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Ruse University “Angel Kanchev”

Faculty of Business and Management

BRIE – RUSE

MASTER PROGRAM – EUROPEAN STUDIES AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

C O R S E

M e t h o d s

o f

W O R K

R e g i o n a l

a n d

E U

A n a l y s i s

Topic: Ethnic Minorities in Bulgaria

Prepared by: Yordan Petrov, 115771

Ruse 2012


Contents Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 3 Ethnic Minorities in Bulgaria between the two censuses............................................... 3 Research........................................................................................................................................... 4 Results .............................................................................................................................................. 6 Analyses of the results ............................................................................................................. 13 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................... 14 Bibliography........................................................................................................................................... 16


Introduction Every large society contains ethnic minorities. Their style of life, language, culture and origin can differ from the majority. The minority status is conditioned not only by clearly numerical relations but also by questions of political power. In some places, subordinate ethnic groups may constitute a numerical majority, such as e.g. Blacks in South Africa under apartheid. In addition to the "traditional" (long-time resident) minorities they may be migrant, indigenous or landless nomadic communities. There is no legal definition of national (ethnic) minorities in international law. Only in Europe is this exact definition (probably) provided by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and by the Recommendation 1201 (1993) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. However, national minority can be theoretically (not legally) defined as a group of people within a given national state: 

which is numerically smaller than the rest of population of the state or a part of the state;

which is not in a dominant position;

which has culture, language, religion, race etc. distinct from that of the majority of the population;

whose members have a will to preserve their specificity;

whose members are citizens of the state where they have the status of a minority;

which have a long-term presence on the territory where it has lived. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minority_group, 2012)

Ethnic Minorities in Bulgaria between the two censuses There were two censuses during the 21st century. The first was in 2001 and the second 10 years later in 2011. In 2001 the population of Bulgaria was 7 928 901 people. Bulgarian ethnicity was 6 655 210, Turkish – 746 664, Roma – 370 908, Russian – 15 595, Armenian – 10 832, Wallachian – 10 566, Jewish – 1 363.


In this census 24 807 did not stated their ethnicity. 62 108 are the people who do not identify themselves with any ethnicity. The data from National Statistics Institute shows quantity of other ethnic minorities which were not a subject of the research. The census in 2011 was the first that used eCensus (an option for the population to take part in the census via internet). The population has decreased with 564 331 and with growth percentage of -7.1 Bulgaria’s population became 7 364 570. Turkish minority became 588 318, Roma – 325 343, Russian – 9 978, Armenian – 6 552, Wallachian – 3 684, Jewish – 1 162. The growth percentage of -7.1 influenced all ethnic groups. Nevertheless every minority keeps its position regarding the others. (www.nsi.bg)

Research The research was conducted between 20th and 27th November. 82 respondents took part in the survey. 43% of the responses were given by male and 57% by female. There is a difference of 14% regarding this indicator, but for the purpose of the survey this gab is not relevant and the results should give equal representation of the two genders.

Your gender is?

43% 57%

Male Female

Age of the respondents varies between under 18 years and up to 60 years.


Your age is? over 60 from 51 to 60 from 36 to 50 from 19 to 35 up to 18 0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

Majority of the respondents were at age between 19 and 35. Although there was possible answer age over 60 there were not a single person to mark this option. Great number of the people who filled this survey has tertiary education.

Highest level of education completed? 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Never been in school

Primary Secondary Upper Secondary Tertiary education education Secondary vocational education education education

A conclusion could be made on the basis of above mentioned indicators (age and education). Because 87% of the respondents are at age between 19 and 35, and 72% of the respondents are with tertiary education, it could be said that this survey will represent mostly the point of view of young people who: completed their higher education (bachelor, master or PhD); at working age.


On a question which had to determine ethnicity of the respondents. Majority of the answers disclosed that most (73 of the respondents) of the answers are given by Bulgarians which do not belong to any ethnic minority group in Bulgaria.

Do you belong to any of the following minority groups? I am not part of any ethnical minority… Other Russian Wallachian Jewish Armenian Roma Turkish 0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

This high percentage (89%) shows that this poll will review opinion of Bulgarians towards the ethnic minorities on the territory of Bulgaria. To summarise the profile of the average respondent which took part in this survey is young (between 19 and 35), well educated, at working age Bulgarian who is not part of any minority.

