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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure BG-2020-6/2723 – measures in Bulgaria

Support for enhancement of employees and enterprise adaptability to changing economic conditions

Подкрепа за повишаване адаптивността на заетите лица и предприятията към променящите се икономически условия

Country Bulgaria , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 03 February 2020 – 03 July 2022
Context Green Transition, Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Reorientation of business activities
– Change of production/Innovation
Author Ekaterina Markova (IPS-Bas) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 June 2022 (updated 07 November 2022)

Background information

The project activities are aimed at companies, employees and employers. 

The list of targeted economic sectors include: construction; water supply; trade, services and tourism; transport; light industry; food and beverage industry; metallurgy; metalworking; mining; energy. 

According to the project description, 100 enterprises will be selected according to criteria that will be developed during the project implementation phase to try out the models and instruments elaborated as part of the project. These enterprises will be selected based on several criteria, including potential value added for the enterprises from being included in the project and existence of already established relationships between the project manager (῾Podkrepaʾ Labour Confederation), its partner organisation and the enterprises.

In 40 enterprises, 200 employees will be selected to try out the innovative models and tools developed as part of the project. Inclusion criteria will cover: potential added value for the enterprises from being included in the testing, impact from participation in the testing phase on the production process, and willingness of the employer to assign employees to the testing activities.

Content of measure

This is a project funded under Human Resources Development Operational Programme (project reference number: BG05M9OP001-1.051-0007-C01). The main project beneficiary and project manager is Confederation of Labour 'Podkrepa' (one of the two major trade union confederations in Bulgaria).

The main goal of the project is to support the establishment of standards for social cooperation and to develop on their basis comprehensive sustainable models aimed at increasing the adaptability of employees and enterprises to changing economic conditions, through the introduction of new systems, practices and tools for human resources management and to improve working conditions.

There are 23 anticipated activities in the project. They encompass research (model development for integrated social analysis and integrated social dialogue), training activities for employers and employees, and pilot testing activities introducing the developed models in at least 100 enterprises. 'Podkrepa' Labour Confederation is responsible for conducting all project activities, some of which are implemented in collaboration with the two project partners.

There are several analytical activities, including an analysis and reporting of the working environment and social cooperation in the 10 selected economic sectors. Common rules for standardisation of social cooperation and innovative instruments for applying those rules will be developed; a total of 10 'green' models for improving the working environment and increasing social cooperation and two road maps for applying these green models will be elaborated. Training materials will be designed and trainings will be delivered in 40 of the selected enterprises.

The project target groups are employees and employers. The planned project lifespan is between 3 February 2020 and 3 July 2022.

The total project budget is BGN 2.3 million (approx. €1.15 million), of which BGN 349,801 (approx. €175,000) national funding and BGN 1.2 million (€505,000) European funding.

Use of measure

This project started at the beginning of February 2020 and activities were hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic in recent months. The project emphasises the cooperation between social partners and is targeted at the changing economic conditions in the country (including the green economy and new forms of employment).

The models that are to be developed under the project (green models for improving the working environment and models for social cooperation) will be piloted and validated in at least 100 enterprises, which has the potential to prove their viability (Podkrepa Labour Confederation, 2020).

The successful implementation of the project will be used as a basis for a new project proposal aimed at developing a platform for social cooperation (Podkrepa, 2020).

All activities described above are project based, thus their sustainability is questionable. Other weaknesses may be identified during the project implementation.

Furthermore, there is no detailed criteria for participation in the programme. 

According to media article, four 'green models' for social cooperation were developed: "Conciliation Commission and Voluntary Labour Arbitration"; First aid at the working place; Human Resource Management Plan and Anti-stress program - to manage and minimize workplace stress.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Trade unions
European Funds
National funds
Trade union

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


Main project beneificiary is Confederation of Labour "Podkrepa". The partner of Confederation of Labour "Podkrepa" in the implementation of the contract is the Association of Industrial Capital in Bulgaria (AICB), and the associate partner is the Executive Agency "General Labour Inspectorate".

Views and reactions

The Final Conference of the successfully implemented project BG05M9OP001-1.051-0007-C01 "Support for Increasing Adaptability of Employees and Enterprises to Changing Economic Conditions" of the Confederation of Labour "Podkrepa" was held on 21 June 2022 at the Headquarters of CT "Podkrepa".


  • 20 November 2019: OPHRD and CL Podkrepa signed a project to increase the adaptability of enterprises and workers to changing economic conditions (
  • 21 June 2022: Final conference on the project "Support for increasing the adaptability of employed persons and enterprises to changing economic conditions" (
  • 13 October 2022: Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (


Eurofound (2022), Support for enhancement of employees and enterprise adaptability to changing economic conditions, measure BG-2020-6/2723 (measures in Bulgaria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.