About Understanding Bulgaria“Understanding Bulgaria” is a program that has been developed by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy and the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria to raise awareness of Bulgaria and its role in a modern, forward-looking European Union. The initiative is part of the ICD’s Nation Branding program, which aims to explore the concept of national brands and their importance in contemporary international relations.
The importance of understanding Bulgaria is clear. Geographically, the country is situated at a busy crossroads of ancient culture in the Southeastern region of Europe. With regards to the European Union, however, it can be seen as on the edge. Bulgaria borders two EU member states, Romania and Greece. However, it also shares borders with Serbia, Macedonia and Turkey - countries which are presently applying for EU membership, but whose admittance is subject to some contentious issues.
In recognition of Bulgaria’s significant historical and cultural inheritance and itsrich potential, the ICD has established “Understanding Bulgaria” to encourage greater understanding of the country on the regional and global stages.
Program Goals“Understanding Bulgaria” pursues the following three specific goals:
Program Activity“Understanding Bulgaria” consists of a range of activities that aim to pursue the goals outlined above. These activities can be separated into three general areas:
“Germany Meets Bulgaria: A Forum for Young Leaders” (GMB)
GMB brings together students and young professionals from Germany and Bulgaria, who have demonstrated ambition and leadership skills, for weeklong study tours. The study tours take place in both countries, and allow participants to take part in lectures and seminars focusing on the bi-lateral relationships and other related issues, while expanding their personal networks.
Conferences, Lectures, and Panel Discussions
In addition to the GMB young leaders’ forum, “Understanding Bulgaria” also holds regular lectures, panel discussions, and conferences on themes related to the program goals. These events feature high-profile speakers from international politics, diplomacy, academia, and civil society, to ensure a thorough, interdisciplinary discussion of the issues in focus.
Research and Analysis
As an organization working to strengthen intercultural relations, the ICD conducts and publishes relevant academic research on Bulgaria, its history and development, and the current challenges and opportunities it faces. This research is conducted by ICD staff, network members, alumni, and members of our Advisory Board, and is then made available online.