KNOWLEDGE - International Journal <p>KNOWLEDGE - International Journal is an international, high quality, peer-reviewed, open access journal publishing the newest research and good practices on the basis of their originality, importance, interdisciplinarity and impact. The journal publishes research papers in all fields covered by the Frascati classification - Social sciences, Humanities, Medical sciences and health, Biotechnical sciences, Technical and technological sciences and Natural and mathematical sciences.</p> en-US (Robert Dimitrovski) (Liljana Pushova Stamenkova) Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 OJS 60 THE ROLE OF ITIL IN APPLYING PROJECT MANAGEMENT FOR SMART CITIES SERVICE MANAGEMENT <p>This paper explores the role of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework in<br>project management procedures applied in smart city services. ITIL is a set of IT practices that focus on aligning IT<br>services with the needs of the required organization and specific applications, especially in business contexts.<br>Working on the ITIL and its flexibility, in this work a switch of the perspective from the business to the smart city<br>context is provided highlighting the limits and benefits of integrating project management and service management<br>through the ITIL framework in the smart city, going toward the Smart City Service Management (SCSM) approach.<br>ITIL and project management can smartly identify and satisfy city services needs by looking at the different<br>perspectives of multiple stakeholders, optimizing the system of problem detection, sharing the main reasonable<br>proposal and building appropriate project management paths to achieve the expected goals for stakeholders'<br>satisfaction following a value co-creation logic.<br>The paper is a conceptual contribution that adopts the 'advocating' perspective (MacInnis, 2011) to explain the<br>contribution of ITIL in supporting SCSM through project management</p> Mohammad Mahoud, Roberto Bruni, Sinisa Zaric, Marcello Sansone Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMIC GROWTH OF EUROPEAN TRANSITION COUNTRIES <p>Institutions in a broader sense represent the adopted norms and rules of behavior in society. They define<br>the necessary constraints that a society has adopted in order to shape and direct human interactions. Institutional<br>change is a positive targeted adjustment of these constraints in line with social development. Due to the existence of<br>a synergistic effect, any institutional change can cause significant social and economic changes.<br>The goal of the European transition countries to join the EU is at the same time a strong driver of their needful<br>institutional transformation and necessary institutional harmonization with the EU countries. This strategic goal,<br>which originally stems from social consensus, has a strong capacity to promote, consolidate and implement the<br>necessary reform processes. Harmonization of institutions and, consequently, full membership in the EU generates a<br>safer and more predictable social (and thus economic) environment. Strong institutions do not tolerate a large sphere<br>of discretionary decision-making, creating a basic precondition for increasing domestic and foreign investments.<br>However, the institutions also fundamentally depend on the cultural heritage of transition countries, which cannot be<br>compensated and balanced so quickly with the traditional market economies of the EU. Institutions are a complex<br>category whose description is not simple. Respect for democratic principles of functioning of public institutions is<br>especially important for the presence and level of corrupt social activity. It is generally accepted that corruption, as<br>abuse of authority in order to gain illicit benefits, is a serious obstacle to social and economic advancement,<br>significantly reducing the possibility of successful implementation of state measures and decisions. Institutions<br>reduce uncertainty and increase the predictability of decisions of all actors in the economic life of the country.<br>The eight transition European economies that were leaders in institutional development dynamics and became the<br>EU members in 2003 had a GDP of $ 36,855 pc at the end of 2018, which is an absolute increase of $ 28,165. Three<br>European countries in transition that last became the EU members, together with five countries of the Western<br>Balkan as countries with relatively undeveloped institutions, in 2018 had an average GDP per capita of current<br>international $ 22,114 compared to 4,092 in 1990. In addition, GDP pc by five-year periods data show that the<br>leading countries of institutional development were far less affected by the 2009-2010 crisis. We should always keep<br>in mind the fact that these countries’ institutional convergence towards the developed market economies institutions<br>must not be an aim in itself, but a way to achieve better business conditions and ultimately more dynamic and<br>quality economic growth and development.<br>A review of numerous studies confirmed the fact that institutions have a strong influence on economic performance.</p> Dragan Turanjanin, Goran Miljković, Slobodan Cvetanović Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 ASSESSING THE INFLUENCE OF THE EUROPEAN STRUCTURAL AND INVESTMENT FUNDS ON ECONOMIC CONVERGENCE IN THE EUROPEAN UNION <p>The European structural and investment funds are an essential tool for achieving one of the main<br>European economic objectives - economic and social convergence between the member states of the European<br>Union. The article evaluates the dependence and causality between fund payments and regional economic cohesion<br>in the period 2014-2020. The indicators used to measure the various aspects of the impact of the European structural<br>and investment funds are: the EU payments for ESIF, the EU payments for ESIF adjusted for corruption perception<br>index, human capital index, population growth and gross domestic savings. Economic development is measured by<br>gross domestic product per capita. The process of regional economic convergence is studied through the approaches<br>of absolute and conditional beta-convergence. Absolute beta-convergence is achieved when the territorial units<br>converge to a certain level, regardless of the differences in their initial values. Conditional beta-convergence allows<br>for the presence of various factors (structural variables) that influence the convergence process. Panel regression<br>equations of absolute and conditional beta-convergence were estimated using pooled OLS, fixed-effects and<br>random-effects models. Causality between the variables included in the empirical study was examined using the<br>non-causality Granger test for heterogeneous panel data models, developed by Dumitrescu and Hurlin. As a result of<br>the empirical research, a reduction of the differences in economic development between the EU countries was<br>found, as well as the direction and strength of influence of the structural variables for the convergence process.<br>Based on the Dumitrescu-Hurlin causality test, both the presence of one-way and two-way causal relationships, as<br>well as the absence of causality between some of the indicators, were established.</p> Tihomir Varbanov Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 THE ECONOMIC COSTS OF YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT IN NORTH MACEDONIA <p>Youth unemployment is an issue that seriously concerns many countries, both developed and developing<br>countries. Youth unemployment rates (as % total labor force ages 15-24) in North Macedonia is (36.9% in 2020),<br>and despite recent improvements in labor market indicators, it has remined relatively high in comparison with the<br>rest of Western Balkans countries (35.08% in 2020) and the EU average level (14.4% in 2019).<br>High youth unemployment and inactivity provoke many negative consequences both for young individuals and for<br>the whole society. For young people the long-term unemployment status negatively affects their prospects to find<br>decent jobs, increase the social exclusion by losing of their skills and qualifications; and have negative impact on<br>health status. For society the costs of youth unemployment and inactivity include higher fiscal costs due to<br>unemployment benefits, forgone earnings, and taxes; increase poverty and income inequality; and reduce the<br>aggregate consumption. Also, the high rates of youth unemployment provoke migration process of young population<br>from a country, which may jeopardize the prospects of country’s future economic growth.