Bulgaria: Integration of new immigrants: European policies

An international conference "Integration of new immigrants: European policies" starts on May 17 2008 in Sofia's Military Club Dnevnik daily said.

The conference aims at joining the efforts of state institutions, NGOs and immigrant communities in Bulgaria in integrating immigrants to Bulgarian society.

Speakers from France, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Finland and Austria will take part in the event that is organised by Manfred Wörner International Foundation under Phare programme Civil society development 2004

The conference takes place six days after Foreing Mnister Ivailo Kalfin announced the Government's new policy on ethnic Bulgarians living abroad.

On May 12 Kalfin said that the new policy would included a "green card system" that will ease the process of issuing visas to ethnic Bulgarians and their access to the country's labour market.

More university scholarships are also part of the new policy as well as more funding for Bulgarian immigrant communities abroad. For the purpose five million leva will be allocated by a fund especially set for the purpose by the Government Kalfin said.

"The issuing of Bulgarian passports will happen after the candidate proofs that he or she has a Bulgarian self-consciousness" Kalfin said. Bulgaria would avoid giving Bulgarian passports to people who only saw it as an EU entry ticket.

Bulgaria had an agreement with Albania that when the country has its next census it will have "Bulgarian" as an option.

Source: Sofia Echo (English)

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