Around 200 participants attended the Bulgarian National Closing conference of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012 that took place on 4 December at the Sheraton Hotel Balkan, in Sofia.
The participants were welcomed by the Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Totyu Mladenov, who presented the initiatives that were undertaken throughout the year.
Mr. Mladenov pointed out the impact that the finalisation of the pension system reform, in the last two years, will have in the upcoming decade and the growing role of seniors in the labour market. According to statistics, around 40% of the Bulgarian population is over 50.
The European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, greeted the guests in a video message, and pointed the need for the EU member states to invest in health, an adapted labour market, and active involvement of seniors in employment.
Then followed Phillip Hat, from the Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Directorate General, and Luka Jahier, President of Group III of the European Economic and Social Committee, who highlighted the importance of facilitating seniors' access to employment, volunteering and education in digital technologies.
Minister Mladenov handed out awards for best employer supporting the active work life of their older employees, as well as the best media coverage of the EY2012.
The Bulgarian Ambassadors of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012, Eniu Bojadzhiev, Ingrid Shikova, Peter Bocharov and the group of traditional folklore Bistrishkite Babi were also congratulated for their active promotion of the EY2012. Bistrishkite Babi closed the ceremony with a special vocal performance.
After the end of the official ceremony, the closing event continued with debates and reports on the topic of “Elderly workers in the labour market”. Reports were presented by experts from the Ministry of labour and social policy, the National statistical institute, the National social security institute, experts from the Bulgarian academy of science, NGOs and Universities.
Picture gallery of the event.
Click here to browse through a selection of EY2012-related initiatives in Bulgaria.
For more information about the European Year 2012 in Bulgaria you may visit this website.