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.
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 Institute’s maturity combined with the team’s 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.
of the Diplomatic Institute
Tenth Anniversary of the Diplomatic Institute
In order to mark the ten-year anniversary in 2013 of the establishment the Diplomatic Institute, in our new series "10 interviews" we will introduce you to 10 notable professionals, trained by the Institute. In the form of interviews, they will present their view of the Institute and share valuable experience from their career development.
1. Mr. Vurbanov, you have taken part in the first Basic Course in Diplomacy of the Diplomatic Institute in 2004, as well as in language courses organized by the Institute and you are currently a II rank diplomatic official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. What role has your training in the Institute played for your professional development?
My participation in the Basic Course in Diplomacy and my successful completion of it allowed me to acquire my first diplomatic rank, i.e. it gave me the opportunity to join the Bulgarian diplomatic service. Therefore, the training was of key importance for my further professional development and I am grateful to the Institute for giving me that opportunity.
Before the establishment of the Institute every applicant had to prepare individually in order to acquire the rank of "attache". The Basic Course in Diplomacy facilitated considerably that task. I remember that, apart from the lectures, we had exercises which developed our ability to work in a team, prepare official documents, lessons how to act in front of media and about diplomatic protocol, how to negotiate and many other interesting and helpful things.
I try to preserve and develop my language skills, which, as you know are very important for MFA officials, so I regularly participate in foreign language courses, organized by the Institute. They are a great opportunity.
2. Considering your career development would you participate in future courses, organized by the Institute and if yes which one/ones?
Yes, definitely. Only a few days ago I participated in a training seminar on Multilateral negotiations within the EU, organized by the Institute and taught by the director of the "Clingendael Institute", from the Netherlands. It was interesting and also helpful to take a break from daily work, in order to learn new things.
In view of the growing tendency to use the Bulgarian diplomatic service to benefit the economy of the country, I would like to participate in an Economic Diplomacy Course. As far as I know there were already several of these courses, in which, unfortunately I was not able to take part.
3. Tell us about you diplomatic service abroad and about your responsibilities there. Could you share the most valuable experience that you gained and also, how was the training from the Diplomatic Institute helpful during your service.
So far I have only had one mission abroad. From 2007 to 2010 I was third secretary in the Political section of the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Bulgaria to NATO in Brussels. Working in a diplomatic mission is very different from working in the ministry and it helped me gain valuable experience, especially when it comes to dealing with colleagues from other countries. Conduct is very important in such an environment, in which self-confidence plays a crucial part, including when it comes to dealing with difficult or unexpected situations. I believe that the most valuable thing about the Diplomatic Institute’s training is its contribution towards the development of the necessary professional self-confidence.
4. The Diplomatic Institute offers training courses for mid-career diplomats. How do you think such training should be organized, in view of their professional needs?
To be honest, I am not familiar with the training courses for mid-career diplomats. However, I think that it is important for such a course to offer an in-depth analysis of the main objectives of Bulgarian foreign policy. Often, in the course of their career development, MFA officials specialize in a certain department, which to a certain degree makes them lose track of other targets on the ministry’s agenda. As you know, in practice, foreign policy questions are interconnected with one another – for example regional politics and bilateral relations with countries with our participation in the EU, NATO, UN and vice versa. I think it would be good for the course to have modules which improve individual skills – for example classes focusing on rhetoric and behavior in front of media, apart from the ones which develop your personal knowledge.
5. In your opinion, what role do institutions like the Diplomatic Institute have in the diplomatic profession and Bulgarian foreign policy as a whole?
Without a doubt, they are extremely significant. As I said before, the trainings of the Institute constitute a gateway to a career in diplomacy. With the additional training it offers, the institute gives MFA officials the opportunity to continually improve their knowledge and skills during the course of their career development. No less important are the public activities organized by or with the cooperation of the Institute – lectures, conferences, publications etc. which allow us to "stay tuned" with global events and at the same time give us an outside look on our work in the ministry.
6. Do you follow the Institute’s public activities and cooperation projects and how would you rate them?
Unfortunately, I am unable to follow regularly the Institute’s public activities, but as is obvious from its webpage, the event schedule is quite hectic. I try to attend some of the public lectures, which it organizes, because they are an opportunity to meet and hear people with an interesting biography, occupying important positions, who have a lot to say and who otherwise you rarely have the chance to meet.