Results The poll had a mission to determine – what is the attitude towards different ethnic minorities in Bulgaria? Minorities which were subject to this poll were the following: 

Turkish minority;

Roma minority;

Armenian minority;

Jewish minority;

Wallachian minority; and

Russian Minority.


Turkish minority Turkish minority in Bulgaria is the biggest one. There is news in Turkish language on the National television (BNT).

What is your attitude towards the Turkish minority living in Bulgaria? 10%

7%

15% Positive 29%

39%

Mostly positive Neutral Mostly negative Negative

39% of the respondents have neutral attitude towards the Turkish minority living in Bulgaria. Ten percentages less (29%) have mostly positive attitude and 15% - positive. Only 10% is the number of respondents with mostly negative and 7% with negative attitude. From his question it could be stated that most of the people have neutral feelings towards this minority. Turkish minority is associated with mostly positive associations. Roma minority Roma minority is the second in terms of population but it’s the fastest growing one. The results are showing that people are mostly negative attitude towards the Roma minority in Bulgaria (40%) and 27% are with negative attitude. These numbers give clear picture that representatives of this minority have bad repute. 21% of the respondents are with neutral attitude and only 7% and 5% respectively with mostly positive and positive attitude towards this minority.


What is your attitude towards the Roma minority living in Bulgaria? 5%

27%

7% 21%

Positive Mostly positive Neutral Mostly negative

40%

Negative

Armenian minority 37% of the respondents have neutral attitude towards Armenian minority, 35% have positive and 26 mostly positive attitude. This minority has really good image in Bulgaria. Only 1% of the respondents answered that they have mostly negative and also 1% have negative attitude regarding Armenians who live in Bulgaria.

What is your attitude towards the Armenian minority living in Bulgaria? 1% 1% 35%

37%

Positive Mostly positive Neutral

26%

Mostly negative Negative

Jewish minority Most of the respondents have neutral attitude towards the Jewish minority (49%). Nevertheless mostly positive (21%) and positive (26%) is the answer of the respondents regarding this question. On this basis we could summarise that this minority has good image


in the society. Also only 2% goes for mostly negative and again 2% for negative attitude towards Jewish minority in Bulgaria.

What is your attitude towards the Jewish minority living in Bulgaria? 2% 2% 26% Positive Mostly positive 49% 21%

Neutral Mostly negative Negative

Wallachian minority 57% is the percentage of the neutral attitude towards Wallachian minority. 16% have mostly positive attitude and 18% positive. 5% have mostly negative and 4% negative attitude. Because of the big percentage of neutral attitude the difference between positive/mostly positive and negative/mostly negative is not so big. We could say that for this minority we could not determinate that positive or negative attitude has significant preponderance.

What is your attitude towards the Wallachian minority living in Bulgaria? 5%

4% 18%

Positive 16%

57%

Mostly positive Neutral Mostly negative Negative


Russian Minority Neutral attitude is the most common answer with 40% of all answers. 21% and 31% goes respectively for mostly positive and positive attitude. Mostly negative attitude has only 7% and negative is with 1%. These percentages give information that Russian minority has good image in the society.

What is your attitude towards the Russian minority living in Bulgaria? 1% 7%

31%

Positive Mostly positive

40%

Neutral 21%

Mostly negative Negative

The next series of questions aims to determinate if the society is tolerant towards all ethnic minorities and if there are conflicts based ethnicity. Do you think that in Bulgaria there is tolerance regarding the ethnic minorities? The results for this question are really close. 40% answered that in Bulgaria there is mostly tolerance regarding the ethnic minorities and 33% gave an answer mostly no. 15% answered yes and 12% no. The difference in the percentages is so small that we could not determinate by the data if there is a tolerance regarding the ethnic minorities in Bulgaria. With the small lead of the answer mostly yes we could assume that the positive attitude towards minorities in Bulgaria exists and is the most common one.


