Launching the campaign #WhoAreTheMigrants?(#КОИСАмигрантиТЕ?)

On 21 November, CERMES launched the #WhoAreTheMigrants?(#КОИСАмигрантиТЕ?) campaign to introduce the public to the personal stories of migrants living in Bulgaria as an alternative to the more popular negative narratives.
Discovering the Human Behind the Statistics and Numbers is the best way to overcome stereotypes and fight propaganda and imposed negative images.
NBU students are invited to tell the real stories of migrants in Bulgaria through words or images. 
We expect interesting essays, posters, photos, and videos to be shared on social media with #WhoAreTheMigrants?(#КОИСАмигрантиТЕ?).
Find more on the campaign's social media page:


Migration Biennale

On 16 December at 14:00 in front of the NBU Auditorium key organizations working daily and dedicatedly to help migrants will tell about their activities to students, lecturers and guests of the university. 

With the participation of:

State Agency for Refugees

International Organization for Migration - Bulgaria

Bulgarian Red Cross - Refugee and Migrant Service

Caritas Sofia

Access to Rights Foundation

Refugee Advisory Council

Political and Civil Observatory

Centre for Migration Studies

Centre for Career Development

A special musical greeting of children from the Registration and Reception Centre, Sofia, SAR, Ministry of Justice.



NBU is not afraid of diversity, which is why lecturers and students from the Centre for Migration Studies (CERMES) are organizing for the second consecutive year the thematic week "Diversity and Migration". Science, teaching, and art will open diverse horizons for understanding the links of migration with development and rights, for sharing innovative policies and practices from the world, Europe, and Bulgaria, and for building an interdisciplinary community.

 21.11. |full day| NBU - Launch of the campaign "Who are the migrants?"
The aim of the #KOISAMIGRANTS? the campaign is to introduce the public to the personal stories of migrants living in Bulgaria.
Discovering the Man behind the statistics and numbers is the best way to overcome stereotypes and fight propaganda and imposed negative images.
NBU students are invited to tell the real stories of people like us through words or images and share them on social media with "Who are the migrants?"
We welcome your texts or short video stories

22.11. |6.00 pm| zoom - Student Seminar "Migration Phenomena"
Students from the migration courses of the Political Science Department will present their original research on different migration phenomena.

23.11. |9.30| UNHCR office - field visit for students from the migration courses of the Political Science Department to the UNHCR office
You will be able to learn about the work of the largest, global organization whose mission is to save lives, protect rights and build a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.

24.11. |18.00| Aula, NBU - screening and debate on "Forced Labour, Slavery and Human Trafficking in the 21st Century"
Two short films will be screened, on the basis of which the human trafficking prevention campaign "Can you see me?" is based, presenting the different ways of involvement and forms of exploitation.
The campaign for the prevention of human trafficking is implemented in partnership with the National Commission on Human Trafficking and the A21 Campaign Foundation, with which New Bulgarian University has a framework agreement for cooperation.
The event will also include an interdisciplinary discussion on the problems of human trafficking and how this type of crime affects every sphere of state and public life - politics, law, security, business, competitiveness, etc.

25.11. |All day| 601 office, building 2 of the NBU - open day of the Center for Migration Studies.
You will have the opportunity to meet the dynamic team of researchers and the Center's diverse activities in the fields of migration and refugee policies, populism, citizenship, and civic mobilizations. At the open day, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the internship opportunities at the Center for Migration Studies.


International conference “Inclusive and Engaging Rural and Mountainous Areas”

On 10-11 November 2022 was held ‘The International Matilde Migration Conference: #Migration and #Rural Development’ in Villach Austria.

The aim of the event was to present the MATILDE project’s main research findings and to create space for dialogue between researchers, policy-makers and various social and economic milieus in order to provide better responses to the challenges posed by migration and integration governance.

