The Information and Documentation Centre on the Council of Europe in Sofia was officially inaugurated on 13 December 1993 by Ms. Catherine Lalumiere and Dr. Zhelyu Zhelev. It is hosted by the Center for the Study of Democracy, an independent, policy research institute.
Visit the Information and Documentation Centre on the Council of Europe in Sofia website
The fundamental objective of the Centre is to foster liberal democracy and civil society in Bulgaria and the country's integration into a wider Europe. The Centre addresses that goal by:
- promoting the principles and values embodied by the Council of Europe through providing the general public with information about its activities and achievements;
- facilitating the transfer of Council of Europe expertise and knowledge to Bulgarian experts working in the areas covered by the Council of Europe;
- networking with governmental, non-governmental and inter-governmental organisations.
The activities of the Centre are targeted primarily to:
- Young people and students as the most significant development potential of the country.
- Policy makers
- Experts, including lawyers, civil servanrs, academics, etc.
National information network
Since the end of 1998, a Regional information centre on the Council of Europe was established in Veliko Turnovo to better target information activities in the North-East of Bulgaria.
For several years now the Information Centre in Sofia has been cooperating with the information centres of the Open Society Foundation-Sofia. Each centre is supplied with a collection of basic Council of Europe documents and provide logistic support to the events related to the Council. The network serves the needs of local authorities, media, universities and NGOs which otherwise could hardly benefit from the existence of the Centre in the capital, thus significantly enhancing the effect of its efforts.
The Centre organises conferences, seminars, discussions and public lectures. The problem areas most often addressed include human rights, democratic institutions and practices, and minorities. These events provide opportunities for the exchange of ideas and experience between Council of Europe and Bulgarian experts and contribute to the introduction of Council of Europe standards in different spheres of Bulgarian social life. The Centre also organises exhibitions, presentations, competitions and press conferences with the Bulgarian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly.
The Information Centre in Sofia is part of a network of Council of Europe information centresthroughout the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.