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Philip Dimitrov


Philip Dimitrov is member of the Constitutional Court of Bulgaria since 2015 and member of the Venice Commission for Democracy through Law since 2016. Since December, 2019 Mr. Dimitrov is also a Vice-President of the Venice Commission.

Before that he was Ambassador of the EU to Georgia (2010-2014) and earlier -  Ambassador of Bulgaria to the UN (1997-1998) and to the US (1998-2002), Deputy Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament (2005-2008) Member of the European Parliament (2007) and of the Bulgarian Parliament (1993-1997).

He has a JD from the Sofia University, practiced as an Attorney-at Law for almost 20 years and holds PhD in Political Science from the NBU-Sofia. He is distinguished professor (reader) at the NBU-Bulgaria and lectured in the American University of Bulgaria (2002-2008), at the University of Toronto (2007), at the CNU  in Virginia (2008-2009).

He was the first freely elected Prime Minister of Bulgaria (1991-1992).



12.03.2010      PhD in Political Science from NBU – Sofia, Bulgaria

03-09.2003        Public policy scholar at Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC

1978-1979         State Internship in Law at the Sofia District Court and JD;

1973-1977         University of Sofia Law School;

1969-1973       Sofia English Language School


Professional experience    

Member of the Venice Commission since 2016, Vice-President since 2019

Constitutional Courts judge from 11.11.2015

Attorney at law: 1979-1990; 1993-1997; 2002-2005; 2010; 2015


Academic experience

2010 & 2002-2008 – Adj. Professor at the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG)

Aug. 2008  –  Dec. 2009 - Visiting professor at Christopher Newport University – VA, USA

Oct. 2007 - A Course of 12 Lectures on Practical Problems of Political Representation in  the University of Toronto


Parliamentary mandates

2005-2008      Deputy Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament.

                       Member of the Juridical Matters Committee and European Affairs Committee

2007:              Member of European Parliament, Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs.

1995-1997     Vice Chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee  EU – Bulgaria;

1993-1997     Member of the Bulgarian Parliament;


Diplomatic experience

Nov.2010 – Aug.2014     Ambassador, Head of EU Delegation in Tbilisi, Georgia

2004:               Special Envoy of the President of the OSCE for Armenia and Azerbaijan.

1998-2002         Ambassador of Bulgaria to the US;

1997-1998         Permanent Representative of Bulgaria at the UN;



1991-1992         Prime Minister of the first freely elected government of Bulgaria after WWII;


Activities in human rights protection


2003-2010   - Member of the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba

2008–2010  - Spokesperson of the Committee for Solidarity with the Politically Persecuted  in Venezuela

1989-1991   - Committee for protection of religion rights, freedom of thought and faiths, values


Programs (selected)

2006 - 2007 – Leading member Internship Program for Young Roma in Parliament - Open

Society Institute (Bulgaria) and National Democratic Institute (US)

2003 - 2007 - Youth in Politics - Joint project of National Endowment for Democracy (US)                            and Bulgarian    Institute for Legal Development


Public activities

2004  -                Senior member of the NED (US)-CLS (Bulgaria) team for Democratic Experience Exchange with the New Government of Georgia

2002-2010    - Honorary Chairman of the Board of George Marshall Association – Bulgaria

2003-present - Member of the Club de Madrid of Former Heads of State and Government and Member of the Executive Committee (2006-2007)

2004-2010    - Member of the Advisory Board of the US-Moldova Foundation

2003-2010    - Member of the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba

2002-2007     - Program Director at Bulgarian Institute for Legal Development

1989-1990     - Secretary of the Bulgarian Bar Union


Conferences (selected)

February 11-12 2009 - Democracy and Democratization: America and the World – organized by CNU-CASCL - Eastern Europe and South America Panel.

November 20-21st 2008 – A New Departure: Global Challenges and EU-US Policies After the American Elections - Georgia Panel – Washington D.C. organized by the EU Institute for Security Studies

April 2008 – “Are Revolutions Contagious” Weidenfeld Speaker Series at European Studies Centre, St. Anthony’s College, Oxford University

October 2007 - Freedom and Responsibility - Prague - Forum 2000

2003-2005 - Civic Constitutional Convention - Sofia - Open Society Institute

September 2004 - Feefteen Years after the Fall of the Wall – Prague – People in Need foundation


Public lectures in US universities

11. 2009 - "Faith and the Changes in Eastern Europe" - Washington University - Chestertown

10. 2009  - "First Steps of the Post-Communist Transition: Logic and Myths "- Miami University - Cincinnati

10.2008  - "Populism Today' - Cornell University – Ithaca

11.2008  - "Two Decades after the Wall" – New School – New York





  • Political Representation After Communism (CIELA Sofia 2010)
  • The New Democracies and the Transatlantic Link (CIELA Sofia 2004)
  • The Myths of Bulgarian Transition. (CIELA Sofia 2003)



  • Light of man (2003)
  • For they lived, Oh Lord (1991)
  • Others (selected)
    • The Western Values After the Fall of the Wall –Annual Eugene Schuyler Series 2015
    • „The Transitions in Eastern Europe and the US” Democracy and Democratization: America and the World,  Ed.Busch Nathan 2010
    • Does the “Populism” in the New Democracies of Europe Really Matter? in Democratizatziya (Washington DC) December 2009
    • Foreign policy (Bulgarian edition), June-July 2008
    • Parliament in action, Reazom, Sofia, 2007
    • Electoral systems. Parties: doctrines and structure, Reazom, Sofia, 2007
    • On tolerance and faith in Freedom for all (e-journal), Sofia, March 2004


Languages: English, French, Russian, Spanish.


2014 – Doctor Honoris Causae of the University of Georgia

2008 – Token of Honour from the Bar Association in Venezuela for contributions to the defense of Human rights of political prisoners

1999 – The Truman-Reagan Freedom Award for contributions to overcoming Communism

2007 – Honorary sign of the Sofia Bar Council for contributions to the Sofia Bar college


Personal: born 1955 in Sofia, Bulgaria, married, Elena Dimitrova, M.D.






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