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BRIDGE (Bulgarian-Romanian Initiative for Democracy as a Guard-Post of Europe)

Summary: After a preparatory period of  5 months, a study programme of one semester in European integration for border police servants from Ruse and Giurgiu has been organized. The opinion of 175 Bulgarian and Romanian border police servants on educational demands with regard to the prospective implementation of Schengen rules has been studied. On the grounds of the survey, a specially tailored 30-credit programme curriculum has been devised and implemented. Graduates were conferred joint certificates, issued by “Angel Kanchev”  University of Ruse and Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest.

Project leader: Mimi Kornazheva

Partner: Bulgarian-Romanian Interuniversity Europe Center – Giurgiu, a branch of the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest in Giurgiu

Time: 09.11.2007 – 09.11.2008

The final beneficiaries have been planned to be 30 border police servants (15 from the Bulgarian border police and 15 from the Romanian border police) in total. Due to the high level of interest for participation in the project and following the discussions with the two Border police directorates, it has been agreed, that the total number of participants could be raised to 36, i.e. 18 Bulgarians and 18 Romanians. One Romanian border police servant has  participated  on a voluntary basis as a reserve. 

The activities have taken place in Ruse-Bulgaria, and in Giurgiu-Romania. The study programme itself has been allocated in the border zone,  i.e. in the area between the Bulgarian and the Romanian barriers. Conference rooms of the premises of two border police services have been used. Thus, the beneficiaries have been given the opportunity to participate in the project at the place, where they perform their professional obligations.


Activity 1  Establishing the project offices

The implementation of the project has started with the setting up of project offices. This activity has been prioritized, because the project office was considered a central communication point, as well as a location of the project management.   

The project offices have been allocated in the premises of BRIE – Ruse and BRIE - Giurgiu. The main project office was the one located at BRIE-Ruse. To assure the appropriate functioning of the project office, an order has been issued to divide the maintenance costs, which were to be covered by the project grant on one hand, and  “Angel Kanchev” University of Ruse (BRIE), on the other, which were to be financed by the state budget. Due to the change of the address of  BRIE - Ruse from 6, Tsaribrod St Ruse - 7000 to 55, Alexandrovska St, Ruse -7000, a notification letter has been sent to the Contracting Authority. The new location of the project office was in the top centre of Ruse and was easily accessible by all visitors, including journalists and all other project stakeholders. The office was equipped with a notebook PC, a multimedia projector, and all-in-one-tool (printer, scanner, copier). 

The location of the project office of the Romanian partner,  BRIE-Giurgiu  was  very convenient as well. It was used mainly by the Romanian teaching staff as a transfer point before coming to classes in the border area. Secondly, it has been functioning as a meeting point with the authorities of the Romanian border police.  The building of the headquarters of the Romanian Border Police is located next door to the project office in Giurgiu. Thus, oral communications were easily organized and logistics was facilitated.

Activity 2: Research regarding training needs of Bulgarian and Romanian border police servants

The project was based on the assumption, that border police servants were facing urgent needs for competences related to their new roles as guardians of internal borders of the EU, due to the membership of Bulgaria and Romania in the EU since 2007. Therefore, two questionnaires were devised to identify the most needed specific and generic competences according to the border police servants. The questionnaires were based on a methodology, which was verified in the framework of the Project  ‘Tuning educational structures in Europe’. TUNING is being implemented under the auspices of DG Education and Culture of the European Commission. The project leader, Mimi Kornazheva is a Tuning EU expert  in the subject area of European Studies. 

The specific competences enlisted in the first questionnaire were proposed, discussed and agreed by the project management team and by the directorates of the two border police services.  

The generic competences, included in the second questionnaire, refer to knowledge and skills, relevant for professions, which are based on international (transnational, cross-border) communications and cooperation.  

The questionnaires were translated into Bulgarian and Romanian and then offered to the attention of 200 border police servants, 100 of which were Bulgarians and 100 were Romanians.

RESULTS from the questionnaire about specific competences:


In terms of average importance of each competence and average level to which it has been developed within previous studies:

List of Specific Competences

average Importance

according a scale

from 1 to 4

average Level To Which Developed within previous studies

according a scale

from 1 to 4

1. Knowledge of the emergence and development of the integration processes in Europe



2. Knowledge of the institutions of the European Union



3. Knowledge of  the European Union Law, and more particularly in the field  of cooperation in justice and home affairs



4. Knowledge of the four freedoms of movement in the European Union



5. Knowledge of common policies of the European Union



6.Knowledge of the common foreign and security policy of the European Union



7. Knowledge of the Schengen Agreement



8. Knowledge of regional development and cross-border cooperation in the European Union



9. Awareness of the complexity of the integration process and the wider European cooperation



10. Awareness of and respect for points of view deriving from different European and non-European national and cultural backgrounds



11. Awareness of the debates about European citizenship and European identity



12. Awareness of the impact of European affairs on the national, regional and local level and vice versa.



13. Knowledge of the administrative system of the neighbour country, and more particularly in the area of justice and home affairs



