SOFIA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION was founded as non-profit organization with the decision 348
of the Sofia Municipal Council to work for the sustainable development of the capital.


Improving the Employment Conditions for Third-country Nationals

More information, simplified administrative procedures for hiring TCNs, improving the capacity of the public institutions to work with TCNs, and adapting to the new labor market conditions: these are the main conclusions of the discussions in the third, final training for employers held within the project UMN and Cities Together for Integration, on November 4, 2020.

The presentations focused on the needs of employers in the country, the main sectors which offer jobs to TCNs, the procedures for hiring mirgants, the difficulties that migrants themselves encounter in finding a job. Speakers included representatives of the BCCI, CITUB, a local organization of foreigners in Sofia, Open Sofia, as well as the NGO MultiCulti. Very interesting results from surveys conducted among employers in 2019 and 2020 were presented, which show the changes in the labor market and the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on employment in the country.

The main ideas and results of the trainings will be used in planning the subsequent project activities - information and advocacy campaigns aimed at increasing the role of local authorities and their cooperation with social partners in the process of integrating TCNs in the labor market in the country.



How Can Employers Successfully Recruit Refugees and Third-country Nationals?

These issues were the focus of the second training within the project UMN and Cities Together for Integration, held on 27 October 2020. The project is coordinated by the European Trade Union Confederation, co-funded by the Directorate-General for Migration and Internal Affairs. The lecturers in the training were Iva Partzaleva, UNHCR, who presented a comprehensive overview of the regulatory framework and the conditions for professional development of persons who have received international protection in Bulgaria. Stefany Kostova from Catro-Bulgaria spoke about the specifics in communicating with refugees in the hiring process and provided a number of practical tips for employers and organizations who would like to enrich their teams with new people, from new cultures and with diverse skills. Many questions related to the recruitment procedures, the organization of thematic courses in Bulgarian, etc., were discussed by the participants in the training.

The third and last training will take place on November 4, 2020, and it will be held online. For registration, please click here:


Sofia Development Association organized on 20 October 2020 the first meeting of the coalition of local stakeholders working for the integration of third-country nationals in the labor market. The event is part of the activities of the project UnionMigrantNet and Cities Together for Integration, led by the European Trade Union Confederation, co-funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union.

Over 25 organizations – employers, local government, NGOs, joined the coalition, committing to the coalition’s principles and goals to improve the conditions for equal access to the labor market of third-country nationals. The initiative will support the joint efforts of the many local organizations, working in this field in Sofia, and the possibilities for cooperation and collaboration in the future.






Sofia Development Association held the first of three trainings for employers from Sofia on the topic integrating third-country nationals in the local labor market. The event is part of the project UnionMigrantNet and Cities Together for Integration, led by the European Trade Union Confederation, co-funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union. The training gathered representatives of municipal enterprises, companies, and other organizations. Speakers in the training included Mr. Hristo Simeonov, head of department on labor migration and integration in the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Ms Iva Partzaleva, UNHCR – Bulgaria, Ms Bistra Ivanova, MultiKulti. Presentations and discussions focused on the legal framework, requirements and good practices for employers wishing to hire third-country nationals, as well as on the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.






Sofia Development Association, part of the CICERONE project, is pleased to announce that the new Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA) on Circular Economy is now published, and available for download here.

The SRIA was developed based on eight priority themes (biomass and biotechnologies, chemicals, construction and demolition, food, plastic, raw materials, waste and water) and builds on four societal areas that face sustainability challenges (urban areas, industrial systems, value chains and territory and sea) to identify priority areas to tackle EU region-wide issues and facilitate the circular economy transition.

Developed within the H2020 CICERONE project in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, the SRIA will constitute the backbone of the future joint programming platform for circular economy: the EU Circular Cooperation Hub.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all stakeholders that have provided feedback throughout the development of the SRIA, and invite you to our upcoming workshop for programme owners and policy makers, that will present the concept for the future joint programming platform developed by the project.

The final workshop, “Cooperation for circular economy research & innovation“ will take place online on 22nd and 29th of October 2020 from 14:00 to 16:30 CET. Participants are welcome to choose one of the two proposed dates, which will be identical events. This challenge will be addressed in an interactive and hands-on online workshop that will give participants insights into the future platform, and provide the opportunity to shape its services, ensuring they are in line with needs and expectations.

Find out more about the workshop and register here.

For more information on the CICERONE’s outputs, including the recent publication of a policy paper on “An innovation policy to meet the EU’s Green Deal circular economy goals”, visit the project website at

LINKS SRIA launch announcement:

Link to SRIA:

Workshop 3 news story:

Link to newsletter:


SDA provided prizes in the amount of BGN 1,000 for two teams in the HackTues competition

Sofia Development Association provided two prizes of BGN 500 each to two of the finalist teams in this year's Hack TUES edition. Six years ago, Sofia Municipality became the first municipality in Bulgaria to start organizing hackathons through SDA, looking for innovative solutions to various urban challenges. Also, six years ago, the first hackathon of its kind was held, organized by students for students - Hack TUES, organized by the Technological School "Electronic Systems" (TUES) part of Technical University of Sofia. It is no coincidence that this is not the first time SDA has been among the partners of the event.

This year, more than 125 students took part in the “Smart City” hackathon. There were 29 registered teams, eight of which qualified for the final round. SDA awarded the “Segmentation fault” and “Light Life” teams for their great ideas and hard work. Checks worth BGN 500 each were presented by the Deputy Mayor of Finance and Healthcare in Sofia Municipality - Dr. Doncho Barbalov.

The teams presented projects in the field of "Smart Energy"; "Smart Transport", "Smart Communications", "Smart Home", "Smart City Game" and "Dealing with Coronavirus". Students from all grades worked together online for a week and developed software and hardware projects to modernize the city. The projects are applications and platforms for services, information sites, as well as smart technologies and devices that improve urban life and contribute to efficient energy consumption, modernization of transport and communication, "smart" household management and the creation of entertainment games. In addition, participants presented projects on COVID-19, which present modern technological solutions to address the challenges of a pandemic.

SDA wishes success in the implementation of the projects to all participants!


Page 5 of 44

Go to top