|| issue 1, year XII, 2005
H.E. Svend Boje Madsen, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark, to the magazine “Europe 2001”
Interview by Tsvetanka Elenkova
Denmark was president of the European Union (EU) in 2002 and of the historic European Summit held in Copenhagen in December of the same year, when negotiations with the 10 candidate countries ended successfully and when for the first time the goal was set that Bulgaria and Rumania should be welcomed as members of the EU in 2007. We are extremely satisfied, and proud to some extent, that this road map turned out to be correct. Yet, the time frame would never have become reality had it not been for the significant, hard and determined work of Bulgaria for its membership in the EU. Denmark has always been a strong supporter of the widening of both NATO and the EU and from the very beginning has constantly supported, as already mentioned, Bulgaria’s joining the two organizations. Not lastly, this is one of the reasons why the bilateral relations between our two countries are characterized by strong political and social ties, mutual trust and friendship. I, personally, am confident that Bulgaria and Denmark will have the opportunity in the future as well - as allies in NATO, and very soon as EU members - to strengthen these ties greatly. I have this confidence because Bulgaria and Denmark share the same values, ideas and ambitions.
Mrs Zorka Parvanova, Honorary Andersen Ambassador to Bulgaria
Interview by Tsvetanka Elenkova
Denmark and the EU
Denmark was the first Nordic country officially to become a member of the European Community (EC) on 1 January 1973. Of the two autonomous territories that form part of Denmark, Greenland joined the EC on the same date, while the Faroe Islands did not sign the accession agreement and remained outside the EC. Later, Greenland left the EC in 1982. It is typical of Denmark’s European policy that Danish voters more often take part in referenda about approval of separate important stages of the development of European integration than citizens of other member states. Denmark’s special status gives her the right not to participate fully in the following four areas of European integration: Economic and Monetary Union - Denmark does not accept the euro as a monetary unit; EU Citizenship - Denmark declares that EU citizenship may add to, but not replace, national citizenship; Common Defensive Policy - Denmark does not participate in EU actions that are of a defensive and military nature; Justice and Home Affairs - in these fields Denmark participates only on an intergovernmental level. Denmark sees the widening of the EU as a tremendous project for peace and democracy. An important goal of Danish foreign policy is for the EU to develop a consistent and balanced policy towards the Union’s neighbours, with an emphasis on relations with Russia and with the EU’s new neighbours to the East, namely Belarus, the Ukraine and Moldova.
Bulgaria in the EU - Ten Lessons How to Be Realists
The end of negotiations for full membership of the EU, the forthcoming signing of the Membership Agreement and the fixing of the date of 1 January 2007 for its enforcement are perceived ever more often in Bulgaria as an optimistic outcome of the process of European integration. Here are ten lessons for reflection, so that we can be realistic in our expectations: the end of negotiations is only the beginning of the full integration of Bulgaria into the EU; Bulgaria’s integration in the EU is important, but taking advantage of it lies to a great extent in our power; accession to the EU is first and foremost an accession to a system of rules (and not to a system of money); Bulgaria will take part in the Economic and Monetary Union, but it requires a strict economic and budgetary discipline; Bulgaria will have “a chair and a microphone” in the European institutions, but it is important how well she uses them; we will have to learn by ourselves how to do what the EU does not require from us; but we should not forget that the European Community was established in the 1950s with the major goal of achieving peace on the Continent; Bulgaria’s membership of the EU means sharing common values; Bulgaria’s full membership of the EU will be mature and complete when we stop inquiring “What will happen?” or “What will we get?” and begin asking ourselves “What will we do?” So, if we want to be realists, we should not wait passively for the EU to solve all our problems. The EU is not a panacea for the automatic elimination of our difficulties, for raising our standard of living and our incomes. The results of membership will emerge gradually, but the most important thing is that they will strongly depend on us, on the way we turn the given opportunities into positive changes.
Mutual Opportunities in Bulgarian - Danish Cooperation
Jan O. F. Laustsen,
Deputy Director General, Danish Agricultural Council
The Kingdom of Denmark’s Assistance for the Protection of Bulgaria’s Environment
Dr. Peter Shopov
In 1994 and 1999 an agreement was signed and resigned between the Ministries of the Environment of Bulgaria and Denmark, which defined the framework of the implemented programmes. The priorities in the various spheres of action are outlined here, thus creating conditions for the Danish Agency for the Protection of the Environment (DANCEE) to give us its assistance. In this activity the Danish side was helped by the road maps in the sphere of the environment that the EU drew for our country. Here are some of the major sites and activities which have received considerable financial support from DANCEE in recent years: Troyan Municipality - for dealing with sewage (215,000 Danish kroner); the construction of a plant for the treatment of sewage in the municipalities of Obzor and Biala (6,000,000 DKK); management building for particularly dangerous waste (3,810,139 DKK); financial support from the International Monetary Fund for closing the first and second reactors of the Kozlodui Atomic Power Station (12,000,000 DKK); developing a project for the protection of biological diversity (476,424 DKK); drafting a project for the management of ships’ waste in Varna port (261,117 DKK); the rehabilitation of the Varna plant for the treatment of sewage (5,044,710 DKK); the improvement of the management of solid waste in the towns of Vratsa and Mezdra (6,050,000 DKK); improving the work of six regional sewage plants (3,275,317 DKK); providing assistance in the work of the Ministry of the Environment and Waters (2,870,467 DKK); harmonization with the EU’s directive on water (399,837 DKK); the conservation of animal species and their natural environment (217,448 DKK).
