GERB is a conservative, populist Bulgarian political party established on 13 March 2006. The initials of the party герб/gerb translate as "coat of arms" in Bulgarian, it is Bulgaria's second-largest party by membership. GERB is headed by Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borisov, former mayor of Sofia, former member of the National Movement Simeon II, former personal guard of Todor Zhivkov in the 90s of the last century, they were close friends. The establishment of the party followed the creation of a non-profit organization with the acronym GERB — Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, earlier the same year; the name of the party is spelled in all caps nonetheless. In early January 2007, early February 2007, the party came second in public polls on party support with around 14%, trailing the Bulgarian Socialist Party which had around 25%, its stated priorities are fighting crime and corruption, preserving family as the cornerstone of society and achieving energy independence. GERB won the 2009 European Parliament election in Bulgaria with 24.36% of the vote.
The party elected five MEPs and joined the European People's Party-European Democrats Group in the European Parliament. On June 6, 2007 GERB applied formally to join as a member-party the European People's Party and joined EPP on February 7, 2008. GERB won the 2009 parliamentary elections, held a month after the European ballot, winning 39.7% of the popular vote and 117 seats. After the elections, a new government was formed, led by Borisov with GERB members and with 5 independent ministers around Deputy Prime Minister Simeon Djankov; the reformist wing was responsible for some of the most significant legislative victories, including a Constitutional reform to ban tax increases. On 20 February 2013, the government resigned after nationwide protests demanding it to step down. GERB's candidates for the 2011 presidential election, Rosen Plevneliev and Margarita Popova, won the elections on the second ballot with 52.6% of the popular vote. GERB won the 2013 parliamentary elections with 97 seats; this made GERB the first governing party to be re-elected in the history of the post-communist Bulgaria.
However, with lack of support from the other parties and designated to form a new government, Borisov refused the offer and so GERB went in the opposition. However, due to the collapse of the coalition government in 2014, GERB backed into power after the snap elections. Official website Official website GERB's page on the European People's Party website
Union of Democratic Forces (Bulgaria)
The Union of Democratic Forces is a political party in Bulgaria, founded in 1989 as a union of several political organizations in opposition to the communist government. The Union was transformed into a single unified party with the same name; the SDS is a member of the European People's Party. In the 1990s the party had the largest membership in the country, with one million members, but has since splintered into a number of small parties totaling no more than 40,000 members; the SDS proper had 12,000 members in 2016. Dissident groups formed under the faltering regime of Todor Zhivkov in the late 1980s were the basis for the Union. Once Zhivkov fell, a loose political confederation was envisioned where constituent groups could continue to work for their own cause, while the coordinating council would include three members from each organization; the Longtime dissident philosopher Zhelyu Zhelev, who would become Bulgaria's President, was elected chairman, Petar Beron, a well-known environmental scientist, was chosen as secretary.
The SDS was founded on 7 December 1989 as a union of eleven political organizations, such as Ekoglasnost, Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers' Party and Bulgarian Agrarian People's Union "Nikola Petkov". The following year, six more parties were incorporated; the SDS lost the 1990 elections to the Bulgarian Socialist Party but still participated in the joint cabinet of Dimitar Iliev Popov. On 15 May 1991 39 members left the SDS because of disagreements with the draft of the new constitution and founded the new organizations SDS-Center and SDS-Liberals; the remnants of the SDS formed their own cabinet with Prime Minister Filip Dimitrov in November 1991, though the cabinet lasted only a little over a year when the government failed a motion of confidence in September 1992. The socialists, together with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, formed a coalition government headed by Prof. Lyuben Berov. Following the resignation of Berov's cabinet in October 1994, the BSP went on to win the 1994 elections.
However, following discontent over economic problems, Prime Minister Zhan Videnov resigned at the end of 1996, clearing the way for new elections, this time won by the SDS with a crushing 55% vote. Party leader Ivan Kostov went on to form the new government and passed several economic reforms, he was rewarded in December 1999 with an invitation to begin membership talks with the European Union. But public discontent over the social cost of the reforms, including increased unemployment, as well as allegations of corruption led to the SDS's defeat in the June 2001 elections, which were won by the National Movement for Simeon II; the United Democratic Forces won 51 out of 240 seats. The SDS was chaired until the May 20, 2007 European elections by Petar Stoyanov, former president of the country. Meanwhile, the former Prime Minister and SDS party leader went on to form his own party - Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria. At the 2005 parliamentary election, the United Democratic Forces won 8.4% of the popular vote and 20 out of 240 seats.
