Nowadays Bulgaria and Romania encounter new realities – abolishment of the formal political boundaries, common market, and free movement of people, information and funds. Despite all, the physical boundary of the river Danube and that of alphabet, language and the political division barriers of the past continue to be determinant for the region. Getting to know both cultures as well as the cultures of the EU is a precondition for the development of common European identity of unity within diversity.

Five partner institutions participated in the project Cross-Border University Network for Intercultural Communication of the Romania-Bulgaria Cross- Border Cooperation Program 2007-2013 – University of Veliko Turnovo St. Cyril and St. Methodius, University of Ruse Angel Kanchev, Ovidius University Constanta, University of Craiova and the International Elias Canetti Society. The main purpose of the 18-month project was to bring together the people, communities and economies of the Romania-Bulgaria border region to participate in the joint development of a cooperative area, using its human, natural and environmental resources and advantages in a sustainable way.

The project provided for the introduction of MA program in Intercultural Communication in the four partner universities, equipping study rooms for intercultural teaching, training of academic staff and publishing of textbooks for the MA program in Intercultural Communication based on the cultural practices in Romania and Bulgaria. The major in Intercultural Communication has interdisciplinary character and aims at acquiring knowledge in culture, politics and economic, different types of communications as well as learning the language of the neighbor.

As part of the project language courses were held parallel in the four partner universities for 6 consecutive months with total horarium of 360 hours, for achieving level A2 –B1. The language courses (Romanian in Bulgaria and Bulgarian in Romania) were free of charge for university lecturers, students, local people, representatives of the business and administration sectors.

The project CUNICC aimed most of all to overcome the psychological barriers and distrust and to help for the creation of common identity for the people in the region as well as to increase their compatibility. Overcoming language and cultural barriers united the participants in solving the common and similar problems and challenges of the integration and opened new opportunities for business and tourism.

Bilateral contacts between Romanian and Bulgarian representatives of the business and administration sectors will be developed and their business strategy will be brought together with the university education in the region. The intercultural trainings in the cross-border region are the first steps for the development of joint initiatives between the academic and the business circles of the two countries. It is a necessary precondition for the education to meet the requirements of employers and the young specialists, graduating from 4 Bulgarian and Romanian universities to find suitable jobs.

The International Elias Canetti Society
served as a specific center in the partner’s scheme, whose aim was to enhance the cohesion of the two cultural communities by organizing many parallel events in order to promote, in the neighboring countries, the modern Bulgarian and Romanian culture.

The social events accompanying every working meeting and methodology workshop (traveling exhibitions, readings, concerts, theatre performances etc.) aimed to promote the current events in Bulgarian and Romanian cultural life. The mutual recognition, cohesion and exchange of ideas between the people working in the cultural sphere contributed for finding general ways of overcoming disbelieve and skepticism towards the neighboring country. And the planned meetings, discussions, training courses and specializations provided a sound base for social cohesion and following joint initiatives in the sphere of education, research, culture and social life.

Social events I (June 2011, Veliko Tarnovo)

Social events II (October 2011, Constanta)

Social events III (November 2011, Ruse)

Social events IV (May 2012, Craiova)

Social events V (October 2012, Veliko Tarnovo)