>>> COMMEMORATIVE ADDRESS OF TANYA MIHAYLOVA, DIRECTOR OF THE DIPLOMATIC INSTITUTE <<<
Tenth Anniversary of the Diplomatic Institute

COMMEMORATIVE ADDRESS OF TANYA MIHAYLOVA, DIRECTOR OF THE DIPLOMATIC INSTITUTE

Dear friends,

The year 2013 marks the Tenth Anniversary of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute. As its Director, I find this a pleasant and exciting occasion to address with words of gratitude those who have contributed all these years to the successful accomplishment of its mission as the first national diplomatic academy in the 135-year history of the Modern Bulgarian State.

  • I would like to thank the people who, ten years ago, had the courage and the professional competence to initiate the Institute and lay its strong foundations.
  • I would like to thank all my present and past colleagues who, with their enthusiasm and team spirit, have turned the Institute into a respectable and unique institution.
  • I would like to thank the governments and foreign ministers of Bulgaria who have created the conditions in which we have developed and in which we have implemented our motto: Docendo discimus By teaching, we learn.
  • I would like to thank all our national and international partners, who have helped us seek and follow our path.
  • I would like to thank the diplomats and officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • I would like to thank all our lectors Ambassadors, experts and university professors, who have shared their experience and knowledge in the trainings organised by the Institute.
  • Last but not least, I would like to pay special tribute to all our trainees whose hard work and achievements continue to give meaning to our undertaking.

Indeed, one could say that instead of 10 years since the creation of the Institute, it might be more accurate to think of it as 10 years of creating the Diplomatic Institute. I am certain that these 10 years will leave their mark on each and everyone who has been involved in its development. Today, as we commemorate this anniversary, it is not the past that we look to but the future. The Institutes maturity combined with the teams youthful spirit continuously gives us the motivation to set ourselves ever higher goals. It is my determination that in the coming years we will firmly establish ourselves as a supporting factor for the Bulgarian Diplomatic Service and for Bulgarian Foreign Policy in enhancing the prestige of Bulgaria both at home and abroad.

Tanya Mihaylova

Director

of the Diplomatic Institute

 

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Tenth Anniversary of the Diplomatic Institute


 
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10 years Diplomatic Institute

The DIPLOMATIC INSTITUTE (DI) was created on 23 September, 2003, pursuant to a Decree of the Council of Ministers. Its status and functions were regulated by the Diplomatic Service Act adopted by the National Assembly on 13 September, 2007. Its work meets the high demands and professional expectations pursuant to Bulgarias membership in EU and NATO, and displays continuity that allows the Bulgarian diplomatic profession to have the place it deserves in the large Euro-Atlantic family.

Our mission is to:

  • Guarantee the high-level expertise and skills of the diplomatic staff and the public administration by applying up-to-date professional standards of training
  • Enhance continuity in the Bulgarian Foreign Service by promoting exchange of experience and good practices among generations of diplomats
  • Promote the diplomatic profession and Bulgarias foreign policy by reaching out to the general public
  • Provoke exchange of expertise on foreign policy issues by providing a platform for debate among government and non-government actors
  • Support the diplomatic profession and the foreign policy debate by research and publications
  • Develop national and international cooperation by implementing joint projects

TRAINING PROGRAMMES

We provide trainings for both Bulgarian and foreign diplomats and government officials, as well as experts from the NGO and private sector. They meet all demands of modern diplomacy and use the good practices of our counterparts from all over the world. To respond to the need of high-quality training, we focus on interactive and practical sessions and have as trainers Bulgarian and foreign diplomats, university professors and other highly qualified experts, providing the benefit of a broad range of opinions and approaches.

Among our major training programmes are the courses for the MFA trainee attaches and consular staff, foreign language training, courses for diplomats, representatives of the public administration and of the NGO and private sector in the field of regional issues and security, energy diplomacy, economic diplomacy, environment, public diplomacy, diplomatic protocol, as well as tailor-made trainings for foreign diplomats and our traditional Winter School of Diplomacy.

PUBLIC POLICY AND COOPERATION

To provoke public interest and debate on current foreign policy issues, we hold public lectures by prominent public figures, leading politicians and diplomats. We also organize conferences and round-table discussions with Bulgarian and foreign experts, to contribute to the exchange of expertise and to the foreign policy theory and practice. We interact actively with the young public by organizing essay competitions on foreign policy topics, visits of school and university students within our Open Doors programme, and by implementing a coherent internship programme. To enhance our public outreach, we aims at strong media and digital presence, and maintain our own radio broadcast, a webpage in Bulgarian, English and French, Facebook and Twitter account. The Institutes national and international partnerships with government, research, NGO and academic institutions is visible in the implementation of joint projects and exchange in the field of training, research and public activities and EU policies.

RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS

A strategic task of the DI is to provide comprehensive analyses by internal and outside experts on international topics to meet the needs of the MFA and to enhance the expertise in foreign policy theory and practice. As of 2013 the Institute also holds national contests for applied research projects.

Among our publications, in Bulgarian and/or English, are the Foreign Policy Research Papers series, the Energy Diplomacy collection, books and textbooks on EU matters, security and environment issues, diplomatic skills and practice, as well as the long-established Diplomacy Journal which has already grown into an online platform for foreign policy analysis and research.

To assist its activities and programmes, the DI manages a library of over 65 000 titles in over 20 languages, in the field of international relations, European Studies, security, international organizations, diplomacy, law, history, sociology, political sciences, economy, etc.

NEWS

28.11.2016

International Conference Marks 60th Anniversary of Bulgarian Accession to UNESCO

On November 24th, a two-day international conference, titled Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Balkans Governmental and Public Sectors United in Safeguarding Europes Vital Roots, kicked off inside the MFAs main building. The conference was organized by the UNESCO Leonardo Da Vinci Club in Sofia, in cooperation with the Diplomatic Institute and the Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Southeastern Europe, under the auspices of UNESCO, and took place under the patronage of the National Commission for UNESCO in Bulgaria and the European Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centers and Associations.

The event, which opened with official remarks and a performance by the folklore group Bistrishki Babi, gathered experts from the governmental, nongovernmental, and academic sectors based in Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Georgia and Italy. Numerous discussions and presentations on various topics took place over the course of the conference, centered on the promotion of the above-mentioned states intangible cultural heritage, exchanges of information and experience on successful practices for its preservation and the necessary communication between state and local authorities, institutions and non-governmental organizations in Europe and the Balkans. The current possibilities for the optimization of the identification, research, development, exploitation, and transmission mechanisms - primarily through means of formal and information education - were also discussed.

A formal declaration citing recommendations for the improvement of communication between the public and non-governmental institutions in raising the efficiency of all activities aiming to preserve intangible cultural heritage was also presented. The closing segment of the conference featured a short display of the Surva, a time-honored Bulgarian folk tradition on the premises of the Foreign Ministry.

22.11.2016

Students from the University of Insurance and Finance Visit DI

Today, a group of students from the Bulgarian University of Insurance and Finance made a visit to the the Diplomatic Institute within the framework of the latters Open Doors Program. During the visit, held in Antarctica Hall, Mrs. Silvana Tsokova - Head of the Public Activities and Cooperation Department familiarized the group with the mission, vision, and activities of the Institute, s well as with the various opportunities it offers to young people, emphasizing the course on diplomacy held for trainee attaches, the Institutes internship program, and its yearly essay contests. The students received the latest issue of the Institutes Diplomacy journal and had the opportunity to look around the MFA building and inside the library of the DI.

21.11.2016

Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation between the Diplomatic Institute and the G. S. Rakovski Military Academy

On November 21st 2016, in Bulgaria Hall inside the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation between the Diplomatic Institute and the G. S. Rakovski Military Academy was signed. The memorandum was signed by Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Institute, and Major General Todor Dochev, Director of the Academy, and foresees continuing cooperation between the two institutions in the spheres of training, education, and research. Among the primary types of cooperation cited in the agreement are exchanges of expert members between the two institutions, where experts in their respective fields on both sides will take part in each others seminars and courses, and will take joint participation aimed at representing Bulgaria at academic conferences, symposiums, and roundtables. The memorandum also provides for an exchange of information and publication materials, as well as joint participation in various other projects.

17.11.2016

Diplomatic Protocol Training for Bulgarian National Audit Office Management

On November 16th and 17th 2016, the Diplomatic Institute led an educational seminar titled Diplomatic Protocol and Etiquette, on the invitation of Mr. Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Head of the National Audit Office. Twenty-seven employees of the Office associates and managers - took part of the training. They later shared that the practical information learned over the duration of the course will be very useful, as aside from the international activities carried out by the NAF in general, concrete tasks and planned events connected to the upcoming Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the European Union have also been set to take place during that time period. Concluding the two-day seminar was the handing out of certificates to the participants by Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute.

01.11.2016

Working Visit to Geneva

This year, the annual DI award designated for a foreign citizen or institution that has made a significant contribution to the development and advancement of the Institute went to Dr. Dusan Sidjanski, Honorary President of the European Cultural Center in Geneva. Prof. Sidjanski is the founder of the Department of Political Science at the University of Geneva, former Special Adviser to the head of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso (2004-2014), and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Diplomatic Institute since 2008. He is this years recipient for his significant contribution in the affirmation of the Diplomatic Institutes reputation in its field throughout Europe, and on the occasion of his 90th birthday. The award ceremony took place on the campus of the University of Geneva, where the creation of the Dusan Sidjanski Center for European Research was officially announced. Mrs. Micheline Calmy-Rey, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation and Mrs. Deanna Kostadinova, Permanent Representative of the Republic Bulgaria to the United Nations in Geneva, were among the attendees.

Within the framework of the visit, Mrs. Mihaylova met with Dr. Kamelia Kemileva, Executive Director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. She also met with Mr. Daniel Fasnacht, the Swiss representative in the European ENTRi III Initiative. Possibilities for cooperation between the Institute and the Swiss governmental and academic institutions in the sphere of diplomatic training were focal points of discussion.

26.10.2016

DI Takes Part in European Diplomatic Programme

The first module of the 17th edition of the European Diplomatic Programme (EDP), which took place in Bratislava under the auspices of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union, was held from October 23 25, 2016. The module aimed to improve participants skills, such as running and presiding over effective meetings, writing reports, and public speaking. Mr. Teddy Ganchev, Junior Expert at the Training, Research, and Project Activities Department took part in the training.

24.10.2016

DI Representative Takes Part in Joint Seminar on European Integration Processes in Dubrovnik

From October 17 21, 2016, the 18th Joint Seminar on European Integration Processes, organized by the Diplomatic Academy to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Issues of the Republic of Croatia in cooperation with the German-based Hanns Seidel Foundation and the Centre for Contemporary Academy Research at Zagreb University took place. Representing Bulgaria was Mr. Stiliyan Rakovski, an expert from the Public Affairs and Cooperation Department at the Diplomatic Institute, as one of the seminars participants.

The seminars aim was to share expertise regarding the process of European enlargement and European integration through a direct, interactive method of information and experience exchange between the young experts and diplomats from Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe who partook in the activities. The program included lectures held by experts from Germany, Austria, and Croatia, along with discussions and work seminars tackling topics such as ascension to the EU by Western Balkan states and the influence of the process on the region as a whole, the refugee crisis causes, challenges, and approaches, as well as the role of public and cultural diplomacy. The seminar concluded with a ceremony during which all participants were handed certificates of completion.

24.10.2016

Worlds Best News Day

On October 24th, in marking the international United Nations Day, the Diplomatic Institute organized an information campaign as part of the European initiative Worlds Best New Day. The Institute takes part in the project for a second time, this year with the aim focused on informing European citizens of the achievement of the Agenda 2030 plan, at the heart of which are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Representatives of the DI and volunteers from the United Nations Association of Bulgaria spent the day giving out newspapers with detailing inspirational success stories on the effect of development aid. An interactive game centered on the SDGs was also offered.

In order to attract its target groups for the event, namely Bulgarian youth, the private sector, and the media, the DI held the campaign on the campuses of Sofia University, the University of National and World Economy, as well as on the premises of Business Park Sofia and the Bulgarian News Agency (BNA). Employees from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also greeted with the Worlds Best News Day newspapers at the beginning of the workday.

Reports by the BNA, BNT 2, Radio Sofia, and the Bulgarian National Radio covered the event. Information on the events of the day was also available on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/341839372815297.

17.10.2016

Latest Issue of Diplomacy Out Now

The 17th issue of the bilingual publication Diplomacy, published by the DI since 2008, came out this October. The subject of migration is the main focus of the journals latest issue. Included are the following presentations heard during the international conference The Migration Crisis: Long-Term Implications for the European Union: Refugees and Migrants Caught Between Borders (Uros Skerl Kramberger), Migration the Swedish Experience and the Need for Common Policies and Shared Responsibility (H.E. Louise Bergholm Ambassador of Sweden to Bulgaria), Europe Facing New Decisions (Prof. Dr. Eckart D. Stratenschulte), Legal Measures in Hungary Reflecting the Current Migration Crisis (Istvan Kovacs & Miklos Szantho), The Migration Crisis the Moment of Truth for the Future of the European Project (Prof. Dr. Ingrid Shikova). Other pieces featured in the issue are as follows: The EU Presidency Plays the Role of a Neutral and Honest Broker (Interview with H.E. Tom van Oorschot, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Republic of Bulgaria); Dutch National Interests in the Communication Strategies of the Twelve Dutch Presidencies of the Council of the EU (Milena Dimitrova); a summary of the first of a planned series of Debates With MEPs: Impact of the Syrian Crisis on EU Security: Regional and Global Aspects, and finally, Comparative Analysis of the Presidential Institution Within the Framework of the New Latin American Constitutionalism (Prof. Lazar Koprinarov). A summary of the latest book by Prof. Vladimir Chukov, DAESH, a (Non)-Islamic State, is also featured.

The 17th issue of Diplomacy is now available at the library of the Institute and online on the Institutes website.

14.10.2016

Students from the University of National and World Economy (UNWE) Visit DI

Today in Antarctica Hall at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives from the Diplomatic Institute met with freshmen from the Political Studies program at the University of National and World Economy (UNWE). The meeting was initiated by International Relations Research Student Association (IRRSA), and organization based at the UNWE, within the framework of the traditional yearly Welcome Week organized by the university, and the DIs own Open Doors Program. DI Director Tanya Mihaylova familiarized the students with the mission and functions of the Diplomatic Institute and the opportunities it can offer to young people, highlighting the training program tailored to trainee attaches. Mrs. Mihaylova also detailed the traits and abilities that make a successful diplomat, as well as the main challenges of that line of work. Following the meeting, the students received some of the Institutes latest publications, as well as the opportunity to take a look around the MFA building from the inside.

12.10.2016

Students from the American University in Bulgaria Visit the Diplomatic Institute

Today in Antarctica Hall, within the framework of the Diplomatic Institutes Open Doors Program, students from the American University in Bulgaria - along with their professor, Dr. Philip Dimitrov - visited the DI. Ms. Director Tanya Mihaylova welcomed the guests and introduced them to the history and mission of the Institute, highlighting the important role of the institution in the education of future diplomats.

During the visit, a lecture themed Diplomacy of the European Union was also delivered by Dr. Dimitrov. Key elements of EU diplomacy were discussed, such as the role of instruments of the EU, and a concrete comparison between the diplomatic missions of the EU with that of Georgia - the latter of which Dr. Dimitrov himself has headed in the past was made.

11.10.2016

Public Lecture with Dr. Dan Schueftan

"The Middle East in Transition" such was the title and primary focus of the lecture delivered today at the Diplomatic Institute by Dr. Dan Schueftan, Director of the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa.

From an Israeli perspective, the current situation in the Middle East is extremely tense, said Dr. Schueftan. States are currently falling apart, including Syria, while Jordan lives in fear that it will live to suffer the same fate. Due to the weakness of the Jordanian state, it risks ceasing to exist entirely, unless it takes the steps necessary to prevent its demise. According to Dr. Schueftan, it is the North African nation of Tunisia that has the best chance among the Arab states to improve its current situation, while Turkey, a formerly progressive state under Ataturk is now regressing under Erdogans leadership. There is a chance for positive developments in Iran, where society is progressing despite the countrys poor governance. This is also the case for India and Indonesia, a state with a large Muslim minority and the worlds most populous Muslim state, respectively, with Indonesians having already had four successive democratic elections.

The problem with Islamic radicalism is serious, because in such societies a martyr commands more respect than a scientist, a writer, or a philosopher. Many impoverished farmers migrate to big cities, but those lack a functioning industry that can provide employment. Europe can be of much help to Arab states, with endeavors such as the restoration of the agricultural sector and the efficient water resource management.

The lecture was attended by representatives of the MFA, the diplomatic corps, the NGO sector, and academia.

07.10.2016

New Award Honors the Diplomatic Institutes Organization of Historic Maps Exhibition

The Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs has, for a second time, been awarded for its organization of historic map exhibitions. After receiving an award from the Bulgarian Cartographic Association earlier this year, the Institute is now being honored with the prestigious Renaissance Francaise medal and certificate.

For the occasion, the Institute presented the original 37 maps from its collection in a special exhibition at The Mission Gallery. Tanya Mihaylova spoke of the concept that constitutes the basis of the series of exhibitions under the title The Sea Brings all this Distant Together, which first took place at United Nations headquarters in New York City, then at the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Paris, and finally at the House of Europe in Tbilisi.

The exhibitions curator, DI Chief Expert Svetlozar Kovachev, relayed to the audience that the current exhibition is one that has been set up for those who have been partners of the Institute in the realization of the project. He then turned his attention to the maps on display, some taken out of the first atlases to ever be published.

The Renaissance Francaise Association award was handed to Mrs. Mihaylova by Mrs. Elena Boleva-Ravolle Bonn, a long-term resident of France. The association was established over one hundred years ago by former French president Raymond Poincare (1913-1920). I was delighted with the exhibition that took place in Paris. To that end, the award is fully merited, shared Mrs. Boleva.

06.10.2016

DI Representative Attends Symposium in Shanghai

From September 24-26 2016, the Shanghai Institute for International Studies (SIIS) held a specialized symposium on the subject of the cooperation between the PRC and the countries of the Eastern and Central European region within the framework of the 16+1 and One Belt, One Path initiatives, which took place in Shanghai city. The SIIS shares a partnership with the Diplomatic Institute - the two institutions have a memorandum of cooperation in place. On behalf of the DI, Dr. Valentin Katrandjiev took part as apporteur on the subject of Dimensions of the 16+1 Initiative for the Countries of Southeastern Europe and Bulgarias Role.

03.10.2016

Fifth International Seminar on Energy Diplomacy Concludes

An international specialized training on Energy Diplomacy, organized by the Diplomatic Institute in cooperation with the German-based Hanns Seidel Foundation in Bulgaria, as well the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael, concluded on September 30th. Over the weeklong intensive, 43 participants attended lectures held by leading Bulgarian and foreign experts in the field, and took part in discussions highlighting the changes and trends in the respective energy strategies of the European Union, as well of those of key players on the world stage, such as China, the United States, Iran, and the Russian Federation. The lectures focused on regional and transnational cooperation, with an emphasis on the planning and implementation of projects to create interconnectors and a reliable gas transmission network for consumers in Southeastern Europe. For a second consecutive year, participants had the opportunity to take a guided tour of the nuclear power plant in Kozloduy, a high point of the course for many who later recommended for the visit to be kept in the schedule of upcoming editions of the seminar.

Following the conclusion of the final lecture, Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova congratulated the participants on their efforts, thanked them for their enthusiasm, and wished them success and dedication in all future endeavors. The participants were awarded certificates at the conclusion of the closing ceremony.

27.09.2016

Annual Meeting of Diplomatic Academies and Institutions

From September 21-23 2016, the 43rd International Forum on Diplomatic Training [IFDT], a yearly meeting of Deans and Directors of Diplomatic Academies and Institutes of International Relations, took place in Canberra, Australia. Representing the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs was its Director, Tanya Mihaylova. The forum was attended by over 70 participants from 34 countries. Current trends in the sphere of diplomatic training were a focal point of discussion, with a greater emphasis put on diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific region.

During her visit to Australia, Mrs. Mihaylova met with Dr. Anthony Bergin, Deputy Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, discussing a possible exchange of expert research analysis. The first agreement includes the exchange of texts published by the two institutions. The DI Director also made a visit to the Australias Parliament House, accompanied by H.E. Emilia Stefanova, the Bulgarian Ambassador to Australia.

26.09.2016

The 5th specialized international seminar on Energy Diplomacy has started

For the 7th time, starting on the 26th September till 30th September, the Diplomatic institute organizes a specialized international seminar on Energy Diplomacy, which forms part of the Institutes longstanding policy in the sphere of energy diplomacy. The seminar is sponsored by the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael and the representation of Hanns Seidel Foundation in Bulgaria. There are 48 participants from 16 countries, including countries from South Eastern Europe, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Georgia, etc. Business representatives in Bulgaria have expressed significant interest in regards to the topic of the seminar.

The seminar was opened by the Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, and Ms. Wiebke Beiche, who congratulated the participants and wished them a fruitful and successful week full of good impressions and new acquaintances. For the second consecutive year during the seminar a study visit to National Power Plant "Kozloduy" will be held. Guest lecturers from the Institute "Clingendael" will address the global dimension of European Energy Policy and the EUs options, the energy and climate challenges facing the Union as well as the internal European energy market and changes in it. Bulgarian experts will focus on security of supply, incl. in Bulgaria, as well as ideas for a common Energy Union and the Bulgarian initiative to create a European Energy Fund.

On the first day of the seminar there was an official public presentation of the specialized edition on Energy Diplomacy, part of the series of the Diplomatic Institute "Foreign Affairs Research Papers". The event was attended by many of the authors of the papers included in the edition, course participants and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ms. Mihaylova thanked energy experts who shared their thoughts and analysis and expressed her confidence that this collection will find a prominent place in several courses and training formats which the Institute is planning for next year.

12.09.2016

Training in Diplomatic Protocol and Etiquette for Employees of the Municipality of Nessebar

From September 8 11 2016, at the invitation of the Mayor of Nessebar, Mr. Nikolay Dimitrov, the Diplomatic Institute held a seminar on Diplomatic Protocol, Ceremonial and Etiquette for 37 employees working for the municipality of Nessebar. They discussed topics such as the organization of official events and ceremonies, official correspondence, official visits, negotiations, and protocol logistics. The training was highly appreciated as Nessebar, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been overseeing international projects and activities requiring a solid implementation of protocol. The expertise of the Diplomatic Institute in the field of diplomatic protocol and etiquette can also help in solving a number of practical cases and situations.

01.08.2016

Closing Ceremony of the Model United Nations Youth Conference SofiMUN

The closing event of the International Model United Nations Youth Conference SofiMUN, organized this year between 25-29 July by the Rotaract Club Sofia Serdika in cooperation with the Diplomatic Institute, took place on 29 July 2016 at the Antarctic Hall at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The meeting was opened by the Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, followed by a summary of the conference activities and expressing gratitude towards all participants. At the end of the ceremony Ms. Mihaylova awarded certificates to the participants, who are undergraduates in International Relations, Political Science, etc. from 28 countries across the world.

29.07.2016

Annual meeting of the International Educational Consortium ENTRi organisations

From 25 to 28 July 2016, the annual partnership meeting of the representatives of the 12 educational institutions, partaking in the international educational consortium ENTRi, was held in Berlin. Questions regarding this years priorities for the consortium were reviewed at the sessions, as well as opportunities regarding the funding of educational projects in the peace-keeping and peace-building areas. The Diplomatic Institute participates in this project after successfully joining the consortium on 27 May 2016.

At this years meeting, the Director of DI, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, expressed readiness for the Diplomatic Institutes participation in organising the specialised Negotiation and mediation training jointly with the Dutch Diplomatic Academy Clingendael, as well as its involvement in the Training of Trainers working group and its contribution to the creation of training packages, aimed at helping lecturers in the peace-keeping and peace-building areas.

25.07.2016

Participation of a representative of the DI in Summer School for Junior Diplomats in Montenegro

The 9th Summer School for Junior Diplomats was held between 17 and 23 July 2016 in Kolasin, Montenegro. It was organized by the Diplomatic Academy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro with the support of the UN Development Programme. This years edition brought together 49 participants from 39 countries and its focus was the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Montenegro. The participants from Bulgaria that took part in the event were Mr. Kiril Georgiev, associate at the Diplomatic Institute, and Ms. Boryana Puncheva, attache in Southeast Europe Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The training programme included a wide range of modules presented by prominent university professors, members of parliament, ministers, advisors to the Prime Minister and ambassadors of the Republic of Montenegro abroad. Thus the participants had the opportunity to interact directly with all the speakers who shared their expertise and experience about various fields of the political, economic and social life of the country. Another element of the training was the diverse cultural and historical programme in which the participants were closely acquainted with the history of Montenegro and the monuments at the visited sights.

