The Rector Awarded to Valdis Dombrovskis the Honorary Title of Doctor Honoris Causa of UNWE

Thursday, 23 February 2023 18:45

At a solemn ceremony in Maxima Aula of the University the Rector Prof. Dr. Dimitar Dimitrov awarded the honorary title of Doctor Honoris Causa of UNWE to the European Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for Economy that Works for People.

The title is awarded to Valdis Dombrovskis for his significant contribution to building and strengthening the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union, strengthening the international role of the euro, the European Union's trade policy and the economy that works for the people.

Official guests at the ceremony were the Deputy Prime Minister for EU Funds Management Atanas Pekanov, the Minister of Finance Rositsa Velkova, the Minister of e-Government Georgy Todorov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Nikolay Milkov, the Deputy Minister of Finance Metody Metodiev, H. E. Selver Khalil, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Republic of Latvia, the Governor of the Bulgarian National Bank Dimitar Radev, the Head of the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria Tsvetan Kyulanov, representatives of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Bulgaria.

"For us your honorary title has a special symbolic value. Your contribution to the financial stability of the European Union is undeniable. Your career and your executive management of the most important EU executive body which bear the overall responsibility for drafting proposals for a new European legislation and also implements decisions of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU are the proof that since its creation more than a century ago, the UNWE has honoured with this title courageous visionaries, personalities with a proven public contribution and will for change", said Prof. Dr. Dimitar Dimitrov. The Rector announced the decision of the Academic Council to award Valdis Dombrovskis with the highest honorary title of the UNWE. "Welcome to our academic family! May our united spirit and our deep respect be your sure support in the responsible mission of Vice-President of the European Commission in the conditions of global economic, financial and political crisis", said Prof. Dr. Dimitar Dimitrov.

In his greeting speech the Deputy Prime Minister Atanas Pekanov made an analysis of the actions taken in economic and financial terms by the European Commission in the last 10 years, acknowledging the significant role of Valdis Dombrovskis for each decision. "Commissioner Dombrovskis is one of the figures who have left the most serious mark in recent years on the economic development of the European Union, on the establishment of the euro as the second most important currency in the world, on the creation of the Banking Union and the Capital Markets Union which contribute to the stability of the monetary union. They have given us the tools to manage better with the crises", said Atanas Pekanov.

In his academic speech Valdis Dombrovskis pointed out that for Bulgaria the Recovery and Sustainability Mechanism is a unique opportunity to invest in the future - to increase the competitiveness and to manage the social cohesion and growth. He added that today more than ever Bulgaria needs to move forward with the implementation of its plan. He pointed out that there is one important area that is of particular interest for Bulgaria - the path to joining the euro and added: "The euro is a great advantage for Europe. Since its creation 20 years ago, the euro has become a symbol of Europe's strength, unity and solidarity. As we found in Latvia, the euro is also a stabilizing force. Like any country preparing to adopt the euro, Bulgaria must first meet the four convergence criteria: price stability, exchange rate stability, sound public finances and interest rate convergence. As a whole we see that Bulgaria probably will meet the convergence criteria on long-term interest rates, the exchange rate stability within ERM II and the sound public finances. The main issue is the price stability criterion which Bulgaria has not yet met. Today's global highly inflationary environment makes this task much more difficult. Adverse external circumstances are delaying Bulgaria's plans to join the euro. However, joining the euro area should remain the ultimate goal and should be implemented as soon as all conditions are met. The European Commission will continue to work closely with Bulgaria to support the efforts to join the euro area", said Valdis Dombrovskis.

After the academic speech by Valdis Dombrovskis, the President of the Student Council at UNWE Angel Stoykov welcomed the attendees in Maxima Aula and opened the session in which students, lecturers and guests had the opportunity to ask their questions to the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission.

"It is a great honour and a great pleasure for me to have the opportunity to welcome Mr. Valdis Dombrovskis. With the utmost respect, I declare that I am delighted to stand on the same stage with Mr. Dombrovskis who has been Finance Minister and Prime Minister of Latvia, Commissioner in the Juncker Commission and since 2019 Vice-President of the European Commission", said Angel Stoykov. "For us, the young people, such meetings with successful managers and politicians are not only inspiring but also motivating and give us the necessary fervor to continue pursuing our dreams, said Mr. Stoykov. As part of the student community of the largest economic university in Southeastern Europe, I am glad to have the opportunity to hear his views on the current financial situation in Europe and it will be interesting to hear his opinion on how far Bulgaria has come in its path to full membership in the euro area, whether it is ready for accession and what are the possible dangers and opportunities on the way to joining the euro area".

Other questions that were of interest for students and lecturers concerned topics as whether the power plants according to the Recovery and Sustainability Plan and the part on reducing carbon emissions can remain open until 2028; what measures should be taken in Bulgaria after joining the euro area to deal with artificially high prices and inflation; how the Baltic countries have managed to reduce inflation from over 20% in 2022 to 7.5% in January 2023, etc.

Among the official guests in the hall were also Diana Yordanova, Deputy Chairman of the Financial Supervision Commission /FSC/, Head of the Insurance Supervision Department and Maria Filipova, Deputy Chairman of the FSC, Head of the Investment Supervision Department, Yanka Takeva, President of the Union of Bulgarian Teachers, Daniel Parushev, Chairman of the National Representation of Student Councils in the Republic of Bulgaria /NRSC/, the Rector and the academic management of the University, members of the UNWE Trustees Board, CEO`s of banks in Bulgaria, prominent economists and financiers, lecturers and students.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rosen Kirilov, Vice Rector for Digitalization and Cybersecurity, Prof. Dr. Matilda Alexandrova-Boshnakova, Deputy Rector for Educational Activities, Prof. Dr. Dimitar Dimitrov, Valdis Dombrovskis, Prof. Dr. Daniela Feschian, Chairman of the UNWE Control Council, Prof. Dr. Tsvetana Stoyanova, Vice Rector for Institutional and Business Cooperation and Student Policies, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mihail Musov, Vice Rector for Research and International Affairs, Prof. Dr. Margarita Atanasova, Dean of the General Economics Faculty, Venelin Boshnakov, Dean of the Applied Informatics and Statistics Faculty, Assoc. Assoc. Dr. Maria Bakalova, Dean of the International Economics and Politics Faculty, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dimitar Blagoev, Dean of the Business Faculty /from the left to the right/

Before the official ceremony a short meeting of the official guests and the Rector's management with the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis was held in the Academic Hall.

In the Rector's office Valdis Dombrovskis wrote in the UNWE Golden Book:

“I am both humbled and privilege to accept this Honorary Doctorate from your great institute of learning. I thank you most sincerely for the great honour.

UNWE equips its students with the skills and experience to make a positive contribution to Bulgaria, Europe and the wide world.

Our European Union faces many threat and challenges at the current time and it is most important to focus on what unite us to make a positive and decisive difference in the year to come.

Long live UNWE, long live Bulgaria, long live the EU!”

The Rector awarded to Valdis Dombrovskis and to the Minister of Finance Rositsa Velkova a jubilee coin 100 Years UNWE.


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