A Public Council on Environment will be set up in Ruse as a result of the active participation of environmental activists and citizens because of the systematic problems with the cleanliness of the air in the city. The expert advisory body will provide assistance in the implementation of local environmental policies. It will contribute to increased interaction between institutions and citizen control over the protection of clean air and water.
30 citizens and eco-activists took part in the first meeting at the invitation of Ruse Mayor Pencho Milkov for the establishment of the public council: representatives of the well-known Facebook groups “Ruse Breathes”, “For Clean Air and Water in Ruse”, “Ruse Public Council”, as well as many people from Ruse and Marten who actively follow the problems of pollution and difficult communication with the institutions. Among them were also representatives of the Citizen Monitoring Team (CTM) Ruse from the association “EU Space 21”. At their insistence, the draft of the constituent document was sent to all participants and they were given the opportunity to make corrections and proposals on it.
The text of the structural regulations s is yet to be adopted. Some of the proposals are puzzling: the Public Council, which is being constructed as an expert-advisory body, should be composed of experts and representatives of NGOs active in the environmental sector. However, according to the initiators, the Mayor and the Chairman of the City Council will be members by right. The mayor is supposed to have only an advisory vote, the chairman of the City Council is not restricted. Thus, these representatives of the local authorities will enter an expert advisory body to advise themselves. One more thing: under the assumption that council members should be representatives of environmental NGOs, it is possible that some of the most active groups in social networks will be left without representatives if they are not nominated by NGOs.
The Localintegrity team will continue to follow with interest.
We hope this partnership between citizens and local authorities will lead to a more transparent and accountable government and a strong community.