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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.

Monday, 16 December 2019 21:38 Велизар Георгиев

kmetove_12_2019_saitWith a lecture by three mayors – of two municipalities and of a district municipality, started the second training day of the second course for the current cohort of the Bulgarian School of Politics (BSoP). The mayors of Panagyurishte, Troyan and Kremikovtsi district spoke on the basis of their experience over the years about the municipal budget as a political tool and as a concentrated expression of the policies of the local government. Nikola Belishki, Donka Mihailova and Lilia Donkova shared with the participants that the local revenues in the annual budget of the municipalities were those funds that gave the mayors the freedom to make policies for the people from the settlements of the particular municipality. Their lecture was full of examples of opportunities for local revenue and the interaction of local budgets with the national one. The trainees were acquainted with the structure and principles that build municipal budgets by Zdravko Sechkov, Executive Director of the Foundation for Local Government Reform.

Mayors and local government representatives continued to share experiences and good practices in the next training sessions during this day. The Vratsa Mayor Kalin Kamenov and the Director of the Social Activities Directorate of Veliko Turnovo Municipality Rositsa Dimitrova spoke in front of Class 2020 of the BSoP about child's policies at the local level.

Sunday, 15 December 2019 21:10 Велизар Георгиев

petq_avramova_sait_2019The Minister of Regional Development and Public Works of Bulgaria opened the second course of the National Program "Governing Skills" for Class 2020 of the Bulgarian School of Politics.

To the representatives of 7 political parties, among whom MPs, a deputy minister, a chairman of a municipal council, municipal councilors and civic leaders, Minister Petya Avramova stressed that politics was not as an end in itself but an activity in public interest, which should always be connected to the citizens. "We need to make sure that people live where their heart is and that they can travel," she stressed.

According to the minister, with the changes in legislation, the implementation of infrastructure projects and the effective management of European programs, the aim is to provide people with a good quality of life everywhere. "For the achievement of this objective under Operational Program "Regions in Growth" 2014-2020 by the end of November this year, 1.5 billion BGN has been paid for projects. 1.6 billion BGN has been provided for the renovation of 39 large and medium-sized Bulgarian cities over the whole period of the program", said Petya Avramova. "This means renovated cities, streets, parks and squares, cultural and historical monuments; Improved social and educational infrastructure, urban transport, hundreds of public and private buildings are already energy efficient", said the Minister. Avramova stressed that 21 road sections with a length of over 343 km worth over 295 million BGN were rehabilitated so far, each of these projects being important to the lives of the people in the region.

The trainees asked many questions the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Petya Avramova. They were interested in the stage of construction of Transport Corridor 8, illegal structures in the ghetto, the idea of a new territorial division and more.

The training during the first day of the second course continued with a lecture on the challenges and risks in front of the local authorities in Bulgaria, where lecturer was the Executive Director of NAMRB Silvia Georgieva. Militza Yordanova from the Council of Ministers administration spoke about the opportunities for Bulgarian municipalities because of our EU membership.

A special guest of Class 2020 during this day was the founder of "Ucha.se" website Darin Madjarov.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019 14:38 Велизар Георгиев

diana_kovacheva_sait_2019The Ombudsman Diana Kovacheva was the last guest speaker in the first course of the National Program "Governing Skills". Together with Dimitar Tsvetkov, Director of "TOGETHER" shelter, they spoke about children's rights and the child protection policy in Bulgaria. The topic is the first of a total of three for each cohort of trainees related to child policies that the BSoP has consistently included in its program over the last four years.

The conversation with the National Ombudsman was particularly emotional as it also coincided with the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The document, according to which all children should have the best opportunities for life and development, was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20.11.1989 and ratified by Bulgaria in 1991.

To the BSoP's trainees Diana Kovacheva noted that children have almost the whole palette of adult rights and in this sense they are small adults. That is why there are countries where they even consult children when drafting laws related to them. The Ombudsman also said that 300 complaints related to children were received in the first ten months of this year. They are about problems in the family environment and alternative care related to inclusive education and violence. The Ombudsman's institution has the capacity to influence by carrying out checks, giving opinions and making recommendations, coming out with specialized reports, and contacting institutions in person. The main group of children who are always in the Ombudsman's attention are children in institutions and children in formal care.

The BSoP's trainees of Class 2020 asked Diana Kovacheva many questions. After answering them, she did not fail to mention that she was always pleased to return to the Bulgarian School of Politics, which she graduated in 2006.

