Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister Kostadin Kodzhabashev took part in a roundtable at the Council of Ministers on Friday discussing a draft National Action Plan to Combat Antisemitism.
The event was organized by the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry within the framework of a project titled, “Strategic Cooperation between Bulgaria and Norway in Support of Bulgaria’s International Commitments to Combating Antisemitism and Preserving Jewish Heritage.” The project is funded under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, according to the ministry.
Kodzhabashev stressed that Bulgaria is an active participant in all the major international forums dedicated to the fight against intolerance, hatred and discrimination, including antisemitism.
He added that Bulgaria is proud of its traditions of tolerance and integration of people of different ethnicities and religions in society, highlighting the rescue of Bulgarian Jews during World War II as an inspiration in the fight against contemporary manifestations of antisemitism and a positive example for the future generations.
Participating in the discussion via videoconference was Katharina von Schnurbein, European Commission Coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, who made specific comments and suggestions, noting the rescue of Bulgarian Jews during World War II.
The forum was attended by deputy ministers and other representatives of all state institutions with competence in combating antisemitism, the deputy chief of mission at the Israeli embassy, a representative of the Norwegian Centre for Holocaust and Minority Studies, which is a partner in the drafting of the National Action Plan, as well as Bulgarian Jews, civil society and academia representatives.
Many proposals were made in various areas for a more effective combating of antisemitism.
The draft National Plan is modelled on the 2021 EU Strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life and is being drafted in fulfilment of one of the national commitments made at the 2021 International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism in Malmo. The plan aims to strengthen the capacity and expertise of Bulgarian institutions, raise public awareness and expand academic research.