Topical issues, history, culture, traditions and tourism options in Bulgaria are already reaching audiences in Romania and Moldova
Radio Bulgaria, 20.10.2022
88 years of history and a new beginning! With smiles, enthusiasm and promises of support, the Radio Bulgaria Romanian editorial team was officially presented. With its creation, the number of languages in which Bulgarian National Radio communicates with the world reaches 11.
“I am convinced that this is just the beginning – we will develop both in text and sound, and in the future, why not in video?” said the Director General of Bulgarian National Radio, Milen Mitev. I believe that this website will contribute to even better and closer relations between Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova. I believe that this is the mission of a public radio station – to support cultural links and collaboration and to provide us with verified, reliable and comprehensive information.”
The timing of the launch of the new Romanian-language website is extremely important – amid geopolitical events in Europe, the two countries are on the verge of acceptance into the Schengen Area. Also this year marks two significant anniversaries: 30 years since the signing of the Treaty of Cooperation, Good Neighbourliness and Friendship between Romania and Bulgaria and 15 years since the accession of the two countries to the EU. The two events were mentioned by H.E. Ms Brândușa Ioana Predescu, Ambassador of Romania to Bulgaria.
“It is with great joy that I mention that this is a modern and long-awaited instrument that will bring people from both sides of the Danube even closer together. And what I am most happy about is that from now on, your Romanian-speaking compatriots, especially the communities living south of the Danube in the Vidin area, will have the opportunity to read and listen to a high-quality radio product in their own language. Officially, I am committed with the modest possibilities of ambassador and embassy, that we will do everything possible to bring the two National Radio Institutions closer, not only for exchange of experience, but also for exchange of content, which will also help the wonderful Bulgarian community in my country to listen to interesting material for them, in Romanian.”
The ceremony held in front of the symbolic Studio 1 of the Public Radio building in Sofia was also attended by H.E. the Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova in Sofia, Mr. Anatol Cebuc, who declared his support for the popularization of the Romanian content of Radio Bulgaria.
“For us it is particularly pleasant to listen to news and material in a European language, the language of our neighbouring country, the language of our friends! This is also very important for the growing number of tourists, for the growing business in the region, and for all citizens visiting Bulgaria. I am extremely grateful!”
It was with gratitude that Iulia Bahovski, a new colleague of the Bulgarian Public Radio team, addressed journalists and guests, saying that “Romania and Bulgaria still have a lot to say to each other.”
“I would especially like to thank the staff of the Embassies of Romania in Sofia and Bulgaria in Bucharest and to tell you that their events and initiatives beyond politics, related to culture, faith, traditions, cannot reach people and their hearts if we, the media, do not support them. I want you to know that you can count on us. I would also like to thank Bulgarian National Radio for this initiative and the opportunity to be part of the team. It is an honour for me. And finally, I would like to thank all my Bulgarian language teachers in Ruse and Sofia and the teachers I had at the Faculty of Journalism of St. Kliment Ohridski University in Sofia.”
“Relations with Romania have been neglected for too long,” says Vladimir Mitev, the journalist for whom Radio Bulgaria is becoming the new home for his work.
“The Romanian language section of Radio Bulgaria’s programme will be closely related in idea and concept to the other foreign language programmes that our listeners and readers already know. We will have material translated from the content produced by Bulgarian National Radio, as well as our own editorials on important and useful topics. Our team consists of three people – myself, journalist Iulia Bahovski and editor Alexandru Ionascu, who has a PhD in philology. All of us have cooperation relations with different organizations and personalities related to Romanian-Bulgarian relations and we believe that we will generate interesting and useful content for the audience of the national radio station.”
Vladimir Mitev graduated from the Faculty of International Relations and Iranian Studies at St. Kliment Ohridski University in Sofia. He worked for several years for the weekly magazine Tema. There he decided to devote himself to his long-time passion, Romania, learned the Romanian language and started covering socio-political events north of the Danube in Bulgaria. Born in Ruse, Vladimir still remembers the apartment blocks he saw on the opposite bank of the Danube and how amazed he was to see something so close, yet so foreign. “I was very curious to get there and see what was going on. As a journalist today, I can share my ‘discoveries’,” he added. Seven years ago, he created his own Romanian-Bulgarian blog “Friendship Bridge”, named after the bridge between Ruse and Giurgiu. Since then, he has participated as a political and social commentator in various broadcasts of the Bulgarian National Radio and has been a guest in the most important media outlets in Romania. Since yesterday Vladimir Mitev has been a member of the Romanian editorial team of Radio Bulgaria. The question logically follows: do we know each other well enough and how strong is the Friendship Bridge between Bulgarians and Romanians?
“I think the trend is positive, and the decision itself to open a Romanian-language editorial office of Radio Bulgaria is a recognition that there is a need and an interest to get to know each other better. In my opinion, since the past there has been an inertia between Bulgarians and Romanians and some negative stereotypes that probably were valid in specific periods and situations. We need to discover our neighbours in full. There are many interesting things to find out, such as the fact that Romania has a very developed industry, two major car manufacturers and more than 600 car parts manufacturers. The country has a little-known policy in Bulgaria of encouraging investment through state aid. Bulgaria is also trying to develop this sector in its own economy, but in Romania the scale is greater. This is an example I discovered in an interview, to be published on the website, with the secretary general of the Romanian Car Manufacturers Association. In the field of culture, it cannot fail to impress that in Romania serious funding is being given to culture, including in small towns, conditions are being created for local intellectual elites, magazines, a cultural centre around which the life of a locality develops. In the country, political theatre is very well developed, with a social echo, telling stories of ordinary people. All these things show how big the world is and how many different directions there are to connect with our neighbours.”
As for the development of his professional path, and that of his colleagues, Vladimir Mitev wants one thing:
“If I had to make one wish to myself and our team, it is that we simply keep the enthusiasm we have at the moment. I believe that Bulgarian National Radio gives us a very solid base on which we can build and, with enthusiasm, experience and thought, create a quality media product for Bulgarians and Romanians.”
And so, knowing each other, we will be able to accept each other more easily.
Visit the Radio Bulgaria website in Romanian.
Photo: H.E. Anatol Cebuc, Vladimir Mitev, Director General of Bulgarian National Radio, H.E. Brândușa Ioana Predescu, Iulia Bahovski and the editor-in-chief of Radio Bulgaria, Krasimir Martinov, during the ceremony in the building of Bulgarian Public Radio (source: Ani Petrova)
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