CSD.BG RSShttp://csd.bg/en_ENCSD.BGThu, 23 May 2019 14:55:27 +0000Thu, 23 May 2019 14:55:27 +0000news-835Wed, 22 May 2019 15:04:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 85: The Kremlin Playbook: the Moviehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-85-the-kremlin-playbook-the-movie/The Kremlin Playbook 2: The Enablers revealed how Russia has developed and sustained state capture networks in Europe to enable the expansion of its economic and political influence.Austria has been one of the most vulnerable countries in Europe. Russia has increased its economic footprint in the country significantly over the last decade. Russian entities have rechanneled billions of euro in Russia-owned banks in Austria. The latter received an exemption from the European sanctions to continue operating within the Eurozone system and facilitate loans and deposit operations involving Russian entities.The Kremlin Playbook 2: The Enablers revealed how Russia has developed and sustained state capture networks in Europe to enable the expansion of its economic and political influence.

Austria has been one of the most vulnerable countries in Europe. Russia has increased its economic footprint in the country significantly over the last decade. Russian entities have rechanneled billions of euro in Russia-owned banks in Austria. The latter received an exemption from the European sanctions to continue operating within the Eurozone system and facilitate loans and deposit operations involving Russian entities.

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news-832Wed, 24 Apr 2019 09:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 84: Integrated Index for Illegal Cigarettes Market Assessmenthttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-84-integrated-index-for-illegal-cigarettes-market-assessment/The proposed model for illicit cigarette market assessment at district level is the first tool to analyse the combined effect of two types of factors: the ones linked to law-enforcement bodies' performance and the district-specific drivers and barriers to the illicit trade in tobacco products.

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news-830Tue, 23 Apr 2019 09:00:00 +0000Stiffled Decarbonisation: Assessing the Bulgarian National Energy and Climate Planhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/stiffled-decarbonisation-assessing-the-bulgarian-national-energy-and-climate-plan/Forthcoming in English

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news-829Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:11:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 83: Standards for Forced-Return Monitoring in Bulgariahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-83-standards-for-forced-return-monitoring-in-bulgaria/The issue of forced-return monitoring is a constituent part of the common European return policy, which is regarded as one of the highest priorities of the common EU migration policy. A primary objective of the EU return policy is to scale up return rates in proportion to the total number of return decisions issued through strengthening the Member States’ return capacity, as well as in cooperation with and by providing support to the countries of origin and transit.

 

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news-827Wed, 17 Apr 2019 13:07:00 +0000Cultural and Civic Orientation of Asylum Seekers and Beneficiaries of International Protectionhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/cultural-and-civic-orientation-of-asylum-seekers-and-beneficiaries-of-international-protection/This publication aims to aid the work of trainers in providing cultural and civic orientation to asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection in Bulgaria. It provides systematic information on main topics relating to the cultural and civic orientation in the country, together with training methods and techniques. The publication proposes a full-fledged training program to be used by trainers in acquainting refugees with the host society based on interaction with the country’s living, civic, social and cultural environment. This publication aims to aid the work of trainers in providing cultural and civic orientation to asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection in Bulgaria. It provides systematic information on main topics relating to the cultural and civic orientation in the country, together with training methods and techniques. The publication proposes a full-fledged training program to be used by trainers in acquainting refugees with the host society based on interaction with the country’s living, civic, social and cultural environment.     

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news-817Fri, 29 Mar 2019 14:17:00 +0000Guidelines on Incorporating Tolerance and Mutual Respect in Language Tuition and Social Orientation of Refugees and Migrantshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/guidelines-on-incorporating-tolerance-and-mutual-respect-in-language-tuition-and-social-orientation/To this end the initiative ‘Preventing and Combatting Racism and Xenophobia through Social Orientation of Non-Nationals – RACCOMBAT’ explored throughout Member States good practices in combatting racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance by promoting the laws, customs and values of society throughout the entire process of integration of migrants. Those practices formed the overall conceptual framework for the present guidelines to institutions and service providers on how to empower and educate newly arriving or relatively settled non-nationals not to allow allow acts of hate and intolerance on either side, recognise, prevent and counter them and have recourse to main legal remedies offered by the State.Increased migration flows have been profoundly impacting European States and their policies in the last few years. Fears and hostility towards ‘the other’ have been triggered by populist narratives, while notions of ‘migrants’ floods’ have been widely used in political rhetoric. At this background, not much is done to prepare refugees and migrants for understanding and communicating with authorities and grasping countries’ laws to prevent and counter acts of intolerance. In this respect, it is crucial that migrants have knowledge about their fundamental rights and freedoms. To this end the initiative ‘Preventing and Combatting Racism and Xenophobia through Social Orientation of Non-Nationals – RACCOMBAT’ explored throughout Member States good practices in combatting racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance by promoting the laws, customs and values of society throughout the entire process of integration of migrants. Those practices formed the overall conceptual framework for the present guidelines to institutions and service providers on how to empower and educate newly arriving or relatively settled non-nationals not to allow allow acts of hate and intolerance on either side, recognise, prevent and counter them and have recourse to main legal remedies offered by the State.

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news-813Fri, 29 Mar 2019 00:00:00 +0000Best Practices in Anti-Corruption and Fraud Investigation in EU Funding https://csd.bg/publications/publication/best-practices-in-anti-corruption-and-fraud-investigation-in-eu-funding/The present compendium of selected best practices and investigative tools addresses the threat of fraud and corruption from multiple perspectives, with the underlying purpose of providing practitioners from Romania and Bulgaria with a set of best practices and innovative approaches
and methods in preventing and investigating fraud and corruption in the complex multi-layered national mechanism for EU funding.
This publication is based on ideas presented at the international conference ‘Standing Up To State Capture: Innovative Methods to Investigate Fraud and Corruption in EU Funding for Agriculture’ organised on 13-14 September in Sofia, with the support of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

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news-812Thu, 28 Mar 2019 14:43:00 +0000The Kremlin Playbook 2: The Enablershttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/the-kremlin-playbook-2-the-enablers-1/Enablers of Russian malign influence allow the Kremlin to achieve its end and avoid some of the consequences of its behavior. By aiding and abetting Russia’s malign influence, enablers assist the Kremlin in self-destructive behavior that siphons funds offshore (often in or through Europe) and depletes the Russian tax base at a time of dire economic conditions. Crucially, by allowing Russian economic influence to cycle through their systems, enablers actively participate in the weakening and discrediting of their own democratic structures.Understanding Russian malign economic influence requires understanding the risks inherent in large Russian investment flows. Because enablers can facilitate or aid illicit financial flows,4 they jeopardize the integrity of open market economies and, ultimately, create a threat to national security. State-owned enterprises and large companies play an important role in the furtherance of Russian malign economic influence because of their dominant position and ability to distort market competition. The significant amounts of financial flows they oversee make them susceptible to illicit practices or abuse.In 2016, the major study The Kremlin Playbook: Understanding Russian Influence in Central and Eastern Europe concluded that the Kremlin has developed a pattern of malign economic influence in Europe through the cultivation of “an opaque network of patronage across the region that it uses to influence and direct decision-making.” This network of political and economic connections—an “unvirtuous” cycle of influence— thrives on corruption and the exploitation of governance gaps in key markets and institutions. Ultimately, the aim is to weaken and destroy democratic systems from within. Despite the varied nature of the countries presented in the first volume, the names of specific jurisdictions, companies, and members of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle kept appearing in nearly every network of influence. Was this a coincidence? Or could there be enabling forces that unwittingly or purposely amplify Russian malign economic influence? Exploring the answers to these questions formed the basis of our second report, The Kremlin Playbook 2: The Enablers.

Enablers of Russian malign influence allow the Kremlin to achieve its end and avoid some of the consequences of its behavior. By aiding and abetting Russia’s malign influence, enablers assist the Kremlin in self-destructive behavior that siphons funds offshore (often in or through Europe) and depletes the Russian tax base at a time of dire economic conditions. Crucially, by allowing Russian economic influence to cycle through their systems, enablers actively participate in the weakening and discrediting of their own democratic structures.

Understanding Russian malign economic influence requires understanding the risks inherent in large Russian investment flows. Because enablers can facilitate or aid illicit financial flows, they jeopardize the integrity of open market economies and, ultimately, create a threat to national security. State-owned enterprises and large companies play an important role in the furtherance of Russian malign economic influence because of their dominant position and ability to distort market competition. The significant amounts of financial flows they oversee make them susceptible to illicit practices or abuse.

Enablers can facilitate the integration of illicit funds within legitimate global financial flows, assisted by shell companies and corporate facilitators like banks, attorneys, or accountants. Russian private holdings abroad total an estimated $1 trillion. These significant capital flows create a potential dependence on illicit funds in which the enabler and the Kremlin both benefit from and are dependent on a system that helps these flows transit in and out of Russia and Europe. Illicit finance, particularly money laundering, can damage national security by corrupting government officials who can alter policies, impeding the free flow of capital, reducing the efficacy of sanctions regimes, and distorting entire markets and industries.

This link between illicit finance and national security can materialize in two separate channels—public corruption and organized crime—that follow the same track and at times overlap. In the case of Russia, these two flows converge at the behest of the Kremlin. Malign actors hiding funds and profits can do so through money laundering and tax avoidance or evasion. Enabling countries’ developed financial systems move these billions in investment and profits in and out of European countries every year. These financial systems offer specific tools that are designed to obscure the origins of certain investments and conceal illicit financing. Tactics that remove profits from the reach of tax authorities (and thus state revenue) may not be illegal, but some are meant to operate just below the threshold of illegality, where enablers excel—within a financial gray zone. They might be following the letter of the law, but certainly not its spirit, and industries like corporate service providers (CSPs) assist in this task by feeding the enabling ecosystem through complex, cross-border transactions and company constructions. This complex ecosystem has grown exponentially in the past three decades with rapid globalization and Russia’s deep integration within our financial system. It has become almost impossible to disentangle the reported $1 trillion of Russian capital outflows from other financial flows, including for the most capable oversight bodies in the world.

 

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news-810Wed, 20 Mar 2019 00:00:00 +0000Assessing the Impact of Criminal Proceedings on the Social Situation of Suspects and Accusedhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/assessing-the-impact-of-criminal-proceedings-on-the-social-situation-of-suspects-and-accused/This handbook offers practical guidelines to the law enforcement and criminal justice authorities on how to assess the impact of criminal proceedings on suspects and accused. It explains how the proceedings can affect the personal and social life of suspects and accused, provides summaries of court cases showing how criminal justice authorities are addressing this issue in practice, and offers references to research works for further reading. Enclosed in the handbook is an impact assessment questionnaire, which allows the law enforcement and criminal justice authorities to assess the degree to which the proceedings can affect the social status of suspects or accused.

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news-819Tue, 19 Mar 2019 15:44:00 +0000Human trafficking and the economic/business sectors susceptible to be involved in the demand and supply chain of products and services resulting from victimshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/human-trafficking-and-the-economicbusiness-sectors-susceptible-to-be-involved-in-the-demand-and-sup/The report 'Human trafficking and the economic/business sectors susceptible to be involved in the demand and supply chain of products and services resulting from victims’ exploitation'was developed within the framework of the initiative 'Anti-trafficking stakeholders and economic sectors networking, cooperation to combat the business of human trafficking chain (NET-COMBAT-THB CHAIN). The study is based on the current European and international context: the increasing demand for sexual services, the demand for cheap labour, the desire to make a profit with minimal investment are factors that intensify the activity of the networks of human trafficking. EU Member States must make the necessary efforts to identify and put a stop to the involvement of the public and private sector in the human trafficking or its even indirect complicity. States must encourage dialogue and partnerships with stakeholders in order to bring together economic sectors, NGOs, anti-trafficking experts, in joint actions against human trafficking.

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news-821Fri, 15 Mar 2019 16:50:00 +0000Violence against Women Key Findings and Strategies to Tackle Unreported Cases and to Enforce the Protection Orderhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/violence-against-women-key-findings-and-strategies-to-tackle-unreported-cases-and-to-enforce-the-pro/The purpose of the report is to highlight the situation of violence against women in several EU Member States and to highlight common difficulties in ensuring better rights' protection. A series of recommendations and strategies will be presented on how to improve the current legislative framework, as well as social and educational issues that play an important role in the fight against violence. The publication is part of the initiative 'JUSTICE FOR WOMEN – Towards a more effective rights protection and access to judicial procedures for victims of crimes'.

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news-784Thu, 31 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 82: Fraudulent Use of EU Funds in the Field of Agriculture: Current State, Investigation and Challengeshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-82-fraudulent-use-of-eu-funds-in-the-field-of-agriculture-current-state-investig/
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budget for 2014 – 2020 amounts to a total of 408 billion EUR , while 40 % of the EU annual budget is earmarked for agriculture. In 2013 – 2017 the EC received reports of a total of 18 281 cases on counts of fraud and other irregularities in agiculture, amounting to a total of 1.360 billion EUR. EU funds fraud can be committed through acts constituting an infringement, such as corruption, falsification of documents, influence peddling, circumvention of the law, conflict of interests, bribery, making false statements and others. It is crucial to employ innovative methods in the fight against fraud, such as satellite and thermal imaging, automated prevention systems and multi-channel civil society monitoring.
 
]]>news-782Thu, 03 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000The Russian Economic Grip on Central and Eastern Europehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/the-russian-economic-grip-on-central-and-eastern-europe/This book is about the use of economic and state capture levers for achieving political clout. It details how Moscow has been able to exploit governance deficits and influence decision-making in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe through a range of economic means.

The comparative country by country perspective on Russia’s corporate presence, trade, and investment in particular sectors of the region, especially energy, shows the patterns of the Kremlin’s use of economic presence and state capture tactics to amplify political and social leverage.

By collating economic data with an analysis of governance loopholes and the political process, the authors reveal the Kremlin’s methods for swaying national policies. The book thereby highlights how Russia’s economic power is related to its wider strategic goals.

It concludes that Russia’s economic grip, both direct and indirect, is tighter than official statistics imply.

For more details go here.

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news-786Wed, 19 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0000Standards for Forced-Return Monitoring in Bulgariahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/standards-for-forced-return-monitoring-in-bulgaria/In recent years, the policy on forced return of third-country nationals has become an important element of the management of migration processes within the EU, and the Member States are encouraged to establish an effective monitoring system at national level. The aim of this publication is to support the establishment of such a system in Bulgaria by proposing Standards for Monitoring the implementation of forced-return operations.  The Standards are intended to inform and guide independent monitors of operations involving the forced return of third-country nationals carried out by the Migration Directorate (MD) of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) of the Republic of Bulgaria.

 

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news-788Wed, 19 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0000Monitoring Forced Return in Bulgaria: Analytical Reporthttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/monitoring-forced-return-in-bulgaria-analytical-report/The current report provides recommendations based on analysis of data from independent monitoring of 15 forced-return operations of illegally staying third-country nationals carried out between August 2016 and December 2018. The report is a first-ever analysis of findings from forced-return operations in Bulgaria and makes recommendations for the establishment of a national mechanism for monitoring forced return, optimization of the monitoring process and full implementation of its objectives. The monitoring of 15 operations was carried out as part of the fulfillment of Bulgaria's commitment to provide for an effective forced-return monitoring system introduced in the Bulgarian legislation in 2013 in accordance with Directive 2008/115/EC.

 

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news-775Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0000Financing of Organised Crime: Human Trafficking in Focushttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/financing-of-organised-crime-human-trafficking-in-focus/The report Financing of Organised Crime: Human Trafficking in Focus contributes to a better understanding of the financial aspects of this infamous phenomenon. The analysis explores the sources and mechanisms of the financing of trafficking in human beings, settlement of payments, access to financing in critical moments, costs of business, and the management of profits. The report draws on the findings of nine in-depth country case studies in Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Based on the results of the analysis and the examination of the current practices with regards to financial investigations, the report also suggests recommendations for tackling this crime.

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news-764Fri, 23 Nov 2018 16:20:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 81 Energy Security in Southeast Europe: the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnectorhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-81-energy-security-in-southeast-europe-the-greece-bulgaria-interconnector/Southeast Europe remains reliant on expensive energy imports from Russia and is ill-prepared to withstand another major supply crisis. In this respect, the completion of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) would unlock the diversification process, which will increase the energy security of the whole region. To reap the full benefits and increase competition, there is a need to complete the liberalisation, diversification and integration of the regional gas market.

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news-771Thu, 01 Nov 2018 16:17:00 +0000Anti-trafficking stakeholders and economic sectors networking, cooperation to combat human trafficking https://csd.bg/publications/publication/anti-trafficking-stakeholders-and-economic-sectors-networking-cooperation-to-combat-human-trafficki/The initiative Anti-trafficking stakeholders and economic sectors networking, cooperation to combat the business of human trafficking chain (NET-COMBAT-THB CHAIN) will be implemented starting September 2018 for a period of 20 months. The transnational project is coordinated by the Romanian organisation Association Pro Refugiu in partnership with the Center for the Study of Democracy Bulgaria, Centre for European Constitutional Law Greece, Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights, Verein für Internationale Jugendarbeit e.V. Landesverein Württemberg Germany.

The project starts from the premise that human trafficking in business enterprises occurs in every region of the world and the complexity of today's trafficking chain can result in otherwise well-intentioned companies to unknowingly, unintentionally support and participate in fueling the demand and supply chains. The failure to detect and address human trafficking and rights abuses, can have significant negative consequences. The economic sectors can have an important role to play in combating human trafficking in partnership with other anti-trafficking stakeholders.

Five newsletters will be published in the framework of this initiative, presenting the development of activities and results in each of the five participant countries.

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news-769Thu, 01 Nov 2018 15:34:00 +0000Justice for Women-Towards a more effective rights protection and access to judicial procedures for victims of crimeshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/justice-for-women-towards-a-more-effective-rights-protection-and-access-to-judicial-procedures-for-v/The initiative Justice for Women-Towards a more effective rights protection and access to judicial procedures for victims of crimes will be implemented starting September 2018 for a period of 20 months. The transnational project is coordinated by the Romanian organization Association Pro Refugiu in partnership with the Center for the Study of Democracy Bulgaria, Association Demetra Bulgaria, Centre for European Constitutional Law Greece, Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights, Association Trabe Iniciativas para la Economia Social y Solidaria Spain.

The project aims to improve access to justice for women victims of violence, to increase the reporting of cases towards competent institutions, to improve the assessment process of damages suffered in order to receive appropriate financial compensation.

Four newsletters will be published in the framework of this initiative, presenting the development of activities and results in each of the five participant countries.

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news-778Wed, 31 Oct 2018 00:00:00 +0000The European Youth Guarantee and Its Uptake among Roma Youth in Bulgariahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/the-european-youth-guarantee-and-its-uptake-among-roma-youth-in-bulgaria/The 2008 financial crisis severely affected European youth. In the context of economic instability and a process of EU economy recovery, issues of transitioning from school to work among young Europeans exacerbated. To respond to such negative trends, the EU adopted the Youth Guarantee (YG) so that young EU citizens (usually between the ages of 15-24) can receive good-quality employment offers and offers for employment-enhancement activities. Implemented EU-wide in 2013 and 2014, the Youth Guarantee has mainly targeted the group of young EU citizens who are out of education, employment or training. In some member states (such as Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Spain) youth in underprivileged positions and ethnic minorities, such as Roma, are in the position of being eligible for support through the YG.

In September 2017, the Center for the Study of Democracy, in collaboration with partners from Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, started an initiative to support the outreach and uptake of the measures of the YG by Roma youth in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania. In the framework of the initiative, the partners are conducting fieldwork research, report on the level of outreach of the YG among Roma youth, and are organizing advocacy efforts at local, regional and national levels.

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news-767Thu, 25 Oct 2018 00:00:00 +0000Bulgarian Organised Crime Threat Assessmenthttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/bulgarian-organised-crime-threat-assessment/The 2017 Bulgarian Organised Crime Threat Assessment uncovers the major trends and dynamics in the country’s main criminal markets during the last several years. The current analysis indicates shrinking of traditionally robust criminal areas, such as the illegal trade in cigarettes and organised VAT fraud, while the illegal trade in fuels and the use and distribution of marijuana are experiencing growth. The domestic market for sexual services has also seen a significant increase in turnover since the previous such assessment in 2012.

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news-762Mon, 15 Oct 2018 17:24:00 +0000Factors affecting the Social Status of Suspects and Accusedhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/factors-affecting-the-social-status-of-suspects-and-accused/Around nine million people are the subject of criminal justice proceedings every year in the EU. At the same time, a significant share of those suspected or accused of criminal offences are not found guilty and are never convicted. All suspects, whether finally convicted or not, are presumed innocent until proven guilty according to the law. The presumption of innocence is a fundamental right, a key principle of criminal justice and a universally recognised human rights standard.

Despite the obligation of criminal justice authorities to strictly observe the presumption of innocence, suspects and accused are always subject to certain restrictions and consequences during the criminal proceedings. All of these restrictions have their legitimate purposes but at the same time affect the personal and social sphere of suspects and accused.

During criminal proceedings, suspects and accused, although presumed innocent, are practically placed in an unequal position compared to other members of the society. As a result of the measures and restrictions applied to them, their social status can be affected in a number of ways: temporary or permanent unemployment, loss of income, increased expenses, loss of social benefits, deteriorating relations with family members, etc.

At the same time, the impact of criminal proceedings on suspects and accused is often neglected by the criminal justice authorities, which tend to focus on ensuring the effective progress and outcome of the case, rather than on mitigating the resulting negative implications for suspects and accused. In practice, a criminal case can lead to a certain degree of de-socialisation of the accused person and this risk needs to be taken into account and properly assessed by the criminal justice authorities. Such an assessment should be added to the evaluation of other factors, such as the risk of absconding or reoffending, in order to allow the competent criminal justice body to select and apply the most appropriate combination of measures in each particular case.

This report aims to examine the factors that affect the social status of suspects and accused drawing upon the prevalent legal practices in four European Union Member States: Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, and Italy. 

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news-773Mon, 15 Oct 2018 16:44:00 +0000Understanding Russian Communication Strategy: Case Studies of Serbia and Estoniahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/understanding-russian-communication-strategy-case-studies-of-serbia-and-estonia/Disinformation and propaganda have become key soft power elements in the updated Russian security policy since 2012/13. For Russian leadership disinformation and propaganda have become key instruments to impact domestic debates in EU member states and in the neighbourhood of the EU. This policy aims to weaken cohesion in the EU and its image in the neighbourhood and has become so successful because of the shrinking self-confidence of Western democracies. The study by the German Foreign Relations Institute (IFA) in cooperation with the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) and the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) analyses Russia‘s communication strategy vis-à-vis Serbia and Estonia focusing on the role of Russian media ownership, propaganda and disinformation. The study provides a detailed overview of the tools used by Russian actors and the aims behind disinformation campaigns across Central and Eastern Europe. It shows how Russia has executed a successful communication strategy that takes advantage of institutional gaps to sow discord in societies and expand Russian economic and political influence.

Full text on ifa.Publikationen website

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news-780Mon, 01 Oct 2018 00:00:00 +0000Practices in educating non-nationals about racism, xenophobia and related intolerancehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/practices-in-educating-non-nationals-about-racism-xenophobia-and-related-intolerance/Within the framework of the international initiative Preventing and Combatting Racism and Xenophobia through Social Orientation of Non-Nationals – RACCOMBAT, led by the Center for the Study of Democracy, the present collection gathers 15 promising practices from 12 EU Member States in the area of including fundamental rights knowledge and empowerment against racism, xenophobia and related intolerance into the overall integration process of non-nationals throughout the Union. Practices come from integration systems of very different level of development and are varied in their nature – from private company driven efforts to meet government requirements, concerning integration curricula, to citizen initiatives having found some form of institutionalisation. What unites them all is the concern of institutions, NGOs and individuals that migrants should be given more than basic education, jobs and healthcare – a true sense of citizenship and readiness to counter negative social phenomena, related to hatred.

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news-759Tue, 11 Sep 2018 08:24:00 +0000Who are the European Jihadists?https://csd.bg/publications/publication/who-are-the-european-jihadists/Radicalisaiton and terrorism are key challenges which are the forefront of the security agenda across the globe. A similarly important, related problem is the intersection between these phenomena and other crimes. The nature and type of such links need to be well mapped out and understood to facilitate the development of working counteraction strategies. The current report presents emergent findings of an in-depth study which aims to shed more light on the crime-terror nexus across eleven European Union countries. Radicalisaiton and terrorism are key challenges which are the forefront of the security agenda across the globe. A similarly important, related problem is the intersection between these phenomena and other crimes. The nature and type of such links need to be well mapped out and understood to facilitate the development of working counteraction strategies. The current report presents emergent findings of an in-depth study which aims to shed more light on the crime-terror nexus across eleven European Union countries. European jihadists tend to be poorly educated, young men without stable career prospects. Jihadists are rarely lone-wolf actors, being connected to friendship or family circles sympathetic to the ideology or an online community. The existence of crime-terror nexus is supported by the data, which further indicates that the criminal background of jihadists is more often than previously thought connected to serious rather than petty offences.

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news-750Tue, 04 Sep 2018 10:25:00 +0000Russian Influence in the Media Sectors of the Black Sea Countries: Tools, Narratives and Policy Options for Building Resiliencehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/russian-influence-in-the-media-sectors-of-the-black-sea-countries-tools-narratives-and-policy-opti/The Black Sea region has been subject to increasing pressure and uncertainty, following Russia’s occupation of parts of Georgia in 2008, the annexation of Crimea and destabilization of eastern Ukraine in 2014, and the continuing military stand-off to NATO in the Black Sea and beyond after the intervention in Syria in 2015. These developments have demonstrated Moscow’s determination to revise the post-Cold War order by applying pressure through hard- and softpower instruments on both members and associate partners of the EU and NATO in order to undermine Euro-Atlantic cohesion and unity. A particularly prominently deployed weapon of choice of the Kremlin has been media propaganda and disinformation.The Black Sea region has been subject to increasing pressure and uncertainty, following Russia’s occupation of parts of Georgia in 2008, the annexation of Crimea and destabilization of eastern Ukraine in 2014, and the continuing military stand-off to NATO in the Black Sea and beyond after the intervention in Syria in 2015. These developments have demonstrated Moscow’s determination to revise the post-Cold War order by applying pressure through hard- and softpower instruments on both members and associate partners of the EU and NATO in order to undermine Euro-Atlantic cohesion and unity. A particularly prominently deployed weapon of choice of the Kremlin has been media propaganda and disinformation.

The report examines Russia’s presence and tactics in the media sectors of five Black Sea countries, by assessing the relationship between the Kremlin’s corporate and financial footprint in the media outlets of these states and the dissemination of pro-Russian and anti-Western propaganda content. It confirms that the patterns of ownership, economic dependency and (in)formal political links of media outlets in the countries under investigation to pro-Russian groups and interests are correlated with and reflected into corresponding trends of employing Russia-originating propaganda narratives.

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news-748Tue, 21 Aug 2018 10:22:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 80: The Illicit Trade of Tobacco Products along the Balkan Route – Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Romaniahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-80-the-illicit-trade-of-tobacco-products-along-the-balkan-route-bulgaria-greece/Bulgaria and Romania have long traditions in illicit tobacco trade rooted in the hardships of their transitions to market economy. Unlike them, Greece and Italy enjoyed lower levels of illicit tobacco consumption, which changed with the arrival of the global economic crisis in 2009. Thus by 2012 illicit market soared from 2.2 % up to 8.5 % in Italy and from 2 % up to 10 % in Greece. The economic crisis have also led to sharp increase in illicit tobacco consumption in Bulgaria and Romania as well. However, while Bulgaria and Italy managed to stifle the illicit market, Greece and Romania continue to face high levels of counterfeit and contraband cigarettes.

Bulgaria and Romania have long traditions in illicit tobacco trade rooted in the hardships of their transitions to market economy. Unlike them, Greece and Italy enjoyed lower levels of illicit tobacco consumption, which changed with the arrival of the global economic crisis in 2009. Thus by 2012 illicit market soared from 2.2 % up to 8.5 % in Italy and from 2 % up to 10 % in Greece. The economic crisis have also led to sharp increase in illicit tobacco consumption in Bulgaria and Romania as well. However, while Bulgaria and Italy managed to stifle the illicit market, Greece and Romania continue to face high levels of counterfeit and contraband cigarettes.