The successful programme contributed to the intercultural dialogue and helped for acquiring of skills for taking into account socio-cultural differences. It also promoted the establishment of useful contacts between the participants and enhanced their trust and understanding which is the cornerstone of the concept of modern diplomacy based on the development of a network for good practices.

25.07.2016

Pre-Mandate Preparation for the Heads of Diplomatic Missions Abroad

From 20 to 22 July 2016, the Diplomatic Institute organized a seminar for Pre-Mandate Preparation for Heads of Diplomatic Missions Abroad appointed by the Council of Ministers for 2016. The topics discussed were divided into several modules: administrative management of diplomatic missions, the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2018, protection of the rights and interests of Bulgarian citizens abroad, etc. The seminar was organized for the first time in such a large scale, and the high appraisal it received from the participants demonstrates that it will find a lasting place in the training programme of DI.

19.07.2016

Sofia Opera and Ballet Receives DIs Annual Award

Today, DI Director Tanya Mihaylova presented the annual award designated for a national citizen or institution that has made a significant contribution to the development and advancement of the Institute to Academician Plamen Kartalov, Director of the Sofia Opera and Ballet. The award is given to recognize the institution for its contribution towards the preparation and training of the countrys diplomats and civil servants in the field of public diplomacy, as well as on the occasion of its 125th anniversary. Through the years of cooperation between the two institutions, various trainees at the Institute have had the opportunity to attend a number of the theatres premieres and performances. Theyve discussed the projects of the Sofia Opera and Ballet with its representatives in order to better understand the context behind every performance and initiative. The award ceremony took place in front of the stage of the Operas upcoming performance of Giuseppe Verdis Nabucco, on Alexander Nevski Square. Behind, rehearsals by the operas international cast - set to run from 21-31 July - were taking place to the backdrop of its stage setting.

Tanya Mihaylova presented the plaquette - a small sculpture of silvered brass, engraved with a medal and the inscription DOCENDO DISCIMUS In teaching others, we teach ourselves - the motto of the Institute. "The flagship policy that is pursued by the Sofia Opera and Ballet in promoting a positive image of Bulgaria abroad - through the instruments of cultural diplomacy - deserves our support and our appreciation. Moreover, Maestro Kartalov, as head of the Opera, unconditionally and enthusiastically got involved in one of the Diplomatic Institutes principle causes and campaigns linked to the European Year for Development. He became an honorary ambassador of the project in 2015. In fact, Maestro Kartalov, you, along with the institution under your care, are truly an ambassador of Bulgarian talent. We feel privileged to be here with you on Bulgarian Diplomatic Service Day, shared Tanya Mihaylova. Dr. Mirena Zlateva - painter, sculptor, and teacher designed the plaquette.

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Mr. Kartalov thanked the DI on behalf of his team at the Opera. As you know, last year 225 diplomats members of the Opera, competed in the Bavarian city of Fussen - with two of the largest opera houses Bayreuth Festival Theatre and Munichs Bavarian State Opera where they received global recognition for their achievements. The event was attended by an international audience, including nationals from Australia, the USA, South Africa, and from all over Europe. This was truly a diplomatic mission for us, one during which we had made considerable efforts over a 5-6 year period in order to bring Wagners works to life, he underlined. The ceremony was attended by two of the stars of Abigaille Susanna Branchini and Radostina Nikolaeva, as well as Shay Bloch (Fenena), Daniel Damianov (Ismaele), Angel Hristov (High Priest Zaccaria), Krassimir Dinev (Abdallo), and Elena Stoyanova (Anna).

The following recipients have also been awarded in previous years:

  1. 2013 . Doc. Dr. Zdravko Popov, first Director of the Diplomatic Institute and Ron Ton, Director of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael;
  2. 2014 . G.S. Rakovski Military Academy and the Hanns Seidel Foundation;
  3. 2015 . The European Studies department at Kliment Ohridski University in Sofia and the European Security and Defence College (ESDC).

19.07.2016

The Diplomatic Institutes Annual Honorary Awards

On the occasion of July 19th Bulgarian Diplomatic Service Day the Diplomatic Institute announced the recipients of its special award for a fourth consecutive year. The annual award is given out to one Bulgarian and one foreign citizen or institution that has made a significant contribution to the development and advancement of the Institute. The plaquette, designed by sculptor Dr. Mirena Zlateva, is a small sculpture of silvered brass, engraved with a medal and the inscription DOCENDO DISCIMUS In teaching others, we teach ourselves - the motto of the Institute.

This years recipient of the award for a national institution is the Sofia Opera and Ballet, honored by the DI for its contribution in the preparation and training of the countrys diplomats and civil servants in the field of public diplomacy, and on the occasion of its 125th anniversary. The policy that is pursued by the Sofia Opera and Ballet in promoting a positive image of Bulgaria abroad - through the instruments of cultural diplomacy - merits support and recognition. Through the years of cooperation between the two institutions, the trainees of the Institute have had the opportunity to attend a number of the theatres premieres and performances. Theyve discussed the projects of the Sofia Opera and Ballet with its representatives, in order to better understand the message and context behind every performance and initiative.

This years award for a foreign institution or citizen goes to Prof. Dusan Sidjanski, Honorary President of the European Cultural Center in Geneva. Prof. Sidjanski is the founder of the Department of Political Science at the University of Geneva, former Special Adviser to the head of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso (2004-2014), author of numerous books and articles, devout European, and brilliant intellectual. He has been a member of the International Advisory Board of the Diplomatic Institute since 2008. Prof. Sidjanski is this years recipient for his significant contribution in the affirmation of the Diplomatic Institutes reputation in its field throughout Europe, and on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

14.07.2016

Conference on The Outcome of the NATO Summit

Less than a week after the NATO summit took place in Warsaw, a public discussion titled "The Outcome of the NATO Summit, organized at the Central Military Club in Sofia by the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, the US-Bulgarian Alumni Association, the Diplomatic Institute, and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, generated a great deal of public interest.

Keynote guest speakers at the event were Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Daniel Mitov, Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Atanas Zapryanov, head of the Konrad Adenauer Foundations office in Sofia, Thorsten Geisler, HE Mr. Krzysztof Kraevski - Ambassador of Poland to Bulgaria, and HE Mr. Marian Jakubocy, Ambassador of Slovakia - the EU member state currently presiding over the European Council.

Minister Mitov discussed the agreements reached in Warsaw, stressing that during the meeting, the commitments made by Wales have been reaffirmed. He also pointed out that the cooperation agreement signed between the EU and NATO at the meeting is of utmost importance.

Thorsten Geissler noted that all 28 NATO member states are determined to assume their share of responsibilities, and that the security and defense-based organization has proven itself to be a strong alliance.

13.07.2016

Latest Issue of Diplomacy Journal Comes Out

The 16th issue of the bilingual publication Diplomacy, first published in 2008 by the Diplomatic Institute, came out in June. The issue features the following works: 2015: A Year of Challenges and of Seeking Solutions for a Uniform European Future of Solidarity for All, (Daniel Mitov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria), Can Diplomacy Be Taught? (Natalie Loiseau), Beyond the Korean Wave: South Koreas Middle Power Public Diplomacy (Prof. Kim Taehwan), Bulgarias Contribution to the SEECP (Regional Cooperation Department, South-East Europe Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria), Spain and Japan: Close Friendships and Strong Ties With the Passage of Time (Bernado Lopez Lopez Rios and Shingo Sakai), A Better Europe for All (H.E. Ms. Emma Hopkins), The Latvian Presidency of the EU Council in 2015: An Example to be Followed by Bulgaria in Building an Efficient Public Administration and in Pursuing a Successful Communication Strategy (Victoria Pavlova), The Bulgarian 2018 Presidency of the EU Council: Standards of Transparency and Accountability (Dr. Linka Toneva-Metodieva), The Advent of a European Non-Military Security System (Vladimir Shopov), The New EUs Global Security Strategy: Reflections During the Process of its Formulation from Sofia (Prof. Plamen Pantev), Can We Tame the Shrew? The Evolution of Muslim Brotherhoods Ideology, its Rise, its Fall, and the Prospects of Cooperation with Moderate Islamists (Dr. Kleantis Kyriakidis), 60 Years of Bulgaria in UNESCO Achievements and New Challenges (Dr. Lilia Chausheva), Which Values Unite Us Today? - Summary of an international conference. The issue also features annotations from two new books: The Accountability of EU Institutions by Dr. Gergana Radoykova and The International Legal Regime of Biodiversity by Angel Atanasov.

The 16th issue of Diplomacy is now available at the library of the Institute, and online on the Institutes webpage.

05.07.2016

Lecturers from DI Take Part in Economic Policy Institute Seminar

On July 5 of this year, Ms. Biliana Decheva, head of the Training, Research, and Project Activities department at the Diplomatic Institute, and Ms. Marina Vladimirova, senior expert at the same department, delivered a lecture titled "Diplomatic Protocol and Etiquette" at the fourth edition of the International Youth Academy Seminar, organized by the Economic Policy Institute and the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The seminar, held in the city of Sandanski, was attended by a group of 30 students from Greek, Romanian, and Bulgarian universities. The aim of the seminar was to strengthen regional cooperation, as well as to give a voice to young people in Europe with regards to their vision for the European Union.

01.07.2016

Public Discussion on the Slovak Presidency of the EU Council

On July 1 2016, at the Balkan Hotel in Sofia a public discussion regarding the transition of EU Council presidency, organized by PanEuropa Bulgaria, with the support of the Diplomatic Institute, the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation was held. The topic of the discussion, "Quo Vadis Europe: Current Challenges Facing the EU, and Slovakias EU Council Presidency", was designed to inform the public on the priorities of the presidency of Slovakia, which starts this July and concludes in December 2016.

After opening remarks made by Ms. Gergana Passy, President of PanEuropa Bulgaria, to Mr. Thorsten Geisler, the head of the office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Bulgaria spoke on the contemporary challenges for the EU and on Euroscepticism. Keynote speakers at the event were Deputy Prime Minister for EU Funds and economic policy, Mr. Tomislav Donchev, and the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to Bulgaria, HE Mr. Marian Jakubocy.

In his speech, Tomislav Donchev stressed that the European Union should not serve merely as management tool for crises that have already arisen, but rather to come up with quick and concrete solutions based on a clear vision for the future. He called for a reduction of bureaucracy at the central level in the Unions cohesion policy.

HE Mr. Marian Jakubocy thanked the Dutch Presidency for their excellent work. In his presentation, he introduced Slovakias process of preparation for the Presidency of the EU Council, and highlighted priority areas in the next six months, namely the active trade relations between the member states, a stronger and more unified European market, and a sustainable migration and refugee policy. The Ambassador of the Slovak Republic highlighted the main challenges for the presidency, such as the influx of migrants, the decision of Britain to leave the EU, the fracturing of the eurozone, as well as terrorism and ideological radicalism - emphasizing that the Slovak leadership will rely on the principles of pragmatism and unity inside the EU.

The event ended with a discussion on the current issues on the agenda for the EU, after which the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic concluded that unity among EU member states is possible only by setting goals that are shared by all.

27.06.2016

Students from Paisii Hilendarski University of Plovdiv Visit the DI

Today in the Antarctica Hall at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a meeting was held with students from the Diplomacy and International Relations program, within the framework of the memorandum of cooperation between the DI and the Plovdiv-based Paisii Hilendarski University and DIs Open Doors program. Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the DI, welcomed the guests and introduced them to the history and mission of the Institute. She emphasized the Institutes key contribution in promoting and introducing modern training for diplomats. Also one of the topics that were discussed was the role of the Institute, as a gateway between civil society and the government that allows a two-way exchange of information.

Mrs. Silvana Cokova, head of the Public Affairs and Cooperation department at the Institute, told the students about its public activities. She also detailed the opportunities that DI offers students, like its internship program, essay contests, and the opportunity to publish ones written work. The Institutes current set of interns also took part in the discussion, sharing experiences and impressions of their time at the Institute.

The current political events in Bulgaria and the European agenda such as the case of the UK referendum on secession from the EU and the possible implications for the future of the Unions model and Bulgarias upcoming presidency of the EU Council in 2018 became focal points in the discussion following the presentation. The students and their instructor, Professor Valentin Petrusenko, received the newest publication of the Diplomatic Institute, and were taken on a short tour of the MFA and the library of the DI.

27.06.2016

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22.06.2016

Training in Public Diplomacy and Diplomatic Protocol

From 20 to 22 June, a specialized course on Public Diplomacy and Diplomatic Protocol, organized by the Diplomatic Institute for state administration employees and NGO representatives, was held. Over the three-day training, topics such as intercultural communication, cultural diplomacy, the role of the media in conducting public diplomacy, and the specifics of state and international protocol - were discussed. At the conclusion, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova handed certificates to the participants in the Square 500 Gallery, where they had the opportunity to go on a guided tour of an art exhibition.

20.06.2016

The DI Takes Part in the MFAs Open Doors Day

At the Open Doors Day in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building, the Diplomatic Institute displayed brochures on its activities, as well as photographs from organized events and training seminars. Special attention was paid to the publications of the Institute from recent years, including all 15 issues of Diplomacy journal. The stand generated interest mainly among young people, who showed enthusiasm in foreign policy issues the Institutes primary focus - as well as in the DIs wide range of trainings and educational seminars. The Institutes most recent editions were given to visitors who donated to the Karin Dom Foundation, whose founder, Ivan Stanchov, is a former Bulgarian ambassador.

The two interactive events organized by the Institute a student-led discussion on potential public image strategies for Bulgaria during the its upcoming presidency of the EU Council, and a simulation exercise on The Art of Negotiating, also generated much interest among the visitors. In the opening of the discussion, the Director of DI Tanya Mihaylova underlined that the interactive method of teaching is the one most commonly used to train diplomats. She introduced the students to the debate by stating that to mark the upcoming Bulgarian presidency, the state administration is preparing to bring a discussion on Bulgarias image in Europe and the world to the forefront.

17.06.2016

The DI Receives Prestigious Award

Ms. Tanya Mihaylova was awarded an honorary certificate from the Bulgarian Cartographic Association at the 6th International Conference on Cartography in Albena. The prize was awarded to mark her contribution to Bulgarian cartography, namely through the exhibitions of historical maps organized by the Institute. The latter were presented at the UN headquarters in New York and in the House of Europe in Tbilisi as part of the international geographic project, The Sea Brings All That is Distant Together, while the The European Discovery of the Black Sea exhibition was shown at the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Paris.

The core of the exhibition is composed of a collection of antique maps donated to the Bulgarian State Archives by Dr. Simeon Simov, a Bulgarian national based in Germany and Italy. Prof. Temenujka Bandrova, Chairman of the Bulgarian Cartographic Association, awarded Tanya Mihaylova at the conference co-organized with the International Cartographic Association. It was attended by over 150 prominent representatives of the international cartographic community from 40 different countries.

15.06.2016

The Migration Crisis: Long-term Implications for the European Union

On June 15, an international conference titled Long-Term Consequences of the Migration Crisis for the European Union was held by the Diplomatic Institute at the House of Europe. It was organized with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation as part of a calendar of events marking Bulgarias current chairmanship of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP). In her opening speech, Director of the Institute Tanya Mihaylova noted that migration, which is a global process, can be a positive for countries with a population decline, but it can also be a negative when done illegally. Thus, the European Union needs to debate on a new policy on the issue of migration. In this sense, she said, it will be interesting to observe how the media reflects a conference that offers such a debate.

Deputy Interior Minister Philip Gounev focused on the long-term consequences of the migration wave. He warned that the national security budget has been increasingly (now at about 20%) allocated on border security. He also maintained that there is now proof that terrorism inside the EU is directly connected to the migrant wave. In the long-term, crime rates were expected to rise. Dr. Klaus Fiesinger, Regional Director of the Hanns Seidel Foundation, said that at present, the Balkan migrant route is closed, but the problems persist. He noted that Tirana was also concerned that migrants could start moving through Albania. Panel moderator Dr. Erhan Turbedar, Senior Policy Adviser at the Regional Cooperation Council, said that we are still at the beginning stages of cooperation. Mr. Milenko Nikich, Adviser to the Minister of Labour, Employment, and Social Policy of the Republic of Serbia, suggested that the migrant wave has been organized by someone. HE Ms. Louise Bergholm, Ambassador of Sweden to Bulgaria, explained that her country has a need for migrants, though at present the capacity is filled. The authorities make every effort to care for migrants, especially for the children. Prof. Eckart Stratenschulte, Director of the European Academy in Berlin, focused on the structural changes that have occurred as a result of the current crises. He stressed that the migration crisis is one a number of crises challenging Europe at the moment.

13.06.2016

Seminar on Energy Diplomacy for Diplomats and Public Servants of Macedonia

From 8 June till 10 June 2016 in Ohrid, Macedonia, a seminar on energy diplomacy was held, organized by the Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, together with the Diplomatic Academy to Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia, and the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation in Bulgaria. The event was officially launched by Mrs. Adelina Marku Director of Macedonian Diplomatic Academy, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, and Mr. Bogdan Mirchev representative of the Hanns Seidel Foundation for Bulgaria. Thirty-three diplomats and representatives of the Macedonian state administration dealing with foreign policy and, in particular, with the current energy issues and problems in the context of European integration, took part in the seminar. The subjects that were discussed included the international legal order in the energy sector, EU policy on energy security, the current status of energy projects in Southeastern Europe, regional energy markets, and energy relations between the EU and the Republic of Macedonia in the context of the latters accession process to the European Union. Ambassador Lachezar Matev and Mr. Slavcho Neykov - energy experts with significant contributions to the field, led the seminar.

During the seminar, Mr. Nikola Popovski, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia, visited the group. He welcomed the initiative of both the BDI and the Diplomatic Academy to the MFA of Macedonia, and thanked the lectors for their cooperation and willingness to share experiences in decision-making in the energy sector and in the process of European integration. He drew attention to the need for the regular organization of events of this kind, expressing satisfaction with the fruitful cooperation between the two educational institutions.

Successful graduates were awarded certificates and specialized publications of the Diplomatic Institute for their active participation, and they in turn thanked the organizers for the idea and the realization of this joint regional project.

Initiatives like this one by the Diplomatic Institute have solidified Bulgaria as one of the most effective participants in regional cooperation on European issues. This is a policy of sharing experience and expertise that the Institute plans to keep maintaining and pursuing.

13.06.2016

12th Edition of the Course in Consular Diplomacy Concludes

From April 4 to May 20, the twelfth course on consular diplomacy - organized by the Diplomatic Institute - was held in cooperation with the Consular Relations Directorate of the Foreign Ministry. Experts in the field were invited to lecture from the Consular Relations Directorate at the MFA, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice, and other institutions. During the course, students underwent several different forms of practical training related to the certification and legalization of documents, the preparation of civil status documentation, the specifics of working with the National Visa Information System and biometrics, and the examination of key studies on the primary issues concerning Bulgarian citizens abroad. The program included a practical training at the Consular Office of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Moscow, which was later assessed as the courses most useful feature. The course, which is mandatory for the preparation of all consular officials prior to their departure on a mission abroad, concluded with a written and oral examination before a panel. The last day of the course was marked by an official ceremony in which the successful participants were awarded a certificate by Mr. Rakovski Lashev, Director of Consular Relations Directorate and Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomacy Institute. Ms. Marinela Atanasova, who took part in the course, handed a thank-you letter on behalf of all participants to the organizers of the event.

10.06.2016

A Specialized Training Improves the Skills of Experts from the National Coordination Mechanism on Human Rights

A training seminar on human rights was organized at the Bulgarian MFA from June 6 to June 8 by the Diplomatic Institute in partnership with the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. Over thirty diplomats and officials from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior, the State Agency for Refugees, the Administration of the Ombudsman, the Commission for Protection Against Discrimination, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, and the National Institute of Justice took part in the interactive exercises, learning how to compile resolutions, decision-making in the context of national positions, as well as the editing and presentation of reports and interviews on specific topics with the Special Representative of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Mrs. Camelia Kemileva, Executive Director of the Geneva Academy was the keynote speaker. Mrs. Kemileva is an experienced diplomat and administrator of the Council on Human Rights, as well as an organizer of similar courses at foreign affairs ministries throughout Europe. The training program took into account both the short and long-term commitments of Bulgaria in the field of human rights. The course was proposed with a practical orientation to enhance and improve the expertise of responsible officials involved in the Country Coordinating Mechanism on Human Rights. Experts from the Commission for Protection Against Discrimination expressed satisfaction that the focus of the training is on current issues in the human rights sphere, stressing the need for ongoing and thorough assimilation of accepted humanitarian and legal practices whose role is expanding not only in the European Union, but also worldwide.

10.06.2016

Meeting of DIs Director with Ethiopias Newly Accredited Ambassador to Bulgaria

Today, the Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, met with HE Mr. Negash Kebret Botora the newly accredited Ambassador to Bulgaria from the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Various areas in which cooperation between the two institutions can be realized were discussed, with an emphasis placed on training activities and energy diplomacy.

09.06.2016

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02.06.2016

16th Edition of the European Diplomatic Program Wraps Up

From May 30 to June 1, 2016, the final module of the 16th edition of the European Diplomatic Program took place in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. The Program, spread over four modules, aims at promoting a common European diplomacy, the role of the EU as a global actor, and the creation of a professional network. From the Bulgarian side, Ms. Silvana Tsokova, head of the Public Activities and Cooperation department at the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, took part in the interactive training format. This edition, entitled "New Challenges and Global Issues in Contemporary Diplomacy", was organized by the European External Action Service, together with the rotating presidencies of Luxembourg and the Netherlands, as well as the Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations. The event was attended by over 60 diplomats and experts from EU member states and European institutions.

The start of the trainings date back to the first module, held in November 2015 in Luxembourg, followed by the third module, held in April of this year in Brussels, and then by a forth module that includes presentations and discussions on topical issues on the EUs agenda, such as security, sustainable development, energy, economy, and migration. Interactive activities followed, including case studies on the subjects discussed, drawing up foreign policy positions within the working groups, conducting talks in a real workplace environment, effective communication with target groups, development of a communication strategy and materials, carrying out simulations of work sessions of the EU Council, and techniques for creating professional networks. The second module of the edition was held in various member states of the Union, with each participant visiting the country of his or her choice. Ms. Tsokova visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, where workshops with experts from the ministry had been organized for participants. Among the topics discussed were the foreign policy priorities and positions of Portugal, the experience of the country in the sphere of education, current conflicts in states neighboring the EU, the activities of the Portuguese Diplomatic Institute, and opportunities for cooperation.

In the fourth module, meetings in the form of seminars and discussions between the heads of training departments in the ministries of foreign affairs and diplomatic academies and institutes in the member states were held. From the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Biliana Decheva - head of the Training, Research, and Project Activities department attended. At the end of the Program, the participants and department heads received certificates marking their successful completion.

02.06.2016

Students from the Mihai Eminescu High School Visit the DI

Today in Antarctica hall, junior high school students from the Mihai Eminescu Vocational School with an intensive study of the Romanian language, made a visit to the Institute. Led by the schools principal, Ms. Nezabravka Tasseva, and teachers of the class, the youths met with representatives from the Diplomatic Institute within the framework of the DIs Open Doors Program.

At the meeting, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the DI, and Ms. Silvana Tsokova, head of the Public Activities and Cooperation department, familiarized the students with the mission and functions of the Diplomatic Institute and the mission of the Bulgarian diplomatic service. Ambassador Peter Vodenski, former ambassador of Bulgaria to Turkey, Moldova, and Cyprus - and current consultant at the Institute, shared his professional experience with the audience, and elaborated on the qualities and traits desirable in a successful diplomat.

A discussion followed, in which students expressed their interest in what a typical workday looks like for a diplomat, the countries in which Bulgaria has diplomatic missions, how communication between them and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is carried out, and the description of those consular employees. Mrs. Mihaylova then stirred up a debate among the members of the young audience regarding which aspects of the history, culture, and traditions of Bulgaria can be used to promote the image of the country inside the EU in the context of its upcoming presidency of the EU Council in 2018.

