Publications

RESULTS FROM THE EXPERT ASSESSMENT OF THE EU COUNCIL’S ROTATITING PRESIDENCY

The team that participates in the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence at the Department of European Studies at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” presented the results of the first of its kind expert assessment of the Rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU, carried out by Bulgaria in the first half of 2018.  [...]

Democratization through Integration?

The accession to the EU is an indisputable sign of establishing democratic governance, but the problem is that some of the Central and Eastern European countries that are already considered consolidated are showing signs of retreat. [...]

How and Why Did the Laggards Turn Out to Be the Forerunners of a Major Transformation in the EU’s Integration Strategy?

How and Why?

Conference proceedings with the reports of the Fifth International Conference of the European Studies Department, “United We Stand Strong”

The Conference proceedings “United We Stand Strong” presents the reports of the Fifth International Conference of the European Studies Department, which took place in Sofia on 31st May – 1st June 2018, organized within the framework of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, with the support of Erasmus+ Programme. [...]

The Eastern Enlargement of the EU

The Eastern Enlargement of the European Union is an extraordinary European achievement. It becomes possible, due to a series of compromises among the Member States, based on their national interests. Taken in their entirety, although important on their own right, they give shape to an inconsistent enlargement policy.

Research

EXPERT EVALUATION OF THE BULGARIAN PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

Research Project of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at European Studies Department The EU Council's rotating presidency is one of the main institutional instruments in the Union. It contributes to the creation of the legal framework for implementing integration policies in all spheres of public life and to the promotion of European values such as democracy and equality in the structures and functioning mechanisms in this unique alliance of sovereign states, which with each passing day plays an increasingly important role in the lives of European citizens and in the contemporary global politics. This is why the EU Council's rotating presidency is a significant participant in the process of preparing and implementing integration policies and, therefore, it deserves the special attention of academic researchers studying the EU. [...]

COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE EU ACCESSION OF THE SEECS: THE EU’S EASTERN ENLARGEMENTS – PECULIARITIES OF INTERACTION BETWEEN THE EC AND THE APPLICANT COUNTRIES

Research Strand 1 Lead researcher under this research strand is Prof. Georgi Dimitrov. Justification of the study’s relevance In the beginning of the Fifth EU’s Enlargement and throughout its preparation and accomplishment, it was considered THE “Eastern enlargement of the Union” (in singular). Despite the facts that: а) initially there was no clear idea how many countries would be accepted; b) Cyprus and Malta, too, were included in the group of Central and East European countries; c) The Vishegrad sub-group of post-communist countries stubbornly insisted to be treated as Central not Eastern European, this phrase became standard. In academic literature till now “The Eastern Enlargement of the EU” designates the historical process through which the EU enlarged to 27 and later to 28 members. However, in the course of these developments some unexpected peculiarities emerged – firstly, the initial 10 CEECs were subdivided into a Luxemburg and a Helsinki group. Secondly, Bulgaria not only dropped out from the second subgroup for another three years but were subjected to the unprecedented post-accession conditionality because of the quality difference of their EU integration. Besides, Croatia joined the EU in 2013 and that counts as the Sixth enlargement of the Union. Yet, the terms of its accession to the then 27 members are under the specific conditionality whose political methodology is the very same as the one applied to the next new applicants for EU membership from the Western Balkans and Turkey and some of them steadily progress towards full compliance with membership criteria. All these facts mean that the EU’s enlargement after 1995 includes, simultaneously, both qualitative transformations and forms of continuity of the process which prevents us from some self-evident temporal or political structuring. To speak of “The Eastern Enlargement” would imply that we choose to prioritize the importance of the perpetual commonality in all stages over the essentially different. The main goal of the current long-term research project is exactly the identification of the non-obvious between the two aspects of the historical process of EU’s enlargement(s). [...]

DIGITAL ARCHIVE

Research Strand 2 Lead researcher under this strand is Assoc. Prof. Mirela Veleva The work on the digital archive database and content was initiated with the very start of the project, the first task being the elaboration of a structure of the archive with parameters related to periodization, authorship of the documents, source, language, etc. As far as the selection of documents is concerned, in order to organize the research activity in a more effective manner, the documents are divided into three main working categories – European, Bulgarian and interpretative, and on each category a sub-team of the volunteer researcher team is working. So far, for the purposes of our Digital Archive, the team has identified:

  • 51 European documents, total volume 1098 pages;
  • 78 Bulgarian documents, total volume 2075 pages;
  • 108 interpretative documents, total volume 2917 pages.
The accumulated archive is publicly available online on the Jean Monnet website – see button on the top right side of out homepage!   More details on the work of our great team of volunteers, who develop the Archive monthly with new additions – see here: http://jeanmonnetexcellence.bg/en/activities/digital-archive/

IMPACT OF THE EMU ON THE SOUTH-EAST EUROPE REGION

Lead researcher under this strand is Assoc. Prof. Kaloyan Simeonov. This research strand focused on the impact of the Economic and Monetary Union developments on the countries from South-East Europe. The prospects for future Euro area accession after EU membership were at the centre of the study. Currently, the countries from South-East Europe are at different stages for EMU preparations. Some countries are EU Member States but they are still not in the Euro area not even in the so-called “waiting room” (ERM II – the Exchange Rate Mechanism II). Other countries are advanced to a certain degree in relation to EU accession negotiations, some have candidate status but did not started accession negations. Some of the South-East Europe countries do not have even candidate status but just European perspective and potential candidate countries. The EMU have a substantial impact on these countries even outside the debate of the EU accession perspectives. This impact was also among the dimensions studied.  Last but not least, these countries have quite different exchange rate regimes, some of them applying floating regimes, Bosnia and Herzegovina applying currency board and Montenegro and Kosovo accepting the extreme choice of unilateral euroisation. The latter regime is not compatible with EU accession and preparations for EMU membership and opens new questions for discussion and research. To achieve this ambitious research objectives a team of students of the Department of EU Studies was formed (three sub-contracted researchers, students at Bachelor level) under the methodological guidance of Assoc. Prof. K. Simeonov. The team conducted the study in the period March-June 2017. The first draft of the analysis “Influence of the EMU on the Western Balkans” was presented to discussion by the project team on 4 May 2017. A protocol of the academic discussion was published on the project website - http://jeanmonnetexcellence.bg/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Protokol.pdf The second revised draft of the analysis under the title “Perspectives for Adoption of the Euro by the Western Balkan Countries” was deposited to the project team for review in June 2017. The study has now been published and is also available online in the Publication section of our website. You can also access it here: [1] A minister of foreign affairs provided an interview but did not agree to have it published.