14. Knowledge of e-administration



15. Awareness of the principles of the human communication



16. Ability to work in a multi-cultural team



17. Knowledge of human resources management and career planning



In terms of ranking of 5 most important competences:

  • First in importance- Competence 7
  • Second in importance – Competence 3
  • Third in importance – Competence 4
  • Fourth in importance – Competence 6
  • Fifth in importance – Competence 17 


RESULTS from the questionnaire about generic  competences:


1. In terms of average importance of each competence and average level to which it has been developed within previous studies:

List of Generic Competences

average Importance

average Level To Which Developed within previous studies

1.Ability for abstract thinking, analysis and synthesis



2. Ability to apply knowledge in practical situations



3. Ability to plan and manage time



4. Knowledge and understanding of the of the subject area and understanding of the profession



5.Ability to communicate in a foreign language



6.Ability to communicate in a neighbour language



7. Skills in the use of information and communications technologies



8. Capacity to learn and stay up-to-date with learning



9. Ability to search for, process and analyse information from a variety of sources



10. Ability to be critical and self-critical



11. Ability to adapt to and act in new situations



12. Capacity to generate new ideas (creativity)



13. Ability to identify, pose and resolve problems



14. Ability to make reasoned decisions



15. Ability to work in a team



16. Interpersonal and interaction skills



17. Ability to motivate people and move toward common goals



18. Ability to communicate with non-experts of one’s filed



19. Appreciation of and respect for diversity and multiculturality



20. Ability to work in an international context



21. Ability to work autonomously



22. Ability to design and manage projects



23. Commitment to safety



24. Spirit of enterprise, ability to take initiative



25. Ability to act on the basis of ethical reasoning



26. Ability to evaluate and maintain the quality of work produced



27. Determination and perseverance in the tasks given and responsibilities taken



28. Commitment to the conservation of the environment



29. Ability to act with social responsibility and civic awareness



30. Ability to show awareness of equal opportunities and gender issues



  In terms of ranking of  5 most important competences:

  • First in importance- Competence 6
  • Second in importance – Competence 5
  • Third in importance – Competence 15
  • Fourth in importance – Competence 17
  • Fifth in importance – Competence 14


Apart from collecting the data required for the curriculum development, the survey had several distinct effects:

  • All respondents are persuaded, that the competences enlisted in the questionnaire, are relevant and important, there is evidence, that they have been hesitating which of them to prioritize;
  • It emphasized the fact, that all servants believe, they are not qualified enough with regard to the new professional challenges they will be confronted with;
  • It is an important warning, that change may be achieved through education and motivation of people;
  • It provided the project management team with curriculum cornerstones, i.e. all prioritized competences were included in the curriculum; 
  • It highlighted existing deficits within the management practices: only 3 servants indicate the importance of  initiative and creativity, which may be a legacy of the command system and the assumption of subordination within the  top-down communications of the police system; the project aim therefore, is to start changing such attitudes;
  • the questionnaires were an important learning tool for the border police servants.  They became aware of the wide scope of competences, which they have to develop in relation to the changing professional environment in the context of  EU membership;
  •  The  survey  raised the level of interest for participation in the project.

Activity 3 Curriculum development

The post-graduate study programme in European Integration for Border Police Servants, which is the core of the project, was based on a specially designed curriculum. The curriculum reflects the needs of the trainees, discussed with the two directorates, the results from the survey,  and the capacity of BRIE as a cross-border structure in higher education. The two master programmes of BRIE, i.e. in European Studies (BRIE-Ruse) and European Public Administration (BRIE-Giurgiu) have already been accredited and their quality assured. The master programme in European Studies has been accredited in Germany as well. The curriculum was planned for one semester with a workload of 810 hours, relevant to 30 credits of the European Credit Transfer System. Thus, the implementation of the curriculum becomes a part of the LLL (Lifelong Learning) framework of the European Union. The successful completion of the curriculum leads to a certificate issued jointly by the two partner universities in English. The certificate contains information about the curriculum, the workload and the assessment. The assessment is presented according to the Bulgarian and the Romanian system. Thus, the certificate acquires innovative cross-border status, similar to a joint diploma, which is one of the challenges of the Bologna process and the establishment of the European Educational Area. The classes guided by Bulgarian lecturers (from University of Ruse) and Romanian lecturers (from Academy of Economic studies) cover 288 contact hours and 522 individual study hours. The language studies were planned for 120 contact hours each.  Bulgarian police servants were offered Romanian language, and the Romanian servants – Bulgarian. All servants were planned to study English, as well as all specific module units.  

The curriculum includes 14 module units. The assessment agreed reflects the cross-border format of the programme and is presented in qualitative terms.

