[Bulgaria] Bulgarian Civil Society Calls on EU Commissioners to Assist with Hate Campaigns against the Social Services Act

05 Feb 2020

Eurochild reported that over 60 Bulgarian civil society organisations (CSOs) called on six EU Commissioners in a letter to urge the Bulgarian government to effectively act against hate campaigns which question the need for civil society organisations.

A series of aggressive attacks by informal movements on social media against the Social Services Act aim to obstruct its enterting into force. The Social Services Act is a progressive law which was developed over 10 years through discussions and reforms for deinstitutionalisation in Bulgaria. It was supported by organisations receiving support from the EEA Financial Mechanism.

Social media has been used as an instrument to disrepute the law through false claims such as suggestions that the CSOs are advocating on behalf of foreign inerests, or that CSOs are a danger to Bulgarian families and engage in taking away children. Eurochild notes that CSOs aim at the exact opposite - deinstitutionalization and the prevention of child separation from the family.

These attacks also have an anti-EU nature because they are aimed at preventing EU-based providers from delivering services in Bulgaria. They are similar to social media attacks in the country two years ago which targetted the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, and which froze the adoption of the National Child Strategy.

Тhe full letter can be read here.

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