Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria, Radko Vlajkov, announced that during the Bulgarian Presidency of the European Union, Serbian institutions will see greater support on the road to the EU. At a press conference “Support of the Republic of Bulgaria to the EU Accession Process of the Republic of Serbia”,Vlajkov said that Bulgaria has allocated over EUR 720,000 this year to assist institutions of the Republic of Serbia and civil society organizations for projects that contribute to a faster fulfillment of the criteria defined in negotiating chapters. Vlajkov emphasized the importance of the field of human and minority rights for this process, and contributions by civil society organizations whose projects are supported by these funds. One of the projects concerned is the project of the Forum for Ethnic Relations – the establishment of Academy for Interethnic, Intercultural and Inter-Confessional Dialogue – AID. Dusan Janjic, President of the Board of the Forum, announced the opening of the academy and explained that the project will be implemented throughout 2018 by a series of training, research, round tables, and a summer school of publishing. He stated that, while Forum supported education and encouraged public engagement of young people throughout its activities, a major problem that still remains is the lack of experts, especially young professionals – a problem faced by his organization and other stakeholders who seek to systematically deal with issues of national and other minorities, and mutual dialogue. “In addition, the absence of quality and professional treatment of these issues in the field of education and scientific research is noticeable. Forum will try to respond to the said challenges with the project of the Academy for Interethnic, Intercultural and Inter-Confessional Dialogue – AID,” Janjić said. Milena Vasic from the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights-YUCOM presented the project “Human Rights Outside Negotiating Chapters”, which aims to strengthen democratic institutions in Serbia and support the European integration of Serbia, primarily the implementation of the Action Plan for chapter 23. She explained that the project is aimed at citizens themselves, with emphasis on vulnerable groups. Biljana Jović, president of the Centre of Migration Studies, presented the project “Minority News” as a comprehensive media platform for improving minority policy and practice in the Republic of Serbia. The support of the Republic of Bulgaria will enable continued work and modernization of the portal, issuing newsletters and printing a monthly supplement Minority News in Serbian and one of the languages of national minorities in the daily Danas in the next six months.