7. What will you remember the Diplomatic Institute with, either during you training or afterwards, during you work?
With the laid-back attitude of the people working in the Diplomatic Institute, and with their enthusiasm for their job. When the first Basic Course in Diplomacy, in which I participated, was held in 2004, everyone was very enthusiastic and excited. The Institute had been established a year earlier and everything was still in the process of being developed. Since then many new things have been accomplished.
8. In 2013 the Diplomatic Institute celebrates its tenth anniversary. What would you wish to the Institute or in general, to the structures it cooperates with?
I hope they preserve their enthusiasm for their work. I know they have a lot of plans and projects for the future. I am certain they will be successful.
Mr. Petyo Vurbanov has a Master’s degree of International economic relations from the University of National and World Economy. His Master thesis is on Bulgaria’s participation in economic cooperation in SE Europe. He took part in educational courses on international security in the George C. Marshall European Centre for Security Studies – Germany and also in the NATO Defense College in Rome.
He joined the diplomatic service in 2005 when he acquired his first diplomatic rank – attache. In the same year he started work in the NATO department of the Security Policy Directorate. From 2007 to 2010 he worked as third secretary in the Political section of the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Bulgaria to NATO in Brussels. He returned to the Security Policy Directorate after the end of his mission abroad. In September 2012 he started work in the EU Institutional and Economic Affairs Department of the European Union Policy and Institutions Department.
He has lectured in the educational courses of the Diplomatic Institute on Bulgaria’s role in NATO. He has a publication on "The European Prospects of Turkey and Bulgaria’s Position" in "International relations" Magazine.
He is fluent in English and Russian and has a working knowledge of French.
He is 33 years old, married, with two children.
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 issue’s 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 EU’s 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 world’s 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.
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.
Today, a seminar featuring Steven Mehringer, Head of Communication Services in NATO’s 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 country’s 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 Alliance’s 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 organization’s 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 NATO’s 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 public’s interest in multimedia platforms of international governmental organizations such as NATO.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Bulgaria’s 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 Bulgaria’s 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 UK’s 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.
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 Bulgaria’s 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.
Prof. Dr. Jasmine Popova’s 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 book’s 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org to March 16, 2016.
For more information on available training, contact the following coordinators, Victoria Pavlova, tel. 807 64 44, email email@example.com, or Marina Vladimirova, tel. 807 64 521, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Institute’s 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.
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.
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: email@example.com to March 1, 2016.
For more information, please contact the training coordinators: Ekaterina Neofitova, tel. 807 64 44; email firstname.lastname@example.org, and Victoria Pavlova, tel. 807 64 44; email email@example.com
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 Montenegro’s 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.
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 Hungary’s 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 Union’s borders. He stated that Greece cannot cope with the migration crisis alone.
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 Foundation’s website: http://www.fonds-katzarov.ch/index_bg.php (available in Bulgarian and French).
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 Presidency’s 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 Netherlands’s 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.
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.
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.
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.
On December 9th of this year, on the occasion of the 100-year anniversary since the establishment of Bulgarian-Swiss diplomatic relations, prof. Venelin Tsachevski’s latest work, “Bulgaria and Switzerland: Together in History” was officially presented at the Bulgarian Institute for Culture’s 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 book’s 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 Institute’s library, which includes copies his new book as well copies from his previous works.
Professor Tsachevski’s 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.
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 Pavlova’s remarks concluded the conference, summarizing Bulgaria’s 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.
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.
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 Institute’s Open Doors Program, students from the university’s 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 Institute’s 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 MFA’s valuable collection of paintings and sculptures.
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.
On November 17th 2015, as a follow-up to the Diplomatic Institute’s 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 Bulgaria’s 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.
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 latter’s priorities being the preparation of a competent administration and effective execution of Bulgaria’s presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2018. The lectors were Mr. Dimitar Sotirov, PR manager of Bulgaria’s 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. Bulgaria’s 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.
Two successive training seminars aimed at improving participants’ soft skills were conducted from November 2–3 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 Bulgaria’s 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 world’s 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.
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 Union’s development policy, and a brochure outlining Bulgaria’s obligations as a member state were given out to the students.
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.