Module units

Assessment ( from poor to excellent or pass)

1. European Identity

from poor to excellent, based on a written test

2. Seminar in European Integration and Cross-Border Cooperation.

Pass, based on a contribution to a discussion

3. Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU

From poor to excellent, based on a contribution to a  written team work

4. The Four Freedoms of Movement in the EU

from poor to excellent, based on a written test

5. Comparative Administration

from poor to excellent, based on a written test

6. E- Administration

from poor to excellent, based on a written test

7.  European Public Administration

from poor to excellent, based on a written test

8. European Law

from poor to excellent, based on a written test

9. Schengen Law

from poor to excellent, based on a written test

10.Human Resources Management  in Public Institutions

from poor to excellent, based on a written test

11.Seminar in Intercultural Communication

Pass, based on a  contribution to a discussion

12. Seminar in Communication Skills

Pass, based on a contribution to a discussion

13. Romanian  or  Bulgarian  language

from poor to excellent, based on a written test

14. English language

from poor to excellent, based on a written test

The teaching staff, which were approved by the two rectors to be in charge of the implementation of the project  curriculum, has been developing its expertise within the two master programmes for international students at BRIE (in European Studies and European Public Administration) since 2002. Their CVs are indicative of their academic and scientific profiles.

The curriculum and the academic staff were approved by the two rectors within a decision making session in June 2008, which took place in Bucharest at the premises of the Academy of Economic Studies. In the curriculum, a balance between the Bulgarian and Romanian contribution to the cross-border study programme had been achieved: 10 lecturers from “Angel Kanchev” University of Ruse (4 of them involved in language teaching), and 5 lecturers from Academy of Economic Studies. Thus, the cross-border academic provision of the programme has been assured:





H.A. Prof. V. Gatchevska -RU

Bulgarian language for Romanian border police servants


V. Frateva, M.A. -RU

Romanian language for Bulgarian border police servants


H.A. Prof. R.Rashkova -RU

English language for Bulgarian border police servants


H.A. Prof. L. Dicheva-RU

English language for Romanian border police servants


Assoc.Prof. Dr J.Popova –RU

Seminar on intercultural communication


H.A. Prof. M. Kornazheva-RU

Seminar on European integration and cross-border cooperation


Prof. Dr. D. Miron-AESB

Four freedoms of movement in the European Union


Assoc.Prof. Dr. V. Panteleev-RU

Common foreign and security policy of the EU


Prof. Dr. P. Angelova-RU

European identity


Dr. A. Profiroiu-AESB

Comparative administration


H.A.Prof. Dr. E. Kolarov-RU

European law


H.A. Prof. Dr. E. Kolarov-RU

Schengen law


Sen.Lect. Dr. J. Chivu-AESB

Human resources management in public institutions  


Assoc.prof. Dr.R.Karshakova –RU

Seminar in Communication skills development


Sen.Lect. Dr.J.Intorsureanu AESB



Prof. Dr. M. Profiroiu-AESB

European public administration 

Curriculum development means not only the selection of module units and relevant academic staff, who are to lay the foundations for competence enhancement. There is a need to assure and plan the appropriate timing of the curriculum implementation, as well as the convenient location of the studies. Thus, a Calendar of curricular and extracurricular activities of the study programme in European Integration has been agreed with the directorates of the border police services, so that servants can attend classes and study without leaving their job obligations:   







Official opening of the study program


12.06.08 – 15.07.08

Bulgarian language for Romanian  border police servants


16.06.08 – 17.07. 08

Romanian language for Bulgarian border police servants


21.07.08 – 15.08.08

Independent neighbour language study



Examination in the neighbour language


18.08.08 – 18.09.08

English language for Bulgarian border police servants


18.08.08 – 18.09.08

English language for Romanian border police servants



Examination in English language



Seminar on intercultural communication



Seminar on European integration and cross-border cooperation



Four freedoms of movement in the European Union (FFMEU)



Common foreign and security policy of the EU (CFSPEU)



European identity (EI)



Comparative administration (CA)



Examination on specific competences development




European law (EL)



Human resource management in public institutions  (HRMPI)



Seminar “Bridging neighbours”



Schengen law (SL)



Examination on specific competences development

(EL, SL)



Seminar in Communication skills development



E-administration (EA)



European public administration (EPA)



Examination on specific competences development




Feedback seminar



Award of certificates


It was considered relevant to organize the studies in two language groups (one Bulgarian and one Romanian for the neighbour language; and a Romanian and a Bulgarian group for the English anguage studies).  A joint Bulgarian-Romanian group was planned for all other project activities. For the language studies four schedules were developed, i.e. for Bulgarians, studying Romanian and English, and for Romanians, studying Bulgarian and English. 

Convenient location has been discussed, selected and agreed, as well. Conference rooms of the premises of the Bulgarian and the Romanian border police have been booked only for the studies of the project participants. (ANNEX 2 Folder “Study program” in CD BRIDGE photos). The Bulgarian conference room located at a distance of 10 metres from the Bulgarian check point was planned for the studies of the Bulgarian servants in Romanian and English, and the Romanian conference room, located at the Romanian check point, was planned  for all other curricular activities.

Activity 4  Selection of trainees

This activity was important for the success of the project as a whole. It was necessary that the border police directorates should select a limited number of servants (15 Bulgarians and 15 Romanians according to the Contract) for participation in the project. On the other hand,  the interest for participation was high. Actually the questionnaires that were filled in by border police servants from Ruse and Giurgiu indicated, that the interest towards the project is 100 %. So, in a series of preliminary discussions, the two border police directorates made enquiries about the number of participants and asked that the number should be raised. Taking into account the fact, that the premises allowed for a bigger number of participants, the project leadership team and the border police directorates agreed to raise the number to 18 per border service.

