Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

Bulgaria has no strategy for green jobs

Adelina Marini, November 23, 2009

The reason is that there is no link between the economic and social policy. This is what came up during the regular session of the Bulgarian European Affairs Council which is a coordinating body under the auspices of the government. This body prepares the positions of Bulgaria for the European Councils. A policy to train workers that lost their jobs to work with "green technologies" can be introduced but it is necessary Bulgaria to have a clear vision of the development of ecologically clean productions and green technologies. It is expected that government to start developing specialized policies in 2010.

The government foresees in its governing programme for the period 2009-2013 support for the creation of "green jobs" to facilitate the transition to low-carbon economy. This support is part of the goals of the government to keep and reduce the levels of unemployment. AT today's session of the Council we also heard, that Bulgaria is doing only an analysis of employment and unemployment in different areas of the country and the efforts are concentrated on keeping jobs.

Today the European Commission published a report about the situation on the EU labour market. It shows that the economic crisis s taking its toll on EU labour markets, reversing most of the employment growth achieved since 2000. The document recommends employment policies to be focused on the preparation for a transition to low-carbon economy. It is admitted that although the total net job creation effects may not be very large – as creation of new 'green' jobs and greening of existing jobs will partly be offset by loss of some existing jobs.

Therefore, the report says, the basic elements necessary to ensure the transition to an economy with low levels of carbon emissions, should be policies that are focused on skills to ease transitions towards new jobs and to limit emergence of skills gaps and shortages – together with adequate social dialogue.

The Commission will present its proposal on this report on 9 December. According to data of the Ministry of labour and social policy, employment in Bulgaria is still lower than the average in the EU - 8.22% while in the EU it is 9.3%. The ministry forecasts that it is not excluded the number of people without jobs to reach 10% in the following years.