Balkan Media Academy | Senate | First meeting | Declaration | Photos | Historical background

Start of Programs of the Balkan Media Academy

With the international seminar on "Media Development and Media Research in Europe" held on 23 September 2000 in Sofia, the Balkan Media Academy made its start. This new and unique Balkan educational institution was founded at the initiative of Balkanmedia Association under the auspices of the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe. The seminar was opened by an introductory speech by Monsignor Prof. Dr. Georgi Eldarov from the Vatican and a lecture by Dr. Uwe Hasebrink - Director of the Hans-Bredow Institute at the Hamburg University. This is the oldest and authoritative mass media research center in Germany which this year celebrated its 50th anniversary. Prof. Dr. Dmitrii Rushin – Director of the Mass Media Center at the University of St. Petersburg introduced the participants to the perspectives of development and the problems of media research in the period of transition in the post-communist societies. Over 40 media experts from Bulgaria, Republic of Macedonia, Romania and Albania participated in the seminar. The activity of the Balkan Media Academy, which is directed by Dr. Rossen Milev, is realized in partnership with the European Union, UNESCO, and the Council of Europe as well as with institutions from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Vatican, France, Russia and Great Britain. The educational programs of the Academy include intensive courses and seminars on media management, intercultural communication, public relations, media research and analysis, etc. for journalists from Southeastern Europe.

Cooperation of Balkan Media Academy
with European Journalism Center - Maastricht, the Netherlands

Balkan Media Academy - Sofia selected Bulgarian participants for the international seminars on investigative journalism organized by the European Journalism Center in Maastricht:
Riga - 20-22 October 2000
Kharkiv - 6-8 October 2000

Cooperation of Balkan Media Academy
with UNESCO - Paris, France

In September 2000 Balkan Media Academy started publishing information materials for the educational programs of the Academy in West-European and Balkan languages with the cooperation and support of UNESCO.
In the upcoming months Balkan Media Academy is going to organize other seminars, intensive courses, workshops etc. in cooperation with West-European partners and international organizations.
Information on these events will be published by the end of 2000.

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Media Conference of UNESCO in Sofia
27-28 October 2000

A two days international conference attended by media experts and representatives of governmental, non-governmental and private media organizations from more than 20 countries, ended in Sofia with the official signing of MANIFESTO 2000 of UNESCO "For a culture of peace and non-violence". The conference was organized under the auspices of UNESCO by the Balkan Media Academy in cooperation with the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", as well as with the support of practically all unions of journalists and professional media organizations in Bulgaria.
The forum chaired by Mr. Marcello Scarone, program coordinator of Mass Media Unit of UNESCO, specially stressed the future development of a new type of media intercultural communication in a Balkan and Eurobalkan perspective.
The presentation "Ethnic Tolerance and a Culture of Peace" by Prof. Thomas Bauer from Vienna - Chairman of the International Academic Senate of the Balkan Media Academy, as well as the presentation of Prof. Mihai Coman from Bucharest on "Media Education and Development of Multiethnic Communication and a Culture of Peace" and of Prof. Georgy Eldarov from Rome on "Principals of Media Ethic in the Development of a New Media Culture on the Balkans" were of grate interest for the audience.
The scientific reports of the specialists from the conflict regions of the Western Balkans (FR Yugoslavia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina ) were also interesting.
The conference "Freedom of Expression, Media Legislation and Media education for Ethnic Tolerance and a culture of peace" is a part of the international program of UNESCO in connection with the declaring 2000 for international year of the culture of peace.

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Balkan Media Academy organized two seminars in January 2001 on the following themes:
  • Cultural Cooperation in Southeastern Europe (in cooperation with the Council of Europe – Strasbourg; Main lecturer: Mr. Raymond Weber, General Director of Directorate IV – Culture and Education of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg)
  • Intercultural and Interreligious Interactions (in cooperation with the "Abagar" foundation, Rome and the University of Bologna; Main lecturer: Prof. Dr. Alberto Melloni, University of Bologna)

  • BMA published and distributed information materials (booklets) in Bulgarian, English and French languages in February 2001. UNESCO supports the publishing of the booklets and the readers can find there analyze of the actual media situation on the Balkans as well as presentation and information about the activities of the BMA.
  • BMA organized international seminar "New Prospects for film makers' cooperation in South-East Europe" in cooperation with BLIMP Media House - Graz, Austria. The seminar took place in Graz, Austria on March 21-22 2001. The participants were from Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatia and FR Yugoslavia. Mr. Bogdan Grbic (FR Yugoslavia/Austria) and Dr. Rossen Milev (Bulgaria) were key speakers of the meeting.

