Deputy Head of European Commission Representation Addresses CIDC’s Advocacy Academy

June 27, 2024
Deputy Head of European Commission Representation Addresses CIDC’s Advocacy Academy

Boyko Blagoev, Deputy Head of Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria, delivered a compelling presentation to the first cohort of the Advocacy Academy Program, a flagship initiative of the Center for Information, Democracy, and Citizenship (CIDC) at the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG). This program, developed in partnership with BESCO – The Bulgarian Entrepreneurial Association, and supported by the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), aims to train stakeholders across business, politics, and civil society in Bulgaria on effective policy advocacy within a democratic framework.

Mr. Blagoev delivered a detailed overview of EU institutions and the critical junctures at which stakeholders can engage in the decision-making process. Highlighting the profound impact of EU policies on Bulgaria, he underscored the importance of active and informed participation from various sectors to shape these policies. The session resonated with the mission of the CIDC, which is to promote informed democratic citizenship in the Balkans and beyond. Mr. Blagoev discussed the European Commission’s commitment to transparency and accountability, detailing the various communication channels available to European citizens, including reporting, complaint, and feedback mechanisms. He acknowledged the challenges Bulgarian advocates face, such as navigating the complexities of EU institutions and the evolving national policies. However, he emphasized the European Commission’s dedication to fostering an open dialogue with civil society organizations, government institutions, and the business sector in Bulgaria to drive positive change.

Participants of the Advocacy Academy, who are drawn from business, civil society, and public sector, echoed the sentiment that strategic focus is necessary, advocating for prioritizing key areas of interest to ensure balanced and effective advocacy that aligns national interests with collective EU goals.

The discussions extended beyond the formal presentation, leaving a lasting impact on the attendees and igniting a renewed commitment to civic engagement as well as fresh ideas for future advocacy in Bulgaria and at the EU.