Turning Aspirations into Realities: Bulgaria’s political & social Landscape

Bulgaria, 20 Aug - 02 Sep 2014
Parliamentary elections in Bulgaria: first preparations and electoral behaviour ++ Bulgaria 54th in 2014-2015 Global Competitiveness Report ++ Green City Sofia ++ Bulgarian football fairy tale. by Ivan Yanakiev
Parliamentary elections in Bulgaria: first preparations and electoral behaviour

Public drawing of lots was to determine the order in which the parties and coalitions will be positioned on ballot papers at the snap parliamentary elections in Bulgaria. The elections will take place on the 5th of October, soon after the Bulgarian government resigned in July this year. The drawing of lots was held at the National Assembly building in the country’s capital Sofia.

The polling agency Sova Harris has announced that Bulgaria's next Parliament is likely to consist of 5 parties.
According to the survey, if the early elections were held today, the 4 percent threshold needed to enter Parliament would be passed by center-right party GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria) with 43%, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) with 31%, liberal party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) with 11%, a coalition headed by the Bulgaria without Censorship party of former TV host Nikolay Barekov with 7%, and right-wing formation The Reformist Bloc with 7%.

Many observers have pointed out that the country´s political landscape, after the upcoming parliamentary elections, will be highly polarized by a wide range of political parties. Moreover, the parties will have to carry out coalition negotiations between each other, because no one of them will be able to form a majority government by its own.

Bulgaria 54th in 2014-2015 Global Competitiveness Report

Bulgaria is ranked 54th place out of a total of 144 countries in The Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 of the World Economic Forum. The country has improved its score third year in a row. According to the last report Bulgaria had outperformed a number of EU countries, including Romania, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia and Greece.

The report ranks the world's nations according to the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI). The GCI is made up of over 110 variables, organized into 12 pillars, such as institutions, infrastructure, economy, health, education, finances, labor market, goods markets, technologies, innovation and so on.

However, the report recommends Bulgaria to improve its e-government and transparency in the dialogue with civil society and business. For instance, the report shows that Bulgaria performs very badly in attracting and retaining young people.

Green City Sofia

‘Sofia Breathes’ is one of the biggest cultural events in Sofia. The street festival‘s main aim is to stop the traffic on certain main streets in the city for its duration and, thus, to transform them into platforms for a variety of cultural activities. The multiplicity of events varies from music and dance, fine and applied arts to poetry and literature.

This multi-genre festival is part of Sofia’s application for European Cultural Capital 2019. Every Sunday in August, a number of artistic projects were located on five different emblematic streets of Sofia.
Finally, ‘Sofia breathes’ encourages innovation and creativity of the people of Sofia, providing real cultural, social and economic value to the Bulgarian capital.

Bulgarian football fairy tale

One of Bulgarian football’s most unforgettable games took place in Sofia. The seemingly uninteresting second leg match between Romanian powerhouse FC Steaua Bucharest and Bulgarian champion FC Ludogorets Razgrad was to decide which of the two teams would enter the group stage of the Champions League, the world’s most lucrative club competition.

Ludogorets won the match on the ‘Vasil Levski’ National Stadium in Sofia with 6:5 after a penalty shoot-out. Central defender Cosmin Moti, a Romanian national who played for Steaua's rivals Dimano Bucharest for seven years, had to stand in as goalkeeper for the resulting penalties.

Ludogorets Razgrad will face Liverpool, Real Madrid and Basel in Group B of the Champions League. For instance, the football fans in Bulgaria hope that Ludogorets will have better luck than Levski Sofia, the only Bulgarian team that has, until now, ever played in the Champions League .

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