Cooperative Movement and Rural Development in Bulgaria: Policy Support and Practical Implementation

Darina Zaimova, George Zheliazkov, Veneta Gaidardjieva


Policy direction of the Common Agricultural policy – 2020 and the notion of multifunctionality of rural areas emphasizes on a more endogenous approach, which involves multiple decision-making levels, dimensions and actors; and calls for active society inclusion and efficient organizational forms to operationalize community participation. Cooperative enterprises have proved as a successful way whereby bottom-up initiatives contribute to furthering social well-being and supporting rural areas by utilizing democratic principles and implementing social responsibility in their activity. The present study aims at utilizing the economic, market and social effect of the cooperative business model in Bulgaria. The analysis draws on the potential and entrepreneurial commitment of particular cooperative initiatives to foster rural development through promoting collective action. What challenges the most this process is the complexity of factors – economic, legal, and social - that tend to influence and shape cooperative movement and its development.


Bulgaria, cooperatives, development policy, rural areas, rural development, cooperative movement

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International Journal of Cooperatives Studies

ISSN 2168-2631/  eISSN 2168-264X

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