The current report examines the development of the illicit tobacco market in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Romania through the prism of economic risks, the political environment in the country and the region, and recent changes in the involved criminal networks and the institutional capabilities for counteraction. The publication was prepared in the framework of the study "Illegal Trade in Tobacco Products and the Balkan Route: Overcoming Institutional Gaps and Corruption" and is funded by PMI-IMPACT, a global initiative to combat illegal trade and related crimes.
 
 
]]>news-790Tue, 31 Jul 2018 00:00:00 +0000ALICE: Adapting Learning in Inclusive Communities and Environmenthttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/alice-adapting-learning-in-inclusive-communities-and-environment/There are quite a lot of studies, which show that having the chance to reveal your true self without the need to play a role is a determining factor in forming a sense of belonging to a community, empathy and mutual support. Fairly often cases of bullying, exclusion and discrimination tend to make kids’ life at school pretty difficult. The international initiative ALICE, which is being implemented in 5 countries across Europe (Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Greece), focuses on the need to create safe spaces, where each student will be able to freely express themselves and his/her needs.

ALICE aims to utilize educational and social pedagogical tools and practices related to the application of pro-social measures intended to involve local communities in promoting the development of tolerance skills and the acceptance of differences among the young people. In particular, the initiative seeks to improve pro-social behavior in school environments, especially in secondary schools.

Four newsletters will be published in the framework of this initiative, presenting the development of activities and results achieved at different project stages in each of the five participant countries.

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news-744Fri, 27 Jul 2018 10:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 79: Decentralisation and Democratisation of the Bulgarian Electricity Sector: Bringing the Country Closer to the EU Climate and Energy Corehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-79-decentralisation-and-democratisation-of-the-bulgarian-electricity-sector-bring/A low-hanging fruit to decarbonise the electricity sector would be the exploitation of Bulgaria’s enormous potential for decentralised power generation through renewable energy sources. Decentralisation of power supply would empower households and contribute to the decline of energy poverty. The first-generation renewable energy policy in Bulgaria was mismanaged to the benefit of a few politically well-connected companies and individuals unleashing a popular backlash against green energy.

A low-hanging fruit to decarbonise the electricity sector would be the exploitation of Bulgaria’s enormous potential for decentralised power generation through renewable energy sources. Decentralisation of power supply would empower households and contribute to the decline of energy poverty. Bulgaria has a long-term potential capacity for decentralized PV-based power generation of more than 5.4 TWh per year, one-seventh of the current power consumption in the country.

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news-742Thu, 26 Jul 2018 09:51:01 +0000Money Laundering Investigation Manual (MLIM)https://csd.bg/publications/publication/money-laundering-investigation-manual-mlim/The Money Laundering Investigation Manual (MLIM) is a specialized product, developed to support the operational work of civil servants, investigation authorities and members of the judiciary in Bulgaria. The MLIM examines and summarizes the main trends, legal framework and the operational activities for the investigation and prosecution of money laundering offences. The publication offers a detailed overview of (a) the national and international legal frameworks for countering money laundering; (b) the specifics of the money laundering offence within the operational work of law enforcement authorities; (c) the investigation process of money laundering; (d) the mutual legal assistance in cases of money laundering; and (e) the process for identification and confiscation of property acquired from criminal and illegal activity.The Money Laundering Investigation Manual (MLIM) is a specialized product, developed to support the operational work of civil servants, investigation authorities and members of the judiciary in Bulgaria. The MLIM examines and summarizes the main trends, legal framework and the operational activities for the investigation and prosecution of money laundering offences. The publication offers a detailed overview of (a) the national and international legal frameworks for countering money laundering; (b) the specifics of the money laundering offence within the operational work of law enforcement authorities; (c) the investigation process of money laundering; (d) the mutual legal assistance in cases of money laundering; and (e) the process for identification and confiscation of property acquired from criminal and illegal activity.

The MLIM was prepared at the initiative of the Center for the Study of Democracy and is intended for use by officials of the Ministry of Interior, the State Agency for National Security, the National Investigation Service, the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Commission for countering corruption and for confiscation of illegally acquired assets.

The development of the Handbook involved cooperation and contribution from representatives of the state administration and the judiciary, including the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor's Office, the Specialized Administrative Directorate "Financial Intelligence" and the Specialized Financial Security Directorate at the State Agency for National Security, the General Directorate "National Police" and the Directorate for Combating Organized Crime at the Ministry of the Interior, and the Commission for countering corruption and for confiscation of illegally acquired assets.

Due to the sensitivity of the information the MLIM is not intended for public use and/or distribution, and was developed for the exclusive ownership of the relevant government authorities. The publication was produced with the financial support of the Bulgarian-Swiss cooperation programme.

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news-740Thu, 26 Jul 2018 09:46:00 +0000Victims’ Booklethttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/victims-booklet/The Victims’ Booklet has been published under the initiative ‘Pro Victims Justice through an Enhanced Rights’ Protection and Stakeholders Cooperation’ and looks at the stages of criminal proceedings and the rights of victims of crime under the national legislation of Bulgaria, Romania, Germany and Sweden. The Victims’ Booklet has been published under the initiative ‘Pro Victims Justice through an Enhanced Rights’ Protection and Stakeholders Cooperation’ and looks at the stages of criminal proceedings and the rights of victims of crime under the national legislation of Bulgaria, Romania, Germany and Sweden. At the end of each country presentation there is a link to a database, containing useful information on the institutions and organisations guaranteeing protection of victims’ rights. The Booklet is directed towards representatives of law enforcement and the judiciary, victim support organisations’ experts as well as citizens who have been victimised by a crime.

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news-738Thu, 26 Jul 2018 09:37:29 +0000Referral Mechanism to Assist Victims of Crime in Domestic and Cross-Border Caseshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/referral-mechanism-to-assist-victims-of-crime-in-domestic-and-cross-border-cases/The Referral Mechanism to Assist Victims of Crime in Domestic and Cross-Border Cases has been published under the initiative ‘Pro Victims Justice through an Enhanced Rights’ Protection and Stakeholders Cooperation’ and looks at legal framework of victim protection on European and national level, the procedures for identifying victims in Bulgaria, Romania, Germany and Sweden and the respective indicators.The Referral Mechanism to Assist Victims of Crime in Domestic and Cross-Border Cases has been published under the initiative ‘Pro Victims Justice through an Enhanced Rights’ Protection and Stakeholders Cooperation’ and looks at legal framework of victim protection on European and national level, the procedures for identifying victims in Bulgaria, Romania, Germany and Sweden and the respective indicators. The Mechanism tackles also the referral to free legal aid and the main stages of criminal proceedings and the rights victims have in domestic and cross-border cases. The publication offers a short overview of institutions and organisations guaranteeing the rights of those persons in the participating countries. The Mechanism is directed towards representatives of competent law enforcement and judicial authorities, practicing lawyers, as well as citizens victimised by crime.

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news-736Thu, 26 Jul 2018 09:21:33 +0000Analysis of social orientation in six EU Member Stateshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/analysis-of-social-orientation-in-six-eu-member-states/Experts from six EU Member States – Bulgaria, Belgium, Greece, Austria, Romania and Latvia – led by the Center for the Study of Democracy completed the analysis of the systems of social orientation for non-nationals in the participating countries under the initiative ‘Preventing and Combatting Racism and Xenophobia through Social Orientation of Non-Nationals – RACCOMBAT’. Experts from six EU Member States – Bulgaria, Belgium, Greece, Austria, Romania and Latvia – led by the Center for the Study of Democracy completed the analysis of the systems of social orientation for non-nationals in the participating countries under the initiative ‘Preventing and Combatting Racism and Xenophobia through Social Orientation of Non-Nationals – RACCOMBAT’. The publications look at how social orientation and language courses and modules tackle subjects like protection against discrimination, powers and functions of law enforcement and the judiciary, what procedures are in place in cases of violations of foreigners’ rights and how they can get legal aid. Based on this detailed review, experts make an assessment as to how social orientation of non-nationals can empower them against racism and xenophobia and prepare them for full fledged participation and integration in the life of the host community.

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news-734Thu, 26 Jul 2018 08:52:54 +0000Country reports on the factors affecting the social status of suspects and accusedhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/country-reports-on-the-factors-affecting-the-social-status-of-suspects-and-accused/The country reports summarise the findings of the analysis of the factors affecting the social status of suspects and accused in four EU Member States: Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece and Italy. The country reports summarise the findings of the analysis of the factors affecting the social status of suspects and accused in four EU Member States: Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece and Italy. Each report offers information about the legal restrictions and remand measures applied on suspects and accused during the criminal proceedings, their impact on the accused person’s economic status, personal life, and family and community links, and the rules and practices for disclosing information about the proceedings to third persons, to the public and to the media.

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news-731Thu, 26 Jul 2018 08:25:16 +0000Mapping reports on social orientation in twelve EU Member Stateshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/mapping-reports-on-social-orientation-in-twelve-eu-member-states/Experts from six EU Member States – Bulgaria, Belgium, Greece, Austria, Romania and Latvia – led by the Center for the Study of Democracy completed the mapping of the systems of social orientation for non-nationals in twelve EU Member States. Experts from six EU Member States – Bulgaria, Belgium, Greece, Austria, Romania and Latvia – led by the Center for the Study of Democracy completed the mapping of the systems of social orientation for non-nationals in twelve EU Member States. The overviews concerned the legal framework under which social orientation is delivered, the course/module providers, the audience targeted by the social orientation efforts. Description is given of the courses’ most important parameters, such as length, format and language of delivery. The social orientation content is elaborated upon in detail, including the modules’ aims, themes covered, teaching methods and participation of the host society. The mapping covers both ‘typical’ social orientation courses and language tuition modules and will serve as basis for an in-depth analysis of fundamental rights components taught to non-nationals to steer them towards full fledged citizenship and empower them against racism and xenophobia.

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news-729Thu, 26 Jul 2018 08:12:10 +0000Mapping of stakeholders in the area of victim supporthttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/mapping-of-stakeholders-in-the-area-of-victim-support/The present report outlines the structure and components of systems of victims support in Bulgaria, Romania, Sweden and Germany. The rights of victims in the four Member States’ legislations are outlined, as well as the general and specific victim support entities in them and the models of their coordination and co-operation. The present report outlines the structure and components of systems of victims support in Bulgaria, Romania, Sweden and Germany. The rights of victims in the four Member States’ legislations are outlined, as well as the general and specific victim support entities in them and the models of their coordination and co-operation. The cross-border support of victims is specifically described and a directory of all institutions and NGOs involved in the victims’ area is provided. Special attention is given to the various victims’ helplines in the Member States under study and their modes of work and financing. The report can serve as reference to both institutions and NGOs concerned and victims of crime in domestic and cross border cases.

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news-717Wed, 25 Jul 2018 10:10:04 +0000Russian Economic Footprint in the Western Balkans. Corruption and State Capture Riskshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/russian-economic-footprint-in-the-western-balkans-corruption-and-state-capture-risks/The Western Balkans have become one of the regions, in which Russia has increasingly sought to (re)assert its presence in the past decade. In attempt to improve the understanding of the impact of the interplay between existing governance gaps and the inflow of authoritarian capital in the region, the Center for the Study of Democracy developed an assessment of the Russian economic footprint in Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Western Balkans have become one of the regions, in which Russia has increasingly sought to (re)assert its presence in the past decade. In attempt to improve the understanding of the impact of the interplay between existing governance gaps and the inflow of authoritarian capital in the region, the Center for the Study of Democracy developed an assessment of the Russian economic footprint in Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although in absolute numbers Russian investment in the region has increased by more than EUR 3 billion, Russia’s economic footprint as share of the total economy in the Western Balkans has shrunk or stagnated in the wake international sanctions over the annexation of Crimea. Because Russian businesses are concentrated in a small number of strategic sectors however – such as banking, energy, metallurgy and real estate – the four small, energy-dependent countries assessed in this report remain vulnerable to Russian pressure. An overreliance on Russian imports, coupled with an expansion of Russian capital, has made the governments of the Western Balkans particularly susceptible to pressures on strategic decisions related not only to energy market diversification and liberalization, but also to Russian sanctions, and NATO and EU expansion

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news-713Wed, 25 Jul 2018 09:05:29 +0000Private Sector Corruption in Bulgariahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/private-sector-corruption-in-bulgaria/The analysis is one of the first attempts to explore the phenomenon of private corruption in Bulgaria. A methodology (Private corruption barometer) has been developed and applied to assess levels of prevalence and specific characteristics of corruption in the private sector. The analysis is one of the first attempts to explore the phenomenon of private corruption in Bulgaria. A methodology (Private corruption barometer) has been developed and applied to assess levels of prevalence and specific characteristics of corruption in the private sector. The problem of private corruption is relatively new in terms of research practice as the prevailing view of corruption is that it is a governance problem and does not strictly apply to private sector management. Private corruption barometer data show that the practices and mechanisms observed in the private sector are very similar to the overall corruption situation in the country and should therefore not be neglected.

Countering Corruption in the Private Sector

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news-709Wed, 25 Jul 2018 06:49:36 +0000Mapping the Links between Russian Influence and Media Capture in Black Sea Countrieshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/mapping-the-links-between-russian-influence-and-media-capture-in-black-sea-countries/Russia’s influence over the media sector in Central and East Europe and its effect on democratic governance in these countries has become a growing concern. To address these issues, the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) has engaged in analyzing the Russian economic footprint and ownership links in the media sector in the Black Sea region. Russia’s influence over the media sector in Central and East Europe and its effect on democratic governance in these countries has become a growing concern. To address these issues, the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) has engaged in analyzing the Russian economic footprint and ownership links in the media sector in the Black Sea region. The preliminary results provide an overview of the tools used by Russian-controlled media for disseminating content and political messages. The current brief summarizes the main conclusions from the discussion on the topic, held on 22 February 2018.

Discussion on the topic

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news-707Wed, 25 Jul 2018 06:26:22 +0000Statement by the Center for the Study of Democracy regarding Russia’s Economic Footprint in the Western Balkanshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/statement-by-the-center-for-the-study-of-democracy-regarding-russias-economic-footprint-in-the-west/The current Statement by Mr. Ruslan Stefanov, Director, Economic Program, Center for the Study of Democracy was presented during a briefing at the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, on 30 January 2018 in Washington. The current Statement by Mr. Ruslan Stefanov, Director, Economic Program, Center for the Study of Democracy was presented during a briefing at the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, on 30 January 2018 in Washington. The briefing was dedicated to the topic of Foreign Meddling in the Western Balkans: Guarding against Economic Vulnerabilities. In his Statement, Mr. Stefanov underlines that the Western Balkans have become one of the regions, in which Russia, among others, has increasingly sought to (re)assert its presence in the past decade. Thus far, the region has remained on its chosen course of Euroatlantic integration towards market economy and democratic transition. But the countries from the region need to not just recognise their vulnerability but also know their level of that vulnerability, and work to close existing governance gaps, which allow the penetration of corrosive capital and democratic backsliding. 

Helsinki Commission Briefing to Assesses Foreign Economic Influence in the Western Balkans 

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news-705Tue, 24 Jul 2018 11:54:32 +0000Manual on model practices for the identification, needs assessment and referral of victims https://csd.bg/publications/publication/manual-on-model-practices-for-the-identification-needs-assessment-and-referral-of-victims/The manual on model practices for the identification, needs assessment and referral of victims is a result of a research effort by a transnational team of academics, policy makers and practitioners, including representatives of the Center for the Study of Democracy. The manual on model practices for the identification, needs assessment and referral of victims is a result of a research effort by a transnational team of academics, policy makers and practitioners, including representatives of the Center for the Study of Democracy. It distills EU law standards, regarding the identification, needs assessment and referral mechanisms for victims, compares them with findings about the situation in a number of Member States and points to model practices from police, medical and social authorities, as well as NGOs, which best reflect the spirit of European standards and serve the needs of victims in an adequate and comprehensive manner.

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news-703Tue, 24 Jul 2018 11:32:22 +0000Handbook for professionals assisting victims of traffickinghttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/handbook-for-professionals-assisting-victims-of-trafficking/The handbook for legal, social and health professionals involved in the protection of the rights and in the assistance of victims of human trafficking was prepared by a transnational team of experts, including representatives of the Center for the Study of Democracy.The handbook for legal, social and health professionals involved in the protection of the rights and in the assistance of victims of human trafficking was prepared by a transnational team of experts, including representatives of the Center for the Study of Democracy. It tackles the legal framework of protecting and supporting victims of trafficking, the process of secondary victimisation by the criminal justice system, the role of psychologists and social workers in the criminal process and the multidisciplinary work in processing trafficking cases.

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news-746Thu, 19 Jul 2018 10:16:00 +0000Development of Small-Scale Renewable Energy Sources in Bulgaria: Legislative and Administrative Challengeshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/development-of-small-scale-renewable-energy-sources-in-bulgaria-legislative-and-administrative-chal/This report explores the potential and the obstacles before the decentralization of electricity supply in Bulgaria. With the ongoing phase-out of the first generation of state-support measures to developing renewables, Bulgarian policy-makers have been late to define new ways to foster the decarbonisation of the electricity system while maintaining security of supply. A low-hanging fruit would be the exploitation of Bulgaria’s enormous potential for decentralised generation of electricity through renewable energy sources. Unlocking it would contribute to a national energy revolution, which would also be the cheapest and most fiscally neutral way to increase the share of renewables in the electricity system.

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news-719Thu, 28 Jun 2018 11:38:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 78: Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation in Bulgaria: Criminal Finances and Capacity for Financial Investigationshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-78-trafficking-for-sexual-exploitation-in-bulgaria-criminal-finances-and-capacity/Trafficking in human beings (THB) for the purpose of sexual exploitation has become one of the largest Bulgarian criminal markets since the beginning of the new millennium. After the lifting of Schengen visas for Bulgarian nationals in 2001, Bulgaria became a major country of origin for the trafficking in human beings exploited in the EU.Trafficking in human beings (THB) for the purpose of sexual exploitation has become one of the largest Bulgarian criminal markets since the beginning of the new millennium. After the lifting of Schengen visas for Bulgarian nationals in 2001, Bulgaria became a major country of origin for the trafficking in human beings exploited in the EU. THB and prostitution not only generate huge incomes for Bulgarian organised crime but also have detrimental social and economic impact on local communities.

There is an urgent need to develop effective mechanisms for coordination between criminal and financial investigations within the prosecution, as well as with the other relevant institutions.

Financing of Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation

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news-758Wed, 06 Jun 2018 08:14:00 +0000From criminals to terrorists and back: Bulgaria quarterly reporthttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/from-criminals-to-terrorists-and-back-bulgaria-quarterly-report/Radicalisation and terrorism as well as their possible intersection with other crimes are key security challenges in Europe. The current report presents emergent findings on the link between extremism and crime in Bulgaria. Radicalisation and terrorism as well as their possible intersection with other crimes are key security challenges in Europe. The current report presents emergent findings on the link between extremism and crime in Bulgaria. Examining the crime-terror nexus in Bulgaria is fraught by a number of problems, most importantly the low number of arrestees for whom sufficient data can be gathered and analysed. Nevertheless, the limited data suggests no connection between radical Islamism and crime in the country. In contrast to many other European countries, the terrorism and radicalisation threats faced by Bulgaria include an external dimension. This is the case even with regard to homegrown radicalisation which has been observed as a result of the importation and spread among vulnerable populations of radical Islamist ideologies, untypical to Islam as practiced in Bulgaria.

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news-715Wed, 30 May 2018 10:05:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 77: Making Democracy Deliver in the Western Balkans: Strengthening Governance and Anticorruptionhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-77-making-democracy-deliver-in-the-western-balkans-strengthening-governance-and-a/In 2018 the EU and NATO and the countries from the Western Balkans have a unique chance to reinvigorate the Euro Atlantic perspective of the region. There are many areas of concern that require attention but anticorruption and good governance remain the most critical to tackling the two key risks for the Western Balkans. In 2018 the EU and NATO and the countries from the Western Balkans have a unique chance to reinvigorate the Euro Atlantic perspective of the region. There are many areas of concern that require attention but anticorruption and good governance remain the most critical to tackling the two key risks for the Western Balkans. On the one hand, countering corruption and state capture will free the economy from the monopoly of entrenched political-economic groups and will open up space for spurring entrepreneurship and lowering unemployment. On the other hand, strengthening the rule of law and governance will improve the resilience of the region to malicious meddling from external powers intent to derailing its Euro Atlantic integration.

The current policy brief provides key policy recommendations on delivering reforms in this domain through the successful triangulation of the efforts of reformist-minded local politicians, active civil society, and supportive international partners and donors.

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news-733Thu, 29 Mar 2018 08:46:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 76: The Management of Frozen and Forfeited Assets in Bulgariahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-76-the-management-of-frozen-and-forfeited-assets-in-bulgaria/Civil forfeiture of illegally acquired assets is one of the most important tools in the fight against crime. Forfeiture is used by state authorities to strip criminals of their illicit proceeds, thereby preventing them from expanding illegal activities and reinvesting their proceeds into the legal economy.Civil forfeiture of illegally acquired assets is one of the most important tools in the fight against crime. Forfeiture is used by state authorities to strip criminals of their illicit proceeds, thereby preventing them from expanding illegal activities and reinvesting their proceeds into the legal economy. A secondary benefit of forfeiture is that forfeited property, or the proceeds of its sale, may be used to provide specialised services for the benefit of victims of crime. Moreover, the social re-use of forfeited criminal assets, which are transferred to local municipal authorities or non-governmental organizations, may serve as setting a public example for crime groups and is key in achieving transparency in the fight against crime.

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news-711Thu, 15 Mar 2018 07:12:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 75: The Tobacco Market in Bulgaria: Trends and Riskshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-75-the-tobacco-market-in-bulgaria-trends-and-risks/The illicit tobacco market is one of the key sources of revenue for organized crime in Bulgaria. During the economic turmoil in 2009-2014 the annual proceeds from this criminal activity have reached between 0.5% and 1% of the country's GDP. At the same time the budget revenues from tobacco taxation (both excise and VAT) contribute for 9 and 10% per year of the overall tax revenues in Bulgaria.The illicit tobacco market is one of the key sources of revenue for organized crime in Bulgaria. During the economic turmoil in 2009-2014 the annual proceeds from this criminal activity have reached between 0.5% and 1% of the country's GDP. At the same time the budget revenues from tobacco taxation (both excise and VAT) contribute for 9 and 10% per year of the overall tax revenues in Bulgaria.

The current report examines the development of the illicit tobacco market in Bulgaria through the prism of economic risks, the political environment in the country and the region, and recent changes in the involved criminal networks and the institutional capabilities for counteraction. The publication was prepared in the framework of the study "Illegal Trade in Tobacco Products and the Balkan Route: Overcoming Institutional Gaps and Corruption" and is funded by PMI-IMPACT, a global initiative to combat illegal trade and related crimes.

The illicit tobacco market: limits to institutional enforcement

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news-727Wed, 31 Jan 2018 08:09:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 74: Assessing Russia's Economic Footprint in Bosnia and Herzegovinahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-74-assessing-russias-economic-footprint-in-bosnia-and-herzegovina/Russia has been one of the key political players in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the Dayton Accords brought the 1992 – 1995 war to its end. According to the peace agreement, Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of two entities – the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Republika Srpska (RS) with roughly equal territories – and the Brcko District. It is in RS, the entity with a Serb majority, that Russia has gained the most traction. Russia has particularly backed RS’s opposition to the Transatlantic integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as RS secession initiatives. Many regional observers feel that the secessionist aspirations of RS could potentially lead to a new regional conflict. Russia has been one of the key political players in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the Dayton Accords brought the 1992 – 1995 war to its end. According to the peace agreement, Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of two entities – the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Republika Srpska (RS) with roughly equal territories – and the Brcko District. It is in RS, the entity with a Serb majority, that Russia has gained the most traction. Russia has particularly backed RS’s opposition to the Transatlantic integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as RS secession initiatives. Many regional observers feel that the secessionist aspirations of RS could potentially lead to a new regional conflict. 

The current policy brief highlights that Bosnia and Herzegovina is completely dependent on Russian gas supplies. Russian companies also control the country’s two refineries, both located in Republika Srpska. Russia has consistently been the largest foreign investor in RS and the fourth largest in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with around EUR 547 million of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country over the 2005 – 2016 period.

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news-725Tue, 30 Jan 2018 08:05:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 73: Assessing Russia's Economic Footprint in Montenegrohttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-73-assessing-russias-economic-footprint-in-montenegro/The last decade has seen a significant level of economic engagement by Russian companies and individuals in Montenegro. Vital economic ties have been sustained despite the fact that bilateral political relations worsened as this small Adriatic country stepped up its efforts to complete the NATO accession process. The deterioration of political relations between the two countries culminated in an alleged failed coup attempt in 2016 and the Russian backing of the opposition Democratic Front (DF) party. Even so, Russian investment flows never dropped below 10 % of total foreign direct investment (FDI). The last decade has seen a significant level of economic engagement by Russian companies and individuals in Montenegro. Vital economic ties have been sustained despite the fact that bilateral political relations worsened as this small Adriatic country stepped up its efforts to complete the NATO accession process. The deterioration of political relations between the two countries culminated in an alleged failed coup attempt in 2016 and the Russian backing of the opposition Democratic Front (DF) party. Even so, Russian investment flows never dropped below 10 % of total foreign direct investment (FDI). 

The current policy brief underlines that Russia has exploited governance gaps to take advantage of lucrative privatization opportunities and to extract state subsidies in Montenegro. The authors also highlight that Russia has assertively tried to meddle in Montenegro’s domestic politics.

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news-723Mon, 29 Jan 2018 08:02:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 72: Assessing Russia's Economic Footprint in Serbiahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-72-assessing-russias-economic-footprint-in-serbia/The Russian economic footprint has been deepening in some countries in the Western Balkans for at least a decade. In what is the most visible manifestation of this trend, Russian entities have gradually taken over the Serbian energy sector. Russian entities, directly or indirectly affect as much as 10 % of the economy. Notably, corporate presence measured by volume of revenues and assets controlled by Russian companies in Serbia is even larger than in Montenegro, where Russian foreign direct investments are a third of the country’s GDP. The Russian economic footprint has been deepening in some countries in the Western Balkans for at least a decade. In what is the most visible manifestation of this trend, Russian entities have gradually taken over the Serbian energy sector. Russian entities, directly or indirectly affect as much as 10 % of the economy. Notably, corporate presence measured by volume of revenues and assets controlled by Russian companies in Serbia is even larger than in Montenegro, where Russian foreign direct investments are a third of the country’s GDP. 

There are two main interconnected factors in Russo-Serbian relations that have laid the foundations for Russia’s expanded power in the country. One is Russian support for Serbia’s non-recognition of Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence, and the second is a 2008 energy agreement that included Gazprom’s takeover of Serbia’s largest state-owned company, oil and gas firm Naftna Industrija Srbije (NIS). 

The current policy brief notes that in addition to the corporate investments, Russia has used direct government-to-government loan schemes to enhance its presence in the Serbian economy. The authors also highlight that Russia has compounded its political ties with Serbia and its economic presence in the country by leveraging traditional pro-Russian, pan-Slavic, and pan-Orthodox attitudes via a series of soft power initiatives.

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news-721Sun, 28 Jan 2018 07:51:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 71: Assessing Russian Economic Footprint in Macedoniahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-71-assessing-russian-economic-footprint-in-macedonia/Russia’s economic footprint in Macedonia has often been perceived as non-existent at best or very limited at worst. However, a detailed assessment of the Russian presence in the country reveals a more nuanced picture, in which many of the engagement channels are indirect, including through third parties and offshore companies. The revenues of Russian companies operating in Macedonia grew fourfold from EUR 63 million in 2006 to over EUR 212 million in 2015.Russia’s economic footprint in Macedonia has often been perceived as non-existent at best or very limited at worst. However, a detailed assessment of the Russian presence in the country reveals a more nuanced picture, in which many of the engagement channels are indirect, including through third parties and offshore companies. The revenues of Russian companies operating in Macedonia grew fourfold from EUR 63 million in 2006 to over EUR 212 million in 2015.

