- Published: June 9, 2015
The IRZ has organised this course for the fourth time in cooperation with the Vice-President of the Republic of Bulgaria. Sixty students from Pazardzhik were able to benefit on this occasion.
A course on Democracy and Law was arranged for seniors at the "Bertolt Brecht" Foreign Language High School in Pazardzhik from 13 to 18 May 2015. Sixty students from two age groups became familiar with the fundamentals of law, the importance of law and courts for the state and individuals, the organisation of the state and opportunities to participate in democracy, among other topics. The programme is based on the legal studies curriculum of the Ministry of Justice of the Federal State of North-Rhine Westphalia, tailored especially to the situation in Bulgaria. Until recently, the lecturer, Ms Ulrike Schultz, was a senior academic staff member (Oberrätin) at the Chair of German and European Constitutional and Administrative Law as well as International Law of the state-maintained distance learning University of Hagen. She plays a decisive role in the development of the legal studies curriculum in NRW.
The lessons are intended to raise young people's awareness of the rule of law and democracy so that they will become highly committed citizens in civil society in the future. Hence, major programme topics are human rights, the rights and obligations of the individual as a citizen, restrictions on the state's actions and the decision-making process in a democracy.
The headmistress of "Bertolt Brecht" Foreign Language High School gave the guests and the participants a warm welcome. The school week was opened by the Vice-President Margarita Popova and the IRZ Head of Section Petra Fortuna in the presence of the students, representatives from politics and government as well as former teachers from Germany and Bulgaria. Marcus Haas, Head of the "Culture and Press" department of the German Embassy in Sofia, pointed out the importance of the project for Bulgaria's civil society. The IRZ was awarded a prize for its long-standing successful commitment to Bulgaria by the Vice-President as part of the event, which kicked off alongside the celebration of the school's 45th anniversary.
"Bertolt Brecht" High School is the fourth school to take part in this series of lessons. In 2013, the course was attended by 150 students in Lovech and by 100 students in Blagoevgrad. In 2014 it was attended by another 90 students from the capital Sofia. It is planned to continue the course in Razgrad this autumn.