Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

You will know them by their attitude towards media or the new Bulgarian government

Adelina Marini, July 23, 2009

The composition of the new Bulgarian government is already known. But the way it was presented to the society which waited impatiently, is troubling. In 40 degrees heat tens of journalists, cameras and citizens stood in front of the Presidency, waiting to learn who the new ministers will be after so many days of speculations. Most TV stations had live broadcasts, probably to satiate the hunger of the audience of information. And if in the European countries such ceremonies have been long time ago rehearsed, obviously here in Bulgaria we will continue to organise, actually quite normal for a democratic country things, like barbarians.

What was the scenario of the ceremony? The designated prime minister Boyko Borisov returns the fulfilled mandate to the president at noon in the Hall of the state emblem. This is a protocol ceremony during which there are certain protocol speeches for the cameras. And downstairs at the entrance of the Presidency another group of journalists is waiting for the prime minister designate to announce officially the new government as this was not planned to happen upstairs in the Hall of the state emblem. And as we all had surrounded in a circle the main entrance, the TV reporters had already started to broadcast live saying to their audiences that the new government is expected to be announced any minute then, all of a sudden a large group of journalists comes down from the Hall of the state emblem without any explanation why they were not let to leave the building from the other exit since they have their colleagues holding their positions.

Thus the circle at the entrance of the building becomes smaller and smaller and screams are heard sporadically as journalists are being smashed by cameras and cameramen and no one is able to hear what the prime minister designate has to say, beside the fact that there are printed lists with the new cabinet. But why on Earth, didn't they give the list before the ceremony so that all media could inform their audiences in their noon news broadcasts and then listen to some details from Mr. Boyko Borisov? They had also another option - in the Presidency there is a special place, designated for press conferences where all this could have happened in a much more civilized way. And the bad thing is that it seems this is going to continue to be a tradition in the way the authority is working with media, i.e. with the citizens - with no pre-planning, no scenarios, chaotically.

And the new government looks like this: 15 ministries, one minister without portfolio and two deputy prime ministers. They are Tsvetan Tsvetanov who will also be a minister of internal affairs and Simeon Dyankov who will also be financial minister. There will also be structural changes - the Ministry of economy and energy will include also tourism and will be lead by Traycho Traykov. He is one of the young people in the team of Mr. Borisov, born in 1970 and until recently been part of the manager team of EVN Bulgaria. The Ministry of regional development will keep its current structure and will not take transport as well, as it was expected. The minister will be Rosen Plevneliev, also a young person, that has a long biography with different managing positions. And the Ministry of transport will also include information technologies and will be lead by Alexander Tsvetkov who is also among the young in the cabinet. Until now he was a deputy mayor of Sofia, responsible for the transport and the transport communications. He started his career in General Directorate 'Roads".

Another impatiently awaited name was that of the future minister of foreign affairs. This is going to be the MEP Rumyana Zheleva. She has a serious education background but no professional one, especially in the field of foreign affairs. She is also among the youngest in the team - born in 1969.

Here it is the full list of names:

1. Prime minister - BOYKO BORISOV;

2. Deputy prime minister and minister of internal affairs - TSVETAN TSVETANOV;

3. Deputy prime minister and minister of finance - SIMEON DYANKOV;

4. Minister of regional development - ROSEN PLEVNELIEV;

5. Minister of labour and social policy - TOTYU MLADENOV;

6. Minister of defense - NIKOLAY MLADENOV (ex MEP);

7. Minister of foreign affairs - RUMYANA ZHELEVA;

8. Minister of justice - MARGARITA POPOVA;

9. Minister of education, youth and science - YORDANKA FANDAKOVA;

10. Minister of health care - BOZHIDAR NANEV;

11. Minister of culture - Vezhdi Rashidov (famous Bulgarian sculptor);

12. Minister of environment and waters - NONA KARADZHOVA;

13. Minister of agriculture and foods - MIROSLAV NAYDENOV;

14. Minister of transport, IT and communication - ALEXANDER TSVETKOV;

15. Minister of the economy, energy and tourism - TRAYCHO TRAYKOV;

16. Minister of sport - SVILEN NEYKOV;

17. Minister without portfolio - BOZHIDAR DIMITROV (ex-director of the National Museum of History and former member of the Bulgarian Socialist Party).

It also became clear that the post of the minister for European affairs is removed and the coordination with Brussels will be a function of special departments in all ministries. Probably the same mechanism will be introduced for the European funds as well but this is going to be announced as early as Monday when the new cabinet is going to be voted in Parliament. The prime minister designate also said that on Monday he will be able to announce what is the first thing he will start working on.