31.05.2016

Specialized course "Public Diplomacy and Diplomatic Protocol"

From June 20-22 2016, the Diplomatic Institute will hold a specialized course - "Public Diplomacy and Diplomatic Protocol". The course is tailored to those in the diplomatic service, public administration, and representatives of the academic and non-governmental sphere, and examines topics such as intercultural communication, cultural diplomacy, the role of the media in conducting public diplomacy, as well as specifics of state and international protocol.

The training is full-time and will be held on the premises of the Foreign Ministry. Experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Diplomatic Institute, and professors from leading Bulgarian universities have been invited to lecture.

Working language - Bulgarian. The fee for the course is 180 levs. To participate in the course, applicants must submit an application to the Director of the institute, accompanied by a current CV. Deadline for applications: June 13, 2016. For further information, please contact Marina Vladimirova, tel. : 02/807 6440, E-mail: marina.vladimirova@mfa.bg.

30.05.2016

The Diplomatic Institute Joins the Elite International Training Consortium

On May 30 2016, the Diplomatic Institute joined ENTRi, "Europe's New Training Initiative for Civilian Crisis Management, a prestigious international educational consortium. ENTRi aims to strengthen staff capacity for international missions requiring civilian crisis management, while promoting interoperability and harmonization between the approaches to learning of the various partners.

Currently, twelve elite educational institutions are taking part in ENTRi, including the Dutch Clingendael Institute of International Relations, Frances National School of Administration - ENA, the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations in Belgium, the ZIF Center for International Peacekeeping Operations in Germany, etc.

The addition of the Diplomatic Institute to the prestigious Consortium will enable the DI to organize narrowly specialized trainings in civil crisis management.

26.05.2016

Presentation of the specialized magazine "Diplomacy and Environment"

Today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a specialized publication by the Diplomatic Institute featuring authors Dr. Valentin Katrandjiev and Ms. Boryana Argirova was presented in Antarctica hall. "Diplomacy and Environment" is a monograph that focuses on four key dimensions of environmental diplomacy - air, the Arctic, the ozone, and water - by analyzing the international legal regimes and multilateral negotiations in the field of environmental protection.

Following the authors opening remarks, a discussion featuring representatives of both governmental institutions and academia took place. All highlighted this issues benefits for Bulgarian diplomacy covering a wide range of issues related to the environment. Topics such as Bulgaria's contribution to the protection of the environment and international cooperation in this field were discussed. The participants agreed on the idea of a timely resolution of these problems for the sake of a better future.

Dr. Katrandjiev and Ms. Argirova concluded the presentation by identifying their monograph as a basis for upgrade and renewals of the current basis of knowledge on this issue, as the present situation will undoubtedly evolve.

18-21.05.2016

The Sea Brings All That is Distant Together in Tbilisi
Working visit in Georgia

From May 18th - 21st, Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomacy Institute, travelled to Tbilisi, Georgia on a working visit. At the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the presence of His Excellency Mr. Plamen Bonchev, Ambassador of Bulgaria in Tbilisi, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, and Ms. Mia Kipshidze - Director of the Levan Mikeladze Diplomatic Training Center a memorandum of cooperation was signed between the represented institutions.

On May 20th, in the House of Europe in Georgia, the exhibition The Sea Brings All That is Distant Together was opened. The focus of the exhibition centered around old geographical maps of the Black Sea and was organized by the Diplomatic Institute and the Bulgarian embassy in Tbilisi, in partnership with the Black Sea Strandja Association and the municipality of Nessebar. The opening of the event was attended by ambassadors from over ten countries, representatives from the National Museum of History, the National Library, and other institutions. The exhibition was presented by Ambassador Bonchev and Ms. Mihaylova.

During her visit to Georgia, Ms. Mihaylova also visited the city of Akhaltsikhe, where she opened a photography exhibition by Ivo Hadjimishev, whose work depicts medieval Bulgarian manuscripts from the Ivan Duichev Centre, as well as icons from the Bachkovo Monastery.

Exhibition catalog (pdf, A3, 28 MB)

20.05.2016

Memorandum of Cooperation with the Diplomatic Academy of Bangladesh

Today at the Council of Ministers, a memorandum of cooperation between the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria and the Diplomatic Academy Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of Bangladesh was signed. The memorandum provides for an exchange in the field of training, research, and public activities between the two institutions. The signing took place in the framework of the official visit to Bulgaria by a Bangladeshi delegation in the presence of prime ministers of the two countries, Mr. Boyko Borisov and Mrs. Sheikh Hasina.

On the Bulgarian side, the document was signed by Mr. Valentin Poryazov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and member of the National Advisory Board of DI and by Bangladesh - HE Mr. Allama Siddiqui, accredited Ambassador of the People's Republic of Bangladesh to Bulgaria.

20.05.2016

Diplomacy and Regional Security Seminar Concludes

Today marked the conclusion of the specialized international seminar, Diplomacy and Regional Security. Certificates of successful completion were handed to the participants by Mr. Slavcho Neykov - Chairman of the Board at the Energy Management Institute and longtime partner and lecturer at the Diplomatic Institute, and Dr. Valentin Katrandjiev, Chief Expert at the Training, Research, and Project Activities department at the Institute.

The seminar two-week long seminar focused on current foreign policy issues, such as the principle issues related to present-day security - cyber security, migration, terrorism, energy security, etc.

During the second week of the specialized training, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Kosovo, Romania, Hungary and the Netherlands.

During the seminar, an offsite workshop at the Training Center for Emergencies at the G.S. Rakovski Military Academy was organized, where participants had the opportunity to observe the simulation of a level 5 earthquake on the Richter scale in the city center, as well as to learn about measures in case of an actual emergency.

19.05.2016

Book Donation at the Diplomatic Institutes Library

For a second consecutive year, the library of the Diplomatic Institute received a donation of books from prof. Nikolay Chervenkov. Prof. Chervenkov is a Ukrainian-Moldovan expert on Bulgaria, doctor habilitat of history, Chairman of the Scientific Society of Bulgarian Studies in the Republic of Moldova and was the first president (2004-2010) of the Gregory Tsamblak Thracian State University in the city of Taraclia, Moldova. In addition to being an honorary associate professor at the Moldovan State University and Chisinau State Pedagogical University, prof. Chervenkov is the recipient of numerous awards and honors by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

The donation was accepted on behalf of the Diplomatic Institute by Ms. Silvana Tsokova, head of the Public Activities and Cooperation department. Two former Bulgarian Ambassadors to Moldova - Peter Vodenski - now a consultant at the Institute, and Georgi Panayotov, head of the Caucasus and Central Asia division at the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were also in attendance. The following publications were donated: Moldovan-Bulgarian Relations: History and Culture, Nicolay Chervenkov, Ivan Duminica, 2016; Church of Our Lady of Assumption Chirsova Village Historical Perspectives, Nikolay Chervenkov; Ivan Duminika, Bulgarian Settlers in Bessarabia at the End of the XVIII and First Half of the XIX Century in Historiography Editors: K. Kaltchev, N. Chervenkov. Chisinau: 2015, and Ethnology and Cultural Studies magazine - journal of ethnology and cultural studies, Academy of Sciences of Moldova. The books are in Bulgarian, Russian, and Romanian language, written in the field of Moldovan-Bulgarian relations and are available at the library of the Diplomatic Institute.

16.05.2016

Participation of DI Director in Spring School for Young Diplomats in Prizren, Kosovo

Between May 8 - 14 2016, the Friedrich Ebert Diplomatic Academy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, held its third Spring School for Young Diplomats in Prizren, Kosovo. "The Challenges of Modern Diplomacy" was the principal theme of the seminar. It was attended by representatives from 14 states and four continents. Slavcho Neykov, a member of the National Advisory Board of the Diplomatic Institute took part as a lecturer and expert on energy policy.

The seminar included a round table - "Diplomatic Training: Priorities and Challenges" - attended by five heads of diplomatic institutes and academies in Southeastern Europe, was held. Directors from Bulgaria, Turkey, Croatia, Kosovo and Montenegro discussed topical issues related to diplomacy and the diplomatic profession with young diplomats.

10.05.2016

Editor-in-Chief of Al-Jazeera Newspaper Guest Lectures at the Diplomatic Institute

Today, a public lecture by the Editor-In-Chief of Al-Jazeera newspaper, Khalid bin Hamad Al-Malik, organized by the Diplomatic Institute at Antarctica hall, was held to exceptional public interest. His topic of choice, Efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Combating Terrorism", attracted nearly twenty ambassadors - most from Middle Eastern states - as well as representatives from NGOs and academia. Al-Malik has an impressive resume, having headed the 50-year-old newspaper for over four decades. As Director of the Institute, Tanya Mihaylova remarked at the opening of the lecture, the Saudi newspaper is much older than the Qatar-based television channel of the same name.

Al-Malik argues that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not provoke terrorism, and rather that the country itself has been the subject of endless terrorist attacks. He detailed the grim chronology of attacks that began in 1979. The bottom line is thousands killed wounded policemen and civilians, including many foreign nationals. Over this time, Saudi authorities have been involved in over 500 shoot-outs with terrorists. How does Saudi Arabia respond to this? The kingdom is a member of a coalition of 50 European and Muslim-majority states, with which it has signed a memorandum of cooperation. To date, over 12 000 terrorists have been placed under arrest, some of whom have been released after desisting their insurgent activities. For others, a fair trial was held. The Internet has been brought under control. Saudi Arabia relies on prevention by organizing various informational events for citizens, and especially for schools. Al-Malik also stressed that the State of Israel has nothing to do with this terrorism. He also noted that terrorists use Islam as an shield, creating anti-Islamic sentiment throughout the world in the process.

09.05.2016

Diplomacy and Regional Security International Seminar

A two-week international seminar - Diplomacy and Regional Security - organized by the Diplomatic Institute, was launched today at the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Institute delivered the opening remarks.

Based on the course on military diplomacy one that is fundamental to the work program of the Diplomatic Institute, the seminar examines topics and issues related military-political issues, foreign policy, migration, energy, and the virtual dimension of security. The thematic scope of the seminar will focus on topics such as the economics and politics of regional security, the nature of hybrid warfare; the Syrian civil war through the lens of regional and global geopolitics; the place the EU in the system of international relations: the new Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy for the European Union; geopolitical challenges in the Greater Middle East, and the future of the Schengen area in the context of the migration crisis - open doors or new walls. Twenty representatives from the state administration and institutions working in the field of security are taking part in the first week of training.

25.04.2016

Debate with MEPs: "Impact of the Syrian Crisis on the Security of the European Union"

The Diplomatic Institute and the Information Office of the European Parliament in Bulgaria organized a public discussion on "The impact of the Syrian Crisis on the Security of the European Union: Regional and Global Aspects" at the House of Europe. It was attended by the Vice-President of the European Commission Kristalina Georgieva, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament Elmar Brok, as well as Bulgarian MEPs Andrey Kovachev and Georgi Pirinski. Director of the DI Tanya Mihaylova and the head of the Information Office, Theodore Stoychev opened the event, while Assoc. Prof. Zdravko Popov, first director of the Institute and a member of the National Advisory Council, moderated the debate.

The discussion is the first event within the framework of the DI initiative "Debate Sessions with MEPs", one of the aims of which is to prepare members of the state administration involved in the upcoming Bulgarian presidency of the EU Council in 2018 for dialogue and cooperation between the institutions of the EU.

Kristalina Georgieva spoke of the times we live in, where wars are fought by people who have no interest in engaging in dialogue with governments, and whose aim is to terrorize us. Most frightening is the situation in Syria, from where the rising tsunami of potential refugees are coming into Europe. She raised three main questions put forth by the EUs High Representative Federica Mogherini: what position does Europe occupy, where do we stand now, how to reach a set of commonly acceptable solutions. Kristalina Georgieva stressed that the EU is the worlds largest donor, with a budget of 58 billion euro this year, a 15% increase from 2014, allocated to provide for the development of non-EU countries.

Daniel Mitov focused on the situation in Syria, a country experiencing a persistent breach of its territorial integrity as a result of the delegitimization of the ruling regime and of the violent clashes between various groups. This is a win for Daesh, the Minister underlined. He outlined the two most pressing issues in the Mediterranean region and in Europe - terrorist organizations and human trafficking, which require common solutions and more integration in the EU.

Elmar Brok emphasized the common defense and common border of the Union, which must cooperate not only with Turkey, but also with the USA and Russia. He concluded that the carrot and stick method require the use of both in order to be effective. Andrei Kovachev pointed out that the EU houses only 7% of the global population, produces 25% of the world's goods, and the size of the armies of its member states is larger than those of the US and Russia combined. He welcomed the idea of establishing a European intelligence agency. Georgi Pirinski put social security in the EU at the forefront of the discussion, stressing that an increasing number of people in Europe are living in poverty. Their number now exceeds 124 million, amounting to a fifth of all European citizens. It would not be possible to manage an increasing number of refugees while having 28 different policies on the issue.

The discussion, attended by over 140 people, was broadcast live on www.europarl.bg.

25.04.2016

Fourth specialized course "Diplomacy and Environment"

Today, the Director of the Diplomatic Institute launched the fourth edition of the specialized course "Diplomacy and the Environment". In her speech, Ms. Mihaylova focused on the relationship between energy diplomacy and the environment, adding that the issue is becoming increasingly relevant, not only as it concerns the EU, but globally.

Over the four-day course, a number of topics will be discussed - international environmental regimes (including climate, water, ozone, and the Arctic), multilateral diplomacy in the field of environmental protection, EU policy in the field of climate change, environmental and technological risks in the Black Sea basin, and others. For the first time, a visit to the plant for mechanical and biological waste treatment will be included in the program. Participants will be able to see the logistics of household waste gathering, processing, disposal, and recycling in the municipality of Sofia.

The training was attended by representatives of the MFA, the state administration, the private sector, and academia.

21.04.2016

Seminar with NATO Head of Communications

Today, a seminar featuring Steven Mehringer, Head of Communication Services in NATOs Public Diplomacy Division, was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Antarctica Hall. The seminar was organized by the Diplomatic Institute for employees of the public relations departments and press centers from various spheres of the countrys state administration. Before his colleagues, Mr. Mehringer shared his experience regarding the digital development of NATO, focusing on the activity and transparency of social networks - priorities for success in the digital approach of any government organization. He stressed that in today's world, it is the main method of raising public awareness on the nature of the work, mission, and goals of each institution and, through open dialogue, to the building of confidence in its leaders.

For NATO, digitization was not an easy process; prior to it, the organization was living in the Stone Age, said the head of communications, who has held the position for the past five years. During this time, his team worked on the integration of all media - from television to the site, and through social networks. The key is to tell human stories, not to publish official announcements, whose language is incomprehensible to the audience. The goal of the Alliances media outlets is to reach people and to establish credibility. His duties include the oversight of a communication centre and information management centre that manage information and analyze the impact it has on the audience. Journalists in the communication department are given freedom of thought and expression, said Mehringer and gave the example of coverage of a protest against the NATO summit in Chicago by the organizations television channel. Another key to success in digital communications is the use of language specific to each social network. NATO includes social network users, by organizing competitions and prizes such as exclusive access to trainings, via a photo contest, or to the new headquarters of NATO in Brussels through a contest to create the new logo. Three quarters of poll respondents readers and viewers - approved of NATOs actions, but most were still unfamiliar with its values. Visits to the website of the Alliance and followers on other communication channels have seen a three-fold increase over the past two years.

Earlier that day, at the Central Military Club, Stephen Mehringer held a public discussion - "NATO The Social Network Race", organized by the National Digital Coalition with the assistance of the Diplomatic Institute. The purpose of the discussion was to inform audiences about the policies and methods of NATO's evolving multimedia platforms and technologies. Mr. Mehringer stressed that a flexible outlook towards change and technological advancement is key to retaining publics interest in multimedia platforms of international governmental organizations such as NATO.

20.04.2016

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18.04.2016

Presentation of Dr. Jasmine Popovas New Book at the National Institute of Justice

On April 18, in room 201 of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), a presentation of the new book by Prof. Dr. Jasmine Popova, "The European Union after the Treaty of Lisbon", published by the Diplomatic Institute with the support of the Hans Seidel Foundation, was held before an audience of junior judges and public prosecutors.

At the start of the event, Mr. Dragomir Yordanov - Director of the NIJ, praised the author and publishers for the high academic value of the work, and gave the floor to Mr Alexander Arabadjiev, the first Bulgarian judge to preside at the European Court of Justice. He drew attention to some of the highlights of the book and highlighted the role of Prof. Dr. Popova as a pioneer in the sphere of European law in Bulgaria. Judge Arabadziev gave an overview of some of the characteristics of EU law, and the ever-growing role of the Union in protecting fundamental human rights and freedoms. He stressed that the judicial system of the EU is not limited to the Court of Justice and includes all national courts of the member states. In his words, one of the main tasks of future magistrates is to work towards the establishment of the rule of law in Bulgaria, which would contribute to the termination of the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification imposed on Bulgaria by the European Commission.

Prof. Popova also spoke, thanking the publishers and explaining that the book is intended to show how to create, implement, monitor and penalize European law. She stressed that Bulgaria is facing a very important task, namely the presidency of the EU Council in 2018, where it will co-chair with Estonia and the UK. In this respect, she described as necessary to build key skills and competencies (foreign language skills, negotiation, and mediation) in the state administration in order to successfully deal with this responsible role. Prof. Popova emphasized the importance of the referendum on remaining in the EU, which will be held in the UK and, regardless of its outcome, will have implications for the development of the Union in the coming years. The presentation was also attended by Mrs Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Mr. Bogdan Mirchev - representative of the Hanns Seidel Foundation, officials of the National Institute of Justice, representatives of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Judicial Council, and the media.

08.04.2016

Certificates for Participants in the European Year for Development

Today, representatives of the Diplomatic Institute attended a discussion on "Governance Deficit in the Management of Culture", held at St. Kliment Ohridski University and organized by the Faculty of Philosophy, moderated by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Albena Taneva. The audience included students majoring in public administration at the university, and students from the National Academy of Music, which with Prof. Taneva as their mentor, took part in the Young Educating Youth initiative in the framework of the European Year for Development DI.

At the invitation of the organizers, DI Director Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, handed diplomas to students for their active participation in the project and for their contribution to the realization of the aims and messages of the European Year for Development. Diploma was handed out and 134 Dimcho Debelyanov School to support the initiative in the person of its director and students. In the context of the discussion, Ms. Mihaylova noted the importance of getting young people involved in similar projects as a way to build up future managerial capacity. She stressed the role of the Diplomatic Institute in improving communication between government, academia and NGOs, as well as the preparation of the Bulgarian administration in the field of public diplomacy.

08.04.2016

Visit to DI students from the University of Insurance and Finance

Today, students from the Bulgarian University of Insurance and Finance visited the Diplomatic Institute within the framework of the Open Doors Program of the Institute. During the visit, held in Antarctica Hall at the MFA, Silvana Tsokova - head of the Public Activities and Cooperation department familiarize students with the history, functions, activities and future initiatives DI. Particular attention was drawn to the various opportunities for young people, it offers - internship program, participation in essay competitions, and publications in the online Diplomacy journal, access to a comprehensive library and the EBSCO electronic database, participation at a later stage of academic and professional development in some of the training formats, and joint initiatives with students and academics. Students currently interning at DI also shared information with the guests about their work at the Institute. The meeting ended with a visit to the library of the Diplomatic Institute, where books dating back to the 18th century are also held.

05.04.2016

Students from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna Visit the Diplomatic Institute

On April 5, in the framework of the Open Doors Program of the Diplomatic Institute, a meeting of students from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna with representatives from the DI and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took place. In the first part of the meeting, Ms Silvana Tsokova, head of the Public Activities and Cooperation department at the Institute, familiarized the students with its the history, mission, and functions, as well as its current activities and future initiatives. In the second part, Mr. Krasimir Kostov, Director of the Bilateral European Cooperation department at the MFA, elaborated on with the basic foreign policy priorities of Bulgaria and other issues such as the role of the Visegrad Group in the region, economic development of the European Union and the importance of Bulgaria in it the role of our country in the refugee crisis. The meeting ended in a discussion, with students showing a particular interest in Bulgaria-Russia diplomatic relations, as well as in the specifics of career development for Bulgarian diplomats.

04.04.2016

"Global Strategy for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU: Moving Towards a More Secure Europe" - Discussion

A discussion titled "Global Strategy for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU: Moving Towards a More Secure Europe" was organized by the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies of the EU (EUISS), and took place at the House of Europe in Sofia. The discussion is part of a series of 40 meetings of the Director of IESIS, Dr. Antonio Missiroli, with representatives of member states. The meeting are focused on the new security strategy, the results of which will be presented in June.

DI Director Ms. Tanya Mihaylova launched the conference, greeting guests on Atlantic Solidarity Day. In her opening speech she pointed out that today. the European Union is facing its most serious challenges yet in its 61-year history.

These challenges are of strategic, civilizational, political military, migratory, socio-economic, demographic, technological, and hybrid-informational nature. The previous European Security Strategy, adopted in 2003, has run its course, while the new strategic document should not remain an elitist, bureaucratic creation.

Dr. Missiroli stressed that its purpose is not to lecture, but to hear the voices of the citizens of all member states of the Union, alongside which discussions with Foreign Ministers and the European Parliament are to be held. He highlighted the need to look for the common interest of all countries in the EU, and pointed to five key priorities: defence, Atlantic solidarity, countering terrorism, cyber security, and the efficient management of migration flows.The discussion was attended by prof. Plamen Pantev from Sofia, prof. Dinko Dinkov of National and World Economy, Ambassador Lyubomir Kyuchukov, Director of the Institute for Economic and International Relations, prof. Ognyan Minchev, Chairman of the Institute for Regional and International Studies, and Ms Ursula Palash, Senior Policy Advisor in Strategic Planning Department of the European External Action Service.

01.04.2016

Director of DI takes part in "Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council in 2018: Challenges and Opportunities" Seminar

On April 1 2016, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute took part in a "Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council in 2018: Challenges and Opportunities" seminar, organized by the Student Diplomatic Club. In the Aula Magna Hall of Sofia University, Ms. Mihaylova presented a working plan for the preparation of the Bulgarian administration for Bulgarias presidency of the EU Council to the students, and spoke about the assembled working groups and their functions. In more details, she presented the role of the Diplomatic Institute - one of the two educational institutions, together with the Institute of Public Administration, which will be responsible for increasing the knowledge, skill set, and competencies of civil servants on the team of Bulgarias rotation at the head of the Council. She also stressed the importance of the presidency of the EU Council as an opportunity to improve the image of Bulgaria throughout the European Union, and noted that the UKs EU referendum, regardless of its outcome, will be a challenge for Bulgaria in view of the fact that both Bulgaria and the UK, together with Estonia, will be co-chairing. Ms. Mihaylova commended the students on their interest on a topic that has not yet fully reached the focus of widespread public attention, and urged them to continue to participate actively in the debate on the presidency, especially with regard to issues such as the choice of the official logo and slogan. The seminar was attended by Mr. Velislav Ivanov from the non-governmental organisation, blEUprint. The seminar was followed by a discussion during which students had the opportunity to ask questions.

25.03.2016

Course on Public Diplomacy Concludes

March 25th marked the conclusion of the course on Public Diplomacy in the context of the upcoming Bulgarian presidency of the European Union Council in 2018, organized by the Diplomatic Institute from March 21 25 of this year. Representatives of the state administration took part in the course. During the training, pupils were acquainted with the various aspects of public diplomacy - cultural diplomacy, museum policy, the role of the media and NGOs, as well as Bulgarian and foreign practices in this area. A number of practical exercises were also held. The focus of the lectures was the acquirement of knowledge and techniques key to improving the country's image during its presidency of the Council. On the last day of the course, participants prepared proposals for a positive presentation and promotion of Bulgarias image abroad. Attendance to the premiere of Vicenzo Bellini's Norma at the Sofia Opera and Ballet, and the receiving of certificates of completion for the 36 participants marked the end of the seminar.

23.03.2016

Presentation of Prof. Jasmine Popovas new book at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Prof. Dr. Jasmine Popovas new book, "The European Union after the Treaty of Lisbon", was presented to officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event was organized by the books publisher, the Diplomatic Institute, in collaboration with the Hanns Seidel Foundation. Mr Andrey Tehov, Director General for European Affairs at the MFA, also attended the event. The director of the Institute, Ms Tanya Mihaylova, stressed that the book is an extremely useful for the Bulgarian administration, while ambassador Tehov underlined that a thorough analysis of all changes after the Treaty of Lisbon has been published for the first time in Bulgarian, and that it will be desktop reading for the upcoming Bulgarian Presidency of the European Union Council in 2018. It enables us to understand how to determine and defend Bulgarian interests. According to Prof. Popova, the book is intended to show how to create, implement, monitor and sanction European law. Among the equal EU member states one country is more important than others, and it is precisely the one that is presiding. Its position requires it to oversee the process of preparing, moderating, and making decisions. Its role is especially important when a consensus is due to be reached. This is when the representatives of the presiding country must first be aware of the positions of the various participating countries and be able to bring them together.

