Solomon Passy is a Bulgarian politician, and founder of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria. He served as th Foreign minister of Bulgaria (2001-2005); the Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (2004); Chairman of the Transparency and Accountability Committee of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (2006); Since 2007 he is the Special Adviser to the Macedonian Government on NATO accession. Selected Honors and Awards: Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity (Grand Cross), Italy, 2006; Order of Leopold II (Grand Cross), Belgium, 2004; Doctor Honoris Causa of the South-West University of Bulgaria (2005). Dr. Passy is also the bearer of the first Balkan Peace Award, awarded by the South East European Journalists Union (Edirne) for his contribution to peace in the region (2004).
Lecture by Dr. Solomon Passy
Topic: The Future of Bulgaria
Venue: Villa Marciana
Dr. Solomon Passy talked about future priorities for Bulgaria, identifying five main areas for development for the next 10-15 years: the economy, the country's role in the EU, specialization within NATO, education and demographic issues.
Bulgaria needs clear objectives
He criticized the lack of specific long-term goals for the country. Today the Bulgarian political elite has no clear targets, and even when it does, it is not clear what the social and political price that politicians are willing to pay to achieve them is. Dr. Passy expressed hope that the next government will be more consistent and willing to approach topics such as accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Membership negotiations, he said, would improve the quality of the Bulgarian economy.
The role of Bulgaria in the EU and NATO
Bulgaria should be more than a passive witness as a EU member. The country needs to find its own niche. Dr. Passy suggested that Bulgaria should resume its work in the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, adopting the role of a speaker for this essential component in the broader theme of climate change. The same principle should be applied to the specialization of the country within NATO. Dr. Passy proposed three possible areas for progress: aviation, medicine and intelligence.
Education and demographic trends
Bulgarian education needs to be modernized, he said. Dr. Pasi proposed the idea of engaging companies such as National Geographic to produce better quality models of education. The last topic in Dr. Pasi’s lecture was demographic trends in Bulgaria. He insisted on the country adopting urgent measures, taking into account the best international practices, not only in promoting higher birthrates but also the government must pay attention to other important problems related to migration, immigration, education, social adaptation, and create a vision for improving the quality of the economy.
Bulgaria's future should be fashioned in parallel with that of the EU. It is important to take into account the influence we have over the future of the Union. For this purpose, however, the country must first establish itself as a respected EU member.