Citizens and Experts for the Application of Green Laws

Project facts

Project promoter:
Society for Investigation Practices(BG)
Project Number:
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:


The project provides for long-term expert observation of the institutions developing and controlling environment and climate policies and engagement of citizens to support advocacy actions. The project is a follow-up of the Green Laws initiative ( developed in 2014 (financed by the Bulgarian-Swiss Programme) and 2016 (financed from the EEA Financial Mechanism). The public in Bulgaria needs an independent platform where data about key issues related to the environment will be gathered and monitored. In the previous years the expert monitoring and advocacy campaigns of Green Laws supported environmental protection organizations in their communication with citizens and institutions and created a neutral and trusted space for dialogue among stakeholders.  The project aims at achieving balanced development and sustainable use of natural resources through raising the engagement of the citizens with the environment and their participation in formulation of policies. The goal in particular will be achieved with the involvement of citizens in campaigns on issues chosen by our experts which will place environmental protection topics on the agenda of institutions and politicians. The following activities will be implemented: monitoring policies and drawing up of monthly reports on the four topics, information campaigns for the public and public debates with politicians, working meetings with institutions and partners, civil society organizations. Results: greater civic engagement with advocacy for compliance and formulation of green legislation, awareness and prioritization of “green” topics in law-making and management. Target groups: direct users are politicians and public institutions (Ministry of environment and Water, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry) and final beneficiaries will be the citizens of Bulgaria for whom the green laws are developed and applied.

Summary of project results

Environmental policies are neglected by the government, and in many cases measures are proposed without assessing the benefits to society. Climate change is neglected even in some official positions of the states. As a result, Bulgaria is suffering sanction procedures from the European Commission for non-implementation of the directives regardings "Natura 2000", "Kaliakra" and "Rila buffer" cases, for air pollution. The public space in Bulgaria needs an independent platform to collect and track information on key issues related to the environmentwhich could facilitate the dialogue between politicians and citizens through expert analyses and support.

The project provides a platform for discussing environmental issues between citizens and politicians. 36 analyzes were published on the following project monitoring topics: biodiversity and forests, spatial planning, rural areas, energy and climate. The team has worked on the following horizontal cases:

- Appealing the harmful agricultural subsidies within the "Pastoralism" under the Program for development of rural areas and Strategic Plan for Agriculture;

- access to justice - appeal to the Constitutional Court regarding the postponement for 2 years of access to two-instance proceedings under the Environmental Protection Act for large national sites;

- management of "Natura 2000" - analyzes of the protection of the "Rila-buffer", "Kresna-Ilindenci" area and the upcoming changes in the Biodiversity Act;

- "Century Forests" - partnership campaigns, opinions, civil action and GIS analyzes on centuries-old forests

-"replacements" - analyzes of properties in forest replacements in the Kamchia sands case.

- застрояване на Черноморието – анализ на карти на дюните и пропуски в картирането

18 meetings were held with community representatives and partner organizations, working for the development and implementation of legislation for the natureThe project carried out 3 campaigns to engage civic participation and 5 politicians from different political parties were involved in discussions with citizens on topics o the development and implementation of environmental legislation and environmental and climate policies.

Summary report of the project activities -

50 people from various stakeholders and institutions took part in meetings for creating and implementing nature legislation. 3 debates of politicians and citizens were held with online broadcasting and video recording - 1100 people joined the campaign to send petitions to stop a project for the General Development Plan of Tsarevo Municipality, which would facilitate the additional reconstruction of the Strandzha coast. As a result, the state ended that plan and will develop a new one. Hundreds of citizens'' supported the campaigns against the development of the Black Sea municipality of Byala and regarding the shortcomings of the draft development plan of Borisova gradina. Together with the support of the citizens, the porject’s inititative stopped the construction in the area of ​​Kamchia sands made possible by the cancellation of the explicit bans on construction in the order declaring a protected area "Kamchiya". As a result, the Ministry of Environment and water took steps to recover the protected area “Kamchia sands”. Another success of the Green Laws initiative is the prohibition of the use of game poisons through the proposed changes in the draft Hunting Law. In April 2022, the Ministry of Environment and Water expandеd the protection measures in the Rila Buffer zone upon the proposal of Green Laws. The proposals of the initiative to enhance the use of renewable energy sources for household needs was included in the draft law.

Information on the projects funded by the EEA and Norway Grants is provided by the Programme and Fund Operators in the Beneficiary States, who are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of this information.