Jasmine Popova is a Doctor of Law and Professor of International Law, International Relations, and European Union Law at the Institute of State and Law of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and at the Faculty of Law at the Plovdiv University Paisii Hilendarski. She is the author of the first Bulgarian textbook on EU law, more than 100 scientific publications in Bulgarian and foreign editions, 7 monographs, and is the editor of the Bulgarian-language European Law Review journal. She has extensive experience as a diplomatic official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Legal Adviser to the former President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Dr. Zhelyu Zhelev, as well as Head of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg.

21.03.2016

Course on Public Diplomacy

Today, the seminar titled Public Diplomacy in the context of the Bulgarian presidency of the EU Council in 2018 began.

The training was opened with a welcome by Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, director of the DI. The course comprised of 37 participants - representatives of MFA, the state administration and the private sector.

In view of the upcoming Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council in 2018, the Diplomatic Institute strives to improve the image of the country inside the Union, and the perception of European policies within Bulgarian society itself. The course is designed to familiarize the participants with the main topics in the field of public diplomacy - foundations and tools of public diplomacy, the media environment, and the sharing of international experience. The training seminar also included various practical exercises.

On the first day of the course, Dr. Zdravko Popov and Prof. Alexander Fedotov of Sofia University, shared their expertise in the field of public diplomacy and intercultural shared environmental problems. An upcoming series of lectures delivered by leading Bulgarian and foreign diplomats, experts, and practitioners on topics including cultural diplomacy, museum policy and the EU, tourism as an element of public diplomacy, the role of NGOs in the context of the Presidency, Bulgaria's image before the world in the context of its Presidency over the EU Council in 2018, etc.

18.03.2016

Certificates handed to participants in the eleventh edition of the Winter School of Diplomacy seminar

Today marked the conclusion of the eleventh edition of the annual Winter School of Diplomacy seminar, attended by over 20 representatives of the youngest generation of diplomats from countries in Southeastern Europe, the Black Sea region and EU member states. The theme this year was "Policies of EU and NATO in Southeastern Europe and the Black Sea region: foreign policy, security and energy."

The weeklong workshop was organized in cooperation with the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Academy Berlin, and the Regional Cooperation Council. This year, the seminar marked the 20th anniversary of the Cooperation Process in Southeastern Europe (SEECP), launched in 1996 in Sofia.

In the first two days of the work program of the international seminar, junior diplomats had the opportunity to discuss major foreign policy trends in the context of contemporary international relations. Mr. Goran Svilanovic, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), presented the key role of the RCC to generate and coordinate developmental projects and create a political climate that will enable overall economic and social development in Southeastern Europe, to the benefit of the people in the region.

Longtime partner of the DI and director of the European Academy in Berlin - Prof. Eckart Shtratenshulte - moderated the discussions and simulation exercises dedicated to the summit on the EU migration crisis, while at the end of the second day, individual recommendations for each participant were also prepared.

The next three days of the seminar included lectures and interactive sessions presented by officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, by the Institute, as well as by outside experts on issues related to energy policy, migration, security.

The Winter School concluded with an official ceremony at which the participants were awarded certificates and in organized cultural program, where and culture sites significant to Bulgarian history.

16.03.2016

Work Meeting with Representatives from Israel

Within the study visit in Bulgaria, representatives of the Diplomatic Institute met with Ms. Ilana Stein - Head of the cadets course Bureau staff training at the Foreign Ministry of Israel and cadets Ms. Gili Brenner and Mrs. Avigeyl Shapira. The meeting, initiated by the Embassy of Israel in Sofia, was attended by Ms. Iman Amsha - Deputy Head of Mission. The guests were presented the main functions and activities of the Institute. The history of the Institute and its public policy were summarized by Ms. Silvana Tsokova - Head of Public Activities and Cooperation department and the Training, Research, and Project Activities was introduced by Mr. Teddy Ganchev, associate at the department. The guests were also informed on necessary procedures for candidates applying for diplomatic rank and trainings provided by the Institute for employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Public Administration, and the civil sector.

In conversation they were joined by Mrs. Veronica Orbetsova, Mrs. Ruzhina Mladenova, and Mr. Lyubomir Nikolov attaches at the MFA, and graduates of the last trainee course for attaches held by the Institute. They exchanged information and experience with their Israeli counterparts on diplomatic training in both countries and the profession of being a diplomat. After the meeting, the visitors received materials published by the Institute.

14.03.2016

Winter School of Diplomacy

Today, the eleventh annual Winter School of Diplomacy seminar for junior diplomats from Southeast Europe, the Black Sea region, and member states of the European Union was kicked off. "Policies of EU and NATO in South-eastern Europe and the Black Sea region: foreign policy, security and energy", were the central themes this year.

The weeklong workshop was organized in cooperation with the German-based Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Academy Berlin, and the Regional Cooperation Council. This year the seminar marked the 20th anniversary since the start of the Cooperation Process in Southeastern Europe (SEECP), launched in 1996 in Sofia.

The seminar was opened by Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, director of the Diplomatic Institute, Mr. Goran Svilanovic, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council, Mr. Klaus Fizinger regional director of the Hanns Seidel Foundation, prof. Eckart Shtratenshulte, director of the European Academy-Berlin and Mr. Andrey Tehov, director general of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria. They welcomed young diplomats from eleven countries, and wished them successful discussions on topics related to regional policy, energy security, the European Union, and migration.

08.03.2016

Course on Public Diplomacy

The Diplomatic Institute is organizing a seminar on "Public Diplomacy in the context of the Bulgarian presidency of the EU Council in 2018" from 21-25 March, 2016.

In view of the upcoming Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council in 2018, the Institute strives to improve the image of the country inside the Union, as well as the perception of European policies within Bulgarian society. The course is designed to familiarize participants with the basics in the field of public diplomacy - foundations and tools of public diplomacy, media environment, sharing international experience. The training seminar also includes a variety of practical exercises.

In this connection, the planned course will include an array of Bulgarian and foreign experts, journalists, diplomats from foreign diplomatic missions in Bulgaria, and representatives of state administration.

The course will take place over a day, and will be held in the building of the Foreign Ministry. The participation fee is 230 Bulgarian levs.

Applicants must submit a request in free text and a Curriculum Vitae to the director of the Diplomatic Institute of the email: director.bdi@mfa.bg to March 16, 2016.

For more information on available training, contact the following coordinators, Victoria Pavlova, tel. 807 64 44, email victoriya.pavlova@mfa.bg, or Marina Vladimirova, tel. 807 64 521, email marina.vladimirova@mfa.bg.

07.03.2016

Working visit to Paris on the occasion of opening of an exhibition of DI

From February 29 - March 3 of this year, representatives from the Diplomatic Institute made a working visit to Paris in connection with the opening of the exhibition "France Bulgaria, the rediscovery of the Black Sea -the Beginning on the occasion of the Bulgarian national holiday and the International Year of the Map. The exhibition is part of a series of exhibitions within the Institutes project The sea brings All that is Distant Together, and is implemented with the assistance of International Trade and Cultural Centre GEOPAN and The Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Paris.

The exhibition contains cartographic images, engravings, and photos depicting French participation in the development of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, all valuable from a historical perspective, and will be on display at the Cultural Institute from March 1 18. On its official opening on February 29th, opening remarks by Mr. Angel Cholakov, Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria in Paris, and director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, were delivered.

The event was attended by representatives of the Bulgarian community in Paris, diplomats and public figures, including the honorary consul of Bulgaria in Marseille, and Vice-Admiral Francis Lafargue - grandson of Paul Pichot, commander of the Bulgarian Navy from 1897 to 1908, whose role in the creation of the Bulgarian Navy is reflected in the exhibition. During the opening and in the following meetings opportunities for project development and presentation of the exhibition in other French cities were discussed. Over the course of the visit, two workshops with partner institutions were held.

19.02.2016

Program for young leaders Millennium Leadership Program

The Millennium Leadership Program for young leaders, created by the United States-based Atlantic Council, provides an opportunity for young people (up to the age of 35) with leadership qualities to actively participate in the exchange of views on key issues on the agenda of the transatlantic community, reinforcing their leadership skills and building a network of useful international contacts.

It will be possible to apply for the Millennium Fellowship by March 7, 2016 which includes participation in two prestigious international forums in Europe and the United States each year during the period 2016-2017.

In 2016, within the framework of the initiative, the participants will be able to take part in the NATO Future Leaders Summit meeting, which will be held within the timeframe of the NATO summit in July in Warsaw, while in the fall, visits to Washington and New York are scheduled, dedicated to the subject of development of management models to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Successful applicants pay an annual membership fee to cover costs for airfare, accommodation, and catering for both trips during the first year.

More information about the "Millennium Leadership Program" program can be found on the the Atlantic Council of the United States website at http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/programs/millennium-leadership-program/about- the-program. Additional information for applicants to the initiative for the Millennium Fellowship for the 2016-2017 periods can be found at: http://www.millenniumfellowship.org

Young people from Europe interested exclusively in the NATO Future Leaders Summit in July in Warsaw can take part by March 1, 2016 in a photography and essay competition titled "What NATO Means to me". Ten finalists will be selected to hold their own public event devoted to the future of NATO, and will have trip expenses covered for their participation in the meeting in Warsaw.

For more information about the contest "What NATO means to me", visit http://www.woobox.com/5scmm6.

19.02.2016

Educational Seminar on Economic Diplomacy

For a sixth consecutive year, an educational seminar on economic diplomacy is organized by the Diplomatic Institute from March 7-11th, 2016. Among the highlights of the program will be the presentation of information concerning the economic sector in a Bulgarian, global, and political context; the perspectives from a Bulgarian and global economic point of view, in the framework of the global financial crisis, as well as the effects of the crisis on the private sector.

To that end, lectors will be selected amongst Bulgarian and foreign experts, including representatives from diplomatic missions in Sofia, representatives from the business community, bilateral Bulgarian commercial and industrial chambers, as well as leading specialists and analysts from the nongovernmental sector.

The seminar will take place over one day, and will be held at the main building of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Applicants must submit a request in free text, as well as a Curriculum Vitae to the director of the Diplomatic Institute of the email: director.bdi@mfa.bg to March 1, 2016.

For more information, please contact the training coordinators: Ekaterina Neofitova, tel. 807 64 44; email ekaterina.neofitova@mfa.bg, and Victoria Pavlova, tel. 807 64 44; email victoriya.pavlova@mfa.bg

01.02.2016

Compilation Book on Montenegrin-Bulgarian Diplomatic Relations Presented at the National Archive

The compilation book "Relations between Bulgaria and Montenegro, 1878-1913 was presented within Mr. Igor Luksic, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegros official visit to Bulgaria. The collection was prepared by the Archives State Agency and the State Archives of Montenegro. The event was organized by the Diplomatic Institute and the Archives State Agency on the occasion of the tenth anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations with an independent Montenegro.

The book contains 431 documents, most of which stem from the Bulgarian state archive. It was presented by the historian prof. Ivan Ilchev, who stated that with the exception of those concerning Bulgarian-Soviet relations of that time, publication of that nature do not exist.

21.01.2016

Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Delivers Public Lecture in Sofia

Hungary will stand behind the Bulgarian candidacy for membership in the Schengen Area during the upcoming Visegrad Four meeting. This was stated by the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Szijjarto, in a lecture he gave on the topic of The European Union and the Challenges Ahead. The lecture was organized by the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, the Diplomatic Institute, and the Embassy of Hungary in Sofia. According to Szijjarto, Bulgaria has done much more to defend the outside borders of the European Union, than some other Schengen member states have. Bulgaria has proven its efficiency by being able to stop the migration flow.

Minister Szijjarto presented Hungarys position on trade and economics, the independence of the Ukraine, the overall security of the European Union and NATO, and the waves of migration to Europe. Hungary is an advocate for a rapid expansion of the European Union, as well as an advocate for the acceptance of several Balkan states to NATO. The Minister expressed his opinion that 28 weak member states cannot form a strong European Union. Szijjarto appealed for solidarity towards the southern states that form the Unions borders. He stated that Greece cannot cope with the migration crisis alone.

20.01.2016

Presentation of the Constantine and Zinovia Katsarovi Foundation

On January 20 in the Antarctica Hall, at the main building of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a presentation on scholarship opportunities for postgraduate education, offered by the Constantine and Zinovia Katsarovi Foundation was given. The meeting was organized by the Diplomatic Institute with the assistance of Transmedia Studios.

Prof. Venelin Tsachevski, diplomat and specialist in the field of international relations, author of several books on Bulgarian-Swiss relations, and alumni of the Foundation presented the foundation to the audience. Before the attending undergraduate and graduate students, he introduced the activities of the Foundation, which was established in 1969. To this day, about 300 Bulgarians number among its scholars, with the principal goal of the program being to provide support for recipients academic growth in all fields of science, culture, and art. Special attention was paid to the life and work of its founder, prof. Konstantin Katzarov, a remarkable individual and well-established specialist in legal studies.

For more information about the terms and conditions for scholarship applications, please visit the Foundations website: http://www.fonds-katzarov.ch/index_bg.php (available in Bulgarian and French).

07.01.2016

Dutch Presidency at the EU Council - Public Discussion

A public discussion titled The Dutch Presidency of the EU Council took place on January 7th, in the Balkan Hotel in Sofia. Its aim was to inform the Bulgarian public on the Dutch European Council Presidencys main objectives and priorities over its six month rotation (January-June 2016). The event was organized by PanEurope Bulgaria with the support of the Diplomatic Institute, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bulgaria, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and the Representation of European Commission in Bulgaria. The discussion was led by Ms. Gergana Passy, with participation from Dutch Ambassador to Bulgaria, H.E. Tom van Oorschot, and the Minister of Justice of Bulgaria.

In his presentation, H.E. Tom van Oorschot described the Netherlands as a reliable partner and an effective mediator during its Presidency of the Council over the first half of this year. The Dutch Ambassador cited the Netherlandss key principles include a focused approach in its dealings, transparency, communication with the citizens, and innovation. H.E. clearly outlined the four priorities of the Dutch Presidency: successful management of the migratory crisis, accomplished by strengthening the security with fair measures; economic growth due to innovations, support of the internal market and creation of a single digital market; strengthening of the euro zone and monetary union; responsible environmental practices and accomplishments in the sphere of energetics through stable economic growth and diversification of the energy sources.

In her speech, Ms. Zaharieva emphasized the long-standing support the Netherlands have given Bulgaria in the vital reforms of its judicial system, which according to Zaharieva are key to improving other sectors of the public life.

Ms. Meglena Kuneva, Deputy Prime Minister for European Policies Coordination and Institutional Affairs, also took part in the discussion. She put emphasis on the issues important to Bulgaria during the Dutch Presidency, such as opening a discussion on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the future of the EU cohesion policy, as well as the growth and prosperity of the Schengen Area. Ms. Kuneva also emphasized the importance of a close study of the Dutch Presidency in relation to the upcoming Bulgarian Presidency in 2018.

21.12.2015

Participation of the Diplomatic Institute in Symposium within the 16+1 Initiative

The Third High Level Think Tanks Symposium of China and Central & Eastern European Countries under the patronage of the Secretariat for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and China Institute of International Studies, within the partner initiative 16 + 1, was held in Beijing on December 16th of this year. The official partner network between China and Eastern Europe was established during the think tank plenary sitting. Mr. Valentin Katrandzhiev, PhD, from the Diplomatic Institute, took part in the symposium by making a statement in the The Benefit of 16 + 1 Cooperation for Chinese-European Relations panel.

14.12.2015

Director of DI in "Sunday 150" on the occasion of the European Year for Development

On December 13th, in the Sunday 150 segment of the show "Horizon" on BNT, a transmission on the conclusion of the European Year for Development (EYD2015) in Bulgaria was broadcast. The segment featured the director of the Diplomatic Institute - Tanya Mihaylova, Maria Pavlova - acting director of UN relations and Development policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , Ventsislav Kirkov - Chairman of the Bulgarian Platform for International Development, and Silvia Ivanova from the social research agency "Estat". Mrs. Mihaylova gave an overview of the activities completed within the framework on the National Program marking the European Year for Development, co-organized by the Diplomatic Institute and the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and executed with the cooperation of the nongovernmental, academic, and private sector. The interlocutors reported that the informational campaign focused on the EYD2015 has attracted the interest of young people, many of whom are the primary target audience of the European Commission, which drew participation from all member states. They were all in agreement that the development policy initiatives well continue throughout the following. The discussion can be heard (in Bulgarian) in the link below.

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14.12.2015

Awards ceremony after the competition on the occasion of UNESCO's 70th anniversary

On December 12th, the awards ceremony following the Cultural and Natural Heritage of Bulgaria Thinking About our Tomorrow Today national youth contest organized by the Diplomatic Institute with the assistance of the National Commission of the Republic of Bulgaria for UNESCO, the Ministry of Education and Science, and the the Ministry of Environment and Water took place on the occasion of UNESCO's 70th anniversary,. The awards and plaques were given by the Director-General of UNESCO Mrs. Irina Bokova, as part of the opening of the International Forum dedicated to the 70th anniversary of UNESCO in Sofia.

Within the framework of the contest, 115 projects from university and school-age students over the age of 15, from 35 cities and towns across the country were received. The Diplomatic Institute`s team thanks everyone for their participation and presentations, and wishes them success in their future endeavours.

07.12.2015

New Book Release Presentation: Bulgaria and Switzerland: Together in History by Prof. Venelin Tsachevsky

On December 9th of this year, on the occasion of the 100-year anniversary since the establishment of Bulgarian-Swiss diplomatic relations, prof. Venelin Tsachevskis latest work, Bulgaria and Switzerland: Together in History was officially presented at the Bulgarian Institute for Cultures The Mission Gallery. The event, organized by the Diplomatic Institute was held under the patronage of his HE Denis Knobbel, Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Switzerland in Bulgaria, and with the cooperation of Transmedia Studios, the books publishing house.

After a few introductory sentences from Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ambassador Knobbel greeted the guests. The book and its author were introduced by Prof. Plamen Georgiev, followed by an description of the book by Prof. Tsachevski. Towards the end of the event, Mrs. Mihaylova expressed her gratitude to the author for his book donation to the Institutes library, which includes copies his new book as well copies from his previous works.

Professor Tsachevskis book provides an in-depth and critical look at the history of the Swiss state, with particular emphasis on the issue of the historical development of the cooperation between the two countries and two peoples in the fields of economy, politics, education, science, art and culture. Among the works of the author rank and numerous publications in the field of history, Bulgarian foreign policy, the Balkans, the smaller European states, European integration etc., published in Bulgaria and abroad.

07.12.2015

EYD 2015 in Bulgaria - Closing Conference

On December 4th of this year, a conference officially concluding the European Year for Development in Bulgaria took place. The conference was organized by the Diplomatic Institute, and featured Mrs. Meglena Kuneva Deputy Prime Minister for European Policy Coordination and Institutional Issues of the Republic of Bulgaria, delivered the opening remarks. At the opening, Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, director of the Diplomatic Institute welcomed the participants and attendees. Additionally, Mr. Hristo Hristov, political analysis advisor at the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria, and Mrs. Maria Pavlova acting CEO of the UN Development Cooperation department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had the opportunity to make the statements.

The conference took place over two panels, during which the activities undertaken as part of Bulgaria's National Programme for the European Year for Development 2015 (EYD2015) and developed by the DI, were presented. The achieved results in terms of the goals and objectives of the EYD2015 initiative were also taken into account, highlighting the increase in awareness among Bulgarian citizens on the positive aspects of foreign aid for donor countries, the successes and the role of the EU in this area, as well as the greater cooperation between the governmental and NGO sector.

The Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, Mrs. Lilyana Pavlovas remarks concluded the conference, summarizing Bulgarias participation in the EYD2015 initiative, and stressing the need for future platforms for discussing topics related to development policy prospects, as well cooperation between all parties involved. Both panels were attended by representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development in the European Commission, the Diplomatic Institute to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, academics, NGOs, and the private sector. The event gathered over 150 attendees.

27.11.2015

Third Edition of Specialized Environmental Diplomacy Course Concludes

The third edition of the specialized Environmental Diplomacy seminar titled concluded yesterday. The course, organized by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, earned high praise from the participants both on the themes and subjects that were the focus of the program, and the level of professionalism of the lectors.

23.11.2015

Visit to the Diplomatic Institute by Students from the University of Macedonia

Today, in the main building of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, within the framework of a memorandum of cooperation between the Thessaloniki-based University of Macedonia and the Diplomatic Institutes Open Doors Program, students from the universitys Department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies met with officials from the DI. Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, director of the Institute, welcomed the guests, followed by an introductory presentation on activities of the Institute by Mrs. Silvana Cokova, head of the Public Affairs and Cooperation Department. At the meeting, held in Antarctica Hall, the students were introduced to the possibilities for personal and career growth offered by the DI, including participation in its internship program, essay contests, publications in the online journal Diplomacy, and others that brought about discussion. The pupils and their guide were also introduced to the Diplomatic Institutes latest publications. Following the meeting, the students were taken on a guided tour around the Ministry, as a representative from the Bulgarian National Institute for Culture introduced them to the MFAs valuable collection of paintings and sculptures.

19.11.2015

Round Table dedicated to Global School Competition within the EYD2015 Framework

On 18 November 2015, the Diplomatic Institute, in cooperation with the Bulgarian Platform for International Development, organized a round table dedicated to the national Global School Competition held earlier this year. The event took place in the building of the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria and within the National Program of Bulgaria for the European Year Development 2015; it was designed to distinguish schools with good practices in the implementation of global education.

At the round table, sustainable development objectives, the tasks of the European Year for Development, as well as the opportunities and prospects for global education were presented and discussed. At an official ceremony, the eleven winners of the Global School Competition received an award for their contribution to the introduction of global education in school life - a plaque that read Award Winner - Global Competition", and a prize fund.

Among the participants in the event were representatives from the non-governmental sector in Bulgaria, the academic community, experts from the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

19.11.2015

Course on The European Union after the Lisbon Treaty

On November 17th 2015, as a follow-up to the Diplomatic Institutes initial trainings in compliance with the project on Bulgarian Communication Strategy Towards the EU, with its primary goals defined as the preparation of a competent administration and effective execution of Bulgarias presidency of the Council of the European Union during the second half of 2018, a course on titled The European Union after the Lisbon Treaty was held. The lecture was led by Dr. Jasmine Popova - legal adviser to the former President of the Republic of Bulgaria (1990-1991), Deputy Head of the Mission of Bulgaria to the European Union in Brussels, and former ambassador of Bulgaria to Sweden , Norway and Iceland (1998 - 2004), Dr. Popova was also secretary of the Council of Ministers on European integration (1997), director of European Integration Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1997-1998) and Head of Department at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg (2008-2013).She has authored numerous monographs on EU law, the latest of which, "The European Union after the Lisbon Treaty", was released in 2015.

19.11.2015

Course on Techniques for the Advancement and Reinforcement of a Positive Image of Bulgaria and its Presidency of the Council of the EU"

On November 10th of this year, a daylong course titled "Techniques for the Advancement and Reinforcement of a positive image of Bulgaria and its presidency of the Council of the EU" was held. The training took place as part of a project centered on Communication Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria towards the European Union, with the latters priorities being the preparation of a competent administration and effective execution of Bulgarias presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2018. The lectors were Mr. Dimitar Sotirov, PR manager of Bulgarias National Opera and Ballet, Mrs. Kristin Dimitrova author of the book Ethereal Songs and Secret Services, and Mr. Branimir Botev, former Deputy Minister of Tourism. Members of the working group on Communication Strategy and Cultural Programming took part in the course. Bulgarias strengths that could be taken under consideration by the group were examined, as were useful practices that foster the building of a positive national image.

