2022 BESA Scientic Conference

“The EU after Covid-19: effects, lessons, perspectives”,

March 25, 2022

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The 2022 annual scientific conference of the Bulgarian European Studies Association (BESA) was under the general topic: “The EU after Covid-19: effects, lessons, perspectives.” Due to the epidemic situation, the conference was held online on the MS Teams platform. The date of the conference was not chosen by chance. On March 25, 2022 exactly 65 years have passed since the signing of the Treaties of Rome, which marked the beginning of the creation of the European Union.

The conference was attended by lecturers and doctoral students from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, UNWE, New Bulgarian University, Southwestern University “Neofit Rilski” and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The presentations of the participants were divided thematically into three panels. The first panel was focused on the legal, institutional, and political aspects of the integration in the time of Covid-19 pandemic. Moderator was Chief Assist. Prof. Dr. Veronika Stoilova. In his presentation, Chief Assist. Prof., Dr. Gergana Radoykova from Sofia University “Kliment Ohridski” spoke about the crisis of trust, leadership, and values, as a prerequisite for some problems in overcoming the consequences of the pandemic. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tatiana Burudjieva, also from Sofia University, discussed some issues related to the information and vaccination campaign in the fight against the pandemic. PhD student Milen Zhelev traced the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the EU accession process in some Western Balkan countries. The presentation of Assis. Prof., Dr. Katina Yoneva from the Institute for Historical Research of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences was dedicated to the impact of the pandemic on socio-economic relations in the Scandinavian countries. The last presentation in this first panel was by doctoral student Vladislav Vassilev and addressed the current issue of the role of political humor as a means of influence through social networks, including during the pandemic in the EU. The discussion on the topics of the first panel showed that there is still much that can be done to improve public communications in the EU in connection with the Covid-19 crisis, that the accession process in the Western Balkans is stalling, but not because of the pandemic, but because of other reasons and that in the Scandinavian countries there is a process of withdrawal from the welfare state, not least because of the problems surrounding the pandemic. Significant discussion has given rise to the use of political humor to create one or another public attitude, especially during a pandemic, when communications are mainly via Internet.

The second panel was mainly devoted to the internal development of the European Union. The moderator was Prof. Dr. Iskra Hristova-Balkanska. Prof. Dr. Dencho Georgiev spoke about the problems regarding the compliance of the EU funding system with the fundamental goal of cohesion and the EU’s core values of equality, democracy, and the rule of law. Prof. Dr. Tatiana Hubenova from the Institute for Economic Research of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences presented the opportunities and problems of implementing the EU Mechanism for Recovery and Sustainability, as well as the investment prospects of Bulgaria. PhD student Radoslav Pashov presented EU measures to manage the EU labor market during the pandemic. Assoc. Prof. D.Sc. Kaloyan Simeonov from Sofia University “Kliment Ohridski” analyzes the effects of the pandemic on financial literacy measures. In her presentation, PhD student Mariela Savkova considered the regional aspect of cohesion policy and the negative effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on lagging regions in Bulgaria. Finally, Prof. Dr. Iskra Hristova-Balkanska focused on the contradictions and prospects for economic relations between the EU and China through the prism of the crisis around Covid-19. The discussion on the second panel showed the discrepancy between the declared goal of social and economic cohesion in the EU and the way in which the union’s budget is formed and distributed. Speakers at the conference stressed the need for more efficient use in our country of the EU Mechanism for Reconstruction and Sustainability. Concern was expressed about low financial literacy of part of the population in Bulgaria, which is a prerequisite for poor personal finance management. The need for reform of our regional policy to increase the administrative and financial independence of the regions was also noted.

The third panel was related to some economic aspects of integration. The moderator was Prof. D.Sc. Dimitar Hadjinikolov from UNWE. In her presentation, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Yoneva from UNWE analyzed the achievements in the energy transition and the existing threats to the EU’s energy security in the context of the pandemic crisis. The possibilities for a unified approach to the recovery of the tourism sector in the EU economy were discussed by Dr. Dimitar Pehlivanov. Prof. D.Sc. Dimitar Hadjinikolov presented his study on convergence in export specialization as a criterion for economic cohesion in the EU on the example of Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia. Ch. Assist. Prof., Dr. Monika Moraliyska from the University of National and World Economy analyzes the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on the EU’s trade with its main trading partners in Asia. The discussion after the third panel touched on the role of renewable energy sources in achieving greater energy security in the EU. The positive effects of EU programs to support the tourism business were highlighted. The importance of foreign direct investment for achieving greater economic cohesion and consequent convergence in the export specialization of Member States was emphasized, and the impact of the pandemic crisis on supply chains from Asia to the EU.

Summaries of their reports were also sent to the Conference by Chief Assist. Prof., Dr. Katya Hristova Valcheva on “Pandemic and Crisis Management: The Principle of Solidarity in the Context of the Current EU Political Process”; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Irena Nikolova on “Restrictions and Regulations in European Union External Trade: Lessons from the Pandemic” and Chief Assist. Prof. Dr. Stoyan Shalamanov on “Indices and criteria for assessing sectoral vulnerability by Covid 19 pandemic”.

Конференция на БАЕИ 25.3.2022 г

ЕС след Ковид-19 – ефекти, поуки, перспективи

2019 BESA Scientific Conference

Europe in my profession project

On 2 and 3 November 2019, a national scientific conference of the Bulgarian European Studies Association (BESA) was held in Veliko Tarnovo, implemented with the help of the European Union’s Erasmus + Program.

The reason for the Bulgarian researchers and students to gather in the old capital city this time was twofold – firstly, to get acquainted with the results of the BESA project “Europe in my profession” and secondly, to discuss the European Parliament elections, held in the spring of 2019, and the new chalenges facing the EU governance, policies and economy.

The participants in conference thoroughly analyzed the impact that European legal norms and European policies have on the professional development of young people in ten professional areas covered by the project: translation services, law, foreign trade, finance, agriculture, architecture and urban planning, environment, tourism, engineering and medicine. More information about the results of the project discussion can be found on the internet site

The presentations during the scientific conference were implemented by prominent researchers from Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ”, New Bulgarian University, University of National and World Economy, Southwestern University “ Neofit Rilski“, “St. Cyril and St. Methodius” University of Veliko Tarnovo”, Technical University, Sofia, Dgricultural University, Plovdiv, University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy, Medical University – Varna.

A Proceedings of the Conference will be soon published.






On 27.02.2018 a seminar on EU-Turkey relations was held in the UNWE’s Great Conference Hall in the context of the Bulgarian EU Presidency. BESA was co-organizer of the seminar.



Importance and Perspectives of EU-Turkey Trade Relations and Bulgaria-Turkey Trade Relations in the Framework of the Customs Union


2017 BESA Annual Scientific Conference

The European Union beyond 2020: In Search of Identity, Sustainability and Growth

26 October, 2017, Hous of Europe in Sofia

Conference Program and Papers are published below:

2017 BESA Conference Program

2017 BESA Conference Papers


 Deputy Minister Monika Panayotova welcomed the participants in the conference




Panel discussions


The audience follows with interest the discussion