Sergei Stanishev

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Sergei Stanishev
Сергей Станишев

Sergey Stanishev 2009 elections diff crop.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
for Bulgaria
Assumed office
1 July 2014
49th Prime Minister of Bulgaria
In office
17 August 2005 – 27 July 2009
President Georgi Parvanov
Deputy Ivailo Kalfin
Meglena Plugchieva
Daniel Valchev
Emel Etem Toshkova
Preceded by Simeon Sakskoburggotski
Succeeded by Boyko Borisov
President of the Party of European Socialists
Assumed office
24 November 2011
Acting: 24 November 2011 – 29 September 2012
Preceded by Poul Nyrup Rasmussen
Personal details
Born Sergei Dmitrievich Stanishev
(1966-05-05) 5 May 1966 (age 56)
Kherson, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Political party Socialist Party
Spouse(s) Monika Yosifova
Children 2
Alma mater Moscow State University

Sergei Dmitrievich Stanishev (Bulgarian: Сергей Дмитриевич Станишев; born May 5, 1966) is a Bulgarian politician who was the leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) from 2001 until 2014. He is the leader of the Party of European Socialists, the second-largest party in the European Parliament since 2011.[1] He was Prime Minister of Bulgaria from 2005 to 2009.

Early life, education and career

Stanishev was born in 1966, in Kherson, Ukrainian SSR (Soviet Union) to Dinah Sergeevna Muhina, a Jewish woman[citation needed] and Dimitar Jacov Stanishev, a communist activist. After beginning his schooling in Russia, he then graduated from the 35 SOU "Dobri Voynikov" in Sofia.[2] Stanishev subsequently attended Moscow State University, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1989, and his PhD in 1994, both in the field of history. His doctoral thesis was entitled “The system of service promotion of high ranking officials in Russia and its evolution during the second half of XIX century”.[2] In 1998, he specialized in political sciences at Moscow School of political studies. He was a visiting fellow in international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1999-2000. He also worked as a freelance journalist. In 1995 he became a staff member in the Foreign Affairs Department of the BSP.[3] He was Chief of Foreign Policy and International Relations for the BSP from 1996 to 2001.[4] In May 2000 he was elected a Member of the BSP Supreme Council and Member of the Executive Bureau.[5] In June 2001, he entered the politics, when he was elected as a member of the Bulgarian National Assembly from the region of Ruse.

Political career

Chairmanship of the Bulgarian Socialist Party

In December 2001 Stanishev was elected Chairman of the BSP at the party's Congress, and also Chairman of the Parliamentary Group of the Coalition for Bulgaria following the resignation of the former bearer of these positions Georgi Parvanov after his victory in the Bulgarian presidential election in 2001. Since April 2004 Stanishev has also been a member of the presidency of the Party of European Socialists. Even though, at the beginning, older party members regarded him with suspicion due to his lack of experience,[6] Stanishev has enjoyed considerable public approval[dubious ] mainly because of his great intellectual skills[dubious ] and his successful efforts[dubious ] to modernise the BSP. As of September 2012, Stanishev was elected for President of the Party of the European Socialists.[7]

Prime minister

For more information on cabinet formation and composition, see Stanishev Government.

In the general election of June 25, 2005, Stanishev was re-elected to the National Assembly, this time for a seat in Burgas. Under his leadership the Coalition for Bulgaria (a coalition dominated by the BSP) won 31% of the votes. Stanishev said that the next government "should be led by the party which won most votes in the elections." On 20 July, after nearly a month of political uncertainty, Stanishev agreed to attempt to form a Cabinet. On July 27, 2005 the Bulgarian Parliament chose him as the new Prime Minister in a coalition government, led by the Bulgarian Socialist Party and National Movement Simeon II in a partnership with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms. The vote was 120 to 119. However, the parliament voted against Stanishev's proposed Cabinet by 119 to 117 votes.

This was followed by another two weeks of political deadlock. Finally on August 15 Stanishev was able to form a three-party grand coalition with the party of outgoing Prime Minister Simeon Sakskoburggotski and with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, a Turkish minority party. Stanishev said the coalition's priorities would be "European integration, social responsibility and economic growth." He was elected Prime Minister by the Bulgarian parliament on August 16 with 168 in favour and 67 against. On August 17, 2005, with an official ceremony on 1 Dondukov Boulevard, Sergei Stanishev took office as Prime Minister.