18.11.2015

Barrie Media Soft skills training

Two successive training seminars aimed at improving participants soft skills were conducted from November 23 and 4 5th, respectively. The seminars were organised by the Diplomatic Institute, as part of the implementation of the project on Bulgarian Communication Strategy towards the EU, with its primary goals being the preparation of a competent administration and effective execution of Bulgarias presidency of the Council of the European Union during the second half of 2018. The lectures were led by Ms. Janet Barrie and Mr. Velislav Radev, experts from Barrie Media with decades of experience as journalists at some of the worlds largest media outlets. Senior officials from the Bulgarian state administration set to lead the working groups during the upcoming presidency took part in the trainings. An individual approach was taken towards each of the participants, centred on practical, hands-on exercises to help improve presentation and communication skills, and to hone the ability to conduct an interview in crisis situations.

As the seminar concluded, the participants were awarded with certificates by Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, director of the Diplomatic Institute.

18.11.2015

Information Session with Students from Svoge on EYD2015

To mark the European Year for Development 2015, designated as such by the European Parliament and the European Council, the Diplomatic Institute held two informational meetings attended by approximately one hundred students from the Velizar Peev vocational school in the city of Svoge. Aleksandra Atanasova, representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Maria Aleksova, representative from the Diplomatic Institute, took part in the meetings.

Questions concerning the aims and principles of the EYD2015 set in the National Bulgarian Program, past and present events as well as the Bulgarian policy towards development were presented and discussed at the meeting. Informational materials on the Unions development policy, and a brochure outlining Bulgarias obligations as a member state were given out to the students.

17.11.2015

Training Seminar for Employees from the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy

On 6th and 13th November of this year, the Diplomatic Institute held a training seminar titled Protocol, Etiquette and Working with the Media for employees of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. Over the first part of the seminar, conducted on the 6th of November, the participants learned about the principal categories of the national protocol and ceremony, the regulatory base, how the ensure the proper following of protocol during formal events, as well the rules of communication and preparation of official correspondence. The lecture was led by Mr Anatolii Pazijski, Head of Section at the of State Protocol department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Over the second part of the seminar, Mr. Rossen Buchvarov, PR director to the National Income Agency, introduced the participants to various methods of preparation for print, television, radio, or online edition interviews, various interviewing techniques used by journalists, how to organize and hold a press conference, as well as how to formulate official statements to the media. The training was attended by deputy ministers from the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, representatives and department heads of state agencies, and experts.

17.11.2015

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26.10.2015

Official presentation of the new book of prof. Dr Jasmine Popova SEV in the Council of Ministers

On October 26th, within the meeting of the Council for European Affairs (CEA) at the Granite Hall of the Council of Ministers, the first official presentation of Prof. Dr. Jasmine Popovas new book The European Union after the Lisbon Treaty - published by the Diplomatic Institute in cooperation with the German-based Hanns Seidel Foundation - took place.

The book was presented by Mrs. Meglena Kuneva, Deputy Prime Minister for European policy coordination and institutional issues, which emphasized the importance of this work in the context of the preparation of Bulgaria for its rotation as president of the EU Council in 2018. Prof. Popova commented on the current developments within the EU, and shared interesting moments from her broad experience as a researcher of European Law and Head of the Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

The publication is aimed at professionals in the field of European law in the public administration sphere, as well as towards the judiciary. It contains up-to-date information on the policies of the European Union, its institutions, and their competencies following the changes introduced by the Lisbon Treaty of 2009.

Upcoming presentations of the book will be held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Institute of Justice, and other institutions.

08.10.2015

14th issue of Diplomacy Journal

At the end of September, the new issue of Diplomacy Journal came out. This is the fourteenth issue of the journal, which the Diplomatic Institute has been releasing since 2008. The topics in the new issue are: Role of the demographic factor in the migratory pressure exerted upon Bulgaria; The NATO countries curtailed defense expenditures: from a deficit of funds to a deficit in security; Germany, NATO and the Ukraine crisis: leading from the centre; The burning Middle East, bouncing Turkey, and the sleeping Balkans; Russias foreign policy under Putin; New features of Chinas foreign policy in South China Sea under the new Chinese leadership; Twiplomacy or diplomacy in the digital era; The Balkans in the second decade of the 21st century.

02.10.2015

End of the Fourth International Seminar on Energy Diplomacy

Today, the weeklong International Seminar on Energy Diplomacy, organized by the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in partnership with the Bulgarian Representation of the Hanns Seidel Foundation, was concluded. In five days, 51 representatives from 17 countries participated in a variety of debates and role-playing exercises focused on the changes and tendencies in the energetic strategy of the EU and other key global players like China, Russia and Turkey. Special attention was paid to the regional and transnational cooperation with a focus on planning and implementation of projects for construction of interconnectors and a reliable gas transmission network for consumers in Southeast Europe.

The seminar program was diverse, as speakers from the public administration, NGOs, academia, and the Diplomatic Institute took part in the event.

Following the last lecture, the director of the Diplomatic Institute Ms Tanya Mihaylova congratulated the participants on their efforts and thanked them for their interest in some of todays most important global issues, like energy security, and for their active participation in the seminar. She also wished them success and dedication in their future endeavors. Certificates were also awarded to those who took part in the seminar.

01.10.2015

DIs Honorary Award for the European Studies Department at Sofia University

On October 1st 2015, Ms Tanya Mihaylova - director of the Diplomatic institute, handed its annual honorary award to the Department of European Studies during the opening of the academic year in Faculty of Philosophy at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski. The award was received by the head of the Department, Assoc. Prof. Kaloyan Simeonov. The special award is given to one domestic and one foreign individual or institution with significant contribution for the development and affirmation of the Institute.

Later, at the opening ceremony marking the start of the new academic year, Ms Mihaylova welcomed the freshmen of the Department of European Studies and said that the efforts of the institutions, academic community and young leaders will be of great importance for the upcoming presidency of the Council of Europe in 2018.

The Diplomatic Institute and the Department of European Studies have had a long-standing cooperation and numerous joint projects. Students from the Department regularly participate in the internship program of the Institute and according to Ms Mihaylova are set apart by their superior linguistic and culture knowledge, which can also becomes apparent from their participation in the yearly essay contests held by the Institute. The Diplomatic Institute also holds the expertise of the Departments faculty members in high regard, inviting them as guest lecturers in its national and multinational trainings, and featuring their analyses in its bi-annual publication, the Diplomacy journal on a regular basis. Prof. Dr. Ingrid Shikova from the Department is also a member of the National advisory council of the Diplomatic Institute and author of the book The Rotating presidency of EU, published by DI. This book has become a virtual handbook for the Bulgarian state administration as it prepares for the upcoming presidency of Bulgaria of the European Council. The Joint Masters in European Integration and Diplomacy in the Union, which debuted a year ago, and within which the Diplomatic Institute provides additional training and hands-on learning experience to the curriculum.

28.09.2015

Over 50 participants from 17 countries in the energy seminar, organized by DI

For the sixth consecutive year, the Diplomatic Institute conducted an international seminar on energy diplomacy from September 28th to October 3rd, as part of a long-standing practice of the Institute in the field of energy diplomacy. The seminar was sponsored by the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael and the German-based Hanns Seidel Foundation. It involved 51 participants from 17 countries, including countries from Southeastern Europe, the Ukraine, the Netherlands and Iraq. The forum was opened by the Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Tanya Mihaylova and Bogdan Mirchev, head of the Hanns Seidel Foundation in Bulgaria.

Mr Lachezar Matev Ambassador at large for Energy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs delivered a lecture on the modern challenges to energy diplomacy and politics which led to a fruitful discussion among the audience. The Director of the Institute for Energy Management, Slavcho Neykov familiarized the participants with the contemporary Bulgarian energy policy in regional and European context. He was also moderator of the discussion in which each participant presented the position of his country in the field of energy.

During the seminar, speakers from the Clingendael Institute will address the global dimensions of Europes energy policy and the possible options, energy, and climate challenges facing the Union, as well as in the internal European energy markets and its own changes. Bulgarian experts will focus on the security of energy supply (incl. within Bulgaria itself), as well as ideas for a common energy union, and the Bulgarian initiative to create a European energy fund. The seminar is scheduled to conclude with a guided tour to the nuclear power plant in Kozloduy.

The seminar will conclude with a study visit to the nuclear plant at Kozloduy on the last day of the training.

18.09.2015

Conference on Energy Security and Energy Infrastructure in South East Europe was a meeting place for politics, bisiness and NG organisations

From the 15-16th September, the International Conference on Energy Security and Energy Infrastructure in South East Europe, organized by the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Institute for Energy Management, brought together over 440 participants. The conference opened with welcome speeches delivered by the directors of both institute to greet that participants.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov officially opened the forum, pointing out that the European Commission has designated for Bulgaria three out of seven energy projects, because the EU attaches great importance to our country. "The fact that Commissioner Sefcovic is so common to Bulgaria is significant. Bulgaria as a geographical location, member of the EU and NATO is on the front door of Asia and Europe. This makes us very interesting in every aspect" Borisov said.

Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov called for the creation of a European fund for energy security, taking into account not only the economic equitability arguments but also strategic, geopolitical and the criteria for common security. "Investments in the creation of a high level of energy security system are often prohibitive for individual countries. Connecting Southern to Northern Europe, which will ensure multidirectional supplies, is a common task and will be of mutual benefit. Energy Fund should make this task feasible, "said Minister Mitov.

The Vice President of the European Commission responsible for the Energy Union, Maros Sefcovic, emphasized the central place of Bulgaria on the energy map of Europe. "Three of the leading energy projects for the EU in the coming years are Bulgarian. Particularly important for the strengthening of the grid in the region interconnections with Serbia, Turkey and Greece, "said Sefcovic. "The country will be one of the most favored by the creation of a European Energy Union, in terms of diversification of energy suppliers, energy safety and better connectivity with its neighbors," he added.

Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev voiced his strong belief in the need for implementation of the Energy Union, saying that just this alliance would offer working solutions - where Member States, through transnational cooperation, implement joint priorities. "More than ever, we need energy alliance and solidarity between countries within the EU and the Energy Community," he said.

18.09.2015

Development of the "Sea brings all that is distant together" project

A treaty for cooperation between the Diplomatic Institute to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria and the International Trade and Cultural Center "Geopan" was signed on 18th September in Burgas.

The cooperation includes joint development of cultural, scientific and information projects, among which the exhibition " The Sea Brings All That is Distant Together", successfully presented recently at the United Nations in New York, joint projects supporting the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU, and initiatives in favor of the municipalities from the Bulgarian Black Sea coast and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.

After signing the contract in the district administration - Burgas, the heads of the two organizations were greeted by Assoc. Prof. Sevdalina Turmanova - Deputy Regional Governor. During the meeting, Tanya Mihaylova announced two upcoming common initiatives - exhibitions in Paris and Tbilisi. She expressed her gratitude for the support of the Black Sea community and especially of the District governor Valcho Cholakov.

The management of the Diplomatic Institute visited also Port - Bourgas AD, where they held a business meeting with Executive Director Dian Dimov.

04.09.2015

Meeting of the DI Director with the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the National Assembly

The director of the Diplomatic Institute, Tanya Mihaylova and the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Gemma Grozdanova discussed current issues concerning the cooperation between the two institutions. The subjects discussed were the challenges facing the country in regards to the preparation of the administration for Bulgaria's upcoming rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2018 and its commitments in relation to the European Year for Development 2015. Tanya Mihaylova introduced the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee to the Diplomatic Institutes track records Diplomatic Institute, is one of the principal national institutions responsible for these issues.

Gemma Grozdanova expressed an interest in the training programs held by the Institute, from which MPs can benefit, as well as on topics for which analyses can be prepared. She was officially invited to attend the International Conference on Energy Security and Energy Infrastructure in Southeastern Europe, which will be held on September 15th and is organized by the Institute.

04.09.2015

Participation of representatives of the Diplomatic Institute at the Regional Euro-Atlantic Camp REACT 2015 Vucje, Montenegro

The eighth Regional Euro-Atlantic Camp REACT 2015 took place between August 28th - September 2nd in Vucje ski resort in Niksic, Montenegro. The event was organized by the NGO Alpha Center. The Diplomatic Institute was represented by Ms. Victoria Pavlova, associate at the Training, Research and Project Activities Department and Mr. Nikolay Krumov, associate in the Public Activities and Cooperation Department. Ms. Pavlova was also a moderator of the "NATO attitude towards Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Balkans" panel, featuring Mr. Selmo Cikotic, former Minister of Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The forum also discussed issues related to the current progression of the integration processes into NATO and the EU of the Western Balkans, NATO's role in the changing security environment and political and economic aspects of joining the Alliance of countries in the region. Special attention was paid to the Euro-Atlantic integration of Montenegro as well as the public debate on the future membership in NATO and the EU, for which the country currently has the status of an official candidate. The lecturers present were experts from government institutions, as well as from the academic and NGO sector in countries from the region. Among them were Mr. Filip Vujanovic, President of Montenegro and Mrs. Milica Pejanovic Djurisic, Minister of Defence of Montenegro.

Apart from the seminars, the program at the camp included activities centered around culture and sports. The participants presented the respective history, current political environment, culture and national cuisine of their home countries. An organized visit to the historic center of Niksic and Krupac lake was also held.

The number of participants and speakers at the REACT 2015 exceeded sixty, many from over twenty Balkan states, the Black Sea region and Central Europe.

04.09.2015

New issue of the Diplomatic Institute, with author Prof. Dr. Jasmine Popova

Prof. Dr. Jasmine Popova's new book, "The European Union after the Lisbon Treaty" issued by the Diplomatic Institute in cooperation with the German-based Hanns Seidel Foundation, is now officially out of print. The publication is aimed at professionals in the field of European law in the public administration sphere, as well as towards the judiciary. It contains up-to-date information on the policies of the European Union, its institutions and their competencies following the changes introduced by the Lisbon Treaty of 2009.

Prof. Dr. Jasmine Popova has established herself as an undisputed expert in field. She has extensive preofessional experience as a diplomatic official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as a legal adviser to the former President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Dr. Zhelyu Zhelev, and as national administrator at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg. Currently she is a Doctor of Law and Professor of International Law, International Relations and EU law at the Institute of State and Law of the Academy of Sciences and the Faculty of Law at Paisii Hilendarski University in Plovdiv.

A series of official presentations of the book in the presence of experts from the Council for European Affairs (CEA) to the Council of Ministers, as well as at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Institute of Justice and others, will be taking place.

21.07.2015

The winners in the National Youth Contest Cultural and Natural Heritage of Bulgaria let us think today about our tomorrow

On July 21st, the winners of the National Youth Contest, open to for high school and university students over the age of 15, enrolled to study in Bulgarian schools and universities Cultural and Natural Heritage of Bulgaria- thinking about our tomorrow were announced. The Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute organized the contest in partnership with the National Commission for UNESCO-Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Environment and Water of Bulgaria to mark UNESCOs 70th anniversary.

The commission that assessed the contest submissions consisted of: Ms Tanya Mihaylova (director of the BDI), Ms Silvana Covoka (acting director of the Public Affairs and Cooperation department), Ms Stanislava Nishkova (expert at the National Commission for UNESCO-Bulgaria and the UNESCO section at the Human Rights department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Ms Krasimira Todorova (national coordinator of the UNESCO associated schools and expert at the International and European cooperation department of the Ministry of Education and Science) an Ms Tzvetelina Ivanova (expert at the National agency for environmental protection at the Ministry of Environment and Water of Bulgaria).

Nine first prizes were awarded one for each of the nine Bulgarian cultural sites from the list of the world cultural and natural heritage of UNESCO. The winners are:

  • Ancient city of Nessebar Anita Nikolova, SU St. Kliment Ohridski, Sofia multimedia presentation;
  • Boyana Church Paolina Popova, 132 Vanya Voinova High School, Sofia an image printed on a T-shirt and hand-made postcard;
  • Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo Anna-Maria Ilieva, 91 Prof. Konstantin Galabov German Language High School, Sofia video;
  • Madara Rider Yoanna Kisyova, Ivan Vazov Language High School, Plovdiv video;
  • Pirin National Park Boris Milenski, Hristo Botev High School, Nova Zagora video;
  • Srebarna Nature Reserve Kristina Vitanova and Margarita Borisova, Ekzarch Joseph I Language High School, Lovetch multimedia presentation and video;
  • Rila Monastery Iviana Mladenova, University of National and World Economy, Sofia video;
  • Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari Ina Ivanova, Humanitarian High School St. St. Cyril and Methodius, Plovdiv multimedia presentation.
  • Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak Gabriela Katseva, Hristo Prodanov High School, Karlovo multimedia presentation and video.

The first award for the best project among the aforementioned nine submissions was given to Anna-Maria Ilieva, 91 German Language School Prof. Constantine Galabov, Sofia who made a video dedicated to the Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo.

The runner-ups, who will be awarded with a certificate are: Alexandrina Stoeva, St. St. Cyril and Methodius Humanitarian High School, Plovdiv; Boris Petrov, Petar Bogdan Foreign Languages High School, Montana; Virginiya and Victoriya Spasovi, St. St. Cyril and Methodius School, Gotse Delchev; Jeniffer Velinova, Secondary School St. Paisiy Hilendarski , Dupnitsa; Dimitar Radoslavov, Natural Sciences and Mathematics High School St. Kliment Ohridski, Montana; Elvira Ivanova, Foreign Languages High School Hristo Botev, Kardzhali; Ivan Yordanov, Professional Transport High School Dr. Vasil Beron, Veliko Tarnovo; Ivana Popova, Yane Sandanski High School, Sandanski; Ivanina Vasileva, Economical University Varna; Kancho Atanasov, Hristo Smirnenski highschool, Stara Zagora; Ralitza Simova, 1st St. Kliment Ohridski school, Sandanski; Rositza Ivanova, Natural Sciences and Mathematics highschool Ekzarh Antim I, Vidin; Tzvetomir Nikolov Kozma Trichkov highschool, Vratza.

The award ceremony will take place in September 2015.

As part of the contest, 115 submissions from 35 places were received. The Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute team would like to thank all students who took part in the contest and wishes them success in their future endeavors!

see video.

13.07.2015

Honorary awards of the Diplomatic Institute

In connection with July 19th Bulgarian Diplomatic Service Day, the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs announced the winners of its special award for a third consecutive year. The yearly award is given out to a Bulgarian and a foreign citizen or institution that has made a significant contribution to the development and establishment of the Institute. The plaquette, designed by Dr. Mirena Zlateva, is a small sculpture of silvered brass, engraved with a medal and the inscription DOCENDO DISCIMUS In teaching others, we teach ourselves - the Institutes motto.

This years recipients will be the Department of European Studies of the Faculty of Philosophy at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, and the European Security and Defence College in Brussels (ESDC), for national and foreign contributors, respectively. The Diplomatic Institutes Director, Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, will hand in the award for ESDC to the Colleges Director, Mr Dirk Dubois, on July 13th 2015 in Brussels, during the ceremony for the celebration of the 10th anniversary of ESDC, to which she is invited as a special guest. The Department of European Studies will receive its award in October 2015, during a special ceremony in Sofia.

The Department of European Studies is a long-time of the Diplomatic Institute, and as a result of the cooperation on Institutes the internship programme, the Diplomatic Institute takes in between 10-15 students from the Department, who assist in DIs current projects. Lectors from the Department provide and share their expertise by publishing articles in DIs journal Diplomacy, participating as lectors in courses organised by the Diplomatic Institute and being part of missions in its international projects mainly in the Western Balkans. In 2012, the Institute issued the monograph Rotating Presidency in the European Union, by Prof. Doc. Ingrid Shikova, who is a member of the National Advisory Council of the Diplomatic Institute. The successful collaboration between the Department of European Studies and the Diplomatic Institute is also evidenced by the preparation and execution of a Joint Masters Programme, European Integration and Diplomacy, which began in 2014.

Since the establishment the European Security and Defence College in 2005, Bulgaria has been involved with the Steering Committee and the Academic Board of the College through the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Diplomatic Institute was a participant in the workshop Train-the-Trainer, organised by ESDC in relation to the Orientation Course regarding Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), conducted in Brussels in 2011. The cooperation between the College and the Institute began with CSDP (in 2011) and the Module Strategic Partnerships, Missions, and Operations of the EU of the High-level Course, whose organiser and host was Bulgaria in 2012. In 2015, in collaboration with ESDC, the Diplomatic Institute conducted a course on CSDP in Varna, with the aim of acquainting the participants with the main partners, history, institutional framework, and processes of the Institute, as well as with the European Security Strategy and future perspectives before CSDP.

09.07.2015

Second Behavioural analysis, psychology and body language seminar for magistrates, organised by the Diplomatic Institute

From July 5-8 2015, the Diplomatic Institute held its second specialised training session in Velingrad, titled Behavioural Analysis, Psychology, and Body Language, for magistrates, taught by criminal psychologist Mr. Todor Todorov. Twenty-five representatives of the judiciary took part in the training, attending lectures and partaking in interactive activities aimed at the acquisition of knowledge, practical skills in the sphere of witness interrogation techniques, behavioural psychology, verbal and nonverbal communication, behavioural analysis, and learning to work with a polygraph. This seminar is part of the implementation of the Strengthening the effectiveness of the judiciary through training without borders project, actualized with the financial support of Operational Programme Administrative Capacity (OPAC), co-financed by the EU through the European Social Fund, and secured by the National Institute of Justice. The Diplomatic Institute is in charge of some of the training sessions of the project, namely those related to the acquisition of specialised skills.

07.07.2015

Donation of books to the Library of DI

Today, the Library of the Diplomatic Institute received a collection of books donated by Prof. Nikolai Nikolaevich Tchervenkov. The donation includes valuable books written in Bulgarian, Russian, and Romanian, and focusing on history, culture and Moldovan-Bulgarian relations.

Prof. Tchervenkov is a Ukrainian-Moldovan expert on Bulgaria, Doctor habilitat of Historical Sciences, Chairman of the Scientific Society of Experts on Bulgaria in the Republic of Moldova and was the first rector (2004-2010) of the Taraclia State University Gregory Tsamblak, Moldova. Besides being an honorary professor at the Moldovan State University and Kishinevsky State Pedagogical University, Professor Tchervenkov is the recipient of numerous awards and honors from the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Sofia University (St. Kliment Ohridski), and from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

The donated books are available in the reading room of the Library and can be borrowed.

03.07.2015

National youth competition Cultural and Natural Heritage of Bulgaria Thinking Today About our Tomorrow concludes

On June 30th, 2015 the national youth competition Cultural and Natural Heritage of Bulgaria Thinking About our Tomorrow Today concluded.

Organized by the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, with the assistance of the Bulgarian National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of Education and Science of Bulgaria, the Ministry of Environment and Water of Bulgaria, the competition was held on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the establishing of UNESCO. Approximately 120 participants from 35 cities and towns in Bulgaria took part. The received works, devoted to the nine Bulgarian sites included in the UNESCO List of World and Cultural Heritage Sites, will be evaluated by a special commission consisting of experts from the Diplomatic Institute, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Bulgarian National Commission of UNESCO, the Ministry of Education and Science of Bulgaria, and the Ministry of Environment and Water of Bulgaria. The rankings will be announced on the Facebook page, as well as the official website of the DI.

30.06.2015

Meeting of the Director of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael and the Deputy Prime Minister Meglena Kuneva

On June 30th, within the framework of his working visit to Bulgaria, the Director of the Dutch Clingendael Academy Mr. Ron Ton met with Ms. Meglena Kuneva, Deputy Prime Minister for European Policies Coordination and Institutional Affairs, at the Council of Ministers. Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was a participant in the meeting, the main topic of which was the preparation of the Bulgarian state administration for the upcoming Bulgarian Presidency of the European Union in 2018.

30.06.2015

Training Seminar on Negotiation Techniques in the Context of the Upcoming Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2018

Today, Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute and H.E. Mr. Thomas van Oorschot, Ambassador to The Netherlands in Bulgaria, presided the opening of a seminar at the MFA titled Negotiation Techniques in the Context of the Upcoming Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2018. The seminar will be led my Mr. Ron Ton, Director of The Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael, and aims to increase the knowledge and capabilities of the states administrative apparatus in the context of Bulgarias upcoming rotational presidency of the European Union Council in 2018. Activities in the seminar are scheduled to include various simulation exercises, in which participants are meant to acquire experience and practice tackling realistic case studies, basic techniques in leading negotiations, as well as analysing potential possibilities in achieving key objectives of the Republic of Bulgaria.

30.06.2015

Director of DI on a working visit in the United States

From the 11th to the 22nd of June, 2015, the Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova and representatives of the Diplomatic Institute made a working visit to the USA. The trip included visits to key institutions, as well as meetings with representatives of the Bulgarian community in the country.

