society and politics
Festival of Ideas on Europe
Part of the Project Festival of Ideas on EU
Festival of Ideas on Europe
8 - 16 April 2019 | 18:00 - 20:00 | Museum House "Andrey Nikolov" by the National Gallery | Cervantes Institut - Sofia | Sofia University – Mirror Hall | National Gallery/Kvadrat 500
As one of the youngest members of the European Union, Bulgaria has remained largely euro-optimistic over its first decade as a part of the European family. However, the recent wave of nationalism and EU-scepticism has not missed the Bulgarian citizens, who, in growing numbers, have become disenchanted not only with the country's EU membership, but with some of the EU's fundamental values, such as the liberal democracy and universal human rights. What are the reasons that brought this destructive trend? Could better understanding of the European policies and their effect on our daily life reverse it, or more efforts are needed? Can we come up with ideas that might restore the confidence in the EU among its citizens and strengthen its positions amid ongoing global turbulences?

Just a month ahead of the upcoming European elections in May 2019, we are bringing together prominent European thinkers, representatives of political groups, experts, academics, students and citizens to discuss together potential answers to those crucial questions.

Venues of the festival:
Museum House "Andrey Nikolov" by the National Gallery, 15 Lyuben Karavelov Str.
Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", 15 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd., Mirror Hall
Instituto Cervantes, 3 Sveta Sofia Str
National Gallery / Kvadrat 500, Sq. Alexander Nevski, 1 19 February Str., Hall 19

Program of the Festival

April 8, Monday, Exhibition Opening: European Years
Museum House "Andrey Nikolov" by the National Gallery | Gulliver Hall | 18:00 | free entrance
Exhibition of artwork by students of the National High School of Applied Arts "St. Luke", Advertising Graphics specialty, Grade 10 and Grade 11.
Leading teachers: Albena Mihailova, Christopher Krastev, Nikolay Popov.
Coordinator: Ralitsa Karapaneteva
The exhibition features posters, introducing the student's take on the European Years, proposed by the European Commission and adopted by the European Parliament and EU member governments.

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April 8, Monday: Freedom of movement
Museum House "Andrey Nikolov" by the National Gallery | Red hall | 18:00 - 20:00 | entrance: with registration
Topic: Shifting the Paradigm – from crisis to opportunity
Lecturer: Kilian Kleinschmidt - one of the most prominent names in the humanitarian sphere at the global level, making the largest refugee camp for Za'atari Syrians in Jordan an example of an effective organization.

Next - discussion: Global and local migration: challenges and opportunities
Moderator: Yavor Siderov, political scientist, advisor to two Bulgarian governments in the field of Migration
Panelists: Ildiko Otova, professor of European Migration Policy in the Department of European Studies, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", Philip Gounev, independent consultant, former security expert in the Center for the Study of Democracy and Deputy Minister of Interior of Bulgaria (2014-2016); Radostina Pavlova, legal expert, consultant and researcher, working on migration-related topics such as prevention of human trafficking, vulnerable migrants and access to public information in the area of asylum and migration

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April 9, Tuesday:
Can the freedom of speech be regulated?
Museum House "Andrey Nikolov" by the National Gallery | Red hall | 18:00 - 20:00 | entrance: with registration
Topic: Freedom of speech in Central and Eastern Europe: between the oligarchy at home and fighting "fake news" in Brussels
Lecturer: Daniel Kaiser – journalist, former member of the BBC office in the Czech Republic and "Lidové noviny" newspaper, currently a political commentator of the weekly magazine "Eho24", author of political biography of Václav Havel

Next - discussion: Can Brussels regulate media in the EU?
Moderator: Polina Paunova, journalist, Radio Free Europe
Panelists: Irina Nedeva, President of the Association of European Journalists-Bulgaria, Prof. Neli Ognianova, Media Law Expert, Andrei Tagarev, software developer, Ontotext AD – a fake news tracking system developing company

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April 10, Wednesday:
The Future of Europe's Economy
Sofia University | Mirror Hall | 18:00 - 20:00 | entrance: with registration
Topic: Democratizing Europe's Economy
Lecturer: Niccolò Milanese, poet and philosopher, director of European Alternatives – transnational civil society organization