<br>Facing with the problem of high youth unemployment rates, in the several past years, North Macedonia have<br>proposed and implemented different policies and measures to decrease the youth unemployment rates (National<br>Youth Strategy 2016-2025, Youth Employment Action Plan 2016-2020, Youth Guarantee plan (2020-2022, and<br>etc). In that context, North Macedonia was the first country, outside from the European Union, that has implemented<br>the Youth Guarantee program in 2018, as a pilot project. And since 2019, the Youth Guarantee program has become<br>a regular part of the youth labour policy. All these policies put the focus on improving education and working skills<br>because it is expected that education increases chances for employment of young people, especially for those that<br>belong to NEET category.<br>Output and unemployment commonly move together. There are a number of empirical research with focus on the<br>link between the output change and change in the unemployment. The most prominent one is the empirical research<br>of Okun (1962) who defined the relationship between the change in the unemployment rate and the change of output<br>growth rate. Therefore, the concept of the Okun’s Law is often used as a basis for developing of econometric models<br>for estimation of the cost of unemployment in the economy. Calculation of economic costs is very useful for policy<br>makers as a tool for evaluation of the costs and benefits of policy measures for increasing the employability in the<br>economy.<br>Thus, the focus of this research is to calculate the costs of GDP form youth unemployment in North Macedonia in<br>the period from 2010 to 2021. For that purpose, based on the MakStat database of the State Statistical Office of the<br>Republic of North Macedonia (SSO), authors developed an econometric model to calculate the loss of GDP form<br>youth unemployment. From the obtained results, costs from total unemployment are on average 1.62% from<br>potential GDP over the period 2010-2020, while the costs from youth unemployment varies from 0.57% in 2011 to<br>0.14% in 2020. Also, authors discuss results and give some recommendations for overcoming the challenges of high<br>youth unemployment.</p> Daniela Bojadjieva, Predrag Trpeski, Gunter Merdzan Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 SPECIFIC FEATURES OF THE ACCOUNTING OF INSURANCE (TECHNICAL) PROVISIONS OF INSURERS <p>This publication highlights the specific features of the accounting of insurance (technical) provisions of<br>insurers. The allocation and release of different types of insurance (technical) provisions suggest the occurrence of<br>specific accounting operations, depending on the type of the insurance – direct insurance, active or passive<br>reinsurance. Special focus is also put on the types of technical provisions that insurers establish, depending on the<br>type of the insurance license they are holders of, and on the specific accounts to which established insurance<br>(technical) provisions are accounted for.<br>The objective is to present, justify and outline the specific characteristics of the accounting of insurance (technical)<br>provisions of insurers in terms of substance, time periods, provisioning method and technology, in the light of the<br>best world accounting practices.<br>The details of allocated and released insurance (technical) provisions must be disclosed in the insurers’ financial<br>statements in timely, authentic, objective, true and fair manner, in strict observance of the main accounting<br>principles, rules, concepts and conventions</p> Maia Iankova Natchkova Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 TREND OF PREMIUMS IN INSURANCE SECTOR IN KOSOVA COMPARISON WITH WESTERN BALKAN COUNTRIES <p>Taking into account the circumstances that Kosovo has faced since the 1990s until now, we can say that<br>significant steps have been taken to advance the country's economic development, but it is still regarded as a country<br>that is not economically developed enough, with a deep negative trade balance and an unfavorable macroeconomic<br>policy to ensure a faster development trend, despite recent economic growth that has been insufficient to affect this.<br>For analysis, we took the life and non-life insurance sector, which turns out to be undeveloped and participates in the<br>financial sector with only 2.7%, so it is a symbolic indicator that speaks for itself about the development of the<br>insurance sector. This industry is characterized by a low level of development, and the main motive is to analyze the<br>development trend of this sector while comparing it with the countries of the region.The purpose of this paper is to<br>identify and examine gross written premiums in the insurance sector in the Western Balkans. In this paper, we will<br>analyze the trend of the gross written premium in the insurance sector in Kosova compared to the countries of the<br>Western Balkans. The sample contains data such as the number of inhabitants, the total gross income at country<br>level, the income per capita, the gross written premium, the rate of insurance density, and the penetration rate for the<br>countries of Kosova, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia for the period<br>2010–2021.The empirical research is done by collecting data from the official reports published on an annual basis<br>by the financial institutions of the countries in the region as well as the World Bank. A research paper is classified as<br>an exploratory, descriptive, or explanatory study. Comparative analysis and descriptive statistics will be the<br>methodologies applied in this paper.The analysis of these data shows that the development of the insurance market<br>in Kosova and the countries of the Western Balkans from 2010 onwards, despite the new market entries of branches<br>of large groups, has not been characterized by real strategies for the exploration of new segments of the market and<br>an increase in demand. The insurance sector needs to be influenced by strategic approaches that move from<br>transaction value to product lifetime value and from product life cycle to customer life cycle. The commitment to<br>create an attractive environment for business initiatives and foreign investments, in addition to being a constant<br>challenge for underdeveloped economies, should also be a strategic goal.</p> Sokol Berisha, Vlora Prenaj Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 SPECIFICITY IN APPLYING THE TAX REGULATION FOR EXPENDITURE WHICH REPRESENT HIDDEN PROFIT DISTRIBUTION <p>The present study examines a specific problem in the taxation of the financial result of enterprises, related<br>to the hidden distribution of profit. Achieving a positive financial result and the way to reflect it in the financial<br>statement is a function of the management of every enterprise. The specificity of management decisions is<br>determined by the application of various complex management approaches, taking into account the requirements of<br>both accounting and tax legislation. The specifics arise in the cases that differ from the usual tax regulation, and<br>their research aims to highlight and improve the information awareness of the interested parties.<br>The topic of hidden profit distribution is debatable and relevant to current economic conditions as it relates to<br>building accounting understanding and experience to assist enterprise management in making management<br>decisions. There are different points of view, depending on the divergent interests of owners, shareholders and<br>partners who wish to use the realized profit from the activity in advance before the annual accounting period has<br>ended. There are frequent cases of using the profit for personal needs, which is contrary to the rules for observing<br>financial discipline in the enterprise. Usually these are enterprises that develop their activities in the gray economy.<br>There are not a few cases when labor remuneration in the amount of minimum wage is received according to<br>documents, and the rest of the actual remuneration is not reflected in the accounting registers.<br>The authorities of the revenue administration classify such behavior of the audited entities as hidden distribution of<br>profit, which leads to certain sanctions for these diverted amounts.