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Risks of Islamist Radicalisation in Bulgaria: A Case Study in the Iztok Neighbourhood of the City of Pazardzhik
In the context of the escalation of extremist Islamist violence in many EC countries today, the issue of the risks of home grown Islamist radicalization in Bulgaria is the subject of heated public debates. Preventing and studying (Islamist) radicalization has become a priority in Europe, giving rise to wealth of publications that explore its motives and causes as well as the processes whereby individuals and groups come to espouse extremist ideas and engage in violent actions. Such studies are lacking in Bulgaria while worries about the potential influence that international terrorist organisations and the related Islamist extremist ideologies could exert in the country are rising. more »
 
Situational Assessment of Extremist Trends
Violent extremism is one of the major challenges Europe is currently facing. The threat is both external as well as internal as indicated by the rise in home-grown Islamist terrorists, as well as of nationalistic and anti-immigrant movements and far-right aggression. An accurate picture of the spread, nature and trends in the extremist and terrorist activity and actors is paramount to formulating strategic policy approaches and effectively allocating available resources. This publication provides a methodological framework for the establishment of a viable mechanism for monitoring and assessment of the state and developments over time in extremist acts and actors on the national level. more »
 
CSD Policy Brief No. 68: Monitoring Radicalisation and Extremism
Over the last decade, radicalisation and extremism have become issues of particular concern for Europe. New risks of Islamist and far-right radicalisation have impelled the introduction of policies, the effects of which are only now being evaluated. As radicalisation that risks escalating into violence is more amenable to prevention than repression, having the capacity to detect early warning signs and trace the spread of extremist activity over time is critical. more »
 
Monitoring Radicalisation: A Framework for Risk Indicators
Radicalisation processes impacting on disaffected and indoctrinated persons and the later involvement of some of them in acts of terrorism are of growing concern for European citizens, their governments and the wider international community. Addressing this threat requires effective prevention policies which some EU member states have been proactive in developing. Effective policies need reliable diagnostic tools designed to identify individuals and groups who might pose a threat. more »
 
CSD Policy Brief No. 67: Turkey in The Framework of the EU Energy Union: Energy Security and Governance Risks
The successful creation of a European energy union will not be possible without the active involvement of Turkey. The latter is going to play a vital role as the major transit country of future alternative natural gas supply from the Caspian region and the Middle East. Similarly, Turkey will benefit from the development of the Energy Union because it can transform itself in a major energy-trading hub, Turkey’s long-term energy policy objective. more »
 
The Kremlin Playbook: Understanding Russian Influence in Central and Eastern Europe
There was a deeply held assumption that, when the countries of Central and Eastern Europe joined NATO and the European Union in 2004, these countries would continue their positive democratic and economic transformation. Yet more than a decade later, the region has experienced a steady decline in democratic standards and governance practices at the same time that Russia’s economic engagement with the region expanded significantly. Regional political movements and figures have increasingly sought to align themselves with the Kremlin and with illiberalism. Central European governments have adopted ambiguous—if not outright pro-Russian—policy stances that have raised questions about their transatlantic orientation and produced tensions within Western institutions. more »
 
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. 66: Dynamics of Conventional Crime in Bulgaria 2015 – 2016
Crime rates in 2015 continue their downward trend with a decrease of 0.4% compared to 2014 levels. It must be noted, however, that the level of reporting crime to the authorities falls compared to officially registered numbers by the MoI in 2015. This means that latent crime is on the rise, which signifies a drop in public confidence in the MoI. One of the main reason for this discrepancy are the so-called police filters, which lead to diverging levels of officially recorded conventional crimes and crimes reported by the citizenry. These are some of the results of the National Crime Survey for 2015, presented in the current publication. 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 »
 

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