IPMA International Project Management Association
18 April 2018 / 6:30

Projects and project management in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a country in South Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea to the east. The region where nowadays Bulgaria is situated looks back to a rich heritage and history, being traced back to the Paleolithic period and the Varna culture (fifth millennium BC), being credited with inventing gold working and exploitation, such as the Varna Necropolis treasure, containing the oldest golden jewellery in the world with an approximate age of over 6,000 years.

The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state that existed in South Eastern Europe between the 7th and 11th centuries AD and was ended by the Byzantines during the year 1018. In 1185, the Bulgarian State was re-established and lasted until the late 14th Century, when the Ottomans conquered the region and established their power until 1877, when they were defeated by an alliance of Bulgarian volunteers and Russian troops. The 3rd Bulgarian State lasted until 1946, when the communists turned the country into the People´s Republic of Bulgaria formed an alliance with the Soviet Union and took part in the Warsaw Pact. Finally, in early 1990, the National Assembly amended the legal code to abolish the Communist Party’s “leading role” and on 15 November 1990, the Grand National Assembly voted to change the country’s name to the Republic of Bulgaria. Nowadays, Bulgaria is member of the European Union and NATO.

The Economy of Bulgaria is building on a free-market system with a small public sector and a much larger private one. The GDP grew to approximately $160 billion, nevertheless the growth isn´t reflecting the potential the country has. The strongest sectors of the economy in Bulgaria are currently energy, mining, metallurgy, machine building, agriculture and tourism. Primary industrial exports are clothing, iron and steel, machinery and refined fuels. After joining the European Union, foreign investment increased to €6 billion. Nevertheless, a comparingly low productivity and competitiveness on the European and world markets remain a significant obstacle. More than about 2 million Bulgarians live During and work outside of the country the majority of them throughout the EU member states and Northern America (the USA and Canada).

The Bulgarian Project Management Association (BPMA)  was founded in 2002 and joined the International Project Management Association (IPMA) two years later. BPMA represents the interests of a wide range of local experts from the private sector, government and local authorities, working in the field of project management. BPMA is a non-profit organisation, which has a goal to affirm and develop modern project management practices among local experts. BPMA believes that good results are always preceded by serious efforts in organisation and communication, so the main focus is promoting the competences of the individual and corporate members. Special target groups for BPMA are the start-up and IT-Outsourcing Industry, the production facilities as part of multi-national corporation as well as education service providers. During the second week of October, a PM conference will be held at the International Business School of Sofia. Stay tuned for the announcements on this blog.


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Reinhard Wagner

Author of this post

Reinhard Wagner has been active for more than 30 years in the field of project- related leadership, in such diverse sectors as Air Defense, Automotive Engineering, and Machinery, as well as various not-for-profit organizations. As a Certified Projects Director (IPMA Level A), he has proven experience in managing projects, programmes and project portfolios in complex and dynamic contexts. He is also an IPMA Certified Programme and Portfolio Management Consultant, and as such supports senior executives in developing and improving their organizational competence in managing projects. For more than 15 years, he has been actively involved in the development of project, programme and portfolio management standards, for example as Convenor of the ISO 21500 “Guidance on Project Management” and the ISO 21503 “Guidance on Programme Management”. Reinhard Wagner is Past President of IPMA and Chairman of the Council, Honorary Chairman of GPM (the German Project Management Association), as well as Managing Director of Tiba Managementberatung GmbH.