The Balkan Media Academy organized in cooperation with the cultural center "Abagar" - Rome a workshop on "Realia and Lessons from media history on 17 April 2001. Prof. Dr. G. Eldarov - Seraphicum University, Rome and Prof. Dr. G. Neshev - Southwest University "Neophyte Rolski", Blagovgrad were the main lecturers.

A seminar on "Cultural Identity in the European Media" was organized on June 8 - 9, 2001 in Sofia by the Balkan Media Academy in close cooperation with the University of Vienna. Main lecturer was O. Univ. Prof. Dr. Thomas A. Bauer, Head of the Department of Audiovisual Media/Media Culture at the University of Vienna.

The Balkan Media Academy organized on July 11 a workshop "The Impact of the Media in the Building of European Identity" in cooperation with the Institute for media and Education (Institut fur Bildung und Medien), Berlin. The main lecturer was Dr. Bernd Mikuszeit - Director of the Institute.
International colloquium "Human Rights and Responsibilities in the Media Society: Initiatives of the Council of Europe and other international organizations." on 30 October 2001. Main lecturer: Ambassador Dr. Svetozar Raev, Cologne Moderator: Prof. Dr. George Eldarov, Rome. The colloquium was organized in close cooperation with Seraphicum University, Rome, Italy.

On January 19, 2002 the Balkan Media Academy in cooperation with "Seraphicum" University, Rome, and scientists from Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" organized an International Virtual Colloquium "Wulfila, the Gothic alphabet and the Balkan cultural and communication heritage." Main communicators: acad. dr. Rossen Milev (BMA), prof. dr. Georgi Eldarov ("Seraphicum" University, Rome) and prof. dr. Emilia Staicheva (Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski"). An international working group "Wulfila and the European Communication" was created as a result of the colloquium.

On March 14, 2002, the BMA held a seminar, "Internationalization of Communication - Internationalization of Communication Studies", in Vienna University. Media experts from three continents took part in the seminar.
Main lecturers:
Prof. Dr. Phil Salem, South West Texas State University of Austin, USA
Dr. Amith Vadehra, State University New Delhi, India
Univ. prof. Dr. Thomas A. Bauer, Vienna University, Austria
Acad. Dr. Rossen Milev, BMA, Bulgaria

prof. Dr. Thomas A. Bauer

On April, the 26 2002, the Balkan Media Academy held in Sofia a international workshop "The Goths in the Balkan history and culture" with participants from Germany and Bulgaria.
Main communicators:
Prof. Dr. Hannelore Scholz, Humboldt University, Berlin
Dr. Gabi Tiemann, University of Heidelberg
Prof. Dr. Emilia Staicheva, Sofia University
Dr. Svetlozar Eldarov, Institute for Balcanistic Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Acad. Dr. Rossen Milev, Balkan Media Academy

On June 10th, 2002, the Prime Minister of Bulgaria Simeon Saxe Coburg Gotha appointed the
President of the Balkan Media Academy, Acad. Dr. Rossen Milev, as coordinator of the
newly created Government Group for European Media Practices.


On September 23rd, 2002 two years have passed since the start of the Balkan Media Academy. The event was marked by a series of seminars and meetings, promoted by the academy on 23 rd and 24th of September in Sofia on

"Media Communications, Contemporary Historical Thinking and European Identity"

The chief accent was on the contribution of the Goths to early European culture, and its coverage in British, German, Italian and Bulgarian media in 2002. The action was brought about by the Balkan Media Academy in cooperation with the Bulgarian Committee of the European Cultural Foundation (Amsterdam) and with the participiation of Bulgarian and Italian history, archeology, philology, theology and media scholars. In the meeting of September 24th at Center Abagar in Bojana, near Sofia, they were joined by the ambassador of Norway in Bulgaria, His Excellency Mr. Rolf Baltzersen.

The Balkan Media Academy chose as one of its main goals for its future work the elaboration of a strategy for furthering the European cultural identity through media communications.

Wulfila (311-383) , Apostle of the Goths
Drawing by Rossen Milev, 2002

On Octobre 4th, 2002 the Balkan Media Academy held a seminar "The Goths in the Balkan History and Culture" in cooperation with the Austrian Science and Research Liaison Office Sofia. The main lecturer was Prof. Dr. Herwig Wolfram - Director of the Institute for Austrian Historical Studies at the Vienna University.

On October, 7th-9th 2002, the President of the Balkan Media Academy, Acad. Dr. Rossen Milev, took part in the First Colloquium on Interfaith Communication of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and presented his paper "The Archangel Gabriel as an Interfaith Communicator".

On February, 10th-11th 2003 the Balkan Media Academy held in Sofia an international seminar for media experts with a presentation of the project, realized by Balkanmedia Association and supported by UNESCO "New Media Developments in South Eastern Europe 2000-2002".