Sergei Stanishev is an avid pro-EU politician who is credited[by whom?] with reforming Bulgaria to the extent that he managed to steer his country to be among the last group of countries which joined the EU. The ex-Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev had said Bulgaria's entrance to the EU was the final fall of the Berlin Wall for his nation; while EU President Jose' Manuel Barroso hailed Bulgaria for having "gone through a remarkable transformation" in order to join.[8]

The European Commission's report on Bulgaria and Romania's accession had confirmed that after seven years of talks, Bulgaria and Romania were able to take on the rights and obligations of EU membership. Reading the report, Mr Barroso said the two nations' entry would be a "historic achievement".

In June 2008 Stanishev drew criticism from human rights advocates for his remarks regarding Bulgaria's first gay pride parade; the Prime Minister said he did not approve of "the manifestation and demonstration of such orientations."[9]

Also in June 2008 The Guardian published an article highly critical of planned real estate development in a pristine seacoast area under EU environmental protection. Sergei Stanishev's brother, Georgi Stanishev, is the Bulgarian partner of Foster and Partners, the developer behind the controversial project.[10]

In March 2009, New Europe published the heading 'Barroso backs Stanishev'. Stanishev received the full support of European Commissions President Jose Manuel Barroso, concerning the improvement of the cooperation with the European Commission and the enhancement of the administrative capacity. Prime Minister Stanishev was on a working visit to Brussels and met with President Barroso, as well as European Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs and Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Joaquin Almunia.[11]

Later in June 2009, Sergei Stanishev supported Jose Manuel Barroso for a second term as EU Commission President.[12]

President of the Party of European Socialists (PES)

Mr. Stanishev took over the PES leadership as Interim President in late 2011 after his predecessor, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, stepped down from his post. In September 2012, at the 9th PES Congress, Sergei Stanishev was elected (with 91.3 of the votes) President of PES for a full 2-year term. He was the only candidate for the post.[citation needed]

He has since expressed his ambition to seek reelection for the post in 2015.[13]

Late career

At the 2014 European parliament election, Stanishev was elected as Member of the European Parliament for Bulgaria, placing second on BSP party list.

In early July 2014, Stanishev announced that he would step down as leader of his party. On July 27, at the BSP's 48th congress, incumbent chairperson of the National Assembly Mihail Mikov was elected to succeed Stanishev as party chair.[14]


Scandal Hochegger

In March 2012, scandalous Austrian lobbyist Peter Hochegger was found to have received nearly EUR 1.5 M from the former three-way coalition government for a dubious campaign aimed at boosting Bulgaria's image abroad. A report indicated that a part of the sum paid to Hochegger's company had returned to the PR agency owned by Monika Yanova, a wife of then-Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev. Hochegger made headlines in Bulgaria after it emerged that he had lobbied for Bulgaria's EU accession in exchange for a fee of EUR 1.5 M under two contracts from 2006 and 2008 signed during the term in office of the three-way coalition government headed by Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev. The Viennese Regional Criminal Court has sentenced former lobbyist Peter Hochegger to two years and a half of imprisonment.[15]

European elections project scandal

A public relations firm led by Stanishev’s wife, Monika Stanisheva, won a €60,000 contract for a project to the European elections in Bulgaria. MEPs from the EPP have rang the alarm bell an "obvious" conflict of interest involving some of the most prominent figures in the European socialist family. The project consists of a website explaining the functions of the European Parliament to a Bulgarian audience. According to experts, quoted by the Bulgarian press, the website is built on open source software and contains information copy-pasted from the EU institutions own websites. The contract will be investigated by the Budgets Committee of the European Parliament. Stanishev defended his wife saying that she was working on similar projects before they got married in 2013. He attacked his opponents by asking if they, "suggest that she should stop working?". Stanisheva has announced that she was returning the down payment of €29,679.93.[16]

Relationship with the drug lord Evelin Banev Brendo

An Austrian business partner of Monica Stanisheva has relationships with persons identified in a criminal case for cocaine trafficking and money laundering against Evelin Banev AKA Brendo; relationships around a hotel linked to Ahmed Dogan; around the state-owned railways company BDZ and whatnot. All connections between the protagonists in this text date from five years ago when Stanisheva's husband was Prime Minister.[17]

