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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel to the students at the Open Day at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Bulgaria and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs want you We need your ideas, energy, critical thinking, vision for the present and the future

02 December 2023 News

470 students from different universities in the country attended the first Open Day for students, which took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on 2 December. It is an initiative by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Mariya Gabriel.

It was held under the title ‘The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wants you/MFA Wants You’ and the partners were the Bulgaria Wants You platform of the producers Ivan Hristov and Andrey Arnaudov and the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria.

The event was opened by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mariya Gabriel, who thanked the students for their interest. ‘Today the Foreign Office says to you — We need you. And as ‘Bulgaria wants you’, so ‘the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wants you’. We need your ideas, your energy, your critical thinking, your vision for the present and the future,’ Gabriel addressed the young people.

The Deputy Prime Minister also thanked Ivan and Andrey for their partnership in the initiative. She stressed that for her investment in young people is not an investment in the future, but an investment in the present. 

Gabriel pointed out that in the new era — of digitalisation, of climate change and of constant conflicts, Bulgaria and the MFA need their new generation of diplomats with knowledge. ‘Diplomacy is the noblest cause for a peaceful and just world. We need your contribution to make this world more stable, more peaceful, more just’, Mariya Gabriel said.  

She emphasized that Bulgaria is a member of the EU and NATO and as such, by sharing values, being active, creating direction and defending its ideas, our country will show that it can be a factor of stability and security in Southeast Europe. ‘Moreover, Bulgaria with its new generation is innovative. It is strong, bold and critical. This is what I want to do together with you. Let us show that Bulgaria is a factor for development in this part of Europe and the world in an innovative way,’ the Deputy Prime Minister added.

Mariya Gabriel said that the event is not a one-off, but part of her and her team at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' targeted efforts to make young people see the diplomatic service as a field for expression and a career.

The Deputy Prime Minister recalled that the competition ‘Ambassador for a Day’, a joint initiative with women ambassadors in Bulgaria, was published a few days ago. She appealed to young girls to participate by writing an essay in which they present their vision of the place and role of women and girls in diplomacy. The deadline for submissions is 5 December and the award is 1 day with the female ambassador in the country she represents.

As a second initiative, Gabriel pointed to the signing of a series of agreements with universities to give young people the opportunity for internships, training, access to information.

Mariya Gabriel also announced that on Monday a new competition for 15 trainee attachés will be opened. The application period is 14 days.

‘Go ahead. Rediscover the world of diplomacy and make us see it more often through the eyes of young people. As Minister of Foreign Affairs, I am proud of the young people of Bulgaria. We count on you, you count on us as well’, was Mariya Gabriel's message.

At the Open Day of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the students participated in lectures and discussions on topics such as Bulgaria's EU membership, the 20th anniversary of Bulgaria's NATO membership, Bulgaria's OECD candidacy, Bulgaria's membership in the UN Human Rights Council, short courses on protocol and public diplomacy. Attendees also had the opportunity to view the MFA's fine art collection.

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