Bulgaria has been a member of the European Union since 1 January 2007. A brief overview of the country’s political system, trade and economy and Bulgaria as an EU member state can be viewed on the official website of the European Union. According to the Office for National Statistics data, there were 103.000 Bulgarians living in the UK in 2018. The Bulgarian migration to the UK is mainly of an economic nature, but so is the UK migration to Bulgaria. The number of British citizens who have permanently moved to Bulgaria was estimated at nearly 18.000 by the BBC in 2014 (see: The Britons who swap the UK for the poorest part of the EU and Online Blogs by British expats living and working in Bulgaria).
Foreign relations between Bulgaria and the United Kingdom were formally established in 1879 upon Bulgaria's newly gained independence from the Ottoman Empire (Embassy of the Republic of Bulguria, London: Bilateral relations) . Political developments in Bulgaria in the early twentieth century and up until World War II culminated with Communist takeover and Soviet domination. A notable dissident from Bulgaria to the UK was Georgi Markov, a novelist and playwright who moved to London after his work was banned by the Communist regime. He worked as a journalist and a broadcaster for the BBC World Service until 1978. SSEES Library holds a rich collection of his literary work. He is most notably remembered for the Death by Umbrella event, when he was assassinated on a London street via a micro-engineered pellet containing the deadly toxin, fired into his leg from an umbrella, allegedly by a member of the Bulgarian Secret Service. A notable emigre was Petar Ouvaliev aka Pierre Rouve (1915-1998) who worked for the BBC World Service and as a film director. His biography, written by his wife Sonia Ruv, is available at the UCL, SSEES LIbrary (Rouve, S. Petŭr Uvaliev ili Pier Ruv: edin zhivot).
UK migration statistics and datasets
- Office for national Statistics: Living abroad: dynamics of migration between the UK and the EU2
- Migration Watch UK : Population by Country of Birth
- Office for National Statistics: Population of the UK by country of birth and nationality: individual country data
- Romanians and Bulgarians coming to the UK in 2014: influx or exaggeration? - The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford publication, 30 December 2014
Bulgarian migration statistics
- Academic research, publications and projects
- Mihaylova Manolova, P. (2018) On the way to the 'imaginary West': Bulgarian migrations, imaginations and disillusionments. University of Birmingham.
- Stoyanova-Genova, E. (2017) Migration and the 'children of the transition': unravelling the experiences of young, highly skilled Bulgarians in the UK. University of Nottingham.
- Maeva, M. (2012) 'Language as a Border: the Case of Bulgarian Emigrants in the UK' in Hristov, P. Migration and identity: Historical, Cultural and Linguistic Dimensions of Mobility on the Balkans. Sofia: Paradigma. SSEES Collection Gen.Balk.IV MIG
- Maeva, M. (2011) 'Memories for Socialism into the Internet Forum of Bulgarian Emigrants in the United Kingdom' in Wilson, P., McEntaggart. Navigating Landscapes of Mediated Memory. P. Oxford: Interdisciplinary Press.
- Maeva, M. (2010) 'Organizations and Institutions of Bulgarian Emigration in the United Kingdom' in Karamihova, M. European dimensions of Culture and History on the Balkans. Sofia: Paradigma.
- Valkanova, Y. (2009) 'Being a Rara Avis: Education Experiences of Bulgarian Children in Schools in London' in Eade, J., Valkanova., Y. Accession and Migration: Changing Policy, Society and Culture in an Enlarged Europe. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, pp. 133–142. SSEES Collection B.XIX ACC
- Ivancheva, M. (2007) 'Strawberry Fields Forever? Bulgarian and Romanian Student Workers in the UK', Focaal - European Journal of Anthropology, 49, pp.110-117.
- Fic, T. (2013) 'Migration from Bulgaria and Romania to the UK', National Institute Economic Review, 224(1), pp. F4-F7.
- Maeva, M. (2011) 'Internet and the Bulgarian Emigration to and in Great Britain', Ethnologia Balkanica, 15, pp. 349-362.
- Ruist, J. (2014) 'The Fiscal Consequences of Unrestricted Immigration from Romania and Bulgaria', Working Papers in Economics, 584, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
- Vlad, O. (2013-2014) 'Migrant Wave: Demystifying Romanian and Bulgarian Immigrants in the British Press: Daily mail and the Guardian', Research and Science Today, Aug 2014, pp.165-173.
- Yang, J. (2014) 'Citizenship, Migration, and the Nation-State: Exploring UK Policy Responses to Romanian and Bulgarian Migration', Polish Political Science Yearbook, 43(1), pp. 64-83.
- Rouve, S. (2010) Petŭr Uvaliev ili Pier Ruv: edin zhivot. Sofiia: Siela. SSEES Collection B.XVIII ROU RUV
- Kassabova, K. (2017) Border: a journey to the edge of Europe. London: Granta Books. SSEES Collection Gen.Balk.I KAS
- Kassabova, K. (2007) Geography for the lost. Tarset, Northumberland: Bloodaxe Books. Stores POETRY STORE BLO:KAS
- Popov, A. (2014) Mission London. London: Istros Books. SSEES Collection B.XXIV.7 POP
- The character of Lexi Victorova in BBC Radio 4 production The Archers.
- Media outlets and internet portals
Newspapers & magazines
Bulgarian organisations in the UK