General Information
ROMACT Cycle: 
Mayor of the Municipality: 
Mr Ivan Zhabov
Contact Person within the Municipality: 
Ms Zumbula Marinova - Chief Expert of the department “Education, Healthcare, Culture, Social activities, Integration and Sport”
Ms Dora Petkova
Total population: 
14 934
2011 National Census
Roma living in the Municipality: 
2 063
Description of the Municipality: 

*Disclaimer: The information and views set out in this page do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the Council of Europe and/or the European Commission. Neither the Council of Europe, the European Commission nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Last update 03/08/2016

The municipality of Sredets (Средец) is located in the South-Eastern part of Bulgaria, in the Burgas region, and is one  of the largest territorial-administrative units of the country. The municipality comprises 1 administrative centre (Sredets) and 31 villages. According to the latest census data, the Roma population in the municipality represents around 14% of the total population, with the alternative figure of 33 % estimated by the Community Action Group (CAG). Most Roma live within the Sredets municipal centre (2 200 persons), or in Pobeda (Победа) neighborhood, while three villages Debelt (Дебелт), Drachevo (Драчево) and Orlintsi (Орлинци) also register important Roma populations.

While electricity is available to all households, some of the dwellings in Roma neighborhoods are not connected to the municipality's sewarage system. This is mostly the case for those houses that were built without legal documentation, which combines a lack of basic sanitary and hygienic conditions with overpopulation (cohabitation of several families in one apartment). Moreover, municipal social housing is insufficient and in poor condition.Similarly to other Bulgarian rural municipalities, the road infrastructure in the Roma settlements in Sredets is either in poor condition or missing altogether. Waste collection services are not sufficient, as a result in Pobeda neighborhood an illegal dumping site emerged. The Roma population in Sredets faces a number of serious issues, among which high unemployment rates, high levels of school drop-outs and early marriages.

The ROMACT Process

Sredets joined the ROMACT Programme in November 2015 with the signature of the Letter of Commitment by the Mayor of the municipality, Mr Ivan Zhabov.
Prior to local elections in Bulgaria, the Community Action Group (CAG) formed and began formulating the priorities of the Roma community in terms of short-term and long-term priorities.

Short-term priorities of the CAGObjective 1Objective 2Objective 3
InfrastructureRepair and pave the main streets in the neighborhoodPlace waste containers in the neighbourhoodOrganise regular garbage collection and close illegal dumpsite in Pobeda
Long-term priorities of the CAGObjective 1Objective 2
HousingAdapt the urban planning of the municipality so as to include currently illegal Roma dwellingsProvide decent housing solutions for Roma family in need
EducationReduce the school drop-out ratesReduce the number of early marriages
EmploymentPrepare emergency measures to reduce unemployment

The Local Council in Sredets adopted the Municipal Action Plan for the implementation of the Roma Integration Strategy in Burgas region 2014-2020 (MAPRI) before the ROMACT programme was initiated in the municipality. During its second meeting with the Local Authorities, on 15 April 2016, the CAG proposed its short- and long term priorities for updating the MAPRI and accompanied it with an official letter. The local authorities in Sredets agreed to work together with the CAG within specific working groups so as to finalize the update of the MAPRI. Through the same decision, CAG members were also included in the Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism of the MAPRI.

Furthermore, the municipal staff attended several training and coaching sessions organised by the ROMACT Programme, and benefited from the support of the ROMACT Expert on the question of application for EU Funds with a focus on the integration of Roma priorities to the Local Development Strategy for funding through the Rural Development Programme. As a result of the cooperative environment in the municipality, a few of the priorities expressed by the CAG have already been addressed by the local authorities, namely through the measures detailed below:

Priorities addressed by local authoritesMeasure 1Measure 2
InfrastructureAsphalting of two streets in Pobeda neighborhood
HousingDistribution of 20 waste containers in Pobeda neighborhoodRemoval of the illegal dumping site in Pobeda neighborhood

Timeline Points

25 Oct 2015
Local Elections in Bulgaria - Round 1
15 Nov 2015
Local Elections in Bulgaria - Round 2
20 Nov 2015
STEP 1 - BECOMING COMMITTED - Sredets joins the ROMACT programme
Disclaimer - © Council of Europe 2015 - © photo credit