Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

The Debate about a EU Reform Finally in Bulgaria

euinside, MoveBG, March 31, 2014

In the United Kingdom, but since recently in Germany, the Nordic countries and some other parts of the European Union as well, an intensive debate is ongoing about whether the Union needs reforms and what should they be. The debate was inspired by the British Prime Minister David Cameron's famous European speech with which he stated his intention to demand reforms of the EU in a combination with a referendum about UK's stay in the Union. This was precisely a year and two months ago. Since then, the issue tops the agenda of the British society and is even the only major topic in the country. More and more intensively the topic is gaining speed in Germany, too, as the context is not good for Bulgaria at all because it is mostly related to a redefinition of the freedom of movement of people and labour within the Union. euinside has been informing you about the most important elements of the current debates.

In the past year, Bulgaria, although being at the centre of the debates in London and Berlin, has been silent in Sofia. The issue of the need of reforms, what kind of reforms, how can we participate in them, has not been discussed at all. Until very recently, when the civic platform MoveBG announced its European agenda in the framework of which several discussions and a conference will be organised on the issue. The agenda is called You Move Europe. euinside has accepted with pleasure and appreciation the invitation to be a strategic partner of the initiative.

Why the topic about Europe?

MoveBG's European agenda You Move Europe aims to put high on the agenda the unresolved issues and challenges of the European Union, focusing on Bulgaria's place in them and the role of citizens in the European process. With a view of the upcoming European elections and the formation of the new European Commission, we believe that it is important to boost the public debate about Europe's development and the mechanisms for civil participation.

The initiatives in the framework of the agenda will concontribute to the upgrading of the ongoing discussion in Europe about the possible reforms that could help the EU to handle more efficiently the problems we are facing, taking into account the specifics at national and community level. Led by the conviction that as both Bulgarian and EU citizens the EU is our responsibility too, we believe that we have to be active participants in outlining and defining recommendations and messages for Europe's future.

What's to come?

In April 2014, a series of discussions will take place in MoveBG's house with a possibility for online interactions and debates. The main issues we will seek answers to will be what does Europe give to the democratic process, what are the arguments and visions for more or less European integration, what does Europe give us and how much Europe costs.

The cycle of discussions will end with a conference Visions of Europe on May 16th, 2014, with Bulgarian and international partners, in the framework of which will be discussed the challenges and possible solutions about Europe's future. One of the panels of this conference will be moderated by euinside. At the conference, the messages and recommendations will be upgraded which we, as citizens, want to convey to the future leaders at the EU stage.


April 3rd, 2014, 1930 (1830 CET), in the House of MoveBG - a debate on What Bulgaria in What Europe? (a programme of the event with euinside's participation and a link for a live webcast here [in Bulgarian language]);

April 16th, 2014, 1900 (1800 CET), House of MoveBG - a discussion What Does Europe Give and How Much Europe costs?;

May 16th, 2014, 0900-1700 (0800-1600 CET) - an international conference Visions of Europe.

What else?

In February, 2014, MoveBG has launched an online promo campaign You Move Europe which calls on the Bulgarian citizens to send photos that had selected and a short text illustrating Bulgaria's and the Bulgarians' contribution to Europe.

As a parallel initiative within the European agenda, MoveBG is a strategic partner of the European Initiative for Media Pluralism. The aim of the initiative, which is open for signatures to all EU citizens, is to secure efficient legislation that will prevent the concentration of ownership and to ensure the independence of the media supervision bodies.