Much of the Russian investment in Macedonia is channeled via third countries including through offshore havens like Cyprus and Belize, obscuring the true extent of the economic footprint. Russia has also engendered the Macedonian energy dependence by controlling the single gas route to the country – via the TransBalkan Pipeline. Gazprom charges Macedonia one of the highest gas prices in Europe and has locked in the country in a costly expansion of the natural gas network. The current policy brief underlines that though the Russian economic footprint in Macedonia has been much less pronounced than in other Western Balkan countries, there is significant potential for future growth considering Russia’s project plans in the energy sector over the next decade. The authors also note that over the last two years, Russia has skillfully exploited Macedonia’s political instability, striving to undermine the country’s Trans-Atlantic ties.

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news-674Thu, 30 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0000Sustainable Policy Impact through State-of-the-Art Research and Advocacyhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/sustainable-policy-impact-through-state-of-the-art-research-and-advocacy/The Southeast Europe Leadership for Development and Integrity (SELDI)network is the largest indigenous anti-corruption and good governancecoalition in the region of Southeast Europe (SEE), created by CSOs from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo*, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey (also including partners from Moldova and Romania).

The Southeast Europe Leadership for Development and Integrity (SELDI) network is the largest indigenous anti-corruption and good governance coalition in the region of Southeast Europe (SEE), created by CSOs from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo*, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey (also including partners from Moldova and Romania). SELDI pools resources and expertise from a total of 42 CSO organisations (both members and associates) to become a representative group of the regional CSO community on anti-corruption and good governance. SELDI contributes to a dynamic civil society in the region, capable of participating in public debate and influencing policy and decision-making process in the area of anti-corruption and good governance.

The publication provides a review of the architecture and key results from the main methodological instruments, applied by the Southeast Europe Leadership for Development and Integrity network in Southeast Europe. SELDI’s advocacy impact, channelled through local ownership and strong public-private partnership foundation, is built upon stateof-the-art corruption and hidden economy monitoring tools. SELDI’s constant drive for social innovation has pushed its members to also devise new instruments, particularly in response to recently emerged, complex and systemic corruption practices in the region. More specifically, the network has developed, and plans to apply comprehensively across the SEE, instruments to assess the state capture phenomenon and identify concrete anti-corruption implementation gaps on institutional level.

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news-757Sun, 12 Nov 2017 19:23:00 +0000From Criminals to Terrorists and Back Kick-off Reporthttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/from-criminals-to-terrorists-and-back-kick-off-report/Radicalisaiton and terrorism are among the most pressing security concerns facing Europe. At the same time, intersections and convergence between crime on the one hand and terrorism on the other has the potential to amplify security risks. Radicalisaiton and terrorism are among the most pressing security concerns facing Europe. At the same time, intersections and convergence between crime on the one hand and terrorism on the other has the potential to amplify security risks. The current report lays the foundation for an in-depth study aiming to shed more light on the crime-terror nexus across eleven European Union countries. Preliminary results indicate that there is significant variety among the examined countries. Significantly, Western European such as Germany and the Netherlands seem to face the emergence of “gangster jihad”, with radicalised individuals often exhibiting experience with other criminal activities. On the other side of the spectrum, to date findings from Bulgaria indicate no signs of the existence of a crime-terror nexus.

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news-673Tue, 31 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000SEERMAP Bulgaria Country Reporthttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/seermap-bulgaria-country-report/The South East Europe Electricity Roadmap (SEERMAP) develops three electricity sector scenarios until 2050 for the South East Europe region. The project focuses on 9 countries in South East Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, FYR of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia.The South East Europe Electricity Roadmap (SEERMAP) develops three electricity sector scenarios until 2050 for the South East Europe region. The project focuses on 9 countries in South East Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, FYR of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia. The implications of different investment strategies in the electricity sector are assessed for affordability, energy security, sustainability and security of supply.

The Bulgarian report summarizes the main findings for the development of the electricity sector in the country until 2050. Some of the main findings focus on the strategies for decarbonizing electricity supply until 2050. Regardless of whether or not Bulgaria pursues an active policy to decarbonise its electricity sector a significant shift away from fossil fuels to renewables will take place. Due to aging power plants Bulgaria will need to replace approximately 97% of its existing conventional generation fleet by 2050. Natural gas plays a transitional role on the path towards low carbon generation in the ‘delayed’ and ‘decarbonisation’ scenarios. However in the ‘no target’ scenario its capacity triples compared to the present level, and generates more than 10 times more electricity than today in 2040. By 2050, the ‘decarbonisation’ scenario demonstrates that it is technically feasible and financially viable for Bulgaria to reach 96.7% emission reduction with its abundant RES resources and nuclear generation. Decarbonisation does not drive up wholesale prices relative to other scenarios with less ambitious RES policies and actually reduces them after 2045. The high penetration of RES in all scenarios suggests that a robust no-regret action for Bulgaria energy policy is to focus on enabling RES integration. This involves the improvement of the regulatory framework to ease investments in new RES capacity and robust state support for new renewable energy facilities financed by the sale of CO2 emission quotas.
 

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news-671Mon, 30 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 70: A Roadmap for the Development of the Bulgarian Electricity Sector within the EU Until 2050https://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-70-a-roadmap-for-the-development-of-the-bulgarian-electricity-sector-within-the-eu/Based on data and modelling used by the European Commission, three scenarios for the decarbonisation of the Bulgarian electricity sector until 2050 have been developed. These scenarios provide the model framework for policy decision-making for Bulgaria in all energy domains. The results suggest the necessity for active policy-making on a number of sensitive energy issues, often linked to entrenched special interests.Based on data and modelling used by the European Commission, three scenarios for the decarbonisation of the Bulgarian electricity sector until 2050 have been developed. These scenarios provide the model framework for policy decision-making for Bulgaria in all energy domains. The results suggest the necessity for active policy-making on a number of sensitive energy issues, often linked to entrenched special interests.

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news-672Mon, 30 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000Cross-border organised crime: Bulgaria and Norway in the Context of the Migrant Crisishttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/cross-border-organised-crime-bulgaria-and-norway-in-the-context-of-the-migrant-crisis/The irregular migrant and refugee crisis poses serious challenges for Europe. The unprecedented migration pressure presents an opportunityfor the generation of substantial profits by organised criminal networks. The large influx of irregular migrants looking for facilitation has led to the development of human smuggling as a substantial criminal market in Europe. On the other hand, some countries have experienced a concurrent rise in human trafficking cases.
The irregular migrant and refugee crisis poses serious challenges for Europe. The unprecedented migration pressure presents an opportunity for the generation of substantial profits by organised criminal networks. The large influx of irregular migrants looking for facilitation has led to the development of human smuggling as a substantial criminal market in Europe. On the other hand, some countries have experienced a concurrent rise in human trafficking cases.

The current publication presents an analysis of recent developments in transnational organised crime in Norway and Bulgaria in the context of the migrant crisis. The study presents the first in-depth examination of human smuggling networks and operations in Bulgaria, as well as the synergies and differences between this illicit activity and other organised criminal enterprises, particularly human trafficking. The publication also reviews trends in Norway related to both human trafficking and smuggling, two crimes which have rarely been examined together, with the latter being the focus of little overall research.

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news-793Sat, 30 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0000Reports on the provision of orientation training to asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protectionhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/reports-on-the-provision-of-orientation-training-to-asylum-seekers-and-beneficiaries-of-internationa/In the context of an initiative to enhance the integration of women beneficiaries of international protection by development and implementation of adequate integration trainings the Catalan Commission for Refugees in Spain (CCAR) and the Foundation for Social Studies in Italy (CENSIS) developed reports summarizing the training materials for migrants and beneficiaries of international protection used in each country by various public institutions and NGOs. The collected set of materials covers important areas of integration such as labor market insertion, cultural and civic orientation, the asylum procedure and related rights, language training. They are to serve as reference and an example to draw on in the development of targeted training modules for (women) beneficiaries of international protection in Bulgaria, Greece and Malta.

 

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news-670Wed, 20 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0000Whose responsibility? Reflections on accountability of private security in Southeast Europehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/whose-responsibility-reflections-on-accountability-of-private-security-in-southeast-europe/Private security companies (PSCs) play an increasingly important role in the security sector of most countries in Europe and elsewhere. As providers of security services, PSCs and their activities have a direct impact on security, human rights and a country’s democratic order. It is therefore in the interest of the public that PSCs are effectively regulated and accountable for alleged wrongdoings.
Private security companies (PSCs) play an increasingly important role in the security sector of most countries in Europe and elsewhere. As providers of security services, PSCs and their activities have a direct impact on security, human rights and a country’s democratic order. It is therefore in the interest of the public that PSCs are effectively regulated and accountable for alleged wrongdoings.

An overview of the situation in Southeast Europe and beyond indicates that security sector oversight bodies, such as parliaments, so far have shown very little interest in overseeing the private security sector. There seems to be a lack of understanding of the role that private security plays in the security sector and how key principles of good security sector governance, such as transparency, participation, efficiency and accountability, apply to them.

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news-669Sun, 10 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0000South East Electricity Roadmap (SEERMAP) Reporthttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/south-east-electricity-roadmap-seermap-report/Through a five modelling exercises incorporating the gas and power markets, the transmission network and the macroeconomic system, The South East Electricity Roadmap (SEERMAP) Report elaborates comprehensive scenarios for the transformation of the electricity sector towards a full decarbonisation of electricity generation and a reduction of emissions by 91% by 2050 compared to 1990. The research was carried out by a consortium of 5 partners led by the Hungarian-based Regional Centre for Energy Policy Research (REKK) and the Technical University (TU) in Vienna, and involved 9 local partners.

The South East Europe region will need to replace more than 30% of its current fossil fuel generation capacity by the end of 2030, and more than 95% by 2050, according to the long-term energy policy of the European Union. How to obtain these objectives is a policy challenge that requires consistent implementation of a renewable energy policy that provides incentives for new investment. Through a five modelling exercises incorporating the gas and power markets, the transmission network and the macroeconomic system, The South East Electricity Roadmap (SEERMAP) Report elaborates comprehensive scenarios for the transformation of the electricity sector towards a full decarbonisation of electricity generation and a reduction of emissions by 91% by 2050 compared to 1990. The research was carried out by a consortium of 5 partners led by the Hungarian-based Regional Centre for Energy Policy Research (REKK) and the Technical University (TU) in Vienna, and involved 9 local partners.

The Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) has been the local partner, who was responsible for the Bulgarian energy data verification, the analysis of the country’s renewable energy policy and the development of country-relevant policy recommendations. CSD also served as an intermediary between the research group and the Bulgarian energy ministry officials responsible for future energy strategy.

The SEERMAP Report has developed three core scenarios for energy transition in South East Europe including:

  • A ‘no-target’ scenario reflects the implementation of existing energy policy (including implementation of renewable energy targets for 2020 and construction of all power plants included in official planning documents) combined with a CO₂ price (which is only envisaged from 2030 onwards for non EU member states). The scenario does not include an explicit 2050 CO₂ target or a renewables target for the electricity sectors of the EU member states or countries in the Western Balkans;
  • A ‘decarbonisation’ scenario reflects a long-term strategy to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in line with the indicative targets of the EU for emission reduction goals by 2050 through an increasing carbon price and dedicated RES support.
  • A ‘delayed’ scenario includes the initial implementation of business-as-usual energy policies and investment plans followed by a drastic shift in the policy direction starting from 2035 that includes RES support scheme and an accelerated phasing-out of coal generation capacity driven out by the high carbon price and replaced by renewable energy investment.


Some of the key findings from the study include:

  • The SEERMAP region would have an electricity mix with 83-86% renewable generation, mostly hydro and wind, and a significant share of solar by 2050. If renewable support is phased out and no CO₂ emission target is set, but a carbon price is applied, the share of RES in electricity consumption will rise to around 58% in 2050 from current levels.
  • Even with RES support phased out after 2025, the region’s electricity sector will experience a very significant decarbonisation by 2050, with a reduction in emissions of almost 91% by 2050 compared with 1990.
  • Driven by high carbon price, a significant amount of fossil fuel based generation capacity will be replaced by 2050. Coal, lignite and oil capacities are phased out almost completely under all scenarios resulting in lower and unprofitable utilisation rates.
  • Natural gas remains relevant as a transition fuel to temporary replace the phased-out coal generation capacity.
  • Decarbonisation will require continued RES support during the entire period. However, the need for support decreases as the electricity wholesale price increases and thereby incentivises significant RES investment even without support.



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news-792Mon, 31 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0000Reports on the training needs of beneficiaries of international protectionhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/reports-on-the-training-needs-of-beneficiaries-of-international-protection/In the context of increased refugee inflows in the European continent it becomes highly relevant to identify and implement practical actions responding to existing gaps in the systems of migrant/refugee integration across the EU member states. Of particular importance is the provision of adequate training responding to the information and integration needs of refugees and particularly to those of refugee women. In the framework of an initiative aiming to address this challenge in five member states (Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain) Center for the Study of Democracy coordinated the drafting of five national reports that trace the information and orientation needs of asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection and the gaps in the provision of information and training. The reports provide review of the unmet needs of the target groups in the area of information and orientation provision. Following the identification of factors hampering the proper implementation of information and orientation programmes, the reports provide recommendations for addressing the existing gaps. The reports are to serve as basis for development of targeted training modules for (women) beneficiaries of international protection in Bulgaria, Greece and Malta.
 

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news-668Wed, 17 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 69: Money Laundering in Bulgaria: State of Affairs and Policy Implicationshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-69-money-laundering-in-bulgaria-state-of-affairs-and-policy-implications/Bulgaria remains high risk country for the initiation of money laundering schemes. The high share of informality in its economy, coupled with the low level of enforcement against corruption and organized crimes, renders the country’s financial system highly susceptible to money laundering.Bulgaria remains high risk country for the initiation of money laundering schemes. The high share of informality in its economy, coupled with the low level of enforcement against corruption and organized crimes, renders the country’s financial system highly susceptible to money laundering.

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news-806Wed, 12 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0000Policy Report: Towards a Stronger EU-Turkey Energy Dialogue: Energy Security Perspectives and Riskshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-report-towards-a-stronger-eu-turkey-energy-dialogue-energy-security-perspectives-and-risks/The publication aims to draw an overall picture of the state of the EU-Turkey energy dialogue through the prism of civil society understanding of EU and Turkey’s energy security risks and perspectives, and the role of the Energy Union in helping to overcome them. The report builds upon a background policy brief to develop an in-depth overview of the Turkish energy sector that also incorporates the statements, opinions and recommendations provided by EU and Turkish policy-makers, energy experts and business representatives during a series of capacity-building workshops and study visits in Brussels and Ankara. Additional meetings with European and Turkish energy business associations, as well as influential energy watchers have enriched the final analysis.

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news-666Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000Improving and sharing knowledge on the Internet role in the processes of human trafficking and smuggling: National report for Bulgariahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/improving-and-sharing-knowledge-on-the-internet-role-in-the-processes-of-human-trafficking-and-smugg/This concise report is based on a deep exploration of the Bulgarian web and in-depth interviews with key informants. It provides a specific focus on the use of Internet in the recruitment, transportation and advertisement of services in the processes of trafficking in human beings and smuggling of human beings (THB and SHB).
This concise report is based on a deep exploration of the Bulgarian web and in-depth interviews with key informants. It provides a specific focus on the use of Internet in the recruitment, transportation and advertisement of services in the processes of trafficking in human beings and smuggling of human beings (THB and SHB). Analysed are the life and the professional experiences of the key informants interviewed, as well as online contents predominantly with job advertisements for sex workers and cheap labour abroad. After outlining a more general country profile for Bulgaria’s experience with and legislation combatting the process of trafficking in human beings, the report has identified common trends in the tactical approach to online recruitment and the potential risks of trafficking related to it.

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news-665Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000Risks of Islamist Radicalisation in Bulgaria: A Case Study in the Iztok Neighbourhood of the City of Pazardzhikhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/risks-of-islamist-radicalisation-in-bulgaria-a-case-study-in-the-iztok-neighbourhood-of-the-city-of/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.

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.

This working paper presents the results from a qualitative study aiming to attain understanding about the vulnerabilities to Islamist radicalisation among a group of inhabitants of the “Iztok” neighborhood of the city of Pazardjik who are considered at risk. The study explores the root causes and the social meaning of the adoption of Salafi interpretations of Islam on the part of sub group local Roma and the root causes and the social meaning of certain manifestations of sympathy with radical Islamist ideas and organisations among some members of the group. Careful attention is paid to the factors and channels through which the two processes are fostered. A discussion is provided to the issue of the vulnerabilities to potential radicalisation among members of the group of Roma professing Salafi interpretation of Islam.

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news-667Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000Evaluating Governance and Corruption Risk in Bulgariahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/evaluating-governance-and-corruption-risk-in-bulgaria/Corruption continues to be one of the main social problems for Bulgaria a decade after the country’s EU accession. The Bulgarian public is one of the few in Europe, which trusts EU institutions more than its own government to find a sustainable solution to this problem. Making sure thе mechanisms of EU conditionality and public procurement support deliver on these high expectations is of paramount importance for delivering a lasting solution to Bulgaria’s rule of law problems. As part of the largest ever team of social sciences and humanities in Europe – ANTICORRP.eu, CSD has developed two case studies, which help explain the key risks of corruption in the public procurement market in construction and the way the EU has impacted Bulgarian progress on anti-corruption.

Corruption continues to be one of the main social problems for Bulgaria a decade after the country’s EU accession. The Bulgarian public is one of the few in Europe, which trusts EU institutions more than its own government to find a sustainable solution to this problem. Making sure thе mechanisms of EU conditionality and public procurement support deliver on these high expectations is of paramount importance for delivering a lasting solution to Bulgaria’s rule of law problems. As part of the largest ever team of social sciences and humanities in Europe – ANTICORRP.eu, CSD has developed two case studies, which help explain the key risks of corruption in the public procurement market in construction and the way the EU has impacted Bulgarian progress on anti-corruption.

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news-659Fri, 10 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000Situational Assessment of Extremist Trendshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/situational-assessment-of-extremist-trends/Violent extremism is one of the major challenges Europe is currently facing. The threat is both external aswell as internal as indicated by the rise in home-grown Islamist terrorists, as well as of nationalistic andanti-immigrant movements and far-right aggression. An accurate picture of the spread, nature and trendsin 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.

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.

The situational assessment is an instrument for systematic collection and analysis of statistical data, open source data and intelligence information pertaining to extremist actors and activities, for the purposes of developing regular situational reports of the spread, nature and trends in extremism and violent radicalisms. Following the application of the situational assessment tool, the publication presents main findings on extremist trends and monitoring capacities in three countries from Central and Southeast Europe: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Greece.

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news-658Wed, 01 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000Monitoring Radicalisation: A Framework for Risk Indicatorshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/monitoring-radicalisation-a-framework-for-risk-indicators/Radicalisation processes impacting on disaffected and indoctrinated persons and the later involvement ofsome of them in acts of terrorism are of growing concern for European citizens, their governments and thewider international community. Addressing this threat requires effective prevention policies which some EUmember states have been proactive in developing. Effective policies need reliable diagnostic tools designedto identify individuals and groups who might pose a threat.

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.

The publication provides a review of existing approaches and tools to identifying, monitoring and assessing radicalisation in Europe and beyond. It further offers a conceptual framework of radicalisation risk and vulnerability indicators and their interpretation as a basis for developing early-warning mechanisms for frontline practitioners in countries which are yet to develop specific prevention and counter-radicalisation policies. The target group of the guide are policymakers at national and EU levels, as well as practitioners directly involved in the prevention of radicalisation in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond.

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news-602Sun, 15 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000Radicalisation in Bulgaria: Threats and Trendshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/radicalisation-in-bulgaria-threats-and-trends/The phenomena of radicalisation today develop and change at high speed, with their extreme forms manifested globally. The destructive dimensions of (violent) Islamist or right-wing radicalisation have become dramatically visible in Europe posing serious challenges to European societies at large.
The phenomena of radicalisation today develop and change at high speed, with their extreme forms manifested globally. The destructive dimensions of (violent) Islamist or right-wing radicalisation have become dramatically visible in Europe posing serious challenges to European societies at large. This report aims to address a knowledge gap with regard to how and to what extent internationally observed radicalisation processes are manifested in Bulgaria. Four different forms of radicalisation are investigated, including Islamist radicalisation, right-wing and left-wing radicalisation, as well as football hooliganism. The report provides policy makers and the expert community with a systematic overview of the main risks to which the Bulgarian society is exposed, as well as of the main actors and ideas, the repertoire of actions and the groups at risk associated with radicalisation. The report outlines recommendations for improvement of the policy and institutional response with regard to radicalisation by way of monitoring and prevention measures as well as multi agency collaboration and community engagement.

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news-660Sun, 01 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 68: Monitoring Radicalisation and Extremismhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/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.

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. This brief outlines a set of methodologies for monitoring the risk of radicalisation and the trends in extremism based on an integrated approach to the indicators being monitored and the institutional mechanism doing the monitoring. These methodologies are designed to equip stakeholders – both governmental and non-governmental – with a tool which fuses a broad range of informational inputs; it will enable informed formulation of prevention and counter-radicalisation policies.

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news-661Sun, 01 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 67: Turkey in The Framework of the EU Energy Union: Energy Security and Governance Riskshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-67-turkey-in-the-framework-of-the-eu-energy-union-energy-security-and-governance/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.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. The EU and Turkey also share a common objective to diminish their dependence on Russian energy imports, which could provide a necessary boost to the formal energy dialogue between the two partners in January 2016.

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news-634Fri, 23 Dec 2016 00:00:00 +0000Hidden Economy in Southeast Europe: Building Regional Momentum to Mitigate its Negative Effectshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/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.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.

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news-824Wed, 21 Dec 2016 14:47:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 66: Dynamics of Conventional Crime in Bulgaria 2015 – 2016https://csd.bg/publications/publication/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.

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news-657Wed, 14 Dec 2016 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 65: The Wind that Blows from the East: Russian Influence in Central and Eastern Europehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-65-the-wind-that-blows-from-the-east-russian-influence-in-central-and-eastern-eur/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. 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. This policy brief, which summarizes the key findings from the joint study of the Center for the Study of Democracy and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Kremlin Playbook: Understanding Russian Influence in Central and Eastern Europe, presents a model for understanding the impact of Russia’s economic influence in Central and Eastern Europe in five case study countries (Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Serbia, and Slovakia), and its relationship to the region’s general decline in governance standards. The study estimates that on average, Russia’s economic footprint in five of the most targeted by the Kremlin CEE countries has ranged from about 11 percent of the economy (in the cases of Hungary and Slovakia) to an astonishing 22 percent in Bulgaria. After 2008 the Russian leadership has aggressively deployed its resource-based resurgent economic power in combination with old time security networks and skillful use of traditional soft power appeal to exploit and further strategic vulnerabilities across the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Russia has also cultivated an opaque network of patronage across the region that it uses to influence and direct decision-making. This web resembles a network-flow model, which we describe as an “unvirtuous circle” of Russian influence leading to “state capture.”

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news-662Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:00:00 +0000Private Security in Practice: Case studies from Southeast Europehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/private-security-in-practice-case-studies-from-southeast-europe/For the current volume Private Security in Practice: Case studies from Southeast Europe the authors present eight case studies that explore the impact that private security has on security, human rightsand the democratic order in four Southeast European countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Kosovo and Serbia. Since regulation should not only limit the negative impact but also foster the positive contribution that private security can make, the authors specifically looked at how challenges posed by PSCs could be avoided and how opportunities can be seized.

For the current volume Private Security in Practice: Case studies from Southeast Europe the authors present eight case studies that explore the impact that private security has on security, human rights and the democratic order in four Southeast European countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Kosovo and Serbia. Since regulation should not only limit the negative impact but also foster the positive contribution that private security can make, the authors specifically looked at how challenges posed by PSCs could be avoided and how opportunities can be seized.

Broadly, the case studies cover four governance challenges: the development of the private security market, particularly in relation to the state’s retreat from its monopoly on security provision (Part 1); the role of private security in the protection of critical infrastructure (Part 2); the state as a client of private security companies and the impact of public procurement processes on the private security market (Part 3); and the success and failure of different policies aimed at improving the professionalism of private security personnel (Part 4). Previous research by the authors demonstrated that these policy issues are important for each of the four target countries. However, it is worth noting that other pressing policy questions regarding private security exist in these countries, and the authors’ choice does not indicate that the topics discussed are necessarily more pertinent or urgent than others.

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news-653Mon, 31 Oct 2016 00:00:00 +0000Governance of the Bulgarian Public Procurement Sector: Corruption Risks and Criminal Prosecutionhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/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.

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.

Round Table: Defrauding the Bulgarian Public Procurement System: Prevention, Countering and Analysis of Corruption Risks, 31 October 2016

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news-654Mon, 31 Oct 2016 00:00:00 +0000Public Procurement Criminality: Practical Guide for Preventing, Countering and Analyzing Corruption Riskshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/public-procurement-criminality-practical-guide-for-preventing-countering-and-analyzing-corruption/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)”.

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)”.

CSD Policy Brief: Governance of the Bulgarian Public Procurement Sector: Corruption Risks and Criminal Prosecution
Round Table: Defrauding the Bulgarian Public Procurement System: Prevention, Countering and Analysis of Corruption Risks, 31 October 2016

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news-630Thu, 13 Oct 2016 00:00:00 +0000The Kremlin Playbook: Understanding Russian Influence in Central and Eastern Europehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/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. 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. The Center for the Study of Democracy, in partnership with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), recently concluded a 16-month study to understand the nature of Russian influence in five case countries: Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Latvia, and Serbia. This research determined the extent of the Russian economic footprint in the domestic economy, which has ranged between 11% and 22% on average from 2004 to 2014. The report also presented evidence of how Russia has leveraged its economic presence to cultivate an opaque web of economic and political patronage across the region that the Kremlin uses to influence and direct decisionmaking. This web resembles a network-flow model—or “unvirtuous circle”—which the Kremlin can use to influence (if not control) critical state institutions, bodies, and economies, as well as shape national policies and decisions that serve its interests while actively discrediting the Western liberal democratic system.

To exploit the governance loopholes, Russia’s strategy has been to capture powerful local brokers through providing them with government sponsored business opportunities at premium returns infiltrating them in state-owned companies, national agencies including in the security sector. Another common way is to use former security officials with significant influence over parties, businesses and institutions to act as intermediaries boosting Moscow’s interests where necessary. The reverse has also been happening in the region when local powerful economic groups use their Russian links to secure capital and political backing to acquire assets and invest in large projects. Sometimes domestic interests have vied for and received the economic and political support from Russian companies or politicians to engage in rent seeking with the local government, exploiting lack of oversight and lack rule of law. In exchange for providing their brand name or capital, Russian companies have taken nominal share in lucrative domestic businesses, gained access to a strategic asset in telecommunications, finance and most often in energy.

Public event The Kremlin Playbook: Understanding Russian Influence in Eastern and Central Europe, Washington D.C., 13 October 2016

Presentation of the report “The Kremlin Playbook” at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik, 26 January 2017, Berlin

Media Coverage

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news-636Fri, 30 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 64: Hidden Economy in Bulgaria: 2015 – 2016https://csd.bg/publications/publication/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.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.

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news-638Fri, 30 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000National Study on Domestic and Gender Based Violencehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/national-study-on-domestic-and-gender-based-violence/Bulgaria is among those half of EU-member states where statistical information about victim-offender relationship is not gathered, hereby making impossible the assessment of the share of domestic violence among crimes against the person. Domestic violence is not qualified as a criminal offence and is still not included in the Criminal Code – and respectively, in statistical data provided by the Police and by the National Statistical Institute. Information about numbers of complaints for domestic violence registered in the police and numbers of cases of domestic violence submitted to the courts are not present in the publicly available statistics either.
Bulgaria is among those half of EU-member states where statistical information about victim-offender relationship is not gathered, hereby making impossible the assessment of the share of domestic violence among crimes against the person. Domestic violence is not qualified as a criminal offence and is still not included in the Criminal Code – and respectively, in statistical data provided by the Police and by the National Statistical Institute. Information about numbers of complaints for domestic violence registered in the police and numbers of cases of domestic violence submitted to the courts are not present in the publicly available statistics either.

