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Information Resources Program
 

The Information Resource Program included the following projects and areas of activities:

  • Information and Documentation Centre of the Council of Europe
  • Democracy and Economic Reform Guide for Bulgaria
  • Security and Democracy in the New Europe
  • Fostering Public Awareness in the Year of Tolerance
  • Who is Who in Bulgarian Politics
  • Library and Book Publishing

I. Information and Documentation Centre of the Council of Europe

The Information and Documentation Centre of the Council of Europe (IDCCE) in Bulgaria concentrated its efforts on building a national information network of the Council of Europe. Following an agreement for cooperation between the IDCCE and the Open Society Fund, Sofia, two IDCCE information offices were opened in Plovdiv and Pleven. News conferences by politicians, lectures of Council of Europe officials, and exhibitions of Council of Europe publications were organized as part of the opening ceremonies.

On January 24, 1994, IDCCE organized a meeting of the Coordinating Committee on the participation of Bulgaria in the activities of the Council of Europe with a view to coordinating the programs for 1994.

In March 1994, IDCCE hosted a seminar on the Intergovernmental Cooperation in the Council of Europe and its Programs for Cooperation and Assistance with the Central and East European Countries, which was attended by representatives of the Council of Europe.

IDCCE hosted a news conference given by the members of the Bulgarian Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, on November 1, 1994.

In 1994 IDCCE held the following public lectures:

Professor Michael Branch, Director of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London: "The Reform of the British Higher Education System", April 4, 1994;

Hans Christian Krueger, Secretary of the European Commission of Human Rights, and Michel de Silva, Deputy Secretary: "Council of Europe's Mechanisms for Guaranteeing Human Rights", May 5, 1994;

Robin Guthrie, Director of Social and Economic Affairs of the Council of Europe: "The Role of NGOs in the Development of Civil Society in Eastern Europe", June 8, 1994;

HE Christel Steffler, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Bulgaria: "Europe after the Elections: New Perspectives and Challenges", June 22, 1994;

Anne Marie Faradji from the Council of Europe Directorate of Youth gave two lectures before leaders of youth organizations on November 9, 1994 in Plovdiv, and November 10, 1994 in Blagoevgrad;

Dobrinka Chankova, Expert at the Parliamentary Commission on Human Rights, gave two lectures on human rights issues to students at the University of National and World Economy, Sofia on November 11 and 14, 1994. The Council of Europe's film Human Rights was shown to the students;

Borislav Petranov, Human Rights Expert, Woolfson College, Oxford:

- "Council of Europe Human Rights Protection System: European Convention on Human Rights, European Social Charter, European Convention for the Prevention of Torture", November 28, 1994

- "Procedures of the Institutions under the European Convention on Human Rights and Their Reform under Protocol No. 11", November 30, 1994

- "Freedom of Expression: Hate Speech", December 1, 1994

- "Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion According to the European Convention on Human Rights", December 2, 1994

- "Conditions for Admissibility of Appeals to the European Commission on Human Rights", December 8, 1994

- "International Obligations of the Countries that are Sides to the European Convention on Human Rights", December 9, 1994

- "Interpretation Rules of the European Court on Human Rights and the Legal Force of its Decisions", December 12, 1994;

Dr. Antonina Angelova, Professor at the New Bulgarian University, gave two lectures on the European mechanisms for protection of human rights before students from the New Bulgarian University on December 14 and 15, 1994. The Council of Europe's film Human Rights was shown to the students.

IDCCE received 496 new documents, and was visited by 1041 readers in 1994. Nine books, films, and brochures presenting the activities of the Council of Europe were translated into Bulgarian. The Centre popularized the activities of the Council of Europe in Bulgaria through radio, television and other news media.

II. Democracy and Economic Reform Guide for Bulgaria

This public education project is aimed at:

  • improving the understanding among the general public, and especially among high school students, of key political and economic concepts;
  • assisting educational reform in Bulgaria;
  • identifying the most appropriate methods for teaching politics and economics to students.

To this end, a number of essays on basic political and economic concepts will be developed. A two-day conference held on February 23-24, 1994 with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation produced a list of 55 economic and 25 political concepts to be discussed in a short essay form. These essays will be published in the press, then aired on radio, and finally compiled in a short textbook.

The first three experimental publications appeared in the Standart News daily in August 1994. Two articles have been published weekly in Kapital Press since October 1994.

Some essays were prepared for broadcast in the production studio of Vitosha Radio with the help of a radio host and the essays' authors. The first radio essay was aired in October 1994.

In order to analyze the audience's perception of the essays, a project team started developing an electronic perception analyzer system which was ready in September 1994. Three experimental sessions were carried out with 23 respondents. This enabled the project team to find the most suitable format in which to present the essays to radio listeners.

III. Security and Democracy in the New Europe

This project was carried out in cooperation with King's College, London, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, The Hague, the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), Athens, and the Defense Studies Division, University of Ljubljana. The project's objective was to assist democratic institutions involved in issues of national security, and to initiate wide public discussion on these issues.