A stated reason for the visit was the opening of the exhibition The Sea Brings All That Is Distant Together at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The exhibition, organized by the DI and the Permanent Representative of Bulgaria to the UN, was announced on the occasion of the International Map Year (2015/2016), held under the auspices of the United Nations. The exhibition includes maps of the Black Sea, prints and interstate treaties of the medieval Bulgarian royal office, all holding deep historical significance.

Additionally, the Diplomatic Institute, with the assistance of the Bulgarian Cartographic Association and Cultural Center GEOPAN, donated a collection of modern cartographic materials related to Bulgaria and the Black Sea to the library of the UN. During their stay in New York, Tanya Mihaylova and Zdravko Popov editor-in-chief of Diplomacy magazine and member of the National Advisory Council of DI, met with representatives of the Bulgarian community at the General Consulate.

Following their stay in New York, the delegation travelled to Chicago, where a meeting was held at the library of the University of Chicago with prominent Bulgarian academics, scientists and public figures in attendance. The meeting was organized by the Consul General, Mr. Simeon Stoilov, to discuss joint projects within the framework of the strategic dialogue between Bulgaria and the United States. The delegation also visited the Holocaust Museum in the state of Illinois, where a memorial plaque commemorating those who saved others at risk to their own lives, bears the names of Bulgarian nationals.

27.06.2015

Director of the Diplomatic Institute on Darik Radio

The Director of the Diplomatic Institute Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova presented the Institutes priorities on the radio show The Week, which aired on Darik Radio this week. Notably, the Diplomatic Institute is about to begin the training of the public administration for the upcoming Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which will come into effect on 2018. Also, from the 1st of July this year, Bulgaria takes charge of the rotating Presidency of the South-Eastern European Cooperation Process, and on this occasion, the Diplomatic Institute is organizing an international conference in Sofia in the month of September, devoted to energy security and energy infrastructure, issues that have become increasingly topical in recent times. With a number of initiatives, the Diplomatic Institute will also mark the European Year for Development 2015.

Mrs. Mihaylova also noted that for the third consecutive year, the Institute will give its Special award, DOCENDO DISCIMUS, for significant contributions to the development and strengthening of the Diplomatic Institute. The award will be received by the European Studies Department at the Faculty of Philosophy of Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski and the European Security and Defense College.

Mrs. Mihaylova recalled her visit to the USA and introduced the exhibition of old maps and engravings titled The Sea Brings All That Is Distant Together, which held its opening at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The exhibition was organized by the Diplomatic Institute and the Permanent Mission of Bulgaria to the UN on the occasion of the International Map Year, designated as such by the UN and the International Association of Cartography. At the center of the exhibition is the collection of a patriotic Bulgarian based in Germany, who has donated the items to the Archives State Agency. Maps have always played an important role in the world of diplomacy, remarked Tanya Mihaylova.

In Chicago, representatives of the DI met with Bulgarian scientists and academics willing to work with colleagues based in Bulgaria.

A recording of the interview is available on the link below: http://radio.dariknews.bg/?page=audio&id=273837

25.06.2015

The Diplomatic Institute signed memorandums of cooperation with institutions from Shanghai

On the 25th of June 2015, a delegation from the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Shanghai Committee made a visit to the Diplomatic Institute as a part of their official visit to Bulgaria. The visit was conducted at the initiative of the Consul General of Bulgaria in Shanghai, Mrs. Irina Beleva, and with the support of Mr. Petko Doykov, Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria to India.

During the visit, two memorandums of the cooperation were signed, one between the Diplomatic Institute and the Shanghai International Studies University, and another between DI and the Shanghai Public Diplomacy Association. The memorandums aim at cooperation in the spheres of academia, research and culture, as well as exchange of expertise, training methods, lecturers, students, publications, etc. Over the course of the meeting, Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, and the delegation additionally discussed concrete ideas involving further cooperation in future initiatives.

The guests informed Mrs. Mihaylova about the activities and focus of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Shanghai Committee, which cooperates with 32 government departments, and whose structure includes a Commission on Foreign Affairs that contains within its framework the Association on Public Diplomacy. Both sides expressed their belief that a deepening of relations between Bulgarian and Chinese Institutions is essential, all the more so now that the cities of Sofia and Shanghai are in the process of twinning.

23.06.2015

The winners of the essay contest Our world. Our dignity. Our future visited Brussels

From 16 to 19 June the university and high school students who won first place in the essay contest dedicated to the European Year for Development 2015 made a memorable visit to the European capital Brussels. Their programme included a series of visits to European institutions and meetings with Bulgarian representatives there.

The essayists had the opportunity to get acquainted with the activities and the structure of the European Parliament and the work of the Bulgarian Member of the European Parliament Mr. Andrey Kovatchev, with whom they discussed important issues on the EU agenda.

Mr. Krassimir Nikolov introduced them to the activities of the European External Action Service and different aspects of EU foreign policy, and Ms. Hristiana Grozdanova from the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Bulgaria to the EU presented the functions and activities of the Representation and the process of decision-making in the EU.

The programme also included visiting significant historical and cultural sights in the city and the College of Europe in Bruges.

19.06.2015

The Diplomatic Institute hosted a public lecture by Prof. Tanya Miscevic, Chief Negotiator for Serbias accession negotiations with the European Union

Today, the Diplomatic Institute organized a public lecture held by Prof. Tanya Miscevic, Chief Negotiator for Serbias accession negotiations with the European Union. The lecture, titled Serbia in the process of negotiation with the European Union, generated significant public interest.

Over the course of her presentation, Prof. Miscevic introduced the audience to the extent of her countrys preparedness in the negotiation process at present, as well as its plans for the coming year aimed towards advancing that process. Prof. Miscevic put particular emphasis on the challenges raised by chapters 23 and 24 which center on the rule of law, as well as chapter 35 in which the EC monitors negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina. She presented the structure of the administration, which provides a framework for the negotiation process and the ways of communicating with civil society on the subject. At the end of the lecture, prof. Miscevic called for support and cooperation from Bulgaria to Serbia on its path to European integration.

The lecture was followed by a broad discussion on the geopolitical situation in Southeastern Europe and the positioning of Serbia, as well as public support for European integration of the country among the Serbian population, and the mechanisms and possibilities for lobbying the European institutions. The event was attended by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as representatives from the diplomatic corps in Bulgaria, academic institutions and NGOs.

18.06.2015

Conference "1945-1946 - The First and Last Elections: A Missed Opportunity for A Return to Democracy"

Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France on Bulgaria after the World War II were unveiled at the conference "1945-1946 - The First and Last Elections: A Missed Opportunity for A Return to Democracy", organised by the French Institute in Bulgaria, the Diplomatic Institute, the Bulgarian Association of French National School of Administration Alumni, the European Institute, and the New Bulgarian University. It was opened by the French Ambassador Xavier Laper de Cabanne in Sofia. Based on the secret cables of the French ambassador to Bulgaria, Raina Karcheva illustrated the situation in the country after the ascent to power of the Fatherland Front. In 1945, the government was characterized as "brutal in nature", the public was fearful, and the opposition was constantly harassed by the communists. That year, Dimo Kazasov was the only independent in government. The Defence Minister, Damian Velchev was continuously on leave, and Georgi Dimitrov appealed against everything he deemed as fascism, without ever clearly defining the term. At that time, a purging of the army from "monarchist-fascist" elements also ensued. The ambassador said that he is amazed by the widespread hatred against the monarchy, only three years after the king was sorrowfully mourned.

Political analyst Antony Todorov emphasized that the elections result of 1946 and 1990 are strikingly similar. The electoral law is quite democratic it empowers all women to vote, and lowers the voting age from 21 to 19. At that time the BCP membership increases from 1400 to 250 000. After the last free elections in 1946, and end was put to the multiple-party system. The elections were presented through the use of archives from the Allied Control Commission in Moscow by Prof. Louise Revyakina from the Institute for Historical Studies at BAS. After the protests by Western observers over to the treatment of the opposition, and any concession, the BCP became more rigid and Stalin declared after the postponement of the election that this concession would be the last.

12.06.2015

The Course in Public Diplomacy has ended

The Course in Public Diplomacy, organized by the Diplomatic Institute, ended on 12 June. Representatives from the state administration, academia and business participated in it. Throughout the course, they got acquainted with different aspects of public diplomacy: cultural diplomacy, museum policy, the role of media and NGOs, and Bulgarian and foreign practices in this area. On the last day of the programme, the participants prepared concepts for presenting and promoting the image of Bulgaria abroad. At the end of the course, they received certificates and attended Sofia Opera and Ballets Madame Butterfly, which marked the opening of the Opera in the Park festival.

10.06.2015

Participation of the DI Director in the Annual Diplomatic Conference in Zagreb, Croatia

On 9 June 2015 the Croatian Diplomacy Day and the 20th anniversary of the Croatian Diplomatic Academy, the city of Zagreb hosted a conference entitled Diplomacy and Diplomatic Training: 20 Years of Diplomatic Academy, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia (1995-2015). At the invitation of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, participated as a representative of Bulgaria. In her speech on modern diplomacy in the panel of the directors of diplomatic academies, Ms. Mihaylova focused on the achievements in the process of two-way communication on a high level of cooperation, expanded consistently and comprehensively and deepened thematically and pragmatically. She stressed on the fact that the Diplomatic Academy of the Republic of Croatia is the first international partner of the Diplomatic Institute, as well as on the participation of the President of the Republic of Croatia Ms. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic in the International Advisory Board to the Institute. The bilateral partnership, developed on the basis of dynamic interaction in the sphere of political and cultural dialogue, functions efficiently in the context of training young diplomats (the Summer School in Dubrovnik and the Winter School in Sandanski) as well.

Among the participants in the conference were the President of Croatia Ms. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Ms. Vesna Pusic, the director of the Croatian Diplomatic Academy H.E. Mr. Mladen Andrlic, the Chairman of the Hanns Seidel Foundation Ms. Ursula Mannle, the President of the Association of Croatian Diplomats Dr. Dubravko Zirovcic, the heads of the diplomatic missions in Zagreb, as well as those of the European Commission Representation and the European Parliament Information Office, and representatives of the academic and the professional community in the field of international relations. The general message in the statements and comments of the participants reflected the importance of adapting to the legal frameworks modern parameters, which regulate the activities of the diplomatic service, and the mechanisms for their efficient functioning.

10.06.2015

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09.06.2015 .

Representative of the DI participated in the XVI Summer Seminar for junior experts on public policies from South-Eastern Europe and the Black Sea Region

In the period 1-5 June 2015 the 16th edition of the Summer Seminar for junior experts on public policies from Southeast Europe and the Black Sea Region was held in Albena Resort. The seminar is organised annually by the Economic Policy Institute. The topic this year was The Challenges f Public Policy European and Regional Dimension. Ms. Michaela Nencheva, junior expert at the Public Affairs and Cooperation Department, took part on behalf of the Diplomatic Institute.

The seminar was attended by 38 experts from the state administration, non-governmental and scientific research sector from 10 countries of Southeastern Europe and the Black Sea Region. Bulgarian and foreign lecturers, including representatives of state institutions, diplomatic missions, research centres and EU institutions presented topics related to the economic aspects of European integration, innovations as a priority of public policy, regional and EU political challenges, the fight against corruption, regional cooperation, foreign policy, neighbourhood policy, EU enlargement policy and others.

08.06.2015 .

The Course in Public Diplomacy has started

The Course in Public Diplomacy, organized by the Diplomatic Institute for a second consecutive year, started on 8 June 2015. The course began with a welcome speech by Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute. The 31 participants are representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the public administration, academia, and the private sector.

The goal of the course is to improve the qualification of the public administration employees by introducing them to the basics of public diplomacy and its tools and to the role of media and NGOs, and by exchanging international experience.

During the first day of the course Amb. Zdravko Popov, Ms. Oli Grueva (Deputy Executive Director of the National Palace of Culture and Head of the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Berlin in the period 2005-2013) and Mr. Dimitar Sotirov (PR of the Sofia Opera and Ballet) shared their experience in the field of public diplomacy. Forthcoming is a series of lectures delivered by leading Bulgarian and international diplomats, experts, and practitioners.

08.06.2015

Awarding ceremony for the winners in the essay contest Our world. Our dignity. Our future

Today, at an official ceremony in the library of the Diplomatic Institute, the winners in the essay contest Our world. Our dignity. Our future organized by the DI on the occasion of the European Year for Development 2015 were given certificates for excellent performance. Representatives of the Diplomatic Institute, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria formed a commission which chose four first-place winners two high school students and two university students. Their prize is a visit to the European institutions in Brussels. The commission designated eight encouragement awards to four high school students and four university students, chosen among more than 120 contestants from over 30 cities in the country.

The certificates for first place and excellent performance were handed by Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute. She emphasized the overall high-quality level of the received essays and the importance of the views and ideas expressed in them. Present at the ceremony were also Ms. Maria Pavlova, Head of the International Development Cooperation Department at the MFA, and Mr. Peter Natsev, Information and Communications Advisor of the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria. They highlighted the importance of youth activity and awareness in the field of European policies. Ms. Pavlova reminded that the European Year for Development is aimed at the European citizens, and defined the essay contest as a very successful initiative for reaching out to young Bulgarians and their European citizens identity. Mr. Natsev added that this is the first European year dedicated to the foreign affairs of the EU in the context of the common values shared in the European family.

05.06.2015

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03.06.2015

Public lecture of Janusz Bugajski

Russias Foreign Policy under Putin such was the topic of a lecture organized by the Diplomatic Institute, and delivered by the worldrenowned American political scientist and scholar Janusz Bugajski. In his lecture, Bugajski outlined a number of imperialistic goals in Moscows policy to become a leading power in a multipolar world, to neutralize neighboring countries, and to discourage any potential or current candidates from becoming members of the European Union and NATO. Be careful, you live in a dangerous region warned Bugajski after drawing attention to some of the elements of the hybrid war that he believes Russia has been waging. Bugajski theorizes that after its failure to pull Bulgaria into its sphere of influence, including through its participation in projects like the South Steam pipeline, Kremlin now has different strategy to push the country into a conflict with Macedonia.

The statement of the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, that dividing Macedonia between Bulgaria and Albania is an idea worth considering, is not incidental. It is part of a campaign, the scholar said. According to Bugajski, an expert on Southeastern Europe at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, the Russians foreign policy aims towards the Western Balkans have always been rooted in preserving and fueling conflicts rather than resolving them, as they prove beneficial to Moscow.

Macedonia is the most unstable piece of the puzzle on the Western Balkans, noted Bugajski and pointed out that the EU is able to do much more about the issue namely to pressure Greece to find a way to resolve its disagreement with Macedonia over its name, a dispute which has blocked Skopjes path to EU and NATO membership. This blockage fuels nationalist tensions in Macedonia, to Russias benefit. According to the American political scientist, Russia wants to turn Macedonia into a frozen country, as Bosnia is already. Now that President Putin has failed to attract Bulgaria into collaboration with the Kremlin, his goal is to get the country into a conflict with Macedonia one that is initially verbal, but that could easily escalate into something more concrete.

03.06.2015

Public lecture on the fight against terrorism and radicalism

The Diplomatic Institute hosted a lecture on the topic The danger amongst us: The Belgian approach in the fight against terrorism and radicalisation, delivered by two high-ranking employees from the anti-terrorism authorities of the Kingdom of Belgium.

Mr. Alain Grignard, a commissary at the Belgian Federal Police (section Counter-Terrorism of the Federal Judicial Police) and Associate Professor at the University of Liege, described in detail the origin and the development of Islamic terrorism in Belgium. Islam first appeared there in the 1980s. According to Mr. Grignard, the investigating authorities work up to 3 years to identify, trace, and gather evidence on terrorists, but the punishment the latter receive is not severe enough. The Islamic terrorists obtain funds from self-financing such as money laundering or other criminal activity. Mr. Grignard is convinced that the fundamentalist movement known as Salafism, which aims to bring Islam back to its basics, is highly underestimated and a global vision of dealing with Islamic radicalism is needed.

Jean-Claude Pluymakers, Deputy Director and spokesman of OCAM (Organe de coordination pour lanalyse de la menace Coordinating Body for Threat Analysis) and a commissary at the Belgian Federal Police spoke about the history of the unified structure of 7 ministries, including the police, the intelligence and the military intelligence after the 1984 attack against a synagogue in Brussels. He stressed that this structure does not only fight against Islamism, but against ultra-right and ultra-left radicalism, too.

Both experts were skeptical about the deradicalization programme in Belgium, which aims to inform young Muslims about the origin of religions.

02.06.2015

Closure of the Orientation course on Common Security and Defence Policy in Varna

On 29 May 2015 the Orientation Course on Common Security and Defence Policy was officially closed in Varna. The course was conducted under the aegis of the European College for Security and Defence and in close cooperation with Conrad Adenauer foundation and Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy in Varna.

The participants had the opportunity to create a network of contacts with experts working in the field of security, European Union institutions and others. They shared experience, knowledge and good practices. The main topics of the course were related to the European strategy for security, European civil and military capabilities for crisis management, security in the Black Sea as well as future perspectives for the CFSDP. The participants who successfully finished the course were given certificates for participation at the end. They were congratulated by the Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms Tanya Mihaylova, and Mr Mario Marmo, representative of the CFSDP.

01.06.2015

Participation of the Director of the DI in the 17th Diplomatic Forum in Dubrovnik, Croatia

In the period 14-16 May 2015, the Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, participated in the 17th Diplomatic Forum in Dubrovnik, Croatia, organised by the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia and the Central European Initiative (CEI). The forum was dedicated to the search of new approaches to the diplomatic practice. Ms. Tanya Mihaylova participated as moderator in one of the panels related to the issues of "soft" diplomacy.

Representatives of over 20 countries from Europe, Asia and Africa attended the forum. In its framework training for junior diplomats was conducted, in which Bulgaria was represented by Mr. Rayko Nikolov from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

29.05.2015

The Diplomatic Institute organised a visit of the energy expert Slavcho Neykov in Montenegro

In the period 24-28 May, 2015, the energy expert Mr. Slavcho Neykov made a visit to Montenegro, which was jointly organized by the Diplomatic Institute and the Hanns Seidel Foundation. During the visit, a number of meetings were held with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs, and the Ministry of Economy. The countrys progress in its accession process to the European Union was also discussed, with Chapter 15 concerning energy policy, and scheduled to be opened in 2015 as the focal point.

28.05.2015

The Secretary of State of European Affairs of Portugal delivered a lecture on the future of Europe

The Secretary of State of European Affairs of the Portuguese Republic Mr. Bruno Macaes delivered a public lecture on The Future of Europe at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today. The event was organised by the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs within the official visit of Mr. Macaes in Bulgaria. Prof. Ingrid Shikova, a member of the National Advisory Board of the Institute, was the moderator of the lecture and the discussion that followed.

Mr. Bruno Macaes highlighted that he European Union is a unique structure which expresses the creative human spirit. It is not founded on the basis of nation states as is the case of the USA but its Member States retain their sovereignty. The Portugal Secretary of State shared his concerns that the EU may turn against itself if the Union federalizes. At the same time, European citizens prefer to live with open borders, as the current commercial map is. In his opinion, the future of the EU is to merge with the eurozone and to establish a better coordination of economy, energy and healthcare.

25.05.2015

Orientation course on Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), 24-29 May, Varna

On 25 May 2015, the Director of the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, opened the Orientation course on Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) under the auspices of the European College for Security and Defence. The course is held with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and is hosted by Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy, Varna. 24 experts from the Ministries of Defence, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the state administrations of 8 Member States of the European Union, whose expertise is directly related to the issues of Common Security and Defence Policy of the EU, will take part in the course. The purpose of the seminar is to introduce the participants to the major partners, the history, the institutional framework and the processes in CSDP. The main topics which will be touched upon in this course are related to the European Security Strategy, European civilian and military capabilities for crisis management, the security in the Black Sea Region, as well as future perspectives for CSDP.

25.05.2015

The thirteenth edition of Diplomacy Journal

In May 2015 the 13th issue of Diplomacy Journal was published, which the Diplomatic Institute started publishing in 2008. The bilingual journal (in Bulgarian and English) presents the views of Bulgarian and foreign diplomats and experts and aims to maintain a solid analytical capacity in the sphere of foreign policy and diplomacy.

The topics presented in this issue are dedicated to the European Union, Regional and Global Issues Leadership resources of the Presidency of the EU Council in preparation for the Bulgarian Presidency in 2018 (Dr. L. Toneva-Methodieva), The European army as an (in)security project (Assoc. Prof. M. Kornazheva), The preventive diplomacy of the EU (T. Deykova), Bulgaria's Chairmanship of the South-East European Cooperation Process (Southeast Europe Directorate, MFA), The Middle East dimension of the Cyprus issue (P. Hristov), Bosnia and Herzegovina: Is a new Dayton possible? (M. Milanov), Chinas strategy in the Big Black Sea Region (Dr. V. Katrandjiev), The deportation of Jews from Bulgarian-held territories in Thrace, Macedonia and Pirot in 1943 (G. Bozduganov), Migration pressure on South European countries: Challenges and opportunities. Influence on Bulgarias foreign policy (V. Orbetsova), From migration to mobility: policies and roads (summary of Assoc. Prof. A. Krasteva's new book).

The 13th issue of Diplomacy Journal will be distributed on paper and in electronic form among MFA officials in Bulgaria and abroad, the Diplomatic Corps in Bulgaria, lecturers and participants in the courses of the Diplomatic Institute, Bulgarian and foreign partner organisations, research centres, universities, NGOs, etc. The issue is available at the Library of the Institute and on the DI website.

22.05.2015

A Cooperation Agreement with the Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence (CMDR COE)

Today, at the building of the Diplomatic Institute, Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Institute and Col. Vasil Rusinov, Director of CMDR COE, signed a Cooperation Agreement between the two institutions. The Agreement provides for exchange of experience and information, conducting and participating in conferences, joint educational and research projects, exchange of literature and publications, as well as professors and scholars who are expected to deliver lectures. As a first step in the cooperation between the two institutions, an expert from CMDR COE will be a lecturer in the Orientation course on Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) under the auspices of the European College for Security and Defence, which is organised by the Diplomatic Institute in Varna (25-25 May). Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova provided CMDR COE with the newest editions of the Institute, among which the 13th issue of Diplomacy Journal and the collection Future NATO.

21.05.2015

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21.05.2015

Course in Public Diplomacy

The Diplomatic Institute will organize the second consecutive Course in Public Diplomacy in the period of 8-12 June 2015. The aim of the seminar is to raise the qualification of diplomats and representatives of the state administration. During the course, the participants will learn about the key topics in the field of public diplomacy its essence, tools, the role of the media, the importance of cultural diplomacy, the practice in this area in Bulgaria and abroad, the practical application of public diplomacy.

The Diplomatic Institute strives to meet the utmost high demands for complex preparation of the government officials by the high level of the conducted trainings. In this regard, during the course in public diplomacy as speakers will be invited a number of Bulgarian and foreign experts, journalists, diplomats from foreign diplomatic missions in Bulgaria, representatives of the state administration.

The course is open to external participants. The participation fee is 150 lv including VAT. Application documents: CV and application form to Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute. Deadline for applications: June 1, 2015

For more information, please contact the course coordinator Ms. Victoria Pavlova, phone number: 807 64 44; mobile: 0878 601 678; e-mail: victoriya.pavlova@mfa.bg.

21.05.2015

Conference The European Union a new beginning?

Today ended the second part of the International Conference The European Union a new beginning? (20-21 May 2015) organized by the European Studies Department of the Faculty of Philosophy to the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski and the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The conference was held in the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria. During the first day the presentations were focused on the challenges that the EU is facing, as well as the policy of enlargement and good neighborly relations. The main topic today was the career development of students from the European Studies Department to Sofia University. The moderator of the second panel, featuring employers from the public and nongovernmental sector, was Ms. Tania Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute. Ms. Biliana Decheva, Head of the Training, Research and Project Activities Department and Ms. Silvana Tzokova, Acting Head of the Public Affairs and Cooperation Department, took part in the lectures. They talked about the opportunities for professional development that the Diplomatic Institute offers to students, during both their academic training and postgraduate period an internship programme, essay contests, participation with publications in Diplomacy Journal, seminars, as well as the newest joint initiative between the Institute and the European Studies Department the Master Programme European Integration and EU Diplomacy.

