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03 December 2018

The new industrial revolution has provoked the transition from a linear to a circular economy. This model will make it possible to use rationally the limited natural resources. In response to these challenges, Varna Free University "Chernorizets Hrabar" directed its research and teaching activities towards this new economic model, which combines the initiatives of the European Union, the needs of Bulgaria and the intellectual potential of the academic community. Training in the unique for Europe Master's degree programme "Circular Economy" was launched on 1 December at Varna Free University.  The honorary director of the Directorate-General for the Environment of the European Commission Georges Kremlis, the chairperson of the Parliamentary Commission on Environment and Water Mrs. Ivelina Vassileva, the lecturer at the Athens Technical University Assoc. Prof. Konstantinos Moustakas, the executive director of TEXAN Recycling Centers, Athens Dr. Panagiotis Murgos and the investment consultant Alkis Stavridis arrived for the first lecture course.

"In the process of preparing this programme, we were able to assess some very important things and to rely on serious competitive advantages", said the President of Varna Free University "Chernorizets Hrabar" Prof. D.Sc.Anna Nedyalkova. "What we have tried to do is to gather the significance of the topic globally, regionally and nationally." Prof. Nedyalkova emphasizes the importance of finding new approaches based on national interests, the European framework, innovative thinking and academic potential. She said she was grateful for the support and participation of the lecturers, because through them the students will get the most synthesized and useful expert information.

The president of Varna Free University wished the students success and their training to reveal a new way for their successful realization in such an important matter as the circular economy.

"It is a great pleasure for me to take part in today's opening of this extremely important and significant master's degree programme", said the honorary director of the Directorate-General for the Environment of the European Commission Georges Kremlis. "I must point out that Varna Free University is the first university in the European Union to launch such a programme. The programme, which is unique for a member country of the Union, is based on a multidisciplinary approach that is needed to cover the whole versatility of the circular economy. The programme covers the economic, social, legal and technical parameters of the circular economy", commented Georges Kremlis.

He added that the efforts of Brussels are aimed at promoting the circular economy as one of the key priorities of the next programming period 2021-2027. We have therefore already discussed with the university a number of initiatives that will facilitate closer contacts with the European Union institutions to make the most of the good practices we will apply and use in this programme.

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Water Ivelina Vassileva expressed her satisfaction with the fact that a Bulgarian university - Varna Free University was the first higher education institution to introduce this programme. "I am proud that the innovations will accompany the training in this programme. I am also proud that together with you we will be able to draw the steps forward for the implementation of this policy in Bulgaria and in the local authorities and the executive power and the legislative framework", said Ivelina Vassileva." I am sure that this programme will be useful for all of us, for our whole society, because you will be the ones who will be the winners of the new concept of the transition to a new economic model.
As a representative of the legislature, Ivelina Vassileva declared her willingness for work placements and an internship programme to be implemented in the Committee on Environment and Water at the National Assembly for the participants in the Master's degree programme "Circular Economy".

Within the frames of the event, the 30 master students from the first class of the master's programme received their student books from the president of Varna Free University Prof. D.Sc. Anna Nedialkova and the patron of the programme Georges Kremlis. On behalf of the students Nevena Klunkova expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to be in the first class of the master's degree programme and wished success to her colleagues.