The current report is part of the National Study on Domestic and Gender Based Violence (DGBV) and Elaboration of Victims Support Model (VSM), developed under Programme Area 29, BG12: Domestic and Gender Based Violence, Measure 3: Research and data collection of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, in response to their aims: research and collection of data regarding the prevalence and measures to prevent and combat DGBV.

The general objective of the study is to contribute to the prevention of DGBV and to improve the situation of DGBV victims in Bulgaria, with specific focus on Roma women and girls. The specific objective is to develop knowledge and expertise regarding the situation of domestic and gender-based violence to ensure that all stakeholders including the Bulgarian government can access strong independent analysis in order to facilitate better informed and evidence-based policy decisions. This objective is achieved by conducting quantitative and qualitative study in Bulgaria which provides data regarding the prevalence and measures to prevent and combat DGBV among the general and Roma population. Additional objective is to develop and pilot a Victims Support Model (VSM), which aimed to involve local community in the assistance and protection of DGBV victims and engage the key local stakeholders (police departments, service providers, local authorities, Roma organizations).

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news-640Fri, 30 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief: National Study on Domestic and Gender Based Violence (DGBV) and Elaboration of Victims Support Model (VSM)https://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-national-study-on-domestic-and-gender-based-violence-dgbv-and-elaboration-of-victims/The current brief is based on the results of the National Study on Domestic and Gender Based Violence (DGBV) and Elaboration of Victims Support Model (VSM), developed under Programme Area 29, BG12: Domestic and Gender Based Violence, Measure 3: Research and data collection of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism. The current brief is based on the results of the National Study on Domestic and Gender Based Violence (DGBV) and Elaboration of Victims Support Model (VSM), developed under Programme Area 29, BG12: Domestic and Gender Based Violence, Measure 3: Research and data collection of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism. The study focused on four main thematic areas connected with DGBV phenomena: factors and causes, scales and prevalence, consequences, and public response.

The study revealed that DGBV victimisation is caused by the simultaneous action of three types of factors: factors representing a conflict, violent conflict-resolution models that the perpetrators follow, and lack or blocking of deterrent mechanisms. DGBV re-victimisation occurs when the victims lack both internal and external resources to counteract.

The reporting of DGBV prevalence depends on three factors: real occurrence of DGBV, awareness that the experienced acts represent DGBV, and readiness to share this experience with authorities, help providers or researchers.

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news-642Fri, 30 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000Domestic and Gender-based Violence: Victims Support Modelhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/domestic-and-gender-based-violence-victims-support-model/Freedom from violence, regardless of its form, is every human being’s fundamental right. The rights to life, liberty and security of person have been regulated in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as in the European Convention on Human Rights.Freedom from violence, regardless of its form, is every human being’s fundamental right. The rights to life, liberty and security of person have been regulated in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as in the European Convention on Human Rights.

The purpose of the Victims Support Model is to provide information and to present the currently existing activities, services and departments, which operate in the area of domestic and gender-based violence. The proposed Model accepts that the strong prevalence of the phenomena and the consequences thereof necessitate that it is treated as a public health issue. For this reason, an approach is being proposed, which defines and outlines the roots and the consequences of this problem in Bulgaria, identifies the risk and protective factors, and proposes strategies for effective resolution, including activities on prevention, timely reaction, and follow-up.

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news-652Tue, 27 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000Shadow Power: Assessment of Corruption and Hidden Economy in Southeast Europehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/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.
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.

The report underscores the need for broader political action for reform, which seems blocked or narrowing across the region. Inside pressure for such action has been suffocated by economic necessity and/or ethnic divisions, and the ossification of political and economic establishments. Outside pressure, delivered mostly by the European Union has been seen as wanting in relation to the size of the problems in the past couple of years due to a succession of internal and external crises.

The authors underline that in none of the countries in the region has there been a clear sustained policy breakthrough in anticorruption though efforts to deliver technical solutions and to improve the functioning of the law enforcement institutions, mostly with support from the EU, have continued and even intensified in some cases. This has led to further slow decline in administrative corruption levels but at the expense of waning public support for reforms and of declining trust in national and European institutions.

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news-626Wed, 21 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 63: Extortion racketeering: the vulnerability assessment approachhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-63-extortion-racketeering-the-vulnerability-assessment-approach/Extortion racketeering has long been pointed out as the defining activity of organised crime. It has also been identified as one of the most effective tools used by organised crime in the accumulation of financial resources and the penetration of the legal economy. Although in recent years this crime has not been among the top listed organised crime threats in the strategic EU policy documents, it still remains ever present in European countries. The seriousness of the phenomenon has been recognised at the EU level and the crime has been listed in a number of EU legal acts in the field of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. Extortion racketeering has long been pointed out as the defining activity of organised crime. It has also been identified as one of the most effective tools used by organised crime in the accumulation of financial resources and the penetration of the legal economy. Although in recent years this crime has not been among the top listed organised crime threats in the strategic EU policy documents, it still remains ever present in European countries. The seriousness of the phenomenon has been recognised at the EU level and the crime has been listed in a number of EU legal acts in the field of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

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news-796Fri, 12 Aug 2016 00:00:00 +0000Working Paper: State Capture Diagnostics Roadmaphttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/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.
 

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news-624Mon, 08 Aug 2016 00:00:00 +0000Roma integration across the Danube – best practices in administrative and social entrepreneurshiphttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/roma-integration-across-the-danube-best-practices-in-administrative-and-social-entrepreneurship/The vast majority of Roma population in Europe (80%) lives in the 14 countries of the Danube Region, the population percentage of Roma varying greatly from country to county, with the strongest concentrations in poor and peripheral regions. Although only estimates of the exact population exist, Romania and Bulgaria, alongside Hungary and Slovakia have the highest shares of Roma within the overall population in the entire European Union. While National Roma Integration Strategies have been in place in these countries in the last few years, their effective implementation and success has been limited to this day.The vast majority of Roma population in Europe (80%) lives in the 14 countries of the Danube Region, the population percentage of Roma varying greatly from country to county, with the strongest concentrations in poor and peripheral regions. Although only estimates of the exact population exist, Romania and Bulgaria, alongside Hungary and Slovakia have the highest shares of Roma within the overall population in the entire European Union. While National Roma Integration Strategies have been in place in these countries in the last few years, their effective implementation and success has been limited to this day.

Aiming to facilitate the reciprocally useful exchange of experience between municipalities, civil society and Roma entrepreneurs from Bulgaria and Romania, the Romanian Center for European Policies, RomanoButiq and the Center for the Study of Democracy launched on 1 February 2016 an initiative Roma integration across the Danube: Best practices and social entrepreneurship models exchange between Romania and Bulgaria. Among the outcomes of the joint initiative is the current report, aiming to emphasize the fact that there have been certain projects and initiatives from both the public and private spheres that have been implemented in Romania and Bulgaria with a noteworthy degree of success, to put them forth and create the context for relevant Roma stakeholders (NGOs, local administration representatives, Roma entrepreneurs) from both countries to mutually gain a complex understanding of the contexts and workings of the best practice examples, to experience them first hand, understand the factors that led to their success and replicate them in their own country. The report presents the experience of the visit in the town of Kavarna and sets the basis for further cooperation mechanisms on the regional level on the topic of social entrepreneurship and Roma administrative integration models.

The project is part of START – Danube Region Project Fund, part-financed by the European Union and the City of Vienna.

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news-620Thu, 28 Jul 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Countering extortion racketeering: The Italian Experiencehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/countering-extortion-racketeering-the-italian-experience/Extortion racketeering is a crime which spans allsections of society, poses threats to the well-beingof local communities and impairs the growth anddevelopment of business. No country is immuneto it, although it varies across time, space andeconomic context. Extortion can be perpetrated bysingle offenders, or it can be part of more complexcriminal schemes. In this sense, the case of Italy istypical because Italian mafias systematically resort toextortion racketeering.


Extortion racketeering is a crime which spans all sections of society, poses threats to the well-being of local communities and impairs the growth and development of business. No country is immune to it, although it varies across time, space and economic context. Extortion can be perpetrated by single offenders, or it can be part of more complex criminal schemes. In this sense, the case of Italy is typical because Italian mafias systematically resort to extortion racketeering.

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news-618Tue, 26 Jul 2016 00:00:00 +0000Hidden Economy Indexes in Bulgaria 2002-2015: Results and Methodological Noteshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/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.

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.

Hidden economy surveys in Bulgaria have been carried out by the Center for the Study of Democracy and the market and social research agency Vitosha Research since 2002. Based on data from these surveys, a system of synthetic measurements in the form of composite indices for assessment of the hidden economy was developed. The reason for choosing these particular indicators was to reduce the multiple aspects of the hidden economy phenomenon to a manageable number of illustrative and easy to interpret the indices. The survey questions and sub-indexes, which form the Business Hidden Economy Index and the Index of the Hidden Economic Activity of the Population, are presented in the document.

The authors underline the difference between the terms official economy (legal and reported), informal economy (legal, yet unreported), illegal (black) economy (illegal and unreported) and undeclared (gray) economy (legal, formally registered, yet unreported). The last three form the composite term hidden economy.

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news-622Fri, 22 Jul 2016 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 62: Energy Security Risks and the Case for Natural Gas Diversificationhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-62-energy-security-risks-and-the-case-for-natural-gas-diversification/The Bulgarian energy sector remains of key importance for the development of the country’s economy. On the domestic side, Bulgaria’s energy sector faces severe governance deficiencies at multiple levels that lead to inefficiency and inconsistency of decision-making. Political meddling and conflicts of interest at the highest level of government compromise the strategic approach towards the sector, and often lead to poor management of the state-owned companies. The policy brief analyses the energy security and governance risks. The authors underline that:

  • Bulgarian ranking has improved significantly, jumping from 73rd to 58th place, narrowing the gap with the average OECD results.
  • Since Bulgaria receives all of its natural gas from one source and via one pipeline, it is imperative that the government’s decisions for the initiation of future energy projects are based on the projects’ potential to diversify supply sources and ensure an uninterrupted energy supply.
  • The efforts to diversify the gas supply by building the Interconnector Greece - Bulgaria (IGB) have stalled in spite of external financing, existing contractual obligations with the Shah Deniz consortium and due to lack of administrative capacity and state capture from domestic and foreign interests.
  • The European Commission’s efforts to integrate the SEE region into the EU internal market and diversify its gas supply away from a single supplier have started to pay off. The liberalization of the cross-border capacities along the Transbalkan pipeline, previously fully reserved by Gazprom, is now open for competitive bidding.
  • The liberalization of regional natural gas trading and the completion of the interconnector pipelines with Greece and Romania would advance Bulgaria’s bargaining position vis-à-vis Gazprom by reducing the country’s gas import costs, and improve the country’s security of supply and the affordability of residential gasification initiatives.
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news-616Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 61: Drug users in prison: Norway’s experience and Bulgaria’s challengeshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-61-drug-users-in-prison-norways-experience-and-bulgarias-challenges/For all criminal offences related to drugs, even for possession of small quantities intended for personal use, the main sanction according to Bulgarian criminal law is imprisonment. Unlike in Norway, non-custodial penalties in Bulgaria such as probation have extremely limited scope of application for drug-related offences. At the same time, other alternatives to imprisonment are virtually non-existent. For all criminal offences related to drugs, even for possession of small quantities intended for personal use, the main sanction according to Bulgarian criminal law is imprisonment. Unlike in Norway, non-custodial penalties in Bulgaria such as probation have extremely limited scope of application for drug-related offences. At the same time, other alternatives to imprisonment are virtually non-existent.

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news-614Mon, 04 Jul 2016 00:00:00 +0000State Capture Unplugged: Countering Administrative and Political Corruption in Bulgariahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/state-capture-unplugged-countering-administrative-and-political-corruption-in-bulgaria/The eleventh Corruption Assessment Report of the Center for the Study of Democracy is focused on the most potent form of corruption affecting Bulgaria: state capture. The report builds on years of CSD experience in the regular monitoring and assessing of the spread of administrative and political corruption. This is now complemented by an assessment of the mechanisms by which powerful lobbies capture government decision making to the benefit of shady business interests and the detriment of public good.

The eleventh Corruption Assessment Report of the Center for the Study of Democracy is focused on the most potent form of corruption affecting Bulgaria: state capture. The report builds on years of CSD experience in the regular monitoring and assessing of the spread of administrative and political corruption. This is now complemented by an assessment of the mechanisms by which powerful lobbies capture government decision making to the benefit of shady business interests and the detriment of public good. The report finds that these two manifestations – administrative corruption and state capture – are closely linked because they represent different facets of the same phenomenon.

Twelfth Anti-Corruption Policy Forum: State Capture Unplugged: Countering Administrative and Political Corruption in Bulgaria
Previous Corruption Assessment Reports
Previous Anti-Corruption Policy Forums

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news-808Fri, 01 Jul 2016 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief July, 2016: Ensuring Effective Cooperation Between EU and Turkey to Foster Energy Securityhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-july-2016-ensuring-effective-cooperation-between-eu-and-turkey-to-foster-energy-secur/As Turkey is a strategic bridge for new energy sources, it will play an increasingly critical role in helping the EU in completing the energy security pillar in the Energy Union initiative. However, Turkey’s energy sector transformation towards becoming part of the planned European internal energy market is happening only very slowly. Given that the inevitable changes will have an effect on both industries and individual consumers, politicians have been reluctant to sign on the dotted line and initiate the final stages of liberalization. Despite EU’s activism for developing universal rules for Europe for liberalisation and security in gas and electricity, Turkey and the countries in the Black Sea region still pursue mostly a bilateral approach to energy security, which is insufficient for the development of a strategic regional energy security partnership between EU and Turkey.
 

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news-612Mon, 13 Jun 2016 00:00:00 +0000Extortion Racketeering in the EU: A six country study of vulnerability factorshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/extortion-racketeering-in-the-eu-a-six-country-study-of-vulnerability-factors/Extortion racketeering has been long pointed out as the “defining activity of organised crime” (Konrad & Skaperdas, 1998). Although in recent years this crime has not been among the top listed organised crime threats in the strategic EU policy documents, it still remains ever present in European countries.Extortion racketeering has been long pointed out as the defining activity of organised crime. Although in recent years this crime has not been among the top listed organised crime threats in the strategic EU policy documents, it still remains ever present in European countries. The seriousness of the phenomenon has been recognised at the EU level and the crime has been listed in a number of EU legal acts in the field of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.
The report Extortion Racketeering in the EU: A six country study of vulnerability factors analyses extortion racketeering forms and practices in six EU member states. The analysis disentangles the risk and the vulnerability factors for enterprises in two business sectors – agriculture and hospitality – as well as in the Chinese communities. Drawing on the results of the analysis, the report suggests new policies for tackling extortion racketeering in the EU. This report has been produced with the joint efforts of the Center for the Study of Democracy, Instituto de Ciencias Forenses y de la Seguridad – Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Transcrime – Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano and http://www.vitosha-research.comhttp://www.vitosha-research.comVitosha Research and with the support of Guardia Civil in Spain.

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news-610Fri, 13 May 2016 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 60: Media (In)dependence in Bulgaria: Risks and Trendshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-60-media-independence-in-bulgaria-risks-and-trends/The role of Bulgarian media in public life came under scrutiny after several media outlets were used as an instrument for triggering political crises and for political engineering (2013 – 2014).
The role of Bulgarian media in public life came under scrutiny after several media outlets were used as an instrument for triggering political crises and for political engineering (2013 – 2014). At that time, the Bulgarian media market was experiencing the impact of two negative trends. On the one hand, the economic crisis of 2009 – 2013 had cut advertising revenues by half. On the other, the old models of media financing were diminished by the use of digital technologies and the explosive growth of social networks and mobile communications. The loss of financial sustainability by the media presented unique opportunities for Bulgarian oligarchic groups. By accumulating a significant share of the media market, they reached an unprecedented level of political influence (including direct influence on the legislative, executive and judicial powers). The media was used as an instrument for state capture that could present severe security and economic risks.

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news-664Sat, 30 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000Integrated report on corruption and trafficking in womenhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/integrated-report-on-corruption-and-trafficking-in-women/Trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation is a criminal business of transnational nature, ranking third after narcotics and arms trafficking in generating huge amounts of illegal profit. THB in all its manifestations is a dangerous crime that results in significant psychological, emotional, financial and often physical harm to victims, representing a serious violation of human rights. Despite the seriousness of the crime, law enforcement and criminal justice authorities across the world encounter various problems in investigating and punishing perpetrators. One important barrier is corruption, which – as with other criminal enterprises – is a significant facilitating mechanism.
Trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation is a criminal business of transnational nature, ranking third after narcotics and arms trafficking in generating huge amounts of illegal profit. THB in all its manifestations is a dangerous crime that results in significant psychological, emotional, financial and often physical harm to victims, representing a serious violation of human rights. Despite the seriousness of the crime, law enforcement and criminal justice authorities across the world encounter various problems in investigating and punishing perpetrators. One important barrier is corruption, which – as with other criminal enterprises – is a significant facilitating mechanism.

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news-663Fri, 29 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000Corruption and trafficking in women: The case of Bulgaria.https://csd.bg/publications/publication/corruption-and-trafficking-in-women-the-case-of-bulgaria/Corruption is an important facilitating mechanism for human trafficking. The link between the two crimes is especially relevant in countries like Bulgaria, which traditionally have had very levels of trafficking. Corruption is believed to be one of the key instruments adopted by organised criminal groups to avoid detection and obstruct counter-trafficking efforts. Although the use of corruption is often mentioned along with human trafficking, few studies have empirically explored the factors and mechanisms behind this nexus.
Corruption is an important facilitating mechanism for human trafficking. The link between the two crimes is especially relevant in countries like Bulgaria, which traditionally have had very levels of trafficking. Corruption is believed to be one of the key instruments adopted by organised criminal groups to avoid detection and obstruct counter-trafficking efforts. Although the use of corruption is often mentioned along with human trafficking, few studies have empirically explored the factors and mechanisms behind this nexus.

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news-606Tue, 19 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000Concept for more effective civic participation in support of vulnerable groupshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/concept-for-more-effective-civic-participation-in-support-of-vulnerable-groups/The concept for more effective civic participation in support of four vulnerable groups aims to identify legislative changes, improvement of practices and policy development by decision makers and the civil society to facilitate vulnerable communities in their interaction with state institutions and establish effective support mechanisms. The concept for more effective civic participation in support of four vulnerable groups aims to identify legislative changes, improvement of practices and policy development by decision makers and the civil society to facilitate vulnerable communities in their interaction with state institutions and establish effective support mechanisms. The publication proposes concrete solutions and a roadmap for their implementation for each of these groups - prisoners, victims of human trafficking, victims of domestic violence, asylum seekers and other vulnerable groups of foreigners.

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news-604Thu, 14 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000Memoranda with recommendations to institutions, working with vulnerable groupshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/memoranda-with-recommendations-to-institutions-working-with-vulnerable-groups/The initiative "Civic Organizations: a Guarantee for Equal Rights of Vulnerable Groups before the State" encompasses four vulnerable groups: persons deprived of their liberty, victims of human trafficking and domestic violence, as well as persons in need of international protection and other vulnerable foreigners. Although very different, those communities encounter similar problems in their relations with institutions: insufficient human and financial resourcing, work practices not always meeting the needs of vulnerable groups. Thus, oftentimes those persons rely on civil society for improving their status, including through assistance before the respective competent authorities.


The initiative ‘Civic Organizations: a Guarantee for Equal Rights of Vulnerable Groups before the State’ encompasses four vulnerable groups: persons deprived of their liberty, victims of human trafficking and domestic violence, as well as persons in need of international protection and other vulnerable foreigners. Although very different, those communities encounter similar problems in their relations with institutions: insufficient human and financial resourcing, work practices not always meeting the needs of vulnerable groups. Thus, oftentimes those persons rely on civil society for improving their status, including through assistance before the respective competent authorities.

Throughout its different stages, the initiative outlined the profile of the vulnerable groups, their relations with institutions and NGOs and promising foreign experience and practices applicable in the Bulgarian environment. A Concept for More Effective Civic Participation in the Assistance to Vulnerable Groups was developed, proposing further practical steps.

The four memoranda contain specific recommendations to institutions, working with the vulnerable groups, based on the Concept and the opinions of various state authorities and civil society representatives.

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news-600Thu, 31 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0000Drug Users in Prison: Norway's Experience and Bulgaria's Challengeshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/drug-users-in-prison-norways-experience-and-bulgarias-challenges/Publication looks over the situation of drug users in two European countries – Norway, known for its social and welfare-oriented state, and Bulgaria, which since the beginning of the transition from totalitarism to democracy lacks sustainable policies on prisons and drugs. The aim of this work is to comparatively present the penal policy towards drug users and the measures taken for convicted people addicted to narcotic substances, to identify those features which can be transferable and can assist Bulgarian authorities to improve the situation of drug users in and outside the prison. Finally, this research will try to propose concrete measures to be taken both within the penitentiary system and as crime prevention efforts among drug users.

Publication looks over the situation of drug users in two European countries – Norway, known for its social and welfare-oriented state, and Bulgaria, which since the beginning of the transition from totalitarism to democracy lacks sustainable policies on prisons and drugs. The aim of this work is to comparatively present the penal policy towards drug users and the measures taken for convicted people addicted to narcotic substances, to identify those features which can be transferable and can assist Bulgarian authorities to improve the situation of drug users in and outside the prison. Finally, this research will try to propose concrete measures to be taken both within the penitentiary system and as crime prevention efforts among drug users.

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news-608Thu, 24 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 59: Registration of Non-profit Organisations: Legal Framework and Recommendations for Reformhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-59-registration-of-non-profit-organisations-legal-framework-and-recommendations-f/Improvement of registration of non-profit organisations (NPOs) – associations and foundations, is a necessary precondition for strengthening the civil society and increasing its transparency and accountability. An easy and simple registration procedure, with no duplication of information and functioning automatic exchange of data, is an important stage in the establishment of a modern registration system. It also guarantees the availability of reliable and up-to-date information on all registered entities.Improvement of registration of non-profit organisations (NPOs) – associations and foundations, is a necessary precondition for strengthening the civil society and increasing its transparency and accountability. An easy and simple registration procedure, with no duplication of information and functioning automatic exchange of data, is an important stage in the establishment of a modern registration system. It also guarantees the availability of reliable and up-to-date information on all registered entities.

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news-594Fri, 18 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0000Understanding Radicalisation: Review of Literaturehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/understanding-radicalisation-review-of-literature/The phenomena of radicalisation today develop and change at high speed, with their extreme forms manifested globally. The destructive dimensions of (violent) Islamist or right-wing radicalisation have become dramatically visible in Europe posing serious challenges to European societies. 

The phenomena of radicalisation today develop and change at high speed, with their extreme forms manifested globally. The destructive dimensions of (violent) Islamist or right-wing radicalisation have become dramatically visible in Europe posing serious challenges to European societies. This literature review presents key academic conceptualisations and debates on the phenomena оf radicalisation that might lead to violence. It deals with three different forms of radicalisation, including Islamist radicalisation, right-wing as well as left-wing radicalisation. In addition, an overview is provided of current academic debates regarding the role of the internet in radicalisation processes. The review is intended to help social scientists who are entering the field of radicalisation studies navigate through the complexity of underlying processes and factors that lead different individuals or groups to adopt radical ideas and commit acts of violence. The review is particularly relevant for countries of Central and Eastern Europe where radicalisation remains understudied, although most countries in the region share histories of extremism and political radicalism.

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news-804Fri, 18 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0000Illegal Entrepreneurship, Organized Crime and Social Controlhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/illegal-entrepreneurship-organized-crime-and-social-control/The book Illegal Entrepreneurship, Organized Crime and Social Control covers organized crime groups, empirical studies of organized crime, criminal finances and money laundering, and crime prevention, gathering some of the most authoritative and well-known scholars in the field. The contributions to this book are new chapters written in honor of Professor Dick Hobbs, on the occasion of his retirement. They reflect his powerful influence on the study of organized crime, offering a novel perspective that located organized crime in its socio-economic context, studied through prolonged ethnographic engagement. 

In Chapter 7 Anton Kojouharov, Analyst and Atanas Rusev, PhD, Senior Analyst at the Center for the Study of Democracy, offer a detailed account of the illegal and predatory moneylending landscape and business in Bulgaria, a context in which a number of factors have affected the development of the alternative (and informal) credit markets and their - often - extortionate ends. The authors present a concise review of definitions of the relevant terms and suggest a tentative classification of the existing types of moneylenders in Bulgaria, as well as typology of the usual clientele.

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news-632Tue, 15 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0000Legal Framework of Registration of Non-Profit Organisations: Assessment and Recommendations for Reformhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/legal-framework-of-registration-of-non-profit-organisations-assessment-and-recommendations-for-refo/Improvement of registration of non-profit organisations (NPOs) is a necessary precondition for strengthening the civil society and increasing its transparency and accountability. An easy and simple registration procedure, with no duplication of information and functioning automatic exchange of data, would allow the civic sector to concentrate on its substantive priorities.
Improvement of registration of non-profit organisations (NPOs) is a necessary precondition for strengthening the civil society and increasing its transparency and accountability. An easy and simple registration procedure, with no duplication of information and functioning automatic exchange of data, would allow the civic sector to concentrate on its substantive priorities.

The registration of NPOs and its subsequent maintenance determines to a large extent the relations between those organisations and the state authorities and is an indicator of the will of decision makers to lighten excessive administrative burden and thus facilitate the civil sector's development. The concept offered and the recommendations for legislative changes provide support to institutions in achieving that aim.

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news-596Mon, 29 Feb 2016 00:00:00 +0000Handbook for Monitoring of Forced Return https://csd.bg/publications/publication/handbook-for-monitoring-of-forced-return/The governance of migration flows largely depends on the development of an effective system for returning illegally staying foreigners. Forced return is seen as a "last resort" in the prevention of irregular migration and should be subject to the principles of proportionality and not exceeding reasonable force.
The governance of migration flows largely depends on the development of an effective system for returning illegally staying foreigners. Forced return is seen as a "last resort" in the prevention of irregular migration and should be subject to the principles of proportionality and not exceeding reasonable force. In this regard, there is agreement that monitoring of return not only brings openness and clarity on the conditions and treatment, but represents an additional guarantee for the return of persons, including those with special protection needs. In this context, the introduction of an independent and effective monitoring mechanism is a key aspect for the development of the overall framework for forced return in accordance with Directive 2008/115/EC.

The aim of the Handbook for forced return monitoring is to provide practical guidance and recommendations to independent observers and standardised report for forced return monitoring.

This Handook is developed within the Annual Programme 2013 in scheme grants BG / RF (3) - 2013 "Forced return monitoring" by the Center for the Study of Democracy.

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news-598Mon, 29 Feb 2016 00:00:00 +0000Analytical Report: Monitoring of the Forced Return in Bulgariahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/analytical-report-monitoring-of-the-forced-return-in-bulgaria/The governance of migration flows largely depends on the development of an effective system for returning illegally staying foreigners. Forced return is seen as a "last resort" in the fight against illegal migration and should be subject to the principles of proportionality and not exceeding the reasonable force. The governance of migration flows largely depends on the development of an effective system for returning illegally staying foreigners. Forced return is seen as a "last resort" in the fight against illegal migration and should be subject to the principles of proportionality and not exceeding the reasonable force. In this regard, there is agreement that the monitoring not only brings openness and clarity on the conditions and treatment, but represents an additional guarantee for the return of persons, including those with special protection needs. In this context, the introduction of an independent and effective monitoring mechanism is a key aspect for the development of the overall framework for forced return in accordance with Directive 2008/115/EC.