Next - discussion: What will make the EU stronger: more freedom for the business or more social protection?
Moderator: Irina Nedeva, journalist from the Bulgarian National Radio and chairman of the Association of European Journalists - Bulgaria
Panelists: Vanya Grigorova, Economic Counselor of Confederation of Labour Podkrepa and President of Solidarna Bulgaria Association, Georgi Medarov, Sociologist, part of the team of the Collective for Public Interventions; Petar Ganev, economist, Institute for Market Economics, Teodor Dechev, Director of Industrial Policies of the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (AICB)

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April 11, Thursday:
Europe after Brexit
Instituto Cervantes – Sofia| 18:00 - 20:00 | entrance: with registration
Topic: The state of the EU: integration, crisis, disintegration
Lecturer: José Ignacio Torreblanca - Spanish journalist and political analyst, Head of the Madrid Office and Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)

Next - discussion: Europe of nations or the Europe of integration?
Moderator: Svetoslav Ivanov, journalist, BTV
Panelists: Ognian Minchev, Director of the Institute for Regional and International Studies and Chairman of the Managing Board of the Bulgarian branch of the Transparency International Foundation; Daniel Stefanov, Program Coordinator of ECFR – European Council on Foreign Relations

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April 12, Friday:
PhotoFactory presents "Europe in Focus"
Museum House "Andrey Nikolov" by the National Gallery| Red hall | 18:00 - 20:00 | entrance: with registration
Photographic Festival PhotoFactory presents highlights from its sixth edition, as well as short video chat shows with some of the world's photographers who have been part of its program over the years. And in 2019, the Old Continent is in the focus of the festival with exhibitions of iconic European photographers and expositions that cast a bridge between the past, the present and the future of the idea of Europe.
Magnum Photographers: Alex Mayley and Cristina Garcia Rodero
"HUMAN" author: Jan-Arthus Bertrand - winners of the highest European awards.
Presents: Emmy Barouch

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April 13, Saturday: Europe's Drama of the Foreigner

Museum House "Andrey Nikolov" by the National Gallery |Red Hall | 18:00 - 19:00 | login: with registration
Lecturer: Krzysztof Czyżewski, renowned Polish intellectual and culturalologist, writer, essayist

Next - discussion on the same topic.
Moderator: Irina Nedeva, journalist from the Bulgarian National Radio and chairman of the Association of European Journalists - Bulgaria
Panelists: Georgi Tenev, writer, screenwriter, director and producer; Ivaylo Dichev, Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the Sofia University

Partner of the event: Elizabeth Kostova Foundation
More about SPA (Sofia Poetically Animated) - http://ekf.bg/news/article/218

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April 14, Sunday:
Possible roads for Europe's Foreign Policy
National Gallery/Kvadrat 500 |Hall 19|18:00 - 20:00 |entrance: with registration
Theme: The Age of Imitation of Its Discontent
Lecturer: Ivan Krastev - chairperson of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, permanent fellow at the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna

Next - discussion: Where should Europe head to after losing the United States as a faithful foreign policy partner?
Moderator: Irina Nedeva, journalist from the Bulgarian National Radio and chairman of the Association of European Journalists - Bulgaria
Panelists: Rosen Plevneliev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria 2012 - 2017, Minister of Regional Development and Public Works (July 27, 2009 - September 9, 2011); Ivailo Kalfin, Special Adviser to the Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources G. Jottinger, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs (2005-2009) and Labor and Social Policy (2014-2016). Member of the European Parliament (2009-2014). Several times elected as a member of the National Assembly.

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April 15, Monday:
EU Funds: Tools for Competitiveness or Corruption?
Museum House "Andrey Nikolov" by the National Gallery | Red hall | 18:00 - 20:00 | entrance: with registration
Moderator: Ognyan Georgiev, Capital Newspaper
Panelists: Evgeni Kanev, PhD, managing partner in Maconis LLC, investment consulting company, Dimiter Stoyanov, journalist, Bivol.bg; Asst. Prof. Vihar Georgiev, lawyer, lecturer on "EU Policies - Practice", "Policies in Justice and Home Affairs" and "Applying EU Law"

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April 16, Tuesday:
The Future of Media in Europe
Museum House "Andrey Nikolov" by the National Gallery| Red hall | 18:00 - 19:00 | entrance: with registration
The lecture will be in English
Topic: The future of the media in Europe - what are the decisions against the pressure of foreign influences, disinformation and social networks?
Lecturer: Christophe Leclercq - Founder of the EuroActivist Media Network, President of the EuroActive
The owners of some of Europe's largest media are from the US, Russia, Japan, even Egypt. At the same time, disinformation pressure undermines confidence in the authoritative European media. They also found themselves in battle with search engines and social networks (the EC wants to force Google to pay for link sharing and news announcements, including at the request of major French and German media). The boom of consumer content is also a challenge to journalism. Are there successful models? And given the relationship between media, online debate and democracy, should this be a priority for the EU in 2019-2024?

