APPEAl FROM BICA ON THE OCCASION OF THE CONVENING OF THE 46TH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA
In democracies, governance is chosen by the Sovereign. In modern countries, governments have a “tripartite dialogue” with employers and trade unions, collectively called the “social partners” on all issues important to society, especially those concerning the standard of living. Such is the European model of democracy, social partnership and industrial relations.
In our country in the last (and penultimate) elections, the Sovereign chose change. The ruling coalition so far has received significantly less than half of the votes cast in the election. At the same time, the Sovereign did not recognize any party to which he would entrust the implementation of the change. Something more! Taking into account the participation in the elections, no party received even 10% support from those eligible to vote. The sovereign ordered the change to be carried out by the combined efforts of several parties.
All this obviously requires a dialogue to reach an agreement and form a majority of those elected in parliament to implement the change, for deep reforms in a number of sectors and agreement on urgent decisions in parliament on anti-crisis measures and budget updates, to manage funds from European programs. and the budget for 2022. And on the basis of the agreement reached in the dialogue, a parliamentary majority to determine the executors / form the government. The country needs a parliament and a dialogue government, not new elections. A new popular vote is unlikely to produce a fundamentally different structure in parliament. The majority of Bulgarians want a change in the model of government and this is evident from both votes. Bulgaria must not waste any more critical time at a time when Europe is recovering rapidly and resolutely renewing its economy.
BICA calls for an open dialogue first on the priorities and policies, and then on the staff of the future government to implement them. We call for a unifying effort by all parties and MPs represented in parliament, recalling that the role of the opposition is also worthy when it criticizes, but does not undermine the government of the country.
For BICA, the priority of the priorities is the good and stable business environment and conditions for the development of entrepreneurship – as the deteriorating business environment is the main obstacle to the accelerated development of our country. And the improvement of the life of every Bulgarian directly depends on the conditions for entrepreneurship, depends on the functioning of the rule of law, the inviolability of property, the decisive reduction of corruption, the gray sector, theft and waste of public funds, limiting cartels and monopolies. It is important for us to maintain the well-functioning tax model, to continue the reforms in education, to accelerate our preparations for joining the OECD, Schengen and the Eurozone. Not as an end in itself, but as achieved standards.
Worrying is the lack of agreement among political forces on priorities, especially in the areas of judicial reform, legal certainty and property protection. Bulgaria ranks first in the EU in terms of share of GDP in budget expenditures for the security sector and the judiciary, and the perception of Bulgarian citizens and business for security is problematic. At the same time, our country is among the last in terms of the share of expenditures for health prevention and prophylaxis, but in terms of hospital care it is above the average level – that is, society pays people to be treated, not to not get sick. There is no shared vision for reforms in the energy and climate sector – for market liberalization and protection of the vulnerable, for the transition from carbon to climate neutral energy and economy, dates for closure of coal power plants and replacement capacities plus full realization of coal workers regions and carbon-free regional development. There is a lack of agreement on key aspects of the pension system, such as the updating of pensions and their link to social security contributions.
Democracy requires public dialogue to agree on policies for a better life for every citizen.
We insist on such a dialogue and such consent.