<br>The purpose of the present study is to clarify the specifics, nature, accounting and tax interpretation of expenses that<br>represent hidden profit distribution, as well as the consequences that may arise. The focus is on specific examples<br>from practice, in which a combination of accounting and legal knowledge is imperative for their practical solution</p> Valentina Staneva Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 INTEGRATION OF VALUE IN THE SYSTEM OF FINANCIAL ANALYSIS - METHODOLOGICAL ASPECTS AND APPLICATION <p>Turbulent economic development combined with fierce competition creates a need to periodically<br>analyze the financial health of companies and take corrective actions to improve it. Financial analysis also allows<br>studying the state of all processes and functions, the interrelationship between them and their impact on the overall<br>performance of the enterprise.<br>The negative effects of the series of crises in recent years – economic, financial, health, environmental, geopolitical,<br>require the use of additional tools for performing financial analysis, through which the totality of risk factors can be<br>integrated. Research should focus on measuring value as a comprehensive performance indicator, rather than<br>primarily on profits and analyzing information from annual financial statements.<br>Value is "an important economic and financial indicator that is of interest to a wide range of entities - owners,<br>potential investors, management teams, financial analysts, investment intermediaries, creditors, business partners<br>and competitors". It is a complex business indicator, directly related to value-oriented management (VBM - Value<br>Based Management), gaining popularity in recent decades. Value-oriented management takes into account the<br>interest of stakeholders or a wider range of interested persons and is focused not only on achieving quick profits,<br>but above all on increasing the welfare and long-term prospects of the company. When measuring value, it is<br>important to integrate the complex of the so-called ESG factors (environmental, social, governance) contained in<br>the concept of corporate social responsibility. The concept acquires particular relevance in the light of the serious<br>challenges of the environment in modern conditions.<br>The report concludes that the financial analysis aimed at the value of the company is not a sufficiently known and<br>used toolkit in the Bulgarian industry, but it is necessary for a more precise assessment of the financial condition of<br>the enterprises and their future sustainability.</p> Lora Todorova Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 EMPLOYEE DEFINED INCOMES PROGRAMS AFTER LEAVING THE ENTERPRISE - METHODOLOGY OF ACCOUNTING AND ANALYSIS <p>Drafting accounting information about the benefits of employees hired by the enterprises in the Republic<br>of Bulgaria under employment contracts with regard to their service is based on the provisions of the Labour Code,<br>Social Security Code, Health Insurance Act, the annual acts adopted by the National Assembly: State Budget Act;<br>State Social Security Scheme Budget Act; National Health Insurance Fund Budget Act, and on the provisions of the<br>applicable accounting standards – Accounting Standard 19 (AS 19) “Employee Benefits”, and International<br>Accounting Standard 19 (IAS 19) “Employee Benefits”.<br>According to AS 19 the provisions of which are used by the enterprises that apply the national accounting<br>regulations, employee benefits comprise: short-term benefits, post-employment benefits; other long-term benefits;<br>termination benefits; equity compensation benefits.<br>The object of this publication refers to post-employment employee benefits payable due to termination of the<br>employment or official relationships. We speak about different benefit plans. They are defined as formal or informal<br>agreements by virtue of which the employer provides benefits to members (one or more) of its staff post their<br>employment upon termination of their employment or official relationships.<br>These post-employment benefit plans may comprise: defined contribution plans; defined benefit plans; multiple<br>employer plans; state plans and equity compensation (benefit) plans.<br>The subject matter of this publication refers to post-employment defined benefit plans. Under these plans, the<br>enterprise’s liability is updated in a way that does not differ materially from the amounts that are subject to payment<br>to the employees post their employment.<br>In accordance with AS 19 “Employee Benefits” defined benefit plans comprise two items: assets under the plan and<br>liabilities for payment of defined benefits.<br>The author’s objective is to systemize in this publication some major issues relevant to the defined benefit plans,<br>such as:<br>1. the enterprise that participates in the plan should measure the fair value of assets and the present value of<br>the liability for payment of retirement benefits to its employees in the future;<br>2. the amount of expenses or income under the plan is stated in the enterprise’s statement of income and<br>expenses for the current reporting period;<br>3. actuary gains and losses are the changes in the amount of the liability for payment of defined benefits to<br>employees – they are stated in the liability side of the enterprise’s balance sheet;<br>4. actuary gains and losses are the changes in the fair value of assets under the plan – they are stated in the<br>asset side of the enterprise’s balance sheet;<br>5. methods for measurement, accounting and follow-up analysis of actuary gains and losses under the plan.<br>The abovementioned issues determine the relevance of the defined benefit plans for employees post their<br>employment in the enterprise.</p> Rositsa Ivanova Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 MEASURING BUSINESS PERFORMANCE: A STRATEGIC MAP OF THE FUTURE <p>The positioning of a company in the modern business environment is characterized by the definition of its<br>mission, that is, the purpose of business, the basis for choosing long-term, strategic goals as the driving force of<br>future business activities. Production processes are constantly being redesigned and improved, and there are always<br>strong domestic and international competitors. Running a company in this way allows managers to better understand<br>the basic causes of costs, in order to improve performance more effectively. The traditional responsibility<br>accounting model based on the financial responsibility emphasizes the financial performance of organizational units<br>and rewards and evaluates the operation by using the static standards of financial value: budget, standard costs. The<br>competitive success of a company is fundamentally defined by the professional knowledge and skills of the<br>management. The company operates in a dynamic environment that requires constant improvement. For this reason,<br>the responsibility accounting, based on strategic importance, was developed. One of the critical factors in the<br>success of implementing competitive strategies on the market is the performance measurement system. How to<br>establish a balance between different approaches to measuring a company's performance? The comprehensive<br>framework that connects the company's strategic goals with a coherent set of performance measures is the map of<br>balanced indicators, the Balanced Scorecard - BSC.<br>Balanced Scorecard- BSC enables a business company to create the strategic focus by translating strategy into<br>operational goals and performance measures from four different perspectives: financial perspective, customer<br>perspective, internal business process perspective and innovation and learning. The BSC model gives a company the<br>structure that expresses its vision and strategy in the form of goals and benchmarks. This is not enough, because the<br>organization still faces the challenge of building a system for collecting relevant information and making that<br>information available to stakeholders. Information technology must help in that segment. Unlike the industrial era,<br>the IT era gives priority to the use of intangible assets, which requires the development of a completely different<br>metric for evaluating the success of a business</p> Momčilo Milošević Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 EMPIRICAL APPROACH OF THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE ECONOMY: EVIDENCE FROM WESTERN BALKANS <p>Undoubtedly, global warming is one of the main debatable topics among politicians, scholars,<br>academicians, being discussedeverywhere and by everyone. Having into consideration that one of the main factors<br>of the global warming are the greenhouse gas emissions, where carbon dioxide represents 76% of these emissions,<br>the main aim of this paper is to analyse the effects of the CO2 emissions as well as other greenhouse gas emissions<br>on the economy and society.