Tenth Anniversary of the Diplomatic Institute


Dear friends,

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

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

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

Tanya Mihaylova


of the Diplomatic Institute













Tenth Anniversary of the Diplomatic Institute

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- Specialized course on "Development Policy" 4, lecturer Prof. Paul Hoebink

- Winter School of Diplomacy, Sandanski
- National Essay Contest Our world. Our dignity. Our future, within European Year for Development 2015 - See more

- Specialized module on negotiating with Ron Ton
- Public presentation of the collection "The Future of NATO"
- Bulgarian-Romanian-Moldovan-Saudi Forum
- Bilateral Intercultural Bulgarian-Indonesian Forum, Jakarta, Indonesia

- Orientation course Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) under the auspices of the European College for Security and Defense, Varna, Bulgaria;

- Awarding of the Annual Honorary Prizes of the Diplomatic Institute

- Course in Energy Diplomacy

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10 years 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.

Interview with... Mr. PETYO VURBANOV

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 Institutes 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 ministrys 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 Institutes public activities and cooperation projects and how would you rate them?

Unfortunately, I am unable to follow regularly the Institutes 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 Masters degree of International economic relations from the University of National and World Economy. His Master thesis is on Bulgarias 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 Bulgarias role in NATO. He has a publication on "The European Prospects of Turkey and Bulgarias 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.



Book Presentation

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


ASEF a bridge between Asia and Europe

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

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

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

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


Meeting with the Ambassador of Japan

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

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


Interview for Military Television Channel

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


Cooperation with the Institute for Energy Management

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


Scholarship competition of the Diplomatic Institute

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


A must-see!

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

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

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Public lecture of Ilgvars Klava

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


The Diplomatic Institute supports a campaign to overcome illiteracy

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

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


Presentation of a new edition of the Diplomatic Institute

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


Meeting with the Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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


Meeting with the ambassador of Sudan

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


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

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

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

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

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