The theme of first day of the conference was “Inclusive and Engaging Rural and Mountainous Areas”. Social, economic and cultural impacts of migration in rural areas within the scope of the MATILDE project were discussed with panel and roundtable meetings. The event gathered more than 130 participants from 29 countries.

During the session ‘Local transformations through migration-Spotlight on selected MATILDE case studies’ prof. Anna Kratseva, leader of the Bulgarian MATILDE team, presented the Reterritorialisation and revitalisaition of remote regions’ through the intriguing results and observations from the rich action research in the frame of the project conducted in the region of Haskovo and Harmanli, Bulgaria.


New Policy Brief ‘Return Migration in Bulgaria: A Policy Context of Missed Opportunities’ written by Evelina Staykova and published by Österreichische Gesellschaft für Europapolitik

Read the new Policy Brief ‘Return Migration in Bulgaria: A Policy Context of Missed Opportunities’ written by Evelina Staykova and published by Österreichische Gesellschaft für Europapolitik

in the frame of the #WB2EU project.

✔️The policy brief focuses mainly on the demographic crisis in Bulgaria, the phenomenon of return migration as a possible solution and need for a thorough re-evaluation of current policies concerning return migration in Bulgaria.

In the policy brief the author Evelina Staykova proposes the following policy recommendations:

1. Identifying and managing the main obstacles to return.

2. Ensuring better interconnectedness between the ‘diaspora’ and the policies of

3. return migration in order to facilitate return and re-integration.

4. Developing a comprehensive package of measures dealing both with decisions

5. to emigrate and return.

6. Better implementation of the national policies and strategies in the field of migration.

👉Access the full Policy Brief here:…/uploads/2022/11/PB-172022.pdf…

#policypaper #policybrief #demography #population #migration #bulgaria #returnmigation #WB2EU


The Policy Brief is published in the framework of the WB2EU project. The project aims at the establishment of a network of renowned think-tanks, do-tanks, universities, higher education institutes and policy centres from the Western Balkans, neighbouring countries and EU member states that will be most decisive for the enlargement process and Europeanisation of the region in the upcoming years. The WB2EU project is co-funded by the European Commission under its Erasmus+ Jean Monnet programme.




NBU, Corpus 1, Aula

CERMES, Department of Political Science, together with the Department of Law and the Department of Health and Social Work

The conference is interdisciplinary and brings together the perspectives of political scientists, lawyers, social workers, academics and students, scholars, human rights defenders, institutional representatives, and journalists.

The Forum is dedicated to two major anniversaries - the 30th anniversary of the NBU and the 30th anniversary of Bulgaria's accession to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
The event aims to analyze the challenges facing the theory, teaching, and practice of human rights protection in the context of multiple and overlapping crises of a national, regional, and global nature.


4th Ideas go public Lab: 19-20 May 2022, Paris

Right in between the tail of the presidential race and the head of the parliamentary elections, our WB2EU 4th Ideas go public Lab will focus on the general politics of enlargement in France. The Russian aggression on Ukraine has rekindled a movement of solidarity and mobilisation akin to those of 1956 for Hungary, 1968 for Prague or the 1980’s for Poland. The reconfirmation for Ukraine of its European destiny, in the face of war, and its domino effect on Georgia and Moldova, triggered a refreshed interest in the French public and political spectrum, for the EU’s enlargement goals and processes. In this regard, we found relevant to reflect on what this novel context could mean for the Balkans’ path into the EU. And the associated political narratives and plays.

Following the usual pattern, the WB2EU Ideas go public Lab will have an afternoon specialist round table, an evening public event – followed by a formal get together – and a WB2EU Network meeting for debriefing and reflecting on the next steps in the framework of the project.

