Can Europe Make It?

The EU is the best thing that has happened to Bulgaria

Vasil Silyanovski
17 January 2014

My name is Vasil Silyanovski. In my opinion and the opinion of other young people whom I know, the EU is the best thing that has happened to Bulgaria. I personally graduated in Economics in Vienna and so have seen the advantages of being an EU citizen. I returned back to Bulgaria and I am currently studying Law with the intention of helping in the development of my country, to continue its European development and to acquire European values. Those are my goals and my dream is that one day Bulgaria will be a model country, both for Europe and for the rest of the world.

The latest university occupation was a natural progression from the ongoing protests in Bulgaria. It all started with the appointment of a media mogul to head up the National Department of State Security. This struck us all as yet another impudent and corrupt political move on the part of the government currently in power in what is described as the “transition period”. This was insanity. Our immoral, non-visible, non-democratic government had finally gone beyond any tolerable limits.

However, maybe I ought to explain things by taking a step back. From the fall of communism to nowadays, the former communist party and their successors are the main powers in the land. The main difference between them and civil society is that they consider success is achievable only if you play an active role in power politics. For us, success is achieved on merit by demonstrating knowledge and hard work. Principally, this is the difference.

In the last 24 years, communists have repeatedly seized power. But this time, their moral degradation has sunk to new depths. Aiming to be in power at all costs, they have entered into a coalition with the far right nationalist party and the ethnic Turkish party. A few words on these parties’ typical voters. The former communist party’s electorate is full of people of lower social status who dream of turning the clock back to Communist times. The ethnic Turkish party’s vote is kept artificially high by instilling fear amongst the ethnic Turkish people and manipulating them accordingly. The nationalist party is a purely demagogic organization, and one absolutely discredited following a series of scandals which began with their silent participation in this insane coalition government, and included photos of their members visiting their leader in some of the most expensive hotels in the world.

The university occupation was a mild and peaceful way to express our disagreement with the absurdity taking place in the Parliament. But the students are now starting to enlighten themselves. This is where our name comes from - The Early Rising Students, (because we have acted before it is too late). We have found ourselves in this situatation due to the outrageous acts occurring at every level of the political system.

Now, we are taking things into our own hands, because we realise it is up to us to fight for the change we want to see in our country and community. We want to be the change. We want to be an example for everyone. Up until now, Bulgarians have waited for someone to come and make things better, to save us. For a spiritual leader to take us to the promised land; for a Messiah. We, the Early Rising students, are very much aware of the fact that there is no Messiah. If we want a democratic, pure country of integrity where people have the opportunity to develop and prosper on fair terms, we will have to earn it. We hope everyone else will come to know this as well. We will not give up, because we want a better future for Bulgaria.

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