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Thursday, 11 November 2021 13:16 Велизар Георгиев

strasbourg_11.2021_saitTrainees from the last class of the Bulgarian School of Politics (BSoP) took part in the 9th World Forum for Democracy. The event took place from 8 to 10 November in Strasbourg and was entitled "Can Democracy Save the Environment?" During the forum, the delegation of the Bulgarian School of Politics met with the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Council of Europe, Ambassador Maria Spasova. In her presence and in the presence of diplomats from the mission, the trainees of BSoP observed the tradition and laid flowers in front of the bust of Dimitar Peshev at the seat of the Council of Europe. In her speech, Ambassador Spasova emphasized the exceptional role and contribution of Dimitar Peshev in rescuing Bulgarian citizens of Jewish origin during the Second World War. She stressed that the example and joint efforts of politicians such as Peshev, members of the public, representatives of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church for the salvation of Bulgarian Jews should be known in order to prevent such tragic events in the future. Earlier in the day, Maria Spasova discussed with the trainees of BSoP current issues on the Council of Europe's agenda, as well as opportunities for closer co-operation between the School and the Bulgarian mission to the Council of Europe.

 

 
Wednesday, 22 September 2021 14:31 Велизар Георгиев

ingrid_shikova_22.09.2021_saitSeptember 22 was the last training day for Class 2021 of the Bulgarian School of Politics. The forty participants, including MEP, deputies from the 44th National Assembly, mayor, deputy mayor, municipal councilors, representatives of non-governmental organizations, business and others finished their studies at the School with a lecture by Prof. Ingrid Shikova. The EU policy expert and one of the founders of the “European Studies” program at Sofia University spoke to the trainees about the EU decision-making process, introduced them to the Union institutions and the path of a legislative proposal. After the lecture and the discussion following it, the participants took part in a simulation game. Divided into groups and representing different Member States, they had to make a decision by negotiating, and some had to make compromises. With this useful lesson, learned through play, the participants from the current class of BSoP completed their training. The official part was followed by many photos, plans for new meetings and work on the charity cause, which this cohort of the School chose to have as well.

 
Tuesday, 21 September 2021 20:29 Велизар Георгиев

nikolay_mladenov_21.09.2021_saitFormer Bulgarian Foreign Minister and current member of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Nikolay Mladenov was a special guest in the fourth course of this year's National Program of the Bulgarian School of Politics (BSoP). He began his speech with an emotional story about the establishment of the School by Dimi Panitza, continued with an analysis of international policies and ended with answers to numerous questions by the trainees. The meeting with Nikolay Mladenov was the last for the third training day of the fourth course for Alumni 2021. Otherwise, the beginning of the day was marked by a lecture by Kaloyan Staykov, Chief Economist at the Institute of Energy Management. Staykov spoke on "Fiscal Challenges for the EU and National Peculiarities of Bulgaria". After him, Dr. Irena Todorova, Executive Director of the Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe, gave a lecture on culture as a blade of diplomacy. The center functions under the auspices of UNESCO and covers as many as 16 countries in this part of the Old Continent. After their meeting with Dr. Todorova, the participants in the National Program solved a case study in groups. It was based on a real case, and in order to solve it, the they had to use the techniques of cultural diplomacy. The four groups received feedback on their work personally from the lecturer, who also shared how this case was resolved. The interest of the trainees was grabbed by another training task during this day - elaboration of a strategy for crisis communication in the context of the crisis caused by "Covid-19". The four groups had to take on the role of the Ministry of Health and develop a strategy for communication in a crisis caused by an unexpected incident, which in the media and social networks was associated with a vaccine. Before taking up the task, however, the forty trainees had a lecture on communication in crisis, which was given by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Alexander Hristov, Chairman of the Center for Analysis and Crisis Communications. Along with the theoretical part, Assoc. Prof. Hristov gave many specific examples of how to communicate in a crisis, and answered many questions about possible communication actions in a particular crisis situation.

 
Monday, 20 September 2021 19:26 Велизар Георгиев

afganistan_20.09.2021_saitThe second training day of the last course of the National Program for Class 2021 of the Bulgarian School of Politics (BSoP) began with the topic of Afghanistan. The Arabist Prof. Vladimir Chukov and the security expert Prof. Todor Tagarev spoke to the participants about the challenges facing the European Union and Bulgaria because of the crisis in the Asian country. After the lecture and the lively discussion that followed, the trainees worked in groups. Each of the four groups had to make a scenario for overcoming the political and military crisis in Afghanistan, taking into account the specific conditions provided to it. After Asia, the focus was on the Western Balkans. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Georgi Bardarov, Head of the Department of Socio-Economic Geography at Sofia University and winner of the European Prize for Literature, spoke to the forty trainees from the current cohort about the genesis and development of ethno-religious processes in the Western Balkans.

The second part of the agenda on September 20 started with the topic “Is the new agricultural policy fair? Is organic farming a priority for the EU?” The panel is part of the “Organic Agriculture Innovation Platform” project, in which BSoP is a partner of the CSRD Forum in Northern Macedonia, along with four other organizations from Serbia, Croatia and North Macedonia. The focus of the project is adult education in the fields of organic farming, marketing and product branding and is carried out under the Erasmus + program of the European Commission. Lecturers in the National Program on this panel were the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Yavor Gechev and Borislav Sandov, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Water in the 46th National Assembly.

The day continued with the visit of Mark Nordberg, Advisor for Political and Economic Affairs of the US Ambassador to Bulgaria, and ended with a simulation of a TV interview and answer to a personal awkward question from the trainees.

