Public Lecture with the French ambassador in Bulgaria

     On 21.02.2017 International Relations Research Student Association had the pleasure to greet the new ambassador of France – H.E. Éric Lebédel in the University of National and World Economy. The event was attended by Assoc.Prof.Dr. Igor Damyanov, Dean of Faculty of International Economy and Politics, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Andrey Georgiev, head of the International Relations Department, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Plamen Ralchev, Prof.Dr. Dinko Dinkov, Iliyan Krumov, chairman of IRRSA, and many students. The meeting was opened by the chairman of IRRSA Iliyan Krumov. He presented the biography of HE Éric Lebédel to students and teachers. HE Éric Lebédel Ambassador of France in Bulgaria from October 2016 His career is impressive rich: he was first secretary of the Embassy of France in Moscow, counselor at the French Embassy in the US, director in the department of "Strategic issues" by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Consul of France in Istanbul, worked at the International Secretariat of NATO in Brussels, the General Secretariat for national Defence. He was Permanent Representative of France to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna, Ambassador of France in Finland Ambassador for strategic partnerships and others. He speaks English, Russian, Spanish, German, Turkish, Finnish. The Topic of the Lecture was „The future of EU and the bilateral relations between Bulgaria and France“. HE Éric Lebédel consider three key questions - "What is Europe now?", "France and Bulgaria - in which Europe?" And "What will be Europe?". He examined the historical facts in the bilateral relations between the two countries, he pointed out as an important geopolitical and political factor Bulgaria, as a country in the European Union. He highlighted Bulgarian progress, and confirmed that, now Bulgaria is seen as a country in Central Europe. French Ambassador to Sofia formulated key challenges for Bulgaria-terrorism, migration, relations with Turkey, relations with Russia, the Black Sea region. He pointed out that Bulgaria is one of the countries in which euro-skepticism and populism are weak. The European Union has many challenges that must deal with, as one of the main are Brekzit, relations with the new US administration, terrorism, the migration wave, and the development of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the EU and the US. In his public lecture, HE Eric Lyobedel formulated three basic scenarios for the future of the EU. The first is a federal Europe, which he described as difficult and even impossible, the second, a "Europe of nations, in which strong prevails the sovereignty", the third most acceptable is the revival of the European idea. He ended his lecture by quoting the poem "Where is Bulgaria" Ivan Vazov "Do not underestimate you! Watch not only to the past, but to the future ". At the end of the discussion, teachers and students had the opportunity to ask questions.

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