“A World Without Walls“:

An International Congress on "Soft Power", Cultural Diplomacy and Interdependence

(Berlin; November 6th - 9th, 2009)
An Interview with Mr. Kalfin »

Ivaylo Kalfin

MEP; Former Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Ivaylo Georgiev Kalfin is a Bulgarian politician, born in Sofia who has had three terms in the Bulgarian parliament and was Minister of Foreign Affairs between and Deputy Prime Minister from 2005-2009. He attended and graduated in economics and banking from the University of National and World Economy in 1988 and then later in 1999 graduated from the University of Loughborough. Between 1990-94 and 1997 and 2000 he worked for various consulting firms as a CEO and Senior Partner.

Kalfin was first voted into the Bulgarian Parliament between 1995-97, he was re-elected between 2000-01 and once again from 2005. As a member of parliament, he was a member of the Foreign Policy Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee. Between 1995-97 he was Vice-Chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee Bulgaria-European Union, involved in Bulgaria’s application to join the European Union. He is also the founder of the Political Movement ‘Social Democrats’ which is part of the Coalition for Bulgaria a coalition led by the Bulgarian Socialist Party.

Between 2002 and 2005, Kalfin was Secretary for Economic Affairs to the President of the Republic of Bulgaria and since 2004 he has been a member of the Advisory Board of the Bulgarian Bank. In August 2005 until 2009 Kalfin was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister. A particularly controversial policy of Kalfin whilst Minister was his confrontation with Macedonia, stating that they would only support Macedonia’s attempts to enter the EU if they acted like a ‘good neighbour’ and show a lack of aggression towards Bulgaria and to stop the misinterpretation and misappropriation of Bulgarian history.

In 2009 Kalfin successfully ran for election in the European Parliament, where he represents the Coalition for Bulgaria and sits in the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. In the parliament, he is vice chairman to the powerful Budget Committee. In addition Kalfin is a member of the Delegation for relations with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo and of the Special Committee on the Financial, Economic and Social Crisis.

Ivaylo Kalfin is also the author of a number of specialized articles on macroeconomic and EU issues, including Bulgaria 2010: Economic Challenges and Factors of Economic Growth in Bulgaria. Furthermore in 2001 and 2004 Kalfin was part of the OSCE mission that was sent to Kosovo to observe the elections. Since 2000 he has taken up a post as senior lecturer at the International University Sofia and since 2007 at the International University College.