The European Integration: Between the Intercultural Communication and the Civil Society
Dr. Viara Gancheva
Disproportions of the Economic Development IN Bulgaria and the EU
Dr. Vassil Penev
There is evidence that contact between the two cultures existed way back in Antiquity. An archaeological find was unearthed in Denmark in 1891, dating back 2,000 years. It is known as “The Silver Cauldron of Gundestrup”, which had been transferred from the land of the Thracians and had been used by the Celtic druids. This is the opinion of the Danish Queen Margrethe II, who is an excellent archaeologist. Despite the fact that it is well known from history, few people remember that, after Alexander Batemberg’s abdication in 1886, the Bulgarians considered the Danish Prince Valdemar their own ruler for just 2 days! Denmark has had 13 ministers and ambassadors for Bulgaria, but they resided in Bucharest, Belgrade, Warsaw or Athens. It was only in 1990 that Klaus Otto Kappel settled in Sofia as Denmark’s Ambassador. As for the first Bulgarian ambassadors accredited to Denmark, they stayed in Stockholm. It was only in 1973 that Mr. Vesselin Belomuzhov settled in Copenhagen as Bulgaria’s Ambassador. By the end of the Cold War, bilateral relations were rather cool and were characterized by low mutual interest and even open mistrust. Since 1967 it was first the Foreign Minister Ivan Bashev and later Petar Mladenov (also in his capacity as Foreign Minister) who activated Bulgaria’s interest in Denmark. In 1970 Todor Zhivkov, who in practice was the then Head of State, visited Copenhagen. Since the 1970s Bulgaria has very clearly understood the need to strengthen its contacts with technologically highly developed countries such as Denmark. It seems that Bulgaria’s striving for membership in the EU and NATO has for the first time driven the two small European countries into one common orbit. The highest expression of this fact was the visit of Queen Margrethe II to Bulgaria in October 2000.
Klaus Otto Kappel
The Salvation of Danish Jews from Deportation
On 29 September 1943, during a service at the synagogue on the occasion of Rosh Ashana (the Jewish New Year), the rabbi announced that that same evening all Jews would be arrested and deported. There were only a few hours left to organize their salvation. Around this time the course of the Second World War had been rather strange for Denmark: it had rendered only a slight resistance to the Germans and, after the country’s occupation by Germany on 9 April 1940, it was awarded a degree of autonomy, which had not been given to any other country occupied by the Nazis. The Danish people turned out to be quite inventive as regards forms of illegal gatherings. All groups of this kind took part in the salvation of the Jewish population. The group of medical doctors, for instance, helped to hide nearly 2,000 Jews. Even the healthcare infrastructure got involved in the conspiracy. Only on 7 October 1943 about 140 Jews were illegally transferred to the nurses’ ward of one of Copenhagen’s hospitals. From there the Jews were transported in ambulances, medical pick-ups and fire-brigade automobiles to the location of fishermen’s boats and other small vessels, by means of which they reached the Swedish coast. In this action the “white saving brigade” of the Physicians’ Union was wholeheartedly supported by numerous fishermen, peasants, taxi-drivers, merchants, clerks, in collaboration with the Free Council of the underground resistance movement. In this way out of 7,800 Jews in Denmark nearly 7,200 were saved, being transported to independent Sweden.
Like in Tale of Andersen
The Danish Lawyer Lulla Forchhammer
Interview by Tsvetanka Elenkova
Odense - the Town of Andersen
The Poet Simon Grabovski
Interview by Tsvetanka Elenkova
The Birthdays of Hans Christian Andersen
On 2 April 2005 the world celebrated with due solemnity the bi-centennial jubilee of the famous Danish writer, whose fairy tales have marked the beginning of childhood for each one of us. Their magic, under whose spell even the youngest generations are today, takes us to a reality that seems to be radically different from the everyday, from the immediate surroundings, while at the same time it is very similar to it, turning the prosaic, the painfully familiar, into a source of miracles, which are so much more persuasive and trustworthy, as is what has given birth to them.
Farewell, Dogma! Hello, Opera!
