Friday, November 13, 2009
Former Bulgarian Prime Minister Recalls Fall of Communism In Washington College Lecture
CHESTERTOWN – The Honorable Philip Dimitrov looms large in the modern history of Eastern Europe: He led the Bulgarian reform movement while his country was still under Communist rule, and subsequently became the first post-Communism Prime Minister of Bulgaria.
Former Prime Minister Dimitrov will recount those turbulent times when he presents “Religion and the Transition from Communism in Bulgaria and Eastern Europe” at Washington College’s Litrenta Lecture Hall on Monday, November 23, at 7 p.m.
The event is sponsored by the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs and its Institute for Religion, Politics, and Culture.
As the winds of change began sweeping over Europe’s Communist bloc countries in the waning years of the Cold War, Dimitrov was active in the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF), a broad coalition against continued rule by the Bulgarian Communist Party.
After the demise of the single-party Bulgarian Communist state in 1990, Dimitrov became Prime Minister of Bulgaria in 1991. During his term, the new government managed to make nascent democratic institutions work and started an ambitious set of political and economic reforms.
Under Dimitrov’s administration, observance of human rights became an irrevocable legal and ethical norm, and previous ethnic tensions and abuses were eliminated. Foreign policy focused on integration into Europe and the West.
The Institute for Religion, Politics, and Culture explores the role of religious belief in public life and is a vital part of the Louis L. Goldstein Program in Public Affairs, which was established in 1990 to encourage students to enter public service by introducing them to exemplary leaders, both in and out of government. The Goldstein Program has hosted journalists, political activists, foreign policy analysts, diplomats, military commanders and government officials of both national and international stature.
The Goldstein Program and the Institute sponsor lectures, symposia, visiting fellows, student participation in models and conferences, and other projects that bring students and faculty together with leaders experienced in developing public policy.
Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to “Religion and the Transition from Communism in Bulgaria and Eastern Europe” is free and open to the public.