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

COMMEMORATIVE ADDRESS OF TANYA MIHAYLOVA, DIRECTOR OF THE DIPLOMATIC INSTITUTE

Dear friends,

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

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

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

Tanya Mihaylova

Director

of the Diplomatic Institute

 

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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.

NEWS

21.10.2014

Students from the University of National and World Economy at the Diplomatic Institute

On 21 October, students in International Relations, European Studies and Political Science at the University of National and World Economy visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event was organized by the Diplomatic Institute, in cooperation with the International Relations Research Student Association and the student association Ego Politico, within the "Open Doors" programme of the Institute. The focus of the visit was the meeting between the students and the team of the Institute, which took place in "Antarctica" hall of the MFA. Representatives of the two student organizations briefly presented their history and activities, and then the Director of the DI, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, introduced the guests to the Institutes history, structure and functions. She elaborated on its activities such as trainings of Bulgarian and foreign diplomats and government officials, public lectures, conferences, national and international cooperation, publishing, etc.

The students showed particular interest in the Institutes youth initiatives such as its internship programme and essay competitions. A lively discussion followed in which the team of the Institute and the young audience discussed various topics such as Bulgarias foreign policy priorities, the diplomatic profession and its contemporary dimension, application and competencies needed, as well as the career opportunities that the MFA offers. Forecasts were made and opinions shared regarding Bulgaria's role in a dynamic international order and an ever evolving technological society. In the end of the meeting, the team of the Diplomatic Institute received certificates of gratitude from both student organizations. During the visit the students toured the MFA building and visited the Library of the Institute.

18.10.2014

The second seminar for government officials of Montenegro has finished

The second seminar for government officials of Montenegro, that took place in Budva, finished on 18 October. The seminar was dedicated to the issues of European integration and speakers in it were Ms. Dora Zgurovska and Ms. Elizabeth Simeonova, representatives respectively of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria. After the lectures by the Bulgarian experts, the participants provoked some broad discussions on the issues presented. At the end of the seminar, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute gave a brief summary of the training and awarded certificates to the participants. As organizers of the seminar, the Diplomatic Institute and the Bulgarian branch of the German "Hanns Seidel" Foundation highly appreciated the support of the Montenegrin Diplomatic Academy, represented at the event by its director, Ms. Satka Haydarpashich, and that of the Bulgarian Embassy in Podgorica, which, thanks to Ambassador Mladen Chervenyakov, supported the efforts of the organizers throughout the preparation and realization of the event.

17.10.2014

Official closing ceremony of the course on diplomacy for officials of the MFA of Afghanistan

On 17 October, 2014 the two-week course on diplomacy for officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, organized by the Diplomatic Institute, was officially closed. During the closing ceremony the organizers expressed their gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, represented by Mr. Hristo Polendakov from the "Asia, Australia and Oceania" directorate and Ms. Maria Pavlova from the "UN and Development Cooperation" directorate. Thanks were also extended to H.E. Zuyaullah Mahmoud, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Sofia, for his support during the training, and to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan for the excellent selection of participants. Satisfaction was expressed with the many opportunities that the course provides for both the capacity building of the Afghan state administration and the development of the dialogue between the two countries by means of a network of contacts among young Bulgarian and Afghan diplomats. The organizers expressed their hope that this type of training would continue to be realized in the future and that its programme would be improved over time, based on the experience gained and the feedback from the Afghan side.

The trainees expressed their special thanks to the team of the Diplomatic Institute for its excellent work and organization of the course. They also pointed out the opportunity they had to gain impressions of Bulgaria and discover many similarities in the cultures and attitudes of the two nations.

16.10.2014

Mr. Solomon Passy, President of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, delivers a lecture in front of the trainees in the Course on diplomacy for officials of the MFA of Afghanistan

On October 16, 2014, Dr. Solomon Passy, President of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, delivered a lecture to the participants in the two-week course on diplomacy for officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan. During the lecture, Mr. Passy elaborated on the basic achievements of Bulgarias foreign policy during his tenure as foreign minister. He also pointed out his relations and initiatives regarding Afghanistan from this period, and shared his continuing interest and vision for the future development of the country. He answered a number of questions of the participants concerning NATOs role in Afghanistan and his own vision for the development of the region, as well as the threats to security. Dr. Passy also mentioned the EU's capacity to help Afghanistan by providing public access to information through the Internet. According to him, access to information and opportunity of free choice are the key to fighting every dictatorship.

16.10.2014

The trainee attaches organized their first cultural event

On 16 October, the participants in the Course on Diplomacy for trainee attaches, organized by the Diplomatic Institute, visited the Sofia City Art Gallery. This is the first cultural event which they have organized on their own, as part of their training. The exhibition that they chose to visit is titled "Artists of the National Theatre 1904 - 1954."

16.10.2014

End of the seminar on Economy and Energy Issues in Budva

The seminar on Economy and Energy Issues for representatives of the state administration of Montenegro, which was jointly organized in Budva by the Diplomatic Institute and the Hanns Seidel Foundation, has finished. For the first time, on behalf of the Diplomatic Institute, lecturers in the seminar were Ms. Diliana Ivanova, attorney at law in Ivanova & Ivanova, and Mr. Yasen Georgiev, CEO of the Economic Policy Institute.

15.10.2014

Trainee attaches of the Course on diplomacy chose the name of Simeon Radev as patron for their class

As part of their training in the Course on diplomacy for trainee attaches, the participants presented 20 persons who have had important contribution to the development of the Bulgarian diplomacy in the past and in modern times. The presentations were followed by a heated discussion during which the trainees were asked to reach a consensus and to choose one of these persons as the patron of their class with which to establish a tradition at the Diplomatic Institute. Demonstrating strong negotiation skills, they unanimously chose the name of the Bulgarian writer, diplomat, historian and publicist Simeon Radev.

(Portrait of Simeon Radev by his wife, the first Bulgarian artist-expressionist Bistra Vinarova-Radeva)

14.10.2014

Participants in the training for Afghan diplomats visited the Basilica St. Sofia

On 14 October 2014 the participants in the two-week course on diplomacy for officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan visited the basilica St. Sofia. During the visit, they had the opportunity to examine the oldest Christian church in Sofia and the excavations of the main necropolis of the ancient city of Serdica, located underneath.

14.10.2014

Meeting between participants in the Course on diplomacy for trainee attaches and the Course on diplomacy for officials of the MFA of Afghanistan

On 14 October a meeting took place between the participants in two trainings organized by the Diplomatic Institute: the Course on diplomacy for trainee attaches and the two-week Course on diplomacy for officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan. The meeting went off in an informal setting and predisposed the Bulgarian trainees and the young Afghan diplomats to establish closer contact and exchange experience and impressions from their trainings.

13.10.2014

Meeting with Amb. Alexander Pejovic

Meeting between Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, and Amb. Alexander Pejovic, Chief Negotiator for EU of Montenegro at his office in Podgorica.

13.10.2014

A seminar on Energy and Economy issues in the town of Budva, Montenegro

A seminar on Energy and Economy issues started on October 13th in the town of Budva, Montenegro. The seminar comes as first of two consecutive events organised this week in Montenegro. The second seminar will be on topic of the EU integration. 21 Montenegrin representatives of the State administration will take part in this event, jointly organised by the Diplomatic Institute and the Hanns Seidel Foundation with the support ot the Diplomatic Academy to the MFAEI of Montenegro. During the official opening partcipants were addressed by H.E. Mr. Mladen Cherveniakov, Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria in Montenegro, Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the BDI, Mr. Bogdan Mirchev, Head of the Bulgarian representation of the Hanns Seidel Foundation and Mrs. Satka Hajdarpasic, Director of the Montenegrin Diplomatic Academy.

13.10.2014

Meeting at the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

On 13 October, within the two-week training on diplomacy for officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, the participants attended a meeting and reception at the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The training is organized by the Diplomatic Institute with the financial support of the Bulgarian government's programme on Development Cooperation Policy. The nine diplomats had a conversation with Ambassador Mahmoud Siaulah and representatives of the Afghan community living in Bulgaria. They discussed the participants impressions of the training, current political issues concerning the agenda of Afghanistan, as well as the relations with the countries of South Eastern Europe in the context of the increasing number of Afghans in Bulgaria and Greece. The Ambassador expressed his gratitude to Bulgaria and the Diplomatic Institute for providing this training programme which is of great practical and professional importance for the Afghan diplomats. He expressed his hope that such trainings can be organized again in the coming years and urged his colleagues to spread information about their impressions of Bulgaria among other colleagues of theirs through reports and information included in the publications of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan.

On behalf of the Diplomatic Institute Ms. Biliana Decheva expressed gratification about the implementation of this training project which is the fifth in the history of the Institute after a four-year break. She declared the desire of the Institutes leadership to continue the project in the subsequent years. Ms. Decheva congratulated the Afghan ambassador for the perfectly selected participants who present in an excellent way the modern diplomatic service of Afghanistan, and stated that the Institute relies on their feedback regarding their training experience in view of similar projects in the coming years.

09.10.2014

Joint master's programme of the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" and the Diplomatic Institute

Today, 9 October 2014, in the Center for European Studies at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" the new master's programme "European integration and EU diplomacy" was initiated. It is a common project between Sofia University and the Diplomatic Institute, which will provide practical trainings for the students in various diplomatic areas, organized by the Diplomatic Institute. At the opening ceremony of the new master's programme, Prof. Ingrid Shikova and Assoc. Yulia Zaharieva were joined by Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute.

08.10.2014

Twelfth Diplomacy Course for Trainee Attaches

Today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the director of the Diplomatic Institute Ms. Tanya Mihaylova and Ambassador Petar Vodenski, director of "Foreign policy planning, information and coordination" directorate of the MFA initiated the twelfth Diplomacy Course for Trainee Attaches. They welcomed the participants and wished them success in their careers as future experts and diplomats. The course involves 19 trainees. The main goal of the course is to present the specific characteristics of the work of the diplomatic service in the formation and implementation of Bulgarias foreign policy. The training will introduce and deepen the participants' knowledge of major topics in the field of diplomacy, diplomatic protocol, consular diplomacy, international law, etc. The course includes many interactive exercises which aim to familiarize the trainees with the working process taking place in the structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Lecturers in the course will be experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, university professors and leading experts in the field of international relations, as well as diplomats from foreign diplomatic missions in Bulgaria.

07.10.2014

Opening of the fifth course for young diplomats from Afghanistan

The fifth course for young diplomats from Afghanistan organized by the Diplomatic Institute started on 6 October. Participants in the two-week course are nine employees of the public administration of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. They were welcomed by Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Mr. Angel Orbetsov, Director of "Asia, Australia and Oceania" Directorate at MFA, and the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Sofia, Mr. Mahmoud Ziyaullah. The course is funded by a Decree of the Council of Ministers of Bulgaria under the Development Cooperation Policy. The main goal of the course is to introduce the participants to the key fields of international law, public administration, cooperation in combating terrorism, international organizations, negotiation skills, diplomatic practices, public diplomacy, the legal system and gender equality, and thus to provide them with valuable experience for their future career. The participants will have the opportunity to meet representatives of various institutions and organizations that are willing to share their practical experience with them. During their two-week visit, the young diplomats will be also introduced to the history and culture of Bulgaria by visiting monuments of cultural heritage in Sofia and Plovdiv. At the end of the course the participants will be awarded with certificates.

03.10.2014

Closing of the third International Seminar on Energy Diplomacy

The third International Seminar on Energy Diplomacy, organized by the Diplomatic Institute in partnership with the Netherlands Institute of International Relations "Clingendael" and the representation of the "Hanns Seidel" foundation in Bulgaria, ended today with the awarding of certificates to the participants.

On 29 September, 2014, the first day of the seminar, a video conferencing with the Shanghai Institute of Energy was established for the first time. Lecturer by SIE was Dr. J. Honguyan, energy expert. The topic of the lecture was "Sustainable Energy Development in China" and it presented an insight into the changes and trends in China's energy strategy and their national energy market. The lecture was organized within the memorandum for cooperation with the Shanghai Institute for International Studies. The video-conference was the first step towards a long-term cooperation between the two institutions.

03.10.2014

Cooperation Agreement with the State Agency for Refugees

Today, the Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, and the Chairman of the State Agency for Refugees, Dr. Nikolay Chirpanliev signed a Cooperation Agreement. Both sides agreed to use the expertise of the State Agency for Refugees in the courses provided by the Diplomatic Institute. This topic becomes increasingly relevant to the national security of Bulgaria and therefore the Bulgarian diplomats and MFA officials need to be well informed and prepared in this respect. Within the cooperation the Diplomatic Institute will provide training opportunities for the Agency staff, such as courses organized by the Institute.

29.09.2014

Third International Seminar on Energy diplomacy

The opening of the Third International Seminar on Energy diplomacy, organized by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs takes place today. The seminar is scheduled for September 29th 2014 - October 03rd 2014. Participants are 40 representatives of the Bulgarian and foreign public administration, business and non-governmental sector, engaged with energy related issues. There are members of 15 states Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Germany, Holland, Cyprus, Turkey, Macedonia, Montenegro, Russia, Croatia, Georgia and Kosovo. Mrs. Tanya Mihailova, director of BDI, and Mrs. Wiebke Beiche, representing the Hanns Seidel Foundation in Bulgaria officially opened the seminar. Ambassador Lachezar Matev had the honour to greet the participants.

During the seminar will be discussed the different approaches to the specific sphere of energy diplomacy, the developments in the energy markets, energy politics of the European Union and other relevant issues and topics.

As lecturers at the seminar were invited Bulgarian and foreign experts on Energy diplomacy, energy market development as part of the foreign policy and other relevant topics and issues. Partners of the BDI are the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael and the Bulgarian Representation of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

28.09.2014

Annual meeting of directors of diplomatic institutes and academies, South Africa

The Director of the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs participated in the 41st world annual meeting of directors of diplomatic institutes and academies, held in Pretoria, South Africa, between 24 and 26 September 2014.

The meeting is traditionally organized by the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and the Georgetown University. This years host was the Department of International Relations and Cooperation South Africa. Representatives of over 35 countries participated in the forum.

26.09.2014

Second world forum dedicated to the French Language

A second world forum, dedicated to the French language, will take place in Liege, Belgium, from 20 July till 23 July 2015. It will present the participants with the opportunity to exchange contacts and ideas for cooperation on the topic of creative francophony. The main topic of the event will be the spreading of the French language in different countries as a factor for individual and social development in a scientific, practical and social aspect. The presentation of projects and innovative works will be carried out in the form of debates, exhibitions and conferences. The participants in the event will have to be well familiar with or engaged in at least one of the five topics, discussed at the forum: education, economics, culture, civil conversance and connection between language and creativity. About ten participants will be singled out from the received applications in order to be enrolled in an accelerated four-month project in the period 15-20 July 2015.

Everyone willing to take part will have to fill a form, which can be found on the following webpage http://www.forumfrancophonie.org/until 15 November 2014. The official brochure of the Forum could be found here.

26.09.2014

"Read with me"

The Diplomatic Institute joins the Ministry of Cultures campaign entitled "Read with me". The campaign is carried out under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Mr. Rosen Plevneliev. The aim of the campaign is to encourage reading and literacy among citizens of all ages through a large-scale reading, which is going to take place on 28 September 2014 at 11:00 a.m. in "Borisova" garden in Sofia. Everyone interested may care to join the event, book in hand.

25.09.2014

Third International Seminar on Energy Diplomacy

On Monday, 29 September, the one-week Third International Seminar on Energy Diplomacy is to be officially opened. The seminar is organized by the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The event is held for a fifth consequent year, but for a third time on an international scale. Apart from the countries of Southeastern Europe, the seminar will be attended by representatives of countries from the Black Sea region and the European Union, having a total of 37 participants from 14 countries. The seminar is aimed at diplomats and civil servants, as well as at representatives of the business and the non-governmental sector, involved in energy related issues.

The seminar will review different approaches towards the specific sphere of energy diplomacy, energy market development, climate change as a part of foreign policy and other current topics and issues. For the first time this year the seminar will elaborate on the interdependence between business and diplomacy, as well as renewable energy sources in the region. The aim of the seminar is to contribute to the establishing and strengthening of energy relations between the represented institutions and to offer a platform for a free dialogue between the participants.

For yet another year partners of the Diplomatic Institute in this project are the Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations and the Hanns Seidel Foundation agency in Bulgaria.

18.09.2014

Press conference on the implementation of Operational Programme Administrative Capacity

Today, at a press conference in Antarctica Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Director of the Diplomatic Institute Ms. Tanya Mihaylova presented the results of the training of the Institutes team, which was part of the project Capacity building of the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs aimed at acquiring key skills and competences of its employees. The training is part of the Operational Programme Administrative Capacity (OPAC) co-financed by the European Union through the European Social Fund (ESF). The project amounted to a total of 38 000 BGN and contributed to the improvement of the employees professional skills. The latter included three aspects: training on topics selected from the catalogue of the Institute for public administration; specialized trainings in graphic software products and for work in a multicultural environment; group trainings for team work. Ms. Tanya Mihaylova expressed her hopes that the Institute would continue to be a beneficiary within European programmes in the years to follow.

Press release

18.09.2014

The director of the Diplomatic Institute met with the deputy head of mission of the Republic of Yemen

Today a meeting between Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute and Mr. Abdulrazak Al-Amrani, deputy head of mission of the Republic of Yemen in Bulgaria took place at the Diplomatic Institute. Areas of mutual interest between the Diplomatic Institutes of the two states were discussed at the meeting, as well as some initiatives for their further cooperation.

18.09.2014

Meeting between the director of the Diplomatic Institute and the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Today, a meeting took place at the Diplomatic Institute, between Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Institute and H.E. Mr. Abdullah Noruzi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Bulgaria. The aim of the meeting was to discuss opportunities for cooperation between the Diplomatic Institute and Iranian academic institutions concerned with the issues of diplomatic training and public activities.

12.09.2014

EUISS Conference in Paris

In the period 11-12 September, 2014, the annual conference of the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) took place in Paris. The main activity of the Institute is analyzing and exploring issues of the foreign and security policy of the EU. The analyses of the Institute are taken into account when European policies are being formed. The Director of the Diplomatic Institute is the national representative in the governing body of the EUISS. The conference was attended by Ms. Biliana Decheva, Head of the "Training Programmes and Projects" department of the Diplomatic Institute, and Mr. Kiril Apostolov, senior expert in the same department. On 11 September they took part in separate working groups in which participants discussed, respectively, the civil and military capabilities of the EU and the Eastern Neighbourhood Policy and the Arab World. On 12 September, Ms. Decheva and Mr. Apostolov visited the working group concernig the dilemmas in the new EU policies in the context of contemporary security challenges.

05.09.2014

Symposium in Bled, Slovenia

Between 2 and 3 September, 2014, the town of Bled in Slovenia hosted the Second expert high-level symposium between China and the Central and Eastern European countries. The symposium was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and the Secretariat for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries, in cooperation with IEDC-Bled School of Management and the China Institute of International Studies (CFIS). A hundred and eighty people participated in the Symposium among who were representatives of the business, the government, the academia and also politicians. Bulgaria was represented by Svetlozar Kovachev, chief expert at the Public Affairs and Cooperation Department of the Diplomatic Institute.

03.09.2014

Third International Seminar on Energy diplomacy

During the period September 29th 2014 - October 03rd 2014 the Third International Seminar on Energy diplomacy is going to take place, organized by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The course is taking place for fifth consecutive year, but this is the third time in international format. As participants in the seminar we expect young representatives of the state administration of the countries in Southeast Europe, the Black Sea Region, the Caucasus and the European Union.

During the seminar will be discussed the different approaches to the specific sphere of energy diplomacy, the developments in the energy markets, climate change as a part of the external policies and other relevant issues and topics. For the first time this year, a special focus will be put on the connection between the business and diplomacy, as well as on the renewable energy resources and the Russia factor in the region. The goal of the seminar is to contribute to to the establishment and securing the energy relations between the represented institutions and to provide a platform for free dialog among the participants. It is expected that the seminar will range over the different approaches to the problematic field of energy diplomacy in the above mentioned regions. The overall expectation is that after the seminar participants will more effectively tackle the energy issues and will further cooperate in the development of the processes in that particular field.

Partners of the BDI are the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael and the Bulgarian Representation of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

For additional information regarding participation, please contact the course coordinators: Ms. Ina Kirilova, tel:02/8076446, email:ina.kirilova@mfa.bg; Ms. Ivana Tsvetkova, tel:02/9713199, email:IPTsvetkova@gmail.com.

03.09.2014

Memorandum for Cooperation with the Hanns Seidel Foundation

Wishing to continue their long standing partnership, the Diplomatic Institute and the Bulgarian Office of the German Hanns Seidel Foundation signed a Memorandum for Cooperation, which outlines nine points in the co-work of the two institutions for the years to come. To highlight a few the project Communication with the Civil Society in the Context of European Integration, including the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of Serbia, Monte Negro, Hungary and Croatia; the annual seminar on Energy Diplomacy; the Winter School in Diplomacy, which will celebrate its 10-year anniversary in 2015; thematic seminars for civil servants of Monte Negro and Greece; co-organized conferences and round tables; publication of specialized handbooks.

28.08.2014

In memoriam of Valery Petrov

Tomorrow, 29 August, from 2.00 to 4.00 p.m., in the Library of the Diplomatic Institute, we will honor the memory of Valery Petrov a poet and a great man, a doctor and a diplomat, a teacher and a friend to many of us. We invite everyone who wants to listen or read his verses to join us.

22.08.2014

First child

The team of the Diplomatic Institute has enlarged the baby Alexander Kirilov Apostolov was born on 25 July, 2.650 kg. in weight and 48 cm. in height. Congratulations to the young parents for their first child our colleagues Kiril and Zornitsa Apostolovi! May he grow up in good health and may he bring joy to them!

21.07.2014

11th issue of Diplomacy Journal

The Diplomatic Institute has released the 11th issue of its Diplomacy Journal. The bilingual journal (in Bulgarian and English), which the Institute started publishing in 2008, presents analyses of Bulgarian and foreign experts and is a way to maintain a solid analytical capacity in the sphere of foreign policy and diplomacy.

The 11th issue is entirely focused on the debate on Europe and the future of the European Union, on the occasion of the elections for European Parliament in May 2014, and has been published within the communication campaign of the Diplomatic Institute I vote, because I care! aiming to increase the electoral activity of young people. The issue includes publications such as The Future of the European Union: Differentiation in Unity (I. Shikova), The wave of Euroscepticism in the context of disintegration of the etiological myth about United Europe (L. Topalov), Multi-speed Europe: what future for enhanced cooperation? (Zh. Popova), Will Fortress Europe endure? (V. Georgiev), Ashtons second hat: The EU funding guidelines on Israel as a post-Lisbon instrument of European foreign policy making (K. Nikolov), The South Caucasus trend in EUs Good-neighbourhood policy: problems and challenges (M. Rabohchiyska), The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) possible scenarios for the agreement between the EU and the United States (Y. Georgiev), Banking Union achievements and concerns (A. Marjan & L. Buda), Accession negotiations the process of systematic changes (T. Miscevic), The innovative road of the EU funds to the Bulgarian businesses (K. Kolev). Readers can also find an analysis of the 2014 European Elections (A. Todorov), an interview on Europe today and tomorrow, as well as articles about the OPAC Programme as a tool for improving the qualifications of the Diplomatic Institutes team and about the Institutes project I vote because I care!.

The 11th issue has been distributed among MFA officials in Bulgaria and abroad, the Diplomatic Corps in Bulgaria, public institutions, Bulgarian and foreign partner organisations, lectors and alumni of the Institute, NGOs, research centres, universities, etc. The issue is available at the DI library and on the DI web page.

21.07.2014

Participation of a representative of DI at the Regional Euro-Atlantic Camp REACT 2014, Stavna, Montenegro

In the period 14th to 19th July 2014, in the village of Stavna, Montenegro, the 7th annual Regional Euro Atlantic camp REACT 2014 took place. Organizer of the event was the ALPHA Centre NGO, with a director Mr. Aleksandar Dedovic. On behalf of the Diplomatic Institute, the participant was Ms. Ina Kirilova, senior expert at Financial-administrative affairs department, who was a speaker at the Different experience during NATO accession panel. Ms. Kirilova marked the events, with which in 2014 Bulgaria celebrated its 10-year anniversary of the accession as a member state in NATO. The expansion of the Alliance through the inclusion of the countries of the Western Balkans, including Georgia, is one of the key priorities of Bulgaria. With all possible efforts, our country supports the Open Doors policy of the Pact, as this can also be traced through the one-week seminars, that were conducted last year in Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the objective of sharing the Bulgarian experience in regards to the EU and NATO integration.

Along with Ms. Kirilova, Mr. Georgi Kasapov form the Atlantic club, Bulgaria, participated in the camp. Overall the participants were 84, and from 23 countries from the Balkans and the Black Sea region.

18.07.2014

Honorary awards of the Diplomatic Institute

The Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs is pleased to announce their honorable awards for a Bulgarian and a foreign citizen or institution with a significant contribution to the development and promotion of the Institute and its training and public policies. The awards are declared for a second consecutive year, on the occasion of 19 July, the Day of the Diplomatic Service

Laureates for 2014 are the National Defence Academy "G.S. Rakovski" and the "Hanns Seidel" Foundation that, as long-term partners of the Diplomatic Institute in carrying out its activities, have contributed to the expansion of its work both in Bulgaria and abroad.

PRESS RELEASE

18.07.2014

National Advisory Board

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Kristian Vigenin approved the new member staff of the National Advisory Board of the Diplomatic Institute.

The Board will be chaired by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zdravko Popov Faculty of Philosophy, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", director of the Institute from 2003 to 2006. Members are Evgeni Kirilov MEP from 2007 to 2014, Ambassador Georgi Dimitrov Permanent Secretary at MFA, Nedyalcho Danchev Director of "Human Resources" Directorate at MFA, Prof. Dr. Dinko Dinkov Department of International Relations at the University of National and World Economy, Prof. Dr. Anna Kristeva Department of Political Science at New Bulgarian University, Antoinette Primatarova Center for Liberal Strategies, Chavdar Minchev National Association of International Relations, Delian Kapitanov Bulgarian Diplomatic Society.

15.07.2014

Teambuilding for the employees of the Diplomatic Institute along the Operational Programme Administrative Capacity

On July 13 and 14 of this year, the employees of the Diplomatic Institute (DI) took part in teambuilding exercises called Teamwork in the administration of the Diplomatic Institute and Preventing and resolving conflicts within a team. The training is a part of the project Improving the capacity of the Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to provide key skills and competencies to its employees - 12-22-81/25.09.2013, which is executed through the financial support of Operational Programme Administrative Capacity, co-financed by the European Union through the European Social Fund. The training programme consisted of interactive exercises and good operating practices for expanding the capacity of DI employees to provide quality public services to citizens through the following tasks: clarifying the advantages, disadvantages, and interaction of roles within a team according to the skills, attitudes, and working profiles of the participants; demonstrating and using methods for effective action on a collective level; perfecting the presentation skills of employees and immediate sharing of the experience acquired from the exercises conducted during the seminar.

15.07.2014

Future Leaders Summit

The Atlantic Council of the United States of America has initiated a recruitment procedure for its 2014 Future Leaders Summit, which is to be held alongside the NATO Summit in Wales on September 4 and 5 of this year. This event will be the only one accompanying the official summit along the lines of public diplomacy, and the two events will take place at the same location.

The deadline for the application, which should include an attached current CV and an essay, is July 22, 2014. Applicants should be between 25 and 35 years of age, have prominent leadership skills, as well as possess knowledge and interest in foreign affairs and international organizations. The candidates can be parliamentarians, employees in government or state institutions, journalists, and opinion leaders among others. The accommodation expenses in Wales are covered by the organizers.

The press release concerning the start of the recruitment process can be found on the website of the Atlantic Council.

10.07.2014

Meeting at the National Military Academy

On July 10, 2014, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, met with rear admiral Mitko Petev, head of the G.S. Rakovski Military Academy. The reason for the meeting was the inauguration of rear admiral Petev and the discussion about cooperation between the two institutions. The meeting addressed the joint initiatives that have taken place thus far in the spheres of education, research, publishing and public events. Both sides reaffirmed their willingness and eagerness to expand the spheres of cooperation, especially in the context of representing Bulgaria in various formats of the European Union by demonstrating a joint civil-military approach.

10.07.2014

Scientific seminar on Bulgarian-French Diplomatic Relations through a Comparative Read of Diplomatic Archives

On July 10, 2014, a conference titled Bulgarian-French Diplomatic Relations through a Comparative Reading of Diplomatic Archives took place in the Slaveikov hall of the French Institute in Bulgaria. The seminar was organized by the Bulgarian Association of the alumni of the French National School of Administration (ENA), the Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Institute, and the French Institute in Bulgaria. The event was unveiled by H.E. Xavier Lapeyre de Cabanes, ambassador of France. The participants included Ms. Rayna Karcheva, Ms. Mari-Cristine Kesler, Ms. Mona Foskolo, and Ms. Irina Grigorova among others.

The main topics presented at the seminar included the French-Bulgarian diplomatic relations between 1944 and 1950, Legal framework related to the activity of the French diplomatic archives, and Bulgarian legislation postulating the activity of the archives among others. Before the closing of the seminar, a question and answer session took place, expanding on the presented topics.

09.07.2014

Jubilee Bulgarian-Russian Scientific Conference

On July 7 and 8 of this year, a conference titled Bulgaria-Russia. 135 Years Since the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations: Past, Present, and Future took place in the National Palace of Culture. The event was organized by the Slavyani Foundation and the Bulgaria-Russia forum. The Diplomatic Institute was a co-organizer of the conference. The Institutes director, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, was a moderator on the panel which discussed the topic of Developing the cultural dialogue between Bulgaria and Russia. In parallel to the conference, Mr. Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, presented his new book, titled Between the past and the future. Russian diplomacy in the changing world. During the presentation, speeches were held by the Vice-president Ms. Margarita Popova and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Kristian Vigenin.

27.06.2014

The Day of the Free Spirit" and Ken Hensley in the MFA

On 27 June, as part of its project Bulgaria-Great Britain (BG-GB): the mirror image, the Diplomatic Institute organized an event called The Day of the Free Spirit" which took place in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Special guest of the event was the legendary musician, poet and composer Ken Hensley the author of the famous British song July Morning" that has become a symbol of the tradition with the same name, which has existed only in Bulgaria for more than 35 years and is related to the welcoming of the sunrise on the 1st of July on the Black Sea coast. Ms. Tanya Mihailova, Director of DI opened the event with a short introduction of the ideas uniting us all in this initiative. Mr. Hensley spoke in front of the guests about the fundamental human values, such as love, peace and hope, which should inspire not only the artists and their audience but the politicians as well.

Ken Hensley performed some of his most popular songs together with the Bulgarian band Sunrize", which allowed the free spirit of rock music to enter the temple of the Bulgarian diplomacy. The event was held also in support of the campaign initiated by the musician George Marholev and supported by Ken Hensley, the objective of which is the official recognition of 1st of July on national and European level, as the Day of the Free Spirit". Both Bulgarian and foreign diplomats attended the event, as well as friends and partners of the Diplomatic Institute and rock fans from Sofia and other places. After the performance, Ken Hensley was happy to give authographs to the audience and the DI team.

The event was organised in cooperation with Hollyrock ART" and ADIS" EOOD, and with the kind support of Kiril Zheliazkov, Neli Beshirova, ADIS" EOOD, Bulgarian Bussines Club-London. Media partners were BNT, BNR, BTA, DARIK Radio and BG MEDIA London.

27.06.2014

A Representative of DI participated in the Erasmus for Public Administration" programme in Brussels

A two-week training session was hold in the period 16-27 June 2014 in Brussels, Belgium, as a part of the educational programme Erasmus for Public Administration" organized by the European School of Administration. More than 60 experts coming from central and regional administrative bodies of the European Union Member States took part in the training. Bulgaria was represented by Silvana Tzokova junior expert with the Public Affairs and Cooperation Department" at the Diplomatic Institute.

The training aimed to familiarize the participants with the history, principles and prospects of the EU, as well as with the functions and role of the European institutions and the process of decision-making within the EU. The programme included lectures and discussions with representatives of the EU institutions, visits to the EU Council and the European Parliament in Brussels and the European Court of Auditors and the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg. Simulations recreating the meetings of the working groups of the EU Council, the work of the parliamentary committees and the EP plenary sessions were other important elements of the programme. The training ended with a 3-day practice in the form of working meetings in a EC General Directorate or EU body chosen by each participant. Ms. Tzokova visited the European External Action Service, where she familiarized herself with the organization and the activity of the service, as well as with the work of the EU delegations. She also participated in discussions regarding humanitarian aid, multilateral relations, development cooperation, common defense and security policy, crisis management and public diplomacy.

27.06.2014

The winners in the essay contest Together in the Name of Peace and Security visited Brussels

The Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs organized a visit to the NATO Headquarters for six university and school students in the period 25-27 June 2014. The students are the winners of the essays contest Together in the Name of Peace and Security" organized on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Bulgarias membership in NATO. The contest was held in the framework of the National Plan to mark the anniversary, and it was a joint project between the Diplomatic Institute, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education. The group was led by Ms. Adelina Tomova Head of the Public Affairs and Cooperation Department of DI, and accompanied by Ms. Vessela Stoeva diplomatic official in the NATO and Regional Security Department of the MFA.

The highlights of the agenda for the Meeting of the NATOs Heads of State and government leaders, that will take place on 4 and 5 September 2014 in Wales, were introduced at the briefing with Jose-Maria Lopez-Navarro from NATOs Department of Public Diplomacy. The results of the Meeting of NATOs Foreign Ministers (24-25 June 2014) were also introduced during the briefing. The group also met the Deputy Permanent Representative of Bulgaria to NATO, George Penkov, and other diplomats from the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Bulgaria. Part of the programme included meetings with Bulgarian international officials from the Alliance Dr. Velizar Shalamanov, Head of the NATO Communications and Information Agency and Col. Stanimir Georgiev from the Investment and Defense Department of NATO Parliament Assembly International Secretariat.

Additionally, the group visited the European Parliament and the students were familiarized with its activities and with the upcoming changes as a result of the EP elections. The Information Office and the newly opened Parlamentarium provided even more opportunities for the students to learn about the current events and the history of the EP.

25.06.2014

The Day of the Free Spirit" with Ken Hensley

The Diplomatic Institute will organize another event within its project Bulgaria Great Britain (BG-GB): the mirror image" that started in 2013. The major goal of the project is to help the societies of the two countries to get to know each other better and cast away inaccurate perceptions for the purpose of a more efficient cooperation, especially in the context of the co-presidency of UK and Bulgaria of the EU Council in 2018.

The event called The Day of the Free Spirit" will take place on 27 June 2014, from 19:00 in the Garden of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The special guest of the event will be the legendary musician Ken Hensley the author of the British song July Morning" that has become a symbol of the tradition with the same name, which has existed only in Bulgaria for more than 35 years and is related to the welcoming of the sunrise on the 1st of July on the Black Sea coast. Mr. Hensley will talk in front of the audience about the importance of cultural traditions and cooperation in the framework of public diplomacy. He will also give a musical performance with the Bulgarian band Sunrize" followed by a short cocktail party. The event is also organized in support of the campaign initiated by the musician George Marholev and supported by Ken Hensley aiming to promote the official recognition of the 1st of July on national and European level as the Day of the Free Spirit".

The event is organized in colaboration with Hollyrock ART" and ADIS EOOD, and with the support of Mr. Kiril Zheliazkov, Ms. Nelly Beshirova, ADIS EOOD, Deloitte Bulgaria. Media partners are BNT, BNR, BTA, DARIK Radio and BG MEDIA-London.

25.06.2014

Delegation visit of the Shanghai Institute for International Studies at the Diplomatic Institute

Today at the MFA, a meeting was held between the Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova and a delegation from the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, headed by Mr. Jan Dziemien, distinguished professor and Director of the Institute. During the meeting they discussed proposals for cooperation between the two institutions within their training programmes and projects, public activities and research studies. At the end of the meeting, both sides exchanged their analytical publications and expressed their willingness for a long-term mutually beneficial cooperation.

25.06.2014

Awarding of certificates for the essay contest "Together in the name of peace and security"

Yesterday (24.06.2014), the library of the Diplomatic Institute hosted the officiall awarding of certificates to the winners in the essay contest "Together in the name of peace and security" organized by DI on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Bulgaria's membership in NATO. The prize for the most successful participants is a visit to the NATO Headquarters and the European Parliament in Brussels. The certificates were presented by Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute in the presence of the jury members: Ms. Adelina Tomova, Head of Public Affairs and Cooperation Department of DI, Ms. Vessela Stoeva from the NATO and National Security Directorate of the MFA, Mr. Svetlozar Kovachev, State Expert in the Public Affairs and Cooperation Department of DI.

The winners of the essay contest are:

University students:

  1. Momchil Milanov Law, Sofia University;
  2. Vihren Mitev Global Studies, Sofia University;
  3. Desislava Ivanova National Security and Defense Academy "G.S. Rakovski";
  4. Cvetelina Johannes van Bentham Law, Sofia University.

Students:

  1. Velislava-Mihaela Krachunova Language School Hristo Botev", Kardzhali
  2. Sibel Hasan Secondary School "Hristo Botev", Devin.

