From 27 March to 1 April 2017, a delegation from Bulgaria visited Switzerland to look at and discuss participatory processes in the context of contentious projects. The delegation included members of the Administration of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Environment and Water, the Executive Forestry Agency, the Road and Infrastructure Agency, Ministry of Regional Development, the Sofia Municipality, the Association of Municipalities in Bulgaria, and the Swiss Contribution Office in Sofia.
The idea of the visit was to learn from practical examples in Switzerland, with their possibilities and challenges, on how to improve dealing with conflicts through a better understanding of conflict dynamics, participatory processes and mediation.
The program provided a mix of meetings with Swiss authorities at the cantonal and communal level in Bern, Aarau, Münsingen and Köniz, with experienced experts and the representative of an NGO advocating the protection of nature.
PolitExchange conceptualised, organized, facilitated and accompanied the study visit on behalf of the Administration of the Council of Ministers of Bulgaria in the framework of the Bulgarian-Swiss Cooperation Programme.