The Bulgarian EU Presidency Explained

In 2018, Bulgaria will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It will be the first time for Bulgarian government to hold the Presidency since becoming a member of the EU, and therefore, it arises many discussions.

American University in Bulgaria has found its way to educate students about this topic: in the Spring Semester 2018, there will be a new course offered at the university: The Bulgarian EU Presidency. The course will only be taught for one semester, and it is a unique opportunity for students to get more understanding on what is the Presidency, what makes it successful, and how the current Bulgarian government is doing. The course will count as an elective for students with Political Science or European Studies majors.

The initiative to create this course belongs to the Politics and European Studies department of AUBG. Professors saw the Bulgarian Presidency as an important opportunity to educate students. “It happens very rarely. It is the first Balkan Presidency. And it is worthy of us paying attention to,” says Professor Phillips. The class will be taught by two AUBG professors, Robert Phillips and Roxana Mihaila. Teaching the class simultaneously will allow them to give the students broader understanding of the topic.

The interesting part of the course is that even professors do not know what is going to happen when Bulgaria holds the Presidency. The course will encourage discussions and active participation by students. “One of the EU priorities is involving youth and addressing youth issues. We want students to be involved as it happens,” shares Phillips.

There are 15 AUBG students already enrolled in the Bulgarian EU Presidency course. “I hope that people who take this course will come out appreciating European Union and understanding it better, so that they could teach other people about it,” says Phillips. “The Bulgarian EU Presidency has a big importance for Bulgaria, both for the government and the people.”