09 May, 2011
International seminar “Strengthening European Participatory Democracy”
From 1 to 8 May, 2011, UEF Bulgaria along with JEF Bulgaria and the National Student Confederation organised the international seminar “Strengthening European Participatory Democracy” held in Sofia. Participants from 11 countries discussed the active participation of young generation in the democratic life of the Union and gained practical knowledge on how to communicate the EU to the citizens.
The event started with the lecture of the UEF Federal Committee member Lothar Jaschke about the state of the Union after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. The participants received a greeting address on behalf of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, delivered by his foreign policy adviser Anguel Tcholakov. Among the topics discussed were the changes in the functioning of the EU, brought by the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, the increased role of the EP and its electoral reform, EU 2020’ strategy and its flagship initiative Youth on the Move, the role of the media in promoting European citizenship and making citizens’ Europe a political reality through ECI. Panel discussions, working groups, debates, lectures and plenary sessions were part of the methods used to debate the issues. The UEF Vice-President Andrey Kovatchev received the participants in his Information Centre and had a chat on how to bring the EU closer to the citizens. The UEF Secretary-General Christian Wenning discussed with them how to make the ideas of the European federalists attractive to the young people and informed them about UEF priorities after the Congress. Other speakers were Michail Hristov, Information Office of the EP in Sofia, Vladimir Shopov, political scientist, Ralitsa Kovatcheva, journalist and Velko Ivanov, Secretary-General of UEF Bulgaria. The participants enjoyed a rich social program, that besides acquainting them with the night life in Sofia included a horse ride in Vitosha mountain, R&B concert and sightseeing trip to the Rila Monastery.