Encouraged with certificates:

  1. Margarita Kojouharova Optometry, Sofia University;
  2. Deyan Draganov Deyanov 11 grade, School Hristo Botev", Karnobat
  3. Miroslavova Lina Hristova 11 grade, School Assen Zlatarov", Shabla
  4. Yuzlem Myumyun Yusuf 11 grade, School Hristo Botev", village of Chorbadzhyisko, Kirkovo municipality, Kardjali District
  5. Fikri Hussein Bayram 11 grade, School Hristo Botev", village of Chorbadzhyisko, Kirkovo municipality, Kardjali District

13.06.2014

Public lecture by Mustafa Karkuti on "The regional impact of the war in Syria: How the West disappointed the Syrian people"

Today the Diplomatic Institute organized a public lecture by Mr. Mustafa Karkuti journalist and consultant on media and corporate matters, on "The regional impact of the war in Syria: How the West disappointed the Syrian people."

During the lecture Mr. Karkuti examined the basic assumptions that have contributed to the escalation of protests against the ruling military regimes in the countries of the so-called Arab Spring. In his presentation, he drew attention to the specifics that distinguish the crisis in Syria from the situation in the rest of the Middle East that are affected by this process. Mr. Karkuti scrutinized the attitude towards the conflict of the countries located in close proximity to Syria and the reaction of the U.S., Russia, Iran and the Arabian Peninsula states to the two warring camps. In his opinion, currently we are witnessing a redrawing of the political map of the Middle East, divided into spheres of influence by virtue of the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916. Evidence of this are the situation in Syria and the current events in the territory of Iraq.

The lecture was followed by an extensive discussion during which a parallel was drawn between the crisis in Syria and the situation in Ukraine. The participation of "Hezbollah" on the side of the regime of Bashar al-Assad was also discussed, as well as Iran's influence on the processes in the region, the reasons for non-interference of the West in the conflict in Syria, the Kurdish factor during the riots in Syria and Iraq, the level of development of democratization in the countries affected by the Arab Spring, and more.

The lecture was attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps in Bulgaria, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NGOs, journalists and students.

10.06.2014

Lecture by Minister Vigenin in Taraklia, Moldova

Today, 6 June 2014, the Diplomatic Institute made the first live-streaming broadcast of the opening ceremony, with the participation of Minister Kristian Vigenin, of the newly established Information Centre for Bulgaria and the EU in the building of the Taraclia State University. The topic of the lecture was "The European Way of Bulgaria and the prospects of Moldova." The event was watched by DI and MFA officials in Antarctica Hall of the Ministry and was followed by a discussion.

10.06.2014

The first Summer School on Security Issues and NATO has finished

On 6 June 2014, the first Summer School on Security Issues and NATO officially ended. The seminar is part of the National Plan of initiatives to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Bulgaria's membership in NATO in accordance with the Decision of the Council of Ministers 819 of 12.21.2013. The training was held at the Naval Academy "N. Vaptzarov" in Varna in the period 2-6 June 2014.

35 representatives of 19 NATO member states and countries within the "Partnership for Peace" programme took part in the seminar. During the Summer School the participants had the opportunity to hear the opinion of leading Bulgarian and foreign experts, including Ms. Desislava Ivanova, Mr. Yordan Bozhilov, Ms. Zornitca Venkova, Mr. Slavtcho Nejkov, Prof. Jordan Baev, Dr. Valentin Katrandjiev, Colonel Nikolai Kotzev and H.E. Mr. Andrew Klein, Ambassador of Hungary in Bulgaria.

Within the programme the participants had also a study tour of the Academy, during which they had the opportunity to see up close the classrooms, learn about the latest technologies in navigation, visit special trainers and simulators, attempt to manage a ship and defend it.

09.06.2014

Participation of DI representatives of in the XV Summer Seminar for Young Public Policy Professionals from South East Europe and the Black Sea region

From 1 to 5 June 2014, in Albena resort at the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, the 15th edition of the Summer Seminar for Young Public Policy Professionals from South East Europe and the Black Sea region took place. The seminar is organized traditionally by the Economic Policy Institute and the topic this year was "Public Policy Challenges European and Regional Dimensions". Two representatives of the Diplomatic Institute took part in the seminar Silvana Tsokova, junior expert in "Public Affairs and Cooperation" department, and Alena Lakova, associate in the same department. Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of DI, greeted the participants at the official opening of the seminar and gave a presentation in the lecture section on "Public Diplomacy in the practice of the Diplomatic Institute."

The seminar was attended by 33 experts from the public administration, NGO and research sector of 10 countries of South East Europe and the Black Sea region. Bulgarian and foreign lectors, including representatives of government agencies, diplomatic missions, research centers and institutions of the EU, presented topics related to the economic aspects of European integration, the competitiveness of the Member States and the countries of the region, innovation as a priority of public policies, political challenges facing the EU and the region, regional partnerships, foreign policy, neighbourhood policy and enlargement policy of the EU, and others. The presentations were accompanied by discussions and interactive sessions in working groups related to public policy challenges and the future of Europe in the context of the the subjects discussed. The seminar ended with awarding the participants with certificates.

04.06.2014

Representative of DI in the third ASEM seminar on Sustainable Development Water Management, in Tulcea, Romania

From 2 to 3 June 2014, the town of Tulcea in Romania was home to the third seminar of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Sustainable Development Water Management: supporting prosperity and stability through regional cooperation under the Danube-Mekong Cooperation Initiative. The Bulgarian participants in the seminar were Prof. Catherine Buchvarova (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences), Ms. Nelly Mutafova, chief expert at the Ministry of Environment and Water, and Ms. Ina Kirilova, specialist at Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Over 50 representatives from Hungary, Vietnam, Austria, Romania, Laos, Slovakia, Spain, Bangladesh, Germany, South Korea, the European Commission and the European External Action Service shared expert opinion.

The aim of the seminar was to share information and useful experience and formulate ideas and projects for cooperation between countries in the Danube River basin and the Mekong River basin in Asia.

During the event, Prof. Buchvarova said which current research projects of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences are related to the Danube River and thanked for the friendly Bulgarian-Romanian relations.

Laos will host the next fourth seminar by following the rotation between Asian and European participants. The possibility for Bulgaria to host the fifth seminar in 2016 was also discussed.

02.06.2014

The second Intensive Course in Diplomacy has finished

In the period from 7 May to 30 May 2014, the second Intensive Course in Diplomacy organized by the Diplomatic Institute took place. The training introduced major topics and issues in the field of diplomacy, diplomatic protocol, consular diplomacy, economic and energy diplomacy, etc. The course ended with a ceremony at which the Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova congratulated the participants and awarded them with certificates. 28 representatives of the public administration, NGOs and academia took part in the training.

02.06.2014

Summer school on Security Issues and NATO

The Diplomatic Institute and the Bulgarian Euro-Atlantic Youth Club are organizers of the first Summer School on Security Issues and NATO. The event will take place at the Naval Academy "N. Vaptzarov " in Varna in the period 2-6 June 2014.

This seminar is part of the National Plan of initiatives to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Bulgaria's membership in NATO in accordance with the Decision of the Council of Ministers 819 dated 12.21.2013. It will involve 35 young people from Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Denmark, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Norway, Slovenia, Ukraine, the Netherlands and others, NATO member states and countries within the "The Partnership for Peace" programme.

The aim of the seminar is to increase the participants experience and competence in matters of international security that will be discussed through the framework of NATO. The programme will include modules such as "NATO Public Diplomacy", "Challenges in the field of security and energy" and others, aiming to provoke the active participation in the course and engagement with the topics of the forum.

Lecturers of the course will be experts from the Naval Academy "N. Vaptzarov ", the National Defence Academy "G.S.Rakovsky", the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bulgarian and foreign diplomats with extensive experience and expertise.

The Summer School on Security Issues and NATO is organized in cooperation with the Bulgarian Euro-Atlantic Youth Club, Konrad Adenauer Foundation and with the support of the Naval Academy "N. Vaptzarov".

29.05.2014

Closing of the 14th edition of the European Diplomatic Programme

From 26 to 28 May this year in Athens, Greece, the last fourth module of the European Diplomatic Programme (EDP) took place. It was attended by all 56 participants and about 30 heads of departments of Human Resources and Training at the ministries of foreign affairs of the Member States and at the EU institutions. The participants were divided into three groups, dealing with the priorities of the Greek Presidency of the EU: migration challenges and opportunities; economy growth and jobs; and policy in the field of maritime security with a focus on piracy. The work included discussions and simulation games on case studies from the mentioned fields. At the end of the module the participants were awarded with certificates for their successful participation in the entire programme which consisted of four modules. The first and the last modules took place in the Member State chairing the EU Council during the respective period (Lithuania and Greece), the second one took place in the respective Ministry of Foreign Affairs of a country chosen by each participant, and the third one in Brussels. The participant from Bulgaria was Mr. Yavor Ivanov, a senior expert at the Diplomatic Institute. Ms. Biliana Decheva, Head of Training Programmes and Projects" Department of the DI represented Bulgaria at the meetings of the directors of training institutions. The next training year will begin in autumn in Rome, under the Italian Presidency.

28.05.2014

The second specialized course "Diplomacy and Environment" is completed

Today the second specialized intensive course "Diplomacy and Environment" of the Diplomatic Institute came to en end. The last element in the training was a simulation game which contributed to the effective utilization of newly acquired knowledge in the field of environmental diplomacy. The participants appreciated highly their training and received certificates from the Director of the Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova.

26.05.2014

The second specialized course Diplomacy and Environment" has started

On 26 May 2014, the second edition of the specialized intensive course "Diplomacy and Environment" started at the Diplomatic Institute. After the opening made by Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of DI, Dr. Valentin Katrandjiev, chief expert in the "Training Programmes and Projects" Department of DI presented the programme of the course, which includes an introduction to environmental diplomacy, analysis of international negotiations on climate change, an overview of the international legal regime for the protection of the environment, the main aspects of international environmental security, etc. The training also includes practical exercises in the field of multilateral water diplomacy. The training is aimed at representatives of the Bulgarian state administration, the business community and NGOs dealing with environmental issues. Course lecturers are experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and university professors.

20.05.2014

Meeting between the DI and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel

On the 20 May this year, in the library of the Diplomatic Institute, a meeting was held between the Institute and junior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange experience in the methodology for the preparation of trainee attaches in both countries. The Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova and Ms. Adelina Tomova, Head of "Public Affairs and Cooperation", welcomed the guests and presented the activities of the DI, focusing on the preparation of the diplomatic officials who are at the beginning of their careers.

Ms. Sousse Hasson, Second Secretary and Deputy Head of Mission of Israel in Sofia and the guests shared their personal experience as students in the training programmes of the Foreign Ministry of Israel. The Israeli guests are currently completing the programme for trainee attaches and their visit to Bulgaria is a part of their overall training period.

The Israeli diplomats met with two Bulgarian junior diplomats, who in 2012 successfully completed the course for trainee attaches organized by the Institute.

19.05.2014

The tenth Course on Consular Diplomacy is completed

In the period 4 March 11 April 2014, the tenth Course on Consular Diplomacy took place. It was organized by the Diplomatic Institute in cooperation with the Consular Relations Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The training ended with a ceremony attended by Minister Kristian Vigenin, Deputy Minister Angel Velitchkov, the Permanent Secretary Mr. Georgi Dimitrov, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Mr. Rakovsky Lashev, director of the Consular Relations Directorate. Minister Vigenin personally handed certificates to the most successful graduates of the course. Mr. Anton Markov and Ms. Nadia Veleva thanked the organizers on behalf of all participants in the course by submitting a letter of appreciation. Sixty one MFA officials, who are about to start a mandate as consuls or consular officials, took part in this course and successfully passed the exam.

15.05.2014

Discussion in Ruse University Angel Kanchev" on: Diplomacy today"

Today, at Ruse University Angel Kanchev" a meeting was held with the students, where Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke on the topic Diplomacy today". She presented the activities of the Diplomatic Institute, focusing on its qualification trainings and the opportunities it offers to young people, such as the internship programme and the essay contests. Ms. Mihaylova also familiarized the students with the difficulties regarding the professional preparation of future diplomats. She touched upon the specifics of their work, emphasizing that it is not only related to the European practices, but it also implies much dynamics and daily improvement, because diplomacy is not static. Ms. Mihaylova described the activity of the consular offices, which is rarely noticed, but actually plays a very important role for the Bulgarian societies outside the country.

The Director of the Diplomatic Institute also presented to the young audience the Institute`s communication campaign I vote because I care!", and pointed out the political passivity of young people in the country, especially in the period before important elections, such as those for the European Parliament. She highlighted the fact that these elections are even more important for the Union because in practice they will determine the choice of the future President of the European Commission and the political direction in which the Commission will gon in the next five years.

More than 100 students attended the meeting. Moderator of the event was Prof. Vladimir Chukov, Head of the European Studies Department.

During the visit at the university Ms. Mihaylova held a meeting with Prof. Chukov and Assoc. Prof. Mimi Kornazheva at which the activities of the oldest department for European studies in Bulgaria were presented. At the meeting with the Rector Prof. Hristo Beloev were discussed the opportunities for exchange and a forthcoming signing of a Memorandum for cooperation were discussed.

14.05.2014

Meeting at the Naval Academy N. Y. Vaptsarov"

Today at the Naval Academy N. Y. Vaptsarov" a meeting was held between Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute and Capitan I rank Prof. D.M.Sc. Boyan Mednikarov, Rector of the Naval Academy. At the meeting the possibilities for future cooperation between the two institutions were discussed. A specific topic was the upcoming seminar on security issues, that the Diplomatic Institute will organize from 1 to 6 June this year in Varna, in cooperation with the Naval Academy and The Atlantic Club in Bulgaria in the framework of the National plan to mark the 10th anniversary of Bulgaria`s membership in NATO. The Diplomatic Institute`s team had the opportunity to get familiar with the activities of the Faculty Navigation" and Faculty Engineering" and their modern facilities.

14.05.2014

Discussion at University of Economics in Varna on: Bulgaria and the European Union: economic policies and investments"

Today at the University of Economics in Varna the Diplomatic Institute organized a discussion with students at which the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Kristian Vigenin spoke on Bulgaria and the European Union: economic policies and investments". The results of the upcoming European elections will be the first indicator about whether the European leaders have managed to offer effective solutions to real problems and needs of the citizens, Minister Vigenin said. The event is part of the Diplomatic Institute`s campaign I vote because I care!" aiming to stimulate the voter activity among the young Bulgarians in the upcoming elections for European Parliament. More than 300 students attended the meeting where other speakers were also Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Institute, Mr. Grigor Porozhanov, Director of External Economic Relations" Directorate at the MFA and the Rector of the University of Economics Prof. Plamen Iliev.

13.05.2014

Awards in the national essay contest on: Together in the name of peace and security"

The national essay contest on the topic "Together in the name of peace and security", organized by the Diplomatic Institute on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Bulgaria's membership in NATO has concluded. 166 students form 33 towns and villages in Bulgaria and 21 universities in the country and abroad took part in the contest.

The awards for the most successful participants in the contest are four, instead of three as was originally announced, due to the high quality of their essays. The awarded university students are: Vihren Mitev, Master programme in Global Studies at Sofia University; Desislava Ivanova, master programme in National Security and Defence at the Military Academy G.S. Rakovski"; Momchil Milanov, student in Law at Sofia University and Cvetelina Johannes van Bentham, also student in Law at Sofia University. The awarded school students are: Velislava-Mihaela Krachunova from the Language school Hristo Botev" in Kardzhali and Sibel Hasan from Hristo Botev" school in Devin.

The prize for the awarded participants is a visit to NATOs Headquarters in Brussels, which will take place by the end of June this year. The names of those participants who will be recognized with certificates for their participation in the contest will be published additionally.

12.05.2014

One hour on NATO"

The Ministry of Education and Science joined the initiative One hour on NATO" as part of the National plan of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria for the activities with which the country will mark the 10th anniversary of Bulgarias membership in NATO.

The initiative One hour on NATO" took place in all schools in the country from 7 to 10 May. Within one class hour the students in IX and X grade were presented with information related to NATOs activities. For this, a special brochure was prepared containing several sections historical facts, principles and objectives, Bulgaria and NATO, Bulgaria in missions and operations of NATO and others, as well as photos related to NATOs activity. The brochure was prepared by the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education and Science.

The initiative One hour on NATO" aims to raise awareness of the new generation of young people on the subject of the political and military union NATO, the membership in which is a fundamental foreign policy priority and a key factor for guaranteeing Bulgarias security and sovereignty.

09.05.2014

Musical event to celebrate Europe Day, part of the campaign I vote because I care!"

The Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs celebrated Europe Day, 9th May, with a musical event titled I vote because I care!". The event in the Crystal" garden was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Kristian Vigenin and representatives of DIs partner organizations, the Information Office of the European Parliament and Rock the Vote-Bulgaria. The event is part of the Diplomatic Institutes campaign I vote because I care!", the purpose of which is to stimulate youth participation in the elections for European Parliament on 25th May this year. The singer Poli Genova, the group LaTIDa and the dancers from FullFance and uMove participated with their performances. The audience had the opportunity to participate in quizzes and games related to the European Union.

08.05.2014

Working visit to Kosovo and Republic of Macedonia

In the period 27-30 April this year officials of the Diplomatic Institute had a working visit to Kosovo and the Republic of Macedonia. On 27 and 28 April, Ms. Bilyana Decheva, Head of Training programmes and projects" Department, and Mr. Kiril Apostolov, senior expert with the same department, carried out a series of meetings in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo. The main purpose of the meetings was to share the Bulgarian experience in the organization of international seminars and, more specific, the annual Winter School of Diplomacy. The invitation came from the Kosovo side on the upcoming Spring school on human rights, peace and security", which is to be organized and held by the Kosovo Diplomatic Academy from 26 to 30 May this year in Prevale, Prizren. The Institutes officials presented to Kosovo experts their experience in organizing international seminars, other aspects of the activities of the Diplomatic Institute and answered questiones of expert and organizational nature to the team of the Kosovo Diplomatic Academy. Mr. Skender Durmishi, Director of the Academy and Ms. Bilyana Decheva discussed the upcoming signing of a Memorandum for cooperation between the two institutions, which is going to take place in the near future. A meeting was also held with officials of the Foreign Ministry of Kosovo, which over the years have been trained at the Diplomatic Institute. There are 40 trainees from Kosovo in the DIs Alumni Club, who have participated in various thematic trainings for the period from 2006 till today.

On 29 and 30 April, Ms. Decheva and Mr. Apostolov visited the Republic of Macedonia, where they had a meeting with Ms. Adelina Marku, Director of Diplomatic Academy" at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ms. Lidiya Boshkovska, official at the Academy. At the meeting, which was also attended by representatives of the Bulgarian Embassy in Skopie, including Ambassador Ivan Petkov, the cooperation between the two institutions under the upcoming project Communication with civil society in the context of the European integration" was discussed, as well as the possibility to conduct a seminar for Macedonian diplomats on different issues of European integration.

08.05.2014

Working visit in Hungary

In the period 28-30 April 2014, the Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova and Ms. Adelina Tomova, Head of Public Activities and Cooperation" Department were on a working visit to Budapest. They had a meeting with the Director of the partner Institute for International Relations, Mr. Andrash Kirali. Were discussed specific topics for cooperation were discussed, such as a partnership project of the Diplomatic Institute and Hanns Seidel Foundation for researching the experience of Hungary, Croatia and Bulgaria for conducting the communication strategies for EU membership and sharing this experience with Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro. Other topics discussed were the exchange of publications for Diplomacy Journal" and sharing the experience of the Diplomatic Institute regarding the training of foreign diplomats.

A meeting was also held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the Deputy Director for Central Europe, Mr Joseph Magyar. The training activities designed for Hungarian diplomats and a demonstration of a simulation embassy centre were presented.

Together with the Ambassador of Bulgaria in Hungary, Ms. Biserka Benisheva, Ms. Mihaylova took part in a cocktail party for Bulgarian studies experts from 10 countries within a conference they had, and donated Bulgarian literature to the Faculty of Slavic Studies at the Budapest University.

Ms. Mihaylova and Ms. Tomova also participated in a conference on the 10th anniversary of Hungary's membership of the EU. Within the conference they had a meeting with Prof. Peter Balash, European Commissioner for Regional Policy (2004) and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary (2009-2010), in relation to the experience of Hungary on the communication strategy for EU membership.

07.05.2014

Opening of the second "Intensive Course in Diplomacy"

Today, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the Director of the Diplomatic Institute Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova opened the second "Intensive Course in Diplomacy." It will be attended by 30 participants who are representatives of the state administration, the non-governmental sector and the academic society. The aim of the training is to present the specific features of the work of the diplomatic service in the formation and implementation of the Bulgarian foreign policy. The course will introduce and deepen the participants knowledge in major topics in the field of diplomacy, diplomatic protocol, consular diplomacy, economic and energy diplomacy and more. Lecturers in the course will be experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, diplomats from foreign diplomatic missions in Bulgaria, academics and leading experts in the field of international relations.

29.04.2014

Specialized course Diplomacy and Environment" of the Diplomatic Institute

From May 26 to May 28, 2014 the Diplomatic Institute to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will hold the second edition of the specialized intensive course Diplomacy and Environment". Experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and well-known university lecturers have been invited to speak in the course. Its programme includes an introduction to environmental diplomacy, analysis of international negotiations on climate change, a review of the international legal regime for the protection of the environment, reading the main aspects of international environmental security and other. The training also includes practical exercises in the field of multilateral water diplomacy. The course is suitable for a wide range of specialists including government officials, working on international environmental cooperation, students enrolled in post-graduate programmes in environment and ecology, representatives of environmental NGOs and the media, which highlights the global environmental challenges. The course will be all day from Monday (26.05) to Wednesday (28.05) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The requirements for the candidates are:

  1. 1. Availability for a full participation in the course from 10.30 to 17.30 in that period
  2. 2. Bachelor Degree;

The price of the course is 50 leva which can be paid by bank transfer or in cash in the cash-desk of the Diplomatic Institute. Those who successfully finish the course will receive a certificate for participation, issued by the DI. Those who want to enroll can do it by sending a request to the Director of DI and CV (Europass) on e-mail: director.bdi@mfa.bg. The deadline for applications is 20 May 2014.

Further information about the course can be received by Dr. Valentin Katrandzhiev, chief expert in Training Programmes and Projects" Department e-mail: valentin.katrandjiev@mfa.bg, mobile phone: 0878 601 683, or Mr. Rosen Seyrekov, collaborator in Training Programmes and Projects" Department e-mail: rosen.seyrekov@mfa.bg, tel 02/807 64 44; mobile phone: 0897 865 547.

29.04.2014

Discussion in Burgas Free University on Bulgaria in the EU: ensuring sustainable development" within the DIs campaign I will vote because I care!"

Today, at Burgas Free University a meeting and discussion with the university students was held, in which the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Kristian Vigenin spoke on the topic Bulgaria in the EU: ensuring sustainable development". The event is part of the campaign of the Diplomatic Institute I will vote because I care!" which aims to stimulate the voter turnout in the forthcoming elections for European Parliament among the younger generation. The meeting was attended by more than 250 students. Other speakers were Mr. Grigor Porozhanov, Director of Foreign Economic Relations" Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Rector of BFU Prof. Galia Hristozova.

16.04.2014 .

Discussion on topic Bulgaria in EU - mobility and opportunities for young people"

Today, at Plovdiv University Paisii Hilendarski" a discussion was held on the topic Bulgaria in EU mobility and opportunities for young people" with the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Kristian Vigenin. The discussion is part of a series of meetings with the students society which will be realized by the Diplomatic Institute within the framework of its campaign I will vote because I care!" which aims to stimulate the activity of young people in the elections for European Parliament in May 2014. Speakers at the meeting, which was attended by more than 120 university students, were also the Rector of Plovdiv University, Prof. Zaprian Kozludjov, the Director of the Diplomatic Institute Ms. Tanya Mihailova, who presented the work on the campaign, and Mr. Rumen Aleksandrov Director of Politics and Institutions of the EU" Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Minister Vigenin presented to the students the numerous advantages of Bulgarias membership in the EU and the opportunities which it gives to young people for education, professional realization, travelling and cultural exchange. The Minister emphasized on the importance of being informed and of the choice as to who will represent the interests and values of the Bulgarian citizens in Europe, as well as on the role of the Bulgarian representation in the European Parliament which will have to defend the Bulgarian priorities in the context of the common European policy and the daily work of the EU. The higher the turnout, the more legitimate and closer to the citizens will be the European construction, he added. Mr. Vigenin presented some of the main priorities of the EU and how they are implemented at national level. These include the fight against unemployment, the efforts for a reform in education, strategic priorities such as research, innovations and investments in smart growth. The European Employment Services EURES, the opportunities of ERASMUS+ as well as the prospects for internships and work in the EU administration were also presented. It is essential for Bulgaria that more Bulgarian representatives be in the European administration for our country to protect its national interest still in the process of decision making, Minister Vigenin further added.

A Memorandum for Cooperation between the Diplomatic Institute and the University of Plovdiv was signed within the framework of the event. It gives an opportunity for exchange of lecturers and expertise, for joint educational and research projects and conferences, as well as an opportunity for participation of students in the youth initiatives of the Diplomatic Institute such as the internship programme and essay contests.

10.04.2014 .

Cooperation between DI and EGO POLITICO continues: Seminar on Protocol and Public Policies"

On the 8 April 2014 in the building of the Diplomatic Institute a one-day seminar was held, on the topic of Protocol and Public Policies", organized by the Institute for the team of the student association EGO POLITICO" to the University of National and World Economy, upon the invitation of the association. The training was held within the framework of the Open doors" programme of the Diplomatic Institute, which contributes to the DIs cooperation with the student society and to better continuity between the academic and the professional environment.

The seminar was opened by Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, director of DI, who presented the main activities of the Institute and encouraged the young team of EGO POLITICO" in the aims which it strives to accomplish. Lectors in the first module, Presentational skills and protocol", were Tsvetomira Dimitrova and Kiril Apostolov, experts in the Training Programmes and Projects" Department of DI. The topics presented included: approaches to a successful presentation, behavior in front of camera, non-verbal communication, dress code, intercultural communication, and work with foreigners. The training continued with presentations on the topics Organizing of events" and Communicational management", presented by Silvana Cokova, expert in the Public Affairs and Cooperation" Department of DI. Among the discussed topics were: good and bad practices in the preparation and realizing of events, reaction in crisis situations, methods for effective communication in a team and with target groups, and interaction with the media. The training finished with the topic Successful partnerships", presented by Adelina Tomova, head of Public Affairs and Cooperation" Department, who discussed with the participants the cooperations as a strategic aim, their importance and their various forms, along with giving recommendations for successful attracting of partners.

The training also included interactive and practical activities, resolving of case studies, as well as discussions on specific issues within the experience of the two organizations. The seminar was closed by awarding certificates to the 15 participants.

07-11.04.2014

Practice study within the Consular Diplomacy Course in Istanbul

In the period of 7-11 April 2014, a practice study was held at the Consulate General of the Republic of Bulgaria in Istanbul, as part of the Diplomatic Institutes Consular Diplomacy Course. The training was co-organized by the Diplomatic Institute and the MFA, and included desk serving of Bulgarian citizens, visa interviews, issuing of visas, and certifying and legalizing documents. The participants in the training were officials of the MFA who have been assigned as consuls and technical staff in foreign consulates of the Republic of Bulgaria, and who have not previously occupied those positions in a diplomatic mission abroad. The Diplomatic Institute was represented by the course coordinators Ms. Ekaterina Neofitova and Ms. Ina Kirilova, and the MFA was represented by Mr. Valentin Babov, head of Administrative Services for Citizens" Department, and Mr. Ivan Motev, state expert at the National Visa Center", both from the Consular Relations" Directorate of the MFA.

07.04.2014

Representative of DI participates in the European Diplomatic Programme

From 31 March to 4 April 2014, the 3rd module of the European Diplomatic Programme (EDP) took place in Brussels. Almost all of the 56 participants in this years edition of the Programme took part in the module representatives of the Member States, the EEAS, the Commission and the Council Secretariat. Bulgaria was represented by Mr. Yavor Ivanov, a senior expert at the "Public Affairs and Cooperation" Department of the Diplomatic Institute. The programme of the one-week module was conditionally divided in two parts. During the first two days, at the conference center "Albert Borshet", lectures were read by experts from the EEAS and the Commission DGs, followed by discussions. Among the topics presented and discussed were: raw materials and natural resources; development; humanitarian aid; migration; climate change; economic governance; trade policy; energy, and others. The training during the next three days was held at "Management Centre Europe". The participants worked in various group formats under the leadership of Mr. Wilbur Perlot of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations "Clingendael" and Dr. Robert Viybel of "Centre for European negotiations and decision-making". In the form of simulations, the participants were encouraged to work in teams, to chair and to speak out in group discussions. They had to prepare together documents and positions and to defend them, using knowledge of the policy of the countries they visited during the second module of EDP. The participants will do the general assessment and conclusions for the entire Programme within the last module, which will take place in May in the city of Athens.

07.04.2014

Visit of Georgian delegation led by Ms. Marika Rakviashvili, deputy-minister of European Integration of the Republic of Georgia

Today, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a meeting was held between Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, director of the Diplomatic Institute, Mrs. Adelina Tomova, head of "Public Affairs and Cooperation" Department of DI, Dr. Valentin Katrandjiev, expert at DI, and a Georgian delegation led by Ms. Marika Rakviashvili, deputy-minister of European Integration of the Republic of Georgia. They discussed Bulgarias experience in the integration process of the countrys annexation to the EU, as well as opportunities for cooperation between the DI and Georgia. The administrative reform, coordination mechanisms, the implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU, in particular the commercial component communication strategy, EU funds and others were discussed, as well. Representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the non-governmental sector also took part in the series of meetings with the Georgian delegation.

03.04.2014

International Conference "The Future of NATO"

Today, at the Central Military Club in Sofia, the international conference "The Future of NATO" was opened, which is dedicated to the 10th anniversary of Bulgaria's membership in NATO. The event is organized by the Diplomatic Institute to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Defence Academy "G. S. Rakovski" and the Atlantic Club in Bulgaria. The conference is held under the patronage of the Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, with the special support of NATO and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria. The event is part of the National plan of initiatives that will mark the celebration of Bulgarias 10 years of membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Greetings at the opening of the conference were expressed by President Plevneliev, Terry Stamatopoulos NATO Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, Simeon Sakskoburggotski Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria (2001-2005), Kristian Vigenin Minister of Foreign Affairs, Angel Naydenov Minister of Defence, and the U.S. Ambassador Marcie Ries.

02.04.2014

Second Intensive Course on Diplomacy

From 7 to 30 May 2014 the Diplomatic Institute to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will organize the second Intensive Course on Diplomacy, which aims to acquaint the participants with the main topics in the field of international relations and diplomacy. The course will be open to officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the public administration, as well as to outside participants with an interest in the sphere of diplomacy. Part of the topics in the training will be related to the "Legal framework of international relations", "Multilateral Diplomacy and Human Rights", "European Union", "Bilateral Diplomacy", "Consular Diplomacy" and "Protocol and Public Diplomacy", which will be in the form of lectures and interactive activities by leading Bulgarian and foreign experts and practitioners. The course will be full-time and will be held from Monday to Friday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Requirements to the candidates are:

  1. Permanent presence from 10.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. throughout the entire course;
  2. University Bachelor degree;
  3. Proficiency in English.

The price of the course is 450 leva, which can be paid by bank transfer or in cash to the cashier of the Institute. At the end of the course, participants will receive a certificate. Enrollment request is to be sent to the Director of DI, alongside with a CV (Europass), and copies of owned diplomas and certificates. The deadline for submitting applications is 28 April, 2013 by e-mail: director.bdi @ mfa.bg.

01.04.2014

Awarding of Ambassador Ivan Stanchioff

Today, at a short ceremony in the Diplomatic Institute, Ambassador Ivan Stanchioff, Chairman of the National Advisory Board of the DI, was awarded with an honorary plaque for his extraordinary contribution to the development of the Diplomatic Institute and on the occasion of his 85th anniversary. While presenting him with the plaque, the DIs director Tanya Mihaylova highlighted that through this award the team of the Institute expresses its gratitude, both to him personally and to the entire dynasty of diplomats to whom he is a worthy descendant.

Ambassador Stanchioff thanked the Institute for the honor and added that he was surprised and excited by the award because he had always lived with the belief that one can always do more.

28.03.2014

Start of the International Exhibition "Education without borders"

On 28 March 2014, an anniversary edition of the International Forum "Education without borders" started, which will be held within three days at the National Palace of Culture. The largest educational fair in Bulgaria enjoyed for the tenth time in its history great interest from exhibitors, visitors and media. The platform representing foreign and Bulgarian educational institutions and employers also includes a useful initiative "Education and career", which provides information about internships, career development opportunities and programmes for intercultural exchange.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Christian Vigenin was invited by the organizers of the event as an official guest at the opening. A welcome speech on his behalf to the participants and visitors was delivered by Mrs. Adelina Tomova, head of the "Public Affairs and Cooperation" Department of the Diplomatic Institute to the MFA. She underlined the support of MFA and DI to initiatives of that kind, and welcomed the positive role they play in the development of educational mobility, by meeting the needs of a dynamic society. Focusing on the mission of the forum to contribute for a successful career and personal development beyond borders, Ms. Tomova mentioned various trainings organized by the Institute and its internship programme, which aim to achieve continuity between the academic and professional environment. In the context of the welcome speech, she cited the motto of the Diplomatic Institute, "By teaching others, we teach ourselves", that seems valid for all participants in the exhibition.

25.03.2014

Bulgaria celebrates 10 years of membership in NATO

The national plan of initiatives that will mark the celebration of Bulgarias 10 years of membership in NATO was presented to the media today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Participants in the press-conference were Dr. Petio Petev, director of the NATO and Regional Security" Directorate at the MFA, Tanya Mihaylova, director of the Diplomatic Institute, Lyudmila Dimitrova, director of the State Institute for Culture, lieutenant colonel Violina Valeva, head of Public relations and international activities" at the National Defense Academy G.S. Rakovski", captain Yantsislav Yanakiev, head of the Defence Advance Research Institute at the NDA, colonel Sevastian Dobrev, vice director of the Public relations" directorate at the Ministry of Defence.

25.03.2014

The ninth Winter School on Diplomacy was a success

From 17 March to 21 March 2014, in the town of Sandansky, the ninth Winter School on Diplomacy was held, co-organized by the Diplomatic Institute, the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the European Academy-Berlin. The main subject of this years seminar was Policies of the EU and NATO in Southeast Europe and the Black Sea region: foreign policy, security and energy". 34 young diplomats from the Balkans, the countries of the Black Sea region and the member states of the EU took part in the seminar.

During the first two days of the programme, the participants briefly presented their countries stances on the seminars main subject, and the discussions that followed were moderated by Prof. Eckart Stratenschulte, director of the European Academy in Berlin. The next three days included lectures presented by officials from various departments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other experts. Ambassador Petio Petev, Ambassador Lachezar Mitev, Ambassador Antoinette Primatarova, Mrs. Yulia Tserova, Mr. Kaloyan Simeonov and Mr. Valentin Katrandjiev mapped out the energetic situation, the policies for expansion of the EU in the Western Balkans region, Bulgarias experience in joining the organization, NATOs policies and the perspectives after 2014, the benefits of being a EU member, as well as the geopolitical aspects of the Ukrainian crisis.

After the 5-day sessions, the participants were handed certificates, and the seminar ended with a cultural tour that included visits to locations of major significance for Bulgarias history and culture.

25.03.2014

International conference Francophonie and Borders"

On 21 March 2014, to celebrate the International Day of the Francophonie, in the Contracts" Hall of the MFA, an international conference on the subject of Francophonie and Borders" was held, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Diplomatic Institute, the French-speakers community ambassadors, the French Institute in Bulgaria, AMOPA-Bulgaria and the e-Citizenship" team of the New Bulgarian University. The conference was opened by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Kristian Vigenin, who noted the importance of the Francophone organization in his speech, and how it helps overcoming the borders between the member states in terms of democracy, human rights, tolerance, cultural and linguistic variety and steady development. The French ambassador in Bulgaria, H.E. Xavier de Cabanes, who is also the chairman of the French-speakers community ambassadors, greeted the audience as well. He noted that the work of the International Francophone Organization (OIF) is founded on the principles of solidarity and that it has no borders, as a language cannot be constrained by physical barriers. Mrs. Rennie Jotova, a representative of OIF in Bulgaria, made an expose on the organizations implied ideas and values, and accentuated on the ones for cultural and linguistic versatility. Greetings were also sent out by Mrs. Iliana Yotova, member of the European Parliament from the Socialists and Democrats Alliance, and H.E. Angel Cholakov, extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador of Bulgaria in France, who stated that Bulgaria is one of the bravest musketeers of the Francophonie".

