Novi Pazar

General Information
ROMACT Cycle: 
Mayor of the Municipality: 
Mr Ivaylo Kamadzhiev
Contact Person within the Municipality: 
Ms Maria Dimitrova – expert “Social Affairs and Healthcare"
Mr Asen Asenov
Total population: 
16 547
2011 National Census
Roma living in the Municipality: 
1 720
Description of the Municipality: 

*Disclaimer: The information and views set out in this page do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the Council of Europe and/or the European Commission. Neither the Council of Europe, the European Commission nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Last update 17/08/2016
The Novi Pazar (Нови Пазар) Municipality is located in the north-eastern Bulgaria in the eastern part of the Shumen district.  It borders the municipalities of Nicola Kozlevo (Никола Козлево), Shumen (Шумен), Kaolinovo (Каолиново), Hitrino (Хитрино), Kaspichan (Каспичан), Vetrino (Ветрино), Valchi Dol (Вълчи дол).
The municipality population is 16,547 (2011 Census) with the Roma population making up approximately 11% of that figure, though it is important to note that unofficial figures from the community put the population at 15%, approximately 2,750 people.
The Roma community in Novi Pazar is concentrated in “Druzhba(Дружба) neighbourhood where about 60% of the total Roma population are residents.  There is minimal infrastructure in the neighbourhood and it remains in poor condition due to a lack investment and maintenance over the years.  The villages of Enevo (Енево), Mirovtsi and Mihaylovski also have significant Roma populations.  The majority of Roma in the municipality live in single family households and they maintain property rights to these homes.  A small number of families live in houses that were abandoned by Turkish migrants in the late 1980s.  The Roma in Novi Pazar face a number of challenges, notably identification (IDs), access to rights and access to utilities. The consequences of illegal housing combined with segregation and poor education, high rates of unemployment and discrimination in the labour market are the main barriers in society that are experienced by Roma in Novi Pazar.

ROMACT Novi Pazar photo gallery

The ROMACT Process

Novi Pazar joined the ROMACT Programme in November 2015, with the signature of the Letter of Commitment by the Mayor of the municipality, Mr Ivaylo Kamadzhiev. Shortly after joining ROMACT the CAG started to organise and formulated its priorities:


Short-term priorities of the CAGObjective 1Objective 2Objective 3Objective 4
InfrastructureConstruction of playgrounds, recreational areas and playing fields in Roma neighbourhoods;Creation of a registry for households with no access to water and electricity;Preparation of project applications to address the issues of water and electricity;Removal of unauthorized landfills in Roma neighborhoods;
EducationEnd segregation of Roma children in schools;Increase the frequency of interschool activities;Include intercultural elements in the curricula;Prevention of school dropout; Ensure all Roma children have access to kindergarten;
HousingCreation of a registry for individuals without ID's and property documents living within the municipality;
HealthSupport of the FCC (Family Consultative Center)’s work;Employment of new health mediators in labour office;Awareness raising campaigns on health insurance rights and promotion of healthiness;Equal access of vulnerable Roma to emergency municipal funds for medical assistance;
EmploymentDevelopment of social entrepreneurship and social enterprises for long-term unemployed individualsDevelopment of projects for encouraging entrepreneurship amidst the Roma community and especially young Roma;Employment of Roma with suitable education in the municipality;
Long-term priorities of the CAGObjective 1Objective 2Objective 3Objective 4
InfrastructureConstruction of a multi-purpose building for celebrations in Druzhba neighbourhood;
EducationProvide sport activities en masse to Roma youth and with non-Roma youth;Improve institutional control of school attendance within the municipalityImprove inter-institutional approach on prevention of school drop-outCreate a fund for students in a disadvantaged situation
EmploymentDevelop projects for employment, qualification and retraining in line with the needs of the labour market

The Municipal Action Plan for Roma Inclusion (MAPRI) Novi Pazar 2012-2020 is reviewed and updated and approved annually and since joining the ROMACT process, local authorities have formally included the Community Action Group (CAG) in the review and update process. In April 2016, the CAG met with the Local Authority for the second time and submitted its proposals for the plan. It was agreed that municipal experts and CAG representatives would meet in a smaller group to finalize the action plan.
Since joining the ROMACT programme the municipality has been actively involved in efforts to improve the lives of the Roma community in Novi Pazar. As a direct result of participation with ROMACT, the municipality had designed and developed projects that meet the needs highlighted by the CAG. The table below summarises some of the measures taken by the municipality in response to CAG input:

PrioritiesMeasure implementedMeasure implementedMeasure implemented
EducationCreation of a social soup kitchen for studying children"Support for integration and socialization of children from ethnic minorities in kindergartens of the municipality of Novi Pazar"Campaign againts school dropout
HealthConducting of immunization campaigns
EmploymentEnrolment of a high number of Roma in qualification courses
CitizenshipCreation of a Municipal Commission for registration

The Municipality benefited of ROMACT expertise for the following projects :
The expertise provided by ROMACT for municipalities involves training and guidance on preparing project proposals and implementing inclusive policies aimed at improving the living conditions and social integration of vulnerable populations, including the Roma.

* "Science and education for smart growth" (OP SESG).
Status : rejected

Trainings provided by ROMACT experts :

Local Authorities (LA):
Addressing drug delivery and use in the Roma neighbourhoods;
Partnership management for planning and implementation of municipal policies for social inclusion;
Participation in a public consultation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan of Bulgaria;
Approaches for working with and within Roma community. Working in intercultural environment;

LA and Community Aaction Group : 
Consultations with LA and CAG on the establishment of neighbourhood councils.

ROMACT Small Grants Scheme :
ROMACT offers small grants scheme to support the efforts of the municipalities and Community Action Groups to respond together to the needs of the most vulnerable and to multiply the good practices across ROMACT municipalities.
Under the scheme of small grants, the following project was supported by ROMACT during April 2020 – July 2020:

Initiative to counter COVID19 pandemic – Municipality of Novi Pazar
ROMACT supported the municipality with 2455 € reaching 100 families within Roma community. The project provided essential food supplies for vulnerable families and elderly people who live alone in Druzhba neighbourhood, Stoyan and Pamukchii villages. The community action group identified the families who were adversely impacted by the pandemic and distributed the packages.

Timeline Points

25 Oct 2015
Local Elections in Bulgaria - Round 1
6 Nov 2015
STEP1 - Becoming Committed - Novi Pazar joins the ROMACT Programme
15 Nov 2015
Local elections in Bulgaria - Round 2
19 Nov 2015
STEP 2 - AGREEING ON NEEDS AND PLANS - First Joint Meeting between CAG and LA in Novi Pazar
25 Nov 2015
Step 4 - Funding, implementing and monitoring - Application submitted for OP-SESG- Educational integration of students from ethnic minorities and/ or asylum seekers or granted international protection
27 Jul 2016
Step 3 - Translating priorities into measures and projects- Adoption of the Joint Action Plan
26 Nov 2017
End of ROMACT Process
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