On May, 24th-26th 2003 the Balkan Media Academy organized in the Wulfila-House in Simeonovo, near Sofia an international seminar "The Gothic Alphabet of Wulfila (Ulphilas) - basis for the creation of the Cyrillic Alphabet" with a presentation of the new book of BALKANMEDIA about the Goths.

Main lecturers: Acad.Dr. Rossen Milev, Dr. Valentin Hristov


On December, 27th-28th 2003 the Balkan Media Academy organized in Sofia a seminar "Two years NEW GOTHIC STUDIES - results and perspectives".

Main lecturers: Acad.Dr. Rossen Milev, Dr. Valentin Hristov

Discovery of the Oldest Monastery in Europe

On January, 18th 2004 the Balkan Media Academy organized a scientific expedition to the monastery "St. Athanasius" at Zlatna livada, near Cirpan (in the South-East of Bulgaria). We discovered the founding year of the monastery (344). This is the oldest monastery in Europe and was founded by St. Athanasius of Alexandria (1660 years anniversary in 2004!).
Main participants: Acad.Dr. Rossen Milev, Fanny Ivanova, Todorka Radeva(mayor of Zlatna livada), Veniamina(abbess of "St. Athanasius"), people from Zlatna livada and of the region.

International workshop "Traditions of printing and democratic values"

On February, 24th 2004 the Balkan Media Academy organized in Sofia an international workshop "Traditions of printing and democratic values in Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Buddhistic cultures".
Main lecturer: Prof. Dr. Michael Mitterauer, University of Vienna.

The Early Christianity On The Balkans

On May, 23th and 24th 2004 the BMA organized in Sofia, Stara Zagora and Zlatna Livada an international seminar "The Monastery St. Athanasius, near Chirpan and the Early Christianity on the Balkans".
Main communicators:
Prof. Dr. Peter Schreiner - President of the International Association of Byzantine Studies, University of Cologne, Germany
Prof. Dr. Axinia Dshurova - Director of the Centre of Slavic-Byzantine Studies "Prof. Ivan Dujcev" at the University of Sofia "St. Kliment Ochridski"
Acad. Dr. Rossen Milev, Dr. Valentin Hristov and Fanny Ivanova from the Balkan Media Acadeny
H.E. Galaktion - Orthodox Archbishop of Stara Zagora
Vassil Donev - Mayor of Chirpan and other representatives of the local and regional authorities and society

August, 26th - Wulfila Memory Day

On August, 26th, 2004 was dedicated the new office of BALKANMEDIA in the Wulfila House in Simeonovo, near Sofia, with the mural painting "WULFILA" (painted by Nenko Balkanski and Nicolai Machev, artistic concept of Acad.Dr.Rossen Milev and Ass.Prof.Dr.Zarko Shdrakov) and, held a colloquium on the life and the work of the "apostole of the Goths", bishop Wulfila (311-383).
Main communicators: Archbishop Methodius Stratiev, Prof.Dr.Georgi Eldarov, Prof.Dr.Svetlozar Eldarov, Acad.Dr.Rossen Milev, Dr.Valentin Hristov, members and collaborators of the Balkanmedia Association & Academy, as well of the Gothic project.


Scientific Expedition "Vestiges of thå Goths in Bulgaria"

On September, 6th -12th, 2004 the Balkan Media Academy organized a scientific expedition to the important places of the Gothic historical and cultural presence in Bulgarian lands in Late Antiquity and Early Middle Age: Beroe (today Stara Zagora) - the monastery "St.Athanasius" near Zlatna Livada, region of Chirpan - Kireka - Madara - Pliska - Preslav - Shumen - the early christian centre near Chan Krum - Veliko Tarnovo - Nicopolis ad Istrum - Storgosia ( today Pleven) - the fortress of Sadovez.

Main communicators:
Acad.Dr.Rossen Milev and Dr. Valentin Hristov from the Balkan Media Academy,
Ass.Prof.Dr. Zarko Shdrakov, National Academy of Fine Arts, Sofia
Dr.Todor Balabanov, Regional Historical Museum, Shumen,
Prof. Dr. Kazimir Popkonstantinov, University of Veliko Tarnovo "St.St. Cyrillos and Methodius",
Keazim Issinov, artist and researcher, Sadovez.


On December, the 17th-19th, in the Wulfila House held an international seminar "The Culture of the Goths" with presentation of the book of Rossen Milev "Wulfila, the Goths, Europe", published with the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Bulgaria. In the seminar participated representatives of Scandinavian Embassies in Sofia, students from the University of Sofia "St. Climent Ochridsky", the New Bulgarian University a.o.

