Elections to the European Parliament: Bulgaria in the EU after 2019 (Sofia)

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Date: 29 March 2019
Location: Great Hall, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria
Participation: 118 participants from  9 countries (Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, North Macedonia, Poland, Serbia and Slovakia)

On 29 March 2019 the Slavyani Foundation held a public discussion on the topic: "Elections for the European Parliament. Bulgaria in the EU after 2019”. The debate took place at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences /BAS/, in the "Marin Drinov" Grand Hall.

The discussion covered the following topics: How do you perceive the EU: as an Economic community; Community of shared values; Political community; Europe of the status quo; Europe on several speeds, Europe of nations; What does it mean to be an EU citizen? Do you feel as such? What are the potential benefits and disadvantages of being an EU citizen?; How do you see the future of the EU? What is the future of young people in digital Europe? What do you think of the equality between the people and the countries in the EU, on migration and migration processes; What needs to be improved for the young people and for all EU citizens?

Most questions during the Q&A session were specifically related to the issues of the education; Europe of two and more speeds; Bulgaria's place in the EU; Improving the conditions for cooperation between young and other entrepreneurs; The future of digital Europe; New legislative initiatives and changes in the EU for better living conditions.

It was evident that for the discussants and the audience it was important to define the place of Bulgaria and the young Bulgarians in the future processes in the EU. There were about 23 questions posed by the audience, made out from students, young scientists, young entrepreneurs, businessmen, political scientists, lawyers, as well as lecturers from universities, MPs, diplomats, public figures, etc. The overall message from the event can be defined as a call (a vote) for equality among citizens and member states, for a high quality of education, for the future of the young people in digital Europe, for a distinguished place in Bulgaria in the European Union.

About 200 people attended the event. The event was able to reach its objectives: to motivate more young people from various groups of the society to vote in the upcoming EP elections, to influence the new candidates for MEPs, if elected, to contribute to making the voice of Bulgaria be heard in the process of elaboration of new common policies that will guarantee the future of Europe and that of the younger generations in it, as well as the equal in value place of Bulgaria in the European Union.

Moderators of the discussion were: Prof. Dr Zahari Zahariev – Chairman of the Slavyani Foundation and Prof. Dr. of Political Science, Ambassador Milan Milanov – Lecturer at the Southwest University "Neofit Rilski", former ambassador to France and former Director of Diplomatic Institute to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Speakers: Sergei Stanishev – Chairman of PES; Georgi Pirinski – MEP; Rumen Getchev – MP in the National Assembly of Republic of Bulgaria – professor at UNWE; Kaloyan Pargov – Municipal councillor in Sofia Municipal Council; Enyo Savov – lawyer, leader of youth association; Momchil Nekov – MEP; Daniela Todorova – Rector of the  University of VTU "Todor Kableshkov"; Nako Stefanov – professor at Sofia University "Kliment Ohridski".

Media coverage (in Bulgarian):

Link to a description of the event in Bulgarian