“The European neighbouring policy regarding the South lead to increase of trade and different trade connections between the EU and the countries from the South Neighbourhood, and showed that support is always more effective when it comes to sustaining economic reforms, rather than the realization of political transformations. “This is what the Minister of the Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria Mr. Kristian Vigenin shared with the participants in the Summer Academy for Building democracy through cultural diplomacy. He was a special gust-speaker in the rubric “30 minutes in the company of”.
Minister Vigenin reminded that Bulgaria consecutively endorsed the processes of democratization in the countries of the South Mediterranean. The exchange of specific experience is useful according to him, especially in the areas of constitutional reform, transition from “superiority of power” to “supremacy of law”, institutional building, making of new legislative system and conducting fair and free elections. Mr. Vigenin’s visit provoked a high interest among the participants. He answered many questions concerning concrete measures and initiatives of Bulgaria in the region.
The first day of the program of the Academy was dedicated to the diplomatic relations between the EU and the countries of the South Mediterranean. Marco Pelucci from TNS Opinion, which works with the European Commission, presented the Eurobarometer for the South Mediterranean. After that Prof. Ingrid Shikova, professor in European Studies at the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” explained how the EU foreign policy is constructed. The participants had also a practical lecture on political communication and in particular techniques on how to hold a speech. The training was led by the journalist and TV producer Boryana Dimitrova.