Сдружението на предприемачите в регион Гоце Делчев участва в международен форум “Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions“, свързан с трансграничното сътрудничество, организиран от  Търговската палата на гръцкия град Драма, с участието на Европейската комисия. След предварителни срещи и разговори с представители на бизнеса и местните власти от двете страни на границата между Гоце Делчев и Като Неврокопи, Сдружението проучи и обобщи проблемите и някои трудности на бизнеса по отношение на работната ръка, за което  представи цялостна позиция с конкретни предложения:

– Да бъде изграден общ европейски регистър на издадените болнични листове. Поради липсата на такъв в момента, много работещи се възползват от възможността да работят сезонно докато са в болнични. Това означава, че мамят държавата и постоянния си работодател.

– Да бъде подобрена системата на здравните осигуровки и да се възможност чрез европейската здравна карта да се ползват лекарски услуги в други страни не само за спешна помощ. Поради незнание в момента много пациенти имат високи разходи за болнични услуги, които разходи могат да бъдат намалени, а качеството на здравните услуги по-високо.

 – Във връзка с все по-разширяващия се проблем от недостиг на квалифицирани и неквалифицирани работници все по-реална е възможността да се наемат такива от съседните страни, например от Гърция и България. За да бъдат работните места в България по-атрактивни и да се повлияе положително на безработицата в пограничните гръцки райони, да бъде въведена европейска програма, която да субсидира разходите за транспорт и квартира на новоназначените лица. Да бъдат въведени различни стимули за наемане на работници от Гърция в България – субсидия за новоназначено лице, данъчни облекчения или други мерки, които да улеснят избора на безработните от гръцка страна, търсещи работа в България.

 – При наемането на нови работници в Гърция има изискване да бъде открита нова банкова сметка. Да се направи предложение да бъде премахнато това изискване, което създава допълнителни ненужни разходи за работещия, който вече има банкова сметка, но не в Гърция. Да отпадне изискването да се издава документ за социално положение, данните от него могат да се получават служебно. Да отпадне изискването документите да са заверени с апостил, защото това отново е допълнителен разходи и загуба на време.

 – Да бъде затегнат контролът на границата за движение на стоки, закупени на едро. Да бъде изискван задължително документ за продажба, липсата на такъв създава предпоставки за нелоялна конкуренция и излага пограничните фирми на риск от потенциални загуби.

Позицията е подписана от Бертрам Ролман, председател на Сдружението на предприемачите в регион Гоце Делчев

В конференцията участва и Бизнес инкубатор – Гоце Делчев. 

Вижте по-долу оригиналния текст на позицията, адресирана до Европейската комисия. 

POSITION ON THE TRANSNATIONAL COOPERATION REGARDING LABOUR MOBILITY BETWEEN THE REGIONS OF GOTSE DELCHEV AND KATO NEVROKOPI

 

The Association of Entrepreneurs Region of Gotse Delchev is strongly interested in the promotion of the trans-border cooperation and trans-border labour mobility between the regions of Gotse Delchev and the region of Kato Nevrokopi. We see currently huge unused potential that needs to be unleashed in the interaction between the people, companies and institutions from both sides of the border in different areas such as labour mobility, healthcare, education and training, infrastructure, culture and sports.

 

Labour market/Labour mobility

This is especially valid today when there is big demand for workforce on the Bulgarian side of the border and very high unemployment on the Greek side. Having in mind the stepwise convergence of the salary levels between Greece and Bulgaria, we believe the time has come for people from both sides to use more actively the employment possibilities offered in the other country, without having to change their place of living.

