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Institute for Social and Trade Union Research (ISTUR)

Address :
1, Macedonia Square
1000  Sofia


Contact person :
Lyuben Tomev, Director
Phone: +359 2 4010591
Fax: +359 2 4010668

Short description


ISTUR is a non-governmental research organisation at the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria. It was established on 10 April 1990 and is the successor of the Research Institute for Trade Union Issues founded in 1972. The institute is committed to provide research products of high quality tailored to the needs of social partners and the development of industrial relations in the country based on the best EU countries practice. Its aim is also to support the realisation of the values of the European social model in the country.

ISTUR employs 10 researchers, four of them are research associates with a PhD degree in economics and six researchers with a university degree in economics, sociology, political science, psychology and philology. ISTUR has a flexible organisational structure of programme working teams giving the possibility to realise the research programme and respond to ad hoc requirements of trade unions, other social partners, tripartite bodies, research institutions and other national and international organisations and institutions. ISTUR provides research, consultancy and training.

ISTUR receives a basic budget from CITUB (salaries and infrastructure), the rest of its financing comes from other projects. Since 2003 to 2014 ISTUR was a national correspondent of the EIRO, EWCO and ERM observatories at the European Foundation for the Improvement of Working and Living Conditions - Dublin in consortium with the Balkan Institute for Labour and Social policy.

Areas of expertise and competencies

The research work of the institute is organised on the basis of annual programmes (approved by CITUB) including basic modules as follows:

1) Social and economic reforms and developments

2) Labour market

3) Working conditions and workplace issues

4) Industrial relations

5) European social model and European policies, globalisation

6) Development of trade unions and industrial relations

7) International projects

8)Resource center

There are two research teams at the ISTUR: one is dealing with industrial relations, globalisation and European integration, trade union development and policies, while the other one is focusing on social and economic policy, incomes, living standards and the labour market.

Work programme, strategic plan, projects

Work programme 2015

1. Incomes, living standards and social policy:

Living standards, children’s’ cost of living, poverty threshold – survey, press conference and living standards and working conditions bulletin - quarterly

Statistical data base of main microeconomic indicators for economic, social and demographic development of Bulgaria, Annual Bulletin

Economic and social impact of the organization of personnel and households services on the work-life balance.

Maintenance of data base for the consultations on the collective bargaining process

Trade union analysis and points of view on the European semester

2. Labour market

Bulgarian labour market and early warning – quarterly reports

Migration processes and innovation policies of employment at the background of an integrated European labour market

Participation in the common project of the CITUB and CEIBG on labour mobility

3. Working conditions and workplace issues

Non-formal economic and the workers’ rights

Participation in the international project of the CITUB “Decent work and life- global non –formal training”

4. Industrial relations

European surveys on industrial relations-conclusions for Bulgaria

MNC-s in Bulgaria- shareholders changes, supply chain : influence on the labour and industrial relations

Directives on information and consultation in Bulgaria

Participation in SEEurope network

Participation in the project of CITUB , BIA and partners from the EU member states


5. European social model and the alternatives for Bulgaria

E-Bulletin ‘Social Europe'

The European framework agreement on the inclusive labour markets and the activities of the Bulgarian social partners on its’ implementation

“Living wage”- research on the experience of the other European countries and evaluation of its implementation for the purposes of the collective bargaining in Bulgaria

6. Development of the trade union movement

Development of the independent trade unionism and industrial relations – the challenges of transition

Publication “25 year CITUB”

CITUB - events, facts, chronology

7. Security through the law, flexibility through the collective bargaining. Project of CITUB under the Human resource development operational program

8. Resource centre

Publications, language, newsletter

Regular publications in the area of reforms, industrial relations & European integration: Social Europe, Quarterly bulletin, since 1998 (in Bulgarian); Living Standards, Quarterly bulletin since 1990 - 2007, and renewed in 2010 under the title ‘Living standards and working conditions (in Bulgarian and in English); Quarterly press conferences and press releases on the results of living standards surveys – more information here ; regular publications in the monthly edition of the magazine “Sinditrud” of the Confederation of the Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (in Bulgarian); in briefs, comparative studies, thematic features and annual updates for the European Foundation - Dublin;

Other publications:

1. Tomev, L. N. Daskalova, T. Mihailova, E. Ribarova and V. Ivanova (2007),Bulgaria in the benchmarks of Labour Europe. ISTUR, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, also E-publication (in Bulgarian)

2. Tomev, L. and Nadezhda Daskalova (2007), Multinational companies in Bulgaria: Impact on labour and social development. In: Trade union responses to globalization. A review by the Global Union Research Network, Ed. Verena Schmidt, ILO, Geneva

3. Mihailova, T. (2007), CITUB. Chronology: Events, positions, statements, documents 2001-2007. CITUB (in Bulgarian)

4. Tomev, L., N. Daskalova, T. Mihailova and V. Ivanova (2008), Wages and collective bargaining in Bulgaria. In South East Europe Review, Issue 2

