1993 -1995 HIGHLIGHTS
- Held over 30 seminars, lectures and workshops;
- Participated in two Council of Europe campaigns:
the Youth Campaign Against Racism, Anti-Semitism, Xenophobia and
Intolerance, and the Nature Conservation Year;
- Organized five public contests;
- Hosted three press conferences with members of the
Bulgarian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council
- Issued over 10 translations and publications of
Council of Europe documents, including the European Charter on the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and the Short
Guide to it;
- Provided information and assistance to 5,000
visitors to the library;
- Developed a national information network comprised
of 10 subnodes in major towns across the country.
The Information and Documentation Centre of the
Council of Europe in Sofia is part of a network of information
centers in the member countries of Central and Eastern Europe. It
was established as a joint initiative of the Council of Europe, the
Bulga-rian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Center for the Study
of Democracy, and was inaugurated on December 13, 1993 by Ms.
Catherine Lalumiиre, Secretary General of the Council of Europe,
and Dr. Zhelyu Zhelev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The purpose of the Information Centre is to assist
the Council of Europe's activities in Bulgaria, aimed at promoting
democratic values, pluralist democracy and the rule of law. The
Centre provides information on the basis of a documentary
collection and online link with the Council of Europe in
Strasbourg. It offers assistance to Council of Europe-related
activities of government bodies and non-governmental organizations
and promotes the ideals and values of the Council of Europe by
organizing conferences, seminars, lectures, roundtable discussions,
as well as press conferences, public awareness campaigns and other
publicity events. The Information Centre publishes and distributes
important Council of Europe documents in Bulgarian. Its activities
cover a broad range of issues, including political co-operation,
human rights, social issues, education, culture, sports, youth,
mass media, and local self-government.
In 1996, the focal points of the work of IDCCES
- the national information network
- the second year of the European Youth Campaign
against Racism, Anti-Semitism, Xenophobia and Intolerance
- the European Social Charter
- the case law volume of the European Court on Human
I. National Information Network
The national information network is presently well
established and functioning, bringing Council of Europe materials
closer to people outside the capital city. In 1996, all regional
information units were supplied regularly with a selection of
Council of Europe materials: documents, periodicals, leaflets and
the publications of the Information and Documentation Centre,
including the European Convention on Human Rights complete
with explanatory materials (in Bulgarian), and the book Roma,
Gypsy, Travelers (in Bulgarian).
II. European Youth Campaign Against Racism,
Anti-Semitism, Xenophobia and Intolerance
Believing that the campaign would have little
meaning if restricted to a single year of activities, the
Information Centre organized a follow-up essay contest Diversity
Is Beautiful for students aged 14-18. The contest was announced
on the Media Action Day Against Racism on March 21, and received
broad publicity on the national radio and in student periodicals.
The results of the contest were announced on the national radio.
Three awards were presented and all participants received small
souvenirs from the IDCCES.
III. Seminars, Lectures, Discussions
On April 3, the IDCCES held a lecture for students
at the Dutch College in Sofia on the topic Bulgaria's European
Integration: Problems and Prospects, which included a
presentation of a comparative analysis of Bulgarian and European
law in the field of human rights.
The IDCCES provided support for and participated in
a seminar on the European Social Charter on May31.
In October, IDCCES organized a lecture by Professor
Antonia Angelova for students of International Relations at the
Slavic University. The topic of the lecture was the European
Convention of Human Rights, and included a presentation of a
Council of Europe video film on human rights.
IDCCES provided support in the organization of the
Conference on "Corruption and Organized Crime in States of
Transition" in Sofia, December 12-13 under the Octopus project (a
joint project of the Council of Europe and the Commission of the
In addition, IDCCES provided support for and
participated in the conference Non-Judicial Means for the
Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Bulgaria, December
- Visit of Ms. Marija Vrazivirska, Librarian at the
Skopje Faculty of Law, in connection with the opening of an
Information and Documentation Centre of the Council of Europe in
- Visit of Mr. Christophe Poirel, Media Secretary,
Directorate of Human Rights;
- May 22-24: on-site meeting of IDCCE Directors in
- September 23-28, meeting of IDCCE Directors in
- Visit of John Murray, Co-ordinator of Activities on
Roma/Gypsies, Council of Europe.
V. Publicity Events
- In connection with the Media Action Day Against
Racism, publicity materials were provided to journalists. This year
the Media Action Day was given much more attention by the Bulgarian
mass media owing, to a great extent, to the efforts of the
- April 19: Press launch of the book Roma, Gypsy,
Travelers at IDCCES;
- April 24: Presentation of the book Roma, Gypsy,
Travelers on the national radio;
- May 9: Interview of Ms. Janeta Shinkova on the
Hristo Botev program of the national radio in connection with
- Liegeois, Jean-Pierre. Roma, Gypsies, Travellers.
S., IDCCE, 1996, 367 pp. ISBN 954-477-017-8
- European Convention on Human Rights. S., IDCCE,
1996, 67 pp.
VII. Other Initiatives
In conjunction with the Center for the Study of
Democracy, the IDCCES initiated the translation of the European
Social Charter and a compatibility analysis.
The IDCCES started work on a project for the
publication of a volume of case law of the European Court of Human
Rights in Bulgarian. The digest will include 45 selected cases as
well as reference instruments. The selection and editing is being
done by a team of four outstanding experts consulted by Judge
Dimiter Gochev, member of the European Court on Human Rights. The
resulting volume will be a valuable tool for the entire legal
community as well as for university lecturers of law, students and
non-governmental organizations active in the field of human rights.
It is due to come out at the beginning of September 1997 on the eve
the fifth anniversary of the ECHR's coming into force in