The aim of the developed Analytical report: Monitoring of the forced return in Bulgaria is to present an analysis on the existing legal and institutional framework in the area of forced return in Bulgaria and to make general recommendations for the development of a national mechanism to forced return monitoring.

This Analytical report is developed within the Annual Programme 2013 in scheme grants BG / RF (3) - 2013 "Forced return monitoring" by the Center for the Study of Democracy.

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news-802Fri, 29 Jan 2016 00:00:00 +0000Assessment of the Operation of Existing Registers on Non-Governmental Organizations in Bulgariahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/assessment-of-the-operation-of-existing-registers-on-non-governmental-organizations-in-bulgaria/According to the legislation in force, all not-for-profit legal entities are obliged to register at the district courts in the district where their seat is located. At the same time, many of them are also required to register in separate registers specifically dedicated to the type of activity these entities perform.

In addition to analysing the legal framework, the report provides an overview of the practical problems in the operation of registers, of the registration procedure and of the access to the information registers contain. It presents primary data revealing the attitude of various entities to the operation of existing registers in which non-profit legal entities have to register.

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news-592Sun, 01 Nov 2015 00:00:00 +0000Socio-Economic Effects of Public Investments for Roma Inclusion in Kavarnahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/socio-economic-effects-of-public-investments-for-roma-inclusion-in-kavarna/The aim of the current report is to provide new data and insight on the social and economic effects of public investments in Roma communities from a human development perspective.The aim of the current report is to provide new data and insight on the social and economic effects of public investments in Roma communities from a human development perspective.

Its objective is to establish the effects of a wide range of public investments made by Kavarna municipality in the mostly-Roma neighbourhood of Hadji Dimitar, between 2004 and 2014. The investment covered areas such as housing and infrastructure, healthcare, employment, income, poverty and social exclusion, justice and crime, and political participation. It reviews a range of indicators with the aim of establishing the effects of these investments on the social and economic development of the neighbourhood and its residents, both Roma and non-Roma. It also looks beyond the neighbourhood to provide a comparative perspective on a national level.

The data presented here is derived from a variety of sources and covers a range of indicators. Every effort has been made to ensure the use of similar indicators and definitions as previous household surveys, notably the UNDP/FRA study, and the NSI, however, the results are not directly comparable due to the difference in survey methodologies, samples and scope. The data presented should be taken as an indication of trends and tendencies. The lack of concrete data on the initial investments, the inputs and relevant baseline indicators has also challenged the quantifying of the contribution of individual public investments.

Different investments have had different impact on the development of the neighbourhood and reducing the distances with the Bulgarian residents. This impact has been established by looking at the results obtained from a specialised household survey conducted among 300 Roma and non-Roma households in the Hadji Dimitar quarter of Kavarna in 2015. The relevance and impact of these changes is analysed through comparison with the national averages for the whole population and the averages for Roma nationally. It is also measured against the investments to establish a positive correlation between the effect and the investment where such data exists.

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news-584Tue, 13 Oct 2015 00:00:00 +0000Monitoring the Hidden Economy in Macedonia: Trends and Policy Optionshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/monitoring-the-hidden-economy-in-macedonia-trends-and-policy-options/The current report proposes a methodology that would allow the tracing of the dynamics of the hidden economy and its components (e.g. hidden turnover, hidden employment, etc.) over time. This would make possible for the Macedonian government and its European partners to follow the impact and assess the effectiveness of their policies for tackling the hidden economy.Macedonia features in many discussions as a country with high hidden economy. The European Commission has repeatedly voiced its concerns in its regular country reports about the size and proliferation of hidden economy practices. Hidden employment or undeclared work in Macedonia is of particular concern to the authorities, provided the very high and stubborn levels of official unemployment and low employment levels. However, most studies and research on the matter involve a high level of ambiguity, as they refer to specific narrow outcomes of the hidden economy, usually towards a specific point in time, with dynamics being difficult to trace.

The current report, prepared jointly by the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) and the Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM), Macedonia proposes a methodology that would allow the tracing of the dynamics of the hidden economy and its components (e.g. hidden turnover, hidden employment, etc.) over time. This would make possible for the Macedonian government and its European partners to follow the impact and assess the effectiveness of their policies for tackling the hidden economy. Estimates suggest that the hidden economy size in Macedonia ranges from 24% to 47% of its GDP according to different measurement methods. The current report indicates that the percentage of hidden salaries remains the most acute concern, with the employment income of some 40% of Macedonian employees being at least partially undeclared. Moreover, 7% of all Macedonian employees work without a contract, and are not being paid any social security contributions whatsoever. The interviewed business representatives confirmed wide scale violations of the Labour Code. Over half of those respondents claimed that signing contracts with ‘hidden clauses’ (not accounting for the full remuneration paid out) were commonplace in their sector. Moreover, large-scale tax evasion seems to continue to pose a serious problem for the Macedonian economy and social system as the government tries to adjust them in order to be compatible with the principles of the market economy without imposing too extensive erosion of the social fabric and the existing social benefits.

Tax avoidance is especially widespread among the poorest members of the society, which makes the underprivileged especially vulnerable as they may find themselves being criminally prosecuted for unpaid taxes or charged with paying large penalties. VAT returns are provided back to companies with significant time lags and represent additional burden for companies which are part of the formal economy. The issuance of cash register receipts also remains an issue, as only less than a half of the respondents claimed that they always received receipts when buying groceries. The situation is similar with the purchase of services.



Policy forum: Tackling the Hidden Economy: Employing Best EU Policy Practices for Growth and Jobs

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news-651Fri, 09 Oct 2015 00:00:00 +0000A Force for Good? Mapping the Private Security Landscape in Southeast Europehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/a-force-for-good-mapping-the-private-security-landscape-in-southeast-europe/The volume explores and assesses the origins and current state of the private security sector in four Southeast European countries (Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania and Kosovo), with specific reference to principles of good governance and the protection of human rights.
The volume explores and assesses the origins and current state of the private security sector in four Southeast European countries (Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania and Kosovo), with specific reference to principles of good governance and the protection of human rights. In particular, the authors examine when and how the first private security companies developed and whether and how PSCs, their clients, and other factors such as relevant legislation determined the services private security offer today, and which companies were established/have survived in the market. The studies look into the economic importance of private security especially as a source of employment. They also explore if PSCs are able to provide quality security services by looking at the background and qualifications of managers and employees. A number of important questions are addressed: who are the people who work for PSCs, what is their level of expertise and professionalism and what are their working conditions? How important are (political) relationships for the success of a PSC and do domestic political considerations have an impact on which PSC receives contracts and how well they work? How is quality defined and enforced by both PSCs and their clients, especially public sector clients? Finally, do PSCs and state security providers coordinate, cooperate or compete with each other?

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news-582Mon, 28 Sep 2015 00:00:00 +0000ANTICORRP Integrated Reporthttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/anticorrp-integrated-report/This integrated report investigates the link between political corruption and organised crime, by examining the modalities, resources and strategies used by criminal groups to govern and/or capture the market of political corruption.
This integrated report investigates the link between political corruption and organised crime, by examining the modalities, resources and strategies used by criminal groups to govern and/or capture the market of political corruption. On the one hand, the report looks at the infiltration of organised crime in three main policy sectors where public spending and regulations play a pivotal role: public procurement, the privatization of public services, and management of EU funds.

Alongside this, the report also analyses the criminal penetration of electoral politics, by evaluating the influence that criminal organisations can achieve in electoral arenas. As a result, the report provides a general assessment of policy regulations, legal countermeasures and practices adopted to prevent and combat organised crime, especially in interaction with political corruption.

The report is drawn from data collected in five European countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo) across the above themes, and includes two more countries for the assessment of anti-organised crime legislation and initiatives (Albania and Georgia). The methodology involves both extensive and intensive strategies of investigation. A quantitative assessment of the crime and politics nexus is based on the Organised Crime & Corruption (OCC) events database, in which events data about the link between criminal groups and political corruption have been gathered and assembled1. A qualitative assessment involves in-depth understanding of the mechanisms of corrupt exchanges, presented as single case studies conducted in the countries covered by this study, inclusive of primary and secondary sources (interviews, legal proceedings, academic and policy-oriented reports). Data collection and analyses were conducted by five institutions across Europe (EUI, CSD, BCE, IKS, PSD).

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news-588Tue, 22 Sep 2015 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 58: Transparent Governance for Greater Energy Security in CEE https://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-58-transparent-governance-for-greater-energy-security-in-cee/The interruption of gas supplies to Europe as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian pricing dispute in 2009, the continuing Russian-Ukrainian crisis after the annexation of Crimea, and the EU-Russia controversies regarding the South Stream pipeline project, as well as Gazprom’s non-compliance with the EU regulations in several anti-trust cases in the past few years are the major cornerstones that shape the CEE energy security framework and policy options as the region remains heavily dependent on Russian oil, gas, and nuclear technology. The national and regional energy security of Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries has become a hot topic of discussion in the EU recently, focusing the attention of experts, policy makers, and the general public on ongoing and future energy projects but also on the features of energy governance in these countries. The interruption of gas supplies to Europe as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian pricing dispute in 2009, the continuing Russian-Ukrainian crisis after the annexation of Crimea, and the EU-Russia controversies regarding the South Stream pipeline project, as well as Gazprom’s non-compliance with the EU regulations in several anti-trust cases in the past few years are the major cornerstones that shape the CEE energy security framework and policy options as the region remains heavily dependent on Russian oil, gas, and nuclear technology. At the same time, the fragile democratic traditions in the CEE countries, the existing networks of political protectionism and economic oligarchy, and the opaque business practices nurtured by corruption and links with organized crime, have been reinforced by the negative implications of Russian economic and geo-political influence. Russia has exploited its dominant position in the energy market and its long-term links with certain political and economic groups to shape political decisions across the region according to its own interests, but often to the detriment of the home country consumers. The current review of energy security risks in four selected CEE countries, two energy poor – Bulgaria and Serbia, and two energy-resourced– Romania and Ukraine, assesses the factual situation per se and the transparency and accountability of energy policy governance in the region.

 

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news-586Tue, 15 Sep 2015 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 57: Regional Media in Bulgaria: the Limits of Survivalhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-57-regional-media-in-bulgaria-the-limits-of-survival/The lack of adequate local media is a trend with devastating implications for the regions of Bulgaria. It affects not only the local public institutions; regional economic activity is also hindered by the absence of independent media. The lack of adequate local media is a trend with devastating implications for the regions of Bulgaria. It affects not only the local public institutions; regional economic activity is also hindered by the absence of independent media. At the same time, when discussing the state of media in Bulgaria, the problems of local media are often overlooked. The current publication presents the results of a survey of 179 local media with internet presence. The analysis focused on the mechanisms and factors that prevent journalists and the media from informing the public in an objective, competent, and comprehensive way.

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news-577Wed, 29 Jul 2015 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 55: The Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy 2015https://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-55-the-competitiveness-of-the-bulgarian-economy-2015/In 2015 Bulgaria has regained one position compared to the previous year in the economic http://csd.center/typo3/clear.gifcompetitiveness ranking of the World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY), published by the Institute for Management Development (IMD). The country is ranked 55th out of 61 economies. This is only a marginal improvement and remains significantly lower compared to its highest achievement in 2009 – 38th place. In 2015 Bulgaria has regained one position compared to the previous year in the economic competitiveness ranking of the World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY), published by the Institute for Management Development (IMD). The country is ranked 55th out of 61 economies. This is only a marginal improvement and remains significantly lower compared to its highest achievement in 2009 – 38th place.

The ranking highlights two particular commonalities among the best ranking countries. Firstly, nine countries from the top 10 are also listed in the top 10 of the business efficiency factor. And secondly, all top positions are occupied by economies which are driven by innovation-based growth.

In the policy brief the Center for the Study of Democracy provides the following recommendations for increasing the competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy:

  • Tackle high level corruption and state capture;
  • Modernize public administration and strengthen independent regulators;
  • Adopt education for innovation-based growth;
  • Tackle energy poverty, energy intensity and supply dependency;
  • Improve the country’s branding.
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news-650Wed, 15 Jul 2015 00:00:00 +0000Child Trafficking Among Vulnerable Roma Communities: Results of Country Studies in 7 EU Member Stateshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/child-trafficking-among-vulnerable-roma-communities-results-of-country-studies-in-7-eu-member-state/The current publication presents a study on child trafficking conducted in seven EU member states: Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania and Slovakia. The study looks at three specific forms of trafficking in persons: child trafficking for begging, for pickpocketing and for sexual exploitation of boys and the way they manifest themselves among Roma communities.

The current publication presents a study on child trafficking conducted in seven EU member states: Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania and Slovakia. The study looks at three specific forms of trafficking in persons: child trafficking for begging, for pickpocketing and for sexual exploitation of boys and the way they manifest themselves among Roma communities.

The findings of the study are based on analysis of policy documents and existing statistical data, as well focus groups and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders. The fieldwork conducted in four of the countries, traditionally regarded as origin countries of trafficking victims, relied on participatory research methods. The active involvement of Roma organisations in the research aimed to gain a deeper understanding of the risk factors involved, bring knowledge back to the communities and support Roma experts’ involvement in counter-trafficking policy and mechanisms.

The report examines the profiles of victims and discusses the vulnerability factors that make the Roma minority a particular group at risk. The study provides empirical knowledge on the mechanisms of recruitment and exploitation of victims in order to inform identification efforts and counter-trafficking responses. Particular attention is devoted to the policy and measures for assistance of victims. In this field, the report identifies specific gaps in assistance and the way they affect Roma victims in particular, and suggests how child victim assistance could be improved.

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news-575Mon, 13 Jul 2015 00:00:00 +0000Supporting vulnerable groups before the State: The Role of Civil Society Organisationshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/supporting-vulnerable-groups-before-the-state-the-role-of-civil-society-organisations/The study analyses the mechanisms for interaction between public institutions and NGOs in supporting four vulnerable groups: persons deprived of their liberty, victims of trafficking in human beings, domestic violence survivors, and persons seeking international protection and other vulnerable foreigner nationals.

The study analyses the mechanisms for interaction between public institutions and NGOs in supporting four vulnerable groups: persons deprived of their liberty, victims of trafficking in human beings, domestic violence survivors, and persons seeking international protection and other vulnerable foreigner nationals. Furthermore, it identifies trends in the cooperation between institutions and NGOs in assisting these communities. The report sums up the profile of the bodies and organisations involved and identifies problems in their interaction. Instruments for cooperation between public institutions and NGOs in relation to each vulnerable group are reviewed in detail, both on legislative and practical level. Correlations between identified problems and aspects of the interaction between public institutions and NGOs that could help resolve these problems are highlighted. In conclusion, recommendations are made to involve civil society in providing comprehensive support, in particular legal, social and administrative assistance, to vulnerable persons. These recommendations rest on the shared experience and opinions by public authorities and civil society, as well as on applicable foreign models and good practices.

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news-573Fri, 10 Jul 2015 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 54: Child Trafficking Among Vulnerable Roma Communitieshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-54-child-trafficking-among-vulnerable-roma-communities/Trafficking in persons is a lucrative crime and a gross human rights violation, which affects all EU Member States. Trafficking in children merits special attention of anti-trafficking efforts as children are especially vulnerable to trafficking, re-trafficking and victimisation and the number of children trafficked throughout the EU is on the rise.Trafficking in persons is a lucrative crime and a gross human rights violation, which affects all EU Member States. Trafficking in children merits special attention of anti-trafficking efforts as children are especially vulnerable to trafficking, re-trafficking and victimisation and the number of children trafficked throughout the EU is on the rise. Investigation, protection and prevention measures for child trafficking are especially needed as the exploitation of children and violation of their rights have dramatic negative effects on children and society as a whole.

While there is some empirical evidence on trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation of women, other forms of trafficking have not drawn attention of researchers, academics and policy makers. This means that victims of exploitation fall outside the radar of identification and thus cannot access the available assistance. Having this in mind, a consortium of seven partner organisations sought to explore three specific under-researched forms of child trafficking in order to contribute to the knowledge on how and why children fall prey to exploitation. The three forms studied are child trafficking for the purpose of begging exploitation, child trafficking for the purpose of pick-pocketing and child trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation of boys.

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news-571Thu, 25 Jun 2015 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 53: Assessing the Integration of Vulnerable Migrant Groups in Ten EU Member Stateshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-53-assessing-the-integration-of-vulnerable-migrant-groups-in-ten-eu-member-states/The EU has played an influential role on Member States and their integration policies, albeit to varying degrees. EU standards have been vital in moving Member States towards the formulation of national integration strategies, which have taken into account the Common Basic Principles of Immigrant Integration and the Zaragoza indicators.The EU has played an influential role on Member States and their integration policies, albeit to varying degrees. EU standards have been vital in moving Member States towards the formulation of national integration strategies, which have taken into account the Common Basic Principles of Immigrant Integration and the Zaragoza indicators. The process of developing migration and integration management institutions and the correspondent data collection systems has become more apparent under the influence of EU standards and regulations in all ten Member States.

The Zaragoza set of indicators in migrant integration are only a minimum list of indicators and States are encouraged to collect and analyse further data according to their specific composition of the migrant population and the legal and policy framework. The use of indicators gives policy actors a lasting perspective and evidence base for policy planning. The availability of these indicators is therefore a starting-point for more shared learning across the EU and evidence based policy making, implementation and monitoring.

The setting up of national integration indicators can be seen as a positive development in Austria, Belgium and soon Italy as it helps provide an evidence base for policy monitoring as well as policy making in these countries.

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news-569Fri, 19 Jun 2015 00:00:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 52: Refocusing Anticorruption: New Policy Evaluation Toolhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-52-refocusing-anticorruption-new-policy-evaluation-tool/Monitoring Anticorruption Policy Implementation (MACPI) – a tool recently developed by the CSD and University of Trento experts – will facilitate the refocusing of anticorruption by allowing evaluators and policy makers to review the anticorruption architecture of individual public sector organisations.

Anticorruption policies have been designed and implemented exclusively at the national level with little consideration of their actual enforcement and effect in individual public organisations. Such a general approach has prevented these policies from achieving the level of sophistication achieved by interventions in other fields of public governance.


A refocusing of the anticorruption effort at the level of public organisation would enhance the quality of design of policies and would allow more precise monitoring of their implementation and effect. Monitoring Anticorruption Policy Implementation (MACPI) – a tool recently developed by the CSD and University of Trento experts – will facilitate such refocusing by allowing evaluators and policy makers to review the anticorruption architecture of individual public sector organisations. It could also help the use of benchmarking and policy templates at the public institution level.

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news-579Fri, 05 Jun 2015 00:00:00 +0000Assessing the integration of vulnerable migrant groups: Country Report Bulgariahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/assessing-the-integration-of-vulnerable-migrant-groups-country-report-bulgaria/The current publication presents the results of an international study on the integration of third country nationals. The study was conducted in two phases that include an overview of the existing national mechanisms for monitoring and data collection in the field of integration of migrants and analysis of existing integration measures and programs for vulnerable third country nationals - women, children and victims of trafficking.


The current publication presents the results of an international study on the integration of third country nationals. The study was conducted in two phases that include an overview of the existing national mechanisms for monitoring and data collection in the field of integration of migrants and analysis of existing integration measures and programs for vulnerable third country nationals - women, children and victims of trafficking. The study was conducted under the leadership of the Center for the Study of Democracy held in ten EU member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Italy, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.

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news-563Thu, 04 Jun 2015 00:00:00 +0000Monitoring Anti-Corruption in Europe. Bridging Policy Evaluation and Corruption Measurementhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/monitoring-anti-corruption-in-europe-bridging-policy-evaluation-and-corruption-measurement/Corruption and measures to counteract it have been subject to so much research and political attention that it would seem that their every aspect must have been explored. Yet corruption proves bafflingly resilient, always finding new conduits for spreading; squeezed temporarily out of one public sector, it reappears in another. It could only benefit the anticorruption effort, therefore, if novel methods for analysis and prevention were found.


Corruption and measures to counteract it have been subject to so much research and political attention that it would seem that their every aspect must have been explored. Yet corruption proves bafflingly resilient, always finding new conduits for spreading; squeezed temporarily out of one public sector, it reappears in another. It could only benefit the anticorruption effort, therefore, if novel methods for analysis and prevention were found.

It is in response to this need that the current report seeks to build bridges between the evaluation of anticorruption policies and the measurement of corruption. Monitoring Anticorruption Policy Implementation (MACPI) was born of the understanding that innovation in anticorruption is as important as it is in other social and economic fields. MACPI provides the anticorruption community with a precision-guided tool, which gives exhaustive feedback on the enforcement of policies.

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news-565Wed, 03 Jun 2015 00:00:00 +0000Mapping Anticorruption Enforcement Instrumentshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/mapping-anticorruption-enforcement-instruments/While the enforcement of anticorruption policies has been prioritised by international institutions and national governments, the tools for evaluating this enforcement have not been developed. The main reason for this underdevelopment is that corruption is measured and policies evaluated only at the societal level, while the level of actual corrupt transactions – the public institution – is rarely analysed.

While the enforcement of anticorruption policies has been prioritised by international institutions and national governments, the tools for evaluating this enforcement have not been developed. The main reason for this underdevelopment is that corruption is measured and policies evaluated only at the societal level, while the level of actual corrupt transactions – the public institution – is rarely analysed.

This paper outlines the conceptual justification for rethinking the focus of anticorruption monitoring, maps the corruption measurement and monitoring landscape and sketches a new instrument designed to serve a better targeted policy evaluation – Monitoring Anticorruption Policy Implementation (MACPI).

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news-561Thu, 28 May 2015 00:00:00 +0000Study on paving the way for future policy initiatives in the field of fight against organised crime: the effectiveness of specific criminal law measures targeting organised crimehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/study-on-paving-the-way-for-future-policy-initiatives-in-the-field-of-fight-against-organised-crime/Organised crime poses a threat to the security and freedom of European citizens and impacts the lives of people worldwide. Recognising the severity of the problem and the need for coordinated action, the EU has initiated a number of measures to encourage closer cooperation between Member States and the adoption of common legal, judicial and investigative frameworks to address organised crime.
Organised crime poses a threat to the security and freedom of European citizens and impacts the lives of people worldwide. Recognising the severity of the problem and the need for coordinated action, the EU has initiated a number of measures to encourage closer cooperation between Member States and the adoption of common legal, judicial and investigative frameworks to address organised crime.

The report Study on paving the way for future policy initiatives in the field of fight against organised crime: the effectiveness of specific criminal law measures targeting organised crime evaluates the practical application of legal and investigative tools stemming from Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA on the fight against organised crime, other EU and international regulations and national legislation. The study involved a review of the transposition of Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA in 28 Member States; examining how the identified legislation, relevant to the fight against organised crime, was used in practice in each Member State; a review of eight special legal and investigative tools and techniques used in the fight against organised crime and an overview of selected national specialist law enforcement and prosecution agencies involved in the fight against organised crime.

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news-559Wed, 27 May 2015 00:00:00 +0000No. 51: Mapping anti-corruption enforcement instrumentshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/no-51-mapping-anti-corruption-enforcement-instruments/Over the past decade or so, the global political preoccupation with corruption has been matched by extensive research and the design of various ways of measuring its level in society. The resulting abundance of measurement and monitoring instruments have allowed a better understanding of its dynamics and have informed the design of some anticorruption policies.
Over the past decade or so, the global political preoccupation with corruption has been matched by extensive research and the design of various ways of measuring its level in society. The resulting abundance of measurement and monitoring instruments have allowed a better understanding of its dynamics and have informed the design of some anticorruption policies. The current stage of anticorruption thinking, therefore, opens the opportunity of at least two additional paths of exploration – a critical review of the measurement and monitoring tools in existence and an examination of possible gaps in these tools. The results of the review of measurement tools have informed the design of a Monitoring Anticorruption Policy Implementation (MACPI) tool which is intended to evaluate the anticorruption preparedness of public organisations by identifying areas of corruption vulnerability. The findings indicate that while the enforcement of anticorruption policies has been prioritised by international institutions and national governments, the tools for evaluating this enforcement have not been developed.

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news-557Thu, 14 May 2015 00:00:00 +0000Corruption and Organized Crime Threat Monitoring Reporthttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/corruption-and-organized-crime-threat-monitoring-report/The Corruption and Organized Crime Threat Monitoring Report is an overview of the state and dynamics of corruption and organized crime in the Republic of Macedonia. The basis of this report is the Corruption Monitoring System (CMS) developed by the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD).
The Corruption and Organized Crime Threat Monitoring Report is an overview of the state and dynamics of corruption and organized crime in the Republic of Macedonia. The basis of this report is the Corruption Monitoring System (CMS) developed by the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD). The CMS relies on diverse sources of information and combines quantitative and qualitative methods for monitoring and the assessment of corruption and organized crime. The CMS has gained acknowledgement from the United Nations (UN) as a best practice system for monitoring corruption at the national level.

The report is divided into seven chapters and it provides an overview of the legal and institutional framework for the fight against corruption and organized crime in the country, provides an overview of the macroeconomic situation and the emergence of the link between corruption and organized crime, risk assessment of threats and corruption of organized crime, as well as levels of connection between these two phenomena: infiltration (general) in the political arena, infiltration in the government (elected officials), infiltration in public administration and institutions, bribery, etc. Through these levels indirect critical review of corruption in politics is offered, but also to other areas and levels of government such as the judiciary; administration, police and customs. The last section deals with the private sector and corruption with a general review and review of public procurement, money laundering and VAT fraud.

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news-677Wed, 13 May 2015 18:03:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 50: Overcomming institutional gaps to tackle illicit financinghttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-50-overcomming-institutional-gaps-to-tackle-illicit-financing/The EU legal framework requires that all Members States criminalise the financing of organised crime. According to the provisions of Article 2 (a) of the Council Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA of 24 October 2008 on the fight against organised crime ‘’Each Member State shall take the necessary measures to ensure that one or both of the following types of conduct related to a criminal organisation are regarded as offences: (a) conduct by any person who, with intent and with knowledge of either the aim and general activity of the criminal organisation or its intention to commit the offences in question, actively takes part in the organisation’s criminal activities, including the provision of information or material means, the recruitment of new members and all forms of financing of its activities, knowing that such participation will contribute to the achievement of the organisation’s criminal activities.” Nevertheless, criminal justice authorities in Members States rarely make use of these provisions. 

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news-567Thu, 09 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0000Child Trafficking Among Vulnerable Groups: Country Report Bulgariahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/child-trafficking-among-vulnerable-groups-country-report-bulgaria/The current report looks at three specific forms of trafficking in persons: child trafficking for begging, for pickpocketing and for sexual exploitation of boys and the way they manifest themselves among Roma communities. The report examines the profiles of victims and discusses the vulnerability factors that make the Roma minority a particular group at risk.
The current report looks at three specific forms of trafficking in persons: child trafficking for begging, for pickpocketing and for sexual exploitation of boys and the way they manifest themselves among Roma communities. The report examines the profiles of victims and discusses the vulnerability factors that make the Roma minority a particular group at risk. The study provides empirical knowledge on the mechanisms of recruitment and exploitation of victims in order to inform identification efforts and counter-trafficking responses. Particular attention is devoted to the policy and measures for assistance of victims. In this field, the report identifies specific gaps in assistance and the way they affect Roma victims in particular, and suggests how child victim assistance could be improved. The active involvement of Roma organisations in the research through participatory methods aimed to gain a deeper understanding of the risk factors involved, bring knowledge back to the communities and support Roma experts’ involvement in counter-trafficking policy and mechanisms.


This publication has been produced with the financial support of the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme, European Commission – Directorate General Home Affairs. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the Center for the Study of Democracy and can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Commission.

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news-518Thu, 02 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0000Anti-Corruption Reloaded: Assessment of Southeast Europehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/anti-corruption-reloaded-assessment-of-southeast-europe/The Southeast Europe Leadership for Development and Integrity (SELDI) has made the in-depth diagnosing and understanding of corruption and governance gaps in the region one of its main priorities, as a requisite condition for its advocacy of knowledge-driven anticorruption policies.

