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Tag: Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s taboo

In recent years, Bulgarians have gained better clarity about what happened during communism because of the efforts of researchers who dared dig up the dirt and make their findings available to a broader audience. And it is only now that the crimes of communism have been included in the mandatory school curriculum. This transparency is essential for understanding the political processes in Bulgaria post-1989.

I was born in Bulgaria in 1985, but I first learned about the particularities of communism in an academic setting in 2003 when I started university in the United States and enrolled in various classes on political science and history. Until then, my understanding of communism was entirely based on conversations with my family and the obscure samizdat books which my grandfather kept in his library.

May 2, 2019 - Radosveta Vassileva

Bulgaria’s denial of its Ottoman past and Turkish identity

Despite more than five hundred years of Turkish rule, the majority of present-day Bulgarians demonise and reject “non-Bulgarian” – that is, Turkish, Muslim, or Roma – influences in their history and culture. While the Bulgarian government’s harshest policies of ethnic cleansing concluded with the fall of communism, this exclusivist narrative of Bulgarian national history nevertheless continues to discriminate against such communities.

March 24, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

Words matter. Bulgaria and the 30th anniversary of the largest ethnic cleansing in cold war Europe

Bulgarian communist dictator Todor Zhivkov led campaigns of forced assimilation and ethnic cleansing against non-Bulgarian minorities, particularly Turks and Muslims. Three decades after the 1989 ethnic cleansing and the subsequent transition to democracy, Bulgaria still has yet to reconcile with its past.

February 25, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

The perils of diplomacy: how a Christmas tree divided a nation

Christmas may be known as the season of love and kindness, but Bulgaria will remember Christmas 2018 as the season of division. A seemingly benign gift from Russia shed light on historical wounds and party politics as well as the surprising impact social media could have on bilateral diplomacy.

January 14, 2019 - Radosveta Vassileva

On same-sex marriage and corruption in Bulgaria and Romania

LGBTI issues are becoming a fig leaf hiding corruption within the political class of EU member states Bulgaria and Romania.

October 31, 2018 - Radosveta Vassileva

Bulgarian gas storage would improve energy security and diversification

Bulgaria's strategic location makes it a great hub for passing along natural gas to the rest of Europe. In case of trouble and limited supply it would also be the first to pay a heavy price.

October 16, 2018 - Eugen Iladi

Bulgaria’s autocratic model

While the EU's attention is directed at Hungary and Poland, an even younger member state challenges its basic principles.

September 27, 2018 - Radosveta Vassileva

Bulgaria: an unlikely personality cult

The Zhivkov personality cult reaches its annual crescendo during the lavish celebrations of the late dictator's successive anniversaries of birth on the 7th of September in his hometown of Pravets, near Sofia. EU and Bulgarian flags will again provide the background for a leader synonymous with Bulgarian communism, including its darker chapters.

September 7, 2018 - Tomasz Kamusella

Moscow is looming over the Bulgarian energy sector

Bulgaria's flirt with Russia concerning energy might be signaling a shift in the overall relationship between the two countries.

June 18, 2018 - Maryla Król

Bulgaria: Women’s rights at risk

On March 12th, the European Parliament called upon EU countries, including Bulgaria, to ratify the Istanbul Convention. Only one Bulgarian MEP was present at the debate. And he was against the treaty.

March 23, 2018 - Marija Bogdanovic

Bulgaria goes to the Warsaw Summit with the Black Sea in mind

The 2016 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit will begin in Warsaw on July 8th. The meeting of NATO heads of state is expected to address issues which are seen as essential for Central and Eastern Europe’s security environment in view of Russia’s perceived aggressive posture in the region. Some of those issues will include eastward force deployment in CEE and the Baltics, propping up the anti-missile shield and the potential for the Alliance’s enlargement.

July 8, 2016 - Kamen Kraev

Bulgaria on course to diversify gas supply

Bulgaria has recently moved closer to diversifying its sources of natural gas supply. This time, it seems it may be happening with less geopolitical grandeur and fanfare. After years of flirting with Russia over its monster pipeline projects on the Balkans, a 182km long gas interconnector link with Greece may do the trick. The source? Most probably Azerbaijani gas.

June 2, 2016 - Kamen Kraev

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