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Thursday, 27 February 2020 13:25 Велизар Георгиев

council_of_europe_logo_2013_revised_versionStrasbourg 25.02.2020: Osman Kavala, a leading Turkish philanthropist and human rights defender, who was released and then immediately re-arrested on trumped up charges, should be freed immediately, Nils Muiznieks, President of the Association of Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe (ASPS), said today.

After 2 years in jail accused of masterminding the 2013 Gezi Park demonstrations Kavala, the founder of the Istanbul-based European School of Politics, was freed by a Turkish Court only to be re-arrested shortly afterwards charged with supporting the 2016 attempted coup.

This travesty of justice brings to mind Lavrentiy Beria, Stalin's Secret Police chief, who famously said "Show me the man and I'll find you the crime", Nils Muiznieks commented.

Last December, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Kavala's detention arbitrary and unlawful and ordered his release but Turkey's increasingly authoritarian President, Tayyip Erdogan, just couldn't care less.

Osman Kavala is innocent and must be released and compensated, said the President of the ASPS. Turkey clearly no longer respects the rule of law, he added, wondering whether the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers and its Parliamentary Assembly will ever find the courage to say so?

Nils Muižnieks President of the Association of Schools of Political Studies

Jack Hanning Secretary General of the Association of Schools of Political



- The Association of Schools of Political Studies (ASPS) was set up in July 2008 by the Directors of the Schools of Political Studies of the Council of Europe to play an enhanced role in the management of their programme, to strengthen links between the Schools and foster their activities.

- The first School was set up in Moscow in 1992. Since then other Schools have been established in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo*, Moldova, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine.

- Nils Muiznieks became President of the ASPS in November 2018. He was the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights from 2012 to 2018. Previously he had held several important posts in Latvia including Minister responsible for social integration, Director of the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute (ASPRI) and Director of the Latvian Centre for Human Rights and Ethnic Studies.



Clara Garcin +33652856693 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Jack Hanning +33675797327 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Wednesday, 12 February 2020 15:26 Велизар Георгиев

pavel_ivanov_saitThe tradition that the graduates of the Bulgarian School of Politics "Dimitry Panitza" have their charity cause will be followed by the Class of 2020. On the last day of the third course of the training program, the participants decided to organize an event with charity initiatives and an auction and with the raised funds to support young people for higher education. The choice will be made among young people from ethnic minorities, such as disadvantaged and deprived of parental care. Through the cause "Help the Future", those selected will receive scholarships for education.

Before setting their cause and wishing each other health and good emotions until their next meeting in March, the trainees learned how to evaluate the impact of public policies from Pavel Ivanov, Executive Director of the Institute of Public Administration. The lessons learned were trained in small groups by solving a special training task.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020 20:25 Велизар Георгиев

natcionalna_sigurnost_sait_2With the chairman of the Sofia Security Forum Yordan Bozhilov and the Arabist Vladimir Chukov, began the third training day for the trainees from the current cohort of the Bulgarian School of Politics. The two experts spoke to the 40 participants in the National Program "Governing Skills" about the challenges facing Bulgaria's national security.

The day continued with a lecture on energy, its development and strategic importance for our country. Lecturers in this panel were Valentin Nikolov, Chairman of the Energy Committee at the National Assembly and the expert Yavor Kuyumdzhiev.

A special guest of the day was Sarah Perrin, CEO of Trust for Social Alternative, who returned more than 20 years ago and shared her impressions of Bulgaria on her first visit then and today. She also spoke about the work and priorities of the non-governmental organization that she manages.

The work day ended with a lot of work, but also emotions associated with mastering the skills to act in front of a camera and participate in a tv debate. Under the leadership of the journalist Boyko Vasilev, the trainees prepared and did a simulation of a television debate on the topic: "For or against the elimination of the flat tax".

Monday, 10 February 2020 20:12 Велизар Георгиев

economics_sait_10_02_2020Full of topics, lectures and tasks was the second day of the third course of the trainees at the National Program "Governing Skills" of the Bulgarian School of Politics. Lachezar Bogdanov - Chief Economist at the Institute of Market Economics was the first lecturer for the day. He spoke about prospects for the development of the Bulgarian economy, the forecasts for a "synchronized slowdown" of the EU economy and the annual GDP growth in the euro area.

The topics of money, revenue and spending were discussed during the second panel. The MPs Evgeniya Angelova (GERB), Valentin Lambev (BSP) and Alexander Sidi (VMRO) explained to the trainees the structure of the national budget and the possibilities for it to be a tool for public policy prioritization.

The study part ended with a lecture by Prof. Rosen Stoyanov and Assoc. Prof. Tatyana Burudzhieva on the specifics and capabilities of online communication.