It was announced at the inaugural conference of the Movement for European Reform that the SDS would become official partners alongside the British Conservative Party and the Czech Civic Democratic Party. In mid April 2007, the SDS backtracked on its decision, stating that it remains loyal to the EPP and that it will never leave the EPP section of the EPP-ED Group to join another Group. In the May 20, 2007 European elections the SDS failed to elect a single MEP, resulting in the resignation of Stoyanov who led the list. At the start of 2009 the SDS entered in an electoral alliance named the "Blue Coalition" with four other center-right parties: the DSB, the United Agrarians, the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party and the Radical Democratic Party; the alliance fielded candidates for the June 2009 European election winning a seat. When the Lisbon Treaty came into force in December of that year, their representation doubled. Now both the SDS and the DSB had an MEP; the Blue coalition placed fifth in the legislative election a month with a combined 6.8% of the vote and 15 seats.
In the May 2013 elections, the SDS lost all of its seats in the Bulgarian National Assembly. For the 1997 parliamentary elections, an alliance named United Democratic Forces was formed around SDS; the same name was used for other elections and parliamentary groups. In early 2009 an alliance was formed together with Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria for the European Parliament elections and National Assembly elections; the coalition included some other parties. The coalition agreement to form the alliance of the Reformist Bloc was signed on 20 December 2013; the five parties that signed the agreement were: Union of Democratic Forces, Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria, Bulgaria for Citizens Movement, People's Party Freedom and Dignity, the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union. Chairmen of the Coordination Council Zhelyu Zhelev Petar Beron Filip Dimitrov Ivan Kostov Chairmen and Chairwomen of the unified party Ivan Kostov Ekaterina Mihailova Nadezhda Mihailova Petar Stoyanov Plamen Yurukov Martin Dimitrov Emil Kabaivanov Bozhidar Lukarski Rumen Hristov Conservatism portal Official website Bulgarian Subject Files - Political Parties: Union of Democratic Forces Open Society Archives, Budapest
Municipalities of Bulgaria
The 28 provinces of Bulgaria are divided into 265 municipalities. Municipalities comprise multiple towns and settlements and are governed by a mayor, elected by popular majority vote for a four-year term, a municipal council, elected using proportional representation for a four-year term; the creation of new municipalities requires that they must be created in a territory with a population of at least 6,000 and created around a designated settlement. They must be named after the settlement that serves as the territory's administrative center, among other criteria; the council of a municipality is further permitted to create admininistrative subdivisions: mayoralties and wards or quarters. Mayoralties are overseen by elected mayors and comprises one or more villages or towns. Settlements are overseen by a manager appointed by the mayor of a municipality and thus have fewer responsibilities and less power than a mayoralty. Wards are overseen by elected mayors and must include a population of at least 25,000.
Like municipalities themselves and wards are designated administrative-territorial units, as they have their own elected officials. Settlements, are designated territorial units since their leaders are appointed. Bansko Municipality Belitsa Municipality Blagoevgrad Municipality Garmen Municipality Gotse Delchev Municipality Hadzhidimovo Municipality Kresna Municipality Petrich Municipality Razlog Municipality Sandanski Municipality Satovcha Municipality Simitli Municipality Strumyani Municipality Yakoruda Municipality Aytos Municipality Burgas Municipality Kameno Municipality Karnobat Municipality Malko Tarnovo Municipality Nesebar Municipality Pomorie Municipality Primorsko Municipality Ruen Municipality Sozopol Municipality Sredets Municipality Sungurlare Municipality Tsarevo Municipality Balchik Municipality Dobrich Municipality Dobrichka Municipality General Toshevo Municipality Kavarna Municipality Krushari Municipality Shabla Municipality Tervel Municipality ) Dryanovo Municipality Gabrovo Municipality Sevlievo Municipality Tryavna Municipality Dimitrovgrad Municipality Harmanli Municipality Haskovo Municipality Ivaylovgrad Municipality Lyubimets Municipality Madzharovo Municipality Mineralni Bani Municipality Simeonovgrad Municipality Stambolovo Municipality Svilengrad Municipality Topolovgrad Municipality Ardino Municipality Chernoochene Municipality Dzhebel Municipality Kardzhali Municipality Kirkovo Municipality Krumovgrad Municipality Momchilgrad Municipality Boboshevo Municipality Bobov Dol Municipality Dupnitsa Municipality Kocherinovo Municipality Kyustendil Municipality Nevestino Municipality Rila Municipality Sapareva Banya Municipality Treklyano Municipality Apriltsi Municipality Letnitsa Municipality Lovech Municipality Lukovit Municipality Teteven Municipality Troyan Municipality Ugarchin Municipality Yablanitsa Municipality Berkovitsa Municipality Boychinovtsi Municipality Brusartsi Municipality Chiprovtsi Municipality Georgi Damyanovo Municipality Lom Municipality Medkovets Municipality Montana Municipality Valchedram Municipality Varshets Municipality Yakimovo Municipality Batak Municipality Belovo Municipality Bratsigovo Municipality Lesichovo Municipality Panagyurishte Municipality Pazardzhik Municipality Peshtera Municipality Rakitovo Municipality Sarnitsa Municipality Septemvri Municipality Strelcha Municipality Velingrad Municipality Brezn
