The National Palace of Culture is ready to receive the delegates of Bulgaria’s Presidency. This is what the Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU Liliana Pavlova and Minister of Culture Boil Banov said. Both ministers showed the renovated premises of the NPC to members of the press where the meetings and events from the calendar of the Presidency will take place.
The objects of art are fully restored everywhere in the Palace of Culture, Minister Banov noted. He said that what is left to be done is the cleaning and arranging the furniture on the halls, and the holiday season will be used as much as possible for the overall preparation of the complex.
There will be more than 270 events on the calendar, for which it is expected that more than 22,000 delegates will arrive in this country, Minister Pavlova said. She explained that the final version of the calendar of forthcoming events will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for endorsement in the session on Wednesday, 20 December.
During the tour of the premises the members of the press saw the main halls for sessions and workshops and were briefed about the arrangements for access and movement around the building, about the accreditation area and the rules for photographs, recording and broadcasting the events.
The members of the press were shown the route of the VIP delegations – starting from the official entrance A-6 to the main meeting room A-3. The first handshake of the official guests will take place in front of the logo of the presidency on the wall across the entrance, Minister Pavlova explained. The sessions will take place mainly in meeting rooms 7, 8 и 9, and the delegates for these sessions will enter from the A4 entrance. “The accreditation system is state of the art and is linked to the global security system, installed in the NPC,” Minister Pavlova said. She explained that the badges for all the delegates are colour coded depending on the different formats. They also have a chip for access to the designated rooms.
„The plenary hall for the Presidency of the Council of the EU is unique and has no analogue,” Minister of Culture Boil Banov said about Hall 3 where the highest level events will take place – 32 in total. Both ministers demonstrated the entirely new audio and video equipment and lighting in the main hall for the Presidency, as well as the conference interpretation booths built to all the standards of DG Interpretation of the EC.
Liliana Pavlova added that the control room of the official broadcaster of the events – the Bulgarian National Television – is entirely new too.
The members of the press entered the International Press Centre for the first time. There they will work during the six months of the Presidency. It has a capacity of 150 workstations and there are 260 more in the adjacent news conference and briefing halls. 5 TV editing booths and 8 specially equipped radio booths are also available.
Answering a journalist’s question, Boil Banov said that the overall renovation of NPC had cost BGN 45 million from the state budget. The modern security system with no analogue in this country to date, had cost additional BGN 12 million.