Nadezhda Neynsky

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Person.png Nadezhda Neynsky  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Nadezhda Mihailova.jpg
Born9 August 1962
Alma materSofia University
Member ofWEF/Global Leaders for Tomorrow/1998
InterestsOperation Horseshoe
Bulgarian FM who was conduit for the war propaganda Operation Horseshoe as part of Kosovo War. WEF/Global Leaders for Tomorrow/1998

Employment.png Bulgaria/Minister/Foreign Affairs

In office
21 May 1997 - 24 July 2001

Nadezhda Neynsky is a Bulgarian politician. In the past, she was Minister of Foreign Affairs (1997–2001), head of Union of Democratic Forces (March 2002 – October 2005) and Member of the Bulgarian Parliament (37th, 38th, 39th and 40th National Assembly of Bulgaria). Since 2009, she has been a Member of the European Parliament.

She was selected a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 1998.

As Foreign Minister, she was a conduit for the Operation Horseshoe war propaganda story during the Kosovo War.

Early life and education

In 1977 she completed her primary education at the 127th "Ivan Denkoglu" school in Sofia and in 1981 graduated from the Lycée Français de Sofia.[1] She was recalled by teachers as a top student, who excelled in the study of literature and Spanish language.[2] Mihaylova was subsequently enrolled as a philology student at Sofia University,[3] completing her studies in 1985. Between 1986 and 1988, she worked as a freelance journalist. In that period Mihaylova became a member of the Union of Translators in Bulgaria.[4]


Member of the Bulgarian National Assembly and foreign minister of Bulgaria

Nadezhda Mihaylova was a member of the Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) until she left in November 2012 after 21 years of membership in the party.[5]

She was elected to sit 37th National Assembly (1995–1997). During this time she sat on the Foreign Affairs Committee and was member of the Bulgarian delegation to the Council of Europe. She was also chairman of the Committee for Parliamentary and Public Relations Assembly (1994–1997).

She was reelected in 1997 and sat in the 38th National Assembly (1997–2001). She was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in Ivan Kostov's government and held that post for four years.[6] As Minister of Foreign Affairs, she strongly supported a policy of NATO integration and EU membership of her country.[7]

In February 1999, she was chosen as the deputy chairman of the European People's Party at the 13th Congress in Brussels, becoming the first person from Eastern Europe to hold this position.[8]

In March 2000, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nadezhda Mihaylova denied having delivered a document showing an alleged plan of former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic aimed at ethnic cleansing of Kosovo back in 1999 (so-called Operation Horseshoe) to the then foreign minister of Germany Joschka Fischer in Bonn in April 1999.[9] In 2012, Neynsky finally admitted to private Bulgarian channel BTV that she had handed the document as regards the operation Horseshoe to the German foreign minister back in 1999.[10] During the 78-day NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, British Prime Minister Tony Blair travelled to Sofia in April 1999 praising Nadezhda Mihaylova commitment with the words: "You, Nadezhda, have become the symbol of the wider Europe – of a whole Europe – a Europe of solidarity."[11]

As an MP in the 39th National Assembly (2001–2005), she was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Committee on National Security and Defence.

She was elected chairman of the United Democratic Forces in 2002. After the disappointing local elections of 2003, a rift broke between her and former PM Ivan Kostov in the party.[12] In 2004 29 UDF delegates (led by Kostov) left to form a new party, Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria.[13] After the disappointing 2005 parliamentary election, with her party finishing fifth, she was succeeded by former president Petar Stoyanov as chairman of the party.[6] On 30 November 2005, Mihaylova established the "Right Alternative" (Bulgarian: Дясна алтернатива) faction within the party.[14][15]

As an MP in the 40th National Assembly, she was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Committee on European Integration (2005–2009). Nadezhda was also vice-President of the National Assembly of Bulgaria from 2008–2009. In November 2012, former UDF leader Nadezhda Neynsky quit the right-wing party after three senior MPs were expelled.[16]

Member of the European Parliament

In the 2009 European parliamentary election Neynsky was elected as SDS candidate. Since then she has been a member of the European People's Party (Bulgarian: Hristyandemokrati). As an MEP she sat on the Committee on Budgets and was co Resident on Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). She was also a member of the Delegation to the EU-Russia and a member of the Delegation for relations with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. She was a Deputy on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, a Deputy on the Subcommittee on Security and Defence and a substitute member of the Delegation for relations with Maghreb countries and the Arab Maghreb Union.[17]

In May 2012, she founded, together with the Austrian MEP Paul Rübig and the Danish MEP Bendt Bendtsen, a new organization called SME Europe. This pro-business organization within the European People's Party, aims at improving the situation of small and medium-sized enterprises all across Europe. Currently, she holds the position of President.[18] She was vice-President of the Union of SMEs to the European People's Party from 2007 to 2011 and vice-President of the European People's Party.

Other fields of politics

When talking in 2016 with a newspaper about a role model as a leader, she revealed her admiration for former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.[19]

From 2015-2021 Nadezhda Neynski was the Ambassador of Bulgaria to Turkey.[20]

She was chairman of the Board of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Bulgaria in 2007. She was also a member of the Advisory Group of the Southern Leaders' Round Tables (SLRT) to the Special Branch Cooperation among Developing Countries (Special Unit for South-South Cooperation) in 2006. She is a member of the International Advisory Committee to the "Democracy Coalition Project", in partnership with the Bertelsmann Foundation, the CIA-front "Freedom House" and the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (2006). President of the Institute for Democracy and Stability in Southeast Europe (2004). She became a member of the National Union of Civil Society UNITY of 8 December 2012.


She received the Golden Plate award of the Academy of Achievement, Order of Denmark, first degree awarded Medal of the Republic of Malta, Venice Honour, Knight of the Legion of Honor, France Cross of the Order of public office by the King of Spain, awarded the Medal of tolerance organization B'nai B'rith. Mihaylova was also chosen as the woman politician of the year in Bulgaria for 2008.[21]


In 1983 Nadezhda married Kamen Mikhailov and they have two daughters - Violeta and Nina. In 2006, Nadezhda and Kamen divorced. On 3 October 2009 Nadezhda Mihaylova married Svetlin Neynski at the Embassy of Bulgaria in Madrid.[3]

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  1. Lilov, Grigor (2013). Най-богатите българи (1st ed.). Sofia: „Кайлас” page 172
  2. Lilov 2013, p. 178.
  3. a b Lilov 2013, p. 172.
  4. Prodanov et al. 2009, p. 503.
  5. Lilov 2013, p. 174.
  6. a b {
  7. Nadezhda Mihailova: Security in south-eastern Europeand Bulgaria's policy of NATO integration,
  8. Prodanov et al. 2009, pp. 503–504.
  9. "Hufeisen": Auch sie dementiert, 30 March 2000 (in German). Archived on 28 February 2013
  11. Nadeshda Michajlowa., OWEP 4/2002 (in German). Archived on 1 March 2013
  14. Prodanov, Vasil; Todorov, Antoniy; Avramov, Yosif; Ivanova, Vanya (2009). Българският парламент и преходът (1st ed.). Sofia: Ciela. ISBN 978-954-28-0352-2. page 504
  15. Prodanov et al. 2009, p. 504.
  16. Nadezhda Neynski, former UDF leader and ex-foreign minister, quits UDF after rebels axed,, 26 Nov. 2012
  18. Composition of the Board, Web presence of SME Europe, retrieved 1 April 2013
  19. Trailblazing Women: Nadezhda Neynsky, Ambassador of Bulgaria to Turkey,, 28 June 2016
  20. Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Ankara - Key officers,

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