Corruption in Southeast Europe has been in the news, in the focus of public debate, and on the policy agenda of national and international institutions so often and for so long that its scrutiny hardly needs to be justified. It is precisely because it has proven to be such an intractable issue that innovative approaches to its understanding – and hence its reduction – are warranted. The EU accession prospects for the countries in the region – though distant – provide an enabling framework for action but it is local stakeholders, and in particular civil society who can bring about sustained progress in anti-corruption. The Southeast Europe Leadership for Development and Integrity (SELDI) has made the in-depth diagnosing and understanding of corruption and governance gaps in the region one of its main priorities, as a requisite condition for its advocacy of knowledge-driven anticorruption policies. This SELDI report fits in the development and implementation framework of the emerging regional anticorruption policy and infrastructure as exemplified by the SEE2020 Strategy’s Governance Pillar run by the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative.

Despite some important achievements – mostly with respect to the stabilisation of democratic institutions, the adoption of laws in key anticorruption areas, a reduction in petty bribery and growing public intolerance of corruption – anticorruption and good governance reforms are not consolidated, corruption among elected politicians and judges seems to be increasing and the enforcement of anticorruption legislation is haphazard. Anticorruption policies and institutions in the region will benefit immensely from the adoption of regular and accurate victimisation-survey based tool for measuring corruption and the rate of progress in good governance, similar to the special Eurobarometer on anticorruption, UNODC’s SEE monitoring of corruption and organised crime, and the Corruption Monitoring System employed by this report.

Media Coverage

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news-590Thu, 02 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0000No. 49: Media Ownership in Bulgaria:State of Play and Challengeshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/no-49-media-ownership-in-bulgariastate-of-play-and-challenges/Transparency of media ownership and media pluralism are directly related to fundamental constitutional principles, rights and freedoms such as independence and freedom of the media, freedom of expression,pluralism of opinions and citizens’ right to information.
Transparency of media ownership and media pluralism are directly related to fundamental constitutional principles, rights and freedoms such as independence and freedom of the media, freedom of expression, pluralism of opinions and citizens’ right to information. Consistent application of these democratic principles is required to prevent the vicious practice of using the media as an instrument for state capture. The current publication makes a review of the legal framework for disclosing ownership of the media.

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news-554Wed, 01 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0000Financing of organised crimehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/financing-of-organised-crime/The report Financing of Organised Crime contributes to a better understanding of the financial aspects of organised crime. The analysis explores topics such as the sources and mechanisms for financing organised crime, settlement of payments, access to financing in critical moments, costs of business and themanagement of profits.


The report Financing of Organised Crime contributes to a better understanding of the financial aspects of organised crime. The analysis explores topics such as the sources and mechanisms for financing organised crime, settlement of payments, access to financing in critical moments, costs of business and the management of profits. Drawing on the results of the analysis, the report also suggests possible new approaches to tackling organised crime. The report has been produced with the joint efforts of the Center for the Study of Democracy, the University of Trento and Teesside University and in close collaboration with the State Agency National Security in Bulgaria, the State Police in Latvia and the French National Institute for Advanced Studies in Security and Justice.

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news-555Wed, 01 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0000Background Analysis on the Spread and Trends of Hidden Economy in Macedoniahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/background-analysis-on-the-spread-and-trends-of-hidden-economy-in-macedonia/The analysis involves a review of existing reports and data on the hidden economy in Macedonia as well as the available international sources. It reviews the current policy initiatives and whether these have been evaluated, as well as any planned future initiatives. Blamed for many of the country’s problems, but at the same time under-researched and ineptly understood, the hidden economy phenomenon has, for many years, been insufficiently tackled by Macedonian academic and political elites. During the past few years, a renewed interest in the topic has led towards its more systematic treatment by institutions, but still largely based on approximations, lack of coordination between institutions and under-evaluation of policy measures. This treatment of the problem opens the floor to many speculations regarding the effectiveness of policies and their actual impact on reducing the size of hidden economy.

The analysis, prepared by the Center for the Study of Democracy and the Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM), involves a review of existing reports and data on the hidden economy in Macedonia as well as the available international sources. It reviews the current policy initiatives and whether these have been evaluated, as well as any planned future initiatives. The document aims to address some of the key issues through representing cross-section of existing data on the hidden economy in Macedonia and relevant policies, with the intention to review and summarize the knowledge-base on the issue and provide recommendations for better tackling the problem.



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news-552Tue, 31 Mar 2015 00:00:00 +0000No. 48: Anti-corruption measures in law-enforcement institutionshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/no-48-anti-corruption-measures-in-law-enforcement-institutions/In countries with endemic corruption, integrity reforms can only be successful if anti-corruption institutions succeed in tackling internal corruption challenges. A sharp decline of corruption in law enforcement would provide society with the necessary tools to pursue tangible change.

In countries with endemic corruption, integrity reforms can only be successful if anti-corruption institutions succeed in tackling internal corruption challenges. A sharp decline of corruption in law enforcement would provide society with the necessary tools to pursue tangible change. The experience of established democracies is that a successful transformation depends not simply on individual measures but rather on the introduction of sets of effective anti-corruption measures across the entire public administration. Corruption among lawenforcement officers has been viewed with an increasing concern by the authorities and the public in many European states. As a result, while no common approach has ever been tested with respect to the judiciary, elected politicians or the customs, countering police corruption has become an all-European effort. During the last decade, several European countries developed multi-institutional systems for police integrity. On EU level, platforms like the European Partners against Corruption (EPAC) were introduced, enabling specialised anti-corruption institutions to cooperate and share experience. In addition, Europol, Interpol and the UN developed and shared the blueprints of common standards and good practices in preventing police corruption

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news-542Tue, 17 Mar 2015 00:00:00 +0000Good practices from other states for the participation of NGOs in supporting selected vulnerable groups in their relations with institutionshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/good-practices-from-other-states-for-the-participation-of-ngos-in-supporting-selected-vulnerable-gro/In order to contribute to the improvement of the situation of Bulgarian NGOs, providing support to selected vulnerable groups – prisoners, victims of trafficking and domestic violence, persons seeking international protection and other vulnerable foreigners – this report presents a selection and summary of good practices from EU Member States, donor states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and countries outside of Europe.

In order to contribute to the improvement of the situation of Bulgarian NGOs, providing support to selected vulnerable groups – prisoners, victims of trafficking and domestic violence, persons seeking international protection and other vulnerable foreigners – this report presents a selection and summary of good practices from EU Member States, donor states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and countries outside of Europe.

The practices have been identified by studying printed and electronic publications of foreign entities and comparative reports of international organisations on the legislation, policies and practices in different countries. Part of the information has been collected via foreign partners of the Center for the Study of Democracy under projects, related to the selected vulnerable groups and the capacity building of civic organisations.

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news-540Mon, 23 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0000No. 47: EU and NATO's role in tackling energy security and state capture risks in Europehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/no-47-eu-and-natos-role-in-tackling-energy-security-and-state-capture-risks-in-europe/The Crimean crisis and the continuing instability in Eastern Ukraine have turned into a rude wake up call for Europe’s energy security vulnerabilities. Since the beginning of the crisis the EU and NATO have scrambled for finding the right measures to a balanced response to Russia’s growing assertiveness, while striving to alleviate the most acute energy security risks for their members.

The Crimean crisis and the continuing instability in Eastern Ukraine have turned into a rude wake up call for Europe’s energy security vulnerabilities. Russia has demonstrated its capacity to yield political and economic influence on the countries in the CEE and the Black Sea regions by leveraging its dominant position on their energy markets. Russia has pressured governments to support its flagship project, South Stream, at the expense of the countries’ long-term strategy to diversify their natural gas supply and in defiance of EU’s strategy for building a liberalised common market. Since the beginning of the crisis the EU and NATO have scrambled for finding the right measures to a balanced response to Russia’s growing assertiveness, while striving to alleviate the most acute energy security risks for their members.

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news-544Wed, 18 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0000Policy Tracker: EU and Russia’s Energy Policy at the Backdrop of the South Stream Pipelinehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-tracker-eu-and-russias-energy-policy-at-the-backdrop-of-the-south-stream-pipeline/The present paper aims at tracking the development of the South Stream gas pipeline project from the perspectives of the EU and Russia, and in the context of the common EU external energy policy. The EU-Russia energy dialogue has become increasingly complicated since the two natural gas crises in 2006 and 2009, when the gas supply was cut for about two weeks due to a gas pricing dispute between Russia and Ukraine.

The present paper aims at tracking the development of the South Stream gas pipeline project from the perspectives of the EU and Russia, and in the context of the common EU external energy policy. The EU-Russia energy dialogue has become increasingly complicated since the two natural gas crises in 2006 and 2009, when the gas supply was cut for about two weeks due to a gas pricing dispute between Russia and Ukraine. Until then the energy relations between Europe and Russia have run smoothly as Gazprom had been perceived as a reliable supplier operating under long-term, oil-indexed contracts providing predictability of supplied volumes and prices. For producers such as Russia operating in a glut market, the most important goal was to preserve their market share in Europe. An eventual supply disruption would discredit suppliers and will push consumers look for more viable alternatives.

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news-538Fri, 13 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0000Bulgaria and the South Stream Pipeline Project: At the Crossroad of Energy Security and State Capture Riskshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/bulgaria-and-the-south-stream-pipeline-project-at-the-crossroad-of-energy-security-and-state-captur/In 2014 the question of Europe’s energy security made it to the top of the European Union’s policy agenda amidst the continuing crisis in Ukraine. Russia has demonstrated its capacity to exert political influence on the countries in Southeast Europe and the Black Sea regions by leveraging its dominant position on their energy markets. It has successfully pressured the government of Bulgaria to support its flagship project, South Stream, at the expense of the country’s long-term strategy to diversify its natural gas supply.

In 2014 the question of Europe’s energy security made it to the top of the European Union’s policy agenda amidst the continuing crisis in Ukraine. Russia has demonstrated its capacity to exert political influence on the countries in Southeast Europe and the Black Sea regions by leveraging its dominant position on their energy markets. It has successfully pressured the government of Bulgaria to support its flagship project, South Stream, at the expense of the country’s long-term strategy to diversify its natural gas supply.

The article highlights the development of the Gazprom-led project in Bulgaria by taking stock of the country’s energy security situation and shedding light on state capture risks related to the pipeline. Governance deficits in the Bulgarian energy sector have ultimately limited Bulgaria’s bargaining power on the project, worsening the country’s overall energy security position, and putting an additional strain on public finances. Bulgaria’s commitment to South Stream has been in conflict with Bulgarian and EU energy priorities, as well as with European Commission competition and liberalisation principles. Bulgaria has started the project’s implementation without independent planning and cost-benefit analysis. The focus on the project has diverted attention and resources from priority energy security investments, such as gas interconnectors and storage facilities, gas and power exchanges, energy poverty as well as energy efficiency.

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news-647Tue, 10 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0000Prison Conditions Monitoring Index: Methodology and Pilot Resultshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/prison-conditions-monitoring-index-methodology-and-pilot-results/International organisations, national governments and human rights NGOs exercise various types of monitoring of the penitentiary systems. In order to quantify their results, there are some generally accepted indicators (such as the number of inmates per 100.000 citizens), but in many specific areas like healthcare, employment, security and safety, such indicators have never been applied. Therefore, those monitoring efforts will substantially benefit from an instrument capable of supplying comparable and easy-to-use data on the situation in prisons.International organisations, national governments and human rights NGOs exercise various types of monitoring of the penitentiary systems. In order to quantify their results, there are some generally accepted indicators (such as the number of inmates per 100.000 citizens), but in many specific areas like healthcare, employment, security and safety, such indicators have never been applied. Therefore, those monitoring efforts will substantially benefit from an instrument capable of supplying comparable and easy-to-use data on the situation in prisons.

To address this need, the Center for the Study of Democracy, in cooperation with the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts, the Observatory on the Penal System and Human Rights with the University of Barcelona, the Law Institute of Lithuania and Association Droit au Droit, developed a Prison Conditions Monitoring Index (PCMI) – a system of indicators translating into comparable figures the situation in different prisons. In the end of 2014, the PCMI was piloted in several prisons in Bulgaria, Germany and Lithuania to test its operability and analyse the potential use of the results it generates.

The present report elaborates on the methodology underlying the PCMI and offers a summary of the results of its pilot implementation. It is intended for a broad audience of readers including policy makers, prison staff, lawyers, social workers, academics and NGOs interested in the topic of prison monitoring.



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news-648Tue, 10 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0000Vulnerable Groups of Prisoners: A Handbookhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/vulnerable-groups-of-prisoners-a-handbook/In prison, certain groups of inmates are subject to disadvantages due to specifics of their origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, etc. These groups usually need special treatment, which is not always provided, which leads to unequal treatment and violation of their rights.

In prison, certain groups of inmates are subject to disadvantages due to specifics of their origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, etc. These groups usually need special treatment, which is not always provided, which leads to unequal treatment and violation of their rights.

This handbook examines the situation of such vulnerable groups within the prison systems of Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Lithuania and Spain. Starting from the classification of the UN Handbook on Prisoners with special needs and looking at the different national contexts, the authors identify different groups as vulnerable in different countries. In order to encompass as many groups as possible, their list was extended to include some particularly marginalised groups, such as sex offenders, prisoners with disabilities, etc.

Each group is viewed in context, explaining the situations of vulnerability both generally and in the selected countries. From one side, the handbook presents the efforts for compensation of vulnerabilities in every country available in the legislation or provided by prison authorities or other actors. From the other side, it identifies the gaps in the measures and practices, which vary both from country to country and from group to group.



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news-536Thu, 15 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0000Directory of institutions and organizations, working with selected vulnerable groupshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/directory-of-institutions-and-organizations-working-with-selected-vulnerable-groups/This directory of institutions and organizations, working with selected vulnerable groups – prisoners, refugees and migrants, victims of domestic violence and human trafficking – was made within the framework of the initiative Civic Organizations: a Guarantee for Equal Rights of Vulnerable Groups before the State.


This directory of institutions and organizations, working with selected vulnerable groups – prisoners, refugees and migrants, victims of domestic violence and human trafficking – was made within the framework of the initiative Civic Organizations: a Guarantee for Equal Rights of Vulnerable Groups before the State. State authorities and NGOs are presented in separate templates, outlining their contact information, as well as their main activities, related to vulnerable groups. The legal grounds for institutions’ work with those communities are described, as well as the key projects NGOs have worked on in the areas under research in the last few years.

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news-502Sat, 10 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0000RE-SOC Newsletterhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/re-soc-newsletter/To keep the stakeholders and the general public informed on the progress of the initiative Re-socialization of offenders in the EU: enhancing the role of the civil society (RE-SOC) a newsletter is compiled and distributed on a regular basis. To keep the stakeholders and the general public informed on the progress of the initiative Re-socialization of offenders in the EU: enhancing the role of the civil society (RE-SOC) a newsletter is compiled and distributed on a regular basis. The newsletter includes information about recent developments within the framework of the initiative and offers also actual news, related to the EU and national prisons policies, information about past and upcoming events, and notifications of new laws and publications.

Number 1/January 2014
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Number 2/March 2014
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Number 3/September 2014
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Number 5/December 2014
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news-534Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0000No. 46: Corruption and Anti-Corruption in Bulgaria (2013 – 2014)https://csd.bg/publications/publication/no-46-corruption-and-anti-corruption-in-bulgaria-2013-2014/The policy brief makes an overview of the levels of corruption and the impact of corruption on the societal sectors. In 2014, the Corruption Monitoring System has recorded the highest levels of involvement of the Bulgarian population in corruption transactions in the last 15 years. In the past year Bulgarians have conceded to being involved on average in roughly 158 thousand corruption transactions monthly.

The policy brief makes an overview of the levels of corruption and the impact of corruption on the societal sectors. In 2014, the Corruption Monitoring System has recorded the highest levels of involvement of the Bulgarian population in corruption transactions in the last 15 years. In the past year Bulgarians have conceded to being involved on average in roughly 158 thousand corruption transactions monthly.

Most corruption transactions have been initiated by the administration through exerting corruption pressure on those seeking public services. The public’s susceptibility to corruption in 2014 is similar to 1999 despite the increase of intolerance to corrupt behaviour. In the business sector corruption’s effectiveness for solving problems has grown in 2014. Most companies do not trust public organisations and do not consider they are treated equally in courts.

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news-646Thu, 11 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0000Anti-Corruption Policies against State Capturehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/anti-corruption-policies-against-state-capture/In the tenth Corruption Assessment Report, the Center for the Study of Democracy provides an overview of the state of corruption and anticorruption in Bulgaria in 2013 – 2014. The report is produced within the framework of the Southeast Europe Leadership for Development and Integrity initiative (SELDI), which provides a comparative perspective for nine countries in Southeast Europe.

In the tenth Corruption Assessment Report, the Center for the Study of Democracy provides an overview of the state of corruption and anticorruption in Bulgaria in 2013 – 2014. The report is produced within the framework of the Southeast Europe Leadership for Development and Integrity initiative (SELDI), which provides a comparative perspective for nine countries in Southeast Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey). The report’s findings are based on the state-of-the-art Corruption Monitoring System, and are complemented with recommendations on anti-corruption policies.

The report argues that Bulgaria needs bold institutional anti-corruption reforms and personal commitment at the highest level in the judiciary and the executive to tackle state capture and wide-spread administrative corruption.

Eleventh Anti-Corruption Policy Forum: Anti-Corruption Policies against State Capture, 11 December 2014
Previous Corruption Assessment Reports

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news-528Wed, 03 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0000Ambulant sanctions as an alternative to imprisonment in the European Unionhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/ambulant-sanctions-as-an-alternative-to-imprisonment-in-the-european-union/The issue of imprisonment vs. alternative penalties has been debated in various European countries during the last decades, and ambulant sanctions have been heavily on the rise. Community sentences and other alternatives to imprisonment are regarded as modern instruments for the rehabilitation of offenders. The objective of the present study is to examine the scope of application of penalties without deprivation of liberty as compared to imprisonment as well as to identify promising practices of alternative criminal sanctioning in Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Spain and Lithuania.
The issue of imprisonment vs. alternative penalties has been debated in various European countries during the last decades, and ambulant sanctions have been heavily on the rise. Community sentences and other alternatives to imprisonment are regarded as modern instruments for the rehabilitation of offenders. The objective of the present study is to examine the scope of application of penalties without deprivation of liberty as compared to imprisonment as well as to identify promising practices of alternative criminal sanctioning in Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Spain and Lithuania.
As this study covers several European countries, the comparative perspective suggests itself nearly as a matter of course. In this connection, it seems reasonable to describe the existing ambulant sanctions of the different member states involved, taking into account their legal arrangement and their relation within the system of penal sanctions including their relation to the deprivation of liberty. It in addition appears sensible to describe and compare these ambulant sanctions with reference to their contribution to the re-socialisation or rehabilitation of those subjected to them as well as with special attention to the involvement of civil society in their execution. In a further step, promising practices in connection with ambulant sanctions could be highlighted which may be recommended for imitation by other member states. Such an approach proves to be impossible for multiple reasons, though, and it would be inadequate just to make such an attempt.
There are exemplary references to ambulant sanctions in Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Lithuania and Spain. This is due to the fact that scientists from these countries have taken part in the realisation of this project but not necessarily because of specific outstanding features of their sanction systems in comparison with other member states.



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news-530Wed, 03 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0000Improving Protection of Victims’ Rights: Access to Legal Aid https://csd.bg/publications/publication/improving-protection-of-victims-rights-access-to-legal-aid/The book Improving Protection of Victims’ Rights: Access to Legal Aid was published by Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland, as scientific output of the initiative by the same name, to which the Center for the Study of Democracy was a partner. The publication presents a report, edited by CSD experts and comparing partner countries’ domestic systems and international standards in the area. Moreover, the legal aid norms of Poland, Bulgaria, Latvia, England and Wales and Portugal are reviewed and the challenges to providing legal advice to victims of crime are discussed.

The book Improving Protection of Victims’ Rights: Access to Legal Aid was published by Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland, as scientific output of the initiative by the same name, to which the Center for the Study of Democracy was a partner. The publication presents a report, edited by CSD experts and comparing partner countries’ domestic systems and international standards in the area. Moreover, the legal aid norms of Poland, Bulgaria, Latvia, England and Wales and Portugal are reviewed and the challenges to providing legal advice to victims of crime are discussed.

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news-532Mon, 01 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0000Country reports on Vulnerable Groups of Inmateshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/country-reports-on-vulnerable-groups-of-inmates/The country reports on vulnerable groups of inmates consider the situation of selected groups of prisoners qualified by UN as vulnerable due to their special position in the prisons of Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Lithuania and Spain. Each paper researches the availability of legal provisions in the respective country which possibly neutralise these groups’ vulnerabilities as well as practices which authorities and NGOs implement towards these groups.The country reports on vulnerable groups of inmates consider the situation of selected groups of prisoners qualified by UN as vulnerable due to their special position in the prisons of Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Lithuania and Spain. Each paper researches the availability of legal provisions in the respective country which possibly neutralise these groups’ vulnerabilities as well as practices which authorities and NGOs implement towards these groups.

The reports are a part of the Re-socialization of offenders in the EU: enhancing the role of the civil society (RE-SOC) initiative, coordinated by the Center for the Study of Democracy.

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news-550Mon, 01 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0000Hidden Economy in Macedonia Policy Brief 3: Hunting the Shadows – Tax Evasion Dynamics in Macedoniahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/hidden-economy-in-macedonia-policy-brief-3-hunting-the-shadows-tax-evasion-dynamics-in-macedonia/The current policy brief stresses that as a middle-income country, which is still reforming its tax authority, tax system and related measures against tax evasion and fraud, one can reasonably assume that Macedonia should expect rate of tax evasion and fraud of at least 7.9% of GDP or about 700 mln. EUR on an annual basis.The Center for the Study of Democracy, in collaboration with the Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) elaborated a series of policy briefs analyzing the hidden economy in Macedonia. The topics encompass the issues of countering undeclared labour, tax evasion and fraud, media reporting on hidden economy and corruption, etc.

According to estimates in 2013 the European Union lost around 1 trillion EUR in public revenues annually due to tax evasion and fraud. Given that EU's GDP summed up to 12.7 trillion EUR in 2013, tax evasion and fraud represented 7.9% of its annual GDP.

The current policy brief stresses that as a middle-income country, which is still reforming its tax authority, tax system and related measures against tax evasion and fraud, one can reasonably assume that Macedonia should expect at least a similar rate to GDP of tax evasion and fraud (7.9%) or at least 700 mln. EUR on an annual basis. On the one hand, it negatively affects the competitive position of the companies that pay their taxes vis-a-vis the ones that evade taxes. On the other hand, it affects all citizens, as it undermines the everyday functioning of public services, (like healthcare, education, security, infrastructure etc.), which otherwise would have had better quality and extent.

The authors underline several key points:

  • Tax revenues from pension and disability, and healthcare contributions in Macedonia have increased recently despite the lowering of tax rates.
  • According to the Public Revenue Office tax evasion and issuance of cash register receipts were the leading causes for reporting irregularities throughout the period 2006-2013.
  • The hidden economy survey among businesses has shown that half of interviewed companies agree that the tax system is good and stimulating for the development of businesses.
  • But less than half (46.7%) of citizens reported to always receive receipts when buying groceries.
  • And 1/3 of businesses reported that ‘manipulating VAT’ and ‘employing accounting tricks in order to pay lower taxes’ happens in their sectors.




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news-526Mon, 17 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000No. 45: The Management and Disposal of Confiscated Assets in the EU Member Stateshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/no-45-the-management-and-disposal-of-confiscated-assets-in-the-eu-member-states/The disposal of confiscated assets has been so far a neglected topic at the European level, despite its extreme importance for the effectiveness of the overall confiscation system.


The disposal of confiscated assets has been so far a neglected topic at the European level, despite its extreme importance for the effectiveness of the overall confiscation system. However, problems occurring at this final stage of the procedure may nullify the efforts previously made by police forces and judicial authorities.

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news-520Tue, 11 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000Civil Society Involvement in Drafting, Implementing and Assessing Anticorruption Policieshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/civil-society-involvement-in-drafting-implementing-and-assessing-anticorruption-policies/Cooperation between public institutions and civil society organizations (CSOs) is essential for any successful anticorruption strategy. Strengthening the role of CSOs with regard to anticorruption means thinking in terms of a system - how can a corruption system be broken and how is it possible to develop and improve national and local integrity systems (LIS).

Cooperation between public institutions and civil society organizations (CSOs) is essential for any successful anticorruption strategy. Strengthening the role of CSOs with regard to anticorruption means thinking in terms of a system - how can a corruption system be broken and how is it possible to develop and improve national and local integrity systems (LIS). Transparency and access to information is widely seen as the key to promote greater public sector efficiency and reducing corruption because the information can be monitored by citizens and watchdog organizations.

This Best Practices Manual is specifically aimed at strengthening the cooperation between civil society organizations and public institutions with regard to preventing and fighting corruption. It provides a comprehensive account of the selected best practices of cooperation, including their structure, impact, sustainability and lessons learned in countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, The Netherlands and other European Union (EU) and non-EU states. The applicability of these practices is context specific, nevertheless, it is possible to draw a number of valuable generic lessons.

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news-522Mon, 10 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000Socio-demographic analysis of selected vulnerable groupshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/socio-demographic-analysis-of-selected-vulnerable-groups/Within the framework of the initiative Civic organizations: a Guarantee for Equal Rights of Vulnerable Groups before the State of the Center for the Study of Democracy the socio-demographic analysis of four selected vulnerable groups – prisoners, refugees and migrants, victims of trafficking and domestic violence – outlines the profile of each of those groups and its components, putting it in particular vulnerability in its relations with institutions. Within the framework of the initiative Civic organizations: a Guarantee for Equal Rights of Vulnerable Groups before the State of the Center for the Study of Democracy the socio-demographic analysis of four selected vulnerable groups – prisoners, refugees and migrants, victims of trafficking and domestic violence – outlines the profile of each of those groups and its components, putting it in particular vulnerability in its relations with institutions. Special attention is given to children from each group as having their specifics, requiring special attention by state agencies. The analysis is based on information by institutions and NGOs and points to lack of unified criteria and low level of comparability of data.

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news-524Mon, 10 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000Analysis of the legal framework of assisting selected vulnerable groups in their relations with institutionshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/analysis-of-the-legal-framework-of-assisting-selected-vulnerable-groups-in-their-relations-with-inst/Within the framework of the initiative Civic organizations: a Guarantee for Equal Rights of Vulnerable Groups before the State of the Center for the Study of Democracy the legal analysis of the relations with institutions of four selected vulnerable groups – prisoners, persons, seeking special protection, and refugees, victims of trafficking and domestic violence – outlines the most common judicial and administrative procedures, in which they are involved.
Within the framework of the initiative Civic organizations: a Guarantee for Equal Rights of Vulnerable Groups before the State of the Center for the Study of Democracy the legal analysis of the relations with institutions of four selected vulnerable groups – prisoners, persons, seeking special protection, and refugees, victims of trafficking and domestic violence – outlines the most common judicial and administrative procedures, in which they are involved. The elements of the proceedings are looked at, as well as the options to challenge the decisions of state authorities and the legal and practical mechanisms, by which NGOs can participate. Notably, in a number of areas the state relies substantially on civic organizations, while in others the relationship of institutions and NGOs is still being built.

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news-548Sat, 01 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000Hidden Economy in Macedonia Policy Brief 2: Hit and Miss - The Dynamics of Undeclared Labor in Macedoniahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/hidden-economy-in-macedonia-policy-brief-2-hit-and-miss-the-dynamics-of-undeclared-labor-in-maced/The current policy brief underlines that undeclared work, being one of the main manifestations of hidden economy, becomes the bull’s-eye for many countries focusing on reshaping their social and economic policies in order to tackle this issue, especially since the onset of the economic crisis that hit Europe and the World in 2008. The Center for the Study of Democracy, in collaboration with the Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) elaborated a series of policy briefs analyzing the hidden economy in Macedonia. The topics encompass the issues of countering undeclared labour, tax evasion and fraud, media reporting on hidden economy and corruption, etc.