5.Daskalova, N., L.Tomev, E. Ribarova, V. Ivanova, T. Mhailova, E. Markova and A. Nikolova (2008), Multinational companies – 2008: European dimensions of industrial relations, ISTUR, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, also E-publication (in Bulgarian)

6. Ribarova, E. and V. Mikova (2008), The Chart of the main rights of the European Union – which labour and social rights it provides? CITUB, Fridrich Ebert Foundation, 2008, also E-publication

7. Tomev, L. N. Daskalova and D. Kircheva (2008), Employees’ financial participation – the European experience and possibilities for negotiating flexible financial participation schemes in the Bulgarian enterprises. ISTUR, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, also E-publication (in Bulgarian)

8. Minev, D., L. Tomev and Dr.Draganov (2008), Social Inclusion – Policy Priorities for Bulgaria, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, (in Bulgarian and in English), also E-publication

9. Tomev, L. (2008), Millennium development goals - 2008, Chapter 1. Eradicate poverty, UNDP

10. Ribarova, E. Ribarova, E.(2010) The institutional context of workers’ participation in Bulgaria-which way after joining the EU.- In: The Ambivalent Character of Participation. New tendencies of worker participation in Europe. Ed.by Fr.Garibarldo and F.Telljohann. PЕTER LANG. Germany.

11. Ribarova, E. (2008), The workforce involvement in the labour market in Bulgaria: which is the way after the accession to the EU? In: Bulletin of Comparative Labour Relations, ed. by R. Blanpain, M. Tiraboschi. Kluwer International, Netherlands

12. Ivanova, V., Y. Simeonova et al. (2008), Cost and benefits of work-life balancing in Europe. What are the challenges for the social partners (In the framework of the project BILANCIA implemented with the financial support of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal opportunities), CITUB, BFW, UGT-Extramadura, Alfa cartel, Solidarnosc, MSZOSZ, Cisl-Piemonte

13. Simeonova, Y., V. Ivanova, I.Atanassova and V. Mikova (2008), ‘Social and economic effect of the work-life balancing measures in Bulgaria’ (In the framework of the project BILANCIA), CITUB, (In Bulgarian)

14. Hristov, J., L. Tomev, N. Daskalova, E. Ribarova, B. Arsov, Y. Simeonova and Pl. Dimitrov (2009), Strategy of the Confederation of Independent trade Unions in Bulgaria for development and regulation of the industrial relations. CITUB, (in Bulgarian)

15. Tomev L. (2009), The legacy of transition – the possible start of the chock therapy. In: Economic activity in Bulgaria and its social dimensions in the first decade of the millennium. From economic revival to economic crisis. Analytical overview, S., CITUB, Labour Institute of GSNEE - Greece (in Bulgarian)

16. Tomev L., B. Arsov, E. Ribarova, Ch. Hristov, A. Goneva and V. Mikova (2009), Collective bargaining at the enterprise. Guide, S., CITUB

17. Ribarova E. (2010) Main trends of integration of the young people into the labour market in Bulgaria. In: Productivity, Investment in Human Capital and Challenges to the Youth Employment. Seventh International Conference in memory of Professor Marco Bag, Mokena, Italy, 19-21 March 2009 In: Bulletin of Labour Relations, Ed. by R. Blanpain, Kluwer Law International, Netherlands

18. Ribarova E. (2010) The transformations in labour and implementation of traditional and new forms of social dialogue and interests’ representation in Bulgaria. In: The transformations in Labour-Social Security and Social Dialogue, UNWE, Sofia, 2009 (in Bulgarian and English)

19. L. Dim ova, N. Talkative et al (2010). Welfare and trust: Bulgaria in Europe. Sofia “East-West” (in Bulgarian)

20. Ribarova, E., T. Mihaylova, S. Slavcheva, K. O’ Kelly, F. Vaughan, D. Seperic, S. Leonardi, S. Boquine Information and Consultation in Europe (Analysis of the legislative framework and practices in Four EU Member-states and One Candidate Country). Sofia, 2010

21. Ribarova E.(2011) Corporate Social Responsibility, the Labour Market and the Industrial Relations in Bulgaria.-In: Bulletin of Comparative Labour Relations. Retinking Corporate Governance : From Shareholder Value to Stakeholder Value. Ed.by R.Blanpain. 2011. Kluwer Law International BV. The Netherlands. pp 195-210.