In the following two sessions of the conference the history of partnership between the Republic of Bulgaria and OIF, the role of the organization on a worldwide and local level, as well as the term borders" were thoroughly examined in all of their aspects. In the first part the MFAs permanent secretary Mr. Georgi Dimitrov presented a report on the Francophonie in Bulgaria and its relations with the international organizations UNESCO and UN. His bit was followed by a geopolitical analysis of the borders in the globalizing world and the accelerated progress of the new technologies, the closing of which would present an anachronism according to the words of H.E. Latifa Aharbash, ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco in Bulgaria. She noted that the new term of no borders" is actually bound to result in an abundance of new borders and the phenomenon of closed self-definition, and she gave the example of the visa inequality for the youth of various geopolitical regions, who can go around the world on the internet, but cannot even go past the borders of their own country. The subject of the role of the Francophonie in developing countries was then picked up by H.E. Manal el-Shenawi, ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

According to Prof. Stoyan Atanassov from Sofia University, the term border" can be defined by its five characteristics geography, politics, culture, language and psychology. Two other speakers, Mr. Thierry Kohoy and Mr. Georgui Jetchev, presented a thorough analysis on the geo-linguistic dimension of the French language, which is one of OIFs values, as a premise for the formation of a transnational linguistic and socio-cultural community. Mr. Francois Soulages added that this dimension defines the articulation between the local geo-artistic and geo-esthetic borders. The concept of the other side of the Francophonie" beyond the no longer existing Iron Curtains borders was discussed by Mrs. Joanna Nowicki from the Cergy-Pontoise University, who turned the audiemces attention to the Francophonies intellectual heritage of the artists of Central and Eastern Europe during the Cold War. Other dimensions of the borders" were discussed by the rest of the participants in the conference, among which Mrs. Snejana Teneva, Mrs. Miroslava Borisova, Mrs. Tzvetana Guerdjikova, Mrs. Radosveta Krastanova, Mrs. Mila Maeva and Mrs. Vera Kitova.

The two sessions were moderated by Mrs. Adelina Tomova, head of the Public Affairs and Cooperation" Department of the Diplomatic Institute, and Mr. Simeon Angelov, ex-ambassador. The discussions were led by Mr. Antoniy Todorov and Mrs. Anna Krasteva.

18.03.2014

Start of the ninth Winter School on Diplomacy

On 17 March, 2014, the ninth edition of the international seminar Winter School on Diplomacy", co-organized by the Diplomatic Institute and the Hanns Seidel Foundation-Germany, was officially opened in the town of Sandanski. The topic of this years seminar is Policies of the EU and NATO in Southeast Europe and the Black Sea region: foreign policy, security and energy". 34 young diplomats from 19 countries are taking part in the event, and along with the regular participants from the Balkans and the countries of the Black Sea region, representatives from all Member States of the EU have been invited. This year, the Winter School on Diplomacy" is part of a series of events that Bulgaria is organizing on the occasion of the countrys presidency of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).

The seminar was opened by Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, director of DI and H.E. Mr. Mathias Hopfner, Germanys ambassador in Bulgaria. They were joined by Dr. Klaus Fiesinger, Head of the Southeast Europe Department of the Hanns Seidel Foundation, Mr. Bogdan Mirchev, Bulgarias representative of the Foundation, Ambassador Ivan Stancioff, President of the National Advisory Board of DI. Right after the opening, H.E. Mr. Dimosthenis Stoidis, Greeces ambassador in Bulgaria, made a brief presentation of the priorities of his country during its presidency of the EU. After that, the participants had the opportunity to listen to representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the BSEC Mr. Kyrylo Tretiak, secretary general, and Mr. Svilen Kraychev, deputy secretary general of the organization. They presented the current development of the BSEC and the activities they are undertaking to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its Parliamentary Assembly.

The five-day seminar will include lectures by diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bulgarian and foreign experts, and the discussions will be moderated by the director of the European academy in Berlin Prof. Eckart Stratenschulte. The programme of the Winter School on Diplomacy" will include topics related to regional policies and European integration, enlargement, sharing experience, the presence of NATO in Southeast Europe, with an emphasis on energy issues. The discussions will also focus on the dynamic environment in Ukraine and its influence on the European continent and the Black Sea region.

17.03.2014

Interview with Ms. Mihaylova in Business Woman Magazine

An interview with Ms. Tania Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, was published in the first issue of Business Woman Magazine for 2014. Answers to questions such as what is diplomacy today, how to build a successful career, whether women diplomats do well, can be found here.

17.03.2014

Summer Energy School in Baku

The Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan will organize a Summer Energy School which will be held from 5 July to 18 August, 2014 in the city of Baku. The training will focus on issues related to energy and environment: energy law and economics, management of oil and gas industries, strategic prospects of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOKAR), etc. Speakers on the topics will be representatives of the ministries of foreign affairs, energy, environment and natural recourses, top managers of TAP", BP, ExxonMobil, Total Statoil and other leading oil companies, as well as experts from Oxford University, Princeton University, Sciences-Po, the Russian Academy of Sciences and other world-famous research centers.

Representatives of universities and government institutions in Bulgaria, who are interested in the topics, are invited to take part in the training. More information.

14.03.2014

Signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute and the Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar

Within the official visit of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria in the State of Qatar, a Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between the diplomatic institutes of the two countries. With the signing of the Memorandum, the institutes undertake to develop mutual cooperation regarding the training of their diplomats, by introducing modern methods of training; exchange of lectors and trainees in their courses and seminars; exchange of expertise related to current regional and international topics, etc.

During a bilateral meeting, Ms. Tania Mihailova, director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, and her Qatari counterpart Dr. Hasan al Mohandi, discussed specific actions for implementing the provisions of the Memorandum within one year, such as the exchange of publications and specialized literature, as well as experts for the training courses of the two institutes. The Qatari Diplomatic Institute takes interest in topics related to the Western Balkans, the EU and consular relations, while the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute is interested in the work of the Gulf Cooperation Council. At the end of the meeting, the two directors exchanged official plaques of their institutions.

Within the Presidents visit, Ms. Mihailova also took part in the meetings of the Bulgarian delegation with the Qatari Sheih, Tamim bin Hamad Al Tani, with Mr. Mohamed bin Mubarak Al Holeifi Chairman of the Consultative Assembly (the Parliament of Qatar), and with representatives of the Bulgarian community in the State of Qatar.

The visit was widely covered in the Qatari press.

13.03.2014

Meeting with Partner Institutes

On 13 March, 2014 a meeting was held at the Diplomatic Institute between Ms. Tania Mihaylova, director of the DI, Mr. Dragomir Yordanov, director of the National Institute of Justice, and Mr. Georgi Manliev, director of the Institute of Public Administration. They discussed the possibilities for future co-projects regarding the qualification of the Bulgarian public administration, as well as projects for foreigners. During the meeting a Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between the Diplomatic Institute and the National Institute of Justice.

10.03.2014

Official presentation of the Energy Diplomacy Journal

The official presentation of the DIs Energy Diplomacy Journal took place in Antarctica Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 5 March 2014. The edition is directly related to the annual International Seminar on Energy Diplomacy. It includes publications by leading Bulgarian and foreign experts, some of whom have been lecturers and participants in the seminar. Guests of the event were representatives of the state administration, the business community, NGOs and educational institutions.

Speakers at the presentation were Mr. Lachezar Matev, Ambassador at Large for Energy Issues in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who is also a consultant to the journal, and Mr. Slavcho Neykov, an expert on energy policy, lecturer and author in the collection.

Partners of the Diplomatic Institute in publishing the Energy Diplomacy Journal are The Hanns Seidel" Foundation in Bulgaria, NC Industries, and Bulgartransgas" EAD.

07.03.2014

Video contest "My Vote for the European Parliament"

The Diplomatic Institute to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces a competition for video entitled "My Vote for the European Parliament." The competition aims to encourage voter turnout in the European elections in May 2014. The participants in the competition must be Bulgarian citizens of over 18 years of age.

Videos must be lasting up to 1 minute and can be taken with amateur or professional video equipment (smart phone, photographic camera, video camera). Their content may be varied short movie, song, or other video presentation. The videos can be uploaded directly to the Facebook page of the Institute: Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, or to Youtube, in which case the link to them should be sent to bdi@mfa.bg.

The deadline to participate in the competition is midnight on 07 April 2014.

The first round of the competition will be held in the period 08-14 April 2014. After that, the five video clips that have received the greatest number of likes" in the social networks will be selected. A jury composed of members of the Diplomatic Institute will announce the winner among them on 15 April 2014. The jury reserves the right not to publish videos with obscene or provocative content.

The prize for the winner will be a visit to the European Parliament in Brussels.

06.03.2014

Preparation for the European contests on 23, 24 and 25 April, 2014

The French Institute in Sofia is organizing the first preparatory session for the European contests that will take place on 23, 24 and 25 April, 2014, in partnership with the Strasbourg Center of European Studies (CEES) the European branch of the National School of Administration (ENA). Read more.

04.03.2014

The 10th Course on Consular Diplomacy

Today was the start of the tenth Course on Consular Diplomacy, organized by the Diplomatic Institute in cooperation with the Consular Relations" Directorate at the MFA. Some of the participants work is related to Bulgarias foreign consular activity. The course was opened by the MFAs Permanent Secretary, ambassador Georgi Dimitrov. The director of Consular Relations" Directorate, Mr. Rakovski Lashev, greeted the audience. In the courses five-week period the participants will be introduced to basic international and national documents and will expand their knowledge of basic topics within the consular problematic. The invited lecturers include experts from the Consular Relations" Directorate at the MFA, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the National Agency of Bulgarians Abroad, and other institutions. This training is a mandatory element of the preparation of all consular officials before their mandate abroad.

28.02.2014

Public lecture by Professor Mark Kramer

Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a public lecture by Prof. Mark Kramer from Harvard University on the subject of Withdrawing from Afghanistan, 1989 and 2014: a comparison of the Soviet and NATO exits", The lecture was organized by the Diplomatic Institute and was followed by a broad discussion on the upcoming withdrawal of NATO from Afghanistan. The event was attended by diplomats, experts, partners of the DI, students and other.

28.02.2014

Participants in the European Diplomatic Programme visit Bulgaria

On 27 and 28 February, Ms. Iga Pocztarek, expert at the Secretariat of the Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, and Mr. Paolo Martino Cossu of the EU Councils Secretariat were on a visit in Sofia. They are participants in the European Diplomatic Programme, a co-project between the European Commission, EEAS, the Secretariat of the Council and the Member States. The Programme consists of 4 modules, each one held in a different country from the EU. Two of its main objectives are to expand the individual knowledge of the participants on the topics that the training focuses on, and to prepare them for engaging in group discussions that can lead to a better understanding of the individual positions of the Member States, as well as to train them to prepare group reports on the topics during the lectures and presentations. Ms. Pocztarek and Mr. Cossu have chosen Bulgaria as for the IInd module of the Programme. The purpose of this module is to exchange visits between the Member States so that the participants get acquainted with the priorities of the foreign and the European policy, and with the structure and the work of the departments, responsible for conducting these policies in the respective countries.

The two participants schedule included meetings with diplomats from the MFA and experts of the Ministry of Interior and the State Agency for Refugees. There were discussions on coordinating the EU policy, especially COREPER I, migration and providing shelter, and other issues on the topic of this years edition of the EDP The new challenges and global issues of contemporary diplomacy".

26.02.2014

The DI was a guest of UNWE with a seminar on Protocol, negotiation and presentation skills"

A seminar on "Protocol, negotiation and presentation skills" was held on 26 February 2014, at the Large Conference Hall of the University of National and World Economy (UNWE). It was co-organized by the association "EGO Politico" of the UNWE and the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This was yet another event held at a university to promote the Institute to new audiences, within the Open Doors Programme of DI. The seminar was focused on introducing the participants to the theoretical and practical models of presentation, protocol and negotiating skills which can help them with their future career.

The meeting was opened by the Chairman of "EGO Politico", Ms. Kalina Ivanova, who presented the seminar objectives, and Ms. Biliana Decheva, Head of "Training Programmes and Projects" Department of DI, who presented the mission and functions of the Institute, focusing on its training courses, as well as activities targeted at the student community. In the first panel, "Presentation Skills", Ms. Decheva and Ms. Cvetomira Dimitrova, senior expert in DI, introduced the audience to the basic rules and skills for better performance at meetings and job interviews, public speaking, proper use of body language, preparing presentations, and more. The second panel, "Protocol and etiquette", reviewed practical aspects of protocol communication with examples related to self introduction, clothing, preparing invitations, arranging for participants in official events, etc. The third panel, "Negotiation Skills", presented the important rules and skills for successful negotiations and ended with a simulation game in groups in which the participants put to practice what they have learned. Each panel was followed by a Questions and Answers" session and discussion of case studies.

The seminar was attended by 130 students from the University of National and World Economy, Sofia University "St. Kl. Ohridski", the Military Academy, the University of Forestry, the Technical University, and others.

20.02.2014

Essay Competition

On the occasion of Bulgarias 10-year membership in NATO, the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education and Science announce an Essay competition on Together in the Name of Peace and Security". Read more.

12.02.2014

Representative of DI in the European Diplomatic Programme

Between 10 and 12 February, 2014, the Bulgarian representative in the European Diplomatic Program (EDP) Mr. Yavor Ivanov, senior expert in the Diplomatic Institute, held his IInd module in Stockholm, Kingdom of Sweden. More than 10 meetings took place in the MFA and discussions were held on subjects such as: expansion policies, development aid, migration and refugees, work on the Trans-Atlantic trade and investment partnership. The emphasis was on the main subject of this years edition of the programme: The global challenges of contemporary diplomacy" focusing on power supply security, cyber security and environmental security. Mr. Ivanov was joined by Mrs. Melineh Arakelian from the Netherlands MFA, the other participant in the EDP who chose Stockholm for the IInd module.

12.02.2014

Participation of DI Director in the second Saudi-Romanian, Bulgarian, Moldavian workshop in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The second consecutive Saudi-Romanian, Bulgarian, Moldavian workshop, organized by the Institute of Diplomatic Studies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, took place on 11 and 12 February 2014 in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The Bulgarian delegation was invited within the Cooperation Programme, signed in June 2011 in Sofia, between the DI and the Saudi Institute. Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, director of DI, who was involved in the opening and closing of the event and also moderated the session on economic issues and cultural aspects of Saudi relations with the three countries of Eastern Europe, was a part of the Bulgarian delegation. The Arabist Prof. Vladimir Chukov took part in the session about Regional issues (Security in the Gulf, Iraq, Iran and the development of the Arabian world). Mr. Ghasan Nasir, a representative of the Bulgarian-Saudi Business Council (BSBC) presided by Mr. Nikolay Filipov, participated in the session on economic topics with a report conducted by the honorary member Ms. Nelly Beshirova. The event, opened by the deputy minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Nasir Al-Braik, who is responsible for bilateral relations, was visited by more than 70 people, including media representatives. More...

06.02.2014

Discussion meeting on The European Union, Turkey and the crisis in Syria"

On 6 February, 2014, a discussion meeting on The European Union, Turkey and the crisis in Syria" took place in the South-West University "Neofit Rilski". The event was co-organized by the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Philosophical and Political Sciences and the Department of International Relations at SWU Neofit Rilski". The main speakers were Vladimir Chukov (Candidate of Historical Sciences, arabist, expert in the field of politics of the Middle East and Islam, professor at Varna Free University Chernorizetz Hrabar" and Russe University Angel Kanchev") and Aleksis Aleksiev, PhD (Research associate in the Washington Institute Hudson" and Chairman of the Center for Balkan and Black Sea Studies in Sofia). The event was moderated by Assoc. Prof. Lazar Koprinarov Head of the Department of Philosophical and Political Sciences. During the discussion, a review of the geopolitical dynamics of the Middle East was made and the reasons for the rise of radical Islam in the region were discussed. Furthermore, the genesis of the Syrian conflict and its reflection on Bulgarias national security were analyzed thoroughly. Assoc. Prof. Kamen Lozev, PhD and Valentin Katrandzhiev, PhD, took part in the discussion on behalf of the Diplomatic Institute.

04.02.2014

Third Arab-European Young Leaders Forum, 23-25 June 2014, Vienna

The Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs of Austria is organising the Third Arab-European Young Leaders Forum, which is planned to take place from 23 to 25 June 2014 in Vienna. The main topic of the Forum will be The social entrepreneurship as a means of encouraging diversity opportunities and challenges". The FMEIA of Austria in collaboration with the Arab League took the initiative of hosting the event.

The Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Vienna received an invitation to nominate potential candidates for participation on behalf of Bulgaria (maximum three people). The criteria for the nominees are described in detail inside the two attached files. The deadline for sending nominations to the FMEIA of Austria is 20 February 2014.

Attachments:

  1. Note_Verbale_AEYLF 3 .
  2. Final_Concept_Note_AEYLF_III_2014 6 .

29.01.2014

Public lecture by Prof. Michael Bar-Zohar

Today, in Antarctica Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a public lecture was delivered by Prof. Michael Bar-Zohar, the author of the books Beyond Hitlers grasp. The heroic rescue of Bulgarias Jews" and Mossad. The greatest missions of the Israeli secret service". Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, opened the event. After a short biographical note, Mr. Petar Hristov, president of PMG Holding and a friend of Prof. Bar-Zohar, gave the floor to the lecturer.

Prof. Bar-Zohar presented in detail the role of the Bulgarian state for the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews during World War II. He emphasized on the example of civil society, given by Bulgaria during this period and on the fact that this is a good opportunity for every ordinary citizen, politician, scientist, etc. to reconsider their role today, to read and remember the history and to interpret it correctly. Prof. Bar-Zohar drew the attention to how the rescue of 48 000 Bulgarian Jews is a little known fact in the world, compared to the saving of around 7000 Jews in Denmark. He pointed out that this could be a great chance for the Bulgarian State and diplomacy to turn into a cause the promotion of this little known fact and the role of Bulgaria on all international levels, which would lead to its deserved positioning on the international scene.

The event was attended by diplomats of the MFA and the Diplomatic Corps in Sofia, as well as by members of the academic community, experts and partners of the Diplomatic Institute.

24.01.2014

The Diplomatic Institute hosted a youth conference

Today the Association "Professional Forum for Education", in cooperation with the Diplomatic Institute, held a conference entitled "EU - a union of values" at Antarctica Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is the first of three meetings in the framework of the international project "New generations, new policies, new future", part of the Youth in Action" Programme. The project focuses on introducing the EU youth policies, on motivating young Bulgarians to cast their ballots on election day for the European Parliament and on raising public awareness. The event was opened by the President of the Association, Mr. Yuri Andzhekarski who presented the objectives of the project. He was followed by Ms. Silvana Tsokova, an expert at the Diplomatic Institute, who explained and showcased the activities of the Institute in the context of the EU, the upcoming European elections and the dialogue between the institutions and the young people.

In the first panel of the conference, Mr. Krassimir Kostov Director of "Bilateral European Cooperation" Directorate in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spoke about the history, values, institutions and functioning of the EU. Ms. Emanuela Vasileva of the European Parliament Information Office in Bulgaria presented policies aimed at raising civic activity on the occasion of the European Parliament elections. Representatives of Team Europe Junior and Mr. Plamen Georgiev Director of the National Center for European Youth Programmes and Initiatives talked about EU youth policies and programmes as an opportunity for youth activity. In the second part of the conference, the participants worked in groups, then presented their positions on issues such as the European values and their projection in Bulgarian society, the benefits from Bulgarias membership in the EU, the stereotypes of Bulgarians in the EU and approaches to overcome them, and priorities of the Bulgarian presidency of the EU Council in 2018.

round 60 young people from across the country attended the conference and took part in lively discussions with the speakers and each other. After the three scheduled conferences, 15 of the most active participants will be invited to take part in the final event of the project. There they will meet young people from all the Member States, while debating in the Parliament in Lisbon.

24.01.2014

Exhibition The Sea Makes Close Everything Distant"

On 24 January 2014 the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Christian Vigenin, opened the exhibition The Sea Makes Close Everything Distant" in the Misyata" Gallery at the State Institute for Culture to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The exhibition is themed around the Bulgarian chairmanship of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.

The opening words of Minister Vigenin were: It is my pleasure to see that project. Its motto The Sea Makes Close Everything Distant" is relevant to our understanding of the work and purposes of BSEC, as well as synergy and increased competition". Minister Vigenin also said that the Bulgarian chairmanship would emphasize on the cooperation in the spheres of transport, healthcare, youth and sports, as well as support for the establishment of closer relationships between the business and the member-states.

The exhibition was organized in cooperation between the State Institute for Culture and the Diplomatic Institute to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Its opening was attended by the Director of the Institute for Culture Ms. Lyudmila Dimitrova, the Director of the Diplomatic Institute Ms. Tania Mihaylova, the Head of the Bulgarian delegation to the parliamentary assembly of BSEC Mr. Peter Kunev, Prof. Ivan Ilchev Rector of Sofia University, the author of the exhibition Stefan Peykov and the Mayor of Primorsko Municipality Mr. Dimiter Germanov. A special guest was H.E. Mr. Dimostenis Stoidis, Ambassador of Greece in Bulgaria.

The exposition will last until 16 February 2014. It includes old maps and engravings from II-XIX c. AD, which recreate the spirit of the Black Sea in a unique way that provokes the emergence of new perceptions and consideration of its contemporary attributes as one of the borders of the European Union. The main objective of the exhibition is to show the Western (Bulgarian) Black Sea Coast as a valuable part of the European culture, illustrated by the firm notions of the world cartography about it. The project will be presented abroad as well.

10.01.2014

Indonesian students visited the Diplomatic Institute

From 8 to 10 January 2014 three Indonesian students who are studying International Relations" at the Pelita Harapan University in the Indonesian capital Jakarta and European Union and Integration" at Sofia University visited the Diplomatic Institute. During their stay they were introduced to the goals and activities of the Institute, as well as its rich library fund and future initiatives. They also had meetings with the DI experts and were invited by the DI to meet with Mr. Yavor Koynakov head of Coordination of Culture Projects and Programmes" Department at the Institute for Culture to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with whom they discussed the cultural policies and initiatives in the context of the relations between Bulgaria and Indonesia and the EUs foreign policy. At the end of their stay, the Indonesian students invited the interns of the DI to visit the Indonesian Embassy in Sofia, where they were introduced to Indonesian folklore and traditional musical instruments.

16.12.2013

Research Competition on "The New Turkish Foreign Policy after the Cold War: Security Challenges for Bulgaria"

The National competition for an applied research project under the topic The New Turkish Foreign Policy after the Cold War: Security Challenges for Bulgaria", announced on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Diplomatic Institute to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, concluded. The Selection Committee, presided by Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, has selected the winner: Mr. Marian Karagiosov, PhD student at the Institute for Balkan Studies with a Centre for Thracian Studies at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

The project aims to support Bulgarian diplomacy in the formation of Bulgarian foreign policy in a practical way by an expert report which will provide specific policy conclusions and recommendations on the development prospects for bilateral relations between Bulgaria and Turkey in a dynamically changing regional and global geopolitical environment. The competition was attended by alumni of Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", the University of National and World Economy, the University of Plovdiv, the Institute for Philosophical Research at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and others.

The team of the Diplomatic Institute wishes to thank all participants for their contribution and to encourage them to continue to participate in the future in the initiatives of the Institute.

13.12.2013

Over 400 people walked through the open doors of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a day

Over 400 people visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the first day of the initiative Open Doors Days". Among the visitors to the diplomatic institution were students of 73 High School in Sofia, The French Language School, The Romanian School, The First and Second English Schools, the Italian School, and many students from the University of National and World Economy, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", the New Bulgarian University, as well as many citizens.

They all had the opportunity to get acquainted with the work of the Bulgarian diplomatic service. In the corridors of the "black marble" (a nickname for the representative halls of the MFA) trained staff explained what the different departments in the institution do, how one could start working at the Ministry, what our consulate offices abroad can do for the Bulgarian citizens there. The staff also shared valuable tips for traveling abroad.

Visitors showed greatest interest towards the "Career in Ministry of Foreign Affairs" booth, which presented various options for starting an internship and work in the institution. Attractive for the visitors was as well the Historic Corner" with archival documents related to the establishment and operation of the institution.

Students of International Relations from NBU, SU, UNWE participated in a simulation of a meeting of the Security Council of the United Nations on "The conflict in Syria," organized by the Diplomatic Institute and the Department "UN and Cooperation for Development" of the MFA. The event attracted a large audience and the young delegates showed the qualities of a true diplomat.

An experienced cultural guide walked visitors through the history of the ministry and its collection of art pieces. The exhibition "The Beginning", presenting the development of the Bulgarian diplomacy, and the exhibition dedicated to the elections for the European Parliament 1979-2009, complemented the rich programme of events in the first day of the "Open Doors Days".

The initiative will continues tomorrow, 14 December, when two important anniversaries will be marked the accession of Bulgaria to the United Nations and the adoption of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The programme will offer, to those who have chosen to spend their Saturday in the headquarters of the Bulgarian diplomatic institution, other interesting events and "games" in the field of international relations.

13.12.2013

Public lecture by Mr. Nikola Poposki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia

Today, at Bulgaria Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a public lecture was delivered by Mr. Nikola Poposki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia, on "Before and After EU Accession: The Transfer of Lessons Learned and Practices to the Candidate States". The lecture was organized by the Diplomatic Institute and was part of the official visit of Mr. Poposki in Bulgaria. The opening speech was given by the Director of the Institute, Ms Tanya Mihaylova. The lecture was attended by diplomats from the Foreign Ministry and representatives of the Bulgarian media.

11.12.2013

Public lecture by H.E. Mr. Dian Triansha Gianni, General Director of America and Europe" Directorate at the MFA of the Republic of Indonesia

Today, at Antarctica Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a public lecture was delivered by H.E. Mr. Dian Triansha Gianni, General Director of America and Europe" Directorate of the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Indonesia. The lecture was organized by the Diplomatic Institute and was entitled "Foreign Policy Priorities of Indonesia and its Relations with ASEM". An opening speech was given by the Director of the Institute, Ms Tanya Mihaylova. The lecture was attended by representatives of the Diplomatic Corps in Sofia, diplomats from MFA, representatives of NGOs and media.

11.12.2013

BDI takes part in the "Public Diplomacy and Relations with the Media" seminar

On 10 December 2013, in Brussels, Kingdom of Norway, a one-day seminar was organized by the European External Action Service, within the Diplomatic Training Programme. Participants in the workshop were officials from headquarters and delegations of the EEAS and the foreign ministries of the Member States. The Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute was represented by Silvana Tsokova, Junior Expert at "Public Affairs and Cooperation" Department.

The training was designed to familiarize the participants, by lectures, discussions and interactive activities, with the role and tools of public diplomacy, the communication strategy of the EEAS, the applications of social and online media, and the principles of interaction between state institutions and the media (techniques, good and bad practices, reaction to situations of crisis, practical advice). Among the speakers were Prof. Simon Duke from the European Institute for Public Administration, Ms. Maria Kokkonen Head of the "Communication and Information" unit at EEAS, Mr. Michael Mann, Chief Spokesman for HR Catherine Ashton and Head of "Strategic Communication" Devision of EEAS, Mr. Jovan Kurbalija Director of DiploFoundation, and Mr. Mark Rogerson consultant on strategic communication and public relations and a former correspondent for the BBC.

05.12.2013

Visit of representatives of information centres of the European Commission Representation in the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute

On 5 December 2013, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, and members of BDI team presented the work of the Institute before representatives of the information web Europe Direct" and Team Europe Junior", at the movie theatre of MFA. The visit was part of a three-day conference, organized by the representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria, and the purpose of the conference was the exchange of experience within the work of the centres throughout 2013, as well as the preparation of programmes of communication and activities in 2014. The meeting was followed by lively discussion related to Europe, the diplomatic profession, education and the growing need of competent and hard working civil servants. The representatives of Europe Direct" and Team Europe Junior" organize and participate in events, related to the European Union and the European integration across the whole country. They often act as speakers of events of other organizations and as information broadcasters they have big influence at regional level and are a verified source of information on Europe for local media, the business sector, NGOs and the general public.

05.12.2013

Memorandum for Cooperation with the Bulgarian Business Club in London

On 4 December 2013, at the library of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute in MFA, a Memorandum for Cooperation with the Bulgarian Business Club in London was signed. The Memorandum was concluded by Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the BDI, and Mr.Strumen Paunov, Director of the Club.

The Bulgarian Business Club, the main goal of which is to create networks and facilitate the co-operative break-in of businesses to the Bulgarian and UK markets, was founded in 2008. Mr. Paunov is also a CEO of AG Media London, which includes 15 websites, 9 facebook pages and 4 online newspapers.

05.12.2013

Round table BG-GB: Changing Images in the Mirror"

On 4 December 2013, at Antarctica Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute hosted a round table entitled BG-GB: Changing Images in the Mirror". This is the first of a series of forums that are to be organized on the occasion of the co-presidency of Bulgaria and the UK of the EU Council in 2018. The round table was focused on Bulgarian-British relations not only in the field of diplomacy, but in cultural, economic and social aspect as well. The participants were representatives of Bulgarian and British administration, academic fields, NGOs, the business sector, media, as well as other interested bodies. The event was opened by Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the BDI, who shared her opinion that this discussion should become the basis for closer co-operation between Bulgaria and the UK. The role of the diplomat is not to use speculation-based information, but the truth as it is. Therefore, with the names of the panels, related to both British and World Classical Literature, we would like to openly state what we are proud of, what we do not take much pride in, what the prejudices are that both societies hold against each other, what we hope for, is there any point to be hopeful and how to continue together with the expectations of a better understanding". At the round table opening there were greetings by Ivan Stanchov, Chairman of the National Advisory Board of BDI and ambassador of Bulgaria in Great Britain (1991-1994), and Mr. Mark Holland, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Great Britain in Bulgaria.

During the first panel, entitled Pride and Prejudice", Marin Ivanov, Secretary for culture, education and national identity of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, and Prof. Michael Holman, Emeritus Professor of Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Leeds and Doctor Honoris Causa of Sofia University, expressed their opinion on the images of both countries and mainly on the image that Bulgaria provokes in the mind of the Brits. The role of the media and mostly of the British yellow press, which often creates the negative image of Bulgaria in the United Kingdom, was widely discussed. The problem however, as Prof. Holman said, is not really the image that Bulgaria has within the UK, but the image of the country among Bulgarians themselves. Christine Milner, Publisher of Sofia the Insider's Guide and In Your Pocket Bulgaria, presented the stereotypes that Bulgarian and British citizens have of one another through her Bulgarian-British family. She explained the complicated relation which each foreigner who lives in Bulgaria has and the way our country can take advantage of its cultural relations in order to project itself in a better light. The last one to speak in the first panel was Stoycho Vlaykov, representative of the Bulgarian business sector, who emphasized on the spectrum of opportunities in which Bulgaria could develop on the European economic market and gave successful examples of innovative Bulgarian-modeled structures in Great Britain." The politicians can no longer explain to the public what and why is happening in the new globalized and digitalized world", stated Vlaykov and gave a suggestion for Bulgaria to invest mainly in advertisements of the Bulgarian businessman.

In the second panel, entitled "Great Expectations", the focus was on the mutual expectations in the coming years until the mutual presidency. Differing viewpoints were shared by Dr. Randall Baker, Distinguished Professor at New Bulgarian University, Strumen Paunov, Director of the Bulgarian Business Club-London and AG Media London, Boyan Benev, Host at Nedelia x3" (BNT) and Best Young Entrepreneur in Great Britain" for 2007, and Dessislava Ivanova from MFAs "Foreign Affairs Planning, Information and Coordination" Directorate. In conclusion: Bulgaria has to focus more on the creation of a positive image of itself, based on personal stories, in order to fill in the gap of lacking British knowledge for our country. Bulgarian citizens must not regret what they have done, failed to do or has been done to them, Prof. Holman pointed out. The BDI is planning to organize more events, related to the Bulgarian-British relations until the co-presidency of the EU Council in 2018. The second round table will be hosted in October 2014.

02.12.2013

The tenth Defence Diplomacy Course ended

On 2 December, 2013, a grand ceremony in the meeting hall of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute marked the ending of the tenth edition of the Defence Diplomacy Course. Ms Tanya Mihailova, Director of BDI, handed certificates to all successful participants. They expressed their gratitude to the team of the Institute for the excellent organisation of the course and shared their ideas for future academical cooperation and initiatives of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, the Ministry of Defence and the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria.

29.11.2013

Round table BG-GB: Changing Images in the Mirror"

On 4 December 2013 the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute will host a round table entitled BG-GB: Changing Images in the Mirror", that will take place at Antarctica Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is the first of a series of forums on UK-Bulgaria relationships that the Institute will organize on the occasion of the co-presidency of Bulgaria and the UK of the EU Council in 2018. Each forum will focus on a specific aspect of bilateral relations, such as society, culture, media, economics and business, politics, etc., aiming to help the Bulgarian and British societies and states to get to know each other better and work towards a more effective EU cooperation.

The round table will gather a variety of contributors who would make valuable comparisons between the perceptions and modus operandi prevailing in our respective countries and try and create a roadmap for our future cooperation in the Presidency period. All guests are welcome to share their views and experience within the open discussion (For more details, see Programme). The invited audience would include representatives of the MFA and other government agencies, universities, research institutes, media, the British Council, the British-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, the ex-pat British community, as well as other interested bodies, e.g. NGOs..

Please, confirm your attendance at: (02) 948 2147, or bdi@mfa.bg, not later than 2 December 2013.

26.11.2013

Training within Operational Programme Administrative Capacity"

The Diplomatic Institute is a beneficiary in the project Building the capacity of the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs by acquiring key skills and abilities by its employees", which is funded by the operational programme Administrative Capacity", co-funded by the European Union through the European Social Fund.

The objective of this project is to improve the qualification and motivation of the employees in the administration of the Diplomatic Institute through refinement of key skills and abilities.

The project will contribute to the effective and productive work in the field of achieving the goals of the Institute connected to the improvement and refinement of the services for the MFA specialized administration and other institutions in relation to the Bulgarian foreign policy. The opportunity for every employee to develop their full potential through refinement of their skills and abilities encourages the employees to work more efficiently and have better teamwork.

The project, on the one hand, will contribute to the specialized training of the staff regarding its basic activities, and will improve the staffs communication and motivation, on the other. This will allow the administration to maintain a qualified and effective staff.

You can read more on the project in the Training tab in the DI webpage and in our Facebook page.

25.11.2013

Qualification course in Diplomacy and Environment

Today, the director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute opened the first specialised training course in Diplomacy and Environment. The training will be carried out in the period 25-27 November 2013 and it targets representatives of the Bulgarian public administration, the business sector and the non-governmental sector, whose work is connected with ecological issues.

The course will cover the international ecological regimes and instruments, the ecological conflicts and the different ways to solve them, conceptions and models for sustainable development, water diplomacy and other current topics and issues. The aim of this seminar is to introduce the participants with the concept of ecological diplomacy and to contribute for its development in the Republic of Bulgaria. The ecological issues have systematic and supranational character due to their effect on the national, regional and global security. Therefore, they demand new forms of international co-operation, which is an important instrument, connected with ecological diplomacy.

Partners of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute in this project are the Secretariat of the European Energy Community and the German Embassy in Sofia.

22.11.2013

Conclusion of the English module of the Defence Diplomacy Course

On 22 November 2013 the specialized module in English of the tenth Defence Diplomacy Course concluded. It was focused on the security issues of the South-East Europe and the Black Sea regions. The participants were representatives of the Ministries of Interior and the Ministries of Defence of eight countries: Great Britain, the Netherlands, Kazakhstan, Greece, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Serbia and Turkey. At the end of the course, the director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova presented with certificates all international participants.

20.11.2013

Presentation of the electronic platform of BDIs Diplomacy Journal

Today, at the library of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Institute officially launched its the new platform: http://diplomacy.bg/, with a presentation that brought together diplomats, writers, interpreters, editors of other journals on international politics, and journalists.

In the contemporary context of evolving Internet culture and communications Diplomacy Journal now has its electronic counterpart. For the last 5 years the journal has strived to meet the requirements of its demanding audience with updated information and in-depth analyses. "We want to transform Diplomacy Journal into a forum, where the modern methods of analysis, criticism, political prognosis, and discussions meet, guided by the desire to create a better understanding of the global world of international politics and diplomacy," Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of BDI, said. The attention of the readers will be mainly focused on themes where the debate for the future of Europe, the processes and events in South-East Europe, Middle East and North Africa will constantly find their place. Moreover, the ambition is for more qualified evaluations on the rotating presidency in the EU, as well as on the efficiency of the current European Neighborhood Policy. The diplomatic achievements will also be well covered, and last but not least, the foreign policy views and initiatives of the Republic of Bulgaria will be of a permanent interest for the platform.

19.11.2013

Award competition for the La Francophonie" in Sweden

In relation to the International Day of La Francophonie", on 20 March, 2014, the group of Member States of the International Organization of the Francophonie in Sweden organises the first competition for the prize of the Francophonie citizen-residents in Sweden or for organisations, based in Sweden, which carried out an initiative in 2013, related to the promotion of the core values, goals and objectives of the organisation. Details on the regulation of participation in French can be found here.

18.11.2013

English module of the tenth Defence Diplomacy Course

Today the English module of the tenth Defence Diplomacy Course started, dedicated to the security issues in South-Eastern Europe and the Black-Sea region. Alongside the Bulgarian participants, there were representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence of eight countries: Greece, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands and the UK. The event began with an opening speech by the Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, Ms Tanya Mihaylova, that was followed by the presentation of the national security doctrine of the participating countries. The programme continued with a lecture by Mr. Yordan Bozhilov, an analyst at the Center for National Security and Defence of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. He introduced the participants to the Bulgarian security outlook of the region, and the lecture provoked a lively discussion and exchange of views between Bulgarian and foreign participants.

18.11.2013

Meeting of BDIs team with Mr. Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria (2001-2005)

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mr. Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, prime-minister from 2001 to 2005, invited the team of the Institute for a meeting at Vrana Palace. The Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute was established by the Council of Ministers with Decree 209 of September 23, 2003.