20.05.2015

Meeting with the Director of the Hungarian Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade

On 20 May a meeting was held between Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, and Mr. Marton Schober, Director of the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the development of the various fields of cooperation under the Memorandum of Cooperation signed in 2012, as well as future initiatives enabling the exchange of expertise based on the activities of the two institutions research, seminars, forums and expert meetings. H.E. Mr. Andras Klein, Ambassador of Hungary in Sofia, was also present at the meeting.

19.05.2015

The end of the specialised training in diplomacy for parliamentary secretaries of the state administration

Yesterday, the three-day specialized training in diplomacy for parliamentary secretaries of the state administration, organized by the Diplomatic Institute, ended with a final training session. Taking into consideration the specifics of the tasks, performed by the parliamentary secretaries, the programme included many simulation exercises and interactive sessions such as: preparation and presentation on a political topic, negotiating and determining the types of negotiators, how to arrange guests on official events, what are the key principles of behavior during a reception, how to improve the nonverbal communication (clothes and body language) and others.

Mr. Rumen Alexandrov, Deputy Foreign Minister, and Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, awarded certificates to the participants, wishing them goodluck and professional success.

19.05.2015

Black Sea Exhibition at the UN

The Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of the Foreign Affairs, the Regional Administration of Burgas and the Burgas Free University will introduce the exhibition The sea brings all that is distant together on 22 May 2015 at 17:00 in Atrium hall of BFU on the occasion of the International Map Year 2015-2016. The exhibition presents the Western (Bulgarian) Black Sea coast as a place where early civilizations lived, through 30 most valuable cartographical images from II to XIX century according history. They are stored in many world and Bulgarian collections which are gathered in a thematic module The Western Black Sa Coast in old maps and engravings.

In an exposition module People and towns, Old Nesebar is presented in front of the Burgas public as a world cultural heritage under the aegis of UNESCO. Modern maps are presented as well which are a special donation from the Bulgarian Cartographical Association to the Library of the UN in New York.

After its premiere in Burgas, the exhibition will be presented at the UN headquarters in New York in June on the proposal of The Permanent Representative of Bulgaria to the UN. The initiative for the Burgas premiere of the exhibition is suggested by Valcho Cholakov, Regional Governor, and is part of the national plan for participation in the International Map Year 2015-2016.

18.05.2015

The seminar on Economic Diplomacy has started

Today the Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, opened the 5-day seminar on Economic Diplomacy. Twenty-five representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the public administration will take part in it. The purpose of the seminar is to raise the qualification of diplomats and government officials and also to optimize the coordination among institutions which are responsible for planning and conducting the foreign economic policy of Bulgaria, so that the same messages and goals could be reached and carried out by our diplomatic missions abroad.

In the first day of the seminar the former Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, Mr. Traycho Traykov, and the former ambassadors in Moscow Mr. Ilian Vasilev, and in Ankara Mr. Branimir Mladenov, took part in the discussion. Mr. Ilian Vasilev summarized that we all should work for the national interests. Regarding the Bulgarian business in Russia, he pointed out that the best thing for the business is to focus on the Asian part of the country. Mr. Branimir Mladenov talked about the measures which the Turkish state had undertook in order to facilitate the business. He stressed out that in Turkey the interest of the major investors to Bulgaria is still minimal. Mr. Traykov said that during his government the country has commissioned on behalf of the Ministry of Economy additional staff in order to serve faster and more quickly the Russian tourists.

15.05.2015

Participation in the conference "Digital Diplomacy: Prospects and Challenges"

In the period 11-12 May, in the Armenian capital Yerevan, an international scientific-practical conference was held, entitled "Digital Diplomacy: Prospects and Challenges", under the auspices of the Armenian School of Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia. The event was realized with the logistical, expert and financial support of the EU Delegation in Armenia and the European College. The Diplomatic Institute was represented at the conference by Dr. Valentin Katrandjiev, Chief Expert in the Training, Research and Project Activities Department, who took part in the discussions after the reports of the four main panels.

13.05.2015

The seminar Behavioral analysis, psychology and body language for magistrates has ended

From 10 to 13 May 2015 the Diplomatic Institute held a specialized training titled Behavioral analysis, psychology and body language for magistrates in Velingrad with lecturer the criminal psychologist Dr. Todor Todorov. 24 representatives of the judiciary took part in the training that included lectures and interactive activities aimed at the acquisition of knowledge and practical skills in the sphere of interrogation techniques, behavioral psychology, verbal and nonverbal communication, behavioral analysis and work with a polygraph. This seminar is part of the implementation of the project Strengthening the effectiveness of the judiciary through training without boarders with the financial help provided by the Operational Programme Administrative Capacity (OPAC), co-financed by the European Union through the European Social Fund and won by the National Institute of Justice. The Diplomatic Institute is a contractor of some of the trainings in the project related to the acquisition of specialized skills.

13.05.2015

Winners of the essay contest Our world. Our dignity. Our future

On 12 May 2015 the winners of the essay contest Our world. Our dignity. Our future, organized by the Diplomatic Institute on the occasion of the European Year for Development 2015, were chosen among students from 11th and 12th grade and students from universities. The received essays were evaluated by a special committee: Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova (Director of the Diplomatic Institute), Mrs. Maria Pavlova (Head of the International Cooperation for Development Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Mr. Ognian Zlatev (Head of the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria), Mrs. Silvana Tzokova (Acting Head of Public Affairs and Cooperation Department of the Diplomatic Institute), Mr. Svetlozar Kovachev (Chief Expert in Public Affairs and Cooperation Department of the Diplomatic Institute). Four first prizes were awarded a visit to the European institutions in Brussels for two high school students and two university students, as well as eight encouragement awards certificate for excellent performance for four high school students and four university students.

Awarded first prize and winners are: Teodora Ivanova, XII grade, "Tsanko Tserkovski" High School - Polski Trambesh; Velislava-Mihaela Krachunova, XII grade, Language School "Hristo Botev" - Kardzhali; Darina Hristova, student in Law at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski"; Krasimir Valev, student in International Relations at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". Encouragement awards: Kristina Dimitrova, "Hristo Botev" High School - Rousse; Janet Hassan, Language School "Peyo Yavorov" - Silistra; Neylin Rahmi, Language School Ioan Ekzarkh" - Varna; Tsvetan Moev, Sofia High School of Mathematics "Paisii Hilendarski- Sofia; Isabella Lazova, student in Political Sciences at UNWE; Radoslava Petrova, student in Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski"; Ivan Ruslanov, student in Business Journalism at UNWE; Tihomir Petkov, student in Finance at University of Economics Varna.

The ceremony of awarding the first place winners and encouragement prizes will take place in June. The essays of the winners will be published on the website and Facebook page of the Diplomatic Institute.

123 students from 61 schools and 15 universities from 53 cities in the country took part in the competition. The team of the Diplomatic Institute is grateful for the efforts of all participants acknowledging their good performance, and wishes them future success.

12.05.2015

Memorandum of Understanding between the Diplomatic Institute and the Diplomatic School of Spain

Today, the foreign ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Spain, Mr. Daniel Mitov and Mr. Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo y Marfil, signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute and the Diplomatic School of Spain. The purpose of the memorandum is to deepen the mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of training of diplomatic personnel and the exchange of information regarding matters of international law, diplomatic law, as well as other learning disciplines which are appropriate for people who are engaged in diplomacy and international relations political, economic, cultural, financial, etc.

The Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affair of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Diplomatic School of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain will carry out a proactive informational exchange regarding their educational programmes and other activities related to the learning process which takes place in the institutes of both countries.

The two institutions will cooperate to facilitate the exchange of teachers, lecturers, experts and researchers in the fields of mutual interest, as well as the organization of conferences and the delivery of presentations within their educational programmes. They will consult on options for organizing courses and seminars, which could be lead consecutively in Sofia and Madrid.

The two institutions will facilitate the exchange of their publications, and other appropriate texts that have been published by other public or private institutions in both countries. They will inform each other about events of general interest, paying particular attention to meetings of regional or international nature, involving schools or other educational institutions that offer training for diplomats.

The memorandum is part of two other documents signed by the ministers during the official visit to Sofia of the Spanish Foreign Minister an Agreement on Cultural, Educational and Scientific Cooperation between Bulgaria and Spain, and a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Foreign Ministries of both countries.

08.05.2015

The Diplomatic Institute announces a contest for journalists

On the occasion of Europe Day (May 9), the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs announces the first edition of an annual contest for the best journalistic material on the topic The Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2018", with awards in four categories.

[MORE INFORMATION]

04.05.2015

Specialised training for parliamentary secretaries of the state administration

Today a three-day specialised training for parliamentary secretaries of the state administration started at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The training is organised by the Diplomatic Institute. The Institutes director, Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova welcomed the participants and briefed them on the main activities of the Institute. Mrs. Desislava Ivanova, Head of department in the Foreign Policy Planning, Information and Coordination Directorate of the MFA, delivered the first lecture. She presented the foreign policy priorities of Bulgaria, focusing on the main international organisations in which the country participates. Over the remaining two days of the training, the participants will hear lectures on protocol, etiquette and ceremonies. They will also participate in a series of simulation exercises in order to show presentation and communication skills in a professional environment.

04.05.2015

Fifth training seminar "Economic Diplomacy"

The Diplomatic Institute organises the fifth seminar "Economic Diplomacy" from 18 to 22 May 2015.

The purpose of the seminar is to raise the qualification of diplomats and civil servants and to optimise the coordination between institutions, involved in planning and conducting the foreign economic policy of the Republic of Bulgaria, and the business, so that our diplomatic agencies abroad reach and accomplish the unified messages and objectives. In order to achieve this result, the seminar will introduce the participants, including diplomats and experts from the state administration, the Foreign Investment Agency, a number of NGOs, the business sector, research institutes, etc., with current economic and financial topics. Furthermore, among the highlights in the programme will be the familiarization with the economic sector in a national, international and political context; the prospects in front of the Bulgarian and world economy in terms of global economic crisis and the foreign economic priorities of Bulgaria.

Several Bulgarian and foreign experts, including diplomats from diplomatic agencies in Republic of Bulgaria, representatives of state administration, international financial institutions, the BCCI and BIA, leading experts and analysts from the NGO sector and the business are invited as lecturers in the seminar.

The seminar is open to external participants as well. The participation fee is 270 lv. including VAT. Application documents: CV and application form to Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute. Deadline for submissions: May 11, 2015

For more information you can contact the coordinators of the training Ms. Ekaterina Neofitova, tel. 807 64 44 0878601825 and email: ekaterina.neofitova@mfa.bg and Ms. Victoria Pavlova, tel. 807 64 44 678 0878601 and email: victoriya.pavlova@mfa.bg.

30.04.2015

The Director of the DI visited the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria "Shalom"

On 30 April Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, visited the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria "Shalom" at the invitation of its president, Dr. Maxim Benvenisti. During the meeting Dr. Benvenisti presented the activities of the Organization, and discussed with Mrs. Mihaylova opportunities for cooperation in the field of exchange of experts, public lectures, publishing, as well as training forms of the Diplomatic Institute. Among the highlights of the conversation was the cooperation between state institutions and NGOs, as Dr. Benvenisti focused on the role of this cooperation in the promotion of issues of public importance related to Jewish subject-matter and its presence in Bulgarian history. At the end of the meeting Mrs. Mihaylova and her host exchanged publications of the Diplomatic Institute and the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria.

30.04.2015

Validation of a philatelic edition on the occasion of EYD2015

A philatelic edition dedicated to the European Year for Development 2015 was validated.

On the occasion of the declared by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union 2015 as European Year for Development, a postal philatelic edition was put into circulation that includes a postal card and a stamp.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Rumen Alexandrov, Mr. Valery Borissov, Deputy Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications and Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute took part in the special ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mrs. Mihaylova opened the ceremony recalling the motto of the European Year for Development Our world. Our Dignity. Our Future.

Deputy Foreign Minister Alexandrov expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications and emphasized that although it is still not popular in Bulgaria, development policy aims to achieve sustainability in the world and this model should be understood by society.

Mr. Valery Borissov announced that the initiative makes Bulgaria a pioneer within EU Member States national programmes for celebrating the European Year for Development. The edition is limited - 1154 pieces, a fact which philatelists greeted with satisfaction.

Both Deputy Ministers validated the postal card with the stamp.

29.04.2015

National Youth Contest on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of UNESCO

In 2015 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) celebrates its 70th anniversary. On this occasion, the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs organises a National Youth Contest. The topic is The Cultural and Natural Heritage of Bulgaria - Think Today for Our Tomorrow. Final term for sending your work and application form: 30 June 2015. APPLICATION FORM.

28.04.2015

Donation of valuable Japanese books

The Diplomatic Institute received a book donation from the Tokai University Alumni Association in Bulgaria. The book collection is related to Chinese and Japanese studies. At the ceremony, Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Institute, expressed her gratitude for the donation and awarded a certificate to Bilyana Stanoylovich, President of the Association. H. E. Takashi Koizumi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of Bulgaria, attended the ceremony in the Diplomatic Institute library. He announced that according to unofficial data, about 1400 Bulgarians speak Japanese.

25.04.2015

Representative of the Diplomatic Institute took part in a training of the Academy of Foreign Service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

The 23th Training Course for Young Diplomats of the Academy of Foreign Service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan took place in Islamabad from March 16 to April 24. The training was attended by 28 young diplomats from 23 countries and 4 continents (Asia, Africa, Europe and South America). The Diplomatic Institute was represented by Georgi Petrov, senior expert at the Public Affairs and Cooperation Department. He gave a presentation about the history, the cultural traditions, the foreign policy and the economy of the Republic of Bulgaria to the other participants in the training.

Lectures were delivered during the training concerning the relations of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan with the United States, China, Iran, Afghanistan and other regions. The training included simulation classes aimed at improving the skills of negotiation and conflict resolution, as well as simulation of a United Nations Security Council meeting about the conflict in Syria. The participants visited the Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the MFA, "Faisal" the fourth largest mosque in the world, etc. Trips were organised to the Lahore city, to the ruins of the ancient city of Taxila, and to the refugee camp for immigrants from Afghanistan "Pani", etc.

The training ended with a ceremony for awarding certificates to the trainees. The Republic of Bulgaria was represented by Mr. Rumen Pironchev, Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria in Pakistan and Mr. Hristo Manov, Consul of Bulgaria in the Islamic Republic.

23.04.2015

The Diplomatic Institute hosted the Third Saudi-Bulgarian-Romanian Workshop

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will open an embassy in Sofia, with Bulgaria to follow in Riyadh 20 years since establishing diplomatic relations. This was discussed at the Third Workshop, dedicated to the Saudi-Romanian and Bulgarian relations, organised by the Diplomatic Institute (DI) to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Institutes Director, Tanya Mihaylova, expects that thus a boost in diplomatic relations will be gained. She was glad to hear various proposals for investment opportunities, student exchange, intellectual potential, cultural and tourism development.

Prof. Abdullah Alotaibi from the King Saud University presented his countrys position on the Middle East crisis. According to Dr. Saud Altamammy, Saudi-Bulgarian relations could be developed not only based on agricultural business interests, but also on many other aspects of cooperation, such as IT and counterterrorism. Mr Yaseen Al Suroor, President of the International Chamber of Commerce, emphasised on the possible Bulgarian participation in major Saudi projects. Prof. Vladimir Chukov suggested that Bulgaria and Romania form the foundation of a common regional market similar to the BENELUX group. Prof. Alexander Fedotov, Director of the Centre for Eastern Languages and Cultures at Sofia University, presented the educational prospects before both states.

The forum was held in cooperation with the non-government organization Friends of the Arab World, the Saudi-Bulgarian Business Council and the Risk Engineering Company. Mr Dan Petre, the Director General of the Romanian Diplomatic Institute, also participated in the event and examined the situation in Southeast Europe, along with the challenges facing our two countries.

24.04.2015

The director of DI met with representatives from the Alzahra University, Iran

On 24 April the Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Mrs Tanya Mihaylova, met with Dr. Seyyedeh Susan Marandi, Director General of International Academic Collaborations Directorate and Associate Professor in Alzahra University, and Mrs Seyyedeh Sedige Hedzhazi, Director General of Issues Related to Women and the Family Directorate, Alzahra University. Various aspects of possible cooperation between the two institutions were discussed and emphasis was placed on training and cultural events.

22.04.2015

The director of DI took part in a discussion about the European Security Strategy in Brussels

On 21 April in Brussels, the European Institute for Security Studies organized a conference on The EU in a changing security environment.

The conference speakers were Mrs. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and also Mr. Alain Le Roy, First Secretary of the European External Action Service and Special Advisor Mrs. Nathalie Tocci. Regarding the update of the European Security Strategy, a mutual agreement that the EU should be proactive in the changing geostrategic environment was reached. Bulgaria supports a gradual and pragmatic updating of the European Security Strategy that responds adequately to the dynamic and changing challenges, in cooperation with strategic partners.

Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute and representative of Bulgaria at the Board of Directors of the European Institute for Security Studies, took part in the debate.

During her visit to Brussels Mrs. Mihaylova discussed future joint initiatives with the Bulgarian representative in the European Parliament, Mr. Andrey Kovachev.

21.04.2015

End of the essay contest Our World. Our Dignity. Our Future

On 20 April 2015, the National essay contest on the topic Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future ended. It was organized by the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the framework of Bulgarias National Programme for marking the European Year for Development 2015. There were over 120 participants in the contest students from 11th and 12th grade and students from Bulgarian universities from over 30 villages and towns in Bulgaria.

The essays will be assessed by a special commission, which includes experts from the Diplomatic Institute, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria. The two best of high-school students and the two best essays of university students will be awarded. The four winners will visit the European institutions in Brussels in June 2015. Their essays will be published on the website of the Diplomatic Institute, as well as in the online Diplomacy Journal, and the authors will receive certificates for their excellent performance. The final results will be announced on the Institutes website in the period 11th - 15th May 2015.

20.04.2015

Third workshop on the relations between Bulgaria, Romania and Saudi Arabia

The Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, in cooperation with the Institute for Diplomatic Studies at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, the Association Friends of the Arab World and the Bulgarian-Saudi Business Council, will hold a third workshop dedicated to the relations between Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and Saudi Arabia. The forum will take place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hall 101, on 23 April (Thursday), from 9:00 a.m.

Participants will be Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Mr. Borislav Kostov, Director General on Bilateral Issues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, the Director General of the Institute of Diplomatic Studies of Saudi Arabia, Prof. Abdulkarim H. Al-Dekhayel, the Director General of the Diplomatic Institute of Romania, Prof. Dan Petre, Dr. Saud Altammamy and Prof. Abdullah Mathker Alotaibi from the Department of Political Science at King Saud University, Prof. Vladimir Chukov, Prof. Aleksander Fedotov, Director of the Centre for Eastern Languages and Cultures at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, among others. The event will be held in English with provided simultaneous translation.

15.04.2015

Letter of gratitude to the DIs Director from the President of the Republic of Croatia

Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, sent Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic a letter to congratulate her on becoming President of the Republic of Croatia. In response, Ms. Grabar-Kitarovic, a long-term member of the Diplomatic Institutes International Advisory Board, sent a letter of gratitude, expressing her support to the Institutes activities, as well as to the successful cooperation between the Diplomatic Institute and the Diplomatic Academy of Croatia.

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06.04.2015

Public presentation of policy paper by Tonka Kostadinova, trainee attache in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Today Ms. Tonka Kostadinova, trainee attache in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, completed her training in diplomacy after presenting a policy paper about Bulgarias role in regional cooperation in Southeastern Europe. The Bulgarian presidency of the SEECP, 2015-2016.

Her presentation and recommendations, concerning the upcoming presidency of the SEECP, were followed up by a discussion. Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, expressed her gratitude for the excellent work and awarded Ms. Kostadinova a certificate for the successful completion of the Diplomacy Course for trainee attaches organized by the Institute. The event gathered all of the Ministrys trainee attaches, Ms. Kostadinovas policy paper consultants, officials from the Southeastern Europe Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and colleagues from the Diplomatic Institute.

06.04.2015

Bozhidar Dimitrov appealed to the future consuls to cooperate in the search and preservation of historic monuments

Within the 11th Consular Diplomacy Course, the director of the National History Museum, Bozhidar Dimitrov presented a lecture on Activities of the diplomatic and consular missions in promoting Bulgarian culture and preserving the cultural heritage (Bulgarian history sources, valuable collections, objects of historical and cultural past, etc.). He pointed out that it is tradition for Bulgarian diplomats to seek out material and immaterial monuments in the lands of our neighboring countries which once belonged to Bulgaria. The identifying activities began even before the Liberation, after 1860 when the Bulgarian Orthodox church became autocephalous. Prof. Dimitrov told of interesting cases when Bulgarian diplomats have found historical monuments. The soldier monuments in the Republic of Macedonia have risen from 470 to 505 in the past 25 years.

The historian urged our future consuls to contribute to the discovery of illegal antique trade. In the USA alone, the annual trade of Bulgarian antiques reaches 20 million dollars.

02.04.2015

The collection Future NATO was officially presented

Today the collection Future NATO, published by the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria and the G.S. Rakovski National Defence College was officially presented at the Ceremonial Hall of the Central Military Club. The collection comprises the papers of both Bulgarian and foreign participants in the international conference, organised by the Diplomatic Institute, the National Defence College and The Atlantic Club in Bulgaria in 2014 on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the accession of Bulgaria to NATO.

The president of The Atlantic Club, Dr. Solomon Passy, reminded of the accession of our country to the Alliance on 29th March, 2004. He stressed that our membership in NATO nowadays was not trivial, but on the contrary quite relevant, because of the events in Ukraine and was also a vital guarantee for our security. Since 1949, this is the only limit that has not been braved yet. According to Passy, there is a reputation war in the field of electronic media. Dr. Petio Petev, Director of the NATO and Regional Security Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, emphasised the role of the Diplomatic Institute in the timely publication of the Future NATO. Dr. Petev also disclosed that its leitmotif was the philosophy of the Future NATO, while the symbolic values had remained unchanged. There is a need of a new strategic concept because of the modern political situation terrorism, cyber-attacks, immigration waves, and the fundamental regional changes the annexation of Crimea, the emerging of ISIS, factors which have altered the worlds balance. Bulgaria is an active member of NATO, stressed Dr. Petev. The country had also taken part in the training conducted in Eastern Europe along with Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Romania. In light of the recent phenomenon called hybrid war, Dr. Petev called for a clear distinction between the freedom of speech and misinformation.

The ambassadors of the USA, Hungary, Morocco, Egypt, Mongolia and Pakistan extended greetings.

27.03.2015

Training seminar for civil servants

On March 27, 2015, in fulfillment of the Memorandum for Cooperation between the Diplomatic Institute and the State Agency for Refugees a one-day training seminar was held, with the topic: Informational and analytical activities in public administration: sharing of practices for employees of the Information about the countries of origin and analysis Department of the Agency. Course lecturers were Ms. Desislava Ivanova, Head of the Information, positions and statements Department in the Foreign Policy Planning, Information and Coordination Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Dr. Valentin Katrandjiev, chief expert at the Training, Research and Projects Activities Department of the Diplomatic Institute. The participants in the training seminar were introduced to the substance, stages and methods of the informational-analytical work. The seminar ended with performing an expert task on a specific international case study.

27.03.2015

Opening of the international forum Education without borders

The twelfth edition of the international forum "Education without Borders" started today. It will take place within the next three days at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia. The most comprehensive educational fair in Bulgaria enjoyed great interest from exhibitors, visitors and the media. The platform represents many foreign and Bulgarian educational institutions and employers, and includes the useful initiative "Education and career", which provides information about internships, career development opportunities and programmes for intercultural exchange.

The official opening of the event was attended by representatives of the Bulgarian institutions and the diplomatic corps. At the invitation of the organizers, Ms. Silvana Tsokova, Acting Head of the Public Affairs and Cooperation Department of the Diplomatic Institute, addressed the forum with a welcoming speech on behalf of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ms. Katya Todorova and the Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova. She expressed the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and DI to such initiatives, and welcomed their positive role in the development of educational mobility, meeting the needs of a dynamic society. Emphasizing on the mission of the forum to contribute to a successful career and personal development beyond any borders, Ms. Tsokova mentioned the various trainings organized by the Institute, as well as its internship programme which aims to achieve succession between the academic and professional sphere. The motto of the Institute which is generally valid for all participants of the exhibition, "By teaching others, we teach ourselves", found place in the context of the welcoming speech.