The next step was the selection itself, which was to be organized by the two directorates, taking into account prerequisites, which were stipulated in a special communication issued by the project leadership to the two service:

  • the project participants should be university graduates, i.e. should have graduated from a bachelor programme with the duration of at least three years;
  • no discrimination should be imposed in terms of gender and age.

The two directorates following their domestic management practices made the selection and  transmitted to the project office their final decisions, as well as a copy of  their bachelor diploma. 

It was agreed with the border police directorates, that the regular communication with the project participants will be supported by the director of the Border Police Giurgiu  M. Bratan, who was  contracted for the function of  project consultant, and by a Human Resources officer of the Border Police Ruse Maria Champoeva, who cooperated on a voluntary basis to acquire experience in European projects.   

The two border directorates also made commitments to the project management team, assuring that all selected trainees will attend classes according to the Calendar and the language schedules. During the whole project period no trainee claimed to have been prevented from attendance by his or her chief. Their job obligations have been either taken over by their colleagues, or changes in their shifts have been made in advance.

Activity 5  Production of training materials

According to the Contract the production of training materials had to be subcontracted, so that 50 compact discs could be produced and made available to the trainees, to the border police directorates and the project office. Following the procedures, a non-governmental organization was hired to collect  training materials, organize them in folders for each of the specific modules and  copy them on 50 CDs.

The CDs thus produced, include  folders, related to all specific  module units from the curriculum. The content from the folders is based on publications of the relevant teaching staff, as well as on files, downloaded from internet sources in Bulgarian and in English. The training materials, provided by the contracted authors, are in Bulgarian and in Romanian, according to the language in which academics made their presentations of the lectures and presentations for the seminar discussions. The CDs  therefore  contain texts and presentations in Bulgarian, Romanian and English.

Copies of  teaching materials for the language modules were made for all project participants at the project office, following the recommendations of the university language teachers. The textbooks used are available at the library of “Angel Kanchev University” and were at disposal of the trainees.

Thus, the implementation of the whole curriculum was guaranteed, and participants were provided both with a CD, and with hard copies of teaching materials for the language classes.

 Activity 6  Training

The training within the study programme in European Integration for Border Police Servants was organized according to:

  • above presented calendar of curricular and extracurricular activities;
  • contracts with above presented academic staff;
  • equipped  conference rooms in the Bulgarian and Romanian border zones;
  • contracted ‘rent a car’  service to assure logistics of Bulgarian and Romanian academic and language teaching staff;

Training according to the Calendar of curricular and extracurricular activities:


The study programme has been officially opened by a Launch conference on  11 June 2008.  On 12 June 2008 classes in Bulgarian for Romanian border police servants, and on 16 June classes in Romanian for Bulgarian border police servants have started. The duration of each language module was of 120 academic hours, which is a standardized limit for the first level, i.e. the level of beginners. Thus, the Romanians and the Bulgarians were given the opportunity to develop their neighbour and their English  language skills at the level of beginners. They gave evidence of their foreign language skills within the written tests they had to pass.  At the final project conference a project participant from Bulgarian border police made a speech in Romanian language, thus demonstrating a positive project result, based on 120 hour neighbour language study.

The specific modules took place from 29 September to 31 October 2008.  12 modules have been conducted  within the timing of  above presented Calendar:

1.      29.09.2008 – a four-hour Seminar in Intercultural Communication
2.      03.10.2008 – a four-hour Seminar in European Integration  and CBC
3.      04.10.2008 – a four- hour Lecture  in Four Freedoms of Movement in the EU
4.      09.10.2008- a four- hour Lecture in Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU
5.      10.10.2008 - a four- hour Lecture in European Identity
6.      11.10.2008 - a four- hour Lecture in Comparative Administration
7.      16.10.2008 – a four- hour Lecture in European Law
8.      18.10.2008-a four- hour Lecture in Human Resource Management in Public Institutions
9.      21.10.2008 – a four- hour Lecture in Schengen Law

10.  24.10.2008 - a four- hour Seminar in Communication Skills Development
11.  25.10.2008 - a four- hour Lecture in E-administration
12.  26.10.2008 - a four- hour Lecture in European Public Administration

Project participants were provided with CDs on 20 September, so that they can read the training materials in advance. The challenge was the need to study in a foreign language and to get accustomed to the interpretation.  Most of the participants were honest to talk about the difficulty they faced, but on the other hand they appreciated this experience. Actually, the training materials in both languages cover the broad area of European integration and EU developments leading to the setting up of the Schengen Agreement. So, participant had access to knowledge in their own language. The examinations also took place according to the Calendar,   presented in Activity 3. 

Training on the grounds of contracts with academic and language teaching staff:

The four language teachers were contracted for 120–hour teaching, and for the assessment of the final tests. The assessment was grounded on written tests. All Bulgarian and Romanian academic staff with the exception of the volunteer ones have been contracted according to the Contract grant. Contracts with 9 of them have been signed and 2 of them have been teaching on a volunteer basis. 

