Establish local cooperatives to operate with an alternative civilian currency in parallel with the official one. This was cited as one of the instruments for reviving the civil society in our country during the Conference on Democracy 2020. The Sixth Civil Forum was held on February 29 and March 1 in Varna.

Regional currencies around the world are used as a means of socialization, cooperation and sharing and are at the heart of a more ethical and equitable economy. The idea for their creation in Bulgaria was suggested during the World Café conference. His theme this year was The Crisis of Statehood and Citizens’ Initiative. Participants sought the answer to the question: “What would we do in our wildest dreams to restore confidence in civil society?” All the answers led to the summary that people should act together. Develop active civic awareness practices such as cooperatives, neighborhood communities, and even the introduction of neighborhood composting. The confidence of active citizens must be restored. This would not have been possible without the presence of a middle class and a fair economy, the attendees were adamant. One of the ways of doing so – alternative regional currencies – will be the topic of the next Democracy Conference, participants of this year’s forum united.

In order to make it easier for all in the foreseeable future civic education in all schools is needed, as well as information meetings with young people in high schools and universities, NGO representatives say.

Among the most exotic proposals to restore confidence in civil society was the introduction of an informal monarchy and matriarchy, or the empowerment of women in all spheres of public life. Others in the forum imagined a “magic wand” or “driftwood” to create a working judicial system.

Unified, independent, active and in an environment of audibility – this is how, according to participants in the 2020 Conference on Democracy, an ideal civil society functions. “We still have a lot of work to do to achieve this. The important thing is not to give up, ”said Ilian Iliev of the Public Environmental Center for Sustainable Development (PECSD).

The Annual Civic Forum Conference on Democracy 2020 has been organized by PECSD, at the initiative of Arch. Kalina Miteva (Pavlova) and in partnership with the environmental organization “Friends of the Earth”. The Forum was created to celebrate the remarkable development of civil society in Varna since 2009 and to provide a platform for activities in support of democratic values.

The sixth edition of the conference was carried out under the project “Improving public awareness of the role of the civic organization for the community”, implemented with the financial support of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Financial Mechanism.

Translator: Valentina Vagge

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Improving public knowledge about the role of Civil Society Organizations

The project “Improving public knowledge about the role of Civil Society Organizations” shall be implemented with the financial support of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Financial Mechanism. The main goal of the project is to improve citizens’ awareness of the role of non-governmental organizations in society. This material is established with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund of Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. The whole responsibility for the content of the document is held by the Public Environmental Center for Sustainable Development and under no circumstances can this material be considered to reflect the official opinion of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Active Citizens Fund of Bulgaria.