Opinion on Sarafovo terrorist act

On February 5, 2013 the ministry of interior announced that it had "a well-founded assumption" that the terrorists who carried out the Sarafovo terrorist act were linked to the terrorist organization Hezbollah, following the results of their investigation. Sergei Stanishev criticized the government's implication as poorly founded and imperiling national security. This, in turn, brought criticism from Joseph Daul, the leader of the European People's Party, who accused Stanishev of siding with the terrorist organization.[18]

Criminal prosecution for lost documents

Sergei Stanishev faced a court on 18 March 2014 in the so-called "lost documents" case. He was charged with losing 7 classified documents - 3 from the State Agency for National Security (DANS), 2 from the Interior Ministry, 1 from the Defense Ministry and 1 from NATO - while he was Prime Minister. In October 2013 Stanishev voluntarily gave up his parliamentary immunity to be tried in court.[19]

Personal life

Stanishev lived from 1994–2009 with prominent journalist Elena Yoncheva. In 2002 he amazed party members when he came to a gathering at Buzludzha on a motorcycle with a rock-style jacket that had a label on the back saying: "If you are reading this, Elena must have fallen off on the way." The pair did not have any children.

In 2011, PR agent Monika Yosifova announced that she was having a baby by Stanishev.[20] Their daughter Daria was born on May 1, 2011.[21] Their second child Georgi was born in 2013.[2] Yosifova is a divorcee who has two other children - Monika and Ventsislav - by her ex-husband Ventsislav Yosifov.[22] Stanishev married Monika in May 2013.[23]

Stanishev has one brother, architect Georgi Stanishev.

Stanishev acquired Bulgarian citizenship in 1996.[24]

His hobbies include fitness, skiing, swimming and motorcycling.[24]


  1. "Sergei Stanishev elected PES Interim President". PES news. Party of European Socialists. Retrieved 13 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Lilov 2013, p. 349.
  3. Lilov 2013, p. 350.
  4. "Профил на Сергей Станишев (Sergei Stanishev Biographical Data)". editors. Retrieved 29 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Lilov 2013, p. 353.
  6. Lilov 2013, p. 371.
  7. "Sergei Stanishev elected President of the PES". PES news. Party of European Socialists. Retrieved 13 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Romania and Bulgaria hail EU deal". BBC News Online. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 13 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Mudeva, Anna. "About 60 arrested at Bulgaria's first gay parade". Reuters. Retrieved 14 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Connolly, Kate. "Architecture: Bulgarian eco town 'the biggest mistake of Norman Foster's career', say protesters". The Guardian. Guardian News. Retrieved 14 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Barroso backs Stanishev". New Europe. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 31 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Marini, Adelina. "Stanishev supports Barroso for a second term". euinside. Retrieved 12 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Sergey Stanishev to Seek Re-election as PES Leader". Sofia News Agency. Retrieved 12 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Mihail Mikov Elected Chair of Bulgarian Socialist Party". Sofia News Agency. Retrieved 29 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Ex Austrian Lobbyist Hochegger to Spend 2.5 Years in Jail". Sofia News Agency. Retrieved 6 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "EPP turns up the heat on Schulz over Parliament bid-rigging allegations". Retrieved 6 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Capital: PES President Wife Monica Stanisheva and Drug Lord Evelin Banev AKA Brendo Have The Same Proxy". Бивол. Бивол. Retrieved 6 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. EPP Alarmed by Bulgarian Socialists 'Siding' with Hezbollah,, February 6, 2013
  19. "PES Leader to Face Court in Bulgaria in 'Lost Files' Case March 18". Sofia News Agency. Retrieved 19 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Bulgaria Opposition Leader Stanishev to Become Father., February 22, 2011.
  21. Bulgarian Socialist Leader Begets First Child on Labor Day., May 1, 2011.
  22. Ex Bulgarian PM Elated about Becoming Father., February 25, 2011.
  23. Stanishev married his girlfriend Monika, Nova TV, May 20, 2013
  24. 24.0 24.1 Lilov 2013, p. 347.


External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Georgi Parvanov
Leader of the Socialist Party
Succeeded by
Mihail Mikov
Preceded by
Poul Nyrup Rasmussen
Leader of the Party of European Socialists
Political offices
Preceded by
Simeon Sakskoburggotski
Prime Minister of Bulgaria
Succeeded by
Boyko Borisov