During the meeting, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Institute, presented each member of the team and summed up the achievements during the last 10 years. Then, in an informal conversation, Mr. Saxe-Coburg-Gotha shared his views and specific experience in the field of diplomacy. Later on, he stressed on the need for each diplomat to master more languages, and the obvious importance of etiquette and protocol in the international environment. He expressed his joy on the work of the Institute and its great significance for the development of the modern Bulgarian diplomacy.

Ms. Mihaylova handed Mr. Saxe-Coburg-Gotha the first copy of the honorary medal of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute in recognition to his role in the creation of the first Bulgarian Diplomatic School.

15.11.2013

Visit of H.E. Ms Maria Eliana Cuevas, Ambassador of Chile in Bulgaria

Today the Ambassador of the Republic of Chile in Bulgaria, Ms Maria Eliana Cuevas, visited the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute. She was accompanied by Mr. Andres Saavedra, Secretary to the Honorary Consul of Chile in Bulgaria. The Institute was represented by Ms Adelina Tomova, Head of the Public Activities and Cooperation Department, and Mr. Yavor Ivanov, junior expert in the same department. The meeting was attended by Mr. Borislav Evlogiev, referent for Chile at the MFA.

Ambassador Cuevas and Ms Tomova discussed the opportunities for continuing and intensifying the cooperation between the BDI and the Diplomatic Academy of Chile "Andres Baio". Training opportunities for Chilean diplomats in courses with international participation of the BDI and training of Bulgarian diplomats in Santiago were also discussed. Ambassador Cuevas expressed his interest in Diplomacy Journal and its forthcoming electronic version, and accepted the opportunity for Chilean authors articles to be published in the journal. On her part, Ms. Tomova invited Ambassador Cuevas and diplomats from the Chilean embassy in Bucharest to participate as lecturers in some of the courses offered by the BDI.

13.11.2013

Work visit in Thessaloniki, Greece

On 13 November, 2013, a one-day conference organised by the University of Macedonia, the General Consulate of the Republic of Bulgaria in Thessaloniki and the Greek Business Council in Bulgaria took place. The event was organized on the occasion of the commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies" Department at the University of Macedonia.

In relation to the meeting an essay competition on the topic Bulgaria-Greece: 100 Years of Diplomatic Relations" was initiated, and the official ceremony to award the winners was held during the conference.

The event was organised under the patronage of the Minister of Macedonia and Trace, Mr. Teodoros Karaoglu, who expressed his joy that such meetings promote better and positive understanding and friendly relations between Bulgaria and Greece. In the same tone our General Consul in Thessaloniki, Mr. Vasil Valchev, outlined the policy frame of the good relationship between Bulgaria and Greece. Ms. Tanya Mihailova, Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, was invited to take part in the conference with a speech in front of the Greek students. After awarding the winners in the essay competition, Ms. Mihailova announced that the essay of the winner Anastasia Didenko will be published in the next issue of the BDIs Diplomacy Journal. The executive director of the Greek Business Council in Bulgaria, Mr. Minko Gerdzhikov, underlined the need for more active Bulgarian-Greek economic relations. Representatives of the Consular corps of the trade, industrial and artisanal Chamber of Thessaloniki, as well as many others were invited at the conference.

The conference was concluded with the signing of a Memorandum for cooperation between the University of Macedonia, represented by the rector, Mr. Yoanis Hadzidimitriu, and the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, represented by its director, Ms. Mihailova. This agreement opens the opportunity for joint public activities and experience sharing in the training of students, interested in diplomacy and international relations. Along with providing copies of the latest tenth issue of Diplomacy Journal, the Institute donated books of classical Bulgarian literature to the library of the University of Macedonia.

13.11.2013

Training on Diplomacy and Environment"

In the period 25-27 November 2013, the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute will organize a qualification course on Diplomacy and Environment". The event targets representatives of the Bulgarian public administration, the business sector and the nongovernmental sector, dealing with environmental issues.

The course will explore international ecological regimes and tools, ecological conflicts and models for their solving, concepts and models for sustainable development, "water diplomacy" and others current topics and problems. The aim of the seminar is to introduce the participants to the notion of ecological diplomacy" and to contribute to its development in the Republic of Bulgaria. The ecological issues have systematic and supranational character because of their impact on the national, regional and global security. Due to this reason, they also demand new forms of international cooperation, an important tool, which is namely the ecological diplomacy".

The course Diplomacy and Environment" is also opened to external experts, interested in those problems. Work languages of the training will be both Bulgarian and English. Those who are willing to participate in the course should send their CV and application to the Director of the Diplomatic Institute, as soon as possible.

For more information: Ms Zornitza Apostolova, junior expert in the"Training programmes and projects" Department, tel: 02/948 28 40, +359 878 60 18 59; e-mail: zornica.apostolova@mfa.bg

05.11.2013

Official ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the Diplomatic Institute

On 18 October 2013 on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Diplomatic Institute to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria was held an official ceremony.

The ceremony was opened by the National Orchestra of the Guards, performing the national anthem of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Ode to Joy. In his greeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Christian Vigenin, emphasized the importance of the Diplomatic Institute as an independent tool not only for the international affairs, but also for the public diplomacy of the country. "The role of the Institute in the field of professional training is unquestionable. It is ever developing and, I think, this will continue in the future. Equally important is the building of public image of the diplomatic service by the lectures of prominent politicians and experts, conferences, publications and events.", Minister Vigenin said. The director of the Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, summed up the achievements of the Institute in the past decade, by presenting the main aspects of its activities and underlining that the "Diplomatic Institute is a meaningful project, a successful project and most importantly a developing one".

The newly established awards for significant contribution to the Diplomatic Institute were presented at the ceremony. They were given to Dr. Zdravko Popov, founder and first director of the Institute and Mr. Ron Ton, Director of the Diplomatic Academy of the Institute of International Relations Clingendael.

The ceremony was attended by former foreign ministers, representatives of the Diplomatic Corps, members of the National and International advisory boards of DI, among them Ambassador Ivan Stanchov, Chairman of the National Advisory Council, Mr. Jan Petersen, Norwegian Ambassador to Austria, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom Norway (2001-2005) and Mr. Denis MacShane, British Minister for European Affairs (2002-2005). Among the guests were also the partners of the Institute of Public Administration, NGOs, academics, students, lecturers, media and others.

31.10.2013

Francophone School of Diplomacy, 27- 31 October, Pravetz, Bulgaria

The Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute had the pleasure to organise the first Francophone School of Diplomacy that took place in Pravetz, Bulgaria from 27 to 31 October. The seminar was organised within the framework of cooperation with the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and was part of the events celebrating Bulgarias 20-years membership in La Francophonie, and the 10th anniversary of the Diplomatic Institute.

The Francophone School of Diplomacy aimed at coercing the cooperation between countries from Southeast Europe and the Black Sea region, members and observers of the OIF. The participants were young diplomats from the ministries of foreign affairs and public administrations of Armenia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine and Hungary. The training aimed not only to enrich their professional competences in the multilinguistic area and the use of French in International organizations, but also to create a setting for exchanging experience and forming international network of francophone diplomats and public officials. All participants made a presentation on the role of OIF in their respective countries. Moderator of this session was Prof. Anna Krasteva, member of the National Advisory Board of BDI.

The seminar was opened by Ms. Tanya Mihailova, Director of BDI. A congratulatory address from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kristian Vigenin, was delivered by the Parliamentary Secretary Ms Nevena Alexieva. Imma Tor, Director of French and Language Variety" Directorate at OIF was an honored guest of the opening ceremony. In her speech Ms Tor emphasized the need of multilinguistics in International organizations, the challenges they present and the diplomats role not only as representatives, but also as leaders and initiators of debates for the importance of the French Language in the global context.

During the next two days the programme included subjects underlining the importance of multilinguistics as a crucial part of the EUs future and its potential expansion. Prof. Maria Nikulesku, Director of the Francophone Institute of Administration and Management (IFAG), presented the concept of the Francophonie through the role of economics, emphasizing on its favorable factors and the consolidation of the French language.

Prof. Jasmine Popova, ambassador and professor in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and Sofia University, together with Mrs. Elisaveta Simeonova, advisor of the Prime Minister and responsible for the economic development, presented in details the connection between International and European organizations and the French language and OIF. Prof. Ingrid Shikova and Prof. Antonii Todorov emphasized on subjects related to the Bulgarian presidency in the European Council in 2018 and current foreign interests of the EU. Mrs. Simona Nekula and Prof. Petko Stainov introduced the participants to the activities and services of their respective organizations: Regional Francophone Center for Academic Research and Social Sciences (CEREFREA) and Agency of Francophone Universities.

Yesterday, on October 30, the Francophone School of Diplomacy was closed with an awarding ceremony where certificates were handed by Ms Maria Donevska, National Coordinator of the Francophone Cooperation and Mrs. Adelina Tomova, Director of Public Affairs and Cooperation" Department at BDI. Ms Donevska shared her support and willingness to make this training into an annual project.

29.10.2013

End of Economic Diplomacy Course

The Economic Diplomacy Course, organised by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, ended today. 25 representatives of the public administration and individuals who represent Bulgarias economic interests abroad took part in the course. Among the highlights of the program were the presentation of information on the Bulgarian economic sector in international and political context, the prospects of the Bulgarian and world economy in the conditions of global economic crisis, as well as the impact of the crisis on the private sector. Mr. Branimir Botev, Deputy Minister of Economy and Energy, responsible for the tourism, Mr. Michael Angerer, foreign representative of Austria in Bulgaria, Mr. Victor Azmanov, chairman of the Bulgarian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria, Mr. Zhelyu Dobrev, chairman of the Russian-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Veselin Iliev, Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, and other diplomats, academics and experts from the Ministry of Economy and Energy, the Bulgarian Investment Agency, etc. Within the course, the students visited the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, where they were greeted by its President Mr. Tsvetan Simeonov and his team. The course ended with the awarding of certificates by Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute.

23.10.2013

Training within the European Diplomacy Programme (EDP)

On 21-22 October, 2013, in Vilnius, Lithuania, the first module of the 14th edition of the European Diplomacy Programme took place. This is a cooperative project of the European Commission, the European External Action Service, the General Secretary of the EU Council and EU members-states. The aim of the programme is to create a network among European diplomats, direct their attention to specific topics of European diplomacy, and provide a format for training state officials in original setting without making parallels with any national government. The main topic of this years edition is New Challenges and Global Issues for Present-day Diplomacy". The lectures and simulation games in the first module focus on three main aspects: Energy Security; Information and Cyber Security; Ecological Security and Climate Changes. After a short introduction by Lithuanian expert diplomats and university professors, the participants were divided into groups according to their interests. Every group had to debate and draft a document stating the EUs position on the mentioned topics. After that the groups were mixed and participants had to criticize the documents created by their colleagues. In the concluding part of the module, six participants presented the first drafts and the edited documents on the three topics.

Mr. Yavor Ivanov, Junior Expert in the Public Affairs and Cooperation Department participated in the training on behalf of the Diplomatic Institute. Parallel to the training, the first informal meeting of the directors of training devisions of MFAs and European institutions took place.

21.10.2013

Start of Economic Diplomacy Course

A seminar on Energy Diplomacy will take place in the period 21-29 October 2013. The seminar is organized by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute for a third consecutive year and will be attended by representatives of the state administration, the private sector and diplomats. The course was opened on 21 October by Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the BDI, who welcomed the participants as new entrants to the large network of alumni of the Institute, which already exceeds 5000.

Within the training programme, the participants will get acquainted with current economic and financial topics. The seminar will focus on providing information about the economic sector in the Bulgarian, international and political context, the prospects for the Bulgarian and the world economy in the time of a world economic crisis, as well as the impact of the crisis on the private sector. Speakers will be a number of foreign experts, some of which are representatives of foreign diplomatic missions in Bulgaria and chambers of commerce, representatives of the Bulgarian Industrial Associasion (BIA) and the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and leading experts and analysts from NGOs.

The Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute aims to bring together the efforts of representatives of various institutions in a coordinated and synchronized implementation of the economic aspects of foreign policy. This training is an opportunity for the administration to be trained on the basis of a uniform methodology, to formulate uniform messages and to allow the business and administration to meet and to know better about each others positions and interests.

18.10.2013

Tenth Special edition of Diplomacy Journal

In the middle of October 2013 the Tenth Special edition of Diplomacy Journal which the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute has published twice a year since 2008, went out of print. This issue is dedicated entirely to the Balkans, on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the BDI and the 5th Anniversary of Diplomacy Journal. The bilingual journal (in Bulgarian and in English) presents different points of view of Bulgarian and foreign diplomats and experts and aims at maintaining a strong analytical capacity in the field of international relations and diplomacy.

The 10th issue contains an interview with three BDI directors, as well as exposees within the organized by the BDI Round Table on The Balkans and the European Union: Challenges Today": Geopolitical dimensions of Turkeys and the Western Balkans accession to the EU" (Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sonya Hinkova), The European Union in Turkey's foreign policy strategy in the first decade of the 21st century" (Dr. Boyko Marinkov), The Western Balkans after Croatias individual EU accession. Prospects for a revival of the Group Accession approach" (Antoinette Primatarova), Croatia on the threshold of the European Union" (Dr. Irina Ognyanova-Krivoshieva), Serbia and the European Union: the challenges today" (Bisser Banchev), Latest developments in the Balkan Region" (Valentin Radomirski), The new EU approach to the Western Balkan countries and the EU enlargement" (Rusi Ivanov), Europe and Turkey: analysis of the prospects for Turkeys EU membership application" (Plamen Ivanov).

The issue also includes a public lecture by Prof. Dr. Dejan Jovic on "The Western Balkans Without Croatia What Next?", and a publication entitled The EU Enlargement Policy Mission: At a standstill" (Vladimir Shopov) which is a result of the BDI project Western Balkans: Getting closer to the EU. Strengthening the capacity of the state institutions to meet the integration challenges today".

The 10th issue of the journal is available at the BDI Library, as well as on the website of the Institute.

18.10.2013

Regional conference on Challenges of diplomacy today"

On 18 October 2013, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a Regional conference on Challenges of the diplomacy today" organized by the BDI. The forum was attended by directors of diplomatic training institutes from the Balkans and the Black Sea region and leading training bodies from the European Union (the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael, the European External Action Service, Vienna Diplomatic Academy, diplomatic academies and institutes of Romania, Croatia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Armenia and Georgia, representatives of France, Germany, Great Britain, Moldova, Ukraine etc.) The conference provided an opportunity to discuss current challenges, practices and trends in the diplomatic service and diplomatic training. A key-note speaker was Mr. Jan Petersen, Norwegian Ambassador in Austria, former Chairman of the Defense Committee in the Norwegian Parliament, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway (2001-2005) and honorary member of the International Advisory Board of the BDI.

The conference was opened by Mr. Kristian Vigenin, Bulgarian Foreign Minister, who said in his openning speech: The Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute has established itself not only as a place that provides the MFA with a wide range of training programmes, but also as an independent instrument of our foreign policy". Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Institute presented an exposee in the second panel of the conference on the topic Challenges of diplomatic service. The Regional experience.

Greetings to the participants in the forum were sent by the Bulgarian president, Mr. Rosen Plevneliev. Greetings were also received from Ms. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Assistant Secretary General of NATO on Public Diplomacy, Ms. Irina Bokova, General Director of UNESCO, Mr. Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State, Mr. Martti Ahtisaari, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former President of Finland, and other.

17.10.2013

Signing of Memorandum for Cooperation and Understanding with the Diplomatic School of Armenia

Today a meeting took place between Ms Tanya Mihailova, Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute and Ambassador Vahe Gabrieliyan, Director of the Diplomatic School of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia. They discussed the possibilities of closer cooperation between the two countries, the exchange of experience in the training of diplomatic staff and future joint public activities. At the meeting were also present Armenias ambassador in Sofia, H.E. Mr. Arsene Shoyan, accompanied by three representatives of the Embassy, and Bulgarian representatives: Mr. Gancho Ganev, Director of "Eastern Europe and Central Asia" Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, the referent for Armenia from the same directorate, Ms Adelina Tomova, head of Public Affairs and Cooperation Department at the BDI and Ms Biljana Decheva, head of Training Programmes and Projects Department at the BDI.

The meeting ended with the signing of a Memorandum for cooperation and understanding between the two institutions. Ambassador Gabrieliyan took the opportunity to congratulate the entire team of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute on the occasion of its 10th anniversary and to express his gratitude for the invitation to participate in the regional conference on "Challenges of Diplomacy Today" to be held on 18 October 2013.

14.10.2013

Interview on Darik Radio

On 12 October, 2013, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute participated in the political broadcast of Darik Radio The Week", hosted by Kiril Valchev. Ms. Mihaylova answered questions regarding the topic of the tenth anniversary of the BDI. There were also discussed some of the key questions related to the establishment of the Institute, its training courses for Bulgarian and foreign diplomats and its upcoming projects.

10.10.2013

Director of BDI awarded one of the honorary prizes to the best student in the International Master Programme European Union Law"

On 9 October, 2013, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute participated in the Ceremony for awarding diplomas and prizes to the best students in the International Master Programme European Union Law", led by Ass. Prof. Atanas Semov. The ceremony was held at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski" and was attended by the Ambassador of France, the director of the National Institute of Justice, the director of the Institute of Public Administration, and many judges, prosecutors, students and guests. Ms. Mihaylova presented greetings to the graduates as well as to the freshmen for whom the ceremony was the start of the academic year. Because of her excellent academic results, Miss Mariya Eneva was selected among the best students and was personally awarded by the BDI Director.

04.10.2013

The Second International Seminar on Energy Diplomacy has finished

The Second International Seminar on Energy Diplomacy, organized by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, on 4 October 2013. Participants in the seminar were representatives of the Bulgarian public administration, the countries from Southeast Europe, the Black Sea and the Caucasus Region and the European Union, as well as representatives of the business and the non-governmental sector, in the field of energy. This is the forth time that such training has been held and it is for the second time that it has been organized on international level.

Various approaches to the specific field of energy diplomacy, the development of energy markets, climate changes as part of foreign policy and other current topics and issues were discussed within the seminar. For the first time this year a special emphasis was put on the interrelation between business and diplomacy and their place in the energy policy in the region.

The aim of the seminar is to contribute to the building and strengthening of the energy relations between the relevant countries, offering a platform for open dialog between the participants. Alongside with the Bulgarian participants, there were participants from Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Estonia, Cyprus, Kosovo, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, Hungary, Finland, Montenegro and the Czech Republic. Everyone had the opportunity to express their own personal and national opinion on the topics discussed. The event ended with an official closing, where the director of BDI, Ms Tanya Mihaylova, and the head of the Training Programmes and Projects Department, Ms Biliana Decheva, awarded certificates to the participants.

Partners of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute in this project are the Netherlands Institute for International Relations Clingendael", the Hanns Seidel Foundation in Bulgaria, the Energy Management Institute, the Intergovernmental Agency of the Francophony and the Bulgarian Federation of the Industrial Energy Consumers.

23.09.2003

2003 ., 209 .

20.09.2013

Francophon School in Diplomacy (Ecole francophone de Diplomatie) 27-31 Oct, 2013

From 27 October to 31 October, 2013 the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute (BDI) in cooperation with The International Organisation of Francophonie (IOF), will organize an international seminar entitled "Francophone School in Diplomacy". The training is organized for the first time and is the product of a long-standing partnership between BDI and IOF. It is part of the calendar of events which mark the 20th anniversary of Bulgarias full-membership in IOF and the 10th anniversary of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute.

The seminar aims to intensify the cooperation between OIFs member-states and observers from Southeast Europe and the Black Sea region. The prospects of these countries to join EU or to become privileged partners with the Union will be discussed from the perspective of the Bulgarian experience as a member-state. The seminar will help build a network between francophonic diplomats from the region and will become the basis for the continuation of this format in the years to come.

Lecturers in the seminar will be representatives of IOF, APECO (Antenne regionale pour les pays de l'Europe centrale et orientale), CREFECO (Centre Regional Francophone pour l'Europe Centrale et Orientale), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, and the Bulgarian academic and research communities. The application process is open to young diplomats from the member-states of IOF from Southeast Europe and the Black Sea region (Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Moldova, Macedonia, Romania) and observer counties (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Ukraine, Hungary, Croatia, Montenegro).

For more information on the seminar and the application process, please contact: Yavor Ivanov, expert at Public Affairs and Cooperation Department, BDI: Phone: +359 2 807 64 40, Mobile: +359 878 601 678, e-mail: Yavor.IVANOV@mfa.bg

or Alena Lakova, associate at Public Affairs and Cooperation Department, BDI: Phone: +359 2 9483042; Mobile: +359 884 660801; e-mail : Alena.LAKOVA@mfa.bg

11-12.09.2013

BDI took part in an international conference on Regional Issues and Cooperation: Russia, Bulgaria and Turkey in the Balkans, the Black Sea and Caucasius Region"

On 11-12 September 2013 an international conference was held at the Institute of Balkan Studies with a Centre of Thracology to the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Its topic was Regional Issues and Cooperation: Russia, Bulgaria and Turkey in the Balkans, the Black Sea and Caucasius Region". The Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute was represented by Dr. Valentin Katrandjiev, chief expert in the Training Programmes and Projects Department, who delivered a report on Geopolitical interpretation of the contemporary Russian-Turkish relations".

11-13.09.2013

BDI director participated in an international conference From a security consumer to an important regional player: Afghanistan after ISAF"

Representatives of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute took part in the conference From a security consumer to an important regional player: Afghanistan after ISAF", organised in Sofia by the Atlantic Club in Bulgaria, the Youth Euro-Atlantic Society, the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy-Berlin and the Sofia Security Forum. Ms Tanya Mihaylova, director of BDI, presented a report on the Institutes contribution in the capacity building of Afghanistan by organising training courses for young diplomats from the Islamic Republic. In her expose, Ms Mihaylova emphasized how important the experience from the training initiatives is, for both the Afghan junior diplomats and the Institute, being the first European institution to initiate such an activity. She also pointed out the intercultural exchange and the longlasting social relationships that have been created between the Bulgarian and the Afghan participants and which continue to develop even until this day.

04.09.2013

Discussion on youth unemployment, within the Youth in Action" Project

On 4 September 2013, an Open Discussion was held at the premises of the Sofia Office of the European Parliament. The participants in the event were representatives of NGOs in Bulgaria directly involved in activities aiming at the Bulgarian youths development, representatives of the Turkish organization TREX - Turkish ExEVS Association, young people from the Observed home institution Colorful House", and others. The discussion was organized with the support of the Diplomatic Institute. The main goal of the initiative was to bring together interesting people, ideas and various perspectives regarding youth employment, to exchange knowledge and experience in the work with young people, as well as to find together useful and innovative solutions to tackle youth unemployment in Bulgaria and abroad. The open discussion took place in one day within the Lets Go to Work" international initiative which is financially supported by the European Commission programme Youth in Action 2007-2013 and is also administrated in Bulgaria by the National Centre for European Youth Programmes and Initiatives. The event was organized by the young people from the Young European Leaders Association.

03.09.2013

Second International Seminar on Energy Diplomacy

The Second International Seminar on Energy Diplomacy organized by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute will take place in the period 30 September 4 October, 2013. Representatives of the Bulgarian public administration and that of countries from Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, the Black Sea Region and the European Union, as well as representatives of business and non-governmental energy companies, will participate in the event.

The discussion during the workshop will be focused on various approaches regarding Energy Diplomacy, the development of energy markets and the climate changes as part of foreign policy, and other current topics and issues. For the first time this year the interaction between business and diplomacy and their place in the process of policymaking in the region will be thoroughly reviewed. The main objective of the workshop is to aid the establishment and the strengthening of the energy relations between the participating institutions and to provide a solid base for free dialogue between the workshop participants. At the end of the seminar every participant will receive a certificate for the successful completion of the seminar.

Partners of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute in this project are the Netherlands Institute for International Relations Clingendael", the Hanns Seidel Foundation in Bulgaria and the Intergovernmental Agency of the Francophony.

Participation fee: 180 BGN

Applicants should be fluent in English which will be the working language of the seminar. If you would like to take part in the workshop, please send your CV and application form addressed to the director of the Diplomatic Institute.

Application deadline: 20 September 2013

For more information related to the seminar, please contact Ms. Zornitsa Apostolova: e-mail: zornica.apostolova@mfa.bg; tel.: +359 2 948 28 40; +359 878 601 859

16.08.2013

Public Lecture of Dr. Riyadh Al-Maliki, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Information of the Palestinian Authority

A public lecture of Dr. Riyadh Al-Maliki, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Information of the Palestinian Authority, was held on 16 August at Negotiations Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The lecture was entitled The Middle East peace process and the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations" and is the second consecutive lecture organized by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute. The opening speech was given by Angel Velichkov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. The lecture was attended by representatives of the Diplomatic Corps in Sofia, diplomats from the MFA, NGOs, representatives of NGOs and academic fields, and media. Before the opening, Minister Vigenin and Minister Al-Maliki gave a joint media statement.

During his lecture Dr. Al-Maliki pointed out the four basic requirements of the Palestinian Authority for conducting equitable peace negotiations: cessation of Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Territory; the role of the international community as a mediator in the negotiation process; the need to have established general terms of the negotiations; and a consistent schedule of the various stages of the negotiation process. Dr. Al-Maliki also emphasized that the peace process concerns not only the Palestinian Authority and Israel but also the whole region.

The visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian Authority was widely covered by traditional and online media in Bulgaria.

26.07.2013

Participation of the Diplomatic Institute in a Meeting of Bulgarian Researchers

A round table discussion was held today in the building of the European Parliament in Sofia, with the participation of Bulgarian researchers working in Bulgaria and abroad in a wide variety of fields in the public sciences (political science, international relations, law, sociology, social anthropology and others). The event was organized by the Balkanski-Panitza Institute for Advanced Studies with the collaboration of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute. The main objective of the meeting was to encourage discussions and new ideas about research and collaborative projects, as well as experience exchange and networking.

The programme consisted of two modules: Global Citizen Uprising", moderated by Dimitar Bechev from the European Council on Foreign Relations, and Processes of regionalization in Europe and Asia", moderated by Liubomir Topalov from the Meiji University in Tokio. Prof. Ivailo Dichev, professor in cultural anthropology at Sofia University, and Martin Dimitrov, Assoc. prof. in political science in the Tulane University, USA participated with their exposes in the first module. Emilia Zankina, lecturer in political sciences in the American University in Bulgaria, and Ivailo Laydziev from the Oxford University shared their views on the matter of the second module. Experts from New Bulgarian University, from the Strategic Policy, Analysis and Forecasts Unit at the Presidents Administration, from the University of Haifa, from the Ohio University and others participated in the discussions, as well.

The Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute was represented by Ms. Tania Mihaylova, director of BDI, Ms. Adelina Tomova head of Public Affairs and Cooperation Department, and officials from the same department. Ms. Mihaylova presented the latest 9th edition of Diplomacy Journal, issued by the Institute, discussed potential collaborative projects and invited the participants in the meeting to contribute to the journal as authors.

Due to the excellent results of the meeting, the initiative will be extended by future activities of the same nature.

19.07.2013

Awards of the Diplomatic Institute

On the occasion of the Day of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Service (19 July) and its 10-year anniversary, the Diplomatic Institute to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has established a special award in recognition of valuable contributions to the strengthening of the position of the Institute as a qualifying institution in Bulgaria and the South East Europe region. The special award will be presented annually to one Bulgarian and one foreign citizen in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the development of the Diplomatic Institute. The award itself represents a brass sculpture medal with an inscription which reads: Docendo Discimus, or We learn by teaching, which is the Institutes motto. The design of the award was elaborated by Dr. Mirena Zlateva, a Bulgarian artist, sculptor and teacher. Dr. Zlateva works in the field of Fine Art Medals and Sculpture and has been awarded prizes by BAMS, the Bulgarian National Bank and other institutions. Some of her works are now property of the British Museum, The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, The Bergen Museum, The National Art Gallery in Sofia, etc.

The first two awards will be presented on 18 October this year at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the official ceremony which will mark the 10th anniversary of the Diplomatic Institute.

19.07.2013

Discussion meeting with Mrs. Shahla Abavi on "The situation in Afghanistan from womens point of view"

A discussion meeting with Mrs. Shahla Abavi on The situation in Afghanistan from womens point of view was held on 19 July at the Diplomatic Institute. Mrs. Abavi, known for her commitment on the issue of womens rights and gender equality, presented the fundamental problems which represent a primary concern to the Afghan women: domestic violence, limited access to education and career prospects, the severe traditions of a patriarchal society, ineffective judiciary. She called on the international community to support the promotion of the cause and to contribute to womens inclusion in governing policies on a larger scale. The Diplomatic Institute expressed its desire for future cooperation with Mrs. Abavi, as well as with Afghan female diplomats who will also actively participate in the process of application of democratic practices and respect of human rights.

Shahla Abavi is a graduate of Sofia University, where she obtained a Masters degree in Law and Political Science in 1989. In the period 1998-2001 she was a member of a Human Rights Organization in Afghanistan where she participated in hearings related to the process of reformation and restructuring of womens rights. She has been a Director of the House Wives Institute and House Wives Corporation since 1999. In the period 2005-2008 she was a Director of the General Directorate for Anti-Corruption in Afghanistan. Mrs. Abavi is currently working in the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission in Afghanistan.

15.07.2013

Ceremony for awarding the participants in the essay contest "What does it mean to be a Bulgarian and a citizen of the European Union?"

An awarding ceremony of the winning participants in the essay contest "What does it mean to be a Bulgarian and a citizen of the European Union?", organized by the Diplomatic Institute for Bulgarian citizens, was held this morning at the library of the Diplomatic Institute. The event was opened by Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute and Chairman of the competition committee. She expressed her positive impression of the extensive analysis, made by the participants, and stressed that in the European Year of Citizens /2013/ it is important to hear every citizens opinion. Mrs. Mihaylova awarded the winners in the contest with diplomas. First prize a visit to the European Parliament in Brussels with Mr. Andrey Kovachev, MEP, was won by Deyan Bogdanov a Law student at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". Second Prize an invitation for internship at the Diplomatic Institute was won by Yana Radilova student in "European Studies" at Sofia University and Evgeniy Dimitrov student in "Political Sciences" at the Free University of Berlin. An encouraging award was given to Violet Trayanova, student at ZPG "Kl. Timiryazev" in Sandanski, and Martin Vasev of "St. P. Hilendarsky" School in Dupnitsa.

Special guest of the ceremony was Mr. Ognyan Zlatev, Head of the European Commission in Bulgaria. He congratulated the Diplomatic Institute for the initiative and expressed his joy at the opportunity to welcome young and intelligent Bulgarians, who are the new future of the European Union. The winning contestants were invited by Mr. Zlatev to visit the European Commission in Sofia.

Sixty Bulgarian citizens took part in the competition. The essays of the five winning contestants will be posted on the website of the Institute as well as on its Facebook page.

15.07.2013

Ninth issue of Diplomacy Journal

Early in July the ninth issue of "Diplomacy Journal" which the Diplomatic Institute has published twice a year since 2008, went out of print. The bilingual journal (in Bulgarian and in English) presents different points of view of Bulgarian and foreign diplomats and experts and aims at maintaining a strong analytical capacity in the field of international relations and diplomacy.

The ninth edition contains an interview with Ron Ton, Director of the Diplomatic Academy "Clingendael" and publications on current topics: "British euroscepticism: An attempt to revive the nation state" (V. Shopov), "Strategic foresight and the European Union" (A. Misiroli), " Is Turkey pivotting back to the West?" (D. Bechev) "Geopolitical review of Sino-Russian Relations" (V. Katrandjiev), " Purpose and Mission of Church Diplomacy: the Lessons of the Holy See" (Prof. C. Gradev), "The Syrian War and the Threat to Minorities" (a public lecture by Carlos Edde). There are also included exposees within the organized by the DI Bulgarian-Indonesian Round Table on "Promoting cultural and religious understanding between Bulgaria and Indonesia", as well as a publication entitled "Defence dipomacy and its implementation in the activities of the Diplomatic Institute".

The ninth issue of the journal is available at the Library of the Diplomatic Institute and can be viewed on the website of the Institute.

Coming next: in October 2013, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Diplomatic Institute and the 5th anniversary of Diplomacy Journal", the Institute will publish a special Tenth issue of the journal, dedicated to the Balkans, and will launch the electronic version of the journal which will constitute a platform for exchange of opinions and expertise.

10.07.2013

Recruitment of participants in a course on Diplomacy and Security, 16 - 27 September 2013

The National Military Academy "G.S.Rakovsky", in cooperation with the Diplomatic Institute to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is organizing a pilot course on "Diplomacy and Security" with a duration of 60 hours, divided in 10 days, from 16 to 27 September 2013.

The course is designed for military and civilian personnel of the Ministry of Defence, the directly subordinated structures to the Minister of Defence and the Bulgarian Army, public servants and people employed by the executive state administration, the presidential administration, the administration of the National Assembly engaged in the field of international security and implementation of foreign policy and international relations of the Republic of Bulgaria, people holding managerial and expert positions in private organizations involved in the field of international security and military diplomacy. The course "Diplomacy and Security" allows the participants to acquire and develop their skills in the professional field 9.1 "National security", and educational field 9 "Security and defense."

The deadline for enrollment is 09.09.2013.

The participation fee is 300 BGN, which needs to be deposited at a bank. The registration is done by submitting an application to the head of the Military Academy "G.S. Rakovsky ", filed in the Academys Register. The payment shall be made within 7 days before the start of the course, as the payment document must be presented on the day of commencement of the course.

Address:

Sofia 1504 "Evlogi and Hristo Georgievi" 82

Military Academy "G.S. Rakovsky"

Bank account:

Bank Branch "Headquarters"

IBAN BG 40 BNBG 9661 3100 1524 01

BIC BNBGBGSD

For more information about the course "Diplomacy and Security" please contact 02 92 26 578.

09.07.2013

Public Lecture by Ali Ahmeti at the Diplomatic Institute

On July 9, 2013 the Diplomatic Institute organized a public lecture by Mr. Ali Ahmeti, political leader of the Democratic Union for Integration of the Republic of Macedonia, within his official visit to Bulgaria.

The topic of the lecture was "100 Years since the Balkan wars. Reconciliation and Integration". The lecturer, Mr. Ahmeti, expressed his willingness and commitment that the peoples of the Western Balkan countries make good faith efforts on the path to existence. As an example of excellent cooperation between two countries, he mentioned the relations between modern France and Germany that manage to preserve the European understanding, despite the hostile legacy of World War II. Ali Ahmeti stressed on the opportunity to develop initiatives on the Balkans in order to fully integrate the countries of the region into the European Union. He conjures that the painful past of our peninsula shall not be an obstacle for today's relationships, but a positive lesson from a historic point of view. Mr. Ahmeti focused on the profile of contemporary politicians and demanded that their ideas to management be in the service of their peoples. The political leader urged to save the wealth of the Balkan nations and cultures, and this shall be our contribution to the European family. The guest paid special attention to the issue of the disputed name of Macedonia, which prevents the start of negotiations for its accession to the European Union. The topics of ethnic tolerance in the region and the importance of dialogue in case of controversial discussions were touched, as well.

The lecture was attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps in Bulgaria, experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, journalists, historians and students.

08.07.2013

Partnership of the Diplomatic Institute with the "Sofia Found" project

On 6 July this year, the building of the British Council held the first of eight live broadcasts of the multimedia project "Sofia Found", broadcast live on "Radio Sofia" and hosted by Kin Stoyanov and Emil Yanev. The series aims to tell about the European cultural and historic heritage of Sofia, and to promote the citys application for the European Cultural Capital of 2019. The project is supported by the "Alternative Art" foundation, and partners are the Bulgarian National Radio, the "Radio Sofia" programme of the BNR, the 'Europe' programme of Sofia Municipality, the British Council - Bulgaria and the Diplomatic Institute.

The theme of the pilot edition was "The Last Cultural Attache, ambassador of Bulgarian culture in Europe Sir Steven Runciman." The figure of the British historian and diplomat is associated with the Bulgarian reality in the period 1934-1940, when he worked at the British Embassy in Sofia. Later, he wrote the book "History of the First Bulgarian Empire", that acquaints the English-speaking community with the early history of Bulgaria, and popularizes the Bulgarian culture during the XX century.

The meeting gave an insight on historical memories and specific facts about the life of Sir Runciman. In the two-hour conversation, dedicated to the zealous researcher of the history of the Balkans and Byzantium, took part Mrs. Bissera Yosifova, art consultant at the "AlterEgo" gallery, Mr. Todor Tchobanov, Deputy Mayor of Sofia under the "Culture, education, sports and prevention of addictions" Department, Dr. Konstantin Grozev, historian, Prof. Vanya Hardalova, doctor of Arts, professor Angel Stankov, violinist, conductor and professor at the National Music Academy, and Ivo Hadjimishev, artist-photographer. Numerous guests gathered in the improvised studio discussion about the historical heritage of the researcher Runciman, held in an artistic atmosphere amidst the paintings of Nadezhda Beleva, Nicola Roussev, Tihomir Vitkov, etc., which represent the significant architectural heritage of modern-day Sofia.

The broadcasts can be heard on "Radio Sofia": http://radiosofia.bnr.bg/

04.07.2013

Completion of the pilot course on Public Diplomacy

On July 4 this year, the pilot edition of the Course on Public Diplomacy, jointly organized by the Diplomatic Institute and the National Cultural Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ended successfully. Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, director of the Diplomatic Institute, presented certificates to all 25 participants who have completed the course. Within four days (from July 1 to July 4) they had the opportunity to learn the basics and essence of public diplomacy methods, the means of its implementation, as well as the impact of the media, public relations, international environment, foreign policy, etc. Lecturers in this course were: Ambassador Zdravko Popov, a member of the National Advisory Board of the DI, Mrs. Lyudmila Dimitrova and a team from the National Cultural Institute, Mr. Ognyan Zlatev, Head of the European Commission in Sofia, and his team, Mr. George Milkov, journalist in "24 hours" and Mrs. Zornitsa Venkova, Head of the NATO TV channel. Representatives of foreign diplomatic missions in Bulgaria shared their experience with the trainees, including H.E. Gerhard Reiweger, Ambassador of the Republic of Austria in Bulgaria, Mrs. Elizabeth Fitssimans, Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria and Mr. Michael Davidson, Head of the political department at the British Embassy in Bulgaria. The course will be included in the annual training programme of the Diplomatic Institute after a successful completion of the course and a positive feedback from it.

01.07.2013

Launching of a pilot course on Public Diplomacy

On the 1st of July this year, the pilot edition of the Public Diplomacy Course began, organized by the Diplomatic Institute. The training was opened with a greeting on the part of Tanya Mihaylova, director of DI, and a welcoming speech by the first lecturer in the course, Ambassador Zdravko Popov. The Public Diplomacy Course will take place between the 1st and the 4th of July, and is aimed at officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives of the specialized MFA directorates and the team of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as at external participants interested in improving their competence in this area. The topics which are part of the training are related to the foundations of public diplomacy and its nature, its instruments, the media environment, sharing and exchanging different experiences and so on, which will be looked at and discussed in the form of lectures, given by leading diplomats from Bulgaria and abroad, experts and practitioners.

26.06.2013

Awarding of winners in the essay contest BG GB: the mirror image"

An awarding ceremony for the winners in the essay contest on Bulgaria Great Britain: the mirror image", organized by the Diplomatic Institute for Bulgarian students from universities in the UK and Bulgaria, was held this morning at the library of the Institute. The event was opened by Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute and Chairman of the Selection Committee. She expressed her positive impression of the extensive analysis that some of the participants had made, and emphasized that in account of the co-chair of Bulgaria and the UK of the EU Council in 2018, it is important to hear the voice of the young generation. The first prize one-month internship at the British Embassy in Sofia, was won by Antonia Troanska, a student of Past and Present of South East Europe" at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski", and by Darin Dimitrov, a student of Advertising" at New Bulgarian University. The first prize one-month internship at the Bulgarian Embassy in London, was won by Nikolay Kolev, a student of "Public Policies" at King's College-London, and Klement Hristov, a student of "Economics and Management" at the University of Aberdeen. Encouragement awards were given to Nadezhda Miteva and Velizar Panev - students of "International Relations" at the University of National and World Economy.

Special guests at the ceremony were the British Ambassador in Sofia, H.E. Mr. Jonathan Allen, and the Bulgarian Ambassador in London, H.E. Mr. Konstantin Dimitrov, who welcomed the winners. Ambassador Allen shared his satisfaction of the cooperation with the Diplomatic Institute and focused on the mission of diplomacy to build trust and intercultural bridge between the institutions of different countries. Ambassador Dimitrov expressed his pleasure of the opportunity to welcome the team of young, intelligent Bulgarians who would contribute to the work of the Bulgarian Embassy in London. The ceremony ended with a congratulatory speech of the renowned translator and expert of Great Britain, Mrs. Aglika Markova.

Sixty-six students took part in the essay contest. The essays of the six finalists will be posted on the website and Facebook page of the Diplomatic Institute.

19.06.2013

The Diplomatic Institute at Betahaus Sofia

Yesterday, the Diplomatic Institute organized a Negotiations Skills training which was conducted, for the first time, in an informal and unusual environment. In cooperation with its new partner, Betahaus Sofia, who hosted the event, the DI conducted an experience exchange" forum where mostly young freelancers took part. The participants, who are otherwise not directly engaged with international relations and diplomatic negotiations, participated eagerly and with great interest in the simulation games and excercises that Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Mrs. Biliana Decheva and their collegues had prepared. After two hours of activities and dynamic comunication, the partners and their guests were unanimous that their joint work should continue by organizing more meetings of this kind and providing exchange of knowledge and experience among people working in specific areas of social life.

The seminar was officially opened by H.E. Karel van Kesteren, the Dutch ambassador, and Mr. Valeri Yotov, Director of UN and Development Cooperation Directorate of MFA who presented the participants with certificates at the end of the training.

18.06.2013

Work visit of DI officials in Berlin, Germany

In the period 10-14 June, the director of the Diplomatic Institute, Tanya Mihaylova, accompanied by Adelina Tomova and Biliana Decheva, heads of Public Affairs and Cooperation" and Training Programmes and Projects" departements, as well as a group of employees of the Institute, had a work related visit to Germany, within the Diplomacy for Europe" programme. The seminars and workshops of the programme were organized by the European Academy - Berlin, together with the Hans Seidel" Foundation, as partners of the Diplomatic Institute for many years.

The programme included meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Foreing Affairs, the Diplomatic Academy, the Reichstag, the Federal Ministry of Defense, Berlin City Hall, the German Council on Foreign Relations, the Institute for European Politics, the German-Polish Youth Office, etc. A one-day trip to Postdam was organized for the DI team to meet professors from the local university. Official meetings with prof. Eckart Stratenschulte, director of the European Academy - Berlin and host of the seminar, and with Mr. Klaus Fiesinger, Head of Southeast Europe Department of Hans Seidel" Foundation, were also organized.

The main topics that were discussed were diplomatic training in Germany; the German point of view regarding the EU policy towards Eastern Europe; the role of Germany in EU; the influence that political foundations have in the field of international relations; the image of Bulgaria and its politics within the German society, state institutions and NGOs, etc.

12.06.2013

Development Cooperation Seminar for the State Administration

The second seminar on Development Cooperation organized by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute was officially opened today June 12, 2013. The training is part of a three-year cooperation project between DI and the Netherlands Institute for International Relations Clingendael which will be represented by Prof. Paul Hoebink one of the leading specialists in the field in Netherlands. The aim of the course is to build up an administrative capacity capable to deal with upcoming strategic and programming documents under bilateral development assistance.

The target group of the seminar is an interdepartmental working group that includes representatives of specialized and regional directorates at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and others which have interest in that area as the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Economy and Energy, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Environment and Water, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Regional Development and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

The training will help to better coordinate and synchronize the implementation of the development policy between members of different departments who will have the opportunity to become aware of and discuss the extensive experience in the field of development cooperation of a country like the Netherlands.

The seminar was officially opened by H.E. Mr. Karel van Kestern Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Sofia, and Mr. Valeri Yotov - Director of UN Development Cooperation Department, who is also going to award the certificates to the participants at the end of the seminar.

07.06.2013

Development Cooperation Seminar for the State Administration

The second seminar on Development Cooperation will be organized in the period June 12-14, 2013, by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute. The training is part of a three-year cooperation project between DI and the Netherlands Institute for International Relations Clingendael which will be represented by Prof. Paul Hoebink one of the leading specialists in the field in Netherlands. The aim of the course is to build up an administrative capacity capable to deal with upcoming strategic and programming documents under bilateral development assistance.

The target group of the seminar is an interdepartmental working group that includes representatives of specialized and regional directorates at the Ministry of foreign affairs and others which have interest in that area as Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Economy and Energy, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Ministry of Transport, Information technology and Communications, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Environment and Water, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Regional Development and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

The training will help to better coordinate and synchronize the implementation of the development policy between members of different departments who will have the opportunity to become aware of and discuss the extensive experience in the field of development cooperation of a country like the Netherlands.

The seminar will officially be opened by Mr. Valeri Yotov - Director of UN Development Cooperation Department, who is also going to award the participants with certificates for successfully completing the seminar.

06.06.2013

Croatia Days" organized by DI

On 5 and 6 June, within its initiative Criatia Days", the Diplomatic Institute organized two public lectures: The Western Balkans without Croatia: what next?" presented by Prof. Deyan Yovich and EU and Croatia, the 28th Member State" presented by Dr. Mladen Andrlich. The two events attracted significant media attention and were covered by BNT, TV7, Bulgaria on Air, New Bulgarian Television, BNR, Capital Daily and BGnes. Part of the interviews and reporting of Prof. Yovichs lecture, chief analyzer and special coordinator at the Presidents Office of the Republic of Croatia, are available on the websites of BNT and Bulgaria on Air. On 6 June, a report on the lecture by Dr. Andrlic, who is director of Croatia Diplomatic Academy, will be included in NBTs Echo of the day" programme. The online media BGnes has also published an article dedicated to the event which is available on http://news.bgnes.com/view/1090770.

06.06.2013

Public lecture by Mr. Mladen Andrlic, Director of Croatia Diplomatic Academy

Today the Diplomatic institute organized a public lecture by Dr. Mladen Andrlic, director of Croatia Diplomatic Academy. The topic of the lecture was EU Croatia, the 28th member state". During his presentation, Dr. Andrlic pointed out Croatias foreign policy priorities regarding Croatias future accession in the EU and also the interaction of Croatia with neighboring non-EU states. He also focused on the coordination process between Croatia and EU institutions, relations with SEE countries, Croatias participation in NATO, the countrys economic development including special economic and social projects. Dr. Andrlic outlined the main challenges to Croatias transition and shared the experience of the country in dealing with EU accession obstacles. According to him, the European prospects of the Western Balkans is still of superior significance for stability and development, not only in the region, but in the whole Europian Union.

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05.06.2013

Public lecture The Western Balkans without Croatia - what next?"

Today, the Diplomatic Institute organized a public lecture by Prof. Dejan Jovic - Chief Analyst and Special Coordinator at the Presidents Office of the Republic of Croatia. The topic of the lecture was The Western Balkans without Croatia what next?" Prof. Jovic talked about the Croatian perspective concerning the development of the region and commented on the upcoming accession of the country to the EU, on 1 July 2013. Although the European Union is suffering from economic crisis, he pointed out that the Croatians have preserved their positive attitude to the future membership. Mr. Jovic recommended to the EU to take a clear position regarding the future expansion. According to him, a possible exclusion of the Western Balkans accession process would have an adverse impact on the region and the economic and political isolation of neighboring countries would not be in Croatias national interest because this would make the country a long-term external border of the Union. Prof. Jovic also pointed out that the Balkan countries should unite in support of the European integration of the region and that the current crisis in the EU should not be a reason for permanently closing its doors for new members. This would be in contradiction to the basic principles democracy, mutual assistance and security.

The lecture ended with a discussion on the domestic attitudes to Croatias membership and the criteria for becoming a member of the EU in the context of the current economic crisis. The lecture was attended by representatives of the Diplomatic Corps in Bulgaria, experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives of NGOs, journalists and students.

04.06.2013

Business meeting of Ms. Tanya Mihailova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute with Mr. Albert Prenkay, Director of the Diplomatic Academy in Kosovo

Today, at the Diplomatic Institute a meeting was held between Ms. Tanya Mihailova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute and Mr. Albert Prenkay, Director of the Diplomatic Academy in Kosovo. Future possibilities for cooperation between the two institutions and possible future meetings to exchange experience were discussed. The representatives of the Diplomatic Academy in Kosovo have offered a Memorandum of Cooperation to be signed between the two parties, which was greatly welcome by the Bulgarian side. he Diplomatic Institute also assumed the responsibility to provide institutional and expert support for the development of the Kosovo Academy and the training of diplomatic officials. The Kosovo representatives expressed their gratitude for the activity and support of the Diplomatic Institute in building and training the staff of the Foreign Ministry of Kosovo.

03.06.2013

Results from the essay competition BG GB: The Mirror Image"

The essay competition on the topic BG GB: The Mirror Image", organized by the Diplomatic Institute with the cooperation of the Bulgarian embassy in the United Kingdom and the British embassy in Bulgaria, has completed. The jury, presided by Ms. Tanya Mihailova Director of DI, and including Desislava Ivanova diplomatic official at the Planning and Coordination Directorate in MFA; Adelina Tomova head of Public Affairs and Cooperation Department in DI; Svetlozar Kovachev state expert DI; and Silvana Tzokova junior expert in DI, has chosen the six best essays and has determined two winners for each of the two first prizes. The opportunity to undertake a one-month internship in the British embassy in Bulgaria is granted to Antonia Troanska a student in Past and Present of Southeast Europe at Sofia University, and Darin Dimitrov a student in Advertising at New Bulgarian University. Nikolai Kolev a student in Public Policies at Kings College in London, and Kliment Hristov a student in Economics and Management at the University of Aberdeen will have the opportunity to undertake a one-month internship in the Bulgarian embassy in London. The winning essays will be published on the website of DI. Incentive awards will receive Nadejda Miteva and Velizar Panev students in International Relations at the University of National and World Economy. The authors of the six distinguished essays will be awarded with certificates for good performance. They will be invited to participate in a conference, organized by the Diplomatic Institute, on the topic BG GB: The Mirror Image", which will take place in the autumn of 2013.

Sixty six Bulgarian students from Bulgarian and British universities took part in the competition. The team of the Diplomatic Institute would like to thank all the participants and encourages them to participate in future initiatives of the Institute.

30.05.2013

Presentation of the Diplomatic Institute at the national youth meeting The integration of young people in the decision-making process. Structural dialogue and the youth"

Today the Diplomatic Institute took part in the national youth meeting on The integration of young people in the decision-making process. Structural dialogue and the youth". The Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms Tanya Mihaylova briefly presented the Institutes activities and its initiatives directed to the integration of young employees and interns in the working process of the Institute. The audience consisting of young representatives of Bulgarian youth non-governmental organizations was greatly interested in the essay contests organized by the Institute and their contribution for the exchange of ideas between young Bulgarian citizens and Bulgarian and European institutions.

Ambassador Valery Yotov, Director of the UN and Cooperation for Development Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, presented the Ministrys youth policies and the decision-making policies implemented by the United Nations. The first part of the meeting finished with the presentation of the UNs Association in Bulgaria and Bulgarias youth delegates at the United Nations.

Ms Liliya Elenkova, representative of the National Youth Forum and organizer of the event, was the moderator of the meeting. The participants had the opportunity to ask the panelists different questions during the meeting and the coffee break.

29.05.2013

Round table on The Balkans and the European Union. The Challenges Today"

On 29 May 2013 the Diplomatic Institute, in cooperation with the Institute for Balkan Studies with a Tracology Center at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and Diplomacy Journal organized a round table on The Balkans and the European Union. The Challenges Today". The meeting was held in Antarctica Hall at MFA where historians, Balkan region experts, NGO representatives and diplomats shared their views on the development prospects of the Balkan countries, the challenges that they face and their future in the EU.

The forum was opened by Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of DI, Ambassador Zdravko Popov, editor-in-chief of Diplomacy Journal, and Alexander Kostov, Director of the Institute for Balkan Studies. The first panel was devoted to the historical perspective of three of the Balkan countries. Irina Ognyanova, PhD reviewed Croatias steps towards the EU membership. Bisser Banchev, PhD presented Serbias domestic and foreign policy within the international context. Boyko Marinkov, PhD discussed Turkeys development in the last decades and its relations with the EU and its Asian neighbours. At the end of the panel there was a discussion in wich the participants asked questions and commented on the presentations.

The second panel presented the views of the practitioners on the EU-Balkans issues. Mr. Rusi Ivanov, Director General of the European Affairs General Directorate of MFA, talked about the approach of the European Union toward the Western Balkans, focusing on its Common Foreign and Security Policy. Mr. Valentin Radomirski, a senior diplomat at the European Affairs General Directorate commented on the unfolding events in the region throughout last year. Ms. Antoaneta Primatarova, member of the National Advisory Board of DI and expert at the Center for Liberal Strategies, further elaborated on Croatia and the EU. In her presentation The Western Balkans after Croatias individual accession to the EU: prospects for restoring the joint accession" model" she summarized EUs experience regarding the regatta principle" of accession. Assoc. Prof. Sonya Hikova from New Bulgarian University presented the last topic Geopolitical dimensions of the accession of the Western Balkans and Turkey to the EU". Unlike previous panelists, who pointed out the reasons for the slow EU integration process for Turkey, Ms. Hikova emphasized on the geopolitical importance of Turkey and the potential benefits of its EU membership. The second panel also ended with an open discussion where the audience expressed its views on the topics. The opportunities for Turkey and the possible course of action of Bulgaria, being one of the newest EU members, provoked an in-debth debate. Some specific problems of the Balkan countries were also analyzed and possible scenarios for their development were outlined in the context of their European integration.

The round table concluded with final words of the speakers and the organizers. As a result of the high interest and constructive dialogue that the event provoked, there will be a sequel on the same topic.

28.05.2013

"The Arab Spring and the threat for the minorities in the Middle East", public lecture of Carlos Edde, President of the Lebanese Party "National Bloc"

Today, The Diplomatic Institute organized a public lecture of the President of the Lebanese party National Bloc" Carlos Edde, entitled "The Arab Spring and the threat for the minorities in the Middle East". During the lecture, Mr. Edde drew attention to the role of the individual identity of minority groups in the Middle East, how they identify themselves, how they are perceived by others, and how complicated the relationship between them and within the minority itself can be. In his statement, Mr. Edde made geopolitical analysis of the region of the Middle East after The Arab Spring, stressing the influence of individual countries on the processes developing there, and predicted the possible options for development of the situation in the region. He payed more attention on the conflict in Syria, pointing the main reasons for its beginning: socio-economic discontent of the Syrian people; repressions, made by the government; new technologies, allowing unlimited access to the rest of the world; the influence of other revolutions in neighboring countries to Syria, etc.

The lecture was followed by a discussion on the process of democratization in the countries, affected by the Arab Spring; different points of view regarding which governing forms are good and which not; the influence of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and more. The lecture was attended by representatives of the Diplomatic Corps in Bulgaria, experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives of non-governmental organizations, journalists and students.

27.05.2013

Western Balkans: Getting closer to the EU. Strengthening the capacity of the state institutions to meet the integration challenges today" Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The fourth, final seminar of the project Western Balkans: Getting closer to the EU - Strengthening the capacity of the state institutions to meet the integration challenges today" began today in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The training is organized by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute together with its partner the Hanns-Seidel Foundation. The project is supported by the CEI and the Austrian Development Agency and consists of four separate training one-week seminars. They are similar in content and expected results and target state officials dealing with issues, related to European integration, Regional cooperation and Economic development. The training is conducted by Bulgarian experts for about 20 participants.

The seminar in Sarajevo was officially opened by H.E. Mr. Angel Angelov Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Bogdan Mirchev - Representative of the Hanns-Seidel Foundation, Bulgaria, Assoc. Prof. Kamen Lozev from the Training Programs and Projects Department of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, Mrs. Brigitte Pfriemer First Secretary at the embassy of the Republic of Austria in Bosnia nad Herzegovina, Mrs. Nevenka Savic Director of the European Integration Directorate at the Council of Ministers of Bosnia nad Herzegovina, Mr. Zeljko Jerkic CEI National Coordinator, MFA of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Mrs. Amira Omanovic Representative of the ADA in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As lecturers in the seminar will participate Mrs. Antoinette Primatarova from the Centre for Liberal Strategies and member of the Advisory Board of BDI, Mr. Vladimir Shopov Adjunct Professor in European Politics at New Bulgarian University and Amb. Lachezar Matev from the Security Policy Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria. On the last day of the seminar, an open discussion will be held on the topic Bosnia and Herzegovina on the road to EU", moderated by Assoc. Prof. Kamen Lozev. The event will end with a closing ceremony, on which H.E. Mr. Angel Angelov will award certificates to the participants.

The main result of the project is the formation of a trained-up team, familiarized not only with the challenges and impediments on their way to EU accession, but also with the methods and techniques, used by Bulgaria in overcoming them. Apart from Bosnia and Herzegovina, this seminar was also held in Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania.

23-25.05.2013

Participation of Tanya Mihaylova, Director of DI, at the annual Conference of the EU Institute for Security Studies

On 23 and 24 May 2013, the annual Conference of the EU Institute for Security Studies (ISS) took place in Paris. It was attended by the members of the ISS Board of Directors, and Bulgaria was represented by Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute. Ms. Catherine Ashton, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union and Vice-President of the European Commission, addressed her greetings to the conference. Within the two days of the conference, more than 100 representatives of the non-governmental sector, the European Commission and other EU institutions discussed issues related to the military capabilities of the EU and its specific missions, the neighbourhood policy, the Arab Spring, the European foreign and security policy.

22.05.2013

Round table on The Balkans and the European Union: The Challenges Today"

On 29 May 2013, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., a round table on The Balkans and the European Union: The Challenges Today" will be held at Antarctica Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event is organized by the Diplomatic Institute in cooperation with the Thracology Center to the Institute of Balkan Studies at the Bulgarian Academy of Science (BAN). The round table will gather experts in the policies that Balkan countries conduct, both towards each other and in their mutual European context. Among the topics that will be discussed are: the upcoming accession of Croatia to the EU, the advance of the Western Balkan countries, the case of Turkey, the role that the three Balkan states, members of the EU, play in the region, etc. The two panels will consecutively present the points of view of historical scientists who will reveal the reasons for the different level of integration to the European values of the countries in the region, and the practical point of view of diplomats and representatives of the non-governmental sector who participate directly in the processes of the regions European integration. Please, confirm your attendance at the event not later than 12 p.m. on 28 May 2013, at email address: Yavor.IVANOV@mfa.bg, or tel: 02/807 64 40.

18.05.2013

Participation of the Diplomatic Institute in a research forum in Baku, Azerbaijan

On 17-18 May 2013 in Baku, the Centre for Strategic Studies to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Baku organized a panel discussion for think-tanks of the countries within the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. Participants in the forum outlined the processes of political and economic transformation in the Black Sea region, the visions and prospects for its development, discussed in depth the problems of regional security in the context of unresolved "frozen conflicts" and stressed the importance of the Black Sea-Caspian region to Europe's energy security. The Diplomatic Institute was presented by Valentin Katrandjiev, PhD - chief expert at the Training Programmes and Projects Department, who delivered a report entitled "The Bulgarian vision and interest in the development of a beneficial cooperation in the Black Sea region".

17.05.2013

Participation of the Diplomatic Institute in SAIMO Spring Ball 2013

On 17 May 2013, the Diplomatic Institute had the pleasure to be a part of the annual Spring Ball 2013 of International Relations Department at the University of National and World economy, organized by the Student Association for International Relations Studies (SAIMO). The event took place at "Moscow" restaurant and gathered students in International Relations, European Studies, Political Sciences, graduates of the Department, etc. As a partner of SAIMO, the Diplomatic Institute provided copies of its publications, which were awarded to students honored during the ceremony.

17.05.2013

A visit to Karin dom" in Varna

Today, following the invitation of H.E. Ivan Stanchov, a former foreign minister of Bulgaria, Ambassador of Bulgaria to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland (1991-1994) and currently, Chairperson of the National Advisory Board of the Diplomatic Institute, representatives of the Diplomatic Institute visited the Centre for children with special needs Karin dom" (Karins Home) in Varna, founded by Mr Stanchov in 1994. There they met with experts and volunteers working at the Centre who introduced them to its goals, activities, training programmes, and also presented the technical equipment and various methods for working with the children. Ms Tanya Mahailova, Director of the DI, and H.E. Stanchov discussed the possibilities for cooperation between the Institute and the Center. The first step in that direction would be to popularize Karin dom" and its activities, as well as the establishment of a long-lasting online friendship a direct link to the official website of the Center can be found in the Partners" menu bar of the Diplomatic Institutes website.

17.05.2013

The Diplomatic Institute in Varna Free University Chernorizets Hrabar"

Today, within its Open Doors" programme, the team of the Diplomatic Institute visited Varna Free University Chernorizets Hrabar where they had a discussion entitled The diplomatic profession today" with students in International Economics and Politics, Public Administration, Law, etc. The event was part of the Diplomatic Institutes tour in Bulgarian universities in 2013, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Institute and the European Year of Citizens.

During the meeting which was moderated by Prof. Nina Dyulgerova professor at Varna Free University and lecturer in the courses of DI, the Director of DI, Ms Tanya Mihaylova presented the goals and activities of the Institute and outlined the opportunities that it provides to students participation in the internship programme and essay competitions, access to the rich library fund of the Institute, etc. In the follow-up discussion, professionals and students discussed the possibilities for career development at the Ministry of Foreign affairs, the activities of the Bulgarian diplomatic missions abroad, the essence of the diplomatic profession and the qualities that a present-day diplomat needs, as well as the views of the young audience regarding the civil society in Bulgaria. Following the Institutes invitation, special guest to the event was H.E. Ambassador Ivan Stanchov, Chairperson of the National Advisory Board of the Diplomatic Institute, who answered the students questions sharing the invaluable professional and personal experience of a diplomat of a third generation.

During the visit Ms Mihaylova and Prof. Valeri Stoyanov, Deputy Rector of Varna Free University, discussed future opportunities for partnership between the two institutions. The Diplomatic Institute provided the library of VFU with a full range of its editions on International relations and Diplomacy.

15.05.2013

Presentation of Ambassador Peter Vodenskis book

The Diplomatic Institute organized a premiere of the recently published memoirs Diplomacy is in fact a serious job" by Ambassador Petar Vodenski, which took place at the Misiyata" Gallery. Ms. Tanya Mihaylova inaugurated the event with a short presentation of the professional path of Ambassador Vodenski and emphasized the important role of the diplomats sharing of personal experience and point of view for the formation of the new generations in the profession.

Mr. Zdavko Popov, Chief Editor of "Diplomacy Journal", made an in-depth analysis of the specific genre and deep meaning of the book, and also urged Ambassador Vodenskis colleagues to have the courage to bring out their rich personal experience from the private into the public sector.

Ambassador Vodenski has worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1978 and has passed through all the diplomatic ranks, from trainee-attache to the highest. He has been Third and Second Secretary at the Bulgarian Embassy in Ankara, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in Turkey, and after that in Moldova and Cyprus. He was twice Chief of Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, respectively, Stanislav Daskalov and Solomon Passy, and Director of the Foreign policy analysis and planning" Directorate and Europe-2" Directorate.

In his book Ambassador Vodenski tells from personal experience key episodes from the diplomatic "kitchen": from the period of the Regenerative process, the collapse in the Bulgarian-Turkish relations and their recovery to an excellent level; the diplomatic moves of Bulgaria for the return of the status of Tarakliya Region in Moldova; the ratification by the Parliament of Cyprus on the Treaty for the adoption of Bulgaria in the EU, etc.

The event provoked huge interest, as expected, and the hall hardly seated the numerous friends and colleagues of Ambassador Vodenski.

08.05.2013

Presentations of interns at DI

On 8 May 2013 interns of the Diplomatic Institute, who conducted their internship in April, presented to the team of DI presentations on current topics. Milen Rangelov, student in International Relations at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski", presented the conflict in Mali and its possible solutions. Dimitrinka Kiuchukova, student in European Studies at the University of National and World Economy, described the prospects for Bulgaria in her presentation: "The EU Rotating Presidency of Bulgaria". Victoria Petrova, student in Italian Philology at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski", presented her ideas on the topic: "Culture as a means for a better future." After each presentation, there was time provided for questions and comments by the audience, which provoked some interesting discussions.

Preparing and giving presentations is a regular practice within the internship programme of the Institute which aims to develop the interns presentation skills, analytical thinking and creative approach.

08.05.2013

Results from the National Essay Contest in French: Bulgaria and OIF - 20 years later. The Result?"

The competition for an essay in French: "Bulgaria and OIF - 20 years later. The Result", organized jointly with the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and the Ministry of Education and Science has concluded. The Selection Committee, chaired by Ms. Biliana Decheva, Head of Training Programmes and Projects Department of the Diplomatic Institute (DI), ranked the five best essays. The first prize a visit to the headquarters of the OIF in Paris and meeting with its officials, as well as meeting diplomats at the Bulgarian Embassy in France, was won by Monica Ianeva, a Law student at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski ". The other distinguished texts are those of Slav Petkov, Eleonora Koleva, Dimitar Argirov and Gabriela Georgieva. The authors of all five essays will receive a Certificate for excellent performance at a ceremony at the Library of DI on May 27, 2013 at 10:00 am. Students from universities across the country Sofia University, University of National and World Economy, University of Veliko Tarnovo, Blagoevgrad University, etc., and junior officers in the Bulgarian state administration took part in the competition. The team of the Diplomatic Institute would like to thank all young francophones for their active participation and encourage them to take part in the initiatives of the Institute and its partners in the future.

29.04.2013

Fostering cultural and religious understanding between Bulgaria and Indonesia

Today, on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Institute and the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Sofia organized a round table on "Fostering cultural and religious understanding between Bulgaria and Indonesia." The event, held in the "Europe" Conference Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was attended by representatives from the academic, diplomatic and religious circles of the two countries, as well as students studying Indonesian language at the Center for Eastern Languages and Cultures, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski".

Ms. Tanya Mihailova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Deiana Danailova, Deputy Minister of Culture of Bulgaria, Mr. Naseraddin Omar, Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs of Indonesia and H.E. Mr. Buniyan Saptomo, Ambassador of Indonesia in Bulgaria extended greetings to the participants. The basic highlights in the three modules of the round table were placed on the role of multicultural and religious education, of government and religious leaders, as well as of the media and civil society in the promotion of cultural and religious tolerance in Bulgaria and Indonesia. The Bulgarian panel speakers were Prof. Alexander Fedotov, Dean of the Center for Eastern Languages and Cultures at Sofia University, Mr. Emil Velinov, Director of the Religions Directorate of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mr. Asen Asenov, producer of Edno" a platform for culture and arts. On behalf of the Indonesian panelists, reports were presented by Ms. Maria Pudentia Purenti, Professor in the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of Jakarta, Mr. Naseraddin Omar, Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia and Mrs. Zenith Gibbons, a representative of the Indonesian news agency "ANTARA" for Europe.

This is the second Bulgarian-Indonesian round table organized by the Diplomatic Institute and the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Bulgaria through which both sides were able to consolidate their long-standing cooperation by exchanging experience in the field of intercultural and interreligious dialogue.

26.04.2013

The first Intensive course on diplomacy for the state administration has concluded

On 26 April 2013 the first Intensive course on diplomacy for the state administration has successfully concluded. The one-month training covered a wide range of topics organized into thematic modules and emphasized on the acquisition of practical knowledge and skills. Among the modules covered were multilateral diplomacy and human rights, the European Union, bilateral relations, consular diplomacy, protocol and public diplomacy, economy and energy diplomacy, etc. Participants had the opportunity to meet with diplomats and experts from various fields, including the ambassadors of Ukraine, South Korea and the Netherlands, as well as to develop their skills by participating in various interactive forms. In addition to a debate on the topic "For or against Turkey's membership in the EU" and the presentation of the different countries of Latin America and Africa, the course included a Viennese waltz lesson as part of a module dedicated to diplomatic protocol and etiquette. Each participant who successfully completed the course was presented with a certificate by Ms. Tanya Mihailova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute.

26.04.2013

Guest visit by Dr. Abdulaziz Sager to the Diplomatic Institute

On 26 April 2013, Dr. Abdulaziz Sager, Chairman of the Gulf Research Center, visited Sofia by invitation of the Diplomatic Institute. A Cooperation Memorandum was signed between the Diplomatic Institute and the Center as part of the visit. Dr. Sager gave a lecture on Current Problems Facing the Gulf Cooperation Council" in front of Bulgarian and foreign diplomats, experts, DI trainees and journalists.

Dr. Abdulaziz Sager is chairman and founder of the Gulf Research Center. He has a special research interest in the sphere of strategic issues regarding the Gulf region and is a regular contributor and commentator to international and regional media. He is the author of many publications such as Political Reform Measures from a Domestic GCC Perspective", Political Opposition in Saudi Arabia", Why for all its problems, the EU is still a model for the Arab world" and others. In 2003, Dr. Sager was appointed as a member of the Mecca Province Council. In addition he is a member of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF); the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP); the German Orient Foundation and on the advisory group for the 4th Arab Human Development Report for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Dr. Sager holds a Ph.D in Politics and International Relations from Lancaster University and an M.A. from the University of Kent, United Kingdom.

26.04.2013

Interview with Ms. Tanya Mihaylova in the newspaper Bulgaria NOW"

An interview of Mr. Ivan Sotirov with Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was published in the Bulgarian newspaper Bulgaria NOW", the biggest weekly newspaper for Bulgarians in the U.S. and Canada. You can read the electronic version of the interview here.

25.04.2013

Lecture of Prof. Vladimir Gradev on "Church Diplomacy"

On April 25, 2013, Prof. Vladimir Gradev held a public lecture, entitled "Church diplomacy", within the Intensive Course on Diplomacy organized by the Diplomatic Institute.

The lecture was officially opened by the Head of Training Programmes and Projects Department, Ms. Biliyana Dacheva. Prof. Gradev talked about the history of the Holy See, the beginning of diplomatic relations in the Middle Ages and their development up to now and about the relationships of the Vatican with the Great Powers, the European Union and other international organization as well. The dialogue between the Holy See and Bulgaria was also pointed out.

Prof. Vladimir Gradev was Bulgarian Ambassador to the Holy See and the Maltese Knights from 2001 to 2006. He has specialized in educational institutions such as the University of Paris 8 (1993), the European University Institute, Florence (1994-1996); Home of the Human Sciences, Paris (2000); The Dutch Academy of Sciences "Wassenaar arrangement" (2001), etc. Prof. Gradev is Knight of the Grand Cross of the order of Pievia; Knight of the Grand Cross of the order "Pro merito melitense" and the winner of the international award of the Foundation "Foyer des artistes" in 2005 for contribution in the field of diplomacy. He is an honorary member of the old Florentine Accademia "Coleggio dei nobili" and member of the International Committee of the "Les Etats generaux de la psychanalyse".

24.04.2013

Lecture by the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Bulgaria H.E. Karel van Kesteren within the Intensive Course on Diplomacy

On 24 April 2013, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bulgaria H.E. Karel van Kesteren gave a lecture within the Intensive Course on Diplomacy for representatives of the state administration. The Ambassador spoke about the importance and the role of bilateral diplomacy in the context of the European Union and his job as Ambassador in Bulgaria. H.E. van Kesteren emphasized on the good relations between the two countries and the good cooperation in many fields, expressing his desire for deepening those relations in the future. The Ambassador expressed his opinion about the lack of knowledge about Bulgaria in the Netherlands and the need for change in this direction. He also shared his experience in Development Policy and his desire for optimizing the ways in which the funds are provided by the European Union.

22.04.2013

Working visit in the United States

In the period 16-23 April 2013 Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, and Mr. Zdravko Popov, Chief Editor of Diplomacy Journal" had a working visit in New York and Boston, USA. They met with potential partner publishing houses and discussed projects of common interest. In the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University in Boston they had a meeting with Prof. Alan Henrikson, the Director of Diplomatic Studies, and participated in a discussion devoted to the Cold War. Ms. Mihaylova and Mr. Popov also met with other Bulgarians students and lecturers in Fletcher".

22.04.2013

Western Balkans: Getting closer to the EU. Strengthening the capacity of the state institutions to meet the integration challenges today" Tirana, Albania

The third seminar from the project Western Balkans: Getting closer to the EU - Strengthening the capacity of the state institutions to meet the integration challenges today" was opened today in Tirana, Albania. The seminar is organized by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute together with its partner the Hanns-Seidel Foundation. The project is supported by the Central European Initiative and the Austrian Development Agency and consists of four separate training one-week seminars.

The training will be conducted by Bulgarian lecturers - officials from different Directorates at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and foreign experts for about 30 participants. The main result of the project is the formation of a trained-up team, familiarized not only with the challenges and impediments on their way to EU accession but also with the methods and techniques, used by Bulgaria in overcoming them. Lecturers in the seminar will be Mr. Vladimir Mishev from the EU Institutions and Policies Directorate at the MFA of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mrs. Elisaveta Simeonova from the Global Issues General Directorate, Dr. Vihar Georgiev - Assistant Professor in the European Studies Department at Sofia University, and Amb. Lachezar Matev from the Security Policy Directorate at the MFA.

The seminar was officially opened by the Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria in the Republic of Albania H.E. Dimitar Arnaudov, followed by prof. Kamen Lozev from the Training Programs and Projects Department at the BDI, Mrs. Nertila Mosko Representative of the Hanns Seidel Foundation in the Republic of Albania, Mrs. Blerta Selenica Director of the Department of Public Administration at MOI of Albania, Mr. Agim Pasholli CEI National Coordinator and Mrs. Astrid Wein Representative of the ADA in the Republic of Albania. The seminar targets state officials dealing with issues, related to European integration, Regional cooperation and Economic development.

Such seminars have so far been organized in Montenegro and Macedonia and a forthcoming one in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

19.04.2013

Lecture by Ambassador of South Korea in Sofia, H.E. Dr. Chun Beeho within the Intensive Course on Diplomacy

On 18 April 2013 South Koreas ambassador in Bulgaria, H.E. Dr. Chun Beeho gave a lecture as part of the Intensive Course on Diplomacy for government officials. The Ambassador spoke of South Koreas global role and place in international relations and also of bilateral relations with Bulgaria. He indicated Bulgarias well prepared and competitive human capital as a strong point of our country. The Ambassador emphasized the changing role of the diplomatic profession and the growing need to have more in-depth knowledge in different spheres such as politics, economics and culture.

