On the 20th March, the International Francophonie Day, awards were given in Parliament to prominent French-speaking Bulgarian citizens, among whom Jacqueline Wagenstein for entrepreneurship, former volleyball player and current president and coach of Levski volleyball club Vladimir Nikolov, and journalist Svetoslav Terziev. The award of the Association of French language teachers was given to Angel Petrov.
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Emil Hristov said that more than 200 million people around the world spoke the French language, which was not only rich, but also full of subtleties, serving as a tool for expressing the deep feelings of the human soul. According to him, even those who do not speak French define it as a language of equality, friendship and the way to free communication. 25 years ago Bulgaria was among the first countries in Central and Eastern Europe to be granted the status of a full member of the International Francophonie Organisation, emphasised the Deputy Speaker of Parliament and added that Bulgaria considered this fact as a big success.
President of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Academician Julian Revalsky commended the Francophonie award winners for their professional success and achievements. He said that science was essentially an integral part of culture and in this respect the Francophone University Agency played an important role for the development of education and science by providing opportunities for many students to attend universities in French-speaking countries.
His Excellency Eric Lebedel, the French ambassador to Bulgaria, said he was happy with the fact that Bulgaria had a special affinity for the French language and culture and was probably the most francophone country among the Slavic nations.