Foreign relations of Bulgaria
Foreign relations of the Republic of Bulgaria are the Bulgarian government's external relations with the outside world. Bulgaria has good foreign relations with its neighbors and has proved to be a constructive force in the region under socialist and democratic governments alike. Promoting regional stability, Bulgaria hosted a Southeast European Foreign Ministers meeting in July 1996, an OSCE conference on Black Sea cooperation in November 1995. Bulgaria participated in the 1996 South Balkan Defense Ministerial in Albania and is active in the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative. Bulgaria's main focus is the Euro-Atlantic integration since 1997 and the efforts of the governments since led to admission to NATO in 2004 and the European Union in 2007, its main allies are Greece and Romania, while it maintains good relations with Serbia and the rest of the Balkans. Republic of Macedonia is important state in Bulgarian foreign and internal policy due to the historical and cultural connections.
With their close historical and economic ties, Bulgaria seeks a mutually beneficial relationship with Russia, on which it is dependent for energy supplies. Sporadic negotiations are underway among Greece and Russia for construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline to transport Caspian Sea oil from the Black Sea port of Burgas to Alexandroupoli on the northern Aegean coast. Bulgaria's EU Association Agreement came into effect in 1994, Bulgaria formally applied for full EU membership in December 1995. During the 1999 EU summit in Helsinki, the country was invited to start membership talks with the Union. On January 1, 2007 Bulgaria became a member of the European Union. In 1996, Bulgaria acceded to the Wassenaar Arrangement controlling exports of weapons and sensitive technology to countries of concern and was admitted to the World Trade Organization. Bulgaria is a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. After a period of equivocation under a socialist government, in March 1997 a UDF-led caretaker cabinet applied for full NATO membership, which became a reality in April 2004.
Bulgaria and the United States signed a Defense Cooperation Agreement in 2006 providing for military bases and training camps of the U. S. Army in Bulgaria, as part of the Pentagon's restructuring plan; the HIV trial in Libya resulted in the release of Bulgarian nurses imprisoned by Muammar Gaddafi's government in Libya. French President Nicolas Sarkozy secured the release in exchange for several business deals. In November 2010, Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov formally announced his team proposes to close seven embassies as part of a plan for restructuring and austerity measures. Thus, in 2011, Bulgaria will most shut down its diplomatic missions in Sudan, Zimbabwe, Thailand and Tunisia; the choice is based on a scrutinizing financial analysis and on the necessity to optimize the diplomatic corps, the Ministry says. The staff of the Bulgarian diplomatic corps will be reduced by 15 people in total. In June 2010, media reports claimed that Bulgaria considers closing a total of 30 of its diplomatic missions abroad.
Bulgaria has 83 embassies, 6 permanent representations, 20 consular offices, 2 diplomatic bureaus. The proposed closures have been backed by PM Borisov who described some of Bulgaria's embassies as useless. Bulgaria joined NATO's Partnership for Peace in 1994 and applied for NATO membership in 1997. During the November 2002 Prague Summit Bulgaria was one of seven former socialist countries invited to join the Alliance. Bulgaria became a member of NATO in March 2004; the country is working toward NATO compatibility in communications and training, has established a Peacekeeping Training Center. In 2003, Bulgaria was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, proving to be one of 3 closest U. S. allies during the Iraqi Crisis, together with the Spain. Bulgaria presided the OSCE in 2004. Major European transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and, to a lesser degree, South American cocaine for the European market. List of diplomatic missions in Bulgaria List of diplomatic missions of Bulgaria List of joint US-Bulgarian military bases Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Rumen Georgiev Radev is a Bulgarian politician and former Major General, the current President of Bulgaria since January 22, 2017. Radev served as Commander of the Bulgarian Air Force, he won the 2016 presidential election, as an independent candidate supported by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, defeating GERB candidate Tsetska Tsacheva in the second round. Radev was born on June 1963 in Dimitrovgrad, Bulgaria, his family is from Slavyanovo in the Haskovo region. In 1982 he graduated from the Mathematical School in Haskovo with a gold medal, he graduated from the Georgi Benkovski Bulgarian Air Force University in 1987 as the top graduate. In 1992, he graduated from the US Air Force Squadron Officer School at Maxwell AFB. From 1994 to 1996, he studied at the Rakovski Defence and Staff College, where he was the top graduate, he holds a Doctor of Military Sciences degree in the field of improvement of tactical training of flight crews and simulation of air combat. In 2003 he graduated from Air War College at Maxwell AFB in the United States with a Master of Strategic Studies with honors.