The current policy brief underlines that undeclared work, being one of the main manifestations of hidden economy, becomes the bull’s-eye for many countries focusing on reshaping their social and economic policies in order to tackle this issue, especially since the onset of the economic crisis that hit Europe and the World in 2008. The most recent economic indicators coming from Europe show that this crisis has not concluded and European economies are yet to deal with its mid and long-term consequences. Macedonia and other Western Balkan countries are not exempt from this process, with job creation and policies targeting unemployment (28.2% as of Q2 2014) being a major concern and a focal point of political activity. Low growth prospects in the EU and sluggish economic conditions forecasted in 2014 are also limiting Macedonia’s growth prospects, which at this point are still positive at around 4% GDP growth annually (4.3% as of Q2 2014).

The authors highlight several key points:

  • According to results from the population survey, the proportion of employees with a primary employment receiving ‘envelope’ payments or temporary service contracts in addition to their salary is about one-third of the employed population.
  • Almost 7% of employees work without a contract and are not being paid social security contributions. Combined with the abovementioned fact, this indicates the salary of about 40% of employees with a primary employment is partially or completely undeclared.
  • More than half of employers confirm that signing contracts with ‘hidden clauses’ happens in their sector.
  • Macedonia’s main focus in tackling undeclared work, just as most Eastern European Countries, is on Labor Law violations). Repressive measures and others aimed at improving detection are the dominant policy approach.



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news-516Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000Disposal of Confiscated Assets in the EU Member States: Laws and Practiceshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/disposal-of-confiscated-assets-in-the-eu-member-states-laws-and-practices/This report analyses laws and practices for the management and disposal of confiscated assets in the European Union. The analysis explores the challenges and best practices of the Member States in this hitherto neglected area and strives to contribute to improvement of the overall effectiveness of the existing confiscation systems.
The confiscation of assets acquired from criminal activities – organized crime and corruption in particular – has been a topical issue in recent years. Contemporary theory and practice establish that the confiscation of proceeds of crimes is indispensible if the fight against serious criminality is to be effective. They also establish that the objective behind asset confiscation extends beyond depriving criminal enterprises of their ill-gotten gains. Being increasingly aware of the full array of considerations behind asset confiscation, EU MSs have turned their attention to the compensation of victims –individual victims and deprived communities alike – and to the maintenance of public confidence in the justice system.

This report analyses laws and practices for the management and disposal of confiscated assets in the European Union. The analysis explores the challenges and best practices of the Member States in this hitherto neglected area and strives to contribute to improvement of the overall effectiveness of the existing confiscation systems. This mapping has been carried out by the Center for the Study of Democracy in collaboration with University of Palermo – Department of European Studies and International Integration (UNIPA).

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news-514Tue, 07 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000E-newsletters on the VICS initiativehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/e-newsletters-on-the-vics-initiative/E-newsletters on the progress of the initiative Improving protection of victims’ rights: access to legal aid (VICS) are regularly compiled and distributed among stakeholders to keep them informed about activities and recent developments.E-newsletters on the progress of the initiative Improving protection of victims’ rights: access to legal aid (VICS) are regularly compiled and distributed among stakeholders to keep them informed about activities and recent developments. The newsletters include information about publications and events within the framework of the initiative and other legislative and practical updates in the area of victims’ rights.








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news-546Mon, 01 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000Hidden Economy in Macedonia Policy Brief 1: The Economics of Blurs and Shadows – The Hidden Economy in Macedoniahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/hidden-economy-in-macedonia-policy-brief-1-the-economics-of-blurs-and-shadows-the-hidden-economy/The current policy brief provides an overview of the hidden economy in Macedonia, including some of its main causes and consequences. At the same time, it offers a macroeconomic overview of the characteristics considered to favor the prevalence of the hidden economy, while outlining the basic definitions and different hidden economy measurement methods. Furthermore, it reviews the latest policy developments in Macedonia in the area of hidden economy and delivers an outline of where this phenomenon is headed and what measures are, and should be taken, to tackle it. The Center for the Study of Democracy, in collaboration with the Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) elaborated a series of policy briefs analyzing the hidden economy in Macedonia. The topics encompass the issues of countering undeclared labour, tax evasion and fraud, media reporting on hidden economy and corruption, etc.

The current policy brief provides an overview of the hidden economy in Macedonia, including some of its main causes and consequences. At the same time, it offers a macroeconomic overview of the characteristics considered to favor the prevalence of the hidden economy, while outlining the basic definitions and different hidden economy measurement methods. Furthermore, it reviews the latest policy developments in Macedonia in the area of hidden economy and delivers an outline of where this phenomenon is headed and what measures are, and should be taken, to tackle it.

The authors underline several key points:

  • According to the research being done on the issue of hidden economy, its share in Macedonia, depending on the measurement method used, ranges from 24% to 47% of GDP with a tendency to decrease.
  • The decreasing, but still large unemployment rate (28.4% as of Q2 2014), as one of the most important factors that give rise to hidden economic activities and practices, indicates a crossover from the informal to the formal sector.
  • The indicators of non-observed economy (NOE) and observed informal employment by the SSO indicate a tendency of decreasing hidden economy and increasing formalization of labor.
  • Attracting FDIs through improving the business environment, increasing the capacity of the self- employment program of the Employment Agency, and reforming the inspectorates will remain some of the most crucial factors in encouraging the formalization process of labor and businesses and thus decreasing hidden economic activities.




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news-512Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000Energy Sector Governance and Energy (In)Security in Bulgaria https://csd.bg/publications/publication/energy-sector-governance-and-energy-insecurity-in-bulgaria/This report explores the major governance deficiencies in the Bulgarian energy policy regarding the strategic, institutional, and legal framework of the sector. The report focuses on state capture of energy policy by private political and economic interests that led to bad management practices in the sector, to lack of consistency in the legal and regulatory framework, to deteriorating investment environment, and to the involvement of the country in infrastructure projects that undermine the national long-term strategy and policy priorities.

This report explores the major governance deficiencies in the Bulgarian energy policy regarding the strategic, institutional, and legal framework of the sector. The report focuses on state capture of energy policy by private political and economic interests that led to bad management practices in the sector, to lack of consistency in the legal and regulatory framework, to deteriorating investment environment, and to the involvement of the country in infrastructure projects that undermine the national long-term strategy and policy priorities. This has affected negatively the Bulgarian taxpayers and consumers, has jeopardized the financial stability of the state-owned energy companies, and, ultimately, has reduced the energy security of the country. The report recommends that the implementation of the country’s energy policy should be reconsidered and should be based on EU priorities and on sound cost-benefit analyses with regard to Bulgaria’s energy security.

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news-649Thu, 05 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000Reader of Articles: Best Practices in Monitoring Hidden Economyhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/reader-of-articles-best-practices-in-monitoring-hidden-economy/The current reader aims to aid Macedonian policy-makers and other stakeholders to better understand, monitor, and tackle the hidden economy and its negative consequences on society and the economy, and in particular on the most vulnerable groups. It brings together the best recent academic knowledge on the hidden economy compiled and adapted to address the needs of the local constituency in Macedonia.

Recognizing the profound significance of the problem to countries in Southeast Europe, the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) in Bulgaria and the Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) in Macedonia have started an initiative to monitor and analyze the hidden economy and to outline actions for curbing its negative implications in Macedonia. CSD and CPRM seek to introduce evidence-based tools for monitoring and awareness raising for tackling the hidden economy in Macedonia, based on the experience CSD has acquired in monitoring and fighting the hidden economy in Bulgaria for more than 10 years. The purpose of the current review is to outline recent leading research and best international practices in monitoring the hidden economy. The compilation of articles summarizes the most recent activities in countering the hidden economy in the EU and beyond. Understanding current research and policy work on the hidden economy will help Macedonian government, practitioners, and civil society to better understand its nature and implications for development on national and local level in Macedonia. This introduction makes a brief review of the prevailing understating and definitions of the hidden economy, ways of measuring it, and concludes with a summary review of the articles included in the reader.

The current reader aims to aid Macedonian policy-makers and other stakeholders to better understand, monitor, and tackle the hidden economy and its negative consequences on society and the economy, and in particular on the most vulnerable groups. It brings together the best recent academic knowledge on the hidden economy compiled and adapted to address the needs of the local constituency in Macedonia. The reader tries to serve as a helpful reference tool as well as a source of ideas and recommendations for action.

Conference: Tackling the Hidden Economy in Macedonia: Strengthening the Public-Private Dialogue, 5 June 2014

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news-510Thu, 22 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000No. 44: The Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy 2014https://csd.bg/publications/publication/no-44-the-competitiveness-of-the-bulgarian-economy-2014/In 2014 Bulgaria regained one position compared to the previous year in the economic competitiveness ranking of the World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY), published by the Institute for Management Development (IMD). The country is ranked 56th, while in 2013 it was 57th out of 60 economies. This is only a marginal improvement, and remains significantly lower compared its highest achievement in 2009 – 38th place.
In 2014 Bulgaria regained one position compared to the previous year in the economic competitiveness ranking of the World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY), published by the Institute for Management Development (IMD). The country is ranked 56th, while in 2013 it was 57th out of 60 economies. This is only a marginal improvement, and remains significantly lower compared its highest achievement in 2009 – 38th place. In 2014, Bulgaria is ranked higher than Croatia, Argentina and Venezuela as in 2013, and has surpassed its Southern neighbor Greece, which has fallen to 57th place, 3 places lower than 2013. There are no significant changes among the most competitive nations in 2014. The USA continues to hold the 1st position, as its economy is successfully recovering from the crisis thanks to a favorable business environment, characterized by a strong R&D culture and abundance of skilled labor as well as to a more accommodating policy stance in providing financial stimuli and lowering energy prices.

The Center for the Study of Democracy has identified five key challenges, which hinder the competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy:
 

  • Introduce public administration reforms, and more and better e-government services;
  • Initiate performance-based financing of education;
  • Reduce energy security risks through energy efficiency and diversification of supply sources and technologies;
  • Improve regulatory control and compliance quality;
  • Tackle high level corruption and market capture.
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news-508Wed, 14 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000ANTICORRP Background paper on Bulgariahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/anticorrp-background-paper-on-bulgaria/The Worldwide Governance Indicators show that Bulgaria has made significant progress in the area of “control of corruption” since 1996. This finding contrasts with the general opinion of the Bulgarian population who perceive Bulgarian institutions as corrupt, and contradicts the decision of the European Commission to continue monitoring Bulgaria’s progress in fighting corruption and organized crime. Hence, there is a need for careful consideration and analysis to understand how much progress Bulgaria has really made in the fight against corruption.

The Worldwide Governance Indicators show that Bulgaria has made significant progress in the area of “control of corruption” since 1996. This finding contrasts with the general opinion of the Bulgarian population who perceive Bulgarian institutions as corrupt, and contradicts the decision of the European Commission to continue monitoring Bulgaria’s progress in fighting corruption and organized crime. Hence, there is a need for careful consideration and analysis to understand how much progress Bulgaria has really made in the fight against corruption. Can Bulgaria be considered an anti-corruption success story?

This paper seeks to answer the above questions by providing a background analysis on Bulgaria’s governance regime. According to research, Bulgaria has made some progress in its transition from patrimonialism to open access order but the main features of its governance regime remain these of competitive particularism. In legal terms Bulgaria displays some open access order features but they do not translate into practical implementation.

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news-506Fri, 04 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000Media note: Energy in(security): the parliament’s decision on the South Stream pipeline increases the risks for Bulgaria’s energy securityhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/media-note-energy-insecurity-the-parliaments-decision-on-the-south-stream-pipeline-increases-th/The decision of the Bulgarian Parliament from 4 April 2014 to adopt at first reading the amendments in the Energy Law, which grants South Stream special status highlights the lack of logic in the national energy policy and compounds the impression that public interest is not the driving force behind the proposed changes. The decision and the manner, in which it was taken, reveal some of the most serious problems in Bulgaria’s energy policy in terms of bad governance and corruption.
The decision of the Bulgarian Parliament from 4 April 2014 to adopt at first reading the amendments in the Energy Law, which grants South Stream special status highlights the lack of logic in the national energy policy and compounds the impression that public interest is not the driving force behind the proposed changes. The decision and the manner, in which it was taken, reveal some of the most serious problems in Bulgaria’s energy policy in terms of bad governance and corruption.

  • Avoiding established procedures for coordination and consensus-building in the executive. The amendments to the Energy Law, which concern enormous public resources and long-term interests, were introduced by two Members of Parliament (MPs). Thus, the usual consultation procedures between all relevant stakeholders and the institutions responsible for the protection of national security in the executive, which the law prescribes, has been circumvented. While this might be acceptable under certain circumstances, it is highly unusual in the current situation of heightened geopolitical risk. Moreover, this procedure has been associated in the past with higher risks of pressure by lobbyists and corruption.

  • Circumventing common EU rules. As parliament's decision has implications on the rest of Europe, and the European Commission has explicitly asked Bulgaria for more coordination and caution concerning South Stream, it would have made sense to at least consult the proposed amendments with EU partners in advance. Moreover so that the proposed amendments seem to create preconditions for circumventing common EU rules on the internal natural gas market by allowing the construction and exploitation of the South Stream pipeline on Bulgaria’s territory without effective separation of the ownership of the natural gas and the pipeline transmission system.

  • Introducing a questionable legal norm. The decision creates a new legal norm which allows for the construction of a marine gas pipeline, defined as a gas pipeline, running through both Bulgaria’s territorial waters, and onshore until it reaches “the connection point with another onshore gas infrastructure in the country”. The latter also extends the definition of a “gas interconnector” to include marine gas pipelines entering the onshore territory of an EU member state, but “only used to connect the gas transmission systems of these EU countries”. In this way, the Bulgarian Parliament has created the legal preconditions for South Stream to be treated not as an international gas pipeline between member-states of the EU and a third country, but as a marine pipeline, which connects to a series of gas interconnectors on EU territory. Among the justification for the proposed Energy Law amendments, the MPs, who introduced them, cite the European Commission’s decision from May 2013 to exempt the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) from the third liberalisation package, which demonstrates that the decision related to South Stream is subject to the approval of the European Commission, thus increasing the risk of sanctions and future losses for Bulgaria.

  • Increasing energy insecurity. Over the past several months, the risks related to the South Stream project have increased considerably, which also raises the potential bill Bulgaria will have to foot for the project’s implementation. Independent analyses have demonstrated, on a number of occasions, that the project does not address the top priorities and public needs of Bulgaria’s energy security, and is not of immediate urgency for the country. The determination, with which its implementation has been pursued by Bulgarian institutions, despite rising risks, increases fears that it is not (solely) national public interests that drive the energy decision-making in Bulgaria, in this case.

The adopted amendments at first reading to the Energy Law demonstrate yet again the risks of state capture by third-party interests, which do not correspond or even contradict the public interest. The real problems, which Bulgarian society faces on a daily basis, such as energy poverty, high energy prices, and low diversification and energy efficiency receive only a fraction of the attention, in terms of institutional and policy-making focus, compared to projects such as South Stream. What is even more alarming is that the recent actions of the ruling majority take place in the context of increasing geostrategic insecurity and danger of confrontation, which further exacerbate the risks deriving from such decisions.

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news-504Fri, 28 Mar 2014 00:00:00 +0000Evaluation reports on the Cohesion Policy in Bulgaria 2013https://csd.bg/publications/publication/evaluation-reports-on-the-cohesion-policy-in-bulgaria-2013/In March 2014, DG Regional Policy at the European Commission published a report on Bulgaria's progress on the job creation as an indicator of outcomes in ERDF programmes and an evaluation report on the achievements of the Cohesion policy in Bulgaria. The two reports were prepared by CSD experts in the framework of the Expert Evaluation Network delivering policy analysis on the performance of the Cohesion Policy 2007 - 2013. In March 2014, DG Regional Policy at the European Commission published a report on Bulgaria's progress on the job creation as an indicator of outcomes in ERDF programmes and an evaluation report on the achievements of the Cohesion policy in Bulgaria. The two reports were prepared by CSD experts in the framework of the Expert Evaluation Network delivering policy analysis on the performance of the Cohesion Policy 2007 - 2013.


The first report provides an overview of the methodology, data reporting and wider use of the indicator ‘job creation’ for monitoring the impact of the Structural Funds.



The second report reviews all supported areas by the Cohesion Policy in Bulgaria and in particular the assistance provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The report is based on statistical and financial data and interviews with representatives of the Managing Authorities of Operational Programmes (OPs). The text describes the progress under the OPs and the impact of the financed projects. The report presents the main conclusions drawn from the OPs evaluations and foregrounds the remaining challenges to Bulgaria.

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news-499Thu, 20 Feb 2014 00:00:00 +0000Dirty Assets. Emerging Issues in the Regulation of Criminal and Terrorist Assetshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/dirty-assets-emerging-issues-in-the-regulation-of-criminal-and-terrorist-assets/Adopting a multi-disciplinary and comparative approach, the book “Dirty Assets. Emerging Issues in the Regulation of Criminal and Terrorist Assets” (eds. King, C. and Walker, C., Aldershot: Ashgate, 2014) focuses on the emerging and innovative aspects of attempts to target the accumulated assets of those engaged in criminal and terrorist activity, organized crime and corruption.Adopting a multi-disciplinary and comparative approach, the book “Dirty Assets. Emerging Issues in the Regulation of Criminal and Terrorist Assets” (eds. King, C. and Walker, C., Aldershot: Ashgate, 2014) focuses on the emerging and innovative aspects of attempts to target the accumulated assets of those engaged in criminal and terrorist activity, organized crime and corruption. It examines the ‘follow-the-money’ approach and explores the nature of criminal, civil and regulatory responses used to attack the financial assets of those engaged in financial crime in order to deter and disrupt future criminal activity as well as terrorism networks. With contributions from leading international academics and practitioners in the fields of law, economics, financial management, criminology, sociology and political science, the book explores law and practice in countries with significant problems and experiences, revealing new insights into these dilemmas. It also discusses the impact of the ‘follow-the-money’ approach on human rights while also assessing effectiveness.

In her chapter “Civil Forfeiture of Criminal Assets in Bulgaria”, Rositsa Dzhekova, Analyst at the Center for the Study of Democracy, examines the practical obstacles to the implementation of civil forfeiture in Bulgaria, taking into consideration key institutional, legislative and policy factors that shape the application of the Law on Forfeiture of Proceeds of Criminal Activity. She argues that the socio-cultural specifics of organized crime in Bulgaria, as well as the broader context of the existing policies for countering organized crime, have a strong determinant effect on the resistance to an effective and efficient forfeiture regime.

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news-493Thu, 06 Feb 2014 00:00:00 +0000Addressing the Threat of Fraud and Corruption in Public Procurement: Review of State of the Art Approacheshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/addressing-the-threat-of-fraud-and-corruption-in-public-procurement-review-of-state-of-the-art-appr/Public procurement is among the governmental activities most vulnerable to corruption and fraudulent activities. Despite the controls in place, a number of government contracts give rise to errors, anomalies, fraud, misuse of public funds or corruption. The present compilation of selected best practices addresses the threat of fraud and corruption in the area of public procurement.
Public procurement is among the governmental activities most vulnerable to corruption and fraudulent activities. Despite the controls in place, a number of government contracts give rise to errors, anomalies, fraud, misuse of public funds or corruption. The present compilation of selected best practices addresses the threat of fraud and corruption in the area of public procurement.

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news-645Fri, 20 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0000National Report on Legal Aid for Victims of Crimehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/national-report-on-legal-aid-for-victims-of-crime/The report explores whether the victims of crime receive sufficient information about their legal situation, who is entitled to legal aid and what its scope and extent is.

The report explores whether the victims of crime receive sufficient information about their legal situation, who is entitled to legal aid and what its scope and extent is. The document also relates the opinions of various institutional, private and NGO stakeholders, approached by CSD researchers, on the situation of victims, as regards their access to legal aid and advice. A number of recommendations are given as to the improvement of the legislative and practical framework of legal aid to victims.

The national report on legal aid for victims of crime was prepared within the framework of the Improving Protection of Victim’s Rights: Access to Legal Aid initiative.

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news-497Sun, 15 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0000Country Background Papers on the Penitentiary System https://csd.bg/publications/publication/country-background-papers-on-the-penitentiary-system/The country background papers present information about the penitentiary system in Bulgaria, Belgium, Germany, Lithuania and Spain.The country background papers present information about the penitentiary system in Bulgaria, Belgium, Germany, Lithuania and Spain. The information includes: (1) legislation and other applicable regulations governing the penitentiary system; (2) structure of the system (types and number of facilities, location, management, etc.); (3) statistical data (prison population, capacity of penitentiary facilities, categories of inmates, budget, etc.); (4) studies and reports by domestic and international institutions and organizations dealing with prison-related issues; (5) additional information on the penitentiary system.

The country background papers are based on the developed Methodology for data collection and analysis on the penitentiary system within the Re-socialization of offenders in the EU: enhancing the role of the civil society (RE-SOC) initiative.

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news-628Sun, 01 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0000Civil Society in Bulgaria: Between Social Entrepreneurship and State Capturehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/civil-society-in-bulgaria-between-social-entrepreneurship-and-state-capture/This publication analyses the changes in the third sector during the 2010 – 2013 period and at the same time outlines the positive practices in the social entrepreneurship as well as the risks that reduce the chances for nongovernmental organisations to effectively impact the democracy and well-being of Bulgaria.This publication analyses the changes in the third sector during the 2010 – 2013 period and at the same time outlines the positive practices in the social entrepreneurship as well as the risks that reduce the chances for nongovernmental organisations to effectively impact the democracy and well-being of Bulgaria.

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news-491Fri, 29 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000No. 43: Corruption and Anti-corruption in Bulgaria (2012 - 2013)https://csd.bg/publications/publication/no-43-corruption-and-anti-corruption-in-bulgaria-2012-2013/The corruption trends indices for Bulgaria in 2013 are calculated through the Corruption Monitoring System (CMS) developed by the Center for the Study of Democracy and Vitosha Research. The results show that administrative corruption among the population in Bulgaria over the past two years remains practically unchanged. On average, over the period 2012 – 2013, 14% of the adult population has been involved in corruption transactions at least once per year.

The corruption trends indices for Bulgaria in 2013 are calculated through the Corruption Monitoring System (CMS) developed by the Center for the Study of Democracy and Vitosha Research. The results show that administrative corruption among the population in Bulgaria over the past two years remains practically unchanged. On average, over the period 2012 – 2013, 14% of the adult population has been involved in corruption transactions at least once per year.

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news-489Wed, 20 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000No. 42: The Hidden Economy in Bulgaria in 2013https://csd.bg/publications/publication/no-42-the-hidden-economy-in-bulgaria-in-2013/Accurate understanding of the dynamics of the hidden economy is essential for improving public and private sector management. In the case of Bulgaria, the high level of hidden economic activities signals many deficiencies in the functioning of the public institutions and the rule of law, and undermines the economic development of the country. Limiting the grey economy ought to be an issue of imminent priority for policy makers.
Accurate understanding of the dynamics of the hidden economy is essential for improving public and private sector management. In the case of Bulgaria, the high level of hidden economic activities signals many deficiencies in the functioning of the public institutions and the rule of law, and undermines the economic development of the country. Limiting the grey economy ought to be an issue of imminent priority for policy makers. The recent unparalleled global growth of digitalization of economic activities provides ample opportunities to reduce hidden cash flows and directly contribute to positive economic development of the country. Comprehensive, sustained reforms focusing on improvements in market and administrative efficiency are needed to facilitate the process of economic convergence and limit the negative effects of the hidden economy in Bulgaria.

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news-487Thu, 07 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000Countering police corruption: European perspectiveshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/countering-police-corruption-european-perspectives/This publication reviews the policies and institutional mechanisms for countering police corruption in several EU member states.
This publication reviews the policies and institutional mechanisms for countering police corruption in several EU member states. To be effective, anti-corruption efforts should be based on a system of independent and mutually accountable institutions which are sufficiently empowered to implement their objectives. This report emphasises the last two decades of experience in the UK, Belgium and Austria in modernising their anti-corruption policies and institutions. In addition to the institutional and legal framework, concrete measures and methods (risk assessment, integrity tests, etc.) are also examined. The Bulgarian and Romanian experience in countering corruption in law enforcement institutions is also reviewed with an emphasis on some of the main problems and gaps that undermine effective counter measures.

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news-477Wed, 06 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000Drug policy and drug legislation in South East Europehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/drug-policy-and-drug-legislation-in-south-east-europe/After several decades of implementation of the current international drug control system, there is worldwide a sense of urgency to adjust the system, correct the aspects that cause adverse consequences and make it more effective.

After several decades of implementation of the current international drug control system, there is worldwide a sense of urgency to adjust the system, correct the aspects that cause adverse consequences and make it more effective. The volume “Drug policy and drug legislation in South East Europe” (ed. Apostolou, T., Athens: Nomiki Bibliothiki Group, 2013) is a part of the efforts of the South East Europe Drug Policy Network to connect developments and initiatives in the SEE region with the European Union’s Drug Strategy and Action Plan, as well as with the global developments in drug policy. It contains reports of ten countries of the South East European Region on drug policy and drug legislation.
The country report on Bulgaria, prepared by Atanas Rusev, Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democracy, and Dimitar Markov, Senior Researcher at the Center, provides a comprehensive analysis of all aspects of the current Bulgarian drug policies and their implementation such as the National Strategy on Drugs, the national substantive criminal law, the national drug laws and institutions, drug law enforcement in practice, sentencing levels and the prison situation, initiatives for drug law reform in the past twelve years, debated proposals for future drug law reforms.

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news-479Wed, 06 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000Human dimensions in organized crime, money laundering and corruptionhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/human-dimensions-in-organized-crime-money-laundering-and-corruption/Тhe eleventh volume of the Cross-border Crime Colloquium series is dedicated to the “Human dimensions in organized crime, money laundering and corruption” (eds. van Duyne, P., Harvey, J., Antonopoulos, G., von Lampe, K., Maljević, A., Spencer, Nijmegen: Wolf Legal Publishers, 2013).Тhe eleventh volume of the Cross-border Crime Colloquium series is dedicated to the “Human dimensions in organized crime, money laundering and corruption” (eds. van Duyne, P., Harvey, J., Antonopoulos, G., von Lampe, K., Maljević, A., Spencer, Nijmegen: Wolf Legal Publishers, 2013). It presents the latest studies and research findings of twenty six European experts. The seventeen chapters cover a range of subjects which are of lasting interest for researchers as well as policy-makers: organized crime, criminal finances, money laundering and corruption. They focus on the human dimension in misdeeds as well as the related policy making.
Authors of the chapter “European lessons from the Bulgarian Serious Organized Crime Threat Assessment” are Atanas Rusev, Research Fellow, Philip Gounev, Senior Analyst and Tihomir Bezlov, Senior Analyst at the Center for the Study of Democracy. By analyzing the experience of Bulgaria, which was one of the first countries to try to implement the much heralded (S)OCTA approach, the researchers examine the obstacles and insurmountable difficulties in its application in much of the developing world and propose some strategies to address these issues. Moreover, the chapter outlines some general shortcomings of the present EU approach to (S)OCTA reports.

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news-481Wed, 06 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000Organized Crime and the Fight against Crime in the Western Balkanshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/organized-crime-and-the-fight-against-crime-in-the-western-balkans/The policy paper offers a description of the situation of organized crime in the Western Balkans in general and in individual countries - Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro - as well as a focus on the recent legislation on the recovery and management of criminal assets in Bulgaria, used as a term of confrontation with the consolidated approach applied in Italy to such issues.
The policy paper (ed. Forte, R., Sapucca, 2013) offers a description of the situation of organized crime in the Western Balkans in general and in individual countries - Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro - as well as a focus on the recent legislation on the recovery and management of criminal assets in Bulgaria, used as a term of confrontation with the consolidated approach applied in Italy to such issues. It offers as well a feasibility analysis on the extension of the model to the Western Balkans.

