Nadezhda Neynsky, previously known as Nadezhda Nikolova Mihaylova (Bulgarian: Надежда Николова Михайлова) (born 9 August 1962 in Sofia) 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 Narodno Subranie). Since 2009, she has been a Member of European Parliament.
Early life and education
Since a rather young age, Mihaylova has had an interest in poetry. In 1977 she completed her primary education at the 127th "Ivan Denkoglu" school in Sofia and in 1981 graduated from the 9th French language high school "Alphonse de Lamartine" in the capital. She was recalled by teachers as a top student, who excelled in the study of literature and Spanish language. Mihaylova was subsequently enrolled as a philology student at Sofia University, 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 (Bulgarian: Съюз на преводачите в България).
Member of the Bulgarian National Assembly
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.
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). During this time she was also vice-President of the Union of Democratic Forces.
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.
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.
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. In 2004 29 UDF delegates (led by Kostov) left to form a new party, Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria. After the disappointing 2005 parliamentary election, with her party finishing fifth, she was succeeded by former president Petar Stoyanov as chairman of the party. On 30 November 2005, Mihaylova established the "Right Alternative" (Bulgarian: Дясна алтернатива) faction within the party.
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.
Member of the European Parliament
In the 2009 European parliamentary election Neynsky was elected on the SDS ticket. 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 served as 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.
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. 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.
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 Foundation "Bertelsmann", organization "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.
In 1983 Nadezhda married Kamen Mikhailov and they have two daughters - Violeta and Nina. In 2006, Nadezhda and Kamen got divorced. On 3 October 2009 Nadezhda Mihaylova married Svetlin Neynski at the Embassy of Bulgaria in Madrid.