19.04.2013

The Diplomatic Institute in the The Golden Apple of Success" Forum

Between 11-13 April the Diplomatic Institute participated in the The Golden Apple of Success" Forum organized by the Center for Career Development of Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski", in which representatives of state administration, the non-government and private sector also took part. During the opening ceremony of the forum at the Conference Hall of SU, Silvana Tzokova, Junior Expert in the Public Affairs and Cooperation Department presented the internship programme and the opportunities for career development in the Institute.

As part of the event, the Diplomatic Institute was also represented with its own stand at the Exhibition of Employers. DI officials and current interns offered information materials and answered the questions of the many students who visited the event and showed interest in the opportunities for internship and career development and also in the regular essay competitions which the Institute organizes.

18.04.2013

Publication of Peter Vodenskis Book

The Diplomatic Institute has the pleasure to announce that in April this year the book of Ambassador Peter Vodenski, a long-serving official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was released. In his work, entitled Diplomacy is Otherwise a Serious Profession", the diplomat shares his own memoirs. The official presentation of the book will take place on 15 May 2013, from 5:30 p.m. at the Mission" Gallery, 2, Aleksandar Zhendov Str.

10.04.2013

Lecture by Ukraines ambassador in Bulgaria, H.E. Mikola Baltazhi within the Intensive Course on Diplomacy

On 10 April 2013 the Ambassador of Ukraine in Bulgaria, H.E. Mikola Baltazhi gave a lecture in front of the participants in the Intensive Course on Diplomacy for government officials. Mr. Baltazhi talked about the European perspectives of Ukraine and also about current bilateral relations between his country and Bulgaria. The Ambassador emphasized the excellent political and economic relations which exist between the European Union and Ukraine. He focused on the energy sector as a sector of great importance for the entire continent. Mr. Baltazhi also pointed out the important role which cultural and public diplomacy play in improving relations between the Ukrainian and Bulgarian people.

08.04.2013

The Diplomatic Institute visits Plovdiv University Paisii Hilendarski"

On 7 April 2013 the Diplomatic Institute, within its Open Doors" Programme, visited the University of Plovdiv Paisii Hilendarski" where it held a discussion themed The Diplomatic Profession Today" with postgraduate students, studying International Relations" at the Faculty of Law, Diplomacy and International Relations" at the Faculty of History and Philosophy, and others. The Chancellor of Plovdiv University, Prof. Zapryan Kozludzhov, the deputy-mayor of Plovdiv Mr. Krassimir Assenov and Assoc. Prof. Nadia Boyadjieva participated in the meeting which was hosted by Prof. Irena Ilieva.

During the first part of the forum Prof. Irena Ilieva presented the new postgraduate programme International Relations" of PU. In the second part of the meeting Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, gave a presentation on the structure and activities of the Institute, as well as the internship opportunities which it offers. The presentation was followed by a discussion on the topic What constitutes the work of a diplomat?" during which students and professors posed questions to the Institutes team.

At the end of the meeting, the University of Plovdiv and the Diplomatic Institute announced their decision to sign a memorandum, establishing relations of cooperation.

05.04.2013

10 years DI" new section on the Diplomatic Institute webpage

In order to mark its ten-year anniversary, the Diplomatic Institute is starting a new section on its webpage 10 years DI". In it, you will be able to find information on the Institutes initiatives connected to its anniversary in 2013. One of the undersections in it, 10 interviews", will acquaint you with 10 notable professionals, trained by the DI. Every month, we will publish an interview, where they will present their view of the Institute and share valuable experience from their career development. In the undersection Open Doors" you will be able to follow the Diplomatic Institutes meetings with the student and academic community, as part of the DIs tour to Bulgarian universities in 2013. In Essay Contests", we will publish the essays of the winners of the contests organized by the DI in the last ten years. "10 years 10 days" will provide you with information about the upcoming 10 thematic events, with which the Institute will celebrate its anniversary during the period 11 - 23 September.

04.04.2013

Cooperation with the webpage Lost Bulgaria"

After the presentation of the website Lost Bulgaria" by its creator Peyo Kolev at the Diplomatic Institute Library, on occasion of the National Liberation Day of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Diplomatic Institute and Mr. Kolev decided to establish long-term relation of friendship and cooperation.

The webpage Lost Bulgaria" publishes digital photos of people, events, landscapes and realia of bygone years of our country, thus saving them from oblivion. The team of the Diplomatic Institute believes that, when working for a better future by training the new generations of Bulgarian diplomats, we should still remember the past and preserve our traditions. Of particular interest is the category Diplomats" in the webpage where we can see the faces and carriage of the people who represented Bulgaria abroad as early as the beginning of the last century.

A link to Lost Bulgaria" can be found in the Partners" section of the webpage of the Diplomatic Institute.

01.04.2013

National essay competition on BG GB: The Mirror Image"

The Diplomatic Institute, in cooperation with the Bulgarian Embassy in the UK and the British Embassy in Bulgaria announces a National essay competition on the topic BG GB: The Mirror Image". The topic has been prompted by the upcoming shared presidency of the Council of the EU by Bulgaria and the UK in 2018 and by the question as to how credible are the existing perceptions of both societies about each other.

The competition is open to Bulgarian students, studying in universities in Bulgaria or Great Britain. The essays must be written in Bulgarian and are limited to 3 (three) standard pages. The deadline for sending the essays is 5 May 2013, to 1040 Sofia 2, Alfred Nobel" str. or at bdi@mfa.bg. The participants are required to leave feedback information (phone and email), as well as information about their university and field of study.

The winner of the competition will have the opportunity to undertake a one-month internship at the Bulgarian Embassy in the UK or at the British Embassy in Bulgaria and also to participate in a conference themed BG GB: The Mirror Image" in the autumn of this year. The five best essays will be published on the web site of the Diplomatic Institute, and their authors will be awarded with certificates. The results will be announced on the webpage of the Diplomatic Institute on 20 May 2013.

01.04.2013

Beginning of the first Intensive Course on Diplomacy

The official opening of the first Intensive Course on Diplomacy organized by the Diplomatic Institute to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took place today. The course aims to familiarize its 38 participants with the principal themes in the sphere of international relations and diplomacy and will last until 26 April. The course is open to MFA officials and public administration officials as well as representatives of the private sector, scientific research centres and others who take interest in the sphere of diplomacy.

Some of the subjects in the training are related to The legal framework of international relations", Multilateral diplomacy and human rights", The European Union", Bilateral diplomacy", Consular diplomacy" and Protocol and public diplomacy" and will be studied in the form of lectures and interactive trainings. These will be carried out by leading Bulgarian and foreign experts, among whom representatives of foreign diplomatic missions in Bulgaria the ambassadors of Ukraine, the Netherlands, South Korea and others, experts and analyzers from the private sector, as well as lectors from Bulgarian universities.

The course will take place from Monday to Friday at the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

28.03.2013

Interns' Presentation at the Diplomatic Institute

On 28 March the interns of the Diplomatic Institute gave presentations on different topics from their respective fields of interest and on current issues in front of the Institute's team. Katina Georgieva, student in Diplomacy and International Relations at New Bulgarian University, presented on Water as a strategic resource. The water problem in the Levanta countries." Pavel Savov who has a BA in History from Sofia University, presented his opinion on "International negotiations on climate change. Miroslava Dimitrova, studying European Studies at University of National and World Economy, made a presentation called A different kind of day-care. The history of Joseph Kony". Sava Stefanov, studying International Relations at Sofia University, analyzed the reasons for the recent protests in Bulgaria. After each presentation, there was time provided for questions and comments which provoked some interesting discussions.

Preparing and presenting presentations is a regular practice within the internship programme of the Institute the purpose of which is helping the students to develop their presentation skills and analytical thinking and encouraging the interns creative approach.

26.03.2013

The Diplomatic Institute visits the South-West University Neofit Rilski"

Today, the Diplomatic Institute visited, within its Open Doors" Programme, the South-West University Neofit Rilski" where it held a discussion on The Diplomatic Profession Today" with students in International relations, Law, European Studies, Public Administration, etc. At the beginning of the meeting, moderated by Prof. Nina Dulgerova, the Dean of the Faculty of History and Law at SWU Assoc. Prof. Belova, the vice-chancelor of SWU, Assoc. Prof. Yurukov and the deputy mayor of Blagoevgrad, Mr. Svilenov, welcomed the initiative as part of the long-term cooperation between the University and the Institute. Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, presented the aims and activities of the Institute, emphasizing on its role in boosting the qualification of diplomats and public administration officials, and also focused on the opportunities which DI offers to Bulgarian students participation in the internship programme, essay competitions, access to a library with large array of specialised literature.

Ms Lila Georgieva from the Consular Relations Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented the activities of Bulgarian diplomatic missions abroad and gave practical advice to the students. Special guests of the meeting were two diplomats and lectors at the South-West University Prof. Milan Milanov, former director of the Diplomatic Institute, and Assoc. Prof. Lazar Koprinarov lector and consultant in the Institutes courses. They shared their experience in diplomacy and focused on the modern, varied profile of the diplomatic profession. In the following open discussion professionals and students talked about the reasons behind the creation of the Diplomatic Institute, the opportunities for career development within the MFA, the positive and negative aspects of the diplomatic profession, the challenges facing present-day diplomacy, the necessary qualities of a successful diplomat, etc. At the end of the visit the Diplomatic Institute presented the SWUs library with a full set of its own editions in the field of international relations and diplomacy.

The event is part of a series of visits in Bulgarian universities which DI has planned for 2013 to commemorate its 10th Anniversary and the European Year of Citizens.

26.03.2013

Director of the Diplomatic Institute visits the American University in Bulgaria

A meeting between Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, and Prof. Michael Easton, Rector of the American University in Bulgaria, was held today with the purpose to establish first contacts and to develop future cooperation between the two institutions. During the meeting Ms Mihaylova presented the activities of the Institute and after that opportunities for mutual initiatives were discussed, among which the participation of AUBG students in the internship programme of the Diplomatic Institute, publishing papers of professors at AUBG in Diplomacy Journal, exchange of lecturers in the trainings of the Institute, cooperation in organizing public lectures of leading American politicians and experts etc.

18-22.03.2013

Conclusion of the eighth edition of the Winter School of Diplomacy

The eighth edition of the Winter School of Diplomacy, organized by the Diplomatic Institute in cooperation with the Hans Seidel" Foundation and the European Academy in Berlin, took place between 18 22 March 2012, in the town of Sandanski. The seminar this year was themed EU and NATO policies in Southeast Europe and the Black Sea region: politics, security and energy". Thirty-four young diplomats from 15 countries in the Balkans, the Black Sea region and the EU participated.

The participants presented briefly their countries positions on the main theme of the seminar in the first two days and the discussions that followed were moderated by prof. Eckart Stratenschulte, Director of the European Academy in Berlin. The next three days included lectures by officials from various MFA directorates, as well as external experts. H.E. Mr. John Rowan, Ambassador of the Republic of Ireland clarified the priorities of the Irish presidency of the EU, Ambassador Lachezar Mitev, Ambassador Antoaneta Primatarova, Mr. Anri Georgiev and Mr. Erik Baktai presented before the participants the challenges in the energy field, the EU enlargement policy in the West Balkans, Bulgarian experience in the accession process, the European Security and Defense policy and NATO policies and missions.

Mr. Horst Kukol, deputy chief of the Department for professional and educational development of the European External Action Service (EEAS), was a lector in this years edition of the Winter School of Diplomacy. Mr.Kukol made an in-depth analysis of the current state of the service. Bulgaria was rated highly for having a member of the EEAS in the seminar and for being the only EU state to open its in-service training for EEAS officials. Assurances were made between the Diplomatic Institute and the service that their cooperation will continue in the future.

In honour of its 10th Anniversary, which the Diplomatic Institute celebrates in 2013, officials from diplomatic missions in Sofia, who participated in earlier editions of the seminar and are part of the DI Alumni club, took part in the last two days of the Winter School on Diplomacy.

Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Biliana Decheva, head of the Training Programs and Projects Department at the Institute and Mr. Bogdan Mirchev from the Hans Seidel" Foundation concluded the seminar. The honorary guest, Ambassador Ivan Stanchov, President of the National Advisory Board of DI, congratulated the participants and awarded them with certificates.

25.03.2013

Certificate awarding of the participants in the eleventh Basic Course on Diplomacy

A graduation ceremony was held at the Diplomatic Institute on 25 March 2013 where the participants who have completed the eleventh Basic Course on Diplomacy were awarded with certificates - 18 participants successfully completed the theoretical and practical training which was organized by the Diplomatic Institute in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Institute, presented the graduates with certificates and emphasized on the fact that MFA is in need of young and qualified professionals and that the participants in the course should take the opportunity and pursue careers within this institution. The trainees also received badges which show their affiliation to the alumni club of the Diplomatic Institute. After the conclusion of this training, the overall number of participants who have taken part in the Basic Course so far is 287.

19.03.2013

Inauguration of the eighth Winter School of Diplomacy

The eighth edition of the international seminar Winter School of Diplomacy" started on 18 March 2013 in the town of Sandanski. It is jointly organized by the Diplomatic Institute and the Hanns Seidel Foundation, Germany. The main topic of this years seminar is Policies of EU and NATO in Southeastern Europe and the Black Sea region: foreign policy, security and energetics". The seminar will be attended by 34 young diplomats from 15 countries. Among the traditional participants from the Balkans and the Black Sea region, there have also been invited delegates from all EU member-states. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Diplomatic Institute this year, 8 alumni of the Institute, who have taken part in previous editions of the Winter school, will attend the final two days of the seminar.

The seminar was officially opened by Ms Tania Mihailova, Director of DI and H.E. Mr. Mathias Hopfner, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany. Dr. Klaus Fiesinger, Head of the Department of Southeastern Europe of the Hanns Seidel Foundation and Mr. Bogdan Mirchev, representative of the Hanns Seidel Foundation for Bulgaria also took part in the official opening. Among the lecturers at the seminar will be diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Bulgarian and foreign experts such as Prof. Dr. Eckart D. Stratenschulte, Director of the European Academy-Berlin. The curriculum includes topics related to regional policy and European integration as a peace-keeping model, as well as EU enlargement policy, Common European Defence and Security Policy. Special attention will be paid to energy issues.

16.03.2013

Participation of the Diplomatic Institute in the International scientific conference on Diplomacy of the Great Silk Road: from past to future" in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

In the period 14 - 16 March 2013, an international scientific conference on Diplomacy of the Great Silk Road: from past to future", the first of its kind, took place in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The event was realized in accordance with the Decree of the President of Turkmenistan, Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA), the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey. The conference was organized on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Institute of International Relations of the MFA of Turkmenistan.

Representatives of more than 15 countries took part in the conference. Mr. Svetlozar Kovachev, state expert at the Public Affairs and Cooperation Department of the Diplomatic institute and Mr. Georgi Petrov, junior expert at the same department were the representatives of Bulgaria. Mr. Kovachev presented a lecture within the panel The role of diplomacy for cooperation, security and sustainable development in the region of the Great Silk Road". On behalf of Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Mr. Georgi Petrov read a congratulatory address to the Director of the Institute of International Relations of Turkmenistan, Mr. Baba Zahirov on the occasion of its fifth anniversary.

13.03.2013

First Intensive Course on Diplomacy

In the period 1 April - 26 April 2013 the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute will organize its first Intensive Course on Diplomacy which will introduce the participants to the main topics in the field of International Relations and Diplomacy. The course will be open to officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the state administration, as well as other participants who are interested in the sphere of diplomacy. Part of the topics covered by the course will be related to: The Legal Framework of International Relations, Multilateral Diplomacy and Human Rights, The European Union, Bilateral Diplomacy, Consular Diplomacy, Protocol and Public Diplomacy. The topics will be presented in the form of lectures and interactive training techniques by leading Bulgarian and foreign experts and practitioners. The course will take place at the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will be conducted from Monday to Friday between 10.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m.

The requirements that the candidates must meet are:

1. Being able to attend the course non-stop between 10.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. in the period indicated;

2. Bachelor's degree;

3. A good command of English.

The fee for the course is 500 BGN which can be paid by bank transfer or directly at the pay-desk in the Institute. At the end of the course the participants will be presented with a Certificate. Candidates willing to apply should send their Letter of application to the Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, enclosing their CV (Europass format), as well as copies of any relevant diplomas or certificates. The deadline for applying is 15 March 2013. Applications should be sent to: director.bdi@mfa.bg.

For any additional information regarding the course, please contact Tsvetomira Dimitrova, e-mail: Cvetomira.DIMITROVA@mfa.bg, tel. +3592 948 27 22, or Aleksander Dzhurdzhin, e-mail: alex1_dj@yahoo.com, tel. +3592 807 64 44.

11.03.2013

The Diplomatic Institute visits the University of Veliko Turnovo

Today representatives of the Diplomatic Institute visited "St. Cyril and St. Methodius" University of Veliko Turnovo where they met with students of Political Sciences, International Relations, History, Public Relations, etc. The visit was realized within the Open Doors Programme of the Institute the main purpose of which is to involve Bulgarian students in the world of diplomacy and foreign affairs and to develop cooperation with the academic community. During the meeting Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of DI, presented its history, functions, activities and partnerships emphasizing on its role for enhancing the diplomatic profession. In the follow-up discussion the opportunities for participation in the internship programme of DI and for career development within MFA were discussed, as well as various aspects of the diplomatic profession - its essentials, application and the necessary qualifications of a successful present-day diplomat. Ms Lila Georgieva, a representative of the Consular Relations Directorate at MFA who was invited to the event by DI, introduced the students to the core of the consular activities and answered their questions giving practical advice. At the end of the visit the Diplomatic Institute provided to the library of the University of Veliko Turnovo a collection of all its recently published editions. The visit is part of a series of meetings with students from Bulgarian universities and youth associations which the Diplomatic Institute will organize in 2013, on the occasion of its Tenth Anniversary and the European Year of Citizens.

12.03.2013

National Essay Contest in French: Bulgaria and OIF - 20 years later. The Result" ("Bulgarie et OIF - 20 ans apres. Quel bilan?")

The Diplomatic Institute, jointly with The International Francophone Organization (OIF) and The Ministry of Education, Youth and Science, announces the third National Essay Contest in French. Bulgarian students and junior officials at the state administration are eligible to participate in the competition. The winner will visit the central office of OIF in Paris. Five of the best essays will be published on the web site of the Diplomatic Institute and their authors will be awarded with certificates for excellent performance. In addition, they will be granted the opportunity to participate in the jury which will evaluate the essays written by school students in the essay contest to be organized later this year on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Republic of Bulgaria's full membership in the Francophone community. The essays should be sent, no later than 28 April 2013, to: Sofia 1040, 2, Alfred Nobel str. or by e-mail: bdi@mfa.bg and should not exceed 3 standard pages. The participants must indicate their address, telephone number, university or workplace. The final results will be announced on 8 May 2013 and will be published at www.bdi.mfa.government.bg.

09.03.2013

Visit of the Director of Diplomatic Academy Clingendael"

Mr. Ron Ton, Director of the Diplomatic Academy Clingedael" visited the Diplomatic Institute between 5 and 9 March 2013. His visit took place within the Memorandum for Cooperation between the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael" and the Diplomatic Institute. During his visit Mr. Ton conducted a two-day training seminar for mid-career diplomats on Skills for conducting international negotiations". The seminar was focused on a series of simulation games related to multilateral and bilateral negotiations. Within his visit, Mr. Ron Ton met with Mr. Hristo Polendakov, Director of Human Resources Directorate of MFA, as well as with the executive body of the Diplomatic Institute. They discussed innovative practices in diplomatic training and qualification, as well as future opportunities for cooperation.

06.03.2013

Qualification seminar in negotiation skills

A two-day Negotiation Skills seminar for MFA mid-career diplomats began today at the Diplomatic Institute. The seminar is organized with the assistance of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael. The training includes a series of simulation games with a practical scope within the context of the European Union and the United Nations, as well as lectures given by Mr. Ron Ton, Director of Clingendael Academy. At the opening ceremony Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute emphasized on Mr. Ron Ton's contribution to the development of the Institute in the past ten years since its commencement and also to the training of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Service in the last two decades. H.E. Mr. Karel Van Kesteren, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands, was present at the opening ceremony as well.

05.03.2013

Meeting with H.E. Mr. Jaime Barberis, Ambassador of the Rebublic of Ecuador

A meeting between Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute and H.E. Mr. Jaime Barberis, Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Republic of Ecuador in Hungary, accredited for Bulgaria and Mr. Zahari Kushev, Honor consul of the Republic of Ecuador in Bulgaria took place today at the Diplomatic Institute. During the meeting the participants shared their experience in the field of diplomatic training in both countries and discussed opportunities for cooperation in the field of publishing.

04.03.2013

Meeting with Ambassador of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

A meeting between Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute and H.E. Mrs. Pamela Dean, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka for Poland, Romania and Bulgaria and Mr. Borislav Sarandev, honor consul of Sri Lanka in Bulgaria took place today at the Diplomatic Institute. The participants in the meeting discussed the signing of a Memorandum for Cooperation between DI and the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute (BIDTI) of Sri Lanka and a forthcoming public lecture by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, which will be delivered during his visit to Bulgaria in April this year.

04.03.2013

Celebration of 3 March, the National holiday of Bulgaria, at the library of the Diplomatic Institute

On 4 March, on the occasion of the National holiday of the Republic of Bulgaria, a public discussion was organized at the library of the Diplomatic Institute where precious and rare books from the library fund were presented. This was the first of a series of events within the initiative Presentation of Books from the DI Library. Among the presented books were Anton Strashimirov's "The Dictator" (1933), presented by Philip Nikolov, former intern of DI; "Organic Statute of Eastern Rumelia" (1879), presented by Yavor Ivanov, a junior expert at DI; and Iurii Venelin's "Critical Studies of the Bulgarian people" (1849), presented by Svetlozar Kovachev, who is state expert at DI and is in charge of the library archive. The books will also be presented in the newly created section "Library/Collections" on the Institute's webpage and Facebook page. Peyo Kolev, creator of the popular website Lost Bulgaria, diplomats of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, historians and students were among the special guests.

Throughout the period 4- 8 March the DI library will be hosting an exhibition of archive books.

04.03.2013

Ninth Consular Diplomacy Course

On 4 March the Diplomatic Institute inaugurated its ninth Consular Diplomacy Course organized in cooperation with the Consular Relations Directorate of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The participants are government officials who work in the area of Bulgarian consular affairs in foreign countries. The course was officially opened by Ms Tania Mihailova, Director of DI, Ms Milena Ivanova, Director of Consular Relations Directorate and Mr Hristo Polendakov, Director of Human Resources Directorate. In their five weeks of training the participants will be familiarized with the main international and national documents and will be able to deepen their knowledge and understanding of basic consular issues. The lectures will be led by experts from the Consular Relations Directorate of MFA, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad, and other state departments. This training is mandatory for all consular employees before departure for their mandate abroad.

01.03.2013

Meeting of the National Advisory Board of the Diplomatic Institute

A meeting of the National Advisory Board of the Diplomatic Institute took place on 1 March. Six out of the seven board-members were present: Ambassador Ivan Stanchov, chairman; Ambassador Zdravko Popov, Phd; Mr. Hristo Polendakov, Director of Human Resources Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Prof. Dinko Dinkov, Phd, UNWE; Assoc. Prof. Anna Krasteva, Phd, NBU and Mrs. Antoaneta Primatarova, Centre for Liberal Strategies. The agenda included a presentation of the 2012 annual report of the Diplomatic Institute, a discussion on the activities planned for the tenth anniversary of the Institute throughout 2013, the future development of Diplomacy Journal and others. Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic institute, chaired the meeting in which Bilyana Decheva, Adelina Tomova and Zdravka Gaydarova, heads of the DI departments, also took part.

28.02.2013

Agreement between the Diplomatic Institute and Sofia University on the first edition of a joint European Integration Master Programme

A meeting between Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute and Prof. Ivan Ilchev, Phd, Rector of Sofia University, took place on 28 February where a cooperation agreement between the two institutions was signed. The purpose of the agreement is the organization and conduct of a collaborative training within the first academic year of the joint European Integration Master Programme. The programme will be taught at the European Studies Department at the Faculty of Philosophy of Sofia University and will start in the winter semester of 2013. The Diplomatic Institute will take part by suggesting tailored and practical university courses and by organizing practical and interactive trainings. Mrs. Bilyana Decheva, Head of Training Programmes and Projects Department of the Diplomatic Institute, Prof. Dimitar Denkov, Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy of Sofia University and Assoc. Prof. Rumyana Kolarova, lecturer at the Political Science Department of Sofia University also took part in the meeting. Among the discussed topics were the long-term projects between the two institutions regarding the preparation of government officials for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2018, as well as other future cooperation initiatives.

26.02.2013

Interns' Presentation at the Diplomatic Institute

Today the interns of the Diplomatic Institute - students in International Relations, Public Administration, Library Studies and Bibliography and Press Communications at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", the Technical University and the State University of Library Studies and Information Technologies, gave presentations on different topics from their respective fields of interest in front of the Institute's team. The topics presented were: "Youth in Action and Global Education", "Personal Motivation in the State Administration" and "The Multimedia Library Gustave Eiffel". Each presentation was followed by a discussion in which the interns and the audience had the opportunity to discuss issues related to the presented topics, express their views and share their opinions. This initiative, as part of a broader set of activities within the internship programme, aimed at developing the interns' presentational skills and analytical and interactive approach when working on projects, as well as their creativity and critical thinking.

18.02.2013

Training Course for representatives of the Ministry of Interior in foreign countries

Between 11 and 15 February 2013, the Diplomatic Institute organized a training course for representatives of the Ministry of Interior in foreign countries. During the one-week course the participants were introduced to the main international and national documents - bilateral treaties and conventions for diplomatic and consular relations, the Schengen regulations, as well as the visa policy and practice of the Republic of Bulgaria, the problems of Bulgarian citizens in foreign countries, etc. The lectures in the course were presented by officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice and other institutions.

15.02.2013

Viennese Ball 2013

On 9 February 2013, Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan was home to the 13th traditional charity Viennese Ball which was organized under the patronage of H.E. Mr. Gerhard Reiweger, Ambassador of Austria in Bulgaria and Ms Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of Sofia. The event was attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps, the business community and culture. A special guest was Mr. Ernst Woller, Chairman of the Committee on Culture at the Municipal Council of Vienna. This year the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute was once again invited to the ball by the Embassy of Austria. It was represented by Ms Biliana Decheva, Head of Training Programs and Projects Department, Ms Zdravka Gaydarova, Head of Financial and Administrative Department and other officials of the Institute.

12-13.02.2013

Visit of European Commission Representative

Between 12 and 13 February Mr. Viktor Bozhkov, Head of the Budget, Internal Control and Operational Audit Department of the Directorate-General for Enlargement of the European Commission, visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in his capacity of participant in the 13th edition of the European Diplomatic Programme entitled "The EU and Its Strategic Partnerships". The visit was hosted by the Diplomatic Institute. The programme is an initiative of the European External Action Service and targets young diplomats and officials at the ministries of foreign affairs of the EU member states and EU institutions. During his visit Mr. Bozhkov had a meeting with representatives of the Political Affairs Directorate-General, the Policies and Institutions of the EU Directorate, as well as with colleagues who presented the relations with Russia, India, China, Latin America and the United States. Mr. Bozhkov also initiated meetings with representatives of the European Countries Directorate in order to discuss the situation in South-East Europe. After the working meetings, Mr. Bozhkov met with Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, and Mrs. Bilyana Decheva, Head of Training Programmes and Projects Department, with whom he discussed future initiatives in the field of training programmes, publishing and exchange of information.

13.02.2013

First Intensive Course on Diplomacy

In the period 1 April - 26 April 2013 the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute will organize its first Intensive Course on Diplomacy which will introduce the participants to the main topics in the field of International Relations and Diplomacy. The course will be open to officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the state administration, as well as other participants who are interested in the sphere of diplomacy. Part of the topics covered by the course will be related to: The Legal Framework of International Relations, Multilateral Diplomacy and Human Rights, The European Union, Bilateral Diplomacy, Consular Diplomacy, Protocol and Public Diplomacy. The topics will be presented in the form of lectures and interactive training techniques by leading Bulgarian and foreign experts and practitioners. The course will take place at the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will be conducted from Monday to Friday between 10.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m.

The requirements that the candidates must meet are:

1. Being able to attend the course non-stop between 10.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. in the period indicated;

2. Bachelor's degree;

3. A good command of English.

The fee for the course is 500 BGN which can be paid by bank transfer or directly at the pay-desk in the Institute. At the end of the course the participants will be presented with a Certificate. Candidates willing to apply should send their Letter of application to the Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, enclosing their CV (Europass format), as well as copies of any relevant diplomas or certificates. The deadline for applying is 15 March 2013. Applications should be sent to: director.bdi@mfa.bg.

For any additional information regarding the course, please contact Tsvetomira Dimitrova, e-mail: Cvetomira.DIMITROVA@mfa.bg, tel. +3592 948 27 22, or Aleksander Dzhurdzhin, e-mail: alex1_dj@yahoo.com, tel. +3592 807 64 44.

01.02.2013

8th edition of Diplomacy Journal

The 8th edition of Diplomacy Journal has been released. The bilingual journal (in English and Bulgarian), which the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute started publishing in 2008, presents different viewpoints of Bulgarian and foreign diplomats, intellectuals and young experts and aims at maintaining a solid analytical capacity in the field of foreign relations and diplomacy. This edition includes an interview with Catherine Lalumiere, President of the Maison de lEurope in Paris, as well as publications on current topics: The EU and its Neighbours: a Second Chance to Marry Democratisation and Stability, When the Crisis Constitutes a Threat to the EU Foreign Policy, The Cyprus Presidency and How Should We Expect Europe to Emerge from It, What It Will Take to Secure Afghanistan, Diplomatic Relations between Bulgaria and Montenegro, On the Deepening of Vietnams Foreign Relations, Changes in the European Union (public lecture), Alan Turing and Diplomacy in the Digital Era, International Cyber-security: Priority Problems. The edition also contains two policy papers from the Eleventh Basic Diplomacy Course for probation-attaches organized by BDI Bulgarias Major Priorities in the Negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework in the 2014 - 2020 Period" and NATOs Operations: Lessons from Afghanistan and Lybia", as well as a publication presenting the First International Seminar on Energy Diplomacy organized by BDI.

Diplomacy Journal is available at the Library of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, as well as on its webpage.

29.01.2013

Interns presentation at the Diplomatic Institute

Today the interns at the Diplomatic Institute students in European studies, Law, International relations and International economic relations at Sofia University and the University of National and World Economy gave presentations on topical issues in spheres that interest them in front of the Institutes team. The topics presented were: The economic miracle of East Asian countries", Pro and Cons regarding Turkeys accession to EU", and Ways of integrating non-formal practices in the European educational system". Each presentation was followed by a discussion where the interns and the audience exchanged questions, discussed different views and shared opinion. This initiative, as part of a broader set of activities within the internship programme, aimed at developing the interns presentational skills and analytical and interactive approach when working on projects.

23.01.2013

Representatives of Kosovo pay a visit to the Diplomatic Institute

Today five representatives of the administration of the Assembly of Kosovo visited the Diplomatic Institute. Among them were Mr Shaban Selimi, Director of International Relations and Protocol Directorate and Mr Sherif Konjufca, Director of Media and Communication Directorate, as well as officials engaged in the bilateral relations and consular affairs. They talked about different aspects of their work and were introduced to the Institute's activities.

11.01.2013

Completion of the project Building capacity for the future conducting student internship in state administration"

A final conference on the project Building capacity for the future conducting student internship in state administration", implemented within the operational programme Administrative Capacity, was held today at Sredetz" Hall of Sheraton Hotel in Sofia. Aside from its regular year-round internship programme, the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute took part in the project by training one intern throughout November 2012. At the conference the Institute was represented by the project coordinator Silvana Tzokova, junior expert at Public Affairs and Cooperation Department. Activities regarding the preparation, carrying out and finalizing of the project, as well as its results were discussed. In addition, the newly developed Student Internship in State Administration Portal was presented. At the end of the conference the administrations and universities that participated in the project were awarded with certificates.

08.01.2013

Meeting between Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute and H.E. Mr. Bunyan Saptomo, Indonesian Ambassador in Bulgaria

A meeting between Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute and H.E. Mr. Bunyan Saptomo, Ambassador of Republic of Indonesia in Bulgaria took place today at the Diplomatic Institute. During the meeting new initiatives for cooperation between the Institute and the Training Centre to the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs were discussed, within the larger context of the Cooperation Memorandum between the two institutions.

13.12.2012

Briefing by the Bulgarian Youth Delegates who took part in the 67th Session of UN General Assembly

On December 13 a briefing was given by the Bulgarian youth delegates who participated in the 67th Session of UN General Assembly in New York in the period 8-22 October 2012. The briefing was organized with the support of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute and was attended by representatives of the Institute, experts from MFAs UN and Development Cooperation Directorate and Human Rights Directorate, as well as young people interested in the topic. The opening speech was given by Ambassador Valeri Yotov, UN and Development Cooperation Director, who welcomed the young people and summarized the UN meeting on climate change held in Doha, Qatar a few days before that. Then, the floor was given to Ms Gergana Tomova and Mr Asen Dimitrov, youth delegates representing Bulgaria in New York. They talked about their stay, the initiatives they had taken part in, and the main topics they had discussed, including youth unemployment and encouraging entrepreneurship among young people. Ms Iliana Lazarova and Ms Boryana Zareva who will be delegates in February 2013 also took part in the event, as well as Ms Boryana Atanasova, the first youth delegate to represent the UN Association in Bulgaria in 2007. At the end of the meeting Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Institute, expressed her gratitude to the young people for their enthusiasm and initiative and reassured of the Institutes readiness to continue even more actively its cooperation with the Bulgarian Youth Delegates in the future.

10.12.2012

Public lecture of H.E. Ms Guru Katharina Vikor, Ambassador of Kingdom of Norway in Bulgaria

On 10 December 2012 in Oslo, the European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. To mark the occasion, the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute organized a public lecture of H.E. Ms Guru Katharina Vikor, Ambassador of Kingdom of Norway in Bulgaria, entitled Norway inside or outside the EU". Within her first public appearance as a Norwegian ambassador to Bulgaria, Ms Vikor presented a historic retrospection of the EU-Norwegian relations, pointed out some of the reasons why Norway has rejected joining the Union and talked about the current relations between Bulgaria and Norway and their joint projects. The lecture was followed by a discussion regarding the historical connection of the Kingdom of Norway and the Nobel prizes, the advantages and disadvantages for Norway of not being a EU member, the role of referendums as a form of direct democracy, etc. The event was attended by representatives of the Diplomatic corps in Bulgaria, MFA experts, NGO representatives, as well as journalists and university students.

H.E. Ms Guru Katharina Vikor holds a Master Degree in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico University. She has studied anthropology, political sciences and sociology in Oslo University. Ambassador Vicor has a rich experience from several important positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kingdom of Norway including Vice-Consul at Norwegian Consulate General in Houston, Texas (1981 1984), First Secretary at the Norwegian Embassy in Washington D.C. (1984 1987), Consul General in Miami, Florida (1999 2003), Ambassador to Slovenia (2008 2011). From 2003 to 2008 she served as an Ambassador for Womens Rights and Gender Equality.

07.12.2012

Memorandum for Cooperation between the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute and the Hungarian Institute of International Relations

Today the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute hosted a meeting between Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Institute and Mr Botond Zakoni, Director of the Hungarian Institute of International Relations. The Hungarian Ambassador H.E. Mr Andras Klein and Ms Adelina Tomova, Head of Public Affairs and Cooperation Department of BDI also participated in the event. In the course of the meeting the possibilities for future cooperation were discussed and valuable practical experience was shared. In the end, Ms Mihaylova and Mr Zakoni signed a Memorandum for Cooperation between the two institutions, including clauses for exchange of publications and foreign policy research, diplomatic training, exchange of lecturers and experts regarding conferences and discussions, etc.

06.12.2012

Public lecture of Mr Aleksandar Andrija Pejovic, European integration Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro and Chief Negotiator in the negotiations for EU accession of Montenegro

Political consultations between Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov and Mr Aleksandar Andrija Pejovic, Secretary of State on European Integration and Chief negotiator in the negotiations for accession of Montenegro to the EU were held today in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute Ms Tanya Mihaylova also participated in the meeting. Within his visit Mr Pejovic gave a public lecture on the topic Montenegro - the start of the negotiations journey" organized by the Institute. Mr Pejovic introduced the audience to the mechanisms used by Montenegro on its way towards EU accession. He also spoke about the capacity that his country has and the challenges it faces. A special emphasis was placed on the support that Bulgaria provides to Montenegro in the sphere of European and Euro-Atlantic integration and in particular, on the Institutes contribution to building and developing the administrative capacity of Montenegro. The lecture was followed by a discussion regarding the public opinion on the European and Euro-Atlantic prospects of Montenegro, the consequences of a future NATO membership, the major difficulties in meeting the requirements for EU accession, the regional cooperation between Montenegro and the EU member states, etc. The lecture was attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps in Bulgaria, MFA experts, NGO representatives, journalists and university students were present at the lecture.