Днес в сградата на МВнР Дипломатическият институт организира експертна среща с участието на г-н Шон Риардън, бивш британски дипломат и настоящ експерт от холандския институт за международни отношения "Клингендал". Г-н Риардън представи предизвикателствата, пред които един дипломат може да се изправи в днешната динамична дипломатическа среда и при новия международен дневен ред. Той заегна и теми като все по-важната роля на новите неправителствени актьори на международната сцена и на интегрираната дипломация, значението на публичната дипломация като средство за постигане на външнополитически цели, нуждата от оптимизиране на кадровия ресурс в дипломатическата служба и от ясна и дългосрочна външнополитическа стратегия и гъвкавост, ефикасното използване на хетерогенни дипломатически мрежи и други. Шон Риърдън подчерта също нарастването на регионализма на световната политическа сцена и това, че за България, както и за всяка държава, е важно първо да се установи външнополитическа стратегия, преди да бъде установенa такава в национален мащаб. Сред обсъжданите теми беше и бъдещето на баланса на силите, като се предвижда еднополюсното равновесие да се превърне в една многополюсна система, която би включила ЕС, Китай и Русия. Г-н Риърдън завърши, подвърждавайки важността на традиционната дипломация и нейната добавена стойност, въпреки динамичните глобални промени и новия дипломатически контекст. В дискусията в края на срещата с въпроси и коментари се включиха представители на МВнР и дипломатическия сектор.
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 Popova’s 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.
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; Russia’s foreign policy under Putin; New features of China’s 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.
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 today’s 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.
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 Department’s 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.
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 Europe’s 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.
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.
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.
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 Institute’s 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.
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.
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.
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 UNESCO’s 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:
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!
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 Institute’s motto.
This year’s 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 Institute’s Director, Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, will hand in the award for ESDC to the College’s 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 Institute’s the internship programme, the Diplomatic Institute takes in between 10-15 students from the Department, who assist in DI’s current projects. Lectors from the Department provide and share their expertise by publishing articles in DI’s 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 Master’s 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 state’s administrative apparatus in the context of Bulgaria’s 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.
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.
The Director of the Diplomatic Institute Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova presented the Institute’s 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
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.
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.
Today, the Diplomatic Institute organized a public lecture held by Prof. Tanya Miscevic, Chief Negotiator for Serbia’s 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 country’s 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.
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.
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 Ballet’s “Madame Butterfly”, which marked the opening of the “Opera in the Park” festival.
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 framework’s modern parameters, which regulate the activities of the diplomatic service, and the mechanisms for their efficient functioning.
Дружество за ООН в България обявява началото на деветата национална кампания за избор на официални български младежки делегати в ООН за 2015/2016, които да вземат участие на 70-та сесия на Общото събрание на ООН през октомври 2015, както и в комисията за социално развитие през февруари 2016.
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 оf 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.
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.
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.
В периода 28 септември – 2 октомври 2015 г. ще се проведе четвъртият Международен семинар по енергийна дипломация, организиран от Дипломатическия институт към министъра на външните работи. Събитието се провежда за шеста поредна година, но за четвърти път в международен формат. Освен държавите от Югоизточна Европа, участие в него ще вземат също и представители на държавите от Черноморския и Кавказкия регион и Европейския съюз. Семинарът е насочен както към дипломати и държавни служители, така и към представители на бизнес средите и неправителствения сектор, занимаващи се с въпроси, свързани с енергетиката.
В семинара ще бъдат разгледани различните подходи към специфичната сфера на енергийната дипломация, развитието на енергийните пазари, измененията в климата като част от външната политика и други актуални теми и проблеми. Специален акцент ще бъде поставен и върху взаимовръзката между бизнеса и дипломацията, както и върху възобновяемите енергийни източници и „факторът Русия” в региона. Целта на семинара е да допринесе за изграждането и укрепването на енергийните отношения между представените институции и да създаде стабилна платформа за свободен диалог между участниците.
Партньори на Дипломатическия институт в провеждането на семинара са холандският институт за международни отношения „Клингендал” и представителството на фондация “Ханс Зайдел” в България.
Такса за участие в семинара - 250 лв.
Желаещите да се запишат трябва да владеят английски език, който е работен за семинара и следва да изпратят молба до директора на ДИ, придружена от актуално CV.
Краен срок за подаване на документи: 14 септември 2015 г.
За допълнителна информация за участие, моля да се свържете с координаторите на курса: г-жа Ина Кирилова, тел: 02/9482722, email: firstname.lastname@example.org и г-н Георги Гергов, тел: 02/9713199, email: email@example.com.
