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Andreas Kiefer delivered a lecture at Sofia University

Andreas Kiefer

Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (CLRA) of the Council of Europe, delivered a public lecture in front of representatives of the academic community and the students reading “Regional Politics” and “Public Administration” at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. The lecture’s focus was on the development of local and regional democracy in Europe.

The lector introduced the audience to the background history, the structure and the organization of the Council of Europe by highlighting the functions, objectives, values and achievements of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, a major pillar of the Council stimulating local and regional democracy, promoting the improvement of local and regional governance and consolidating self-government institutions.

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Andreas Kiefer stressed the fact that Bulgaria in its capacity as the rotating chair-person of the Committee of Ministers for the next six months was to play a very important role in the activities of the organization and in view of the priorities the Bulgarian cabinet would focus on the protection of child rights and broadening the access of young people to culture, the protection of vulnerable groups and the media from extraneous influences.

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The discussion was joined in by the President of the Chamber of the Regions at the Congress, Gudrun Mosler-Tӧrnstrӧm, who spoke about the role and the priorities of the Chamber. She shared her experience as a politician on a regional and European level as well as concrete examples from different countries. Tӧrnstrӧm appealed to the students to pursue their studies diligently and persistently, and urged them to enter politics without any misgivings because Europe needs energetic young people.

Before the lecture Andreas Kiefer, Gudrun Mosler-Tӧrnstrӧm and Tim Lisney, Secretary of the Chamber of the Local Authorities, had a meeting with Professor Anastas Gerdzhikov, Dr. Habil., Rector of Sofia University.

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Andreas Kiefer expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Regional Development which made it possible that together with the meetings with politicians they would also have the opportunity to hold a discussion with students from Sofia University. Such meetings are important for the presentation of the activities and priorities of the Council of Europe. The representatives of the Council also wanted to get familiarized with the expectations of the young people and answer their questions.

The guests are visiting this country in connection with the current meeting of the Bureau of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities within the framework of the Bulgarian chairpersonship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.