 
Sunday, 19 September 2021 21:22 Велизар Георгиев

evrodeputati _19.09.2021The Chair of the European Parliament Liason Office in Bulgaria Teodor Stoychev opened the last, fourth, training course for Class 2021 of the Bulgarian School of Politics (BSoP). In front of the forty trainees, Stoychev spoke about the legislative priorities of the European Union after the annual speech of the President of the European Comission Ursula von der Layen. The Chair of the European Parliament Liason Office in Bulgaria did an analysis of the speech, pointing out the main accents in it - the ongoing battle with Covid-19, economic recovery, climate change, security and migration. Immediately after that, Stoychev moderated a session dedicated to the work and policies of the European Parliament. Andrei Novakov, Ilhan Kyuchuk and Petar Vitanov took part in it.

Andrey Novakov first congratulated the trainees for their choice to study and later introduced them the European funding in the context of the recovery of the Union from Covid-19. The MEP from the EPP group talked about the Europe Recovery Plan and the funds provided for Bulgaria in it. ALDE President Ilhan Kyuchyuk thanked BSoP for the invitation and especially noted that he is a graduate of the School, and politics is first preparation. Then he spoke extensively about the integration of the Western Balkans. Petar Vitanov, MEP from the group of the S&D, drew attention to the importance of green policies for Europe. Following the general presentation, the MEPs developed their theses in detail in workshops in front of trainees interested in their topic.

The training panel on the work of the European Parliament and the key policies of the European Union has become possible thanks to the EU COOLture project implemented by BSoP with the support of the European Union.

The Bulgarian School of Politics "Dimitry Panitza" organizes and conducts its own National Program "Governing Skills" for 19 years. In the present class there are representatives of European and Bulgarian parliaments, different governmental organizations, local government, non-governmental and professional organizations, businesses, etc. The event helped to build and upgrade their knowledge about the work of the European Parliament.

 
Monday, 26 July 2021 21:02 Велизар Георгиев

budjet_2021The July heat did not reduce the desire to acquire knowledge and skills during the second day of the third course of the National Program for Class 2021. The day on July 26 started as usually at 9.00 with a training session on energy. Martin Vladimirov, Director of the Energy and Climate Program at the Center for the Study of Democracy, briefed the trainees on possible scenarios for restoring and achieving Bulgaria's carbon neutrality by 2050. Immediately afterwards, Lachezar Bogdanov, chief economist at the Institute for Market Economics, spoke about the prospects for development of the Bulgarian economy. Immediately after the lecture, divided into groups of ten, the trainees had to deal with a training case. The aim was to analyze the medium and long-term effect on the Bulgarian economy of the measures taken during the Covid-19 pandemic. Each of the four groups finally presented two measures with alleged hidden effects from them and received feedback on their work from Lachezar Bogdanov.

In the afternoon, time was devoted to the national budget as a tool for prioritizing public policies. The lecturers in this session were Prof. Rumen Gechev - Member of Parliament from BSP and former Minister of Economic Development, Dr. Georgi Ganev - Member of Parliament from "Democratic Bulgaria" and university lecturer, Daniela Saveklieva - Member of Parliament from GERB in the 42nd, 43rd and 44th National Assembly. In the training task after the lecture, the trainees worked on the adoption of a state budget for a hypothetical year in the future.

 
Sunday, 25 July 2021 20:05 Велизар Георгиев

kacarov_25.07.2021"My presence here is one of the few pleasures I have had so far in my role as a minister." With these words Dr. Stoycho Katsarov began his lecture in front of Class 2021 of the Bulgarian School of Politics "Dimitry Panitza". The trainees entered their third study course on July 25, with the module dedicated to national priorities and national solutions.

Minister Katsarov outlined to the forty trainees, including MEPs, deputies in the 44th National Assembly, mayor, deputy mayor, municipal councilors, representatives of NGOs, professional organizations, etc., the challenges facing the healthcare system today.

He also shared the conclusions of the analysis of the management of the Covid-19 pandemic in Bulgaria. According to the document, our country ranks third in the EU in terms of mortality from the virus. The reasons - poor health status of the population, poor condition of our health system, poor crisis management.

The trainees were also acquainted with the prepared National Plan for Control of Coronavirus during the next wave. The document defines different color zones depending on the 14-day morbidity per 100 thousand population, percentage of positive tests, occupied hospital beds and others. "The aim of the plan is to have predictability for both citizens and businesses," explained Minister Katsarov.

The trainees from Class 2021 also had the opportunity to talk to the Minister on topics that concern them. Various questions were asked about the probability and timing of a new wave of Covid-19, about the use of various drugs in the treatment of the virus, about the motives of the caretaker Minister of Health to take the post and others.

 
Wednesday, 19 May 2021 18:06 Велизар Георгиев

panel_vodi_2021The second course of the National Program 2020-2021 ended with the current topic of water management. Maria Angelova - Head of the “River Basin Management” Department at the Ministry of Environment and Water, Ivan Ivanov - Chairman of the Management Board of Bulgarian Water and Sewerage Holding and Stanislav Vladimirov - Mayor of Pernik were lecturers on the topic. The trainees were acquainted with the ways in which water management is carried out at national and basin level, with the state policy in the management of water systems and facilities. Ivan Ivanov spoke about the challenges facing the water supply and sewerage industry, drawing attention to a new challenge - water shortages. In 2020, an entire regional town - Pernik, switched to water regime due to the emptying of a dam. Other settlements experience chronic water shortages at certain times of the year. The mayor of Pernik, Stanislav Vladimirov, also spoke about tackling this challenge. After the panel, the trainees had the task to make an analysis based on the technique "Tree of the problem" through which to analyze the problem of lack of drinking water in settlements. They received feedback on their work from the lecturers on the topic.

 

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