From 16 to 18 October, 2018 the 1st Bulgarian-Greek Talks, organised under the auspices of the Public Policy Institute and the Hanns Seidel Foundation, in collaboration with the CDRSEE, the CIEEL and the Institute for Balkan Studies in Thessaloniki, took place in the city of Sandanski, Bulgaria. Twenty policy experts, academicians and researchers from Greece and Bulgaria came to discuss aspects of the problems and challenges faced by democracy nowadays. Professor Dr. Zdravko Popov, Director of the Public Policy Institute, Mr. Bogdan Mirtschev, Head of Hanns Seidel Foundation Office in Bulgaria and Dr. Klaus Fiesinger, Regional Director for Southeast Europe, Hanns Seidel Foundation welcomed the participants of the Symposium and moderated the talks.
Speakers engaged in compelling debates about topical issues, such as the past and present of democracy in our region, the EU democratic deficit, the refugee crisis as a strain on European democracies and the impact of digital transformation on the nature of politics and the functioning of democratic institutions. This bilateral initiative aspires to be replicated in 2019, with a view to establish itself as a permanent forum of experts from both countries.