Since the civil society has been defined as an important participant in the policy-making process in the White paper on European governance, a question that raised discussions relates to the possible strategies to stimulate civic consciousness and common action. The problem is twofold, considering the differences in the established social relationships in the countries of Eastern and Western Europe. This paper aims to shed light on Bulgarian model of social economy. The analysis draws on a number of representative initiatives that have emerged in the recent years in Bulgaria and could be traced back to social economy’s leading principles and ideology. The study corroborates the necessity to escape from the general assumption that the institutional framework is sufficiently enough to create and maintain stable third sector. This imposed generalization proves to be misleading. Beyond the formally established rules to follow, remains the notion for self-initiative, responsibility and social commitment.