1987 – 1989: Junior pilot in the 15th Fighter Aviation Regiment – Ravnets 1989 – 1992: Unit deputy commander at the 15th Fighter Aviation Regiment – Ravnets 1992 – 1997: Unit commander at the 15th Fighter Aviation Regiment – Ravnets 1997 – 1999: MiG-29 squadron commander at the Fifth Fighter Airbase – Ravnets 1999 – 2000: Deputy commander for flight preparation at the Fifth Fighter Airbase – Ravnets 2000: Deputy commander for flight training at the Third Fighter Airbase – Graf Ignatievo 2000 – Study of the Air defence of the Republic of Bulgaria – NATO, Brussels 2000 – 2002: Chief of Staff of the Third Fighter Airbase – Graf Ignatievo 2002 – 2004: Chief of Staff of the Third Fighter Airbase – Graf Ignatievo 2004 – 2009: Commander of the Third Fighter Airbase – Graf Ignatievo 2009 – 2014: Bulgarian Air Force deputy commander 2014 – 2017: Bulgarian Air Force commander Pilot 1st class. Flight experience of L-29, L-39 trainers and MiG-15UTI, MiG-17, MiG-21, MiG-29 fighter jets. Familiarization flights of the F-15, F-16, F/A-18 Hornet, Eurofighter Typhoon, SAAB Gripen, Dassault Rafale.
Flown over 1400 hours. In 2014, he organized aviation show "This we are!" and performed the "Bell" and "Pugachev's Cobra" manoeuvres on a MiG-29. 1987 – Lieutenant 1989 – Senior Lieutenant 1994 – Captain 1997 – Major 1999 – Lieutenant Colonel 2002 – Colonel 2007 – Brigadier General 2014 – Major General 2017 – General Rumen Radev was awarded numerous medals and prizes, including the sign "For loyal service under the flags" – III degree, Honorary sign of the Ministry of Defence "Saint George" – II degree. Bulgaria: Grand Master of the Order of Stara Planina Bulgaria: Grand Master of the Order of Saints Cyril and Methodius Bulgaria: Grand Master of the Order of Civil Merit Bulgaria: Grand Master of the Order of Military Merit Bulgaria: Grand Master of the Order of the Madara Horseman Greece: Grand cross of the Order of the Redeemer Malta: Companions of Honour of the National Order of Merit Portugal: Grand Cross of the Order of Aviz In August 2016, the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Alternative for Bulgarian Revival nominated Radev as a candidate for the November 2016 presidential election.
In the same month, ABR withdrew its presidential nomination of General Radev in favour of Ivaylo Kalfin. On the first round of the election, conducted on November 6, 2016, Radev came first with 25.44% of the vote. He faced GERB candidate Tsetska Tsacheva in the runoff the following Sunday, November 13, he defeated her. On 24 January 2018, Radev condemned the Turkish invasion of northern Syria aimed at ousting U. S.-backed Syrian Kurds from the enclave of Afrin, insisted that the European Union should intervene to stop it. Radev has two children from his first marriage to Ginka Radeva, which ended in a divorce in 2014: a daughter Darina, born in 2001 and a son Georgi, born in 2003, he married Desislava Gencheva, married to the BSP MP Georgi Svilenski. Apart from Bulgarian, Radev is fluent in Russian and English. Media related to Rumen Radev at Wikimedia Commons
Kristalina Ivanova Georgieva-Kinova is a Bulgarian economic analyst serving as Chief Executive of the World Bank since 2017. She served as Acting President of the World Bank Group from 1 February 2019 to 8 April 2019, she served as Vice-President of the European Commission under Jean-Claude Juncker from 2014 to 2016. From 1993–2010, she served in a number of positions in the World Bank Group rising to become its vice president and corporate secretary in March 2008, she has served as a member of the board of trustees and associated professor in the Economics Department of the University of National and World Economy in Bulgaria. On 27 September 2016, the Bulgarian government nominated Kristalina Georgieva for the post of United Nations Secretary-General, her short run Secretary-General at the UN ended following a vote at the UN Security Council on 5 October, where Georgieva ranked number eight out of ten candidates. In the same vote, António Guterres got the support of the Security Council for the post of UN Secretary-General.