<br>In addition, a panel analysis has been conducted, where OLS, Fixed and Random effects models are used in order to<br>check the impact of the CO2 emissions on the GDP per capita of developing countries of Western Balkans region,<br>for the last three decades.<br>Finally, the main conclusions and consequences from the negative impact of the CO2 emissions on the society,<br>economy and growth of the developing countries have been highlighted as well as several important suggestions<br>have been stated for emphasising and addressing the problems that we will be facing soonbecause of the global<br>warming.</p> Liza Alili Sulejmani, Arta Thaci Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 GREEN ECONOMY PERFORMANCE, RESULTS AND COMPARISON BETWEEN WESTERN BALKAN COUNTRIES AND CHINA <p>Greening the economy plays a significant role in achieving sustainable development, as a paradigm with<br>no alternatives for the survival of the planet Earth. It is the only way to create a positive impact both on the society<br>and the environment. Hence, it is an inclusive concept, embedded in the overall development of a country, which<br>emphasis a responsible way of planning and acting. The green economy trend is increasingly present worldwide; an<br>increasing number of countries are developing and implementing policies and practices that support the green<br>economy concept.<br>The main objective of this research is to emphasize the commitment of the Western Balkan countries and of<br>People’s Republic of China in regard to greening their economies. The methodological framework rests on the<br>several scientific methods - analysis, synthesis, induction, deduction, selection, generalization and comparison.<br>The research focuses on policies and practices that contribute to green economy in non-EU Western Balkan<br>countries: the Republic of North Macedonia, Republic of Monte Negro, Republic of Serbia, Republic of Bosnia and<br>Herzegovina, and Republic of Albania. At the same time, this Paper emphasizes the policies and successful practices<br>implemented in the People’s Republic of China, as one of the world's leading economies that is rapidly moving on<br>the path of greening its economy.<br>In order to quantify the countries’ efforts towards the Green Economy, the Green Growth Index is presented and<br>used.<br>The results of the research point to the conclusion that in the selected Western Balkan countries and the People’s<br>Republic of China, efforts are being made for implementation of the concept of green economy, but there is much<br>that can be done to improve it.</p> Margarita Matlievska, Elena Matlievska Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 REVIEW OF MACEDONIAN WASTE POLICIES AND LEGISLATION REGARDING THE INFORMAL WASTE PICKERS <p>In recent years the Macedonian economy was negatively impacted with special emphasis in the waste<br>sector. This had a tremendous adverse effect on its most valuable, but at the same time, most vulnerable stakeholderthe<br>waste picker. The volatile prices, the increase of transportation costs and the lack of certain materials, made the<br>situation in the Macedonian recycling sector to resemble that of the phrase: “Survival of the fittest”.<br>The post Covid-19 economic recovery demands new sustainable approaches to the waste sector. There is the<br>challenge to solve the issues in the waste sector by taking into consideration different needs of all the various<br>stakeholders. For the citizens it is the protection of human health and the environment, for the businesses it is their<br>profitability, while at the same time these needs have to be affirmatively affecting the informal waste pickers.<br>The social element of waste management is often neglected as a factor in the Macedonian waste management sector,<br>though the estimates predict that up to 5,000 informal waste pickers are active and contribute with at least 80% of<br>the sorted and recovered waste in the country. Instead of praise and support, the general public and the decisionmaking<br>bodies are interested in eliminating this marginalized group from the waste value chains. Their valuable<br>societal role is not recognized and there is a need to create actions to protect them and improve their current<br>positions. This can be done with measures that are synchronized with an improved waste legislation and policies.<br>That is why, this paper entails a national waste management legislation and policy review. The evidence-based<br>documents can provide guidance to municipalities and the government on policy creation that would improve the<br>working and living situation of the informal waste pickers.<br>This paper is conceptualized as a dynamic, evolving document that different organizations can use to advocate for<br>the informal waste pickers and negotiate their rightful spaces and entitlements within national and local policies and<br>practices. By applying measures towards systematic integration as ascribed in this document, the Macedonian local<br>governments and the national one can tackle core social issues like child illiteracy and poverty, hunger and<br>homelessness, while simultaneously achieving important economic results like, decreased unemployment, improved<br>productivity, increased recycling and recovery rates, and more tax income. It can lead to better quality of life for all<br>Macedonian citizens through a cleaner environment</p> Blazhe Josifovski Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 RESEARCH OF ECO-ENTREPRENEURIAL ASPECTS IN THE MANAGEMENT OF HIGH-CLASS HOTELS IN VELINGRAD <p>In the market system, achieving sustainable development requires the presence of ecological innovations<br>and entrepreneurs who can successfully implement them on the market. Only actors and companies that achieve<br>ecological progress in their main business in the mass market can be called "eco-entrepreneurs". In the paper, the<br>category of eco-entrepreneurship is defined in a narrow and broad aspect, and its typology, in the course of the<br>research, pays special attention to the pioneers and environmental managers.<br>The unique combination of mountain climate with thermal mineral springs makes Velingrad a preferred tourist<br>destination for balneology, spa and wellness tourism. The tendency to expand the high-class hotel base puts on the<br>agenda a number of issues related to sustainable forms of resource exploitation and strategic initiatives to minimize<br>the risk to the environment. It won the "SPA Capital of the Balkans" prize for a leading spa resort, confirming the<br>importance of the tourism business for the city and the region, pointing to the effect of eco-entrepreneurial initiatives<br>and the challenges facing the industry in general. The object of research are four-star and five-star hotels in<br>Velingrad. The paper proposes an approach for classification and self-assessment of eco-entrepreneurship within the<br>boundaries of high-end tourism business in Velingrad. A self-assessment method was also tested, or the so-called<br>position matrix based on two indicators - ecological priority and market share. The tool was tested on seven hotels,<br>and the following indicators were analyzed: Business programs and company strategy; Range of products and<br>services; Organizational and communication processes in relation to environmental aspects; Market effect of ecoproducts<br>and services.</p> Iva Bichurova Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 MAJOR INCONSISTENCIES AND CONCEPTUAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN REGULATORY FRAMEWORKS FOR SUSTAINABLE REPORTING <p>The existing regulations according to Directive 2013/34/EU affirm the term “non-financial information”<br>by associating it with generating, delivering, processing, summarising and disclosing information in three directions:<br>economic, social and environmental enterprise performance. A great number of stakeholders opine that the<br>information’s qualification as “non-financial” reduces its financial significance, therefore, the term “sustainable<br>information” is utilised more frequently in new directives in corporate reporting. The European Parliament and<br>Council’s Regulation (EU) 2019/2089 relate achieving sustainability and including disclosure requirements of<br>environmental, social and governance (ESG) information regarding climate transition which places the economic<br>aspect in the background of the three-pillar model of sustainable development that was current until recently. In the<br>context of alterations, a novel regulatory framework is necessitated to improve the corporate information’s quality,<br>quantity and comparability with respect to environmental protection and, moreover, achieving sustainability (ESG)<br>reporting.