Public opinion on strategic alignment in Bulgaria: In EU but with Russia

Plamen Akaliyski


The problem of strategic alignment of Bulgaria – with the East or the West - has always been a crucial factor for the development of the state throughout the centuries. Five years after the accession of the country in the EU it looks on the surface that Bulgaria has found firmly its place in the international relations. This seminar paper examines whether the EU future of the country could be challenged by an alternative idea for strategic orientation – alignment with Russia and other Eastern European countries. A number of studies were engaged in the research to identify that Bulgaria is one of the most Russia-friendly countries in the EU, which is at least partly due to cultural, religious and linguistic similarities and traditionally good relationships with Russia. After the formation of “Eurasian Union” and the “invitation” of Bulgaria to become part of it, the importance of the problem investigated in this seminar paper has risen significantly. A recent study shows that the majority of Bulgarians are willing to see their country in one form or another in the new supranational formation. The study concludes that Bulgaria is particularly prone to develop a pro-Russian movement which could threaten the EU membership of the country. In order to identify the exact strength and determination of this pro-Russia public support a further investigation is required. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>