At the beginning of the new year a symbolic start was given to the innovative and promising ConnectBG research.

At the beginning of the new year, a symbolic start was given to the innovative and promising research "ConnectBG". The experienced team of the Centre for Migration Studies (CERMES), together with the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with the Ethnographic Museum of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences will work over the next 3 years on the ambitious task of developing a new understanding of the relationship between Bulgarian migrants and Bulgaria through the perspective of the opportunities they can generate for the country, rather than through the perception of emigration as a loss of human capital.

Funded under the 2023 Fundamental Research Fund competition, the project "Connection and Solidarity with Bulgaria of Mobile Bulgarian Citizens in the EU: Values, Innovation, Activism" puts at its centre a highly sensitive topic for Bulgarian society, namely the dynamics of Bulgarian migration since 1989 and the huge number of Bulgarian citizens who have chosen to live outside Bulgaria.

ConnectBG is an interdisciplinary research project that combines diverse expertise in the fields of migration and integration, demography, anthropology, cultural studies, sociology, economics and political science. The team of established scholars, students and PhD students will deploy the research in three main areas: exploring the citizenship trajectories of mobile Bulgarian citizens in the EU; analysing national policies towards Bulgarian citizens living outside the country; reviewing good practices in achieving positive policy outcomes in the field of migration and development.

The triad of mobility, citizenship and digital turn is the conceptual framework of this innovative project, which, although based on the specific example of Bulgaria, theoretically fits into debates of global relevance for the social sciences.