Home / News / Constitutionalism & Transition in Eastern Europe: 25 years after

Conference Hall


The purpose of the seminar is to provide a forum for reflection on the establishment and entrenchment of constitutionalism in Eastern Europe after 1989. Constitutionalism - understood as the rule of law, separation of powers, and the protection of rights - is one of the essential elements of contemporary democratic regimes. Eastern Europe, in general, has been very successful in transplanting constitutional models from developed democracies. Yet, 25 years after the start of the transition, problems and difficulties persist. Specific challenges to the functioning of constitutionalism are presented by the rise of populist politics, the general weakness of institutions, and widespread corruption. What is the balance sheet of achievements and unsolved problems? The seminar will provide answers to this question in comparative perspective. Prominent scholars from Hungary and Romania will meet their Bulgarian colleagues to exchange views and take stock from the experience of their countries and the region of Eastern Europe more generally.


9:30-9:40 - Opening remarks: Associate Professor Rumyana Kolarova, Head of Political Science Department

9:40-11:00 - Panel I: Eastern European Trends

Hungarian perspectives: Professor Renata Uitz, Chair of the Legal Studies Department, Central European University, Budapest

Bulgarian perspectives: Professor Georgi Bliznashki, University of Sofia, former Prime Minister of Republic of Bulgaria

Romanian perspectives: Associate Professor Bogdan Iancu, University of Bucharest, and Assistant Professor Alexandra Ionascu, University of Bucharest

11:00-11:15 - Break

11:15-13:00 - Panel II: Domestic and Supranational Challenges

Professor Evgeny Tanchev, University of Sofia; Deputy Chairman of the Venice Commission and former Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria

Professor Plamen Kirov, University of Sofia and judge at the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria

Associate Professor Daniel Smilov, University of Sofia and Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia


Among the participants in the seminar discussion will be members of Sofia University Departments of Politics, Law, Public Administration, and Sociology: Professor Georgi Karasimeonov, associate professor Martin Belov, assistant professors Stoycho Stoychev, Atanas Slavov, Mila Mineva, Milen Lubenov, doctoral, MA and BA students, among others.