Welcome to the Summer Seminar website!

The Summer Seminar is an annual forum for young public policy professionals from South Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region serving as a platform for discussion and networking among young state officials and representatives of think-tanks and research centers.

This long-term regional initiative was launched by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) with the support of a joint project of the Bertelsmann Foundation and the World Bank in 2000 in order to contribute to meeting the most visible and pressing challenges for South-Eastern Europe (SEE) at that time. Since then, EPI continues building actively on this concept which initially targeted young state officials from Bulgaria and Romania working in the field of EU integration.

Throughout the years, the Summer Seminar initiative broadened significantly its scope and geographical coverage. The EU membership prospects for many countries along with the overall processes of democratic transformation and the deep-rooted socio-economic reforms paved the way for a gradual involvement of other countries from the Western Balkans and the Black Sea basin and as of today this traditional initiative covers 15 SEE and Black Sea countries – Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Each year since 2000, after a competitive selection process, the Summer Seminar gathers app. 35 promising young professionals, coming nowadays from all the above-mentioned countries, for a week-long event in the vicinity of the city of Varna at the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Thus, by bringing together this diverse group of participants to meet distinguished international experts and practitioners and to discuss not only topics of regional significance but also up-to-date issues in the field of the European politics and economy, EPI aims at encouraging the exchange of good practices in this part of Europe and creating an environment for successful professional networking.

XXI Summer Seminar Postponed to 2021  

The Economic Policy Institute has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in all countries in the SEE and Black Sea region since the outbreak of the pandemic. Despite our strong commitment to continue facilitating good governance exchange and regional cooperation in a form, way and scale we are used to in the last twenty years, we at EPI took а hard decision to postpone the XXI edition of the Summer Seminar to 2021. 2020 will be thus the first year in the last two decades when EPI is not organizing its annual forum.

EPI is working on another tailor-made format instead that is limiting international travel and is meant to take place by considering all safety measures.

EPI's team is looking forward to continuing the traditional Summer Seminar series in 2021 and would like to take the opportunity to wish all Summer Seminar partners, alumni and friends tо be healthy and stay safe!