On the basis of their contract obligations, academic staff conducted four-hour teaching, using power point presentations. They prepared tests for the relevant examinations to cover 10 questions from the content of the module unit. Romanian staff had to provide the tests in Romanian, and the Bulgarians – in Bulgarian. It was then an obligation of the project leadership team to assure the translation of all tests in the relevant neighbour language.

Training in equipped conference rooms at the Bulgarian and Romanian border zones:

Strength of the project is the provision of a study programme, located at the border area, where the border police servants perform their professional obligations. 

The conference room in the Romanian border zone has been equipped with a notebook, a multi-media projector and an interpretation system.

The interpretation system has been contracted for the 5-month period of the study programme.  The contract has assured simultaneous interpretation from Bulgarian into Romanian and vice versa for all participants within project activities.

Training, facilitated by logistics of Bulgarian and Romanian academic and language teaching staff:

To assure the appropriate running of the study programme a ‘rent a car’ service has been contracted. The driver disposed of the Calendar and the language study schedules and was providing regularly the logistics service.  Each member of the academic and language teaching staff was given a lift to the conference rooms in the border area. The quality provision of the logistics service was crucial for the successful implementation of the project curricular and extracurricular activities.

Training through strengthening the cross-border dialogue and cooperation:

Six events out of the 26-curricular-and-extracurricular activities Calendar have been accompanied by a more informal part including catering, music, life style talks and familiarization with the culture of the neighbours.  The provision of these cross-border events has been contracted.

Central among all seminars was the one entitled BRIDGING NEIGHBOURS. Apart from the better acquaintance with the neighbour, a proposal for a Memorandum, aiming at the preservation of the project’s transnational group, has been discussed and accepted. This project result is of extreme importance, taking into account its potential for the continuation of the project after its finalization. 

The events were guided by the project leader, and the project coordinator and they took place, as follows:

  • within the Launching conference on 11 June 2008;
  • within the seminar on Intercultural communication on 29 September 2008;
  • within the seminar on European integration and cross-border cooperation on 3 October 2008;
  • within the seminar Bridging Neighbours on  19 October 2008;
  • within the feedback seminar  on 1 November 2008;
  • Within the Closing conference and Award of Certificates on 7 November 2008.

An evidence of the positive attitudes towards the neighbour country and people (an important project result) was the excursion to Bucharest, Romania, organized by the Romanian language teacher at the end of the Romanian language study. The Bulgarian project participants financed the excursion themselves.

Activity 7 Feedback research

The participants were given the opportunity to express orally their opinion within the feedback seminar. The main conclusions that can be drawn are as follows:

  • All participants appreciated highly the project in terms of its goal and methodology to achieve the goal.
  • All participants claimed that this was the first European project they participate in.
  • All participants would like that the project is continued in one form or another.
  • All participants claimed that they would like to be involved in a continuation of the project.
  • All participants are satisfied with the knowledge, they have acquired and they believe that it will be useful for the improvement of their professional performance.
  • All participants are very pleased with the neighbour language study and believe that this competence will help to improve cross-border cooperation.
  • Some of the participants are critical in terms of the timing of the study program, and at the same they are satisfied with the fact that it was not necessary to leave their jobs for the study period.
  • Some of the participants are critical in terms of presentation of the academic staff. They claimed that the vocabulary of lecturers was complicated and not adapted to the audience.
  • For some of the participants it was difficult to adapt to the simultaneous interpretation.  Actually they used headphones for a first time, and it was an additional learning about international cooperation. They understood the importance of foreign language learning. That is why they proposed that one of the goals of the task force to be created after the Memorandum enters into force, should be to devise a professional three-lingual glossary (English-Bulgarian-Romanian).

To assure a relevant feedback, a questionnaire had been designed by the project leadership team to cover all aspects of project work. Within the feedback seminar, the project participants were asked to express their opinion through filling in the feedback questionnaire. The written feedback confirms the above conclusions.

A strong evidence of the positive perceptions of the project results is the elaboration of a Memorandum for a creation of a Bulgarian Romanian Task Force for the Schengen zone. It was finalized within the feedback seminar.  The tasks included in the memorandum were proposed by the border police servants themselves, after having worked in small groups within the module unit on Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union, and after having continued the discussion within the BRIDGING NEIGHBOURS seminar.  All proposals are summarized below: 

  1. The participants are prepared to be involved in a task force and to implement the following tasks:  

– develop a glossary of Schengen terminology  in English-Bulgarian- Romanian language, based on jointly agreed definitions of terms ;

– propose initiatives to  exchange information about the Bulgarian and Romanian laws, relevant to border management and control;

– propose initiatives to enhance interpersonal relations and  trust  between border police servants of the two directorates;

– support the exchange of information to guarantee free movement of people in the European Union; support the exchange of information, relevant to preventing and combating international organized crime;

– develop and launch proposals on joint projects about actions, aiming at improving the administrative capacity, while taking on the obligations of the Schengen Acquis;

– propose common solutions on cases, emerging from the practice of the implementation of Schengen rules;

– develop proposals for strengthening the relations of the two border police directorates with Bulgarian and Romanian directorates, responsible for  the external EU borders;

– propose initiatives to enhance the cooperation of the two border police directorates with relevant European partners;

– identify and disseminate EU information, relevant to the implementation of Schengen rules;

– Propose initiatives, aiming at strengthening the relations of the two directorates with civil society and   improved public image of the Bulgarian and Romanian border police.

