Home » Alumni Portrait » “EUSTORY gave me extra motivation for my further development in the future.”

“EUSTORY gave me extra motivation for my further development in the future.”

Name: Vaya
Age: 23
Hometown: Pleven
Country: Bulgaria
EUSTORY experiences: Youth Academy in Switzerland 2008, Youth Academy in Bulgaria 2010
Actual occupation/studies: Studies Accounting and Finances at the University of World and European Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria

Athough Vaya does not travel very often and she says she lives in a state that does not accept diversity, she strongly belives that the concept of a united Europe must survive. “Honestly, I think that from an economic point of view, the EU is in crisis. But, on the other hand, I think that travels shows to young people that in fact we are not so different.”
For her participation in the Bulgarian history competition she researched and wrote about her family history and it was then when she realized that history is not easy to tackle. “It was very difficult to keep a balance between emotions, precisely everything that I  was very personal, with actual events that surrounded my family.” When she was asked what makes her European, she responded that it were trips that opened up new horizonts but also the friendships she gained  at EUSTORY academics. The girl who loves Spanish ballads and rock music equally, responded in which way EUSTORY influenced her view of history: “EUSTORY Academy participants are for young people from all over Europe, who come together in one place to find solutions for many conflicts. However, they often together find strength to change what the official authorities are unable (or do not want) to change for years. If I hadn’t been part of EUSTORY projects, I wouldn’t have learned how to find something that connects different people. And most importantly – I realized that dialogue is always possible.”

About the problems nowadays in Europe Vaya says: ’’Decision-making is not always clear and it’s too complicated. I can also tell that for the EU it is becoming more difficult to control the effective use of general resources and to optimize the distribution. The economic crisis is a challenge for the European social policy and it  divides the member states.’’ She is not so optimistic about national ideas in EU: ’’Strengthening of nationalist ideas is contrary to the interests of the European Union. There are dangers of ethnic conflicts and separatism in other parts of the world which may again involve one or more European states and might even threaten the stability and cohesion of the whole Union. Not to mention the challenges of dealing with migration and ecology on an European or global level.’’ Bulgaria became a member of the European Union in 2007. In the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, hundreds of balloons with “Welcome Europe” written on them rose to the sky. But half a decade later, there were neither fireworks nor street parties to celebrate the fifth anniversary of one of the most important moments in the country’s modern history. Despite this disappointment, the process of modernisation continued over the past five years, leading to clear achievements in certain areas. According to Vaya, EU membership brought a much greater security in all areas. ’’Bulgaria has a relatively stable economic and banking system. Also, my country has a huge agricultural potential and it is something that EU appreciates.’’ On the occasion of the generalized negative attitude toward Bulgarian workers who are unwanted by most EU member states, Vaya honestly says:’I understand the concerns and the reasons for this attitude, but I do not think nationality is a determinant of whether a person is good for a society or not. The progress of society depends more on the quality of individual personalities than on their nationality and I am convinced that the most of the Bulgarians are very useful people with valuable skills.’’

Vaya is very positive about the Bulgarian educational system: ’’Our education system is one of the best in Europe. This is proved by the Bulgarian gold medalist and winners of International competitions and Olympiads in the sphere of Mathematics, Astronomy, Physics, Informatics etc. Bulgarian specialists in IT and engineering are high qualified and world demanded.
Compared to people in the old EU member states, we have to go a long road before we become active as citizens. But, we have understood the meaning and importance of rule of law and what rights we have, as well as that we need to fight to enjoy them every day.”
Although many people would say that her future profession (economics) and history have nothing in common, this big fan of Alexander Dumas, says thanks to EUSTORY she decided to study the European economy. “Memories that I brought with me from all these projects – images, sounds, feelings – have left a deep mark in my personality. I think that is the only thing so far that is so hugely changed my life.”

Interviewer: Kristina from Serbia

Vaya dreams to visit Dubai in order to explore its extraordinary architecture. She also hopes that she will soon be independent enough, to have her own job, home and family. She emphasizes that she would always be a part of EUSTORY – even when she will not be able anymore to participate in the activities, due to her age. However, she hopes that in near future EUSTORY will address new issues such as the impact of technology on development of history or way that the concept of nutrition changed over time. “I would be happy if I met my friends again across Europe on some of these projects! I promise that I would make for all of them Banica, our traditional Bulgarian pie!”