</p> Magdalena Petrova-Kirova Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 WOMEN AS INTERNAL STAKEHOLDERS IN TOP MANAGEMENT <p>The paper discussed about female members, and therefore we claim that the representation of women in<br>top management brings informational and social diversity to the benefit of the top management team, enriches the<br>behavior of managers throughout the company and motivates women in middle management. The report includes an<br>analysis of the direct result of the interviews conducted through three focus groups with 22 women working in<br>public institutions in decision-making positions in Kosovo. Therefore, this report represents their voice on<br>presenting the challenges that women face in achieving leadership positions in public institutions. These challenges<br>are mainly cultural, political and legal in nature. Through qualitative and quantitative methods with a comparative<br>approach, various variables were considered and several hypotheses were set, the first hypothesis is that the gender<br>difference in companies contributes to the success of the company, the second hypothesis is that the representation<br>of women in the highest decision-making positions is below 40%, the third hypothesis is that the representation of<br>women in the top management improves the company's performance. Based on the conclusions we received, we<br>present that the degree of challenges varies from country to country and as a society that is going through transition,<br>these challenges are more critical for Kosovo society. Women do not feel equal in Kosovar society at all, based on<br>all of the above and applying the comparative method, we conclusion, thus showing what Kosovo can learn in its<br>own country based on the best examples of more developed countries and how to draw practical examples for public<br>institutions of Kosovo. The result should be an improved performance of managerial tasks, and thus a better<br>performance of the company.</p> Anita Cucoviċ, Emina Seferović Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 CONTROLLING AND ECONOMIC CRISES <p>Controlling, as a modern concept of management, has become particularly relevant after more than 130<br>years since its origin. In recent years, with the growth and development of the financial and economic crisis of 2008-<br>2009, business in Bulgaria and throughout the world was placed in an unpredictable and uncontrollable<br>environment. And if it was the prelude, a few years after its beginning we can assume that it has been overcome to a<br>large extent, humanity entered a new and probably greater financial and economic crisis in 2020, as a result of the<br>global contagion of the coronavirus, about which no one can predict its duration, when it will end and at what cost.<br>Unfortunately, before the recovery from it begins, we are faced with a new and greater danger of a serious crisis<br>caused by the war in Ukraine for the past two or three months. The feeling of it becomes more and more serious<br>with the increase in the prices of basic energy carriers, suspension of their supplies, various bans, etc.<br>In this environment, largely independent of us, the opportunities to reduce costs, increase the efficiency of labor and<br>investment, and a real attempt to get out of the emerging crises, is the introduction and implementation of a new and<br>modern management system to monitor the financial indicators of the enterprises, to plan, analyze and coordinate, as<br>well as to carry out controlling of the activity. Controlling is among the most modern and contemporary trends in the<br>development of theory and practice regarding the management and provision of financial and economic activities at<br>the micro level, and why not at the macro level and in the public sector.</p> Plamen Iliev Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 CONTROLLING PERSONNEL <p>The rapid entry and application in recent years of Industry 4.0, in almost all spheres of business and<br>public life, necessitates the use of digitalization of processes and artificial intelligence in the production of goods<br>and services to increase both productivity and win new markets in the presence of serious competition. This also<br>requires new methods and ways of managing personnel, starting from the selection, training, stimulation and<br>development. In this case, we must also take into account the upcoming next degree or stage of the development of<br>industrialization, Industry 5.0, where the expectations are that there will be serious attention specifically to the<br>personnel, or the human factor, to which a more central place will be dedicated in the production process, somehow<br>until now, only of the machines and technologies.<br>We should not forget that the Covid epidemic and the war in Ukraine have not yet passed, which put serious<br>pressure on personnel and their management.<br>Personnel management is carried out and necessarily accompanied by the application of control and audit processes<br>regarding personnel.Personnel control is an internal company system for planning and control over personnel, aimed<br>at supporting the achievement of the company's strategic goals, ensuring personnel security, applying modern rules<br>and methods for this.<br>The human resources audit, in turn, covers actions to introduce and implement policies and modern practices related<br>to the selection, motivation, training and development of personnel. In this type of internal audit of human resources,<br>we must comply with the requirements of the "COSO" method for internal control and the control environment as its<br>component, in which the policies and practices for the management of human resources and the competence of the<br>staff represent the main content.<br>In recent years, the Controlling concept has been increasingly used in our country, as a modern management system<br>containing the functions of planning, accountability, control and information provision, which supports management<br>in making decisions.<br>Controlling cannot fail to include personnel management among its other tasks, creating mechanisms for planning,<br>coordinating and reporting personnel management activities in the modern dynamic and changing environment,<br>aimed primarily at the development of human resources management and to achieve the organization's goals.</p> Plamen Iliev Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 THE BALDRIGE FRAMEWORK AS A STRATEGIC INSTRUMENT IN THE CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION (IMPLEMENTATION OF BEHAVIORAL ANALYSIS) <p>The aim of the following article is to outline the Baldrige framework as a useful instrument in the<br>strategic management process of the critical infrastructure protection, by providing beneficial information regarding<br>the current organizational state and formulate guidelines to the decision-makers in connection to the needed future<br>changes and improvements. The first part of the article outlines the concept, main role, elements, advantages and<br>disadvantages of the strategic framework. The Baldrige consists of seven elements (so-called categories), which are<br>detailly explained in the article:<br> Leadership;<br> Strategy;<br> Customers;<br> Workforce;<br> Operations;<br> Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Management<br> Results<br>They are in alliance to the main goals and core values of the Baldrige framework such as: systems perspective;<br>visionary leadership; valuing the personnel; organizational trainings and knowledge improvement; focus on success;<br>management of innovation; societal contributions and responsibilities; ethics and transparency; value delivering, etc.<br>The second part of the article presents the behavioral analysis as an instrument for improvement of the critical<br>infrastructure protection, along with its role and function. A structural model of behavioral analysis program is<br>presented with its main elements – team of experts; algorithm; eligibility criteria; monitoring and behavioral<br>analysis; notification.