Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Children and the Cultural Heritage of South East Europe, 2005-2006

Address from the President of the Republic of Bulgaria


On the letterhead of
the President of the Republic of Bulgaria 


Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

I address you with this message because the topic of your workshop today is fully within the overarching theme of cultural corridors in South East Europe which was in the focus of the Meeting of Heads of State of the countries in our region in May last year in Varna. The Summit which was held on my initiative and with the support of UNESCO’s Director General adopted the Varna Declaration in which we, the Heads of State from South East Europe committed to “contribute to the promotion of cultural heritage and cultural corridors within the region using modern dissemination technologies” and “promote intercultural education as a means of fostering mutual understanding, tolerance and awareness of the rich cultural diversity of the region, creating new opportunities for communication, exchange, networking and interaction”.
Indeed, the project “Children and the Cultural Heritage of South East Europe” to be launched today is an excellent implementation of our commitments stated in the Varna Declaration. In this connection, I would like to commend its authors from the Cultural Tourism Association, the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Surveying, and the ICOMOS Bulgarian National Committee. Also, I would like to convey my congratulations and express my thanks to the British Council in Bulgaria which has funded this project, and to UNESCO, the Council of Europe, the European Commission, ICOMOS and the European Institute of Cultural Routes, Luxembourg, which together with a number of Bulgarian institutions and organisations gave their active support for the implementation of the project.
I would like to note, in particular, the key role of the project’s information support coordinators from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro and Turkey, who have once again demonstrated that experts run ahead of politicians both in terms of approaches and in practical action.
And another point. On 1 November 2005, the Day of Enlighteners, I launched the idea “To Study and Preserve Bulgarian Heritage” among the young people of Bulgaria. It is with satisfaction that I find that this idea has been creatively interpreted in the project launched today where the national scope has been expanded to embrace the entire region, and the motto is now “To Study and Preserve the Cultural Heritage of South East Europe”.
I am confident that this project will serve as an excellent aid for the children of South East Europe in their studies and will facilitate their education in the spirit of pride and responsibility for preserving the cultural heritage in our region as an important contribution to regional identity in the context of European integration and as a significant element of the world cultural diversity.
I wish all participants useful and fruitful work and more success in the practical implementation of the Varna Declaration.

24 March 2006

(sign. – ill.)
Georgi Parvanov
President of the Republic of Bulgaria