  1. The Bulgarian-Romanian Task Force will elect its leader on an annual basis, starting in 2009.
  2. The Bulgarian-Romanian Task Force will elect its leader on the principle of rotation, starting with Romanian leadership in 2009.
  3. The Bulgarian-Romanian Task Force meetings will take place at regular intervals, at least six times a year.
  4. Meetings will be hosted by the Bulgarian or the Romanian members of the Bulgarian-Romanian Task Force according to the respective leadership.
  5. The Task Force will dispose of facilities, such as office space within the premises of the two border police services.
  6. The archives of the Bulgarian-Romanian Task Force will include documents, such as manuscripts, correspondence, protocols, photographs, records, reports, computer records and data base.
  7. The archives of the Bulgarian-Romanian Task Force will be preserved at the relevant offices, which will be arranged by the Parties.

Thus, the study programme has been complemented by a very important result, to create a transnational team, functioning as a cross-border structure in support of the prospective implementation of the Schengen Acquis. All project participants confirmed that they would like to join such a structure. The first evidence, that the team has been created, was that it produced its first result, a jointly agreed vision for cross-border cooperation in the framework of the application of Schengen Acquis within a Memorandum. To appreciate such a result, one should be aware of the fact, that cross-border cooperation in police matters has always been a challenge and even among older EU member states; there is a deficit of best practices.

Activity 8 Issuing of certificates

The format of the certificates was agreed by the Rectors of the two universities, Assoc.prof. Hristo Beloev and Prof. Ion Rosca within their June 2008 decision making session. The certificates consist of a front page including information about the project, and a back page, which provides data about the grades obtained.  The certificates are issued in English taking into account the approach, which was adopted at the very beginning of the project – to develop a joint cross-border  post-graduate programme and to issue  joint cross-border certificates.

The certificates were produced by ‘Tea design’, a company which was contracted for the visual identity of the project. 

Following the assessment, made by the academic and the language teaching staff, the certificates had been filled to include grades according to the Bulgarian and the Romanian system on the basis of the existing academic practice for mutual recognition at BRIE as a cross-border educational structure. This practice has been established due to the difference between the two educational systems, The Bulgarian evaluation system uses a 6-grade scale from 2 to 6, and the Romanian evaluation system is based on a 10 -grade scale.  The equation which is being used at BRIE,  is based on a document issued by the former rector of University of Ruse Assoc. Prof. Marco Todorov.

All project participants gained positive assessment (on the scale from satisfactory to excellent) as a result of their studies. The highest grades obtained were for the module unit of  Schengen Law, thus reflecting the motivation of the border police servants to develop competences,  related to the application of Schengen Acquis. This fact indicates that the project has achieved its goal to provide the project participants with basic relevant knowledge and skills in the context of the prospective accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Schengen Zone.

Each of the certificates was signed by the two Rectors and stamped  at the Rectors’ offices.  Thus, an innovative practice for a mutually recognized cross-border continuous education in the framework of LLL was set up, complementing the existing practice at master level at BRIE.  

The participants were conferred their certificates within a final project ceremony  on 7 November 2008.

Activity 9    Public Relations

Public Relations for the purposes of the project refer to relations with all project stakeholders:

–      The Contracting Authority at the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works;

–      Strategma the European Institute, an organization authorized for the  technical assistance;

–      The Bulgarian-Romanian project leadership team, consisting of 5 persons;

–      100 Bulgarian and 100 Romanian representatives of the border police from Ruse and Giurgiu as a target group of the project,  who were surveyed,

–      36 final beneficiaries: 17 Bulgarian and 19 Romanian border police servants,

–      8 state authorities: 6 Bulgarian and  Romanian authorities, i.e. representatives of border police directorates (at least 3 persons per service),  a secretary general of the Romanian Ministry of the Interior; a representative of the Romanian Embassy in Sofia;

–      the Bulgarian and the Romanian intra-university communications, including at least 5  departments, as well as the Bulgarian-Romanian academic and language teaching staff of 13 persons,    

–      at least 12 Bulgarian and the Romanian local media;

–      6 organizations, that acted as subcontractors from Bulgaria;

–      6 BRIE partners from Germany.

Thus, project communications had to be addressed to and maintained with about 300 persons, representing 10 target groups from Bulgaria,  Romania and Germany.


The overall goal of the PR activities was to emphasize the role of the European Union as a motor of societal dynamism in the new member states, and to set up a positive perception of the project and its aim to support the management of change at the Bulgarian-Romanian border in the context of the prospective implementation of the Schengen Acquis.  

The indirect effect, which was an aim by itself, was to start building a new public image of the Romanian-Bulgarian border police as a guardian of an internal European Union border.  Such an image is of extreme importance, because with the accession of Bulgaria and Romania in the Schengen Zone, the border barriers will be removed, and the border control will be organized via mobile patrols. They will need the support of the civil society and citizens themselves, who may help  to  prevent and combat cross-border crime.