<br>Last but not least, the article presents an example of the application of the Baldrige framework in the assessment<br>process of the hypothetical application of behavioral analysis as an instrument for improvement of the critical<br>infrastructure protection. It analyses the seven categories of the framework in regards to the implementation of<br>program based on behavioral analysis.</p> Tiana Kaleeva Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 PROSPECTS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF ADDITIONAL PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION OF CIVIL SERVANTS IN BULGARIA <p>Achieving the strategic goals of social development in Bulgaria, as well as solving the pressing social and<br>economic problems of the state, is possible provided that the effective work of public bodies is ensured. The<br>professional development of civil servants in the civil service in many ways leads to high level of efficiency of their<br>activity.<br>In turn, their professional development is ensured mainly by the functioning of their additional vocational education<br>system. The existing system at the moment practically does not fully improve the level of professionalism of civil<br>servants and the efficiency of their professional activities in accordance with the requirements of society and time. It<br>is not an exaggeration to say that the level of professionalism of a significant part of civil servants in Bulgaria is not<br>high enough. In this regard, one of the key aspects of improving the quality of the public services provided is the<br>improvement of the professionalism of the employees of the public bodies. The need for successful solutions to this<br>problem urgently requires a study of the role of additional professional education in the professional development of<br>civil servants.<br>Currently, insufficient scientific understanding of the role and its place in the professional development of civil<br>servants is a serious obstacle to the scientific justification of the orientation, content, educational results and<br>principles of building additional professional programs. As a result, the opportunities for additional professional<br>education in the formation of civil servants as professionals are not fully realized. At the same time, scientific<br>research is complicated by the lack of generally accepted professional standards in this field and uniform approaches<br>to understanding the civil servant as a professional.<br>The purpose of this article is to examine the state and problems facing the additional professional education of civil<br>servants in Bulgaria and to point out the prospects for its development. In order to achieve the goal, good practices<br>from selected countries of the European Union have been studied. Empirical research done in Bulgaria on the issue<br>in question is also summarized. From a theoretical point of view, the systemic approach to the analysis of additional<br>professional education has been adopted, presenting it as a social system whose structural elements actively interact<br>with each other..</p> Kalin Boyanov Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 ENTREPRENEURIAL EDUCATION INFLUENCE ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF SELF-EFFICACY AND PERSONAL COMPETENCY <p>This study aimed to evaluate and investigate the effects of entrepreneurial education influence on<br>entrepreneurial self-efficacy and entrepreneurial competences in secondary school and high education from the<br>perspective of educators. Professors and teachers teach secondary education courses on innovation and<br>entrepreneurship such as” Innovation and Entrepreneurship “and “Business and Entrepreneurship” from the relevant<br>faculties, as well as instructors who have taken entrepreneurship education courses and workshops. In the survey, 32<br>educators participated.<br>Modern economies have recently defied the University of the Twenty-first Century, which views it as a catalyst for<br>innovation. It emphasizes that resizing education entails examining the university as a social transformation-focused<br>organization, exposing its interaction with society, and attempting to take on new realities. People’s ability of<br>researching constantly and applying the opportunities for new profitable activities on local and global market<br>becomes an essential need of a competitive economy. Encouraging, increasing, supporting of entrepreneurial<br>energies of individuals could be an elementary key to achieving bigger economic prosperity within the country and<br>to continue to make its economy over time. Skills and knowledge, which are developed through coaching and<br>education, are one among the few fields during which a society will produce competitive advantage. The importance<br>of entrepreneurial education arise the importance of the entrepreneur throughout economic system. The role of<br>entrepreneurial education implies a system that develops and implies an individual's ability to be versatile to develop<br>capacity for recognizing opportunities and networking that it is a system which ensures that these skills are in line<br>with the requirements of business and economic process of the country. This education includes taking<br>responsibility for one's own actions, positive or negative, developing strategic visions, setting goals and achieving<br>them, the ability to arrange and manage comes additionally as motivation for success. The development of these<br>characteristics encourages the person not only in private life and social interactions, but also in school, at the<br>workplace, allows becoming aware of the context of profession and able to make the best use of the presented<br>opportunities. Promoting and supporting the entrepreneurial spirit and providing a positive environment that<br>underpins entrepreneurship, therefore, become the primary responsibility of the educational system as a whole.<br>Entrepreneurial learning can be understood more as a social phenomenon that affects our daily lives as a whole also<br>as a key competence relevant to the lifelong learning process, in all forms of education and training (formal and<br>informal) that contribute to entrepreneurial spirit or behavior, with or without a commercial purpose.<br>Findings suggest that entrepreneurial education have positive effect on the development of self-efficacy and<br>personal competency, which, in turn, are crucial in generating socially desirable outcomes within the context of<br>social life of an individual.</p> Zagorka Mitaseva Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 DIDACTIC MODEL FOR DEVELOPMENT CAREER’S MANAGEMENT SKILLS <p>The implementation of an empirical approach to training in the more active participation of the trainees in<br>the process itself is the result of a better understanding of the learning process. The strength of training through<br>experience is that experience after all is possessed by a trainee with his individual characteristics and preferences.<br>The active inclusion of the trainees in determining the nature of training through labour is a particularly fertile<br>ground for their personal and social development. The didactic model for development career’s management skills<br>visually represents the process related to the construction of learning, indicating its elements or phases, as well as<br>the relationship between them. The model has a few sequential steps: pre-assessment, learning, analysis, practice<br>and application. The pre-assessment includes an assessment of the current level of competence and knowledge of the<br>rules of conduct in the relevant skill area. At this stage, the learner is ready for change - overcoming the weaknesses<br>and improving the strengths related to the given skill. Learning involves the presentation of validated, science-based<br>ground rules and behavioural guidelines for effective performance of the learned skill. At this stage, the trainees are<br>taught the correct principles and the theoretical justification of the main guidelines of behaviour in the relevant field<br>is presented. The analysis is expressed in providing the trainees with models of behaviour and cases in order to<br>analyze the basic behavioural rules of the mastered skill in real organizational conditions. At this stage, they analyze<br>the basic behavioural principles in the relevant field and the reasons why they actually work. The practice contains<br>practical exercises in which the testing of the learned behavioural rules prevails. At this stage, students adapt the<br>principles to their own personal style, receiving feedback and support from the teacher. Application involves<br>application of the skill in real-life settings outside the classroom followed by analysis of the relative success of that<br>application. At this stage, what is learned in the classroom is transferred to real life situations. The use of this<br>general didactic model for the development of career management skills in the preparation of specialists is more<br>productive than training based on the traditional approach using lecture and discussion as the leading methods.