Young Bulgarian Entrepreneurs Visited the European Commission

From 26 to 28 September part of Bulgaria's young hopes visited the European Commission in Brussels. The visit was a prize for the best teams that participated in two Bulgarian hackathons - the Balkan Hackathon 2018 and the Academy for Innovations: Ideas 2018.


The organized visit included a variety of lectures aimed at interpreters, young start-ups, and non-governmental organizations. During the informal meeting in one of the halls where important decisions on European issues are made, the young people - Bulgarians and Macedonians - could ask questions, share their opinions on important themes and generate new knowledge.

The first lecture was delivered by Aura Salla, Political Analyst - Communication Advisor, and was related to "Debate on the Future of Europe". The lecturer pointed out that the young people are indeed the future of Europe and if there is something they would like to change, there have the power to do it. She added one important thing - young people need to think about how they could influence and bring the change in their countries. "Vote in your national elections, because it is important who presents you in the European Council”.

The European Semester of Economic Governance” was the topic presented by Petar Natsev, Information and Communication Officer, who pointed out that the project, is working on identifying the problems that the Member States have and ensuring greater transparency. Various questions were asked about whether the recommendations are mandatory and if there are penalties for non-compliance, as Natsev commented that they are just recommendations and show some of the most serious problems of the state that deserve attention and actions.

One of the most interesting themes was presented by Violeta Birzniece, Programmer Assistant, on “Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps”, about the opportunities they offer for funding, training, work, and volunteering. Participants in the discussion were intrigued by the options for setting up a voluntary solidarity corps in Bulgaria, some of them saying they already have ideas.

During the discussion, “Citizens' Rights” were commented Articles 11 and 13 of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market as well as the rights of citizens in the EU. The participants were very interested in their rights on the territory of the Union and the lecturer, Harry Panagopulos, Legal Officer, added additional information that would be useful for their business projects.

"COSME - the program for the competitiveness of SMEs", lecturer Jose Blanguez, Policy Officer, shared opportunities for access to finance, markets, creating better framework conditions for competitiveness, and promoting entrepreneurship. “All of these components enable SMEs to realize their full potential in today's global economy, and that it is important for current and future leaders have a clear understanding of their context”, commented he.

Project manager Angel Beremliyski spoke with the participants regarding the "Regional development", commenting on the topics related to innovation and economic development with emphasis, of course, on Bulgaria. On the different EU funding programs that the teams could apply for, spoke Ivan Marinov from the Directorate – General for the internal market, industry, entrepreneurship, and SMEs. The topic of conversation was direct and indirect funding, who, how and when they could apply for financial assistance.

The last lecture before closing the visit was "EU Invest" and was presented by Aglika Sabeva, SG Coordinator relations with the European Parliament. Fundamentally, this is support for launching projects, specially designed grant schemes available to people of all ages and at every stage of their life, intelligent funding to attract additional investment, technological modernization and communications, etc. Projects can be found on the website of the EC, where you can also see the Bulgarian ones.

Petya Petrova

Petya Petrova is a journalist, believer, and traveler.

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