On 28 October, the World Bank announced that Georgieva would become the first CEO of the bank starting on 2 January 2017. Georgieva was named "European of the Year" in 2010 and "EU Commissioner of the Year" as an acknowledgment of her work, in particular, her handling of the humanitarian disasters in Haiti and Pakistan, she had been nominated among the candidates for the category "Commissioner of the Year", the prestigious award organized by the European Voice newspaper. Kristalina Georgieva holds a PhD in Economics and an MA in Political Economy and Sociology from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria, her thesis was on "Environmental Protection Policy and Economic Growth in the USA". She did post-graduate research and studies in natural resource economics and environmental policy at the London School of Economics in the late 1980s and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she has written over 100 academic papers and has authored a microeconomics textbook. She held a range of academic and consulting positions in Bulgaria and the US, has lectured on development topics in universities, including the Australian National University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tsinghua University, Yale University, Harvard University, London School of Economics, the University of the South Pacific and others.
Georgieva is fluent in Bulgarian and Russian, can speak some French. Georgieva started her career at the World Bank Group in 1993 as an environmental economist for Europe and Central Asia. Following this, she served in various positions in the bank rising to become Director of the Environment Department in charge of World Bank's environmental strategy and lending. In this role she oversaw around 60% of lending operations of the World Bank Group. From 2004–2007 she was the institution's Director and Resident Representative in the Russian Federation, based in Moscow, she returned to Washington DC, to become director of Strategy and Operations, Sustainable Development. Her final position at the World Bank, vice president and corporate secretary, conveyed lead responsibility for liaison with the members of the institution's Board of Executive Directors, representing the Bank's shareholders. During that time, she worked on accompanying capital increase. In January 2010, Georgieva announced her intention to resign from this post in view of her nomination to the Commission of the European Union.
Nomination and confirmation After the former Bulgarian nominee, Rumiana Jeleva, came under fire during the confirmation hearing from members of the European Parliament over both her competence for the post and allegations of gaps in her declaration of financial interests, she withdrew her bid. The Bulgarian government proposed Kristalina Georgieva as their new candidate. On 21 January 2010 the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso met with Georgieva and expressed his approval, stating that "Mrs. Georgieva has solid international experience and knowledge with which she is going to contribute in her capacity as a EU Commissioner"; the confirmation hearing of Georgieva took place at the European Parliament on 4 February 2010. She faced questions on her suitability for the portfolio. Georgieva identified Haiti as a priority the need to provide shelter and health services and to restore the functions and service of the government, so as to start work on reconstruction and long-term development.
Other key issues raised in discussions with MEPs had been improving co-ordination within the EU, between humanitarian and military players in order to meet the dual challenge posed by expanding needs and shrinking budgets. The need to improve the effectiveness of EU actions and for better response capacity had been stressed, together with the establishment of European Voluntary Humanitarian Corps. Georgieva was given a warm response by MEPs, with Labour MEP Michael Cashman praising her "honesty and deep breadth of knowledge", she was applauded by committee members when she told British Conservative MEP Nirj Deva that she would stand up for the interests of the EU and be an independent mind. Ivo Vajgl, a Liberal MEP praised her, saying: "let me compliment you on your peaceful manner and the confidence you are exuding today", her performance at the hearing was publicized in Bulgaria and broadcast live on many national media, where it was seen as question of restoration of national honor following Jeleva's unsuccessful hearing.
The second college of the Barroso Commission, including Georgieva, was approved by the European Parliament on 9 February 2010
Government of Bulgaria
The Council of Ministers is the main authority of the executive power in the Republic of Bulgaria. It consists of the Prime Minister of all the specialized ministers. After the compositions of the Council of Ministers is decided by the newly elected government, the deputies who are chosen to become ministers temporarily lose their deputy rights while being ministers; these rights are restored in case they are released from the Council of Ministers or the government falls from power. This is in contrast to how deputy ministers and other government officials are treated when they are elected as deputies. Sometimes, with the purpose of preserving the political representation of different parties or groups in the Council of Ministers, one or more ministers without portfolio may be appointed; the Council of Ministers office is part of the Largo architectural ensemble. Third Borisov Government The third Bulgarian Council of Ministers of Bulgaria chaired by Boyko Metodiev Borisov was voted in by 235 members of the Bulgarian Parliament and sworn into term on May 4, 2017.
The government is formed by the GERB Party and the parliamentary coalition of the United Patriots, with the initial support of the newcomer Volya Party of businessman Veselin Mareshki. The composition of the Government is as follows: Council of Ministers official website