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Organizers

The Sofia Festival of Ideas on Europe is organized with the support of the European parliament in partnership with The National Gallery, Centre for Liberal Strategies (CLS), the European network of houses for debates "Time to talk" (TTT), Czech Centre Sofia, the Spanish Cervantes Institute, the German Goethe Institute and the Polish Institute in Sofia. Media partners of the initiative are offnews.bg, mediapool.bg and Free Europe. All debates, speeches and political quizzes will be live streamed.
Lecturers
Kilian Kleinschmidt
Оne of the most prominent names in the humanitarian sphere at the global level, making the largest refugee camp for Za'atari Syrians in Jordan an example of an effective organization.. He is adviser on refugee matters to the Government of Austria. He is part of a number of initiatives and Projects which aim at global connectivity through better use of globalization. He is currently developing a number of ventures which aim at sustainable investment and social impact in very fragile environments.
Daniel Kaiser
He graduated from the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague. He is working as journalist in "Lidové noviny" newspaper. Daniel is a former member of the BBC office in the Czech Republic and "Lidové noviny" newspaper. In 2013 Daniel left MAFRA media group after the latter was acquired by Andrej Babiš. Currently Daniel is a columnist in the Echo 24 magazine. He is author of political biography of Václav Havel
Niccolò Milanese
President of European Alternatives, a poet and philosopher living in Paris, born in London. In addition to European Alternatives, he has been involved in the creation of numerous political and cultural organizations, magazines and initiatives from different countries of the Mediterranean, including the Liberal magazine, YAANI, Mena Policy Hub, Bitmind, Cultural Innovators Network, ECIT Foundation for European Citizenship, Europe + campaign for a democratic EU and Civil Society Europe, in which he is currently chairing the Working Party on Civilian and Fundamental Rights.
José Ignacio Torreblanca
He is the Head of the Madrid Office and Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and Professor of Political Science at the UNED. He is also a weekly columnist in EL MUNDO as author of the blog "Café Steiner" and a contributor on RNE. Previously, he was Editorial Director of EL PAIS (2016-2018) where he also authored a weekly column in the International Section and a blog. Prior to this, Torreblanca was the first Head of the ECFR Madrid Office (2007-2016) following the launch of ECFR across Europe.
Krzysztof Czyżewski
A prominent Polish intellectual and culturalologist, writer, director, philosopher, essayist, co-founder of the Cross-Border Foundation and the Cross-Border Center of Arts, Cultures, Peoples in Seyne, where he is the director. In 2011, together with the Cross-Border Team, he opened an International Center for Dialogue in Krasnogruda. Initiator of programs for intercultural dialogue in Central Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, North Africa and other border regions.
Ivan Krastev
Political scientist, chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, permanent fellow at the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna. He is a founder and member of the European Council for Foreign Policy, a member of the International Crisis Group (ICG) board, and has a monthly column in the New York Times, his latest books are: "After Europe", UPenn Press, 2017, "Democracy Disrupted. The Global Politics on Protest", UPenn Press, 2014; "In Mistrust We Trust: Can Democracy Survive When We Do not Trust Our Leaders", TED Books, 2013
Christophe Leclercq
He is founder of EURACTIV media network & Chairman of Fondation EURACTIV, plus adviser & commentator. After launching EURACTIV in 1999 and managing it for 10 years, Mr. Leclercq then focused on deepening the network and external relations. Since January 2018, Christophe Leclercq is one of the experts on the High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) on disinformation. He leads the new projects #Media4EU and Stars4Media (Erasmus4Media). He also teaches notably at Institut d'Etudes Européennes/ULB (Brussels).

Financial support
Еuropean Parliament
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