Representatives of the legislative, executive and local authorities discussed in Parliament opportunities for legislative initiatives related to the responsibilities of municipalities for keeping public order and dam safety management. At the initiative of the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria (NAMRB), a working meeting was held in Parliament with the participation of MPs from the Committee on Internal Security and Public Order, Committee on Regional Policy, Public Works and Local Self-Government, and Committee on Environment and Waters.
Speaker of Parliament Tsveta Karayancheva, who opened the discussion, emphasised that the problems of Bulgarian municipalities were a main responsibility of the National Assembly. She said that mayors and municipality administrations were closest to the people and knew best the problems of Bulgarian citizens.
There is a cooperation agreement between the 44th National Assembly and NAMRB, recalled the Speaker of Parliament and said that one of its goals was the adoption of a first-class legislation. I am confident that we will continue working towards an efficient interaction between the legislative and local authorities in order to adopt good legislation to the benefit of Bulgarian citizens, added Tsveta Karayancheva.
Chair of the Committee on Internal Security and Public Order Tvetan Tsvetanov emphasised that the meeting was an opportunity for parliamentary committees and NAMRB representatives to discuss together topics of vital importance for regional development and related to future legislative changes. I am confident that today’s meeting will give a clear and strong sign of institutional interaction and mutual support which the institutions should provide to us in order to achieve the main goals: to guarantee security, development and prosperity of Bulgarian municipalities, said Tsvetan Tsvetanov.
The legislative changes in 2011 gave an opportunity to invest 50 per cent of the money collected from fines for breaking the law in the building of infrastructure in places with a high concentration of serious road accidents, said the Chair of the Committee on Internal Security and Public Order. We can help municipalities by allocating some of this money to them, because we know that municipalities, i.e. mayors’ administrations, can be better managers, added Tsvetan Tsvetanov.
Chair of NAMRB Managing Board Daniel Panov emphasised that the Association had asked for a meeting with MPs to discuss changes of responsibilities for keeping public order and dam safety management, because the changes were urgent. He clarified that throughout the years the NAMRB had always had good cooperation and fruitful work with the Parliament.
Municipality resources are not enough to manage and fulfil the requirements of public institutions regarding the management of municipal dams, said Daniel Panov. It is important for us that the dams are classified and the resources of the local government are allocated to priority repair work, he added.
Chair of the Environment and Waters Committee Ivelina Vasileva said that supporting municipalities in maintaining their own hydro-technical equipment was topical and related to protecting the population, prevention and good coordination between all institutions. Municipalities encounter a number of challenges and MPs are ready to discuss opportunities for improving legislation and supporting joint action to guarantee security, health and the life of our citizens, she said.
According to Chair of the Committee on Regional Policy, Public Works and Local Self-Governance Iskren Veselinov, the key message of the discussion is that the National Assembly wants to hear the voice of the municipalities and respond adequately to the problems they raise. In his words, the MPs have a common will to be involved in the solution of the tasks. It is realistic that those proposals will be sponsored by the MPs and we will make the first steps which are of prime importance for the work of municipalities, said Iskren Veselinov.