For this to happen, a wide information campaign is necessary, in order to inform the citizens about the work opportunities they can find in companies on the other side of the border, which in most cases are about 30-40 minutes driving time from their homes. In this regard the most important topics to work on are the following:

  • Providing concrete information about real job opportunities to the people in the border municipalities – in which sectors, which companies, what kind of jobs, transportation to the workplace.
  • Clarification by the institutions about the tax, healthcare and social security issues. These bureaucratic procedures need to be explained to the people and it must be made clear that these procedures are not so “scary” at all, and that people working on the other side of the border can enjoy their healthcare and pension rights in their home country as normal citizens;
  • Stimulating people from the Greek municipalities with high unemployment to work in Bulgaria, e.g. through temporary financial support for their transport to the workplace and possibly for hо
  • Promoting the good image of the region on the other side of the border, so that the people have more information about life in the neighboring region;
  • Elimination of some bureaucratic obstacles, e.g. the requirement in Bulgaria that the foreign worker has a registered address in the country (when the worker can commute and actually live in Greece); the requirement in Greece that the foreign worker open a bank account in Greece (when the person already has a bank account in their home country). Also, if a BG/GR citizen goes to work in the neighbor country, it should be possible to do this without a new tax and social security registration in the new country, i.e. the tax and social security status should be transferred from one country to another through official channels. In this way the companies and the citizens would not be burdened with excessive bureaucracy.

Furthermore, the institutions should take joint measures to fight the cross-border violations of both the Greek and the Bulgarian social systems. An example of such violation is the fact that many people from Bulgaria work without labour contracts in the neighboring Greek municipalities. Very often employees of Bulgarian companies take a sick leave and go to work in Greece while receiving a compensation for illness in Bulgaria. Others are registered as unemployed in Bulgaria, and also go to work in Greece while receiving compensation for unemployment at home.

Such bad practices undermine the overall image of both regions and hinder the constructive trans-border cooperation. This also diminishes the chances of good and correct employers to find workers from the cross-border municipalities, because of the rooted negative opinion in both societies about employment in the other country. In order to tackle this negative trend, stricter control is needed for the Bulgarian citizens who work in the neighboring Greek municipalities. A way to achieve this is to propose the creation an EU social security register, so that the authorities and companies in each country can know whether a foreign person has a labour contract in another country.

 

Connectivity and infrastructure

To increase the chances of active trans-border cooperation, good connectivity is a crucial factor. Possibilities for daily bus lines between the neighboring municipalities need to be researched, so that many more people could travel in both directions and explore better the opportunities behind the border. This would boost the interaction between people from both sides of the border and would help eliminate certain prejudices.

Another serious problem that negatively impacts the connectivity between both regions is the heavy and slow traffic on the road between Gotse Delchev and Drama, which is in an urgent need to be widened and straightened in order to allow the normal movement of people.

An important factor for the better connectivity in the border regions would be an east-west motorway from the Macedonian to the Turkish border. It should be projected at as low as possible altitude so that it could be easily exploited also in the winter months. Such a motorway that is connected with the newly built “Struma” highway would bring great benefits for the border municipalities Gotse Delchev, Kato Nevrokopi, Satovcha, Dospat. A first step in connecting Gotse Delchev with “Struma” highway is already underway with the pre-planning of project III1906.

Providing clean energy from natural gas to the bordering Greek municipalities is also a possibility worth considering. For this objective the projected pipeline to Gotse Delchev can be used and prolonged beyond the border.

Beside the development of economic and business cooperation, there is also a strong need for cross-border projects in the fields of healthcare, education, culture and sports.

Healthcare

Especially in the field of healthcare it would be of huge importance to unite the efforts of both regions and introduce some life-saving services that can be used by the people from both sides of the border – a common emergency center for all municipalities in the border region; a common medical helicopter for emergency cases; introduction of other vital medical services that are currently lacking in both regions. Considering the fact that both regions are quite isolated and far from hospitals in the bigger cities, such services could have a huge impact on the improvement of the quality of life of the population.

Education, culture and sports

Moreover, the exchange in the field of education, culture and sports is not active enough and can further be enhanced. A possibility in this respect is to support the cooperation in vocational training, as well as internships of students in the other country. Also, there is still potential for more activities in the area of youth, culture and sports, for example the organization of mutual festivals, concerts, exhibitions and sports tournaments, so that the people from both sides can get to know each other better.

 

The Association of entrepreneurs Gotse Delchev region expresses its readiness to work on the enhancement of the cross-border cooperation between Bulgaria and Greece and to participate in events or working groups focused on this topic of strategic importance for both regions.

 

Best regards,

Bertram Rollmann

Chairman of the Association of entrepreneurs Gotse Delchev region

 

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