On November 14, 2006,
in the city of Vratsa, the Bulgarian Ombudsman held the third of a series of regional meetings on The Ombudsman Institution – Power of Morality and Authority. European Standards for Good Administration
. The Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria Mr. Ginyo Ganev and experts from his office, the district governor of Vratsa and mayors of municipalities from the Vratza district, magistrates, journalists and representatives of local NGOs participated in the event.
In his opening remarks Mr. Ginyo Ganev
marked the objective of the meeting to popularize the ombudsman institution in the region. Mr. Voislav Bubev
, Mayor of the Municipality of Vratza, also welcomed the participants in the seminar expressing his hope that the municipality of Vratza will soon have its own local public mediator.
The Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria presented the topic The Role of the National Ombudsman Institution for Protection of Citizens’ Rights and Interaction with the Central and Local Administrations
. Mr. Ganev underlined the role of the ombudsman as an advocate for human rights and pointed out some of the basic aspects in the work of the institution so far. According to him there are three major pillars the institution of the ombudsman is based upon and these are proposals, recommendations and mediation.
The Deputy Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria Mr. Metin Kazak
presented the institution’s recommendations to state and municipal bodies and their administrations for elaboration of internal administrative rules of conduct in case of an investigation by the ombudsman.
Mr. Dimitar Markov
, Project Coordinator at the Center for the Study of Democracy Law Program, acquainted the participants with the European standards for good governance and the institution of the European Ombudsman. He presented the basic principles of the European Code for Good Administrative Behavior
and expressed his hope that many of them will be applied by the Bulgarian administration in the context of the upcoming membership of Bulgaria in the European Union.
The Director of Citizens’ Complaints and Alerts Directorate of the Ombudsman Ms. Rossitsa Totkova
presented the topic The National Ombudsman Institution and the Local Public Mediators. Interaction for Effective Protection of Human Rights
. Ms. Totkova made a detailed analysis of the work of the Ombudsman on the complaints received from citizens living in the region of Vratsa.
During the discussion that followed the participants debated on a number of issues related to the activities of the ombudsman, including the powers of the ombudsman as regards the judiciary and the opportunities of the institution to contribute to the fight against violence among children.
The meeting was followed by a press conference for journalists from the. local media and a temporary reception center for receiving citizens’ complaints.