Sofia Platform’s mission is two-fold:
- to promote dealing with the communist past in Bulgaria using methods of historical dialogue and civic education, and
- to provide training, exchange of knowledge and experience among countries in transition to democracy in Europe and North Africa.
Launched in 2011, Sofia Platform’s main objective is to promote liberal values by acknowledging the local context of countries in transition and reflecting the need of knowledge transfer between them. The concept, successfully established by Sofia Platform, is based on comparison of transitional experiences, obtained through research and dialogue between civil society and the political leaders of four transitional blocks: Central Eastern Europe (former Communist states), the MENA countries, the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership countries.
The community of Sofia Platform believes that societies in transition have gathered unique knowledge and experience, while at the same time share many traits in common which are worth considering for the benefit of all. Thus, countries with more experience in transition can reass their past from the distance of time and those, currently under transition, can benefit from the lessons learned and the mistakes made by others. While any comparison should be taken with a grain of salt, we believe that the need of reforming the entire political system and readjusting the notion of civility, imposes similar challenges to all countries in transition. Establishing democratic institutions, empowering the youth, working with political actors, promoting civic education and human rights are only few of them.
Sofia Platform was initiated in the outbreak of the Arab Awakening by Nickolay Mladenov, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria at that time (2011-2013), and his team. Its work is largely supported by a number of institutions and organizations such as: the European Parliament and the European Commission’s Representation in Sofia, European Council on Foreign Relations, Robert Bosch Foundation, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Stiftung Hans Seidel, Allianz Kulturstiftung, etc.