General Information
ROMACT Cycle: 
Mayor of the Municipality: 
Rumen Tomov
Contact Person within the Municipality: 
Nikolay Salmov - Expert "Ethnic and Integration Issues"
Dora Petkova
Total population: 
77 441
National census 2011
Roma living in the Municipality: 
1 836

ROMACT Cycle Closed


Description of the Municipality: 

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Blagoevgrad municipality is situated in the northwestern part of Blagoevgrad Province, in the western part of Bulgaria, at the border with North Macedonia. 
The municipality includes Blagoevgrad and 25 villages. 
According to unofficial data from the representatives for the local Roma community, approximately 3 000 Roma are living in Blagoevgrad.
They are settled in 3 different parts of the municipalities, in Blagoevgrad and in the villages of Pokrovnik and Padesh. 
The municipality develops project proposals under the Operational Programmes. The municipality wants to start working more actively in the field of social inclusion of marginalized groups. In recent years there has been active migration to major cities in the country and abroad, high unemployment, fewer children in schools.

Some of the main issues they face are:
- Illegal houses;
- A huge number of the population emigrate to Western Europe;
- High unemployment rate;
- A huge number of people do not have health insurance;
- Areas in Roma neighborhoods without running water.

The ROMACT Process

ROMACT started in March 2020 with the signature of the Letter of agreement.

The Taskforce for Roma inclusion was created following Mayor's approval in November 2020. 

ROMACT was closed in September 2021 in Blagoevgrad due to a local political crisis that was affecting ROMACT process. 

Trainings provided by ROMACT experts

Community Action Groups:
* Fundamentals of the advocacy process and successful communication with local authorities;
Community Survey;
Participation of CAG members in the municipal budget process;
Raising professional skills of Roma mediators.

Local authorities:
Development of a Plan for integrated develoment of municipality - PIRO

ROMACT Small Grants Scheme :
ROMACT offers small grants scheme to support the efforts of the municipalities and Community Action Groups to respond together to the needs of the most vulnerable and to multiply the good practices across ROMACT municipalities.
Under the scheme of small grants, the following project was supported by ROMACT during May – August 2020:

Initiative to counter COVID19 pandemic – Municipality of Blagoevgrad
ROMACT supported the municipality with 2396 € reaching 170 people in Roma community. The project covered information campaign on COVID19 and provided masks, disinfectant products, informative flyers to raise awareness in the community. Essential food supplies were also provided for families with dire financial situation.

Timeline Points

24 Mar 2020
Step 1- Becoming Committed- Signature of the letter of agreement
2 Nov 2020
Creation of Taskforce
30 Sep 2021
End of ROMACT Process
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