Four seminars were organized in The Hague, Athens, Ljubljana and Sofia with the participation of 20 representatives from Central and East European countries, including Members of Parliament, senior officials from the ministries of defense and foreign affairs, political scientists and journalists. Bulgaria was represented by Mr. Stephan Tafrov, Bulgarian Ambassador to Italy, Dr. Evgenii Dainov, Publisher of Insider magazine, Mr. Krassimir Nikolov, Research Fellow at the Centre for European Studies, and Mr. Emil E. Georgiev from CSD. Leading West European experts in the fields of defense and international relations, including professor George Schopflin from the London School of Economics, Professor Lawrence Freedman, King's College, London, MPs and ministers from the host countries, lectured at these seminars.

During the international seminar "Security and Democracy in the New Europe" held in Sofia on July 29 and 30, Mr. Nickolay Slatinski, Chairman of the National Assembly Committee on National Security presented a paper entitled "Europe, the Balkans, and Bulgaria. National Security and National Idea". Comments on the paper were provided by Dr. James Gow, Professor at the Centre for Defence Studies, King's College, London, Professor Andrey Pantev from the Department of History, Sofia University, Mr. Asparouh Panov, Vice President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and Mr. Solomon Passi, President of the Bulgarian Atlantic Club.

Mr. Emil Georgiev, Coordinator of CSD's Information Resources Program developed a paper, "Perspectives for Security Co-operation in the Black Sea Area", which was presented at the seminar Security Options for the Former Warsaw Treaty Organization States, held at Wiston House, Essex, on May 20-25, 1994.

A paper on "Ethnic Minorities in Bulgaria" by Mr. Georgiev was presented at the Minorities and Related Problems in the Balkans seminar held in Ankara on October 27-29, 1994.

IV. Fostering Public Awareness in the Year of Tolerance

The project was launched in November 1994. Its chief objective is to provide rapid and reliable information and specific policy recommendations to non-governmental, governmental, and intergovernmental organizations involved in initiatives against ethnic hatred, xenophobia, and intolerance in Bulgaria and the Balkans. The collected information will facilitate the decision-making process in these organizations and their work on the implementation of the designed measures. Expert evaluations based on such information will allow for better preparation and stronger impact of the initiatives planned in Bulgaria in connection with the Year of Tolerance.

V. Who is Who in Bulgarian

Politics

The project was launched in November 1994. Its purpose is to prepare a biographical guide to current Bulgarian politics and to create a database which will be constantly updated. The guide will include an addendum outlining the structure and operation of the Bulgarian government.

VI. Library

In addition to the materials of the Information and Documentation Centre of the Council of Europe, CSD's collection of books and documents was enlarged by 224 new entries, 87 of which were purchased by CSD. The remainder were donated by the Sabre Foundation, by the authors, or by other persons and organizations. CSD received more than 45 publications of different international and Bulgarian organizations in the fields of social and political science, economics and law. The majority of these publications were Reform Round Table (RRT) documents from countries participating in the RRT project.

CSD received occasional papers and books by prominent economists from the International Center for Economic Growth (ICEG) in San Francisco. These papers were given away to key policy-makers and experts from different government agencies in Bulgaria. In response to a request from ICEG, CSD selected thirty Bulgarian business representatives, government agencies and scholars to receive the ICEG Newsletter.

The CSD Library received 57 Bulgarian and 111 foreign periodicals in 1994. Despite the delayed delivery of foreign periodicals, some of them were of great interest to the readers since they were only available at the CSD Library.

More than 1500 people visited the CSD Library in 1994. Most of the visitors were interested in the documents of the Council of Europe as a result of the Information and Documentation Centre's promotional activities aimed at popularizing the Council of Europe in Bulgaria, and the job recruitment procedure announced by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in January 1994. Professionals in international public law, education, culture, urban development and self-governance were among the most regular users of the Council of Europe's documents. Another large group of readers consisted of people whose rights had been violated, and who were interested in the procedures for appealing to the European Court on Human Rights.

VII. Book Publishing

In 1994, the CSD Book Publishing Program worked on four titles (including translation, editing and pre-publication):

B. H. Blackwell's Encyclopedia of Political Thought

Robert Dahl, Modern Political Analysis

The Spanish Transition to Democracy

(a collection of articles), vol. 2

Jurgen Habermas, Strukturwandel der Иffentlichkeit

CSD continued distributing books already published:

Giovanni Sartori, The Theory of Democracy Revisited

Ralph Dahrendorf, The Modern Social Conflict

Ralph Dahrendorf, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe

Robert Nisbet, The Quest for Community

James Fishkin, Democracy and Deliberation

J. S. Mill, On Liberty

Gertrude Himmelfarb, On Liberty and Liberalism

The Spanish Transition to Democracy

(a collection of articles), vol. 1

NTC International Student's Guide to the American University

These books were supplied to a number of libraries throughout the country, to institutes of higher education and other organizations. CSD publications were also sold at the International Book Exhibition in December 1994 in Sofia.

 
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