Paper/Speech Details of Conference Program for the 29th NISPAcee Annual Conference Program Overview WG4: Inter-regional and Cross-border Coop. & Dev. (Physical) Author(s) Lyubimka Andreeva Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia Bulgaria Title Citizens' Engagement and Empowerment in the area of energy policy governance - the case with Bulgaria File Paper files are available only for conference participants, please login first. Presenter Lyubimka Andreeva Abstract Almost three decades after the beginning of the democratic system in Bulgaria, the emergence and institutionalization of civic participation in the process of making and implementing public policies was started to established, albeit at a slow pace. However, research on civic participation in governance process, and in particular in the governance of the Bulgarian energy sector, is relatively small, even insufficient. Most of them are dedicated to the knowledge of the legal framework for the establishment and organization of the activities of non - profit organizations, rather than to the knowledge of the connection between the civil sector and good governance. From this perspective, the aim of the article is to focus not only to the emergence, but also to the development and participation of NGOs in the governance of the Bulgarian energy sector, in order to answer the question how NGOs influenced in the formulation and implementation of policy in the energy field, to develop knowledge about the role of NGOs and the benefits and challenges of its enlargement at national level and some kind international level. In order to answer the formulated question it is going to be used a combination of approaches including theoretical, normative and data based analysis to better understand the role of citizens' engagement and empowerment in the area of energy policy governance in Bulgaria. The theoretical and normative analysis allows following the process of developing and affirming the status of the civil sector in Bulgaria after the fall of the Communist regime. The data based analysis aims at presenting the contemporary influence of the non-governmental sector in the formulation and implementation of the energy policy at national level. The results of the research are formulated in several groups and aim to show the main problems and challenges facing civic participation in the process of making and implementing public policy in the study area. The article contains the regional aspect, based on the Bulgarian experience.