ECR’s European Culture Weekend in Bulgaria

Culture - May 13, 2023

The ECR Initiative, European Culture Weekend will have a new edition in the month of May, this time taking place in Sofia, Bulgaria. As with the previous editions, conservatives across Europe will have the opportunity to engage with top leaders of the movement and exchange ideas during a complete experience of discovery, learning and networking in a significant cultural place of Europe. Furthermore, they will have time dedicated for exploring the diversity of European traditions, landscapes, and cultures.

Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria, situated in the western part of the country, at the foot of the Vitosha mountain. It is a vibrant city with a rich history, culture, and architecture. The city boasts a mix of ancient Roman ruins, medieval churches, Ottoman mosques and Soviet-era buildings. The city centre is full of green spaces, fountains, and public sculptures. Sofia also has a lively nightlife, with numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants. It is a hub for art, music, and literature, with many cultural events taking place throughout the year.

Sofia is a city of contrasts, with its mix of modern and historical buildings creating a unique atmosphere. One of the most impressive landmarks in the city is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, a magnificent neo-Byzantine structure with a gilded dome and intricate frescoes. Another must-see sight is the Vitosha Boulevard, a pedestrianised street that is lined with designer shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Bulgaria’s capital city is also home to many museums and galleries, including the National Museum of History, the National Art Gallery, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Visitors can learn about the city’s rich history, from the Roman Empire to the Soviet era, and admire works of art by Bulgarian and international artists.

As always, the event’s agenda will be full of interesting activities. After the guests’ arrival and check-in at Grand Hotel Millennium Sofia, a five-star venue, starting at 4 PM there will be a Historic and Cultural Tour. It will start with a visit at the memorial to the victims of the communist regime accompanied by a discourse held by Dr. Milen Mihov, associate professor of Bulgarian History, former assistant rector of the University if Veliko Tarnovo “St. Cyril and Methodius”, a former national representative in the 43Rd and 44th National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria and author of several historical books. The tour will continue with the visitation of the Cathedral Church “Sveta Nedelya”, the Triangle of Power – the building of the National Assembly, the Presidency, and the Council of Ministers building, Church-rotunda “Saint George”, the ancient complex of “Serdika” and finally the “Ivan Vazov” National theatre.

Saturday will begin early with the registration of the participants and the official opening panel entitled “European Conservatives defining a platform for challenges and opportunities to come. After a short coffee break the subject in discussion will be a very sensitive one during the panel entitled: “Disinformation and misinformation: a political tool in the hands of the woke”. After Lunch the day will continue with a series of traditional topics on the conservative agenda. These are: “Localism is a conservative ideal”, “European Culture and Identity: our political priority” and “A plan for the EU’s Long-term support for Ukraine and the Eastern European Perspective on Future EU-Russia Relations”. As the day will conclude, participants will attend a Bulgarian-style Networking Dinner.

This event, like the others before it, will be honoured by the presence of top conservative figures like Angel Dzhambazki, Member of the European Parliament, ECR Party Board Director, Adela Mirza, Right Alternative, ECR Party Board Director, Herman Tertsch, ECR Party Board Director, Member of the European Parliament, Karlos Kontrera – Chairman of the political group “Patriots for Sofia – VMRO and Ataka” in Sofia Municipality Council, Victoria Georgieva – journalist, an expert in “Religions of Europe”, member of the editorial board, Mariya Tzvetkova – journalist, former Member of the National Assembly of Bulgaria, Member of the executive committee of VMRO-BND, Marta Schifone, italian MP, Antonio Giordano, ECR Party Secretary General, MP, Italy and Lars Patrick Berg, MEP, Germany.

For those of you who will be able to attend I am sure you will get home, much enriched with information as well as new connections in the conservative network and for those who will not be able to attend, we will definitely keep you posted with information from the event.