Digital archive

Update on the work of our Team of Volunteers as of May 2018

 Since November 2017, Voluntary Team “Shakespeare”, comprising students of second year of the Class of William Shakespeare at the Department of European Studies at Sofia University, is working on uncovering and selecting documents with the aim to broaden the Digital Achieve of documents, reflecting Bulgaria’s EU accession process.

The students are divided into three sub-teams:

  1. Vyara Iskrova, Markrit Chilingiryan and Nikolay Dimitrov are the sub-team, working on documents, issued by Bulgarian institutions. So far they have researched the websites of various Bulgarian institutions to analyze if there are digitalized documents on the subject available, and they have come across various national strategies, reports, rulings. The team has also researched relevant documents from the personal achieve of Prof. Georgi Dimitrov, provided for use to the whole team of volunteers for the purposes of our activity. Following an inquiry made to the National Assembly, the possibility was granted to use the resources of the library (thus continuing the efforts of the volunteer team of 2017). The team has uncovered documents by the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Economy and Energy and the Agency for Public Procurement, relevant to the research topic.
  2. Stefani Nikolova, Rositsa Lilova and Veselina Veselinova work on European documents. So far they have come across several documents by the European Commission, which have been omitted by the previous team of volunteers, working in 2017, but they have primarily focused their attention on finding and classifying documents by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. They have also included a new type of documents to the archive – Press releases, published by the European Commission and the Council, as well as documents from high-level meetings and events, published by the Association Council of the EU.
  3. Polina Ivanova, Simona Kostova and Svilen Todorov are working on interpretative documents, published by non-governmental organizations and think-tanks. So far they have mostly classified scientific analyses and papers in Bulgarian media, as well as documents from the personal achieve of Prof. Georgi Dimitrov. In addition, they have also classified and digitalized books, recommended by the previous team of volunteers, found in Sofia University libraries. Studies have been found and digitalized, published by European agencies and Bulgarian non-governmental organizations. Inquiries have been made and we are currently in a process of organizing contacts with several Bulgarian organizations and think-tanks, to access their archives – Centre for the Study of Democracy, Open Society Institute – Sofia, Transparency International-Bulgaria.

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.


An Instruction for the work of the volunteer team has also been elaborated, to assist the continuity in the work of our volunteers throughout the project duration. It can be accessed (in Bulgarian) here:

Instructions_Project (2)



Key focus of the work on finding, selecting and accumulation of documents on the Bulgarian EU accession in the first year of the project period is placed on documents that are most difficult to access – dating from the period 1989-1995. 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. Sub-team „Еuropean documents” – Lora Yordanova, Ralena Gerasimova and Sadak Sadak – works with documents which are uploaded on the official websites of the European institutions and in the Official Journal of the EU. The key challenge in the work with this type of documents is the need to perform an accurate selection of documents within a document massive of significant volume. The access to the selected documents is relieved by the right to direct communication with the EU institutions. Our numerous inquiries concerning documents which are difficult to access, receive a meaningful response within 7 working days.

Sub-team “Bulgarian documents” – Maria Yordanova, Mila Venova and Dimitar Atanasov – works on documents of Bulgarian state institutions. The key challenge in the work at this stage is the limited digitalization of documents, along with the difficulties in accessing them. The administration of the National Assembly has responded positively to our inquiry for access only after the designated response period was over and with the personal intervention of the project manager. The administration of the Municipal Council has not approved our request for receiving eased access and redirected towards the standard procedure under the Access to Public Information Act. A new inquiry under the procedure is forthcoming.

Sub-team „Interpretative documents – Vasil Nikolov, Dimitar Michev and Filip Paunov – works on the analytical documents of Bulgarian non-governmental organizations and think-tanks. The key challenge here is the limited digitalization of documents. The European Institute has provided eased access to a rich collection of documents on the accession of Bulgaria to the EU.
So far our team has identified, for the purposes of the achieve, over 60 documents (with overall volume of around 3 000 pages), related to the integration of Bulgaria to the EU.

Document findings:
A Decision of the Council of 5 December 2001 on the principles, priorities and interim goals and conditions which are included in the Accession Partnership of the Republic of Bulgaria. This is one of a series of documents, issued in the period 1998-2003 which are Decisions adopted by the Council upon recommendation by the European Commission. They are related to the possibility of Bulgaria complying with the Copenhagen criteria for membership, the priorities in a short and mid-term, as well as the monitoring over the compliance with the Accession Partnership. Some of these documents were found in the Official Journal of the EC, while the rest – 2000, 2001 and 2002, were received after a request for access to the documents of the Council, due to unavailability on the institutional official websites.
Download the document here:
Author of the document: Council of the European Union (Enlargement Group)
Found by: Team “European documents”
Lora Yordanova
Ralena Gerasimova
Sadak Sadak