginalia: Some of the reasons have to do with the economy and the demographic situation – poor people; the unemployed participate to a much smaller degree, because they have other problems to solve. When you cannot make ends meet, there is no way to participate in the government of the country or in charity organizations. The elderly also participate to a much lesser degree in comparison with the population of active age, because this is the model of those over 60 in our country – since work is the main form of socialization, they remain largely isolated from public life. The citizens of certain regions of the country, such as the Northwestern one, also participate to a much smaller degree in public organizations, political parties or trade unions compared to citizens from other parts of the country.
The full text in Marginalia An Open Society Survey Shows a Dramatic Drop in the Membership of Political Parties and Trade Unions, Tomislav Donchev Expressed his Wish that the NGOs Do Not Leave the State Alone