So, the WB2EU 4th Ideas go public Lab will serve the following purpose:

  • To have an intensive debate about the general politics of enlargement in France, the EU’s enlargement goals and processes.
  • To reflect on what the latest developments in Europe mean for the Balkans’ path into the European Union.
  • To have an exchange with political stakeholders and further establish academia-policy-politics alliance around the project



Day 1: 19 May (Thursday)

Venue: EuropaNova premises, 64bis av. de New Yok, 75016 Paris

16:00h – 16:30h: Coffee reception

16:30h – 18:30h: Round-table discussion (closed session)

The Western Balkans EU accession process in a French perspective


Julien Arnoult, EuropaNova

Clotilde Warin, European Affairs expert, French MFA, Centre d’Analyse, de Prévision et de Stratégie

Krisela Hackaj, Executive Director, Cooperation and Development Institute (Tirana), WB2EU network

Moderated by Elise Bernard, EuropaNova, WB2EU network

Featuring academic experts and students, institutional stakeholders and opinion leaders.

18:00h – 18:30h: Q&A

Partners invited to the discussion: Institut Montaigne, ECFR-French office, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Paris, Fondation Jean-Jaurès, Fondapol, Groupe d’Etudes Géopolitiques, diplomatic circles in Paris. Bearing in mind the possible changes in the institutions after the April presidential election, the cabinet of the French president and the Secretary for European Affairs will be represented.

Media partners invited to the discussion: La Croix, Ouest-France (press), Radio France, Euradio (radio), AFP (agency).

18:30h – 19:00h: Break


19:00h – 20:30h: Public debate (livestreaming will be provided)

Venue: EuropaNova premises, 64bis av. de New Yok, 75016 Paris

The path to the EU – how the war in Ukraine has reopened the case for enlargement 

Welcome: Edouard Gaudot, EuropaNova, WB2EU network

Keynote speech:

André Gattolin, French Senator LREM, Vice-chair of European Affairs


Tineke Strik, Dutch MEP Greens EFA (video message)

Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, French MEP Greens EFA

Nebojsa Vukadinovic, Expert for the European Commission on pre-accession funds

Oana Popescu-Zamfir, Director, GlobalFocus Center (Bucharest), WB2EU network

Moderated by Paul Schmidt, General Secretary, Austrian Society for European Politics, WB2EU network

Concluding remarks: Elise Bernard, EuropaNova, WB2EU network

Registration and livestreaming (for the public debate):

On-site registration:

Distance registration via Zoom

Twitter & Facebook & YouTube

21:00h: Dinner

Migration and Populism in Bulgaria

Cover Migration & Populism in Bulgaria
Ildiko Otova and Evelina Staykova

Focusing on Bulgaria, this book addresses the key issues of migration and populism, which have grown to become dominant topics of debate within Europe and across the world over the last decade. 


Ildiko Otova and Evelina Staykova trace the history of migration and populist discourses within Bulgaria from 1989 until the present day. The authors analyse how a lack of clear and coherent migration policies on migration over the years left Bulgaria unprepared for the 2015 European migrant crisis, thus leaving the door open for populist ideology to help shape public perceptions and narratives of migration as a menace and burden to society. Far from being confined to the extreme fringes of the political spectrum, Otova and Staykova reveal how populism has increasingly been co-opted by mainstream parties. This shift to the middle ground has led to what they claim to be a ‘normalisation’ in populist rhetoric, giving legitimacy to attitudes towards migration as a threat to society, which they argue, in turn, renders constructive policymaking far more difficult. 


Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, this book is an important tool for postgraduate students and researchers of Political Sciences, Migration Studies, European Studies and European History, as well as practitioners working in the field of international migration and asylum.

CERMES enjoyed multicultural atmosphere at Sofia Bread House

Today, part of the CERMES team enjoyed the multicultural atmosphere of Sofia Bread House. Ildiko Otova and Stefani Bogomilova met with children from accommodation centres for asylum-seekers to make bread together as they share their experiences. The Bread House has been constantly proving itself to be a successful model of a socio-cultural centre in Sofia since 2012, gathering  various groups of people around bread with the motto "Knead to mix."
The team visit is part of the preparation of a short film on solidarity through art and social practices which will be presented within the DETECT project.



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