<br>Developing career management skills while still in school helps future professionals to have a significant impact on<br>the image of the organization they will work in, regardless of the organizational level they are at. The main idea of<br>the didactic model described is that the improvement of career management skills is first and foremost the<br>responsibility of the trainees. Training through experience is expanding the basis on which young people can draw<br>prospects in making important decisions in their personal and social development.</p> Malinka Yordanova, Dimitar Iskrev Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 THE GAME - HISTORICAL ASPECTS, CHARACTERISTICS AND DEVELOPMENT IN PRE-SCHOOL AND PRIMARY SCHOOL AGE <p>The problem of children's play occupies a central place in the research of pedagogy, psychologists,<br>sociologists, etc. A wide range of questions related to the essence of the play routine and its importance for the<br>overall child development have been developed.<br>This article examines the historical origin of the game, its combination and development in pedagogical practice.<br>The article presents a theoretical overview of the essence and characteristic features of play in preschool age, where<br>it is a dominant activity. Preschool education lays the foundations for lifelong learning. In the current normative<br>framework for preschool education, it is stipulated that the kindergarten as an institution must provide play activities<br>in all types of organization of preschool education. The pedagogical situation, which is the main form of<br>pedagogical interaction, and through which the entire child's personality develops, must also take place through<br>play.<br>An analysis is made of the different types of games that are used in preschool age, and which contribute to the<br>development and cognitive needs of children and thanks to which a number of key competencies are developed. In<br>all types of play, adolescent children use their experience to deal with specific situations, invoking their thinking,<br>memory, imagination.<br>As a child's independent practice, play is also a powerful tool for increasing readiness for school. In primary school,<br>the game, from a leading activity for children, turns into an accompanying, and later supporting the formation of the<br>new activity - the educational one. In this period, the game continues to realize its great influence on the child's<br>personality, but it becomes more concrete in terms of the overall intellectual development of the young student.<br>The importance of play and its development in elementary school is also presented. The different groups of games<br>(educational, developmental, reproductive and diagnostic) that are used by students from 1.-4. class.</p> Dimona Yaneva Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 OVERCOMING COMMUNICATION OBSTACLES TOWARDS CONFLICT RESOLUTION <p>Communication is the basis of human existence. Humans are the only creatures that have the ability to<br>think, work, create and communicate. Communication and interaction are everywhere. Hermits like Daniel Defoe’s<br>Robinson Crusoe are only a product of one’s subjective desire. “No man is an island” - people cannot live outside of<br>the margins of society. Communication plays a vital role in civilisation. We are all socialy connected individuals<br>that take part in a community. Whether or not we are an active or a passive member of the community, wheter or not<br>we speak or choose to stay silent, everything we do is perceived as a message. The ability to communicate is as old<br>as humankind, and has evolved with it, influenced by everyday existence (Conditio sine qua non). Excommunication<br>has been and will continue to be mankind’s biggest retribution. People and society are the subject and object in the<br>process of communication. “The ability to communicate is the key to interpret the history of humankind.” (Gocini<br>2001). The process of communication and the tools we use to communicate come naturally, however, to<br>communicate in the right way, at the right time is a skill. The skill to invest our time and energy in communicating<br>in a balanced way, in order to overcome the imperfections of our society, is not a skill that one can acquire without<br>constant improvement. This is an ever ongoing process. First, we need to define communication, the factors that<br>affect sending and receiving messages, and grasp possible obstacles. Finding ways to remove barriers to<br>communication is of utmost importance and an expert skill. There is no elevator to success, each one of us has to<br>take the stairs. Trough everyday communication we achieve a certain goal that satisfies a certain need. Failing to<br>communicate with our community can lead to frustration. If we imagine a society that is democratic and redundant<br>of conflict, it is necessary for its participants to be familiarized with conflict resolution at an early age. “Anybody<br>can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time,<br>and for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody's power, that is not easy.” (Aristotle)<br>Communication, rather than confrontation, is the key to problem solving.</p> Aneta Spirova Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 THE ROLE OF ETHICS IN PUBLIC SECTOR GOVERNANCE AS A WAY TO MORE EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE <p>In the public sector, ethics is defined as a set of rules for the proper moral conduct of a particular society<br>or organization. Principles and values are the basis of good governance, forming ethical behavior in public<br>organization. They give a clear direction, but only if they are widely accepted, accepted and put into practice. Each<br>public organization operates with its own set of values, which are revealed in the daily provision of public policies<br>and services. They are key components of organizational culture and a tool for defining, guiding and informing<br>behavior.<br>The aim of the article is to present the role of ethics in public sector governance as a path to more effective<br>governance. The report examines the ethics and values of the public sector that underpin good governance.<br>Principles for shared values from different countries are presented. The good practices for good governance and the<br>principles that public authorities should strive for are discussed. Attention is paid to the role of codes of ethics as a<br>way to motivate civil servants and create an appropriate basis for monitoring and evaluating their behavior.<br>In international practice, common requirements for codes of ethics have been established in different countries.<br>These are: internal consistency and coincidence with the strategy of the administration, balance between the interests<br>and rights of employees, avoidance of excessive detail, easy applicability and consensual acceptance and discussion.<br>Research shows that many public sector organizations are aware that values and ethics play a key role in attracting<br>and retaining their best talents and that the following is needed: clarifying workplace goals, defining organizational<br>values, building organizational culture, showing recognition and providing a framework for establishing values and<br>ethics in the organization. Above all, consensus is needed on the content of ethical values. Leaders, politicians and<br>public managers need to be flexible in their implementation, depending on the specific external and internal<br>environment.</p> Daniela Yordanova Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF THE SEXUAL ABUSE AS A PENAL ACT: EVIDENCE FROM THE REGION OF GOSTIVAR <p>The phenomenon of the sexual abuse is present in all the regions of the world, regardless of the country’s<br>development, as well as the age, race and gender of the abusers. Furthermore, as a penal act itself, can be explained<br>as an act of force or attempt used for obtaining sexual act, without the willingness or against the victim. As such,<br>there are numerous scholars, NGOs, policy makers that have been dealing with this phenomenon and the factors that<br>can influence such sexual abuse acts.