Citizen Participation in Governance: from Individuals to Citizens
This edition of the NHDR for Bulgaria is the last in a series of reports focused on the different levels of government in the country and their interaction with each other. The 2001 report is dedicated to citizen participation in governance and the transition from individuals to citizens. A key finding of the report is that the willingness of citizens to participate in the country’s governance is much greater than their actual participation would indicate. The report offers a detailed analysis of the underlying reasons for this, and concludes that the main obstacle is people’s doubt as to the real impact they can have on the decision-making process. Overcoming the isolation of citizens and creating conditions for their effective interaction with the government is necessary to achieve consensual governance and hence sustainable development. The report suggests concrete steps and mechanisms to help turn participation into a major governance tool, capable of making tangible changes in people’s lives.