YEF 2017 - First Day: Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU – Opportunities and Threats

Wednesday, 13 December 2017 14:10

The Large Conference Hall of the university was filled with lecturers, students and guests at the opening of the three days Youth Economic Forum (YEF) 2017 organized by the Student Council.  

During the Forum

On the first day of the Forum the participants met with Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of Sofia Municipality, Peter Nikolov, Deputy Minister of Education and Science and Tomislav Donchev, Vice Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria. They spoke on the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU – Opportunities and Threats.

At the event attended Prof. D.Sc.(Econ.) Statty Stattev, Rector of UNWE, Prof. Dr. Valentin Goev, Vice Rector for Scientific Research Activity, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Stela Raleva, Vice Rector for Education in the EDQ of Master and Distance Learning, Nikolay Bakardzhiev, Assistant Rector, Kristiyan Madzhurov, Chairman of the Student Council.

I am glad to open the 14th edition of the Youth Economic Forum which will meet the students with statesmen and people from the business who can teach us lots of useful and interesting things, outlined Kristiyan Madzhurov.  

Prof. Valentin Goev, Kristiyan Madzhurov, Prof. Statty Stattev, Yordanka Fandakova, Peter Nikolov (from the right to the left)

This Forum is important and precious to me because it is a live relation between the students and the representatives of the government and business, pointed out Prof. Stattev. The Rector emphasized on the good cooperation between the UNWE and Sofia Municipality and added that the Mayor Mrs. Fandakova could consider our university as her home. The choice of the topic is very accurate and actual because the first half of 2018 will be filled of hard and responsible tasks and lots of opportunities. The UNWE will also have its place in the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU through the organization and participation in various events, outlined the Rector. 

Prof. Stattev is greeting the participants in the Forum. On the left: the Mayor of Sofia Municipality Yordanka Fandakova

Prof. Stattev expressed his conviction that topics discussed over the Forum would contribute to the understanding of issues related to the Bulgarian Presidency.

YEF is very important event for us because we have the opportunity to keep the dialogue with the students, said Yordanka Fandakova. She spoke on the EU Impact on the Economy of Sofia in the context of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

The EU impact on the city is huge, pointed out the Mayor and examined the benefits of Bulgarian membership in the EU, in particular for Sofia. She determined the young and well prepared people who have an important place in the realization of the European projects as the most important factor for the economic development of Sofia. Yordanka Fandakova examined the economic benefits of the European membership of our country and cited data of the Institute for Market Economics. According to them Sofia continues being the largest regional economy in Bulgaria. The city produces 40% of the GDP of the country and has the highest coefficient of employment – 72,5%, nearly 90% of employees are between 35 and 44 years old and 50% of them has higher education. 

Mayor Yordanka Fandakova

The membership of our country in the EU gives significant opportunities for young people to travel, study and carry internship in various places of the world and then to give their contribution to the Bulgarian economy. The European funds provide indisputably a chance to implement major and large-scale projects, pointed out the Mayor and gave as example the first programme period when projects in total amount of 3 billion BGN had been implemented – 2 billion of them had been European grants. The role of the European funds is keynote for the fast development of the city, outlined Fandakova. 

In the Large Conference Hall

The Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU is an opportunity for our capital to be presented as good place for doing business, investment and tourism development. Sofia Municipality has prepared its own cultural programme to show the advantages of the city and the huge cultural and historical heritage of Bulgaria, pointed out Fandakova. 

Participants in the Forum

There are quite a few things that has changed so visibly in Bulgaria over the last years, said Peter Nikolov and determined the work of Sofia municipality as “a good example”. The Deputy Minister specified the issues to Bulgarian education and the ways for solving them. There is not so big difference between the incomes of graduates of foreign and Bulgarian universities so it is not correct to assert that the realization is always better abroad. In Bulgaria there are universities that guarantee realization comparable to the one offered by the European universities, outlined Nikolov. 

Deputy Minister Peter Nikolov

The Deputy Minister pointed out that the education should invest more in the quality than in the quantity because well-educated people could be more useful to the country.

The Forum is a chance to communicate with active and unaccomplished minds. The Presidency will be some kind of test for the politicians. Bulgaria will consider as its achievement the reconciling of positions on one or two disputable topics in the EU, outlined the Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev. According to his words Bulgaria should definitely enter the Eurozone because it could enhance the trust in it. 

Vice Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev

Bulgaria has chosen very appropriate topics and priorities for its European Presidency. It is dangerous if we set us over-ambitious and impossible tasks. It would lead to wrong messages and pursuit of personal interest, outlined Donchev. 

Students in the hall

The Vice Prime Minister examined the multiannual financial framework after 2020 and the cohesion policy disproving rumours about the withdrawing financing on European programmes. He grounded their decrease on Brexit and new expenditure related to the refugees and security. He emphasized also on the major role of Bulgaria during the Presidency: to obtain consensus on at least one of disputable topics.

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