<br>Thus, having into consideration the importance of the treatment of the sexual abuse acts as well as determining the<br>factors by which can be influenced, main objective of this paper is to investigate the sexual abuse acts that have<br>happened in the region of Gostivar, North Macedonia, for the time spin 2014 – 2018. In addition to such empirical<br>findings from the descriptive analysis, this paper tries to give a comprehensive regional comparison of the region of<br>Gostivar, by analyzing the differentiation of the verdicts of the Appeal Court of Gostivar with regard to the penal<br>acts of the sexual abuse in the region of Gostivar, for the analyzed period 2014 - 2018.</p> Fjolla Ejupi Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 COVID-19 VACCINE HESITANCY IN INDIVIDUALISTIC AND COLLECTIVISTIC CULTURES <p>Vaccine hesitancy is a worldwide phenomenon rooted in cultural beliefs and perceptions of health and<br>sickness. The paper presents an exploratory analysis of available scientific research that investigates COVID-19<br>vaccine hesitancy in global cultures. The cultural aspects are based on Hofstede’s model of cultural dimensions,<br>which incorporates individualism and collectivism. We believe that cultures in these dimensions would show a<br>proclivity to reject or accept vaccinations and their influence on the human body. The paper also discusses the basic<br>notions of vaccine trust and vaccine hesitancy and the role of vaccination policies and public health strategies to<br>fight the disease. The text also discusses different interpretations of vaccine hesitancy, such as a lack of collective<br>empathy.<br>The present research employs three hypotheses. First, populations in individualistic cultures around the world are<br>more likely to choose vaccinations as a form of protection (high interpersonal empathy outside of the family unit,<br>high degree of public responsibility and awareness). Second, populations in collectivistic cultures are more likely to<br>reject vaccinations as a form of protection (low degree of interpersonal empathy outside of the family unit, low<br>degree of public responsibility and awareness). Third, populations in both groups of cultures make their vaccination<br>choices based on consuming messages from strategic communications used to popularize COVID-19 vaccinations.<br>Research methods include the descriptive and deductive analysis of hypotheses. A secondary deductive analysis is<br>provided to classify vaccine hesitancy as an individualistic or collectivistic trait.<br>Hypotheses are based on the premise that there is a cultural difference in the degree of public responsibility and<br>awareness and in interpersonal empathy outside of the family unit. This is based on some authors’ consideration of<br>intrinsic motivation as a result of affiliation with an individualistic or collectivistic group.<br>The paper attempts to understand the link between individualism and collectivism as cultural value orientations and<br>vaccine confidence. We conclude that Western cultures have cultural aspects that are similar to individualism,<br>whereas Eastern cultures are more similar to collectivism. However, we cannot find a direct connection between<br>individualism and collectivism as cultural dimensions and the personal choice to vaccinate against COVID-19<br>because the available data does not support that. The authors believe that the socio-cultural, political, and economic<br>environments have a stronger influence on people’s proclivity to vaccinate. Media messages remain key to<br>addressing vaccine hesitancy according to cultural norms and perceptions.</p> Hristina Sokolova, Nikola Sabev Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 ORIGIN OF SOCIAL AND HEALTH POLICY <p>This article traces the origins of social and health policy from a historical economic/labour relations point<br>of view. The transformation of labor relations is presented, due to an important economic event - the separation of<br>labor from capital, which becomes the cause of new needs - insurance. The nature of social relations, originating<br>from work, is the reason for the emergence of society's values: social justice, social equality and social protection,<br>on which social policy and its aspects - health policy and medicine policy - are built. Inequalities as a social<br>phenomenon are discussed in detail. A comparative characterization has been made between the two instruments of<br>social policy for covering inequalities - cost coverage and cost reimbursement.<br>Historical changes in man's attitude to work, and more precisely the loss of the means of production, is the reason<br>for the emergence of inequalities in society and the emergence of a new type of need to ensure the existence of the<br>workforce and its preservation, which is carried out through social policy in general and in individual areas,<br>including health policy. They aim to reduce social/health inequalities using different tools, approaches and<br>mechanisms. In healthcare - insurance and provision. In medicine policy, the tools that extinguish social inequalities<br>are the two processes - reimbursement and pricing.<br>The result of the economic regularities become the reason for the development of further policies aimed at<br>extinguishing inequalities. Social/health relations are united with production and represent a dynamic process that<br>transcends national boundaries and social systems</p> Darina Mineva Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100 GENES AND CROWDS - THE FORECASTED ROAD TO “SELFISH SELF-DESTROY” <p>There are invisible powers, the so-called "father of manipulation" Edward Bernays says, who control the<br>destinies of millions. The researcher proves right a century later that it is not always realized to what extent the<br>words and actions of the most influential public figures are dictated by clever individuals operating behind the<br>scenes. Nor - and this is even more important - the extent to which our thoughts and habits are modified by<br>authority. And that invisible governance is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few at the enormous expense<br>required both of manipulating the social machine, managing the opinions and habits of the masses, and creating<br>public and media images.<br>In order to gain a deeper insight into this art of changing the attitudes and actions of human beings, to the point of<br>successful manipulation and the achievement of desired results, it is essential to give deeper attention to an<br>extremely important question - that of the human gene and the wisdom of crowds.<br>The British humanist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins maintains that the dominant quality to be expected from a<br>successful gene is ruthless selfishness. And since we are born selfish and life in human society is based on the gene<br>law of universal ruthless selfishness, it follows that it will be very difficult for us to learn nobility and altruism from<br>now on.<br>Dawkins' view of the nature of human beings as survival devices - robots programmed to store selfish molecules<br>called genes - is also supported by Matt Ridley. No one has guessed, says the Oxford Ph.D. British scientist, that<br>when we read the code of life, we will find that it is full of examples of parasitical selfish exploitation.<br>In a similar context is Malcolm Gladwell's understanding of the development and improvement of the human race<br>and community. Every giant leap in a field, says the geneticist, is also a giant leap in humanity's ability to destroy<br>itself. In this sense, the author adds, with the development of technology, the scales and the catastrophic side of the<br>coin grow exponentially. This leads to a fetishization of the notion of progress even when it makes no real difference<br>to people.<br>The subject of the article is the scientific view of genes and crowds in the context of their self-destructive action.<br>The subject of the present work is the domino of consequences outlining the end result of human visible and<br>invisible actions and inactions. The purpose of the publication is to analyze and highlight the features and specifics<br>of human nature based on the latest scientific achievements with an emphasis on the use of knowledge for the<br>sustainable development of societies in the conditions of increasingly frequent and unforeseen critical circumstances<br>and emergency situations.</p> Borislav Radoslavov Copyright (c) 2023 Fri, 16 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0100