Dear Visitors of the webpage of the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the French Republic,
I sincerely thank you for your interest in our diplomatic mission, in its goals, tasks and work. Our activities are performed as part of the multilateral cooperation in the framework of the Council of Europe and in line with the developments of the main political processes in Europe. In all our actions we are guided by the national interests of Bulgaria and the priorities of the Bulgarian foreign policy.
The Council of Europe is the oldest European political organisation founded after the Second World War on 5 May 1949 in London. Its main goal is achieving better unity between the Member States in defending and implementing the ideals and principles which are their common democratic heritage, as well as facilitating the economic and social progress in Europe. CoE is a Pan European organisation open to all states that accept the rule of law and can ensure the respect of the democracy, the basic human rights and freedoms. Currently, the Council of Europe has 47 Member States with total population of more than 800 mln.
The Secretary General of the CoE Thorbjørn Jagland /Norway/ was reelected for a second term in June 2014. The main institutions of the CoE are the Committee of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, the European Court of Human Rights, the Commissioner for Human Rights, the Conference of International NGOs. Through our diplomatic mission Bulgaria is directly represented in the activities of the Committee of Ministers and at the same time maintains active relations with all CoE bodies.
A member of the Council of Europe as from 7 May 1992 Republic of Bulgaria attaches primary importance to the core values of the Organisation in the field of human rights, the rule of law and democracy. The defense and promotion of these common European values was the main strategic goal of the second Bulgarian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers from 10 November 2015 until 18 May 2016. The common general assessment of the Chairmanship was positive. In achieving this goal the Chairmanship has been focusing on concrete priorities, such as: strengthening the rights of the child; facilitating young people’s access to culture; protecting media from external influence. Those priorities were directly linked to the concrete intentions of Bulgaria to join important Council of Europe Conventions. A number of events organised by the National Assembly, relevant Ministries and other competent bodies were included in the program of the Bulgarian Chairmanship. Our actions on accomplishing the goals of the Chairmanship were following the developments of the main political processes that influenced the democratic security in Europe and that were integral part of the mandate of the Organisation.
Currently, our team is preparing for the accomplishment of the new highly responsible foreign policy task - the forthcoming Presidency of the Republic of Bulgaria of the Council of the EU during the first half of 2018. The EU and the CoE maintain partner relations and cooperate and interact on the basis of the Memorandum of Cooperation, signed in 2007. The political dialog and the legal cooperation are of utmost importance. Our aim is to give boost to the development of the relations between CoE and the EU in line with the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency. Together with the established by the representatives of the Bulgarian community in Strasbourg Association “St Cyril and Methodius” we are also in the process of preparing our active participation in the realisation of the cultural program of the Presidency.
On a daily basis, the staff of the Permanent Representation is performing its ongoing duties from the broad spectrum of issues from the political, legal, social and cultural sphere, human rights, education, youth and sports etc., which are integral part of the scope of activities of the Council of Europe. This includes participation in the regular meetings of the Committee of Ministers and the thematic rapporteur groups that prepare CM’s work, as well as following the work of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, the European Court of Human Rights and the different monitoring mechanisms that control the implementation by the Member States of the European norms and standards elaborated in the framework of the Council of Europe. Currently, Bulgaria is a state party to 84 CoE Conventions, has signed 15 more which await ratification and has joined 11 Partial Agreements. The diplomats of the Permanent Representation also participate in the work of different forums of cooperation established in accordance with international agreements.
The intergovernmental cooperation in the framework of the Council of Europe in which our country actively participates is coordinated on a national level by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria. Aiming at elaborating, presenting and defending coordinated and consistent Bulgarian position in the different bodies of the Council of Europe, the Permanent Representation is providing assistance to the national experts that participate in them.
The Permanent Representation maintains close contacts with the Bulgarian community in Alsace but does not have a Consular section. The citizens that need consular service should contact the Bulgarian consul in Paris or the closest Bulgarian Consulate in the neighbouring countries.
Dear visitors, I hope you will find the information on the web page of the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Council of Europe interesting and useful.