Has the EU’s Eastern Enlargement Brought Europe Together?

The research project “Maximizing the integration capacity of the European Union: Lessons and prospects for enlargement and beyond” (MAXCAP) aims to assess the process of EU’s Eastern Enlargement. The leading notion of the 9 renowned European universities and expert organizations is that the assessment of EU’s approach towards the integration of the countries of the Eastern Enlargement has the potential to inform the current enlargement process, including Western Balkan countries and Turkey, who aim at EU accession. This multifaceted assessment can help build a foundation for policy recommendations to improve the integration capacity of the EU in the future. By presenting the research findings as well as opinions and discussions from the international seminar in Sofia, this publication is a continuation of the productive dialogue among academic circles and institutions, which is at the heart of the MAXCAP project. The approaches towards future EU enlargements have to be sensitive to the diverse trajectories of the societies of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, which are not necessarily only negative, as the debate in Sofia has shown. This calls for innovative research instruments which can register the specificities in the different national cases, including public attitudes towards integration. The texts in this publication are primarily aimed at the solution of this methodological task.

The publication „ Communication Strategy for the Accession to the European Union”

The publication „ Communication Strategy for the Accession to the European Union” is the result of a collaborative research project with the Diplomatic Institute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria and Hanns Seidel Stiftung. The aim of the research is to study the experience of the implementation of the communication strategies for EU accession of countries like Bulgaria, Hungary and Croatia, candidate countries – Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, in order to provide specific recommendations for improving the communication with the citizens. The book was presented on 22 February 2017 at the EU House, Sofia. Among the participants were ambassadors and diplomats of the Western Balkan countries, representatives of state administration, young diplomats and students.

United We Stand Strong

Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, European Studies Department, “Jean Monnet” Center of Excellence with the support of “Erasmus plus” program and “Hanns Seidel” Foundation organise: United We Stand Strong, Fifth International Conference

On 1 January 2018 Bulgaria took over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union in a complicated and dynamic period, when important decisions are to be made. As a head of the rotating Presidency Bulgaria aims to achieve its set of goals through three easy-to-remember approaches, that comprise the three most salient areas for the future of the EU. They have become popular as the three “C”: consensus – competitiveness – cohesion. Competitiveness is crucial for the economic prosperity of citizens; cohesion is a precondition for a socially stable European Union, while consensus is necessary for the unity and progress of the EU. We shall not forget the forth “C” that stands for culture since culture is what distinguishes Europe as a hallmark for civilization.
The motto of the Bulgaria presidency “United we stand strong” is also the title of the Fifth international conference of the European Studies Department. The main aim of the conference is to contribute to the priorities of the Presidency:

• The future of the European Union and the young people – economic growth and social cohesion;
• Security and stability in a strong and united Europe;
• European perspective for the Western Balkans
• Digital agenda and advanced competences for the future.

These are currently the important issues for the European Union: what future do we choose for Europe, how to move ahead together, what decisions shall we make, what are the concrete steps to undertake in order to be united and strong. The conference will play the role of a citizens’ convention for proposing ideas for facing the new challenges of the social-economic and territorial cohesion, for an improved competitiveness and a better living standard of the EU citizens.

The conference is designed mainly for lecturers and researchers in European Studies from EU Member States, candidates or potential candidates for EU membership, as well as countries that are part of the European Neighbourhood Policy or EU Association process.

Important deadlines:

Deadline for sending an application form (attached below): 28 February 2018
Applicants will be notified of the Committee’s decision on Conference participation by March, 15th 2018
Deadline for submission of the paper for the selected applications: 10 May 2018
The papers of the participants will be published in Conference proceedings after a review process.

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