Philip Dimitrov

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Philip Dimitrov
42nd Prime Minister of Bulgaria
In office
8 November 1991 – 29 December 1992
PresidentZhelyu Zhelev
Preceded byDimitar Popov
Succeeded byLyuben Berov
Personal details
Born (1955-03-31) 31 March 1955 (age 63)
Sofia, Bulgaria
Political partyGreen Party of Bulgaria[1] (later part of UDF)
Union of Democratic Forces (1990–July 2008)
Spouse(s)Elena Dimitrova, MD
Alma materUniversity of Sofia

Philip Dimitrov Dimitrov (Bulgarian: Филип Димитров Димитров) (born 31 March 1955) is a Bulgarian politician, Prime Minister of Bulgaria for the short period 1991-1992, MP in the 36th (1991-1994), 37th (1994-1997) and the 40th (2005-2007) National Assembly, and MEP from January 2007 to May 2007.


Dimitrov was born in Sofia. He graduated from the First English High School, Sofia, in 1973 and later he graduated with a law degree from Sofia University in 1977, and then undertook further study in the field of individual and group psychotherapy using the psycho-dynamic approach. He worked as an attorney in Sofia between 1979 and 1990, serving as Secretary of the Bulgarian Attorneys' Union from 1989 onwards. Bulgarian media had suggested that his office served as a Communist-era secret police hideout. He reacted immediately by giving the first order, in spite of reluctance from his allies, to reveal information on each citizen request about whether there was any data of his/her links with the secret police.

Political career[edit]

Dimitrov was active in the Union of Democratic Forces, a broad coalition against continued rule by the Bulgarian Communist Party, serving as vice-president of the Green Party.[1] He became a member of its 'National Coordination Council' in 1990, and was its chair from December that year until December 1994. He has been a member of the Executive Council of the UDF since February 1997. In 1999, Philip Dimitrov received the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom.[2]

Dimitrov led the UDF to victory in the 1991 election, becoming the first non-interim Prime Minister in 47 years who was not either a Communist or a fellow traveller. However, he remained in office for only about a year, after losing a vote of confidence that he called for himself. During its term of office (until the end of 1992), his government managed to make the new democratic institutions work and started an ambitious set of democratic political and economic reforms. Under his administration, observance of human rights became an irrevocable legal and ethical norm and previous ethnic tensions and abuses were eliminated. Foreign policy focused on integration into Europe and the West. Bulgaria was the first country to recognize Macedonia (Republic of Macedonia) unconditionally as a sovereign state. His government allowed the possibility for a free market system, which literally changed most Bulgarian cities within half a year. He insisted on the large-scale restitution of nationalized properties, although he himself had none, and his government made the first practical steps allowing citizens to re-claim property that had been confiscated by the state.

Dimitrov is responsible for the collapse of the Bulgarian agriculture after 1991[citation needed] by restoring the land of the state-owned cooperative farms to its legitimate owners immediately instead of allowing a gradual transition from state-owned to private-owned agriculture. The problem was that all of these owners were old people, who received small pieces of land, and they had no machinery and physical strength to cultivate these lands. The infrastructure of the cooperative farms (water systems, machines, buildings etc.) was left without any supervision, and it was quickly destroyed and stolen. This had a devastating effect for the Bulgarian agriculture. The production of agritultural goods collapsed, many people in the agriculture sector became unemployed, and the population in the Bulgarian villages dropped. His government made possible the swift restitution of citizenship and property rights for all Jewish Bulgarian emigrants (see also Jews in Bulgaria).

He served in the 36th, 37th, and 40th legislatures of the National Assembly, having been elected in Sofia for the UDF on each occasion. In 2005, he was elected Deputy Speaker of the 40th National Assembly. He authored or introduced among other bills the Bill for Abolition of Mandatory Military Service and (several times) bills on preventing and sanctioning Conflict of Interest. He was a member of the Bulgarian Parliament Delegation for Relations with the European Parliament. In January through June 2007 he was a member of the European Parliament and Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs.

His inability to compromise led to vetoing his candidacy both for President (fall of 2006) and Leader of the list of candidates for the European parliament (spring of 2007). In spite of his quiet withdrawal, the UDF lost both elections heavily. Fall of 2007, he was rejected by the government as a candidate for the position of Judge at the European Court of Human Rights (Strasbourg). In July 2008, he declared that he is voluntarily leaving politics for good.

In April 1997 he was appointed Ambassador of Bulgaria at the UN, New York and from August 1998 to January 2002 he was Ambassador of Bulgaria to the US. In 2004 he was a Special Envoy of the President of the CSCE (Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe) for Armenia and Azerbaijan. He was a visiting scholar in the Woodrow Wilson Center in 2003. Philip Dimitrov has taught political sciences in the American University in Bulgaria since 2002.

Dimitrov is a Member of the Club of Madrid,[3] an independent non-profit organization composed of 88 democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers from 58 different countries. The Club de Madrid’s objective is to promote “Democracy that Delivers”.

In 2004 he was Senior member of the NED-CLS team for democratic experience exchange with Georgia. He is member of the Board of the New Bulgarian University, Honorary Chairman of the board of the George Marshal Association – Bulgaria and Program Director at the 'Bulgarian Institute for Legal Development'. In September 1999, Mr. Dimitrov was granted the Truman-Reagan Freedom Award for his contribution to overcoming Communism. During the 2008-2009 academic year, Dimitrov held a position as a visiting professor at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia.


He is married to Elena Gueorguieva, MD, and has no children.


  • (in Bulgarian) For They Lived, Oh Lord - a novel, 1991 (The Balkans in the first half of the 14th century)
  • (in Bulgarian) The True Story of the Round Table Knights, 1997
  • (in Bulgarian) The Myths of Bulgarian Transition, 2002
  • (in Bulgarian) Light of Men, 2003 (The history of the early church)
  • Jumping into the Atlantic, Woodrow Wilson Center, 2003
  • (in Bulgarian) The New Democracies and the Transatlantic Link, 2004


  1. ^ a b "1. Information on the political situation since the fall of the government last week. [BGR7406]". European Country of Origin Information Network. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Dimitrov, Philip". Club de Madrid. Club de Madrid. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
Political offices
Preceded by
Dimitar Iliev Popov
Prime Minister of Bulgaria
Succeeded by
Lyuben Berov