The year is 1995. The month of May. The city is Paris. Besides being an endless holiday, Paris is considered the cradle of cinema. The world is celebrating the centenary of the birth of the Tenth Muse. During one of the conferences, dedicated to the celebration, the Danish directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg offer their Manifesto, called “Dogme 95” (“Dogma 95”). 100 years since its appearance, cinema is in danger, the “dogmatists” think, and propose 10 theses for its salvation. It is forbidden to shoot among scenery, work should be done only “on the spot”, no props should be used. If specific furniture is needed, then a special place is looked for “live”. Sound should not be recorded separately from the picture. Only music that is heard during the shots can be used. Shooting is done only by hand. Rails and cranes are forbidden. Films can only be Technicolor. No special lighting is used. If the light is too dim, only one lamp may be switched on. No optic treatment, no filters. The director should avoid any artificial pressing of the action, there should be no gunfire or assassination in the final scenes. The action should unfold here and now, forget about historical films. Genre cinema is not well looked upon. Films are shot only in the 35 mm format. The director’s name should not figure in the inscriptions either before or after the film. In the ten years from the announcement of the “Dogme 95” Manifesto to the disbanding of the movement, 35 films received a certificate for belonging to the “Dogme” and 10 of them were Danish. Three films are considered the “first swallows” - “The Celebration” by Thomas Vinterberg, “Idiots” by Lars von Trier and “Mifune’s Last Song” by Soren Kragh-Jacobsen.
Greenland - Icy Beauty
People usually think of Greenland as a remote country, but in fact it occupies a central place in the northern hemisphere, only a few hours’ flight away from Europe, North America and Asia. Greenland is the biggest island on Earth, with a territory of nearly 2.2 million sq. km, of which only 410,000 sq. km are not covered with an icy crust. Greenland’s huge terrestrial surface determines the diversity of its climate. With the exception of a few nestled valleys in southern Greenland, the ice, which covers the country’s territory, affects the polar climate with average temperatures never exceeding 10 degrees Celsius. A larger part of Greenland is situated to the north of the Polar Circle. This is why winter is a very dark season, while in summer the sun shines until midnight, which means that it never actually sets. An incredible icy beauty! The population lives mainly to the south of the Polar Circle. It snows nearly 7-8 months in the capital, Nuuk, but people are used to the duration of winter. Greenland’s icy crust spreads over 2,400 km from north to south, reaching 1,100 km in its widest part. It is 40 times bigger than Denmark’s territory. The average thickness of the ice is 1,500 m. 65% of the surface lies at a height of 2,000 m and on the ridges the ice’s thickness reaches 3,000 m. This is why Greenland deserves to be called “the most extreme” high terrestrial surface in the world. However, Greenland’s fauna is very rich and diverse both on land and in the water basins. The mountains are populated by many reindeer, and herds of them can often be seen there. The polar bear is the greatest beast of prey in Greenland and inhabits mainly the northern and eastern parts of the country. If you stroll along the sea, you may suddenly see a whale next to you, which whirls its huge tail above the water. Or a seal, which dips its head before disappearing under the waves to fish. Greenland’s population is almost 56,700 inhabitants, 88,8% of whom were born on the island. The rest are settlers mainly from Denmark. Greenlandic is the country’s official language and is defined as polysynthetic. It is also spoken in Canada, Alaska and Chukotka.
The Order of the Elephant
The Bulgarian gipsies and the four circles of hell
Concerning Events in the Countryside
The countryside, with its typical trait - pillage - as a well-locked cage, enslaves true identity, while at the same time (but only if it sets it free) it can grow into a state with state-creating kin; with worthy institutions instead of a band of ticks greedily sucking its blood ever since the time of so-called socialism, when they were invented; with a culture replacing narrow-mindedness and paganism; and finally, although its status was injured in the last decades, I believe that God will honour it with a Church instead of squeezing it into a soul-destructive schism. Democracy and the media as its instrument are things that are totally alien to, and unnatural for, the countryside. That is why it can be said that they exist only in words and solely for Brussels’ and the US’ sake, without whose monitoring the totalitarian energies would have easily irradiated everything. Adjusted to the new life in the countryside, the old Communist workers represent a key particle of the machine which grinds its own people - the inhabitants of the countryside - and thus, without any pain in the soul, it is them we will recognize in the words of the Apostle Paul: “Bad people and liars will progress in evil, deceiving their likes.” These words of God-inspired truth do not stop recurring in their full strength in all periods of the martyr history of Christ’s Church. Self-sacrifice and the experience of ascetics have brought priests to the conclusion that “it is not possible to live in a Christian way, it is only possible to die in a Christian way.” As for death, they can consider it as an advantage, for they know very well that only through death can they achieve the promised resurrection.
LITART presents Andersen,
Suzanne Brogger, Petar Chuhov
Yakim Deykov, Denko Kolev
Translated by Galia B. Cholakova
Revised by Jonathan Dunne