Main communicators:
H.E. Bertil Roth, Royal Swedish Ambassador in Bulgaria
Dr. Alexander Cvetkovski, Museum of Macedonia, Skopje
Ass.Prof.Dr. Zarko Shdrakov, National Academy of Fine Arts and New Bulgarian University
Prof.Dr. Emilia Staitcheva and Ass. Prof. Emilia Dentcheva from the University of Sofia "St. Climent Ochridsky"


The Forum held in Sofia, Chirpan and in the monastery "St. Athanasius" near Zlatna livada as a joint project between the Royal Swedish Embassy in Bulgaia, the University in Uppsala, Sweden, the Balkanmedia Association, the Wulfila House Foundation- Sofia and the Sofia University"St.Kliment Ohridski". Main communicators: H.E. Bertil Roth, Ambassador of the Kingdom Sweden in Bulgaria,
"Introduction into the Swedish-Bulgarian perspective of the Gothic studies"
Dr. Ulf Erik Hagberg, Editor of Studia Gothica,Uppsala,
"The Gothic Archaeological finds in Sweden"
Dr. Lars Munkhammar, Director of the University Library in Uppsala,
"The History of Codex argenteus- the Bible of Theoderic the Great"
Prof.Dr. Axinia Dshurova, Director of the Center for Slavic and
Byzantine Studies at the Sofia University,
"The Book Traditions in Bulgaria and on the Balkans"
Ass.Prof.Dr. Emilia Dentscheva, Sofia University,
"Another view about Wulfila"
Ass.Prof.Dr Zarko Zhdrakov, National Art Academy Sofia,
"Goths and Huno-Bulgarians.Examples of ethnocultural identification"
Dr. Todor Balabanov, Archaelogical Institute and Museum-Filiale
Schumen,"The Gothic Bishop center near
Chan Krum, region of Schumen- new archaeological finds"
Dr. Ljudmil Vagalinski, Archaelogical Institute and Museum-Sofia,
"Goths an other East Germans in the Bulgarian lands"
Mr. Vassil Donev, mayor of the city of Chirpan,
"The monastery St. Athanasius near Zlatna livada and the Early Christianity in Thrace"
Dr. Rossen Milev, Wulfila House Foundation- Sofia,
"Wulfila and the new Gothological Studies"

On 14th February, 2005 at a ceremony in the Sofia University
"St. Kliment Ohridski" Dr.Ulf Erik Hagberg and Dr. Lars Munkhammar
were awarded with the WULFILA MEDAL of the Wulfila House Foundation
for their significant works in the studies of Gothic history and culture.


It is now eighty four years ago, since the sword was found in the ruins of the ancient city fortress of Pernik in 1921. A research group from the Gothic project including Associate Professor Zarko Zhdrakov, Associate Professor Emiliya Dencheva and D-r Rosen Milev, spelled out and interpreted the inscription on the sword from Pernik, considered until recently, enigmatic and illegible.

As seen from the point of view of linguistics, history of art and culture, paleography and archaeology, the sword could be identified as from the epoch of the early Middle Ages. The inscription on the sword was written in the early Western German language used until the eighth century, whereas, more concretely it is Bavarian and Longobardian / and most probably this is the oldest written record from the group of these languages/ where German, English, Netherlandish and others derived from.

The inscription on the sword could be read as follows:

‘I do not wait Time, I am Time itself ‘

If we, however, assume that while reading the text there might be a possibility to shift the end of some words and respectively those at the beginning of the consecutive ones, there might occur some other variations in the perusal of the text in the sense of anticipation or no anticipation of time or wether the exponent carries or does not carry time in itself. Similar play upon words and shades of meanings is characteristic for the Byzantine context. The inscription could also be read as a cryptogram from Latin invocations.

On 10th March 2005, the National Archaeological Institute and Museum in Sofia, presented the sword, while, the research workers, having examined the sword - presented their finding. In the presentation, on behalf of the Institute and the Museum took part its Scientific Secretary Associate Professor D-r Dochka Aladjova and the superintendent of the museum fund, Jordan Gatev.


On the 13th March 2005, a forum was organized in Wulfila House, the first of its kind in Bulgaria, dedicated to the Celtic cultural and historical heritage within the Bulgarian lands and the contemporary reflections of the Celtic traditions in music and culture.

Main communicators:

D-r Metodi Manov- archaeologist, - researcher of the Celts, National Archaeological Institute and Museum, Sofia.
Paulina Janakieva and Ivan Ivanov, founders of the first group in Bulgaria for Irish music and dances.
Associate Professor D-r Zarko Zhdrakov, National Art Academy.
Associate Professor D-r Emiliya Dencheva, Sofia University ‘St. Climent Ohridsky’.
D-r Rosen Milev, President of the Wulfila House Foundation.