Z.D . Vankova
Zvezda Vankova holds a PhD in Law from the Maastricht University. She is a researcher at the Department of European and International Law & the Institute for Transnational and Euregional Cross Border Cooperation and Mobility (ITEM) at the Faculty of Law of the Maastricht University. Zvezda Vankova defended the dissertation "Circular migration from the Eastern partnership countries to the EU – the rights of migrant workers in Bulgaria and Poland" which was part of the TRANSMIC project. Zvezda holds a BA degree in Public Administration and a MA degree in International relations from the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. She was awarded a scholarship by the Danish Agency for International Education (CIRIUS) and specialised European Studies at the University of Copenhagen (2004-2005).
- migration law and policies
- circular migration
- integration policies
- human rights and international labour migration standards
- immigration detention
- legal empirical research
Professional career history
Prior to joining the Faculty of Law of the Maastricht University, Zvezda Vankova worked as a Central Research Coordinator of the latest edition of the Migrant Integration Policy Index (2015) and as a Policy Analyst at the Migration Policy Group in Brussels. As a Researcher and Program Coordinator at the Law Programme of the Open Society Institute Sofia (2005-2013), Zvezda Vankova was an active participant in the development of Bulgarian immigration and integration policy through policy and legal analyses, advocacy work and capacity-building activities. Zvezda contributed to the drafting of strategic documents such as the National Strategy for Migration, Asylum and Integration, legislative and policy mechanisms in the field of regular and irregular migration. She developed and delivered training courses on integration policies to hundreds of local authority staff and civil society representatives.
Zvezda was selected by UNHCR Bulgaria to monitor the National Program for Integration of Refugees in Bulgaria as an independent expert in the period 2012-2014 and served as the Country Co-coordinator for the European Web Site on Integration for Bulgaria. She also conducted an independent monitoring report into immigration detention facilities in Bulgaria. At the end of 2012, she co-founded the association Multi Kulti Collective which aims to support the integration of foreigners into Bulgarian society.