After the lecture, the freshmen from the National Program received individual homework related to the problems of children on the local level.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 18:35 Велизар Георгиев

krasimir_velchev_sait_2019The Minister of Education and Science Krasimir Valchev was a special guest of the first course of Class 2020 of the Bulgarian School of Politics. In front of the new trainees - MPs from different political parties, a deputy minister, a chairman of a municipal council, municipal councilors, representatives of various non-governmental organizations and business, Minister Valchev spoke about the challenges facing Bulgarian education.

"Education is a major system that we will rely on in the coming decades," the Minister said, adding that education should make the transition from the classroom system to the future, where new skills will be needed. Krasimir Valchev noted that today's students will be active in the labor market over the next 40-50 years when we enter the era of artificial intelligence, which means not only changes in the way we learn, but also in what we learn.

Minister Valchev also addressed some of the problems in the education system today. According to him, the problem of children not attending school is not only socio-economic but also socio-cultural. At present, all social benefits that can be linked to a child's school attendance are tied, but the challenge to the system remains. One of the reasons is that more and more parents have income from work at home or abroad and do not rely so much on social benefits.

Krasimir Valchev also commented on the problem of the aging of teachers in our country and noted that in the world of global communications, they are expected to be more inspirers, not just knowledge transducers.

In the following discussion, the participants in this year's BSoP's National Program asked Minister Valchev many questions. They were interested in from which budget – municipal or state the funds for the free kindergartens will come, the need for dual education, the need and the opportunities to reduce the number of universities in Bulgaria and others.

Before welcoming the Minister of Education at the end of the third training day of the first course, the trainees listened to lectures and worked on tasks related to crisis and conflict management. Lecturer was Ivelin Nikolov, expert in conflict management and editor-in-chief of the Duma newspaper.

Monday, 18 November 2019 16:09 Велизар Георгиев

ivan_ivanov_2019_saitThe Vice-President of the 43rd National Assembly, a psychologist and a doctor of political sciences Ivan Ivanov, started the second working day of the new cohort of the National Program of the Bulgarian School of Politics (BSoP). Dr. Ivanov spoke to the trainees about the power of the individual in political leadership, capturing the audience with examples and comparisons of political life in Bulgaria and abroad.

That it is especially important for the leader to be able to formulate and send messages, became clear from the next speaker in the program – the communication expert Mihail Stefanov. He showed the participants how to write a working message, and later, divided into groups, they tried to do it themselves.

Prof. Ivanka Mavrodieva, Professor of Rhetoric at Sofia University, talked about the options and structures of the public speech.

The trainees in the new cohort of the National Program applied the acquired knowledge by writing in groups of speeches, which they then passionately delivered to all.

Sunday, 17 November 2019 22:09 Велизар Георгиев

slavinski_2019The first day of the first course of the National Program "Governing Skills" ended emotionally for both the trainees and the lecturers. Three prominent Bulgarian public figures and experts in different fields informed the participants in the program about the personality and the life's work of the patron of the Bulgarian School of Politics and its founder Dimitry Panitza.

In a special video interview, the world-renowned physicist and philanthropist Prof. Minko Balkanski talked about his meetings with Dimi.

"Dimi Panitza was an exceptional person. To me he is the most attractive Bulgarian I have ever met outside of Bulgaria. Where something was needed to be done for Bulgaria, Dimi was there. He wanted Bulgaria to be a democratic country in the true sense of the word", Prof. Balkanski said.

The lawyer and a member of the board of the Bulgarian School of Politics, Andrey Delchev, also shared memories of his personal, long-standing acquaintance with Dimitry Panitza. Delchev said that every night Dimi Panitza had talked on the phone with another great Bulgarian - Ivan Stanchov, and their conversation had always begun with the question: "What did you do for Bulgaria today?" With an unhidden emotion in his voice, Delchev spoke about his first meeting with Dimi back in 1991, his great desire and his work Bulgaria to have an American University and a school of politics. He also noted his origins - a wealthy, intelligent family whose property after the changes in Bulgaria he restored and invested in the development of his country by setting up foundations, establishing journalistic awards, supporting orphanages ...

"Dimi Panitza was a modern person who managed to transmit the whole range of our national values over time, to preserve our national virtues," returned the mention of Dimi Panitza and Prof. Antoni Slavinski, Chairman of the Board of the BSoP, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of NBU and Minister of Transport and Communications from 1999 to 2001.


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