City of Varna
Mme. Velina Velinova
Chief expert International relations
Directorate Mayor's office
Varna is the third largest city in Bulgaria (residents, commuters, GDP). The city is among 30 South-East EU cities, which will be supported by the European Commission for the development of the digital innovation sector. The city administration focuses on the use of modern digital technology as a tool for more efficient administrative services (up-to 32% of citizens use online services; extra effort needed to develop the “information society“and provision of equal access to web).
The City aims at creating a favorable environment for development of Hi-tech industries and innovations (6 universities, 4 research institutes, high-level international forums).
Within the framework of several European projects, Varna was involved with cities dedicated to implement local digital transformation policies, to redefine their concept for communication with citizens based on digital tools and use of new technologies for improved public services.
Role of the organization in the project
The City collaborates with different types of stakeholders - youth and social NGOs, universities- in the organization of internship programs for digital literacy improvement, training in different skills, optimization of existing municipal digital communication channels in order to stimulate civic engagement and inclusion in social life.
The social innovation and entrepreneurship topic was a main priority of “Varna European Youth Capital 2017“when the City launched initiatives focused on citizens’ engagement in tackling different social challenges. The City of Varna will manage the topic of the youth and the digital divide, which represents a very important issue as it, treats of the way tomorrow's citizens will be better connected and associated to the political process and the EU's future (seminar scheduled on the 25/26 February 2021).