A further effect was to deliver the message, that the police should be associated with positive practices. Existing stereotypes overemphasize corruption, and this is an obstacle for all efforts related to the development of ethical  professional standards. 

The  following  salient PR  events  are  reported, as follows:


1.      Project launches conference within the session of the international advisory body of BRIE, the so called BEIRAT, and 14-15 December 2007. The session was followed by a newsconference given by Prof. Rita Suesmuth, president of the Beirat and a former president of the German Bundestag
2.      Project’s study programme launch conference – 11 June 2008.
3.      Closing conference and a ceremony on the award of certificates – 7 November 2008

4.      Signing of the Memorandum. The project was finalized with signing of a ‘Memorandum on the establishment of Bulgarian-Romanian Task Force for the Schengen Zone’ by the  directors of the Border Police Services in Ruse and Giurgiu. Thus, the aim of the project, i.e. to strengthen democratic decision making and the implementation of bottom up approach has been achieved. The Memorandum has been proposed to the central offices of the services at the Ministries of the Interior.

An important aspect of the PR activity was the creation of the visual identity of the project.  Following discussions with the project designer a logo and a motto of the project have been agreed. They  symbolize the  overall goal of the project – to build a bridge of people and to remove the stereotype about the border as a dividing line, to  disseminate the  message, that at the Bulgarian-Romanian border is becoming a place of  cooperation  not only for the local governments, businesses, universities, but for the police services as well.

The creation of the visual identity of the project was contracted with Tea Design. The designer produced the design and printed 500 leaflets, 200 posters, 36 certificates, 50 CD covers, 20 stickers and the web-site. The texts were  produced by the project leader in Bulgarian and in English, and in Romanian by the project  partner from Romania.

All other communications have been taking place within the whole project duration. It is impossible to describe all of them, because they have been rather oral or e-mail communications. But it is extremely important to state, that the communications with the Technical assistance team were crucial for the project implementation.  In spite of our extensive international project experience, the format of PHARE CBC has been new for us and without the competent, timely and always caring consultancy and advice on behalf of Strategma, the European Institute we would have had hard times and many questions without answers.  The PR of Strategma was effective as well, and they organized very interesting and useful events to present all projects to the public.

In general we believe, that the PR activity can be reported as successful, the evidence being that no unresolvable conflicts emerged in spite of the wide spectrum of stakeholders and  the broad range of  project activities.  

Activity 10.  Management

Cross-border management is a routine practice for the project management team, who has been involved in BRIE since 2001.

Decision making sessions have taken place each project month. Thus, the smooth running of the project activities has been assured.

Coordination of activities has been provided via regular communications with the border police directorates. These communications encompassed  a broad range of topics, such as:

  • Asking for a flexible approach to the  job obligations of border police servants, who are  involved in the project within the 5-months study programme;
  • Insisting that the project is communicated at the level of the two ministries;
  • Organizing for a joint picture, taken by a professional photographer;
  • Discussing the Calendar and  assuring that the timing is acceptable for the  Bulgarian and Romanian academic staff, too;
  • Asking for free of taxes transfer in the border area;
  • Preparing a presentation of the project;
  • etc.

The cross-border financial management  was a challenge, which we tried to overcome in the framework of Bulgarian laws. Intensive communications  with Technical assistance team have been facilitating the work.  Evidence of the financial management is to be found in the Financial report.

The management team has been working basically in the weekends. Volunteer co-workers have contributed at the level of  operative management. Boyan Daskalov, a senior inspector at BRIE, and Maria Champoeva , a Human Resources officer at the Bulgarian border police have been loyal partners of the management team within the whole project duration.

English was the main communication language of the project management. Official communications had  to take place in Bulgarian and Romanian, and  an additional effort had to invested to translate documents, speeches, news releases.

Three monitoring visits have taken place, two were paid by Strategma (Technical assistance organization) and one by the Contracting Authority. 

Regular communications with the Contracting Authority  can be evidenced by official letters, which are a part of the project archive.

The management team has participated in the training session on 5 February  2008, organized in Ruse, and in the closing session on 25 November 2008, organized in Sofia at the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works by Strategma.  


Results of the Action 

BRIDGE is a projects, which was proposed to raise he level of local democracy through training of a transnational group of Bulgarian and Romanian border police servants for participation in democratic decision making with regard to the membership of  Bulgaria and Romania in the European Union and the prospective implementation of Schengen rules  in the two neighbouring countries. This transnational  group is expected to become an  “agent of change”, to think globally  and  act locally  as a GUARD-POST OF AN INTERNAL BORDER OF THE EUROPEAN UNION and to support democratic structures, which are building the new identity of the Euroregion  in the border area along the Danube.  The message of the project is that the border between Bulgaria and Romania should be transformed into a BRIDGE of people, who are able to overcome dividing lines and barriers.

BRIDGE has resolved the following problem:  Bulgaria and Romania now belong to  Europe Without Frontiers and the border police servants have been confronted with the urgent  task to work together within joint check pointsat the same time they have not been trained for this new role,  they have not studied neither the language of the neighbour, nor his or her culture specific and professional behaviour, they have not  developed specific competences related for example to European administration, to European Law and the practices in the Schengen zone, etc. 