Ambassador Aleksandar Andrija Pejovic completed master studies in the area of international relations European and South East European Studies in the Faculty of State Administration and Political Sciences, National University of Greece, Athens. Ambassador Pejovic is the State Secretary for European Integration at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, Chief Negotiator for Negotiations on Accession of Montenegro to the European Union (since December 2011), as well as the National Coordinator of Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance. Since March 2010 he has been Ambassador - Head of the Mission of Montenegro to the EU and since October 2011, the permanent representative Ambassador of Montenegro to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in Hague. Prior to his appointment as the Ambassador to the EU, he was Director of the Directorate for European Union in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro for three years. He was a member of various Government working bodies in the process of European integration, and coordinated preparation of answers to the EC Questionnaire - Political Criteria and Chapter 31 Foreign, Security and Defence Policy. He has been working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2000. He performed duties in several departments within the Ministry multilateral affairs (UN and regional cooperation), bilateral affairs (neighbouring countries and Western Europe) and the EU.

05.12.2012

Work visit of British experts on diplomatic training

Dr. John Hemery, Chairman of the Center for Political and Diplomatic Studies in Westminster and H.E. Mr Jeremy Hill, the British Ambassador in Bulgaria (2004 2007) and Associated Director of the Centre had a visit in Sofia on 5 December 2012 organized by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute. The aim of the visit was to have preliminary discussions with diplomats at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Institute and to share some good practices regarding the preparation of Bulgaria for the joint presidency with the UK and Estonia in 2018. Dr. Hemery and Ambassador Hill talked with Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of BDI, Mr Ivan Stanchioff, Chairman of the Institutes Consultative Board, Mr Zdravko Popov, member of the Board, as well as with the BDI team. Future joint initiatives and trainings related to the preparation of Bulgarian diplomats and other public officials for the presidency in 2018 were discussed. The two guests had a meeting at MFA with Ms Ulyana Bogdanska, Political Issues General Director and Mr Rusi Ivanov, European Issues General Director.

03.12.2012

The Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute participated in the 10th Euro-Chinese Forum in Bologna, Italy

On 28 and 29 November 2012 Bologna, Italy was home to the Tenth Euro-Chinese Forum in which the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute has participated ever since 2006. Patronized by Italys President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime Minister Mario Monty, this years forum on The Chinese Renaissance: challenges and possibilities for the globalized world" attracted more than 100 participants from six countries China, Italy, France, Spain, Bulgaria and Finland. The event was traditionally organized by the Chinese-European Business University Shanghai (CEIBS) and was officially hosted by the University of Bologna. Romano Prodi, former president of the European Commission and former Prime Minister of Italy was guest of honour and active participant in the discussions. Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute and H.E. Ambassador Zdravko Popov, member of the National Consultative Board of the Institute were the Bulgarian representatives together with Kiril Jelyazkov, CEO of SBS Ltd. A series of important topics on EU China relations were discussed during the workshops. Emphasis was placed on peace and security in 21st century; the relations with USA and Afric; the economy and the financial crisis, in particular agriculture as a focal point of Euro-Chinese cooperation; the role of culture, education and the media.

03.12.2012

Training programme for young diplomats from the member-states of the Organization for Black Sea Economic Cooperation in Ankara, Turkey

A training programme for young diplomats from the member-states of the Organization for Black Sea Economic Cooperation was held in Ankara, Turkey between 25 November and 1 December 2012. Georgi Petrov, junior expert at the Public Affairs and Cooperation Department, participated in the event on behalf of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute. The event was organized by the Diplomatic Academy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey. The programme included a series of lectures and discussions with Turkish politicians, diplomats and experts on topics related to the economic cooperation in the Black sea region. Visits were also paid to Turkish government and non-government organizations supporting the regional cooperation.

30.11.2012 01.12.2012

Seminar on the application of the Council of Europes Framework Convention for Protection of National Minorities

A seminar on the application of the Council of Europes Framework Convention for Protection of National Minorities took place between 30 November and 1 December 2012 in Bankya. The event was jointly organized by the National Council for Ethnic Cooperation secretariat, the Human Rights Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute. The seminar included lectures of human rights experts and lawyers regarding the challenges of the Framework Convention application.

19.11.2012

Second Economic Diplomacy Course

On 19 November 2012 Mrs Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute (BDI), opened the second Economic Diplomacy Course which will be attended by 45 participants, including representatives of the public administration, experts from non-governmental organisations, the private sector, academia, etc. By providing this training the BDI aims to bring together the efforts of representatives of various departments in order to help better coordinate and synchronise the execution of Bulgarias foreign policy and its foreign economic priorities. The participants will be given an insight into current economic and financial issues. Among the highlights of the seminar will be the presentation of the economic sector in the Bulgarian, international, and political context; the prospects for the Bulgarian and world economy amid the global economic crisis; and the impact of the crisis on the private sector. There will be lectures from recognised Bulgarian experts and analysts, as well as representatives from the World Bank and the embassies of the Netherlands, France and India. The seminar will take place at the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will continue until 28 November 2012.

16.11.2012

The seminar on Development Cooperation has concluded

On 16 November 2012 the first of a series of seminars on Development Cooperation concluded successfully. It was organised by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute together with the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael. The seminar was led by Prof. Paul Hoebink who is among the leading specialists in the Netherlands in the field. The training was attended by representatives of the interdepartmental working group on Development Cooperation as well as representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The purpose of the seminar was to build upon the capacity of the Bulgarian government administration in this area. Ms Biliana Decheva, Head of the Training Programmes and Projects Department of the Institute, and Prof. Paul Hoebink awarded the participants with certificates for successfully completing the seminar.

15.11.2012

Presentation of the book Aspects of Security

On 15 November 2012 at the King Halls of the Defence Academy "G. S. Rakovski" the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute (BDI) presented the book Aspects of Security, which was published by the Institute in October 2012. The book was presented by the Director of BDI Ms Tanya Mihaylova and the Head of the Military Academy Commodore Dimitar Angelov. Both of them expressed their satisfaction from the cooperation of the two institutions on the organisation of the yearly Defence Diplomacy Course, as well as on the cooperation in making the Aspects of security book. The book itself consists of a series of different publications that have been written by diplomats, lecturers, and researchers from the Military Academy, experts from the Ministry of Defence, representatives from the academia, and the non-governmental sector. Prof. Nikolay Slatinski, a leading expert in the field of security who has also given lectures at the Military Academy and the Diplomatic Institute congratulated the Institute for publishing the book and its scientific contribution to the field. Ms Mihaylova and Commodore Angelov expressed their willingness and aspiration to create a practice of publishing research results and papers in the field of security in the years to follow. Copies of the book were provided to all guests at the event.

15.11.2012

The essay contest on French as a working language in EU: advantages and disadvantages has concluded

Today at the library of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute (BDI) Ms Biliana Decheva, Head of Training Programmes and Projects Department, and Ms Adelina Tomova, Head of Public Affairs and Cooperation Department awarded the winners in this years French essay contest with certificates for their excellent texts. The topic of the essay was French as a working language in EU: advantages and disadvantages. The annual contest is part of the joint project of the Institute and the International Organisation of the Francophonie (IOF).

Parallel to that the author, whose text was ranked first - Mr Momchil Milanov, is on a visit to Paris where he will meet IOF officials and where he will learn more about the policies of the institution.

After the awarding ceremony the essay laureates were given a tour around the buildings of the Institute and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They were also let know on the possibilities to applying to the BDI internship programme, which is part of the Institutes successful policy as a way of integrating young people to the Bulgarian diplomatic service.

14.11.2012

Development Cooperation Seminar

On 14 November 2012 the director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute M. Tanya Mihaylova opened a three-day seminar on Development Cooperation organised together with the Dutch Institute of International Relations Clingendael. The training is part of a three-year cooperation project between the two institutes and it is financed by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The seminar will be lead by Prof Dr Paul Hoebink, one of the leading specialists in the field in the Netherlands. In 2000 he was named the most influential researcher in Development Cooperation in his home country and he has conducted similar seminars in Bulgaria in 2007. In her speech to the participants, Ms. Mihaylova specified that the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute has had a lasting interest in Development Cooperation and in providing help to increase the capacity of the Bulgarian government administration in this area, a interest that has been pursued since the negotiation period for the accession of Bulgaria to the European Union (EU). It is the Institutes belief that today, five years after Bulgarias admission to the EU, it is necessary to conduct a systematic, coordinated, and sound policy of a donor state. This is the main purpose of the seminar which has gathered representatives from all ministries of the joint working committee on Development Cooperation.

The importance of coordination in this type of policy was also emphasised by the Dutch Ambassador in Bulgaria, H.E. Mr Karel van Kesteren, who himself is an experienced diplomat, having been sent on numerous postings in recipient countries, and being an author of books and research papers on development cooperation. As a diplomat he commented on the significance of this issue as a means to conduct successful foreign policy towards developing countries.

12.11.2012

Presentation of the book Rotating Presidency of the European Union at the Council of Ministers

Today, within a meeting of the Council of European Affairs, the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute presented at the Council of Ministers its newest book, Rotating Presidency of the European Union by Assoc. Prof. Ingrid Shikova. The presentation is part of the initiative for the promotion of the book among government institutions by way of meetings with the author herself. Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Institute, introduced the audience to the main idea for creating the book, namely, to focus the attention on the upcoming rotating presidency of Bulgaria in 2018, and emphasised its role for initiating a discussion on the topic. She defined the book as a manual for the public administration, which presents a view of the past and a preparation for the future", and thanked the author for placing her trust in the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute. Ms Shikova specified the main goals of the book and pointed out the advantages of the experience which we could draw from past presidencies, as well as the key role of the well-timed preparation and of the necessary consensus of its proceeding. The professor also pointed out the benefits of a presidency, among which are a better-trained administration and a better visibility to the world. She went on to emphasise the main issues and challenges for the Bulgarian presidency which, in her opinion, will be a matriculation exam for Bulgaria of a sort, as it will have been a member to the European Union for 11 full years. Sharing her view that every presidency is unique in itself, Mr Shikova concluded that it is necessary to sew our own garment for the presidency, a garment that will fit us and will please us by wearing it" and stressed on the role of training institutions such as the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute for a successful preparation. In the end of the meeting, Ms Kristina Hitrova, Director of Coordination of the European Union Affairs Department at the Council of Ministers thanked the Institute for the presentation and pointed out that it opens a field for debate and exchange of opinions which will help the evaluation of previous presidencies and the creation of a vision and strategy for a successful preparation and a successful rotating presidency of Bulgaria.

Within the meeting, the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute provided copies of the book to the administration of the Council of Ministers.

05.11.2012

Open Doors Day at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

On 4 November 2012 an Open Doors Day was organised at the Ministyr of Foreign Affairs, during which visitors had the opportunity to get an inside glance of the MFA building and to get to know how the separate departments of the institution function. The Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute also took an active part in the event by presenting on its own stand its various publishing activities, which was accompanied by a presentation, specifically prepared for the event, and by numerous handouts for the visitors highlighting the work of the Institute. The guests of the MFA had the opportunity to view some valuable volumes of the rich fund of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institutes Library.

Meanwhile, in Europe Hall, a simulation meeting of the United Nations Security Council took place on the topic of Possible solutions to the conflict in Syria, organised jointly by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, the United Nations Association, and the United Nations and Development Cooperation Department of the MFA. More than 30 young people took part in the simulation. In the course of two hours they had the opportunity to present the positions of the UN Security Council member-states, to get to know the procedures of conducting a meeting, and to produce and present an official document based on the decisions taken. Despite not reaching an unanimous agreement on the specific resolution at the end of the simulation, the participants significantly deepened their knowledge on the subject. The Minister of Foreign Affairs - Mr. Nikolay Mladenov was also present at the debate, as did many MFA experts, as well as citizens.

05.11.2012

Results from the French essay contest on French as a working language in the European Union: advantages and disadvantages

The French essay contest on French as a working language in the European Union: advantages and disadvantages, a joint initiative of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute and the International Organisation of the Francophonie, concluded today. The contest commission, presided by Ms Biliana Decheva, Head of the Training Programmes and Projects Department of the Institute, ranked the five best texts. Mr Momchil Milanov, a Law student at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski" and at the College of Europe in Bruges, won the first prize - a visit to the Head Office of the International Organisation of the Francophonie in Paris, meetings with its officials, and diplomats from the Bulgarian embassy in France.

The author of the second best text, Ms Nely Tsekova has been granted the opportunity to take part in the internship programme of the Institute. The other best ranked texts were written by Ms Diana Markova, Ms Denitsa Katelieva, and Ms Diliana Toteva, all of whom will receive diplomas for excellent performance at a ceremony at the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institutes Library on 15 November 2012 at 10:00 a.m. These five best essays will also be published on the BDI website. Students from universities all over the country - Sofia University, Universit of National and World Economy, Veliko Tarnovo University, Varna Economics University, etc., as well as junior officials in Bulgarian state administration, took part in the contest. The BDI team would like to thank all young francophones for their participation in the competition and would like to encourage them to take part in other future initiatives of the Institute.

02.11.2012

Presentation of the book The Rotating Presidency of the European Union

In October 2012 the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute published the book The Rotating Presidency of the European Union by Assoc. Prof. Ingrid Shikova that corresponded with the fifth anniversary of the full-membership of Bulgaria in the European Union. The book examines a number of issues that give a reflection of past European presidencies and provide prospects for the forthcoming presidency of Bulgaria of the EU in 2018. It also helps clarify the role and functions of the presidency and the Council after the changes made by the Lisbon Treaty in the institutional system of the EU.

The premiere of the book took place on 2 November 2012 in Plovdiv at a public discussion on Opportunities and challenges for Bulgaria in the context of the multiannual financial framework and the EU cohesion policy for the period 2014 2020, which was part of the meeting of the Council on European Affairs. The book was presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Nikolay Mladenov. He emphasised its practical importance for the preparation and the successful implementation of the presidency of Bulgaria and expressed his gratitude the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute for taking the initiative to publish it. Ms Ingrid Shikova focused on the purpose of the book and its benefits for the public administration. Representatives of the central and local governments, civil servants, experts, and media attended the event. All of them received copies of the book.

A copy of The Rotating Presidency of the European Union" by Assoc. Prof. Ingrid Shikova can also be found in the Library of the Institute. The book will also be presented and distributed in other government institutions including the National Assembly and the Council of Ministers.

31.10.2012

Expert Meeting with Mrs Nancy Bartley, visiting professor at the Journalism and Mass Communications Department at the American University in Bulgaria

Today the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute held a meeting with Mrs Nancy Bartley at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She is a visiting professor at the Journalism and Mass Communications Department at the American University in Bulgaria. The topic of the meeting, which was organised by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute in association with the Fulbright Programme in Bulgaria, was the upcoming presidential elections in the United States of America. The meeting was attended by experts from the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives from non-governmental organisations, and students. Ms Bartleys presentation was followed by a discussion with respect to the public support for American presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in every state; the importance that both candidates attach to the Eastern European region; and their policies towards the Middle East.

Nancy Bartley is a professor with the department of Journalism and Mass Communications at the American University in Bulgaria. At the same time Mrs. Bartley works as a reporter and an assistant-editor for Seattle Times. She graduated a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master of Creative Writing in the University of Washington. From 1980 to 1987 Mrs. Bartley worked in the field of journalism as a reporter and editor for Tacoma News Tribune. Meanwhile, she was nominated for Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. In 1989 Nancy Bartley began working as a lecturer at the Bellevue Community College where she organised and taught an interactive class in reporting and writing. In 2008 she was an adjunct professor of communications at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, USA. Mrs. Bartley participates actively in conferences, roundtables and presentations which are related with themes of Journalism and mass communications. She has published a great variety of books and articles. So far Mrs. Bartley has won several awards for her contribution in the field of journalism.

30.10.2012

The Ninth course in Defence Diplomacy has concluded

On 30 October 2012 the Ninth Defence Diplomacy course was concluded after all of the trainees successfully defended the political analyses that they had each written for the duration of the training. At a formal ceremony at the Library of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute Ms Biliana Decheva, Head of the Training Programmes and Projects Department, presented a certificate to all of the participants. Col Petar Mollov, Deputy-head of the G.S.Rakovsky" Military Academy was also present at the ceremony and congratulated the participants.

30.10.2012

Expert meeting with Ali Binyaz on opportunities for cooperation between Iran and the Balkans with a focus on energy economics

Today the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute hosted an expert meeting with Mr Ali Binyaz, PhD, Chairman of the Group for Energetics and International Economics Studies with the Bureau for Political and International Studies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran. The presentation, which was organised by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute was on the opportunities for cooperation between Iran and the Balkans with a focus on energetics. During the meeting Mr Binyaz examined the historical aspect of the relationship between Iran and the Balkans in terms of their geographical positions, cultural traditions, the development of civilisation and religion. He also commented upon the development of energy diplomacy in a global and regional plan and shared specific ideas on energy supply cooperation between the Balkan Peninsula states and the Persian Gulf countries. Experts from the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, government officials and academics took part in the meeting as well.

26.10.2012

UNWE students visit the Diplomatic Institute

Today students in International Relations, European Studies and Political Science at the University of National and World Economy visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event was organised by the Diplomatic Institute, in cooperation with the Student Association for International Relations Studies (SAIMO) and the association "Ego Politico", and was part of the Open Doors Programme of the Institute.

Key element of the visit was the meeting between the students and the Diplomatic Institute team held at Antarctica Hall at MFA. During the meeting the Director of the Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, introduced its history, structure and functions and Ms. Biliana Decheva, Head of Training Programmes and Projects Department, and Ms. Adelina Tomova, Head of Public Affairs and Cooperation Department, presented its activities in areas like training of Bulgarian and foreign diplomats and public officials, public lectures, conferences, national and international cooperation, publishing, etc. The options for participation in the internship programme of the Institute were also presented. In the follow-up discussion the students and the representatives of the Institute discussed topics such as Bulgaria's foreign policy priorities, the diplomatic profession - notion, practice and necessary competences, opportunities for career development within MFA, etc. After the meeting the students were given first-hand insight into the interactive approach of the Institute's training programmes by way of participating in a simulation game based on negotiations.

Within their visit the students had a tour around the MFA building and the Diplomatic Institute Library where they were presented with useful editions of the Institute.

16.10.2012

Western Balkans: Getting closer to the EU. Strengthening the capacity of the state institutions to meet the integration challenges today" Skopje, Macedonia

On October 15, in Skopje, Macedonia, was held the official opening of the second seminar of the project Western Balkans: Getting closer to the EU - Strengthening the capacity of the state institutions to meet the integration challenges today", organized by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute together with the Hanns-Seidel Foundation. The project is supported by the CEI and the Austrian Development Agency and consists of four separate training one-week seminars. They will be similar in content and expected results and will target state officials dealing with issues, related to European integration, Regional cooperation and Economic development. The training is conducted by Bulgarian experts for about 30 participants.

The seminar was opened by H.E. Mr. Zoran Petrov Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia, H.E. Mr. Ivan Petkov - Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria in the Republic of Macedonia, Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova - Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, Mr. Bogdan Mirchev - Representative of the Hanns-Seidel Foundation, Bulgaria, Mr. Savo Sibinovski - Director of the Diplomatic Academy" Directorate, MFA of the Republic of Macedonia and Mr. Jon Ivanovski - CEI National Coordinator, MFA of the Republic of Macedonia. As lecturers in the seminar participate Mr. Rumen Alexandrov Director of the EU Institutions and Policies" Directorate, MFA, Mrs. Gergana Karadjova Directorate General for Political Affairs, Mr. Kaloyan Simeonov Chief Assistant Professor on European Studies at the Sofia University, Mr. Vladimir Shopov Adjunct Professor in European Politics at New Bulgarian University and Mrs. Antoinette Primatarova from the Centre for Liberal Strategies. On the last day of the seminar, an open discussion will be held on the topic Republic of Macedonia on the Road to EU", moderated by Mr. Vladimir Shopov, Ms. Ralitsa Yotova EU Institutions and Policies" Directorate, MFA, Republic of Bulgaria and Ms. Beti Yacheva Head of Sector, MFA, Republic of Macedonia. The event will end with a closing ceremony, on which H.E. Mr. Ivan Petkov will award certificates to the participants.

The main result of the project will be the formation of a trained-up team, familiarized not only with the challenges and impediments on their way to EU accession, but also with the methods and techniques, used by Bulgaria in overcoming them. Apart from Macedonia, in May 2012 this seminar was held in Montenegro and by the end of 2013 will also be conducted in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

16.10.2012

Participation in the 14th Joint Seminar on European Integration Processes in Dubrovnik, Croatia

From 8 till 12 October Dubrovnik was home to the 14th Joint Seminar on European Integration Processes, organized by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia, in cooperation with the Hanns Seidel Foundation (Germany) and the Centre for Advanced Academic Studies of the University of Zagreb. The Diplomatic Institute was represented by Ms. Silvana Tsokova, junior expert in the Public Affairs and Cooperation Department.

The main goal of the seminar was to provide additional insights into European Union enlargement and the integration processes by way of direct and interactive exchange of knowledge and experience among the participants young diplomats from Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe. The programme included lectures by experts from Germany, Austria and Croatia, discussions and workshops presenting topics such as the accession of new member states from the Western Balkans and its impacts on the region and EU, the economic and political crisis within EU causes, new challenges and approaches, the role of public diplomacy, diplomatic training, etc. The seminar ended with a ceremony on certificate awarding of the participants.

02.10.2012

Academic Scholarships for Germany

St. Cyril and St. Methodius International Foundation offers scholarship programmes in cooperation with its partners:

The Rochus and Beatrice Mummert Foundation sponsors High Potentials from Central and South Europe in the fields of economics, business administration, engineering, natural sciences or tourism management. The Program includes a scholarship for 2,5 years for a Master degree at the University of Cologne, the German Sport University Cologne or at the RWTH Aachen. The foundation provides skill seminars, internship in a German company, educational journeys to Berlin and Brussels, factory visits, cultural events, personal guidance through a mentor, etc.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) provides scholarships in Germany for international students for a range of postgraduate courses at German Universities which aim at providing academically educated young professionals from developing countries with further specialized studies.

Further information regarding the financial funds, application documents and criteria and the annual application period is available on the following websites: www.cmfnd.org, www.mummertstiftung.de and www.daad.de

17.09.2012

First International Energy Seminar

The First International Energy Diplomacy Seminar, organized by the Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, was held in the period September 17-21, 2012, targeting Bulgarian state administration representatives, diplomats and state officials from Southeastern Europe, the Black Sea region and the European Union. The seminar continued for one week with a focus on the different approaches to the specific field of energy diplomacy in those regions: the pursuit of common energy policy, the ascent of low carbon diplomacy, main developments in the energy markets, climate change as a foreign policy issue, and many others.

The seminar was opened by Mrs. Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, and Mr. Slavtcho Neykov, Director of the Energy Community Secretariat. As lecturers in the seminar were invited leading and internationally known experts in the field of energy diplomacy: Mr. Julian Popov Adviser of the European Climate Foundation, Ms. Lucia van Geuns and Mr. Jacques de Jong from the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael, Mr. Ruslan Stefanov Head of the Economic Program at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, Ms. Catherine Barber Charge daffaires a.i. at the British Embassy in Sofia, Mr. Thomas Pfanne Head of the Economic Issues at the German Embassy in Sofia, etc.

The seminar is expected to contribute to building and strengthening the energy relations between the different countries, providing a platform for open dialogue between the participants. Along with the Bulgarian state administration officials, representatives of Azerbaijan, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Hungary and Montenegro are participating in the seminar as well. Each one of them had the opportunity to express his opinion and national position on the topics discussed in the programme. The event ended with a closing ceremony with awarding of certificates to the participants.

Partners of the Diplomatic Institute in this project are the European Energy Community Vienna, the Netherlands Institute for International Relations Clingendael, the representation of Hanns-Seidel Foundation in Bulgaria, the Energy Management Institute and the Francophone International Organisation.

11.09.2012

Appointment of a new Director of the EU Institute for Security Studies

A meeting of the Board of the EU Institute for Security Studies (ISS) was held on 10 September 2012 in Brussels at the European External Action Service. The purpose of the event was the election of a new Director of ISS for the next 5-year term. Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute took part in the proceedings, as the official Bulgarian board representative in the ISS. Among the three nominated candidates were representatives from Germany, Sweden and Italy. Dr Antonio Missiroli, Policy Adviser in the European Commission, was appointed as the new Director. He was supported by Ms Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission.

03.09.2012

Participation in the Fifth Regional Euro-Atlantic Camp in Mojkovac, the Republic of Montenegro

The Fifth Regional Euro-Atlantic Camp took place from 28 August to 3 September in Mojkovac, the Republic of Montenegro. Mr Georgi Petrov and Mr Yavor Ivanov, Junior Experts in the Public Affairs and Cooperation Department of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute, took part in the event. The camp was organized by Alpha Center" (Niksic), in cooperation with NATO, the government of Montenegro, the embassies of Norway and Slovenia, etc. The participants were members of different governmental and non-governmental organizations, students and university lecturers from 20 countries in the region of the Balkans, Southeastern and Central Europe. Many public lectures and discussions with native and foreign politicians, diplomats and experts were held within the program. The main topics were the Euro-Atlantic integration and NATOs role as a whole. Mr Petrov made a presentation on Bulgarias experience on the road to Euro-Atlantic integration and the advantages of Bulgarias membership in NATO.

03.09.2012

Memorandum of Cooperation between the Diplomatic Institute and the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam

A meeting between H.E Mr Nguy?n Thi?n Nhan, Deputy Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria Mr Nickolay Mladenov, was held today at the MFA within the official visit of the Vietnamese delegation to Bulgaria. Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute (BDI), also took part in the meeting. After the discussions, a Memorandum of Cooperation between the BDI, represented by Ms Tanya Mihaylova and the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV) respectively represented by the Director, Mr Dang Dinh Quy was signed. This took place in the presence of Minister Mladenov and H.E. Mr Nguy?n Thi?n Nhan. The Memorandum includes cooperation clauses about the training of diplomatic staff.

During the subsequent meeting between the two directors the possibilities of exchange of lecturers and students for the specialized training courses, as well as the conduction of joint public events (conferences, round tables, expert meetings and other) were discussed.

30.07.2012

Delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka visits the Diplomatic Institute

Today the Diplomatic Institute hosted a meeting between Mrs Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Institute, Mrs Kshenuka Dhireni Senewiratne, Additional Secretary, Political Affairs West, UN & Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs of Sri Lanka and H.E.Mrs Pamela J. Dean, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Poland, Bulgaria and Romania. The talks sought to facilitate the possibilities of cooperation between the Institute and the Sri Lanka Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies as well as with The Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute (BIDIT). Mrs Adelina Tomova, head of the Public Affairs and Cooperation Department, Mrs Teodora Baeva-Muravska, associate at the Public Affairs and Cooperation Department and Mrs Dayani Mendis, director of European Political Issues Department also attended the meeting. The Diplomatic Institute proposed specific projects for collaboration in the field of public activities. The two sides also discussed drawing up a Cooperation Memorandum.

19.07.2012

Interns' presentation at the Diplomatic Institute

Today the interns at the Diplomatic Institute who are students of Bulgarian and Western European universities presented to the DI personnel their universities and degree programmes: International Relations, History and Politics, International Communication Management, and Past and Present of Southeast Europe at the University of Aberdeen, Birmingham, Edinburgh, the Hague and Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski. The presentations introduced the history of the universities, conditions for education, modules studied, methodology, career prospects, etc. and were accompanied by visual aids. They were followed by a quiz initiated by the interns that further broadened the audiences knowledge. The presentations ended with a discussion where interns and DI staff shared personal experience and drew a comparison between various educational systems in Europe. The initiative was part of a broader set of activities within the internship programme and aimed at developing the interns presentational skills and analytical and interactive approach when working on a project.

11.07.2012

Interns debate at the Diplomatic Institute

Today, at the Diplomatic Institute, a debate was held on Should the European Union have its own defense policy?" Interns studying at leading Bulgarian and foreign universities Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski" and the universities of Edinburgh, Birmingham, Aberdeen and the Hague, took part in the debate. It was moderated by Kamen Lozev, PhD, an associate to the Institute. The two debating teams presented their pros" and cons" based on practices in the past, current trends and future perspectives. An open discussion followed where the staff of the Diplomatic Institute joined the debate with questions and comments. This initiative aims to help the interns to put into practice their theoretical knowledge and to acquire practical skills in a real working environment.

12.07.2012

Signing of a contract of cooperation between the Diplomatic Institute and the National Cultural Institute (NCI)

A contract of cooperation was signed between the BDI and the National Cultural Institute today in the building of the Diplomatic Institute. The Diplomatic Institute was represented by Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Institute and from the NCI, Director Ms Liudmila Dimitrova. According to the contract the two institutions will carry out joint training exercises in the sphere of Public and Cultural Diplomacy and will organize courses for preparations of diplomats and employees of the public administration. Also they will develop mutual projects in the sphere of Cultural Policy in the context of International Relations and Diplomacy.

10.07.2012

7th edition of Diplomacy Journal

The 7th edition of the Diplomacy Journal was released today. The journal is bilingual (published in English and Bulgarian) and is devoted to International Relations. It shows different viewpoints of Bulgarian and foreign diplomats, intellectuals as well as young experts. This edition includes an interview with Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response and articles on current topics: the Rotational Presidency of Bulgaria, Assoc. Prof. Ingrid Shikova; Political Islam and the Arab Spring, Prof. Prof. Vladimir Chukov Dr Esq; the Crisis in Syria, Nidal Khlaif; Geographic and Demographic Factors and the International in/stability, Dr Lazar Koprinarov; the Mobile Balkans, Dr. Anna Krasteva; Religion and Socio-Political Life in Albania in the Past and Present, Prof. Boby Bobev; Serbia and the European integration, Prof Zarko Korac; the Bulgarian participation in the Council of Europe, Detelina Stambolova. You will also find publications representing some activities of the Institute, like the Winter School of Diplomacy, the Basic Diplomacy Course for probation attaches and the project with the Francophone Association.

The Journal can be found on the site of Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute.

10.07.2012

NATO Youth Summit 2012

The worlds largest and Europes only simulation-based training which enacts the decision-making process of NATO, Model NATO Youth Summit 2012, took place from 8 to 13 July 2012 at the NATO headquarters in Brussels. 220 students from all over the world took up the role of members of national delegations and the International Secretariat, discussing and taking decisions on topics of NATOs current agenda.

In order to prepare for the discussions at the Council and the separate committees, the six members of the Bulgarian delegation" and students from the University of Western Ontario had a meeting with the Permanent Representative of Bulgaria to NATO on 9 July. As during the Youth Summit held in Chicago, the role of the Secretary General of NATO was taken up by a Bulgarian student from the University of Carleton.

Ilyana Panayotova, the winner of the Diplomatic Institutes National Essay Contest 2012, also took part in the Youth Summit.

05.07.2012

First prize in the National Essay Contest on How has Bulgarias participation in the Council of Europe contributed to the development of a democratic state?"

The National Essay Contest on How has Bulgarias participation in the Council of Europe contributed to the development of a democratic state?" organized by the Diplomatic Institute to mark off the 20th anniversary of Bulgarias admission to the Council of Europe May 7, has now ended. Thirty-nine students from 13 Bulgarian universities in Sofia, Varna, Plovdiv, Blagoevgrad, Svishtov, Ruse and Stara Zagora took part in the contest. The winner is Velizar Panev, a third-year student of International Relations at the University of National and World Economy, who won a prize of 400 leva and one-month internship at the Diplomatic Institute.

29.06.2012

The Eighth Consular Diplomacy Course has finished successfully

The Eighth Consular Diplomacy Course took place between 23 April and 16 June 2012. It was organized by the Diplomatic Institute in collaboration with the Consular Relations Directorate of the MFA. Lecturers in the course were experts from the Consular Relations Directorate of the MFA, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad and other institutions. Within the course of the programme the participants undertook different forms of practical trainings related to certification and legalization of documents, preparation of civil status certificates, working with the National Visa Information System and biometry, studying core cases on problems of Bulgarian citizens abroad. The participants had also the opportunity to take part in a joint seminar between the Notary Chamber, the Council of Municipalities and representatives of MFA related to the notary functions of state officials. A practical training in the General Consulate of the Republic of Bulgaria in Istanbul was also incorporated in the programme. The course which is compulsory for all consular officials to be dispatched abroad ended with an oral and written exam before an examining committee. The training concluded with a formal ceremony at which Mrs Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, presented certificates to the successful consular officials and technical staff in the presence of the examining committee. On behalf of all participants in the course, Mrs Mariyana Boyadzhieva expressed gratitude to the organizers underlining the importance of the practical focus of the training.

25.06.2012

Work related visit of employees of the Diplomatic Institute in Berlin, Germany

In the period 17th 22th of June this year working visit took place in Berlin, Germany of the director of the Diplomatic Institute Ms Tanya Mihailova, accompanied by a group of employees of the Diplomatic Institute. The workshop program Diplomacy for Europe" was organized by European Academy Berlin with the assistance of the Hans-Seidel-Foundation, as long-term partners of the Institute.

Meetings with Prof. Eckart Stratenschulte Director of the European Academy Berlin and host of the seminar and with Dr.Klaus Fiesinger Head of department for South Eastern Europe for Hans-Seidel-Foundation were included in the program. Meetings were also organized with representatives from the Federal Foreign Office, the Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), the German Council on Foreign Relations, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the German Reichstag, the Federal Ministry of Defense, the Institute for European Politics, the Schwarzkopf Foundation - Young Europe and others. Apart from this the organizers planned a one day visit in Potsdam for meetings with the local administration.

The accent of the discussed topics was diplomatic training in Germany, Germanys view point towards EU politics in Eastern Europe, the German role in the EU, the influence of political foundations in International Relations and others.

The last meeting of the seminar was in the Bulgarian Embassy in Berlin, where Ms Mihaylova introduced briefly her team and gave a short overview on the meetings which took place. In response ambassador Radi Naydenov introduced the staff of the Diplomatic Institute with the work of the Bulgarian Embassy with German governmental organisation, foundations and other nongovernmental organisations.

18.06.2012

Conference The Balkans and European Integration

A conference on The Balkans and European Integration was held at the Information Centre of the European Union in Sofia on 18 June 2012. The event was organised by The European Council on Foreign Relations, The Institute for Balkan Studies of The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, The Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria and the Centre for Strategic Research of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey with which the Diplomatic Institute signed a Memorandum for Cooperation in early 2012. Among those who gave opening speeches were Dr. Dimitar Bechev Director of European Council on Foreign Relations, Prof. Dr. Bulent Aras President of Center for Strategic Research of MFA of Turkey and the Ambassador of Turkey H.E. Mr. Ismail Aramaz. The one-day seminar was part of the initiative From Balkan Wars to Balkan Peace Project. Conflicts in the region and perspectives for regional cooperation were discussed, as well as prospects and challenges for the EU enlargement policy in Southeast Europe. Among the Bulgarian lectors were Ms Vessela Tcherneva Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, Ms Antoinette Primatarova member of the National Advisory Board of the Diplomatic Institute, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Alexander Kostov, Director of the Institute for Balkan Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences andthe Director of The Institute for Regional and International Studies Prof. Dr. Ognyan Minchev.

10-16.06.2012

Workshop Practice on a course of Consulate diplomacy in Istanbul

A practical training at the General consulate of the Republic of Bulgaria in Istanbul was conducted in the period 10.06 16.06.2012, as a part of the course of consulate diplomacy" of the Diplomatic Institute. The event was a joint initiative of the Diplomatic Institute and the MFA. It included a visa desk service exercise to Bulgarian citizens, translation of an interview with Visa applicants, issuing of visas, certification and legalization of documents. The participants in the practical exercise are employees of the MFA. They are set by the Carrier commission as consuls or technical staff in the consulates of the Republic of Bulgaria abroad and have not yet served a term on the specified position. Program coordinators of the training were Ms Ekaterina Neofitova, Ms Ivana Tsvetkova from the BDI and Ms Emiliya Burova, from the MFA. The program included a visit to the outsourcing center in Istanbul, with which Bulgaria has a contract for providing Visa services to citizens. At Kalotina border checkpoint the course participants had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the new procedures and equipment for the requirements of the Schengen law.

04.06.2012

Public lecture by Dr. Enver Hasani, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Kosovo

A public lecture by Dr. Enver Hasani, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo was held today at the National Institute of Justice. The aforementioned lecture by the National Institute of Justice and the Diplomatic Institute was entitled The role and the position of the Constitutional courts in the society: the case of Kosovo". Special attention was driven to specific aspects related to the operation and organisation of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Kosovo and to the parallels between it and other national courts in Europe and worldwide. The lecture was followed by a discussion with the current representatives of the Diplomatic corps in Bulgaria, Bulgarian constitutional judges and experts in the field of Law.

Prof. Dr. Enver Hasani defended a Master's degree in Civil Law at Prishtina University and a Doctorate in Bilkent University in Turkey. From 1992 to 1997, Prof. Hasani was an Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania accredited by the Government of Kosovo in exile. He worked for Kosovo`s government in exile until 1999, and during this period took part in many international conferences held under the auspices of the UN, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Council of Europe and others, including a Peace Conference for Kosovo in Rambouillet. In 2000 he was among the founders of the Faculty of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Prishtina and was elected as its Head, who he was until 2002. At that time Prof. Hasani created and headed the Center for Human Rights at the University of Prishtina. During the period 2004 - 2006, he became the first director of the Office of Foreign Relations of Kosovo. In 2006 Prof. Hasani was elected as a Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Pristina and then as a Rector of the University. He remained Rector of the University until 2009 when he took office as a Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo.

