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Bulgaria: NIEM national coalition meeting - Integration of Refugees at the Local Level

On 8-9 June 2021, the Bulgarian Council on Refugees and Migrants and the Multi Kulti Collective, in partnership with the UNHCR Bulgaria and the Sofia Development Association, held a NIEM national coalition meeting in a format of an Information Session for Municipal Experts: Integration of Refugees at the Local Level. 

The meeting was organized in Plovdiv and was attended by experts from municipalities across the country, as well as non-governmental organizations that expressed an intention for exchange of experience and partnership with municipalities. The event was opened by Kina Sabeva – Chair of the Bulgarian Council on Refugees and Migrants and NL Narasimha Rao – the new UNHCR Representative, who presented the global aspects of refugee issues, the Bulgarian context and the integration as an opportunity for social and economic development at the local level. The meeting provided a forum to present the recent developments and trends in the European Union regarding refugee integration and the implementation policy at the local level, as well as the role of national and local authorities in this respect. 

The programme of the meeting included a presentation of the policies implemented by the Sofia Municipality in the field of migration and integration of refugees, in a partnership with the Sofia Development Association. The programme provided an opportunity to present the experience and good practices of the Bulgarian Red Cross for joint implementation of a project for integration of refugees, with Vitosha and Oborishte Districts of Sofia Municipality. Bistra Ivanova - the Chair of the Multi Kulti Collective - presented the opportunities for European funding of programmes, projects and activities for integration of refugees and migrants.

The event was co-organized in the framework of the National Integration Evaluation Mechanism (NIEM) project, co-financed through the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union.