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.

EPI’s XXI Summer Seminar is now open for applications 

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is orgasnizing the XXI edition of its long-standing regional forum – the Summer Seminar for Young Public Policy Professionals. This year’s international forum entitled “Exploring Post-COVID Recovery Scenarios for Central and South-Eastern Europe” will be held in the period September 6-10th, 2021 in Flamingo Grand Hotel, Albena Resort (near the city of Varna) with the kind financial support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria, the Central European Initiative and the Austrian Embassy in Bulgaria.

The Summer Seminar aims to serve as a platform for expert discussion and free exchange on the most pressing issues concerning the region of Central and South-Eastern Europe (CESEE). Stakeholders from both EU members and candidate countries are invited to leverage their diverse vantage points and collective wisdom to derive a strategic outlook for the post-COVID development perspectives ahead of the economies and societies in CESEE.

Seminar’s Agenda:

The 5-day event capitalizes on a wide range of formats for achieving its intended impact: lectures, key notes, interactive group activities and informal networking opportunities. The Summer Seminar agenda features five thematic panels, a workshop on good governance and a specially designed series of scenario-building foresight sessions: