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Philip Dimitrov

Philip Dimitrov Dimitrov (Bulgarian: Филип Димитров Димитров) (born 31 March 1955) is a Bulgarian politician.

Biography

Dimitrov was born in Sofia, and graduated from the city's English language high school in 1973. He graduated with a law degree from Sofia University in 1977, and then undertook further study in the field of individual and group psychotherapy using the psycho-dynamic approach. He worked as an attorney in Sofia between 1979 and 1990, serving as Secretary of the Bulgarian Attorneys' Union from 1989 onwards. Bulgarian media had suggested that his office served as a Communist-era secret police hideout. He reacted immediately by giving the first order, in spite of reluctance from his allies, to reveal information on each citizen request about whether there was any data of his/her links with the secret police. He is married to Elena Gueorguieva, MD, but has no children.

Dimitrov was active in the Union of Democratic Forces, a broad coalition against continued rule by the Bulgarian Communist Party. He became a member of its National Coordination Council in 1990, and was its chair from December that year until December 1994. He has been a member of the Executive Council of the UDF since February 1997.

Dimitrov became Prime Minister of Bulgaria in 1991, but remained in office for only about a year, after losing a vote of confidence that he called for himself. During its term of office (until the end of 1992), his government managed to make the new democratic institutions work and started an ambitious set of democratic political and economic reforms. Under his administration, observance of human rights became an irrevocable legal and ethical norm and previous ethnic tensions and abuses were eliminated. Foreign policy focused on integration into Europe and the West. Bulgaria was the first country to recognize Macedonia unconditionally as a sovereign state. His government allowed the possibility for a free market system, which literally changed most Bulgarian cities within half a year. He insisted on the large-scale restitution of nationalized properties, although he himself had none, and his government made the first practical steps allowing citizens to re-claim property that had been confiscated by the state. He is often held responsible for the decline of Bulgarian agricultural after 1991 by restoring the land to its legitimate owners immediately instead of allowing a gradual transition from state-owned to private-owned agriculture. This move was said to leave many people in the agriculture sector unemployed. His government made possible the swift restitution of citizenship and property rights for all Jewish Bulgarian emigrants.

He served in the 36th, 37th, and 40th legislatures of the National Assembly, having been elected in Sofia for the UDF on each occasion. In 2005, he was elected Deputy Speaker of the 40th National Assembly. He authored or introduced among other bills the Bill for Abolition of Mandatory Military Service and (several times) bills on preventing and sanctioning Conflict of Interest. He was a member of the Bulgarian Parliament Delegation for Relations with the European Parliament. In January through June of 2007 he was a member of the European Parliament and Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs.

His inability to compromise led to vetoing his candidacy both for President (fall of 2006) and Leader of the list of candidates for the European parliament (spring of 2007). In spite of his quiet withdrawal, the UDF lost both elections heavily. He was rejected by the government as a candidate for the position of Judge at the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (fall of 2007). In July 2008, he declared that he is voluntarily leaving politics for good. He was the only Bulgarian politician in the past twenty years who was publicly recognized as having maintained an impeccable reputation, and he was sent away with acclamation and flowers.

In April 1997 he was appointed Ambassador of Bulgaria at the UN, New York and from August 1998 to January 2002 he was Ambassador of Bulgaria to the US. In 2004 he was a Special Envoy of the President of the CSCE for Armenia and Azerbaijan. He was a visiting scholar in the Woodrow Wilson Center in 2003. Philip Dimitrov has taught political sciences in the American University in Bulgaria since 2002. Member of the Madrid Club of Former heads of State and Government. In 2004 he was Senior member of the NED-CLS team for democratic experience exchange with Georgia. He is member of the Board of the New Bulgarian University, Honorary Chairman of the board of the George Marshal Association – Bulgaria and Program Director at the Bulgarian Institute for Legal Development In September 1999, Mr. Dimitrov was granted the Truman-Reagan Freedom Award for his contribution to overcoming Communism. During the 2008-2009 academic year, Dimitrov holds a position as a visiting professor at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia.

Member of the Club of Madrid [1].[1]

Publications

  • "For They Lived, Oh Lord"- a novel, 1991 (The Balkans in the first half of the 14th century)
  • "The True Story of the Round Table Knights", 1997
  • "Light of Men", 2003 (The history of the early church)
  • "The Myths of Bulgarian Transition", 2002
  • "The New Democracies and the Transatlantic Link",2003

References

Preceded by
Dimitar Iliev Popov
Prime Minister of Bulgaria
1991-1992
Succeeded by
Lyuben Berov
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