"The Bulgarian Left-wing in the EU Accession Process"


Project contractor: ISI

Partners: European Policy Forum and "Open Society" Foundation

Implementation period: December 2002 - June 2003

Source of funding: "Open Society" Foundation


Relevance with the objectives of the organization: The project focuses on the problems that arise for Bulgarian citizens and institutions in the process of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. The focus placed is on the accession processes and the work against marginalization and social alienation.


Objectives, activities and results: The aim of the project is to activate the role of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Parties in the process of preparation, negotiation and integration of the country into the EU structures. The strengthening of the national consensus on European and Euro-Atlantic integration is associated with the clarity and information on the real consequences of the integration process that should reach all citizens. As our goal, we have also set the lobbying among members of the Party of European Socialists and the ruling circles of European Social Democratic Parties about mutually beneficial cooperation in the preparation process as well as for accelerating the integration. An attempt to build a network of civil organizations, working on accelerating the process of Euro integration.


Results: Greater public awareness regarding the results of the accession process and the fulfillment of EU criteria, expanding the popularity and support for the Euro-Atlantic integration among followers of the Left-wing in Bulgaria.


One of the main activities of the project was to organize public forums for public discussion of the results of the negotiations with regard to specific chapters in the accession process of Bulgaria, and the implementation of the Copenhagen criteria. Key one among them was: organizing an international conference in October 2003 at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, entitled "Europe, regions, local democracy", with the participation of officials from the Social Democratic range of EU Member States and politicians from the Bulgarian Left:


-          France: Michel Toven - Secretary General of "Jean Jaures" Foundation (President - Pierre Moreau, a former prime minister and president of the Socialist International). Councilor and Deputy Mayor of Syuren till 2001. Former MP and regional councilor. Director of the World Federation of Sister Cities, 1984 - 1988

-          Spain: Pilar Lopez - Deputy Mayor for Social Affairs and Public Services of the city of Albacete, Spanish Socialist Workers' Party.

-          Italy: Tiziana Arista - Director of the Economic Department at the Regional Government of Campania, Naples, since 2000 - Minister for Budget, Human Resources and Administrative Structures in the regional government of Abruzzo Region, 1995-2000

-          Spain: Jaume Soler i Pastells - Mayor of Arbusies Municipality in Catalonia for     24 years, Board Member of the Republican Left Party in Catalonia - an ally of the Catalan Socialist Party. Leader and member of various civic associations

-          Bulgaria: Ivan Deliev - Director of the Institute for Regional Economic and Social Research and Projects. Member of the Provisional Executive Committee of Sofia - 1990-1991, Sofia Municipal Councilor - 1991-1995; Peter Dulev - Executive Director of the Association of Danube River Municipalities (and one of its founders). Mayor of Belene, 1991 – 1999, City Councilor, 1999-2003; Dimitar Gandev - Chairman of the Municipal Council of the Municipality of Vratsa, 1999 - 2003, Co-Chairman in the Council for Local Government and Regional Policy of the Supreme Council of the Bulgarian Socialst Party; Zahari Georgiev - City Councilor in Plovdiv Municipality, Member of the Committees on Finance and Budget, and Regional Development, Utilities and Ecology.


About 120 people joined the work of the conference - candidates for mayors as well as candidates for councilors in Sofia Municipal Council.