The BSoP’s trainees practiced the acquired knowledge from the politicians and experts in their work in groups where they solved specially developed cases and tasks.

Monday, 10 February 2020 18:52 Велизар Георгиев

dk_11_sait"The legislative policy of Bulgaria treats the family as a natural environment in which the child is raised. In this regard, the adoption of a new law on child justice remains a major challenge for a reform in the sector. This was stated by the Minister of Justice Danail Kirilov in front of the participants in the National Program "Governing Skills" of the Bulgarian School of Politics "Dimitry Panitza". He discussed the topic of child justice together with the Judge Albena Boteva from the Association of Judges and Maria Brestnichka, Director of "Network Development" at the National Children's Network.

One of the highlights of Minister Kirilov's speech was that the topic of child justice is strategic for the Bulgarian government, because it places at the center the rights of the children and the responsibility of the state for their care. He explained that the work on the new law was continuing. In addition, the Ministry of Justice actively monitors the effective functioning of the so-called "blue rooms" - specialized rooms for sparing hearing of minors in civil and criminal proceedings.

Judge Albena Boteva explained to the participants in the program the basic principles of working in the "blue rooms" and the need for multidisciplinary knowledge and skills of judges and all professionals working with children. Maria Brestnichka, in turn, said that the non-governmental sector has long been waiting for the law on child justice to become factual and to partner with the state for its implementation.

The panel was followed by the participants with particular interest. A heated discussion followed.


Sunday, 09 February 2020 20:09 Велизар Георгиев

revizora_sait"Do not search in the man in front of you his bad characteristics, find his good one and use it; do not become enemies with anyone you have never reached a consensus with; do not make a commitment that you cannot fulfill; don't pretend to be more important than you are; communicate correctly, 90% of the problems in society are due to poor communication". These were just some of the advices that the Minister of Environment and Water Emil Dimitrov gave to the trainees of the current third course of the National Program "Governing Skills" of the Bulgarian School of Politics. The minister said that he came to these conclusions after his many years of experience as a MP, Chief Financial Auditor, Director of the Customs Agency.

For more than an hour the trainees spoke with Minister Dimitrov about the current problems related to air, water and waste in different cities of Bulgaria. They were also interested in issues related to his work as head of the Customs Agency and MP, asking him how a political decision was made and what was the way to deal with the problems accumulated over the years.

Earlier in the day, immediately after the opening of the third course, the trainees listened to a lecture on the role of parties and the processes within them in overcoming democratic deficits, where a guest was the director of Market Link's sociological agency Dobromir Zhivkov. They practiced the acquired knowledge in groups through a special training task.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019 19:38 Велизар Георгиев

zankina._12_2019_saitjpgEmilia Zankina, Provost and Associate Professor in Political Science at the American University in Bulgaria, was the last guest of the sophomores in this issue of the National Program "Governing Skills". Zankina showed the trainees how to conduct stakeholder analysis. In the following group work, they themselves identified key stakeholders and their specific interests in individual cases. The technique will be practiced by the trainees and in the individual homework that they must submit by the start of the next course.

The training module of the National Program ended with many hugs and wishes for a bright Christmas and a happy New Year.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019 21:41 Велизар Георгиев

ninova_12_2019The leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party Kornelia Ninova was a special guest on the third day of the second course of the National Program "Governing Skills".

"It's a pleasure and a challenge to be here, especially when I was on the other side. In 2006 I graduated from the Bulgarian School of Politics. The school taught me a normal conversation with all opponents. This is one format that is extremely useful", Kornelia Ninova told the current trainees in the National Program.

The Chair of BSP spoke about the distrust and apathy as a common enemy to all parties and politicians. As an example, she gave the last local elections, after which it became clear that 7 million Bulgarians would be represented by the chosen by only 2-3 million local governors. "This is a problem for all of us and it is due to all of us, the politicians from all parties. You are now tasked with clearing parties of distrust and apathy, not with words but with action", Ninova said. She also drew attention to the environment, urging young political and civic leaders to work to safeguard the purity of air, land and food.

The trainees' meeting with the BSP leader continued for almost an hour and a half. Kornelia Ninova didn't leave before answering all questions, which were many. The trainees were interested whether it was difficult to be a woman in politics, why was the BSP so long in opposition, how to work with NGOs in the legislative and executive branches?

Earlier during the day, the sophomores from the National Program gained knowledge and skills in conducting political debates. This was done with the assistance of Miroslav Mavrov from the Debate Association and the communication expert Daniela Simeonova.

The political analyst Antoni Todorov and Ivan Velkov, a member of the Board of Directors of the Dispute Resolution Center, spoke to the trainees about successful negotiation techniques.


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