During his career Prof. Hasani worked as an advisor in the offices of several Prime Ministers of Kosovo and published a number of books and publications on topics related to various aspects of Civil Law, Constitutional Law, Public International Law and International Relations.

31.05.2012

Golden Laurel Bough for Mr. Ron Ton, Director of the Diplomatic Academy of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael

Mr Ron Ton, Director of the Diplomatic Academy of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael was awarded today with the highest honorary award at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Golden Laurel Bough by Deputy Minister Ivan Naydenov. Mr. Ton was awarded for his outstanding merits and personal contribution to the professional development of the Bulgarian diplomatic service and the establishment of the Diplomatic Institute.

During the official ceremony in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Head of the Diplomatic Institute and Mr Ron Ton signed a new Memorandum of Cooperation between the two institutions till 2015. Subject to the memorandum are numerous training courses aiming to improve the qualifications of the diplomatic officers and the staff of the Diplomatic Institute.

04-08.06.2012

"An EU Comprehensive Approach for the Future"

The final Module 4 "An EU Comprehensive Approach for the Future" of the 7t HLC Konrad Adenauer" on CSDP issues took place between June 4-8th in Paris. The module was organized by the Institut des Hautes Etudes de Defence Nationale ( IHEDN).

50 participants in the HLC were given certificates signed by EU HR Catherine Ashton. Those were high-ranking officials from MFA, MOD, MI of EU member states, EU institutions, incl. European External Action Service (EEAS), European Defense Agency (EDA) and European Space Agency (ESA). There were two Bulgarian participants an Advisor to the Prime Minister of Bulgaria and a State Expert from the Ministry of Defense. The Diplomatic Institute was represented by Ms. Adelina Tomova, National representative to them Executive Academic Board of the College and 3rd Module Leader. Ms. Tomova was given also a certificate as a 3rd Module Leader signed by Ms. Ashton.

21.05.2012

Participation in EU-Russia Forum

The third annual forum EU-Russia, organised by Carnegie Endowment branch for Europe and the Bureau of Policy Advisors of the European Commission was held on 21 May, 2012 in Brussels. During the forum the participants presented reports, concerning the situation in Russia after the presidential elections. Moreover there was a discussion on various scenarios for the future of Russia. The main topics of discussion were the security challenges and EU initiatives of the areas neighboring Russia. Main spokesmen of the event were from the Carnegie Moscow Centre, as well as representatives of the European External Action Service, the Bureau of Policy Advisors and NATO`s College. Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute was invited to participate in the forum.

21.05.2012

Western Balkans: Getting closer to the EU. Strengthening the capacity of the state institutions to meet the integration challenges today" Podgorica, Montenegro

In the period 14-18 May, 2012, in Podgorica, Montenegro, was held the first seminar from the project Western Balkans: Getting closer to the EU - Strengthening the capacity of the state institutions to meet the integration challenges today", organized by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute together with Hanns-Seidel Foundation. The project is supported by the CEI and the Austrian Development Agency and consists of four separate training one-week seminars. In the seminar took part state officials dealing with issues, related to European integration, Regional cooperation and Economic development. The seminar was officially open by the Chief Negotiator for Negotiations on Accession of Montenegro to the European Union Mr. Aleksandar Andrija Pejovic, followed by H.E. Mrs. Maya Dobreva Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria in Montenegro, and Mrs. Adelina Tomova Acting Head of the Public activities and cooperation" Department of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute. A part in the opening also took Dr. Klaus Fiesinger, Head of the department of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia of the Hanns-Seidel Foundation, Mr. Bogdan Mirchev, Representative of the Hanns-Seidel Foundation for Bulgaria and Mr. Lutz Kober, Representative of the Foundation for Serbia and for Montenegro. Mr. Milan Begovic, CEI National Coordinator was also invited for the opening ceremony, as well as Dr. Ranko Vujacic, Director of the Diplomatic Academy in Montenegro.

The training was conducted by Bulgarian lecturers - officials from different Directorates at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and foreign experts. Mr. Kaloyan Simeonov, Mr. Vladimir Shopov, Mr. Lachezar Matev and Mrs. Antoinette Primatarova presented to the participants topics on the accession to the European Union, costs and benefits of one such accession, the EU conditionality, Architecture of the EU External Policy, the Bulgarian experience in the EU accession process, etc. At the end of the seminar H.E. Mrs. Maya Dobreva, Mrs. Adelina Tomova and Mr. Bogdan Mirchev made a summary of the main conclusions of the seminar and issued certificates to the participants. Apart from Montenegro, by the end of 2013, the seminar will also be conducted in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Macedonia.

14.05.2012

Western Balkans: Getting closer to the EU. Strengthening the capacity of the state institutions to meet the integration challenges today" Podgorica, Montenegro

Today in Podgorica, Montenegro, was open the first seminar of the project Western Balkans: Getting closer to the EU - Strengthening the capacity of the state institutions to meet the integration challenges today", organized by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute together with Hanns-Seidel Foundation. The project is supported by the CEI and the Austrian Development Agency and consists of four separate training one-week seminars. They will be similar in content and expected results and will target state officials dealing with issues, related to European integration, Regional cooperation and Economic development. The seminar was officially open by the Chief Negotiator for Negotiations on Accession of Montenegro to the European Union Mr. Aleksandar Andrija Pejovic, followed by H.E. Mrs. Maya Dobreva Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria in Montenegro, and Mrs. Adelina Tomova Acting Head of the Public activities and cooperation" Department of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute. A part in the opening also took Dr. Klaus Fiesinger, Head of the department of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia of the Hanns-Seidel Foundation, Mr. Bogdan Mirchev, Representative of the Hanns-Seidel Foundation for Bulgaria and Mr. Lutz Kober, Representative of the Foundation for Serbia and for Montenegro. Mr. Milan Begovic, CEI National Coordinator was also invited for the opening ceremony, as well as Dr. Ranko Vujacic, Director of the Diplomatic Academy in Montenegro.

The training will be conducted by Bulgarian experts for about 30 participants. The main result of the project will be the formation of a trained-up team, familiarized with the challenges and impediments on their way to EU accession but also with the methods and techniques, used by Bulgaria in overcoming them. Apart from Montenegro, by the end of 2013, the seminar will also be conducted in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Macedonia.

23.04.2012

Participants in the Basic Diplomacy Course for Junior MFA employees met the ambassadors of Austria and Great Britain. A lesson of Viennese waltz in the Austrian Embassy

The Austrian ambassador in Bulgaria H.E. Gerhard Reiweger gave a lecture within the module of Bilateral Diplomacy relations with European countries part of the Basic Diplomacy Course for Junior MFA employees on 19 April. Mr Reiweger spoke in details in front of the students about the bilateral relations between Bulgaria and Austria. He mentioned a number of areas in which the two countries share interests, such as - Austrian investments in Bulgaria, EU enlargement, gas flows, developing tourism, Black Sea Region. The previous night (18 April) participants in the course had the chance to feel the Viennese spirit and culture. They attended a special lesson of Viennese waltz with Mr Ivan Terziev, a certified dance instructor. The dancing lesson took place in the building of the Austrian Embassy with the kind cooperation of Mr Reiweger. It provoked the students interest and taught them the basics of the standard dance.

The participants in the course met the British Ambassador in Bulgaria H.E. Jonathan Allen who gave a lecture on 20 April. Mr Allen spoke about the present condition of the bilateral relations between the United Kingdom and Bulgaria, about the work and functions of the Embassy in Sofia. He put an accent on successful management of an abroad mission through team work, stimulating employees, etc. During the discussion the students talked over with the ambassador what the role of the diplomat should be, what personal and professional skills he should posses and what the best method to approach challenges is. Mr Allen`s personal advice to the assistant attache was always to look for the reason and to be proactive in their work.

23.04.2012

Eighth Consular Diplomacy course

The eighth Consular Diplomacy course, organized by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute in cooperation with the Consular Affairs Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, took place today. Its participants are people whose work is related to the consular activities of Bulgaria abroad. The course was opened by Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Mr Hristo Polendakov, Director of the Human Resources Directorate and Ms Milena Ivanova, Acting Director of the Consular Affairs Directorate. They emphasized on the importance of consular activity as being the face" of Bulgarian Diplomatic Service. During the six-week course participants will be introduced to major international and internal documents and deepen their insights of fundamental topics within the consular field of work. Lectors of the course are experts invited from the Consular Affairs Directorate of the MFA, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, the Agency for Bulgarians Abroad and other institutions. This course is a mandatory element of the training of all consular agents before their departure abroad. After the end of the course all participants take are examined by an expert committee from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

23.04.2012

Public lecture of Prof. Zarko Korac, president of the Serbian Social Democratic Union (SDU)

A public lecture was delivered today by Prof. Zarko Korac, president of the Serbian Social Democratic Union (SDU). The lecture Serbias integration to the European Union and the problems that it is facing" was organized by the Diplomatic Institute. Among the things discussed were the upcoming parliamentary, local, regional and presidential elections in Serbia and different prognoses of the election outcome were made, as well as their importance for the democratic transition of Serbia. Prof. Korac shared some of challenges, standing in front of the democratization and the European perspective of Serbia and put an emphasis on the political and economical crisis after the governance of Slobodan Milosevic, the military crimes during the war in former Yugoslavia and the question about the independence of Kosovo. According to Prof. Korac, the current elections will show if Serbia is ready for reforms regarding the joining of the European family. The lecture was followed by a wide discussion on the pre-election process in Serbia, the Kosovo question, Serbias relations with other countries in the region, the sentiments in the country related to eventual membership in NATO, EU, etc. The lecture was attended by representative of the Diplomatic corps in Bulgaria, experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participants in the Basic Diplomacy Course of the Diplomatic Institute, representatives of NGOs, journalists and students.

Prof. Zarko Korac is President of the Serbian Social Democratic Union (SDU). His political career starts in 1990 as a member of the Board of the Civil Union of Serbia. He was a member of the Serbian Parliament in the period from 1993 to 1997 when he established the European Movement of Serbia. He is one of the most consistent and active opponents of the regime of Slobodan Milosevic. During the period from 2001 to 2003 Prof. Korac was a Deputy Prime Minister of the Serbian Government and after the murder of Zoran Dindic he was a Prime Minister of Serbia. He graduated Psychology and defended his PhD at the University of Belgrade. Besides being a leading Serbian politician, Zarko Korac is a Psychology professor at the Philosophy Faculty of the University of Belgrade.

17.04.2012

Working visit of the Director of the Diplomatic Institute in New York, USA

The Director of the Diplomatic Institute Ms Tanya Mihaylova had a working visit in New York from 9 to 13 April this year. During the visit Ms Mihaylova established cooperation with the International Peace Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations. At the United Nations she held a meeting to discuss the possibilities for future joint projects with Mr Shaaban M. Shaaban, the Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management. During a conference at the Seton Hall University in New Jersey Ambassador John K. Menzies, dean of the Whitehead School of Diplomacy agreed to visit Bulgaria. Dr Zdravko Popov, member of the National Advisory Board of the Diplomatic Institute and Chief Editor of Diplomacy journal also took part in the meetings.

20.04.2012

Symposium on EU Border Management and Security of Travel Documents in the Danube Region"

The symposium was held at the Central Military Club from 18 to 20 April 2012. It was part of the initiatives of priority area 11 To work together to tackle security and organised crime", enshrined in the EU Strategy for Danube Region. Bulgaria and the Federal Republic of Germany shall coordinate the activities for this priority area. A trade exhibition of 15 companies dealing with security and identity documents and biometric data, attended by more than 130 delegates from all 14 countries of the Danube region and also from Switzerland, Poland, Holland and other countries was organised.

Expert reports presented the latest developments in the EU regarding security of travel documents, the best practices in integrated border management, effectiveness of biometrics, integration of national systems in the European Union Visa Information System, small border traffic in the context of the European Neighborhood Policy. Professional discussions were held concerning developments in physical and chemical characteristics of documents security in IT-systems and card technologies.

The symposium was opened by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Tsvetan Tsvetanov, and Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Ivan Sirakov. The trade fair was opened by the Commissioner General of the Ministry of Interior Kalin Georgiev and Achim Hildebrand, Commissioner for European Affairs of the Federal Ministry of Interior of Germany.

Organizers were the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior, the Federal Ministry of Interior of Germany, the Diplomatic Institute and the Consortium for Bulgarian Identity Documents.

04.04.2012

National essay contest on: "How do you understand the Concept SMART DEFENCE" of NATO in the context of NATOs Summit in Chicago?"has ended

The competition was organized on the occasion of April 4 the day of Atlantic Solidarity and the upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012. Students from six Bulgarian Universities - Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski", New Bulgarian University, South Eastern University Neofit Rilski", American University in Bulgaria, National Military University in Veliko Tarnovo and the University for National and World Economy, took part in it.

A jury examined the essays and chose Iliyana Panayotova from New Bulgarian University as the winner of this years contest. The prize, provided by the Division for Public Diplomacy of NATO, is a visit to the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

03.04.2012

Public lecture of Francois Bafoil on Regional Integration Policies in EU and ASEAN. What to compare?"

Mr Francois Bafoil, Director of Scientific Research at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) delivered the lecture on Regional Integration Policies in EU and ASEAN. What to compare?" at the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski" on 2 April 2012. The lecture was organized by the Diplomatic Institute, the Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the French Institute in Bulgaria and the European Studies Department of Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski". Mr Bafoil compared the EU and ASEAN in terms of their formation, the instruments they use for their common policies and the perspectives for their development.

Francois Bafoil is a sociologist and an expert on the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Poland in particular. He is in charge of the research projects at French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Center for International Studies and Research (CERI). He is a philosophy graduate from the National Institute for Eastern Languages and Civilizations. From 2000 he leads the courses Decentralization" and Eastern Enlargement" at the International Center for European Education in Berlin. From 2001 he is lecturer at the Institute for Political Research in Paris on Eastern Europe, Sociology, Communism and Post-Communism. He is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Allemagne d'Aujourd'hui " and Le Courrier des Pays de l'Est ".

28.03.2012

H.E. Chun Bee-ho, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Bulgaria delivered a lecture for the participants in the Basic Diplomacy Course for Junior MFA employees

On 29 March H.E. Chun Bee-ho, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Bulgaria delivered a lecture for the participants in the Basic Diplomacy Course for Junior MFA employees. Mr Chun Bee-ho described the recent state of the bilateral relations between Bulgaria and the Republic of Korea. The Ambassador put an emphasis on the wide field in which the bilateral relations take place and demonstrated to the assistant attaches the variety of forms and methods in the work of a diplomat. As a specialist in assessment of the work of diplomats at the Foreign Ministry of the Republic Korea, he dedicated most of his lecture to the professional requirements and capabilities that a diplomat must have for successful work in the Foreign Service. He took time to mention the increasing role of Public Diplomacy as a key instrument for creating a positive image of any country.

28.03.2012

The conference for Ambassador organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Diplomatic Institute was closed today

An Ambassador Conference organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Diplomatic Institute took place from 26 to 28 March. The Conference was opened by Minister Nickolay Mladenov who outlined the main goals and priorities of the Bulgarian Foreign Policy. The Minister put an emphasis on: the role of foreign policy in overcoming the effects of the financial crisis by inviting foreign investors and by situating Bulgarian business on foreign markets; the integration of Western Balkans and the role of Bulgaria in the process of transformation and democratization in the countries of the Middle East and Northern Africa. The Minister of Defence Anu Anguelov, the Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism Delyan Dobrev, Deputy Minister of Finance Boryana Pencheva also took part in the conference. They presented the priorities of their ministries and the expected results of the work of Bulgarian ambassadors and the missions abroad.

The programme also included a special preliminary preparation for the newly appointed ambassadors of the Republic of Bulgaria. The preparation covered the following areas: the challenges of the Euro-Atlantic integration of South East Europe, the Arab awakening in the Middle East and Northern Africa, staff planning issues of Bulgarian embassies, managing of finances, budget and property management, information system and classified information, public diplomacy, consular service, crisis response, etc.

Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, familiarized the ambassadors with the training programs and projects, as well as the public activities that the Institute organizes. Furthermore the Director introduced the good practices in which the work of the Institute is used as an instrument for enhancing the effectiveness of the work abroad.

The conference was closed with a speech by the President Rosen Plevneliev, who emphasized on the importance of the Foreign Service, which by means of dialogue and active diplomacy has to recommend Bulgaria as a state open to the world.

23.03.2012

The Seventh Winter School for Young Diplomats has ended

The Seventh Winter School for Young Diplomats took place in Sandanski from 19 to 23 March. It was organized by the Diplomatic Institute in cooperation with the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the European Academy in Berlin. The topic of this years seminar was "EU and NATO in Southeastern Europe and the Black Sea region: Foreign, Security and Energy Policies". The participants were 33 young diplomats from 19 countries, who come from the Balkans, the Black Sea Region and EU Member States. At the beginning of the seminar H. E. Mr Kaare E. Janson, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark, presented the main priorities of the Danish Presidency of the EU. H. E. Matthias Hopfner, Ambassador of Germany, Dr. Klaus Fiesinger, Head of the South East Europe Department of Hanns Seidel Foundation, Mr Bogdan Mirchev, Bulgarian representative of the Hanns Seidel Foundation and Mr Jovan Andonovski, State Secretary of the MFA of Macedonia also took part in the opening ceremony. During the first two days the participants presented the positions of their countries on the main topic of the seminar. The follow-up discussion was led by Prof. Eckart Stratenschulte, Director of the European Academy in Berlin and by Ms Violeta Karaivanova from the Bulgarian Embassy in Berlin. In the next three days of the seminar officials from different Directorates at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and foreign experts gave lectures. Ambassadors Stefan Tafrov, Plamen Bonchev, Kamen Velichkov, Peter Popchev and Antoaneta Primatarova, Col. Anri Georgiev and Ms Irena Dimitrova presented latest developments of the European External Action Service, the Enlargement Policy, the Eastern Partnership, the Common Security and Defence Policy, the role of NATO in South East Europe, the regional approach to the EU Energy Policy, etc. In the last day of the program Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms Biliana Decheva head of Training Programmes and Projects Department at the Institute and Mr Bogdan Mirchev from Hanns Seidel Foundation made a summary of the main conclusions of the seminar and issued certificates to the participants.

20.03.2012

Memorandum for Cooperation with the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey

The ministers of foreign affairs of Bulgaria and Turkey, Nickolay Mladenov and Ahmet Davutoglu signed a Memorandum for Cooperation between the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute and the Turkish Diplomatic Academy in Ankara today. This happened in the presence of the Prime Ministers of the two countries, ministers, experts and journalists. This is the second document for cooperation to be signed after the expiration of the previous agreement in 2008. Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute was part of the delegation of the Bulgarian Prime Minister during the meeting between the two governments. She had a bilateral meeting with the Director of the Diplomatic Academy and the Center for the Strategic Studies at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Professor Bulent Aras. They discussed specific joint projects in the area of training of diplomatic staff, exchange of publications and cooperation in public events.

20.03.2012

Participation of the Diplomatic Institute in a Conference on Francophony and Democracy"

On occasion of the International Day of Francophony a Conference on Francophony and Democracy" was held in Iztok" Hall of the Parliamentary Building of the Republic of Bulgaria. The event was organized by the Bulgarian Parliament in collaboration with the French-speaking Ambassadors in Bulgaria, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Association of the Winners of the Order of the Academic Palms of Bulgaria, the representative of the Bulgarian President at the International Organization of Francophony and Bulgarian Ambassador in Paris Mr Marin Raykov. Speakers at the conference were the Ambassadors of France, Belgium, Romania, Switzerland and Morocco; Dr Zhelyo Zhelev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria (1990-1997); Mr Hugo Sada, delegate of OIF; Mr Dimitar Tsanchev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; Ms Anna Krasteva, Director of the Association of the Winners of the Order of the Academic Palms of Bulgaria; Prof Jean-Jack Segarra, Director of the Francophone Institute for Administration and Governance in Sofia; Ms Reni Yotova, Director of Regional Francophone Centre for Central and East Europe (CREFECO) and representative of the Ministry of Culture.

Bulgaria (Member of the OIF since 1993) has achieved democracy after a period of transition. During the first session of the conference the stages of this transition were outlined along with the future perspectives. For the second session the speakers shared the values, which consolidate the cultural variety of the Francophone world. The Diplomatic Institute participated with a presentation on Multiculturalism and training of Diplomats". The presentation was delivered by Ms Adelina Tomova, Senior expert in the Training Programs and Projects Department on behalf of the Director of the Diplomatic Institute.

19.03.2012

Seventh Winter School for Young Diplomats in Sandanski

Today marks the beginning of the Seventh Winter School for Young Diplomats in Sandanski. The course is organized annually by the Diplomatic Institute in cooperation with the Hanns Seidel Foundation Germany. The topic of this years seminar is "EU and NATO in Southeastern Europe and the Black Sea region: Foreign, Security and Energy Policies". The participants are 33 young diplomats from 19 countries, most of which are from the Balkans and countries from the Black Sea Region, but there are also representatives of EU Member States. Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute gave a welcoming address. It was closely followed by the lecture of H.E. Mr Kaare E. Janson, Ambassador of Denmark, who presented the main priorities of the Danish Presidency. Dr. Klaus Fiesinger, Head of the South East Europe Department of Hanns Seidel Foundation, Mr Bogdan Mirchev, Bulgarian representative of the Hanns Seidel Foundation and Mr Jovan Andonovski, State Secretary of the MFA of Macedonia also took part in the opening ceremony. Lecturers during the seminar will be diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as Bulgarian and foreign experts, including the Director of the European Academy in Berlin Prof Eckart Stratenschulte. The program of the seminar consists of topics concerning regional politics and the European integration as a model for conflict regulation with an emphasis on energy-related issues.

15.03.2012

Public lecture of Dr. Maria Sultan, Director-General of the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI)

A Public lecture of Dr Maria Sultan, Director-General of the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) was delivered today. The lecture, organized by the Diplomatic Institute, was on "The proliferation of nuclear weapons: emerging threats and implications for regional security." The main questions raised concerned non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in international aspect, the power balance between India and Pakistan, the sustainability of the current trends in nuclear arms, the UN Security Councils decisions about the nuclear disarmament and etc. The lecture was followed by a discussion on Pakistan Nuclear Policy, the threat of nuclear terrorism, Irans Nuclear Program, and etc. The lecture was attended by representatives of the Diplomatic Corps in Sofia and NGOs, experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participants of the Basic Diplomacy Course of the Diplomatic Institute, journalists and students.

Dr Maria Sultan is Director General of the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI), London. Dr Sultan is the former Deputy Director of South Asian Strategic Stability Unit at the Bradford Disarmament Research Centre. She works as an Assistant Editor at the influential English daily "The Muslim". She often commentates on international affairs, nuclear issues and defense topics on the Pakistan Radio, CNN, BBC, Aljazeera, CNBC, Japan Television etc. Dr Maria Sultan is an advisor of the Minister of Defense of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
The South Asian Strategic Stability Institute is an autonomous non-profit research organization with a multi-disciplinary approach based on social sciences, industry, media and law. It is devoted to provide an in-depth understanding and objective analysis of strategic stability in South Asia. The Institute focuses primarily on the nuclear and the strategic stability in South Asia but its remit also include the wider issues of chemical and biological weapons, conventional force balance, civil-military relations etc.

14.03.2012

Meeting with H.E. Jonathan Allen, Ambassador of the United Kingdom in Bulgaria

A meeting between Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Institute and H.E. Jonathan Allen, Ambassador of the United Kingdom in Bulgaria took place yesterday. The main purpose of the meeting was to familiarize the Ambassador with the activities of the Diplomatic Institute and to discuss the possibilities for cooperation with institutions from the United Kingdom. Ambassador Allen agreed to participate as a speaker in the Basic Diplomacy Course. Ms Mihaylova and Ambassador Allen shared their experience in the training of diplomats.

14.03.2012

Presentation of Innovative Software for Multimedia education from the Republic of Korea

Today at the Diplomatic Institute Dr Arnold Li from the South-Korean firm ISCommunications introduced the system for interactive multimedia presentations U-pointer. After the presentation Dr Li and Ms Tanya Mihaylova discussed the use of the system for the needs of the Institute.

14.03.2012

Meeting with H.E. Mr Gholamreza Baqeri, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Bulgaria

A meeting between H.E. Mr Gholamreza Baqeri, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Bulgaria and Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute was held in the Institute today. Various possibilities for cooperation between the Diplomatic Institute and Iranian academic institutions in the field of Diplomatic Training were discussed during the meeting.

12.03.2012

A Public lecture on Internet democracy was delivered by the French sociologist Dominique Cardon

A public lecture on Internet Democracy was delivered today by Mr Dominique Cardon, a sociologist at the Center for the Study of Social Movements at the School of Social Sciences (EHESS) in France. Dominique Cardon spoke about the creation and development of the Internet. He finds the origin of the network in the hippie movements and the military activity in the 70s of the last century in the USA. Apart from seeing Internet as a technological stage in the development of the media he perceives it as a virtual image of the political project -Democracy. Cardon shared his point of view about the transformations of public space, which become possible due to the disappearance of guardians - professional journalists, publishers, intellectuals and the paradoxical transfer of the "center" of the public debate to its periphery, where the fans" dominate. During the discussion after the lecture the audience raised different questions - on equality in the network, on the blurring of the real and the virtual world, on the mix between representative and direct democracy. Some of the guests (mostly ambassadors, experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and students) expressed doubts about the actual role of Internet as a vehicle for changing policies around the world. Special attention was paid to the Arab revolutions and to what extent the organising of large groups of people through Internet for certain causes is an objective process of matching opinions and not the result of a subjective intervention of the traditional political actors.

The visit of Mr Dominique Cardon to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was a joint initiative of Diplomatic Institute, the French Institute and New Bulgarian University.

12.03.2012

Eleventh Basic Diplomacy Course

Today marks the beginning of the Eleventh Basic Diplomacy Course organized by the Diplomatic Institute. It aims to prepare the students, scheduled to appear in front of the attestation commission, to obtain diplomatic rank "attache", as well as to give to them a broader view of the theory and practice of Diplomacy.

The course will continue 13 weeks and will cover 10 thematic modules on significant issues of the Bulgarian Diplomacy, International Law, Multilateral Diplomacy, Diplomatic Protocol and others. This year the Diplomatic Institute is concentrating on organising more practical activities and interactive forms of learning, thus putting the future attaches in real working situations and testing how they apply theoretical knowledge. Lecturers are Bulgarian and foreign diplomats, experts, academics, a significant number of ambassadors, among which the ambassador from Britain, Germany, South Africa, the Republic of Korea etc. The course will conclude with the defending of a policy paper in front a commission appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The participants were welcomed by Mr Ivan Sirakov - Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr Hristo Polendakov - Director of Human Resources Directorate and Ms Tanya Mihaylova, Director of the Diplomatic Institute. The course began with a lecture on Foreign Policy Priorities of the Republic of Bulgaria, delivered by Dimitar Tsanchev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

05.03.2012

Minister Nickolay Mladenov opened a course on EU Common Security and Defence Policy in Sofia

Today marks the opening of the 3rd Module of the High Level Course on EU Common Security and Defence Policy Konrad Adenauer", taking place in Grand Hotel Sofia from 5th to 9th of March. The course is part of the curriculum of the European Security and Defence College in Brussels. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute and the G.S. Rakovski" Military Academy are organising the event. Minister Nickolay Mladenov opened the course, congratulating the participants and acknowledging the importance of education in the field of European Security and Defence.

Lecturers in the course are the Ms Florika Fink-Hooijer, head of the Cabinet of European Commissioner Ms Kristalina Georgieva, the EU Ambassador in Georgia Mr Filip Dimitrov, EEAS representative Mr Pirka Tapiola, Konrad Adenauer" Foundation representative Dr Patrick Keller, the General Secretary of the Atlantic Club Italy Dr Fabrizio Luciolli, as well as Bulgarian diplomats, military representatives, experts from the non-governmental and academic sectors. The participants will have the opportunity to become familiar with the Bulgarian experience in the preparation of military and civilian experts for NATO and EU missions and operations at the National Military Training Complex Charalitsa". They will also learn more about the work of the Emergency Operations Centre and Peacekeeping Operations and Computer Simulations Centre of the Military Academy.

20.02.2012

National essay contest on: "How do you understand the Concept SMART DEFENCE" of NATO in the context of NATOS Summit in Chicago?"

We are pleased to inform you that on the occasion of April 4 the day of Atlantic Solidarity and the forthcoming NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012, the Diplomatic Institute is organising a national essay contest on a current topic related to the policy of the Alliance. The competition is open for students from all Bulgarian universities. The main objective, of what has become a traditional initiative for the Diplomatic Institute, is to keep in touch with young people in Bulgaria and to encourage them to express their views on issues related to International Relations. The conditions for participation in the essay contest are as follows: the essays should be written in English, their volume to be up to 4 printed pages, the deadline for submission of entries is March 29, 2012. Essays should be sent by e-mail: bdi@mfa.government.bg The authors of the best two essays will visit NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The prizes are provided by the Public Diplomacy Division of NATO and will be announced in the beginning of April. All participants are requested to give their address and telephone number, the title of their University degree, as well as the full name of their University. In case of any questions you can find us at the following numbers: 807 64 49 and mobile: 0878 601 859.

17.02.2012

Debate "Facebook and the new Diplomacy"

Facebook changed the world. It started as just another short-term trend in the global network. After the chat rooms and forums, the social network officially took its place among the mass information products. Facebook did not become easy prey to temporary trends and whims, it did not disappear silently after a five year boom, but instead found new ways to attract more and sometimes unexpected users.

You can easily count the few organizations that have not yet begun their Facebook life". Even conservative structures such as government institutions and Embassies can be found and observed in this new transparency". Facebook was more successful than its predecessors in allowing the real and virtual to exist side by side. We already have seen examples of how the will of a single person, expressed by clicking on the keyboard, can transform into a physical crowd in one of city squares of the world. Thus the potential of Facebook led the Diplomatic Institute and its partners - the French Cultural Institute and Anna Krasteva from NBU to initiate a debate on "Facebook and the new Diplomacy" and to seek possible answers to the following questions:

  • Has the end of the classical interstate relations come?
  • Is the existence of a secret Diplomacy still possible?
  • Is the freedom of speech guaranteed or is it being simplified?
  • Are the principles of transparency and openness a fact in interstate negotiations?
  • Have the boundaries between countries and people disappeared?
  • Does society still need the Diplomatic caste?
  • Does Diplomacy of the 21st century need a new definition?

The theme will be subject of a public discussion in the form Cafe debate, initiated by the French Cultural Institute, with Anna Krasteva as moderator and Diplomatic Institute as its guest.

This announcement is an initiative of the staff of the Diplomatic Institute, which hopes to achieve a fruitful debate, during which the participants can give their answers, formulate more questions and share different points of view of the real-virtual country Facebook.

We entreat you to actively participate in the debate.

14.02.2012

Public lecture on Energy Security in Europe: Challenges and Possibilities for Bulgaria and its Cooperation with Turkey"

A public lecture was delivered by Ms Zeynep Dereli on 14 February in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The lecture organised by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute was on Energy Security in Europe: Challenges and Possibilities for Bulgaria and its Cooperation with Turkey". The main issues discussed were the diversification of gas sources, the economic stability, media transparency, energy efficiency, environment protection, the development of alternative energy sources, investment in new technologies and others. Ms Dereli stressed that in the current situation, in which the future of Europe depends on energy security, the role of Bulgaria and Turkey can play a decisive role in the bridging of the West and the rich in energy sources East.

The lecture was followed by a lively discussion on European Energy Corridors, Nuclear Energy, the preservation of energy resources, biofuels etc. The lecture as attended by representatives of the Diplomatic corps, experts from the MFA, representatives of various NGOs, journalists and students.

Ms Zeynep Dereli is well known and highly respected among the Turkish media, political and business spheres. She is currently hosting a TV Show called Leaders and Solutions", which is broadcasted on the Turkish national television channel NTV. She has a wide professional experience as leader of the Forum for Economy and Energy of the Black Sea region at the Atlantic Council (January 2011 present), the executive director of the Turkish Political Forum (June 2010 January 2011), a senior associate at the Foreign Policy Centre, situated in England (May 2010 Present), a business analyst at Shell company in Turkey (August 2005 June 2006), etc.
Leaders and Solutions" programme aims to provide detailed and informative analysis about the current problems concerning the whole world. Ms Dereli takes weekly interviews with famous international politicians, scientists and journalists such as the General Secretary of NATO, Mr Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the General Secretary of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Mr Angel Gurria, the Bulgarian minister of foreign affairs Mr Nickolay Mladenov, The Swedish minister of foreign affairs Mr Carl Bildt, etc.

14.02.2012

Internet iReps Competition - win a trip to Chicago for a NATO Summit in May 2012

Twenty winners from around the world will win the chance to travel to Chicago, all expenses paid and to attend the NATO Summit in May this year. The winners will be present for the speeches by world leaders and will have the opportunity to meet face to face with top NATO officials, with which they could exchange views on peace and security. Everyone can participate by making a one-minute video about what peace and security means to them. To this end, all that the participants need to do is pick a camera, a smartphone or any other recording device and share their views and feelings of peace and security.

Start of competition: February 7, 2012

End of competition: March 21, 2012

For more information go to:
http://promoshq.wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/189404 FACEBOOK:http://www.facebook.com/NATO?sk=app_167796673328877

01.02.2012

Director of the Diplomatic Institute

The contest for Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute has ended. On 1 February 2012 The Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Nickolay Mladenov issued an order, with which he appointed Ms Tanya Mihaylova for Director of the BDI. The procedure constituted of four stages: selection of documents, presentation of a written concept and strategy for the development of the Institute, verbal defense of the concept and an interview. Only three candidates who met the minimum requirements for the position were allowed to present their strategic concepts. The Committee allowed only one candidate to verbally defend her ideas and later to the interview stage - Ms Mihaylova. The new Director of the BDI is a Master of Law and a former Legal Expert in the European Integration Directorate of the National Assembly. From 2002 to 2005 Ms Mihaylova was a Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She joined the Institute in 2005 as head of the Research Programme and later became the head of Public Affairs and Cooperation Department of the Diplomatic Institute. During the course of her work in the Institute Ms Mihaylova has filled the position of Acting Director of the Diplomatic Institute several times.

30.01.2012

Opening of the module Management and Functioning of a Mission Abroad" for participants in the training course for mid-career diplomats

Today marks the beginning of the third module of the training programme for diplomats with the rank I and II Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The programme will continue for a week and is dedicated to the management and functioning of the missions abroad. The module was opened by Ambassador Radi Naydenov, Permanent Secretary of the MFA. During the training process different topics will be discussed, such as administrative control, budget issues, protection of activities and information, as well as management of the missions during crisis situations.

18-22.01.2012

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20.01.2012

Radio Programme Profession Diplomat" of the BDI at MFA broadcasted again on Darik Radio

Since December 2011 the Diplomatic Institute renewed the Programme Profession Diplomat" on the national Darik Radio. The radio programme introduces its latest activity, projects and events as well as interviews with foreign Ambassadors accredited in Bulgaria, Bulgarian diplomats and guests of the Diplomatic Institute. During the programme the listeners can hear expert opinions on questions on relevant International Relations topics and opinions on the challenges of modern Diplomacy. The broadcast can be heard every Monday between 14:30 and 15:00 h at 105MHz on Darik Radio.

13.01.2012

Public lecture on topic:EU: is our common future in the history"

public lecture entitled The EU: Is Our Common Future Just History" was held by the Dutch politician Mr Frans Timmermans at 14 oclock in Sheraton hotel today. The lecture was organised by The Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in cooperation with the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy and the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute to the MFA. In his lecture Mr Timmermans shared his opinion on the future of the EU and its common politics. He pointed out as a mistake the refusal for Bulgaria and Romania to join the Schengen Area and showed his support to the enlargement of the EU. Mr Timmermans shared part of his political priorities, which he will like to fulfill if he is elected as Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe. The lecture proved to be of great interest and was followed by many questions from the audience.

11.01.2012

Exhibition under the patronage of Nickolay Mladenov, Minister of Foreign Affair

An exhibition entitled "Tolerance: The Guiding Light of Faith and Human Life" was opened on 10 January 2012 in the National Museum of Archaeology. The idea for the exposition of architectural models of religious buildings and houses with authentic Bulgarian architecture came from the ambassador of Italy Stefano Benazzo who is the main organizer of the event as well as an author of some of the exhibited models. The main idea of the exhibition is to materialise the spirit of ethnic and religious tolerance which is characteristic of the Bulgarian society, especially in Sofia a European Capital of Culture 2019 candidate and a model for millennial peaceful existence of four world religions. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Nickolay Mladenov - patron of the event and the mayor of Sofia Mrs Jordanka Fandakova - with whose special support the event was accomplished delivered a speech in front of deputies of the Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish and Muslim religion, ambassadors, citizens and guests of the capital. In his address Minister Nickolay Mladenov said that this exhibition made us think about the real emotional capital in Bulgaria. He said We are proud of our wonderful mountains, natural beauties, famous singers, but isnt the Bulgarian tolerance the biggest cause for pride". The opening was attended by Tanya Mihaylova, Acting Director of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute and Bilyana Decheva, Chief expert in the Training Programs and Projects Department who participated in the realization of the exhibition. The exposition is opened till 30 January this year.

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