22. D. Kamenov et al (eds.)(2010) Economics, Social Policy and Management. Textbook. CITUB. Operational Program ”Human Resources Development” European Social Fund. Sofia. Bulgaria. . (in Bulgarian)

23. D. Kamenov et al(eds.)(2010) Foundations of Industrial Relations Textbook. Chief editor D.Kamenov.CITUB. Operational Program ”Human Resources Development” European Social Fund .Sofia. Bulgaria. (in Bulgarian)

24. Tomev, L. N. Daskalova, T. Mihailova, E. Ribarova , V. Ivanova. A. Nikolova (2012), Bulgaria in the benchmarks of Labour Europe. ISTUR, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, also E-publication http://www.fes.bg/?cid=13&NewsId=107 (in Bulgarian)

25. E. Ribarova, K. O Kelly, F. Vaughan, S. Leonardi, D. Seperic, A. Matsas, N. Epistithiou, M. Gold, Ch. Rees (2012) Information and Consultation in Europe. The Way Forward. Europen Comparative Report. Project INFORMIA -2 (VS/2011/0277). Sofia, June 2012.

26. S. Leonardi et al (eds). (2012)European Action on Trans-national Company Agreements: a stepping stone towards internationalization of industrial relations. Rome.

27. Ribarova E. (2012) The social power of trade unions in the new market economies: why is it in decline? In: SEER, Journal for Labour and Social affaires in Eastern Europe, Quarterly of the ETUI, N3, 2012, pp. 295-303

28..Ribarova E. (2013) Trans-national Dimensions of the Capital and Labour: Changes in the Workers Representation. –In :Addressing Quality of Work in Europe. International Conference, 17-18 October 2012 . Sofia

29.Ribarova E.(2013) Industrial Relations Transformations in the Framework of the EU-standards: The Case of Bulgaria. In: South-East Europe Review for Labour and Social Affaires. ETUI. N 1, 2013

30 Tomev, Е.Ribarova, T. Mihailova. (2014). PESSIS 2 - Promoting employers’ social services organisations in social dialogue ” «Country-case study: Bulgaria, E-публикация http://media.wix.com/ugd/9f45fc_8400c542781c465ba8a58895b7a3c0d6.pdf

31..Fernando Rocha, Georg Feigl, Salvo Leonardi, Jean-Marie Pernot, Alan Stoleroff, Lyuben Tomev, Christos Triafantafillou.(2014) The new EU economic governance and its impact on the national collective bargaining systems (GOCOBA). (31/10/2014) .

32. S. Leonardi et al (eds.) Transnational company agreements. Result of the research and recommendations. Toolkit. Project EUROACTA-2 (European action on transnational company agreements) (VS/2013/0350). Rome 2014.(in English, Bulgarian, Spanish, French, German, Polish)

33.L. Tomev et al (2014). Working climate index. Comparative analysis of the research data from 2010 and 2012.E-publication. (in Bulgarian)

34. E. Ribarova, N. Daskalova, L. Tomev, T. Mihailova , F. Kratunkova, R. Antova, V. Ivanova.(2014). Multinational companies in Bulgaria 2008-2013. The crisis, the social model and the industrial relations. ISTUR, Fridrich Ebert Foundation, Sofia.(in Bulgarian)

35.. N. Daskalova, L. Tomev. (2014).The strategy Europe 2020 and the Bulgarian priorities. A handbook for trade union representatives. ISTUR. Fridrich Ebert Foundation, Sofia(in Bulgarian)

36. Bulletin “Living standard and decent work”, V. Ivanova (ed.)2014. Sofia. ISTUR, with the support of the LO-Norway.(in Bulgarian and English)

37. E-publicationSocial EuropeN. Daskalova, D. Kircheva (ed.)(2014)(in Bulgarian)

38. N. Daskalova et al (2014). “Decent work and dialogue”, publication , based on the common project of the CITUB and LO-Norway(in Bulgarian)

39. Pl. Dimitrov., K. Petkov, N. Daskalova, L. Tomev, E. Ribarova, T. Mihailova, Ch. Hristov, A. Goneva (2015). Twenty five years CITUB-history and strike a balance. CITUB. Sofia.(in Bulgarian)

40.E. Ribarova, T. Mihailova, K.O’ Kelly, F. Vaughan, L. Berney, S. Leonardi, A. Matsas, E. Evangelou, Ch. Karydis, M. Gold, Ch. Rees.(2015). Employee representation in the context of globalisation. European Comparative Report. Project INPREVENTA(VS/2013.0507). Sofia.

Other networks the institute is participating in

ISTUR has its own information and field network in all 28 districts of the country. It maintains a network of contacts with relevant research institutions, state administration and NGOs. The institute works with departments and affiliated member-federations, territorial bodies of CITUB and CL Podkrepa as well as representative employers’ organisations. Fellows of ISTUR are members of different national and regional tripartite social dialogue bodies. Other transnational networks: European Trade Union Institute collective bargaining network, European Trade Union Institute worker participation, EU network, Institutional Associate Member of IIRA- International Industrial Relations Association, Geneva – since 2004, GURN, ILO. ISTUR has been a national correspondent of the EIRO, EWCO and ERM observatories of the European Foundation for Improving Living and Working Conditions, Dublin in 2003- 2014.

Through these partnerships ISTUR represents an original bridge between the social partners as well as the national and the international research community.

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