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.
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".