Economic Research Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Interview with Milkana Mochurova, PhD, at the Economic Research Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Fields of interest of Milkana Mochurova

Environmental economics, indicators for sustainable development, IWRM, market-based instruments, Water Framework Directive, green tax reform, public participation in decision-making, public-private partnerships in utilities and infrastructure, methods of collecting and analysing environmental and socio-economic data

What is the vision and mission of your organisation?

The Economic Research Institute (ERI) is an independent research centre at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS), established in 1949. It is the oldest centre for organised economic studies in Bulgaria and has a long history dating back to the beginning of 20th century. Its activities are focused mainly on fundamental and applied research of economic and social issues and training of Ph.D. students.

Its mission is to provide policy makers and practitioners with high quality scientific studies and to contribute to sustainable development of the country.

The research activity is focused on the following priorities:

 - Economic development of Bulgaria, competitiveness of the economy in the Common European Market, restructuring of the enterprises and improvement of their management, social policy and employment

- Sustainable development of agriculture, food security, regional policy and development, integrated resources management, protection of the environment
- Development of the integration processes and foreign-economic policy

Why did you decide to become a GWP Partner?

Economic aspects of water resources management and environmental protection have been underestimated in research work and education in Bulgaria for a long time. The Institute is one of the pioneers in this relatively new field of research. Because the IWRM it is an interdisciplinary issue, we started looking for partners and collaborators. GWP provides  the IWRM platform to cooperate with national and international partners.

What have you found to be the benefits of being a GWP Partner?

Thanks to GWP as a global action network, we have access to the latest theoretical and practical achievements related to IWRM. Also having a global perspective on the issue, we can contribute and promote IWRM and sustainable development in the country. Moreover, it is beneficial for  our experts involved the IWRM principle in Water Act, National strategy for water sector, RBMPs etc.

What is one challenge facing the management of water resources in your region?

The main challenge is the compliance with European Union legislation especially concerning waste water treatment. Bulgaria has to build and/ or reconstruct waste water treatment plants. Currently expensive traditional technologies are used predominantly with high operational and maintenance costs that will be a burden for the local population in the future. Efficient and environmentally friendly technologies are necessary.

Are there any special projects or initiatives that you would like more widely known?

We are interested in studies concerning the concept of “water footprint”, also effective water governance in the context of EU WFD/IWRM and waste water treatment solutions (sustainable sanitation) for small settlements.


(Photo: Danail Nachev)