Nikolay Mladenov was a special guest of the trainees from the current class of BSoP


Former Bulgarian Foreign Minister and current member of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Nikolay Mladenov was a special guest in the fourth course of this year’s National Program of the Bulgarian School of Politics (BSoP). He began his speech with an emotional story about the establishment of the School by Dimi Panitza, continued with an analysis of international policies and ended with answers to numerous questions by the trainees. The meeting with Nikolay Mladenov was the last for the third training day of the fourth course for Alumni 2021. Otherwise, the beginning of the day was marked by a lecture by Kaloyan Staykov, Chief Economist at the Institute of Energy Management. Staykov spoke on “Fiscal Challenges for the EU and National Peculiarities of Bulgaria”. After him, Dr. Irena Todorova, Executive Director of the Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe, gave a lecture on culture as a blade of diplomacy. The center functions under the auspices of UNESCO and covers as many as 16 countries in this part of the Old Continent. After their meeting with Dr. Todorova, the participants in the National Program solved a case study in groups. It was based on a real case, and in order to solve it, the they had to use the techniques of cultural diplomacy. The four groups received feedback on their work personally from the lecturer, who also shared how this case was resolved. The interest of the trainees was grabbed by another training task during this day – elaboration of a strategy for crisis communication in the context of the crisis caused by “Covid-19”. The four groups had to take on the role of the Ministry of Health and develop a strategy for communication in a crisis caused by an unexpected incident, which in the media and social networks was associated with a vaccine. Before taking up the task, however, the forty trainees had a lecture on communication in crisis, which was given by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Alexander Hristov, Chairman of the Center for Analysis and Crisis Communications. Along with the theoretical part, Assoc. Prof. Hristov gave many specific examples of how to communicate in a crisis, and answered many questions about possible communication actions in a particular crisis situation.

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