26.03.2015

The 10th edition of the Winter School of Diplomacy has ended

The Winter School of Diplomacy was organized for a tenth consecutive year by the Diplomatic Institute in cooperation with the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the European Academy-Berlin. The event took place between 16 and 20 March 2015 in the town of Sandanski. The topic of the seminar was "Policies of EU and NATO in Southeast Europe and the Black Sea region: foreign policy, security and energy issues. Twenty-four young diplomats from 15 countries from the Balkans, the Black Sea region and EU Member States participated in the event.

During the first two days of the programme the participants presented positions of states different from their state of origin, on the main topic of the event. The discussions which followed were moderated by Prof. Stratenschulte, Director of the European Academy-Berlin. The following three days of the seminar included lectures and interactive activities, prepared by officials of the MFA, the Diplomatic Institute and external experts. Ms. Daniela Shili, Mr. Slavcho Neikov, Assoc. Prof. Kaloyan Simeonov, Mr. Rositsa Stoeva, Ms. Antoaneta Primatarova and Dr. Valentin Katrandzhiev were invited to present and discuss with the young diplomats different policies related to the Black Sea region and Southeast Europe.

Some of the topics discussed were the Strategy for the Danube region and the mechanisms for successful negotiations between the countries from the region, the energy challenges in Southeast Europe, the EU Enlargement Policy for the Western Balkans and the role of Bulgaria in it, the benefits of the EU membership and the policies of the Asian countries in the Balkans. After the official part of the seminar the diplomats received certificates for their participation. In the last part of the programme the guests visited some of the most emblematic places in Bulgarias history. The participants also had a lesson of Bulgarian folk dances to immerge themselves in the culture of our country.

24.03.2015

Meeting with the Director of the Diplomatic Academy of the Republic of Macedonia

A work meeting between Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Adelina Marku, Director of the Diplomatic Academy Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia, and her substitute, Ms. Lidiya Boshkovska, took place within the range of the 10th Winter School of Diplomacy in the town of Sandanski. The topic of discussion were two projects of the Diplomatic Institute an upcoming training for diplomats from the Republic of Macedonia, and a joint project in energy issues, with which the Institute plans to apply within the Central European Initiative.

23.03.2015

Memorandum for cooperation between the Diplomatic Institute and BNR

Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Radoslav Yankulov, General Director of the Bulgarian National Radio, signed a Memorandum for cooperation between the two institutions. It foresees information exchange, informing the society and joint radio broadcasts about the training, research and public activities in the field of Bulgarian and international foreign policy. The Diplomatic Institute will provide information about its activities and its own and foreign lecturers, which will participate in the radio broadcasts on BNR. Radio journalists will be included as lecturers, geopolitical, geoeconomical and international relations experts, in the qualification courses of the Institute.

19.03.2015

The Minister of Foreign Affairs opened the European Year for Development in Bulgaria

The Opening Conference for the European Year for Development 2015 in Bulgaria, organized by the Diplomatic Institute and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, took place on 19 March 2015 at the Concert Hall of the Central Military Club in Sofia. The European Year for Development (EYD 2015) will be celebrated in all EU Member States. Bulgaria joined the initiative with a National Programme prepared by the Diplomatic Institute and the MFA, which includes a multitude of activities throughout 2015.

The event was opened by Mr. Daniel Mitov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Mr. Ognian Zlatev, Director of the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria, Mr. Teodor Stoychev, Acting Director of the Information Office of the European Parliament in Bulgaria, and Mr. Ventsislav Kirkov from the Bulgarian Platform for International Development. Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Vice-president of the European Commission, greeted the participants and the audience with a video address.

In his speech, Minister Mitov outlined that reflections on what has been achieved until now will be made in 2015, and that a new ambitious agenda is to be implemented, aiming to bring sustainable development, which would give a quality boost to the economy, society and human rights. He noted that solidarity is an investment for the success and prosperity of all, and that the EYD 2015 aims are impossible to accomplish without the active involvement of CSOs. In addition, Ms. Mihaylova declared that solidarity is the main value of the EU, as well as an instrument of national foreign policy, through which Bulgaria can create a new image for itself before the international community.

In her video message, Commissioner Georgieva emphasized that 85% of the European citizens are convinced in the importance of development aid and that the EU is the biggest donor in the world. She added that the fight against poverty is a fight for peace which prevents extremist notions in the world.

The main values presented during the conference were solidarity, dealing with poverty and finding a uniform approach against global threats. Dealing with the lack of sufficient information for Bulgarian citizens was put forth as a challenge before Bulgarias National programme, regarding the benefits for donor-states resulting from development cooperation, as well as popularizing the successes which the EU has in this area.

The conference took place in two sessions, focusing on EYD 2015 as a platform for speeding up the dialogue between all interested parties on the possibilities and challenges before development cooperation, as well as on the topic of peaceful societies, the rule of law and good management as key factors of UNs new agenda for sustainable development after 2015. Participants in the sessions were representatives from MFA, the European External Action Service, the NGO sector and the academic society. The event gathered over 250 participants.

18.03.2015

18.03.2015

Press conference on the official opening in Bulgaria of the European Year for Development 2015

The communication campaign for the European Year for Development is directed mostly towards the young people, because solidarity is something, that we can teach, said Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute. We need solidarity, because it is essential for the European Union. At the same time, 64% of Bulgarian citizens think that their country should not be involved in development policy helping other countries. The campaign should approach more students throughout the whole country. The Diplomatic Institute will be its vehicle and the main partners in this action will be the NGOs. The advanced democracies helped us in the past, and we respect them for that, and now it is our turn to do the same for the developing countries, Ms. Mihaylova added.

Tanya Mihaylova urged the media to become part of the team who will explain the values of solidarity. She invited the journalists to the conference, with which the Minister of Foreign Affairs would open the European Year for Development in Bulgaria.

Solidarity is one of the key values in the EU, said Ms. Maria Pavlova, Head of International cooperation for development department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She emphasized that in 2005 a European consensus was achieved about the main values and goals and the most important of them is solidarity. Bulgaria has to be involved in this, because, as a EU Member State, the country has to follow its international obligations. The priorities for Bulgaria in the medium-term programme 2013-2015 are the Western Blkans and the Eastern partnership, which is very important for the EU. She defined the donorship as an investment in security and prosperity. In that way Bulgaria will limit the migration, the tension will be reduced and conflicts will be escaped. Ms. Pavlova added that Bulgarias main idea is to have very specific goals, because is not a big donor and the help it provides should be focused. In that way business contacts will expand, opening up new prospects for the business, and historic heritage will be preserved.

16.03.2015

Start of the 10th Winter School in Diplomacy

On 16 March, in the town of Sandanski, started the 10th edition of the international seminar Winter School in Diplomacy, organized by the Diplomatic Institute, in cooperation with the German Hanns Seidel Foundation. The topic of this years seminar is Policies of EU and NATO in Southeast Europe and the Black Sea region: foreign policy, security and energy issues. Twenty-four young diplomats, representatives of 15 countries from Southeast Europe, the Black Sea region and several EU Member States will take part in the training.

This years international forum was opened by Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute and H.E. Mr. Detlef Lingemann, ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bulgaria. Mr. Bogdan Mirchev, the representative of the Hanns Seidel in Bulgaria, and Prof. Eckart Stratenschulte, Director of the European academy in Berlin, also took part in the opening. Mrs. Dzhema Grozdanova, Chair of the Parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee sent a congratulatory address to the young participants and wished them success in the seminar.

During the first two days of the Winter School each participant will present the above mentioned policies of a country different from their own. Prof. Stratenschulte will be the moderator of this exercise for eighth year in a row. Lecturers in the five-day seminar will be experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Diplomatic Institute, as well as NGOs.

13.03.2015

Orientation course in Common Security and Defence Policy, Vienna

Between 9th and 12th of March 2015, within the training programme of the European Security and Defence College (ESDC), the Austrian Defence Academy, which is a ESDC partner, conducted an Orientation course in Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) of the EU in Vienna. Mr. Valentin Katrandjiev, Chief Expert at the Training, Research and Project Activities Department of the Diplomatic Institute, took part in it. His participation was part of his familiarization with the issues of CSDP, the methodology and logistics of conducting training courses within the framework of the College. As of February 2015 Mr. Katrandjiev is the representative of the Diplomatic Institute in the meetings of the Academic Council of ESDC.

13.03.2015

Memorandum for cooperation with Angel Kanchev University of Ruse

On 12 March 2015, in Ruse, the director of the Diplomacy Institute Tanya Mihaylova and Prof. Hristo Beloev, rector of Angel Kanchev University of Ruse signed a Memorandum for cooperation between the two institutions.

09.03.2015

Eleventh course on consular diplomacy

The eleventh course on consular diplomacy started today. It is organized by the Diplomatic Institute together with the Consular Relations directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The participants are civil servants, whose work is related to the consular activities of the Republic of Bulgaria abroad. The course was opened by Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute and Mr. Rakovski Lashev, Director of Consular Relations directorate. During the five-week training period the participants will extend their knowledge on important topics in the consular field. The lecturers in the course are experts from the Consular Relations directorate, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the State Agency for the Bulgarians living abroad and other institutions. This training is a compulsory element of the preparation of all consular servants before their departure for a mission abroad.

09.03.2015

The American Jewish Committee supported Europe and Bulgaria

Europe could lean on USA for a military protection to a great extent. Europe can share the burden. This advice was given by the executive director of the American Jewish Committee David Harris, who held a public lecture in Sofia, organized by the Diplomatic Institute and the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria.

What shall we do, if Putin leaves us no choice, if he treads down our values, if he transforms the whole of Europe with his impudent threats and tries to spoil everything that Europe has created so far? Together we would be in a very stronger position, argued Harris. He was determined that the question about Ukraine is very important the story of it is not finished writing, and, still, there could be no more chapters, but we cannot stand at the fence waiting to see what it will happen.

The USA would pay a very big price, he said, if we think that the oceans will defend us, if we dont take any steps. America has to address itself and to call to mind that when it refused to take part in the United Nations, it turned against its own values, emphasized Harris. He is hopeful about the future international relations, stating Im a convinced transatlantic, and Ive been so all my life, Ive always believed in the relation between America and Europe. I believe that there is a bridge not only between interests, but also between values.

In his words, the European Union is the most successful peace project in the history of the Earth. Harris also paid tribute to our nation for one of the political decisions which have made us famous throughout the world the salvation of the Bulgarian Jews in World War II.

05.03.2015

Development Policy seminar has ended

The third and final seminar on Development Policy, organized by the Diplomatic Institute with the cooperation of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael ended on 27 February 2015. The training was closed by Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the DI, and Prof. Paul Hoebink, the lecturer of the course. Both of them gave out certificates for participation to the trainees and made analyses and conclusion of the training. The course was attended by civil servants from almost every Bulgarian ministry, representatives of different NGOs and teaching institutions, which deal with Development Policy.

04.03.2015

Liberation Day commemorated in Istanbul with the exhibition The Sea brings all that is distant together

The exhibition The Sea brings all that is distant together, which presents the Western Black Sea coast in 33 maps and engravings, marked Bulgarias national day (March 3) in Sheraton Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey. The exhibition was opened with the speech of Assoc. Prof. Ivan Iltchev, the rector of Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski. The event was an initiative of the Institute for Culture at MFA and the Consulate General in Istanbul.

The exhibition features old maps and engravings from the II-XIX c., which uniquely recreate the spirit of the Black Sea and provoke the development of new perceptions and rationalizations about its contemporary dimension as one of EUs borders. The maps were put on display for the first time on 24 January, 2014 in The Mission gallery at the Institute for Culture on the occasion of Bulgarias presidency of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation BSEC.

Following Istanbul, the exhibition will be displayed in Burgas. At a later stage, thanks to the Diplomatic Institute at MFA, the exhibition will be part of the International Map Year 2015/2016 programme, under UN patronage.

Owing to the vast interest to the cultural event in Istanbul, the exhibitions catalogue has been published on the Morski Vestnik (Marine Newspaper) Varnaofficial website.

26.02.2015

Essay contest Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future

The Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs announces a National essay contest on the topic Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future. The contest is organized on the occasion that the year 2015 was declared as European Year for Development by the European Parliament. Bulgarian students from 11th and 12th grade and students from Bulgarian universities can take part in the contest. The winners will visit the European parliament and other European institutions in Brussels in June 2015, and their essays will be published on the website of the Diplomatic Institute, as well as in the online Diplomacy Journal. The final results will be announced in May 2015 on the Institutes website.

For more information see the Announcement.

25.02.2015

Opening of the training seminar on "Development Policy"

The third and final training seminar on "Development Policy", organized by the Diplomatic Institute in cooperation with the Netherlands Institute of International Relations 'Clingendael' started on 25 February, 2015. The training is designed for the specialized interagency working group on development policy, which includes representatives of specialized and regional directorates of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant government departments. In this year's seminar representatives of almost all Bulgarian ministries are taking part. Among them are employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as representatives of the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works and other ministries.

The seminar was opened by Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute; H.E. Thomas van Orshot, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Sofia and Mrs. Maria Pavlova, Head of "International Cooperation for Development" department in the "UN and Development Cooperation" directorate of the MFA. After the welcome addresses, Prof. Dr. Paul Hyobing from the Institute of International Relations "Clingendael" began his lectures, sharing with participants the rich experience of his country in the field of development cooperation. The course will continue until February 27, 2015.

24.02.2015

The Diplomatic Institute mentioned in a Qatari yearbook for 2014

A publication, dedicated to the work of the Diplomatic Institute of Qatar in 2014, pays special attention to the cooperation with Bulgaria, in particular, to the Memorandum of Cooperation signed between Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute of Bulgaria and her Qatari counterpart Dr. Hassan al Mohanadina.

The bilateral meeting and the signing of the document took place during the official visit of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev in Doha in March last year. With the Memorandum the two countries agreed to cooperate in the fields of: training of diplomats from both countries, research work, exchange of lecturers and students in seminars, training courses, conferences etc.

The memorandum reflects the initiative of the Qatar Institute, launched in 2013, to expand its partner network. In the yearbook for 2014 the Memorandum with the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute was named first, prior to the agreements with Kuwait and France.

23.02.2015

From Migration to Mobility

The Diplomatic Institute organized a presentation of Anna Krastevas new book From migration to mobility: policies and roads with the participation of the author, who is a member of the Institutes National Advisory Board. The director of the Institute Tanya Mihaylova pointed out that the ten-year work of the professor at the New Bulgarian University is not only useful for the administration, but also constitutes a reading with deep and profound aestheticism the book presented scientific facts, as well as examples from literature and painting.

Assoc. Prof. Krasteva introduced the audience to the issue of migration with a quote of Mihail Veshims book The English Neighbour. She stressed that when the former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan was awarded with the prize for human rights Sakharov, he coincidentally called the European Union for better migration policy. The migration policies are the most difficult, said Assoc. Prof. Krasteva, because they are the heart of the identity. For the last five years ten priorities in this area have been changed. The reason for this is that much more attention is being paid to the immigration policy, than to integration policy. So, in her opinion, the approach of the politicians and administration must be changed.

18.02.2015

First meeting of the new Advisory Board of the Diplomatic Institute

The new National Advisory Board of the Diplomatic Institute, approved by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, met for their first meeting. The Board includes prominent scholars in the social sciences and diplomats: Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Valentin Poryazov, Assoc. Prof. Zdravko Popov (first director of DI), prof. Milan Milanov (second director of DI), Assoc. Prof. Anna Krasteva and Prof. Antony Todorov (New Bulgarian University), Antoinette Primatarova (Centre for Liberal Strategies), Prof. Dinko Dinkov (University of National and World Economy), Yasen Georgiev (Executive Director of the Economic Policy Institute). Board members are also Prof. Ingrid Shikova, Slavcho Neykov of the Energy Management Institute, Maya Dobreva Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Emilia Nikolova Acting Director of "Human Resources", who were absent due to work commitments.

The Director of the Diplomatic Institute Tanya Mihaylova presented a report of the activities of the Institute in 2014. Within the 12th Course in diplomacy for trainee attaches, that took place last year, a patron of the graduate class was elected for the first time the great Bulgarian journalist and diplomat Simeon Radev.

Tanya Mihaylova outlined ambitious programmes for 2015 as well. The new guidelines, which the Institute will work on, are the European Year for Development and the preparation of Bulgaria for its EU Presidency in 2018.

Deputy Minister Poryazov shared the appreciation of Minister Daniel Mitov for the work of the Diplomatic Institute. He also expressed the willingness of the leadership of the MFA for Bulgaria to regain the key role in our region and to give publicity to the Bulgarian Presidency. Mr. Poryazov compared this role with our entry in the European Union.

18.02.2015

Book Presentation

On 23 February 2015, at 4.00 p.m., in Antarctica Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the new book by Assoc. Prof. Anna Krasteva "From migration to mobility: policies and roads" will be presented. See announcement.

16.02.2015

ASEF a bridge between Asia and Europe

His Excellency Ambassador Zhang Yan, CEO of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), delivered a lecture on "ASEF a bridge between Asia and Europe." The event was organized by the Diplomatic Institute, and opened by its director Tanya Mihaylova. Guest of honor was Nelly Kostova, director of the 32 Secondary School "St. Kliment Ohridski", which initiated the first independent project between a Bulgarian organization and ASEF: "Two continents one classroom. The joint project, which will take place in November this year, will be dedicated to the ICT in education and their introduction into the educational process.

ASEF is an intergovernmental nonprofit organization, a subsidiary body of the Asia-Europe Forum (ASEM). The Foundation is committed to political and global issues, issues related to international security and counter-terrorism, human rights, law and democracy. It has interests in the economy trade, investment, finance, IT. ASEF aims to improve dialogue and promote cooperation between Asia and Europe in the system people to people in areas such as culture, education, economy, environment, public health and sustainable development. For seventeen years since its establishment, it cooperates with more than 700 partners and has made more than 650 projects in which active participants were more than 17 000 people.

Ambassador Zhang put forward a proposal that in 2017 Bulgaria host a meeting on human rights. He urged the attendees to present their ideas and actively participate in the competitions for cooperation with ASEF.

The event was attended by 50 people representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, non-governmental and student organizations, the academic sector, the media and others.

12.02.2015

Meeting with the Ambassador of Japan

On February 12, 2015 the Diplomatic Institute hosted a working meeting between Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Institute, and H.E. Mr. Takashi Koizumi, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Japan in Bulgaria. Mrs. Mihaylova introduced the Ambassador to the activities of the Institute, as well as upcoming projects and events.

At the meeting the economical and cultural cooperation between the two countries was discussed, as well as the prospects for cooperation between the Diplomatic Institute and the Embassy of Japan. These include the exchange of experience, expertise and lecturers, as well as publications for "Diplomacy Journal". The possibilities for modernization of the library of the Institute were also discussed with the purpose to improve information services and better promote the library fund of over 65,000 titles in the field of international relations, diplomacy, social sciences.

09.02.2015

Interview for Military Television Channel

Interview with Tanya Mihaylova and Ingrid Shikova on the Challenges of the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU.

05.02.2015

Cooperation with the Institute for Energy Management

On 5 February 2015, the Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova and Mr. Slavcho Neykov, Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Energy Management, signed a Memorandum for cooperation and partnership on energy diplomacy and joint training activities in this area. The agreement aims to strengthen the research capacity and awareness on issues related to energy security. In this context, both sides agreed to co-organize an international conference in the autumn of this year on "Security of critical energy infrastructure" with the participation of Bulgarian and foreign lecturers and experts.

05.02.2015

Scholarship competition of the Diplomatic Institute

The Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria is organizing for the second time a national competition for an applied research paper on The challenges and the perspectives for the development of the Black Sea region and Bulgaria?s position in it. The aim of the competition is throughout a scholarship to keep on providing an opportunity to young researchers for a scientific and professional appearance in the field of international relations and diplomacy by presenting an analytical report on the above-mentioned topics. Read more

04.02.2015

A must-see!

On Thursday, the 5th of February, at 6.00 p.m. on the Military TV channel, Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will participate in the discussion on the Bulgarian Presidency of the European Union in 2018. In the TV broadcast "European security", she, together with Ingrid Shikova, professor of EU policies at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", will discuss the challenges that our country faces in this important role in the European Union and in the world.

Bulgaria will take the lead of the Community in the second part of 2018. Until then the country should have from 1000 to 2000 administration officials, prepared to work entirely for the Presidency. The Diplomatic Institute will be entrusted with an important role in this process.

03.02.2015

Public lecture of Ilgvars Klava

The ambassador of Latvia in Sofia, H.E. Ilgvars Klava gave a public lecture on The priorities of the Latvian presidency of the EU Council on a conference organized by PanEuropa Bulgaria, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, the Embassy of Latvia in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute and the European Commission Representation in Sofia. The lecture grew into a discussion which was attended by Ms. Meglena Kuneva, Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria for European Policies Coordination and Institutional Affairs, Ms. Gergana Passy, president of PanEuropa Bulgaria, Mr. Solomon Passy, president of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute of Bulgaria, Mr. Ognyan Zlatev, head of European Commission Representation, and H. E. Marcie Ries, ambassador of the United States in Sofia.

29.01.2015

The Diplomatic Institute supports a campaign to overcome illiteracy

As a member of the Bulgarian Library and Information Association (BLIA), the Library of the Diplomatic Institute joins the promotion of the programme Public Libraries 2020. It was initiated by the Reading and Writing Foundation, an organisation created by Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands in 2004, and it aims at decreasing the level of illiteracy in the Netherlands and drawing greater attention to that problem so that it could be solved. Today the campaign is spread across the whole EU. Its main purpose is the promotion of a debate about decreasing the illiteracy as well as representing the methods for libraries to help citizens meet the challenges of the modern world. Read more...

The ideas of the programme are being popularized by a video, which reflects the sensible matters of the XXI century which our society is facing and the everyday function of public libraries.

28.01.2015

Presentation of a new edition of the Diplomatic Institute

On January 28, 2015 in MFA Antarctica hall, the newest edition of the Diplomatic Institute was presented the sixth issue of the traditional DIs series Foreign Affairs Research Papers. It contains the analytical expert report The new foreign policy of the Republic of Turkey and the security challenges for Bulgaria, by Mr. Marian Karagiozov PhD student at the Institute of Balkan Studies with Center of Thracology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The event was officially opened by Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, and Mr. Valentin Katrandzhiev, research project manager and head expert at the Educational, Research and Project Activities Department of the DI. The expert report was published following the national competition for applied research project held in 2013, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Institute, and won by Mr. Karagiozov.

26.01.2015

Meeting with the Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina

On 26 January, at the Diplomatic Institute the first meeting between Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Institute, and Mr. Borivoj Marojevich, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was held. Ms. Mihaylova introduced the Ambassador to the activities of the Institute, as well as its upcoming projects and events. At the meeting future possibilities for cooperation in the field of the Institutes training and public activities were also discussed. Among them was the Winter School of Diplomacy, which the Institute is organizing for the tenth time in March this year and which traditionally involves diplomats from Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as projects in the sphere of the European integration of the region, energy diplomacy, etc. The possibilities for exchange of lecturers and expertise, publications for Diplomacy Journal were also examined. Both sides expressed their readiness for long-term and useful cooperation.

26.01.2015

Meeting with the ambassador of Sudan

Today, at the Diplomatic Institute Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Institute, had a meeting with H.E. Ms. Ilham Ibrahim Mohammed Ahmed, Ambassador of Sudan. During the meeting, the Memorandum of Cooperation signed in 2008 between the Institute and the National Center for Diplomacy of Sudan was discussed, as well as possibilities for future joint initiatives. Ms. Mihaylova explained to Ms. Ahmed about the activities of the Institute, after which the two discussed specific opportunities for cooperation regarding the exchange of lecturers and participants in training programmes, exchange of expertise and publications, working visits, public lectures, etc.

13.01.2015

>A new book by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna Krasteva

The latest book by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna Krasteva From migration to mobility: policies and roads was published. The author is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Diplomatic Institute and Head of the Political Science Department at the New Bulgarian University. The books ambition is to analyse migration three-dimensionally: How we think migration migration theories; How migration unfolds migration phenomenon; How we manage migration migration policy, with each question constituting one of the three parts of the book.

The study develops an original theoretical model, positioning migration in a four-pole coordinate system of the post-Westphalian state. The results of the study are summarized in seven groups of conclusions related to: the transition from migration to mobility; the dilemma flux or fluidity, structure or actors; the transition from arrows to spaghetti and the cosmopolitisation of biographies; the divergence between policies and paths; theorisation of the post-communist migration model; the dynamics of deterritorialization reterritorialization; the emergence of new digital diaspora and transnational contestatory citizenship.

A summary of the book can be found on the website of the online version of "Diplomacy Journal".

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