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.


INTEGRA Partnership Looks Ahead

INTEGRA project partners had their third meeting in Sofia on February 13-15, 2019. The meeting was attended by all six project partners from five countries – Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy and Slovakia - and their stakeholders. The topic of the meeting was Advocacy and information campaign for better integration of third country nationals. Partners shared the results of their City Integration Audit and Agendas, the goals of their local efforts and their achievements so far. Interesting testimonies were shared:

A Ukrainian student expressed his astonishment that someone would ask him how to improve services for TCN and would take his opinion seriously – he had never experienced anything similar at home.”

We learned a lot from this project – we analyzed the situation, studied what the other partners and cities are doing, and decided that more could be done in our city, too.

“Lack of conflict does not necessarily mean integration, it may signal lack of communication.”

Stakeholders that participated in the meeting – from city officials to NGO experts, from representatives of international bodies to TCN organizations and state authorities - also shared their own experience, current activities and aspirations. As part of the partner meeting we visited the St. Ana Integration Center, run by Caritas-Sofia.

The Mayor of Rubano Mrs. Sabrina Doni met with the Deputy-Mayor of Sofia Mr. Todor Chobanov in the framework of the project meeting. Both leaders exchanged experiences and ideas for more effective integration of foreign-born citizens and reconfirmed the role of city-to-city cooperation to achieve that.

The most important thing is for migrants to understand they are community, said Mrs. Doni to the reporter of

Project partners planned their further activities and campaign.

INTEGRA project is funded by the European Union's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

More about the project is available at




Deputy Mayor of Sofia Municipality, Assoc. Prof. Todor Chobanov, met with the Mayor of Rubano, Italy, Mrs. Sabrina Doni, and Deputy Mayor of Rubano, Mrs. Stefania Donega. The heads of the two municipalities exchanged experience on how they work for the full integration of third-country nationals. Although different in size and geography, Sofia and Rubano face similar challenges in facilitating the access to the labour market, education and housing of legally residing non-EU citizens.

The meeting took place within the framework of the INTEGRA project, funded by the EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, whose leading partner is Sofia Development Association. More information on the project can be found at

The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission officially launched the pilot project "Science Meets Regions / Parliaments" in which the city of Sofia participates

On 06th and 07th February 2019 in Brussels was held the conference "Science Meets Regions / Parliaments - The Role of Science in 21st Century Policy-Making". The event was organized in connection with the official launch of the Joint Research Centre’s pilot project in partnership with the Committee of the Regions to organize a number of events in European cities to improve communication between academics and policy-makers as well as the provision of validated research information on key themes for decision-makers.

During the event, there were also lectures on the impact of artificial intelligence and cyber security on society, as well as parallel workshops where participants actively shared their plans for meeting their responsibilities to organize events in their countries and cities.

A representative of the "Sofia Development Association” took part in the meetings and learnt about the methodology and specifics of the requirements for the organization of an innovation camp in Sofia within the framework of the "Science meets Regions" project, and also exchanged experience and ideas with the representatives of the cities Nijmegen (Netherlands) and Ghent (Belgium) and the districts of Catalonia (Spain) and Bavaria (Germany), which are also going to organize innovation camps within the pilot project. During the workshops our representative shared information with the other participants in the pilot project on the actions planned by the Sofia Development Association and the Sofia Municipality to organize the innovation camp planned for March 2019.

IN-EDU Kick off meeting

IN-EDU project teams from Perugia, Sofia, Osijek, Maribor and Lyon held their project kick-off meeting on February 7 and 8, 2019, in Perugia, to jumpstart our year. WIth 7 locations in 5 countries, partners appreciated this opportunity to rally as an entire consortium. Project work package leaders, among which Sofia Development Association, highlighted the upcoming activities and objectives, a detailed plan for the upcoming months was developed, getting everyone on the same page.

The kick-off meeting ignited new motivation to contribute to more inclusive societies through better media literacy and excitement of what’s to come this year.

Poject IN-EDU – INclusive communities through Media literacy & Critical Thinking EDUcation funded by the Erasmus + programme of the EU.




New Project Launch

SDA started a new project IN-EDUINclusive communities through Media literacy & Critical Thinking EDUcation, funded by the Erasmus + programme of the EU.

In today’s digital age, media literacy becomes a key competence for civic and political participation and is linked to other competences that foster both knowledge and values consistent with the main principles of the EU. In a partnership of seven partners and one associated partner from six member states we will be working together in 2019 and 2020 to improve media literacy and thus contribute to more inclusive communities. The consortium is lead by the FORMA.Azione in Perugia, Italy, and apart from SDA partners include Centre for Peace, Non-violence and Human Rights, Osijek, Croatia; Foundation for Improvement of Employment Possibilities PRIZMA, Maribor, Slovenia; DZZD Obuchenie, Bulgaria; Istituto Tecnico Economico Tecnologico Aldo Capitini Perugia, Italy; IREX Europe, France; and the Catering and Tourism School Osijek, Croatia as anssociated partner.

Тhe project intends to address urgent challenges like the risk of radicalization and consequent diminishing of the free of speech and expression; the lack of productive and supportive cooperation among teachers and parents in the area of media literacy; the increasing phenomena of fake news and hate speech that undermine democratic and inclusive communities.

To address these issues and needs, the IN-EDU project envisions a variety of activities:

• Analytical activities: a participatory needs assessment relating to problem definition, available resources, possible solutions and community engagement is helpful to better target these interventions; assessment reports and a comparative report on media literacy education.
• Learning activities: National and international trainings for teachers on topics of media analysis skills, using media and digital technologies for inclusive education, civic competences and social media, etc.
• Community actions for media literacy: developing modules for students on media literacy and pilot teaching; third, engaging students and teachers in interactive events like civic hackathons and international student camp.
• Stakeholder engagement and dissemination: initiatives with schools, media organizations, local NGOs, online presence and campaign.

Capitalization Workshop on Social Impact

Sofia Development Association and partners from ten different countries got together in Budapest on January 22, 2018 with other Interreg Danube and other EU projects in the area of social entrepreneurship to discuss how to establish synergies with each other, share knowledge, build on each other’s success and maximize lessons learned. The thematic capitalization workshop was organized in the framework of the Finances4SocialChange project.

Over 15 different inter-regional projects agreed to clusted and share in order to strengthen their outreach, efficiancy and sustainability. Potential paths for collaboration include joined dissemination, peer reviews, benchmarkings, educational programmes, regulation. These insights will be applied in the project training programme and the upcoming social impact investment pilots.

The Finances4SocialChange project co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI). More about the project is available at

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