BRIDGE achieved the following  objective:  to raise the qualification of  36 border police servants  (17 from the Bulgarian Border Police Service in Ruse and 19 from the Romanian Border Police Service in Giurgiu) and to provide them with specific and generic competences relevant to their new  role to safeguard an internal EU border within the Schengen zone.


BRIDGE management team reports the following most important results: firstly,  the full provision of a specially tailored one-semester post-graduate programme, and secondly its implementation, leading to a Certificate in European integration for border police servants, issued jointly by “Angel Kanchev” University of Ruse and Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest  through its branch – BRIE-Giurgiu and conferred to the successful graduates.  Thus, BRIDGE added  value with its special focus on studies regarding the Bulgarian-Romanian border situation to the educational offers of the Bulgarian and Romanian national qualification structures, and to the EU twinning projects for border police servants. The project contributed to the development of the administrative capacity of Bulgarian and Romanian police servants. The project facilitated the educational process of the trainees: border police servants did not need to leave their jobs for the period of their training. 

Outcome on both final beneficiaries &/or target group

Within BRIDGE  the following main activities were  implemented:

–      Pre-training research  activities, incl. the development of a questionnaire for the target group, analyzing the data,  making conclusions and designing a curriculum of one –semester programme for  Bulgarian and Romanian border police servants; curriculum provision, incl.  contracting the lecturers from the two  universities; production of training materials;

–      Training  activities,  related to the  conducting of the pilot training. Thus,  the training can be offered to other servants belonging to a target group of more than 2000 servants on the two sides of the border line;

–      Post-training research  activities regarding  the feedback of trainees on the impact of the project;  issuing and award of certificates to the successful graduates,  and a closing conference on project results. The feedback confirms the positive impact of the project;

–      Project management, incl. regular decision making sessions, preparation of interim and final project reports and audits;  equipment of project management office;

–      PR  activities, incl. project corporate identity development (logo, leaflet and poster,  website), media relations, public affairs with public administrations in Rousse and Giurgiu and regular cross-border communications.

The project has approached about 300 people, living and wotking in the border area between Bulgaria and Romania. It has alerted them, that cross-border copoperation of EU member states needs to be intensified at all levels and by all target groups. The border  police is among the most important of them, because it has to assure both, the free movement of  the Internal market and the  security of  the European living and working space, free from the dividing lines and the legacies of the past. 

The project and its results have been presented in detail above.  It is worth adding, that the project contributes to the preparation of the two border police services to take on the obligations of Schengen Acquis.  They now dispose of a team, who is motivated not only to support change, but to initiate it as well. The project was a successful attempt to implement the bottom-up approach in the border area governance.  Thus, the democratization effect  may be considered the main asset of BRIDGE.


All visual identity printed materials, which were presented above, were disseminated within all project events. The posters were decorating all columns of the Bulgarian and Romanian border zone within the whole project duration.  Leaflet was disseminated to passengers from Bulgaria, Romania and other countries, who were crossing the border. Project materials were disseminated within monitoring visits, paid by European Experts in the framework of the external evaluations of Bulgaria and Romania with regard to their preparation for Schengen. All visual identity materials were presented to the central services of Bulgarian and Romanian border police in Sofia and Bucharest.

Follow Up

As stated before, a transnational Task Force has been created, and a Memorandum for the establishment of the Task Force has been signed.  Thus, the life of the project will be continued by its most important actors, the project final beneficiaries.

Gender Equality

Dealing with a men-dominated profession, it was difficult to involve more than 4 women as final beneficiaries in the project. In spite of that all opportunities were used to develop a culture of respect for gender non-discrimination. Women participated in news conferences and delivered speeches; they were good learners and contributed to the development of a positive image of the border police.


The project activities were monitored twice by the Technical assistance team and once by the Contracting Authority.   The evaluation by the beneficiaries has been presented in Activity 7.


Partners and other Co-operation

The partnership for the project has been set up in the early 2000 – 2001.  It has been provided with an international agreement in 2006. BRIE-Giurgiu as a branch of the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest has been a reliable and a loyal partner.  The stable partnership relations have been crucial for the successful implementation of the project.

The partnership is to continue. New project proposals have been prepared and submitted for approval and financing in the framework of Romania-Bulgaria territorial cooperation scheme for 2007-2013. 

The state authorities of the two countries have been supportive, and especially of the Romanian authorities, who were involved in the final cross-border conference. They have appreciated the project in terms of  its input for the development of the administrative capacity  of  two  public administration structures. Bulgaria for example has been criticized by its European partners for lack of administrative capacity. The project is a positive attempt towards eventual changes in attitudes towards the two countries.   

Relationship with any other organisations involved in implementing the Action:

  • Associate(s) (if any)
  • Sub-contractor(s) (if any) –
  • Final Beneficiaries and Target groups
  • Other third parties involved.

The project is to be linked to all activities related to the preparation of Bulgaria and Romania for accession to the Schengen space  to all monitoring visits paid by European experts.