A group picture with all Mayor of the year 2023 winners, Source: / Krasimir Svrakov

Bulgaria has awarded its best mayors for 11th year in a row

Bulgaria has awarded its best mayors for 11th year in a row

Almost 140 000 people have cast their vote in the national contest for Mayor of the Year

The traditional contest Mayor of the Year in Bulgaria has just announced its laureates. At a solemn ceremony in Sofia, the winners of the popular vote in seven categories received their diplomas in recognition of exemplary projects and high achievements.

The winners were decided through an online popular vote that took place between 1 and 14 September. The contest celebrates its 11th edition in 2023 and is organised by the national media TheMayor.EU is a media partner.

Unlike previous years, its focus this time was on the overall achievements of said mayors in the last term in office, rather than what they did well in the past year alone. The reason: the competition coincides with the end of the 4-year term of the local authorities in Bulgaria and the upcoming local elections.

This, the organisers believe, represents a wonderful opportunity to evaluate the work done over the entire mandate. At the ceremony, the main organiser of the contest, Mr Boyan Tomov, spoke of the difficulties that local authorities had to overcome in the last few years, ranging from the effects of the nearby war, the pandemic, financial troubles and the continuous fight for decentralisation.

And the winner is…

All but 4 municipalities of Bulgaria were included in the contest, since their mayors have only recently assumed the position. Almost 140,000 people have selected their favourites online. Each category awards three mayors – for small, medium and large municipality. There are also a few special awards.

Hence, the big winners this year are:

  • the big prize for the Mayor of the Year for the term 2019-2023 went to the mayors of Stara Zagora Zhivko Todorov (large municipality), of Rodopi Pavel Mihailov (medium municipality) and Slivnitsa Vasko Stoilkov (small municipality).
  • The mayors of Beloslav Eng. Deyan Ivanov (small municipality), Nikolay Dimitrov of Nessebar (medium municipality) and Valentin Revanski of Yambol (large municipality) were awarded with the "Citizens' Mayor" awards.
  • In Smart City, the honours went to the mayors of Kozloduy Eng. Marinela Nikolova, of Cherven Bryag Dr. Tsvetan Dimitrov and of Burgas Dimitar Nikolov.
    The mayors of Strazhitsa Yordan Tsonev, Troyan Donka Mihailova and Gabrovo Tanya Hristova received the awards for "Green Municipality”.
  • Next, in the highly contested category "Urban Environment" the mayors of Beloslav Eng. Deyan Ivanov, of Rakovski - Pavel Gudzherov and of Yambol - Valentin Revanski received the highest number of votes.
  • The mayors of Dulgopol Georgi Georgiev, Nikolay Melemov of Smolyan and Galina Stoyanova of Kazanlak deserved the honors in the prestigious category "Tourism and Culture”;
  • "Sports and youth policies" category, where the vote decided that the honors would go to the mayors of Kozloduy Eng. Marinela Nikolova, Rodopi Pavel Mihailov and of Vratsa - Kalin Kamenov.

Finally, the mayor of the Iskar district in the Sofia Municipality, Daniela Raicheva received a special award for the development of mass sports in the peripheral areas of Sofia, while the Deputy Mayor in charge of "Sports, youth activities and social policy" of Plovdiv, Georgi Tityukov, was honoured for the successfully implemented social projects in the municipality.

A "Digital School" prize was given to Sofia's 122nd Innovative Municipal School and its director Iveta Germanova. A special mention for demographic policy was received by the mayor of Stara Zagora Zhivko Todorov.

Finally, Sofia’s Yordanka Fandakova, was honored for significant efforts in the fight against manifestations of anti-Semitism, xenophobia, homophobia and hate speech.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




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