“Russia’s Foreign Policy under Putin” – such was the topic of a lecture organized by the Diplomatic Institute, and delivered by the world–renowned American political scientist and scholar Janusz Bugajski. In his lecture, Bugajski outlined a number of imperialistic goals in Moscow’s 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 Skopje’s path to EU and NATO membership. This blockage fuels nationalist tensions in Macedonia, to Russia’s 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.
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 l’analyse 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.
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.
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.
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 country’s 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.
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.
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.
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), “China’s 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 Bulgaria’s 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.
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”.
Заместник-министър Катя Тодорова връчи сертификати на успешно завършилите единадесетия специализиран курс по „Консулска дипломация”, организиран от Дипломатическия институт към министъра на външните работи и Дирекция „Консулски отношения”. Курсът е предназначен за служители на МВнР, утвърдени от Кариерната комисия като консули в дипломатическите и консулските представителства на Р България в чужбина, както и за представители на ведомства и институции, имащи отношение към консулската проблематика. В церемонията участваха още Раковски Лашев, директор на Дирекция „Консулски отношения”, и Таня Михайлова, директор на Дипломатическия институт.
Заместник-министър Тодорова подчерта важността на консулската служба, като отбеляза, че защитата на българските граждани в чужбина е сред приоритетите на правителство. „В програмата за стабилно развитие на Република България външната политика е първи раздел, а ефикасната консулска защита е втори приоритет в него, веднага след подкрепата на европейската и атлантическа ориентация на страната ни“, посочи тя. По думите й, за успешното изпълнение на консулските задачи са нужни комплексни качества, като консулите трябва да работят еднакво добре както със самите граждани, така и с властите в държавата на акредитация.
От своя страна, Раковски Лашев изрази радостта си от засиления интерес към консулската дейност и към провежданите курсове, свързани с нея. Той изрази надеждата си, че завършилите курса ще са сред първите консули на страната ни, които ще работят в задграничните ни представителства при присъединяването на България към Шенгенското пространство. По думите му това увеличава очакванията към тях и отговорностите им още повече.
Заедно с Таня Михайлова тримата пожелаха на завършилите курса да са всеотдайни и да се стремят към постоянно усъвършенстване на своите умения с цел възможно най-ефективно изпълнение на функциите на държавата по защита на правата на българските граждани в чужбина.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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”.
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.
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.
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 Sеa 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Institute’s 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.
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: email@example.com and Ms. Victoria Pavlova, tel. 807 64 44 678 0878601 and email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Institute’s 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 country’s 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.
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.
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.
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 Bulgaria’s 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 Institute’s website in the period 11th - 15th May 2015.
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.
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 Institute’s International Advisory Board, sent a letter of gratitude, expressing her support to the Institute’s activities, as well as to the successful cooperation between the Diplomatic Institute and the Diplomatic Academy of Croatia.
Today Ms. Tonka Kostadinova, trainee attache in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, completed her training in diplomacy after presenting a policy paper about “Bulgaria’s 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 Ministry’s trainee attaches, Ms. Kostadinova’s policy paper consultants, officials from the “Southeastern Europe” Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and colleagues from the Diplomatic Institute.
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.
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 world’s 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.
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.
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.
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 Bulgaria’s history. The participants also had a lesson of Bulgarian folk dances to immerge themselves in the culture of our country.
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.
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.
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 Bulgaria’s 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 UN’s 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.
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 Bаlkans 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 Bulgaria’s 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.
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 year’s 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 year’s 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 don’t 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 “I’m a convinced transatlantic, and I’ve been so all my life, I’ve 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.
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.
The exhibition “The Sea brings all that is distant together”, which presents the Western Black Sea coast in 33 maps and engravings, marked Bulgaria’s 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 EU’s 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 Bulgaria’s 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 exhibition’s catalogue has been published on the “Morski Vestnik” (Marine Newspaper) – Varna’official website.
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 Institute’s website.
For more information see the Announcement.
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.
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.
The Diplomatic Institute organized a presentation of Anna Krasteva’s new book “From migration to mobility: policies and roads” with the participation of the author, who is a member of the Institute’s 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 Veshim’s 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.
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.
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.
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 non–profit 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.
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.
Interview with Tanya Mihaylova and Ingrid Shikova on the Challenges of the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
On January 28, 2015 in MFA „Antarctica” hall, the newest edition of the Diplomatic Institute was presented – the sixth issue of the traditional DI’s 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.
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 Institute’s 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.
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.
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 book’s 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".