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Social Policy Minister Shalapatova Outlines Priorities for 2024

The Council of Ministers’ governance programme includes an analysis of the pension system, which should be completed by mid-2024, Minister of Labour and Social Policy Ivanka Shalapatova told BTA.
“We are not talking about some historic reform of the pension model. We will be discussing measures primarily to strengthen the system financially and to achieve fairness,” she said.
Minister Shalapatova commented on the need to raise citizens’ awareness of how the three-pillar model works. For this purpose, an information campaign in partnership with the National Social Security Institute (NSSI) is to be launched.
By the middle of this year, the Ministry will announce concrete measures to make the lives of the elderly more active. Not only pensions are a priority, but also opportunities for seniors to feel respected and useful, Shalapatova said. A focus of her work for the new year is also the ongoing policies to improve childcare.
“By the end of January, we will publish the first-ever annual Early Childhood Development Plan,” Shalapatova said. She confirmed that by the end of 2024, the deinstitutionalisation process will be completed. “We have no doubt that we will see this through. At the end of this year, in December, we plan to organize a special ceremony where we will symbolically turn off the lights of the last medical-social care home for children. In this way, Bulgaria will be able to mark the end of a historic era in which children were raised in groups in institutions,” the minister announced. 
Shalapatova also said that her Ministry is working on the completion of the National Map for Social Services, whose priority is to measure the impact of social benefits for children and families.