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A Revanchist Russia versus an Uncertain West: An Appreciation of the Situation since the 2014 Ukrainian Crisis
An aggressive Russia, a divided and unsettled Europe, and a distracted and unpredictable United States have created an unprecedented and perilous confluence of events that could undermine the European security architecture and the liberal-democratic order. Ultimately, it is conceivable that the Western allies and Russia could achieve through dialogue some kind of constructive modus vivendi whereby Russia becomes a less paranoid power that respects the independence of its former empire. A long shot to begin with, such a rapprochement is less achievable if Europe and the United States appear disorganized and vulnerable. more »
 
CSD Policy Brief No. 65: The Wind that Blows from the East: Russian Influence in Central and Eastern Europe
The topic of Russia’s influence in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has grown in significance after the eruption of the Ukrainian crisis in 2013. The US and EU policy and research communities have scrambled to explain the potential scenarios, tools, and impacts of the Russian influence, as well as propose possible solutions to minimizing its negative effects on European unity. more »
 
Hidden Economy in Southeast Europe: Building Regional Momentum to Mitigate its Negative Effects
According to the authors of the policy brief, not declaring in full or partially economic activities in SEE remains widespread in virtually all areas of government – permissions and licenses, labour contracts, social security, taxes and custom duties. It signals a persistent gap between formal and informal institutions and lack of coherent enforcement of rules. Corruption pressure is higher towards those engaged in the hidden economy. At the same time their susceptibility to corruption is also higher, confirming the institutional incongruence. The immense diversity of the scale (from 19 % in Croatia to 81 % in Kosovo), prevailing patterns (no written contracts in Turkey, non-payment of health care contributions in Kosovo*, envelope wages in FYR of Macedonia and Bulgaria, non-formalised business in Albania), formal vs informal wage average (higher formal wages in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Turkey and lower in Kosovo and Bulgaria) requires country specific tailor-made policies and sequencing of reforms. more »
 
Hidden Economy and Good Governance in Southeast Europe Regional Assessment Report
The current report examines the key drivers of the hidden economy and its impact on the overall economy in SEE, and in particular the employment, social and fiscal sectors. The authors focus on the links between hidden economy and corruption, especially the administrative corruption, related to VAT drain, tax payment evasion, social security payment evasion, and “speeding up” business related services. They propose new approaches for measuring and analysing the phenomena, as well as preventive and counter-measures. more »
 
Public Procurement Criminality: Practical Guide for Preventing, Countering and Analyzing Corruption Risks
The publication discusses selected internationally recognized standards on approaches, methods and guidelines for countering criminality and corruption practices in the public procurement process. The practical Guide is tailored to aid the work of civil servants, magistrates and practitioners in the area. The publication is based on conclusions from series of seminars, workshops and conferences, involving Bulgarian and Romanian experts, which took place between December 2014 and July 2016 in Romania. The document is part of the initiative “Law, Economy, Competition, and Administration - Developing a Multidisciplinary Approach in the Fight against Public Procurement Criminality (LEAD)”. more »
 
Governance of the Bulgarian Public Procurement Sector: Corruption Risks and Criminal Prosecution
Despite the legislative and institutional progress, especially in terms of increased transparency and access to data, the public procurement (PP) sector in Bulgaria continues to be associated with high levels of corruption risk. The number of irregularities uncovered by the control bodies remains considerable. At the same time there is a lack of effective investigation, while criminal cases, involving PP, are still very limited and predominantly focused on the lower levels of governance. more »
 
CSD Policy Brief No. 64: Hidden Economy in Bulgaria: 2015 – 2016
In Bulgaria the high level of hidden economy undermines the economic development of the country and requires serious and persistent political attention. The unprecedented growth in the field of digitization of economic activities, the convergence between some of them, and the emergence of brand new services creates an opportunity for achieving a desirable environment, which may reduce the hidden cash flows and boost the economic development of the country. Comprehensive reforms focused on the functioning of the market mechanisms and administrative effectiveness are needed in order to promote the process of economic convergence within the European Union and limit the harmful effects of the hidden economy in Bulgaria. more »
 
Shadow Power: Assessment of Corruption and Hidden Economy in Southeast Europe
The current report, prepared by the Southeast European Leadership for Development and Integrity (SELDI) — the largest indigenous good governance initiative in SEE — makes an important contribution to the regional approach to anticorruption. It provides a civil society view of the state of corruption and comes in the wake of the 2014 SELDI comprehensive assessment of the various aspects of the legal and institutional anticorruption environments of nine SEE countries. In 2016, SELDI followed up on these assessments with an update of corruption monitoring and a special focus on state capture in the energy sector and the corruption–hidden economy nexus. more »
 
Working Paper: State Capture Diagnostics Roadmap
This paper contributes to a higher analytical precision in the definition of state capture, which enables the construction of measures that would help evaluate, assess and eventually quantify the phenomenon. This requires a more in-depth analysis of the state capture concept and an analytical description of its outcomes involving different social actors (government, the private sector and the society at large), as well as a description of its principal mechanisms. As state capture is often associated with corruption, it would be necessary to differentiate between these concepts and find a possible intersection in the methodological approaches used for measuring them. more »
 
Hidden Economy Indexes in Bulgaria 2002-2015: Results and Methodological Notes
The current document presents the methodology for calculation of the Hidden Economy Indexes in Bulgaria among the population and the business, as well as the results of the surveys for the period 2002-2015. more »
 

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