Do you think that in Bulgaria there is tolerance regarding the ethnic minorities? 12%

15% Yes Mostly yes

33% 40%

Mostly no No

Do you consider yourself as tolerant to the ethnic minorities in Bulgaria? This question is in direct relation with the previous one. After giving evaluation of the society the respondents are asked to give evaluation about themselves. 57% of the respondents answered that they are mostly tolerant and 26 % are tolerant. Only 13% selfevaluated themselves as mostly intolerant people. 4% are the respondents that see themselves as intolerant.

Do you consider yourself as tolerant to the ethnic minorities in Bulgaria? 4% 13%

26% Yes Mostly yes Mostly no

57%

No


Have you ever witnessed ethnic discrimination? With a huge difference between the two possible answers 74% state that they have witnessed an ethnic discrimination. Only 26% gave the negative answer.

Have you ever witnessed ethnic discrimination? 26%

Yes 74%

No

Have you participated in a conflict of minority basis? To determinate the role of the respondents in a conflict on ethnicity this question was put in the poll. 78% of the respondents did not participate in such conflict and 22% were active and not only witnesses of such conflict.

Have you participated in a conflict of minority basis? 22%

Yes 78%

No


Analyses of the results The data from NSI shows that Bulgaria’s population is rapidly decreasing. Growth percentage of -7,1 is a big problem for the country. Different factors like economic, social, etc. make the living in Bulgaria challenging. A lot of people left the country and their number will grow if the situation stays the same. Another problem is the aging of the population. The percentage of the people over working age in comparison with those who are under working age or at working age is disturbing. The purpose of the conducted survey was to determinate what are the relations in Bulgaria and what image different minorities have. Most of the minorities have neutral image which is not necessary bad thing on the contrary it could be considered good, because members of these minorities are not labelled by their ethnic origin but by their own qualities and actions. Nevertheless these minorities have mostly positive image in Bulgaria and there is no place to speak about any tension in the society. The only exception is the Roma minority in Bulgaria. The attitude towards them is mostly negative. The percentage of people with negative opinion about this minority is also big. Currently Roma minority in Bulgaria has a lot of major problems. Some of them are lack of educated representatives of this minority (the percentage is so small that it is considered exception to see representative of this minority with graduated higher education), image of people who are dealing with illegal activities (stealing, traffic of people and drugs, etc.) and lazy jobless people. Statistically the mentioned above qualities of this minority are right, but two important questions arise from this information: 1) What is/are the reason(s) for this problem? and 2) Why is this problem not solved? Due to different reasons (like cultural) some minorities need additional help from the government to help them with the social inclusion. This is not only national policy but also


EU policy and our country as a member of this policy should do its best to resolve this problem. The bad image of even one ethnic group and the problems leading to this image have impact to all members of the society. Also this image is distributed all over the world as image of Bulgaria not only of certain minority in this country. There were two questions from the poll which needed to determinate if there are cases and conflicts on ethnic basis. Most of the respondents were witnesses of ethnic discrimination, and some of them were even part of conflicts on ethnical basis. Such problems and conflicts exist even in the most democratic societies but it should be everybody goal to make such conflicts as rear as possible. Other two questions had the mission to determinate if our society is tolerant towards the ethnic minorities as a hole. In the first question the respondents should give an assessment of the society and the second question gave the opportunity of the respondents of selfevaluation of their tolerance towards the ethnic minorities. Both questions led to an image of mostly tolerant society in Bulgaria.

Conclusion Even though the population of Bulgaria is decreasing the variety of different ethnic minorities stays unchanged. Decreasing population is serious problem for our society and if thing continue this way only grim future awaits Bulgaria and its people. For overcoming this problem there is a need of series of actions made by the government. Bulgarian society could be described like society which is mostly tolerant toward societies. We could say that ethnic group is not relevant to Bulgarian society and the only exception is Roma minority which has a lot of problems that lead to really bad image in the society. The goal should be to decrease and eventually remove the social exclusion of the Roma minority. The most important step is to increase their level of education. This is really difficult task and this process does not happen overnight. Problems always occur but the ethnic origin should not be a reason for conflicts and bad attitude. People should not be judgemental to any representative of different ethnic


minority groups because at the end at the day we share a place to live, our everyday difficulties.


Bibliography 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minority_group. (2012, January 8). Retrieved from Wikipedia.org. 2. www.nsi.bg. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.nsi.bg.


Methods of regional and eu analysis