Author of the chapter on the management and disposal of confiscated criminal assets in Bulgaria is Atanas Rusev, Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democracy. It examines the Bulgarian Asset Recovery System and the problems with the management of the seized real estate property following court orders and with the sale of confiscated property. On this basis, recommendations are made to improve the safeguarding of confiscated estates, the sales procedures and the transferring of confiscated real estate property for social re-use.

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news-483Wed, 06 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000Punishment in Europe. A Critical Anatomy of Penal Systems.https://csd.bg/publications/publication/punishment-in-europe-a-critical-anatomy-of-penal-systems/The collection “Punishment in Europe. A Critical Anatomy of Penal Systems” brings together leading international scholars and practitioners to provide a critical guide to penal systems across Europe. The collection (eds. Ruggiero, V. and Ryan, M., London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) brings together leading international scholars and practitioners to provide a critical guide to penal systems across Europe. Through its exploration of twelve different Western and Eastern European countries, it identifies the national particularities and the commonalities between penal systems, such as the overuse of imprisonment and the harsher sanctions against the poor when breaking the law.

In his chapter Dr. Gounev, senior analyst at the Center for the Study of Democracy, argues that the penal process in Bulgaria is not the result of a penal policy but rather a set of practices that serve the interests of various groups – from economic power players to magistrates. The penal culture, that is largely a legacy of the communist era, partially explains the lack of alternatives to custody, as well as the lack of reformatory or post-custodial programmes. Corruption, lack of long-term vision, and lack of resources are to blame for the sorry state of the Bulgarian prisons and the penal system.

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news-485Wed, 06 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000Human Trafficking, Border Security and Related Corruption in the EUhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/human-trafficking-border-security-and-related-corruption-in-the-eu/The paper Human Trafficking, Border Security and Related Corruption in the EU by Atanas Rusev, Research Fellow at the Center for Study of Democracy in Bulgaria, investigates the much under-researched aspect of corruption and human trafficking.The paper Human Trafficking, Border Security and Related Corruption in the EU (ed. Giya, G., DCAF Brussels office, 2013), by Atanas Rusev, Research Fellow at the Center for Study of Democracy in Bulgaria, investigates the much under-researched aspect of corruption and human trafficking. In order to explain how organized crime uses corruption of border guards in order to ensure their compliance and non-interference in the human trafficking channels, Rusev analyses in more detail three key contexts – the broader context of human trafficking in the EU, the problems with corruption in border control authorities and the link between corruption and organized crime in relation to human trafficking.

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news-475Mon, 21 Oct 2013 00:00:00 +0000No. 41: Crime trends 2012 – 2013https://csd.bg/publications/publication/no-41-crime-trends-2012-2013/In 2012 there was a sharp increase in both the number of victims and the number of crimes compared to 2011. These trends take place in the context of a 10-year drop in crime rates.

In 2012 there was a sharp increase in both the number of victims and the number of crimes compared to 2011. These trends take place in the context of a 10-year drop in crime rates. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) statistics of registered crimes in 2012 showed the opposite trend - a 6% drop from 114,781 in 2011 to 107,828 registered crimes in 2012. This difference is explained by the rising level of unregistered crimes that are not part of the official statistics.
Victims of crime in South Central and South Eastern regions of the country are least likely to report crimes to the police. These areas are also characterized by high levels of crime victimisation.

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news-495Thu, 10 Oct 2013 00:00:00 +0000Methodology for collection and analysis of data on the penitentiary systemhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/methodology-for-collection-and-analysis-of-data-on-the-penitentiary-system/The successful implementation of the activities under the recently launched initiative Re-socialization of offenders in the EU: enhancing the role of the civil society (RE-SOC) depends on the expanded knowledge of the prison systems in the participating countries. Therefore, a separate set of activities is dedicated to the collection, analysis and systematization of the available information and tailoring it to the specificities of the other initiative activities.

The successful implementation of the activities under the recently launched initiative Re-socialization of offenders in the EU: enhancing the role of the civil society (RE-SOC) depends on the expanded knowledge of the prison systems in the participating countries. Therefore, a separate set of activities is dedicated to the collection, analysis and systematization of the available information and tailoring it to the specificities of the other initiative activities.

To facilitate this process a Methodology for data collection and analysis was developed, which includes the following components: (1) list of issues to be covered; (2) recommended sources to be consulted and relevant international standards; (3) methodological guidelines on how to collect, analyze and present information; (4) glossary of terms; and (5) language and style requirements.

The developed methodology will be used for analyzing the information collected for several EU Member States. The analysis will aim to answer specific questions related to the prison system: structure and legal framework of the penitentiary system, prison capacity, number and structure of the prison population, etc. The results of the analysis will be summarized in country background papers.

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news-473Fri, 27 Sep 2013 00:00:00 +0000Media note: Shedding More Light on the New “Simplified” Electricity Billshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/media-note-shedding-more-light-on-the-new-simplified-electricity-bills/The media note discusses new “simplified” electricity bills. The decision to decrease by 5% the retail electricity prices as of 1 August 2013 is among the topics at the heart of political debates in Bulgaria this autumn. A similar move in 2010 clearly showed that such a politically mandated price decrease was not sustainable in the long run.
The decision to decrease by 5% the retail electricity prices as of 1 August 2013 is among the topics at the heart of political debates in Bulgaria this autumn. A similar move in 2010 clearly showed that such a politically mandated price decrease was not sustainable in the long run. It ended in the sharp increase (13% y-o-y) of electricity prices in 2012, and subsequent social unrest, which brought down the Bulgarian government in February 2013. The focus on the final consumer bill reduction in the public debate overshadows some of the other structural effects of the decision, which are worth mentioning.

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news-471Thu, 26 Sep 2013 00:00:00 +0000No. 40: Bulgaria's Energy Security Risk Index https://csd.bg/publications/publication/no-40-bulgarias-energy-security-risk-index/Energy security is of critical importance to Bulgaria. The biggest identified threat to Bulgarian national security is poverty, and in particular energy poverty. Bulgaria’s non-transparent energy sector seriously undermines the country’s economic development. Establishing regular sound monitoring mechanisms on energy security could be key for adequate policy-making in the area.
Energy security is of critical importance to Bulgaria. The biggest identified threat to Bulgarian national security is poverty, and in particular energy poverty. Bulgaria’s non-transparent energy sector seriously undermines the country’s economic development. Establishing regular sound monitoring mechanisms on energy security could be key for adequate policy-making in the area.

The Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk Indicator (IESRI), developed in 2012 by the Institute for 21st Century Energy at the American Chamber of Commerce shows that since 1980, Bulgaria has had one of the worst energy security risk index scores both nominally and compared to the OECD averages and was ranked in 73rd place in 2012. Its scores over the period averaged about 158% higher than those for the OECD.

Bulgaria’s energy security risk index increased since 2010. This recent deterioration relative to OECD averages is based on the energy expenditure volatility of the Bulgarian economy that according to IESRI has increased more than 10 times in the last 3 years (since 2009), reaching in 2012 one of the highest levels since 1980).

Among the main risk factors to Bulgaria’s energy security is its high dependence on fossil fuels import, in particular in the gas sector. The very high concentration of the Bulgarian gas market (monopoly of supply and distribution) provides ample opportunities for rent-seeking. Bulgaria’s involvement in various national, smaller regional, and large international projects can reduce the risks to its energy security if it is based on clear-cut prioritization of preferred options following sound and transparent cost-benefit analysis.

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news-469Mon, 08 Jul 2013 00:00:00 +0000Media note: Budget Revision for 2013: inconsiderate, vague and anti-social?https://csd.bg/publications/publication/media-note-budget-revision-for-2013-inconsiderate-vague-and-anti-social/Budget revisions are usually a sign of economic instability and are therefore justified by two main reasons: a serious unexpected economic crisis and/or the introduction of vital new policies. The government’s declaration that the 2013 budget needs to be revised and the Prime minister’s explanation for this proposal in Parliament does not include convincing details related to the aforementioned reasons. The additional instability that this amendment would place on the economy, calls for careful analysis and consideration hasty of the possible scenarios in which a revision is necessary.

Budget revisions are usually a sign of economic instability and are therefore justified by two main reasons: a serious unexpected economic crisis and/or the introduction of vital new policies. The government’s declaration that the 2013 budget needs to be revised and the Prime minister’s explanation for this proposal in Parliament does not include convincing details related to the aforementioned reasons. The additional instability that this amendment would place on the economy, calls for careful analysis and consideration hasty of the possible scenarios in which a revision is necessary.

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news-465Fri, 07 Jun 2013 00:00:00 +0000CSD Brief No 39: The Bulgarian Economy: Competitiveness 2013https://csd.bg/publications/publication/csd-brief-no-39-the-bulgarian-economy-competitiveness-2013/In 2013, Bulgaria is one of the countries that have seen a decline in their competitiveness according to IMD’s World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY). The country is ranked at 57th position – 3 places below the position achieved in 2012 – 54th.
In 2013, Bulgaria is one of the countries that have seen a decline in their competitiveness according to IMD’s World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY). The country is ranked at 57th position – 3 places below the position achieved in 2012 – 54th. This is the lowest ranking of Bulgaria since its inclusion in the yearbook in 2006 and it is almost 20 places lower than its highest achievement in 2009 – 38th place. In 2013, only 3 countries lag behind Bulgaria in the IMD ranking – Croatia, Argentina and Venezuela and all of them ranked lower than Bulgaria in the previous edition of the yearbook, as well. Countries like Greece and Ukraine both of which ranked below Bulgaria in WCY 2012 move up to 54th and 49th respectively. There are no significant changes in the ‘winners’ trend in WCY 2013. The USA has regained the No.1 position due to a rebounding financial sector, an abundance of technological innovation and successful companies.

The 5 main challenges which Bulgaria faces in improving its competitiveness are:

  • Modernise public administration to increase evidence-based efficiency and regulatory quality;
  • Reduce administrative costs and provide EU funded incentives for innovation and entrepreneurship;
  • Strengthen the judiciary to tackle corruption and reduce business uncertainty;
  • Reform the governance of the energy sector to preserve cost competitiveness, diversify gas supply, and improve energy efficiency;
  • Tackle hidden economy and related labour market inefficiencies.
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news-463Tue, 28 May 2013 00:00:00 +0000CSD Brief No 38: Improving policy and programs for assistance and reintegration of child victims of trafficking in Bulgaria https://csd.bg/publications/publication/csd-brief-no-38-improving-policy-and-programs-for-assistance-and-reintegration-of-child-victims-of/This brief presents the main conclusions related to Bulgaria from a comparative study of support programs and reintegration of children - victims of trafficking in the six member states of the European Union, conducted in 2011 and 2012.

This brief presents the main conclusions related to Bulgaria from a comparative study of support programs and reintegration of children - victims of trafficking in the six member states of the European Union, conducted in 2011 and 2012. The survey was carried out by the Center for the Study of Democracy within the project ARECHIVIC in collaboration with partner organisations from Austria, Italy, Slovakia, Hungary and Sweden. With regard to Bulgaria the main approaches, mechanisms and deficiencies in policies and programs for the reintegration of children - victims of trafficking are presented and some recommendations for their improvement are suggested.

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news-467Sun, 12 May 2013 00:00:00 +0000Assessment of the National Child Strategyhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/assessment-of-the-national-child-strategy/Implementation of sociological and specialized studies and research on evaluation of the National Child Strategy pursuant to Action 3 and 4 of the project "Assessment of the National Child Strategy" of the OP HRD" Lot № 1The objective of surveys commissioned by State Agency for Child Protection was to register changes in the first three years of implementation of the National Child Strategy to summarize assessments of target groups and the general public on the key priorities of the National Strategy, to establish whether they meet the support and understanding by the general public and of specific groups associated with its implementation, to recognize the knowledge and progress in achieving the main objectives of the overall policy on child protection.

 

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news-461Wed, 08 May 2013 00:00:00 +0000Media Note: Energy Saving Technologies in the Bulgarian Residential Sectorhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/media-note-energy-saving-technologies-in-the-bulgarian-residential-sector/The growing consumer prices of electricity have remained at the center of public debates over the past months, especially following their increase last year by 13%. Even though the regulated market supresses their growth, prices have steadily increased since 2005, both in Bulgaria and in the EU.

The growing consumer prices of electricity have remained at the center of public debates over the past months, especially following their increase last year by 13%. Even though the regulated market supresses their growth, prices have steadily increased since 2005, both in Bulgaria and in the EU. In Bulgaria, the liberalization will most likely cause an additional short-term increase in consumer prices, before open competition exerts enough pressure on the market to perform better and eventually bring prices down. In the context of these developments, measures aimed at improving the energy efficiency of buildings are becoming increasingly popular.

Media Coverage (in Bulgarian)

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news-459Thu, 04 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000Assisting and Reintegrating Child Victims of Trafficking: Improving Policy and Practice in the EU Member Stateshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/assisting-and-reintegrating-child-victims-of-trafficking-improving-policy-and-practice-in-the-eu-me/This Handbook presents the main results of an in-depth evaluationstudy of the legal, policy and practical frameworks for assistance toand reintegration of child victims of trafficking in six EU MemberStates – Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, and Sweden.
This Handbook presents the main results of an in-depth evaluation study of the legal, policy and practical frameworks for assistance to and reintegration of child victims of trafficking in six EU Member States – Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, and Sweden. The three reports included in this Handbook are based on three standardised methodologies for examination of legal and policy frameworks, for evaluation of programmes for assistance and re/integration of child victims of trafficking and for indentification of good practices in this area. The reports analyse the relevance of legal frameworks for the needs of trafficked children and the effectiveness of services for such children in different areas of assistance, such as: identification of trafficked children, appointment of a guardian, individual case assessment, regularisation of status, interim care and protection, durable solutions and longterm re/integration. The reports offer a comparative analysis of the effectiveness of assistance and reintegration programs and discuss identified challenges that need to be addressed in countries of both destination and origin in order to assure better protection and assistance to trafficked children across the EU.


* Project co-financed under the Directorate General Justice, Freedom and Security; Directorate D; Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. Sole responsibility lies with the author and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.

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news-457Thu, 21 Feb 2013 00:00:00 +0000Media Note: Why Electricity Bills in Bulgaria Spoiled the Partyhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/media-note-why-electricity-bills-in-bulgaria-spoiled-the-party/The so-called “green” premium - a market entry subsidy for renewable energy sources - was used as a convenient explanation for recent increases to the electricity bills in 2012.
The so-called “green” premium - a market entry subsidy for renewable energy sources - was used as a convenient explanation for recent increases to the electricity bills in 2012. However, as time went by, consumers realized that a substantial part of their bills has been determined by another expense - the ”bad governance premium”, which, together with the forthcoming parliamentary elections and the increase of energy consumption during the winter, led to the ascent of social discontent and a search for new culprits for the surge in prices.

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news-455Mon, 18 Feb 2013 00:00:00 +0000Press Release: Surveying how European workplaces have managed in the economic downturnhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/press-release-surveying-how-european-workplaces-have-managed-in-the-economic-downturn/This week Eurofound launches the field work of the third edition of European Company Survey across 32 countries. The sociological and marketing arm of the Center for the Study of Democracy - Vitosha Research will conduct the survey in Bulgaria.
This week Eurofound launches the field work of the third edition of European Company Survey across 32 countries. The sociological and marketing arm of the Center for the Study of Democracy - Vitosha Research will conduct the survey in Bulgaria.

It aims at providing an overview of workplace practices and how they are negotiated, human resource management, and conditions of the working environment. It is based on the views of both managers and employee representatives, and takes into account various aspects of the working environment, including working time, work-life balance, and development of social dialogue in the companies.

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news-679Thu, 31 Jan 2013 17:53:00 +0000Policy Brief No. 37: The Hidden Economy in Bulgaria: 2011 – 2012https://csd.bg/publications/publication/policy-brief-no-37-the-hidden-economy-in-bulgaria-2011-2012/The deep penetration of hidden economic activities in Greece and other peripheral Eurozone members – a development which is at the epicenter of the continuing Eurozone debt crisis, has demonstrated that accurate understanding of the dynamics of the hidden economy is essential for improving public and private sector management. In the case of Bulgaria, an assessment of the hidden economy is an issue of particular importance as the country is facing serious challenges in all of its aspects – gray, black and informal economy. It is even more pressing in the light of the country’s current low level of competitiveness and its aspirations for participation in the European stability and sustainable growth initiatives such as Europe 2020 and the Euro-Plus Pact.

The hidden economy in Bulgaria has decreased in 2011 – 2012 among both businesses and the population. Yet, the registered gains are modest. Deep structural labor market problems and long-term business environment issues continue to constitute favorable conditions for the development of hidden economic activities in Bulgaria.

Public Discussion: Hidden Economy in Bulgaria 2011-2012

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news-451Thu, 24 Jan 2013 00:00:00 +0000Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline: Challenges and Prospects for the Black Sea countries and the Balkanshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/trans-anatolian-gas-pipeline-challenges-and-prospects-for-the-black-sea-countries-and-the-balkans/This publication is a compilation of the papers, presented by the twenty-nine experts from twelve countries, who participated in the “Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline: Challenges and Prospects for the Black Sea countries and the Balkans” conference, held on 28-29 September 2012, in Istanbul, Turkey.
This publication is a compilation of the papers, presented by the twenty-nine experts from twelve countries, who participated in the “Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline: Challenges and Prospects for the Black Sea countries and the Balkans” conference, held on 28-29 September 2012, in Istanbul, Turkey by the Entrepreneurship Development Foundation. The discussions of the conference covered various issues related to the construction of a new natural gas export route from the Caspian region to Europe. Mr. Ruslan Stefanov and Mr. Martin Tsanov from the Economic Program at the Center for the Study of Democracy participated with a paper on “SEE Security of Gas Supply: Main Challenges and Perspectives with a Focus on Bulgaria”, included in this compilation.

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news-449Mon, 14 Jan 2013 00:00:00 +0000Assisting and reintegrating child victims of trafficking in Bulgaria: legal, institutional and policy frameworkhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/assisting-and-reintegrating-child-victims-of-trafficking-in-bulgaria-legal-institutional-and-polic/The report explores the legal, institutional and policy framework of countering child trafficking in Bulgaria and assisting and reintegrating its victims. It looks at Bulgarian criminal law and criminal procedure, as well as other legal norms, relevant to the subject, and the extent to which they comply with internationalstandards. The study presents the different stages of referral victims go through, the various institutions and organisations, involved in the process, and the policies and initiatives they pursue in improving child victims’ situation. A number of recommendations are put forward in terms of possible legislativeamendments, strengthening policy framework and furthering capacity building of institutions, entrusted with combating child trafficking.

The report explores the legal, institutional and policy framework of countering child trafficking in Bulgaria and assisting and reintegrating its victims. It looks at Bulgarian criminal law and criminal procedure, as well as other legal norms, relevant to the subject, and the extent to which they comply with international standards. The study presents the different stages of referral victims go through, the various institutions and organisations, involved in the process, and the policies and initiatives they pursue in improving child victims’ situation. A number of recommendations are put forward in terms of possible legislative amendments, strengthening policy framework and furthering capacity building of institutions, entrusted with combating child trafficking.

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news-442Wed, 24 Oct 2012 00:00:00 +0000Anti-Corruption Measures in EU Border Controlhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/anti-corruption-measures-in-eu-border-control/The present study, commissioned by FRONTEX, provides academic and policy perspectives, as wellas empirical data on corruption and anti-corruption measures observed in border guard institutionsacross the 27 Member States of the European Union. The report compares and analyses anti-corruption measures in EU Member States’ border guard services, as well as the strategies and instruments used incorruption investigations of border guards

The present study, commissioned by FRONTEX, provides academic and policy perspectives, as well as empirical data on corruption and anti-corruption measures observed in border guard institutions across the 27 Member States of the European Union. The report compares and analyses anti-corruption measures in EU Member States’ border guard services, as well as the strategies and instruments used in corruption investigations of border guards. The purpose of this study was to provide border guards with a general overview of the relevant academic and policy research available on the subject of corruption, as well as to review and analyse mechanisms of corruption and the principal anti-corruption measures targeting them.

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news-444Wed, 24 Oct 2012 00:00:00 +0000Examining the links between organised crime and corruptionhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/examining-the-links-between-organised-crime-and-corruption-1/The study Examining the links between organised crime and corruption was commissioned by the European Commission (JLS). This is the first study that examines systematically across all 27 EU Member States how organised crime uses corruption as a tool. The study is based on more than 150 interviews with corruption specialists (police, prosecutors, criminologists, andspecialists). More than 120 statistical and survey indicators on corruption and organised crime were analysed to examine trends and patterns in organised crime’s use of corruption.

The study Examining the links between organised crime and corruption was commissioned by the European Commission ( JLS). This is the first study that examines systematically across all 27 EU Member States how organised crime uses corrupt a tool. The study is based on more than 150 interviews with corruption specialists (police, prosecutors, criminologists, and specialists). More than 120 statistical and survey indicators on corruption and organised crime were analysed to examine trends and patterns in organised crime’s use of corruption. The study focuses on how organised and white collar criminals use corruption to target public institutions (politicians, pol judiciary, and customs), as well as how it is used for the operation of key criminal markets (cigarettes, drugs, prostitution, car-theft, and extortion-racketeering). The study also examines how private sector company employees are corrupted by organised criminals. Although the study does not map the specifics of how corruption is used in each EU Member State, s depth studies (on Bulgaria, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, and Spain) provide a more in-depth look in the situation in countries. The study was presented in April 2010 at a meeting organised by the EC to representatives of ministries of interior of all 2 Member States. In July 2010, the study was presented at a hearing of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home (LIBE) of the European Parliament.

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news-440Fri, 19 Oct 2012 00:00:00 +0000Right of Defence and the Principle of Equality of Arms in the Criminal Procedure in Bulgariahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/right-of-defence-and-the-principle-of-equality-of-arms-in-the-criminal-procedure-in-bulgaria/The publication analyses the regulation of the right of defencein Bulgaria and explores the principle of equality of the parties in the pre-trial phase. For the purposes of the study the authors present the system of judicial and investigative bodies as well as the most important characteristics of the criminal proceedings, in particular of the pre-trial proceedings. The study discusses the rights of the defence counsels and their procedural role and outlines a number of problems that attorneys face in defending their clients during the criminal proceedings.

The publication analyses the regulation of the right of defence in Bulgaria and explores the principle of equality of the parties in the pre-trial phase. For the purposes of the study the authors present the system of judicial and investigative bodies as well as the most important characteristics of the criminal proceedings, in particular of the pre-trial proceedings. The study discusses the rights of the defence counsels and their procedural role and outlines a number of problems that attorneys face in defending their clients during the criminal proceedings.

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news-438Tue, 02 Oct 2012 00:00:00 +0000The Level of Transparency of Oil and Gas Transit Operations through Bulgaria, Georgia, Turkey and Ukrainеhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/the-level-of-transparency-of-oil-and-gas-transit-operations-through-bulgaria-georgia-turkey-and-uk/The report assesses the level of transparency in the transit of hydrocarbons and the outstanding issues with the access to information related to the transit of oil and gas in Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia and Ukraine.
The report assesses the level of transparency in the transit of hydrocarbons and the outstanding issues with the access to information related to the transit of oil and gas in Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia and Ukraine.

The report is a result of a regional joint initiative for “Promoting Transparency in the Transit of Hydrocarbons through Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, and Ukraine” by the Center for the Study of Democracy and the Revenue Watch Institute (New York), which started in 2011. It enables the first of its kind assessment of the hydrocarbon transit environment in these countries and exposes the serious information gaps related to the processes of transiting oil and gas in the region.

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news-428Wed, 25 Jul 2012 00:00:00 +0000CSD Brief No 36: Educational integration of refugee and asylum-seeking children: the situation of Bulgaria and the experience of other European countrieshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/csd-brief-no-36-educational-integration-of-refugee-and-asylum-seeking-children-the-situation-of-bu/This analysis represents the results of a specialised study of the educational integration of refugee and asylum-seeking children (RASC) in the Member States of the European Union, conducted in 2011 by the Center for the Study of Democracy within the framework on the INTEGRACE project. With regard to Bulgaria, the main approaches, mechanisms and deficiencies in the system for educational integration of RASC were presented and recommendations for its improvement were given.

This analysis represents the results of a specialised study of the educational integration of refugee and asylum-seeking children (RASC) in the Member States of the European Union, conducted in 2011 by the Center for the Study of Democracy within the framework on the INTEGRACE project. With regard to Bulgaria, the main approaches, mechanisms and deficiencies in the system for educational integration of RASC were presented and recommendations for its improvement were given.

Past events and publications on this topic

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news-436Mon, 23 Jul 2012 00:00:00 +0000CSD Brief No 35: Corruption and Anti-Corruption in Bulgaria (2011-2012)https://csd.bg/publications/publication/csd-brief-no-35-corruption-and-anti-corruption-in-bulgaria-2011-2012/The data on the dynamics of corruption used in the current report are the result of the Corruption Monitoring System (CMS), designed and developed by the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) and Vitosha Research. CMS combines significant research and powerful anticorruption advocacy potential.

The data on the dynamics of corruption used in the current report are the result of the Corruption Monitoring System (CMS), designed and developed by the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) and Vitosha Research. CMS combines significant research and powerful anticorruption advocacy potential. The purpose of CMS is to measure the actual level and trends in the spread of corruption in the country, as well as to identify related public attitudes and expectations.

After an improvement in 2010, the level of administrative corruption among the population increased in 2011 – 2012, still placing the country in the group of EU Member States experiencing high levels of corruption. The average monthly number of corruption transactions in 2011 was approximately 150,000. In 2011, a quarter of all citizens who dealt with the state administration had to resort to some kind of irregular payment to receive administrative services. This indicates that corruption is a systemic problem of the Bulgarian society.

Round table: Corruption and Anti-Corruption in Bulgaria (2011-2012)

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news-434Mon, 16 Jul 2012 00:00:00 +0000Anti-Corruption Measures in EU Border Controlhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/anti-corruption-measures-in-eu-border-control-1/The present study, commissioned by FRONTEX, provides academic and policy perspectives, as well as empirical data on corruption and anti-corruption measures observed in border guard institutions across the 27 Member States of the European Union.
The present study, commissioned by FRONTEX, provides academic and policy perspectives, as well as empirical data on corruption and anti-corruption measures observed in border guard institutions across the 27 Member States of the European Union. The report compares and analyses anti-corruption measures in EU Member States’ border guard services, as well as the strategies and instruments used in corruption investigations of border guards. The purpose of this study was to provide border guards with a general overview of the relevant academic and policy research available on the subject of corruption, as well as to review and analyse mechanisms of corruption and the principal anti-corruption measures targeting them.

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news-432Wed, 04 Jul 2012 00:00:00 +0000Corruption and Organized Crime in Europe: Illegal Partnerships https://csd.bg/publications/publication/corruption-and-organized-crime-in-europe-illegal-partnerships/The book Corruption and Organized Crime in Europe: Illegal Partnerships (eds. Gounev, P. and Ruggiero, V.; London: Routledge, 2012) builds upon the 2009 report of the Center for the Study of Democracy Examining the Links between Corruption and Organised Crime. This is the first academic study that takes a Europe-wide approach to analyse the main historic, cultural, economic and political factors that influence the ways in which organised and white collar criminals use corruption. The book Corruption and Organized Crime in Europe: Illegal Partnerships ( eds. Gounev, P. and Ruggiero, V.; London: Routledge, 2012) builds upon the 2009 report of the Center for the Study of Democracy Examining the Links between Corruption and Organised Crime. This is the first academic study that takes a Europe-wide approach to analyse the main historic, cultural, economic and political factors that influence the ways in which organised and white collar criminals use corruption. Combining empirical data and theoretical debates, the book focuses on three main areas of the relationship between corruption and organised crime: public bodies, the private sector and criminal markets. The second part of the book presents case studies, written by some of the foremost international experts on the subject matter, analysing corrupt exchange and criminal organisations, concentrating on specific European countries – Bulgaria, France, Greece, Italy, Russia, Spain and the UK.

Listen to the discussion presenting the book of Dr. Philip Gounev with Mark Lauches.

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news-426Fri, 01 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000CSD Brief No 34: The Bulgarian Economy: Competitiveness 2012 https://csd.bg/publications/publication/csd-brief-no-34-the-bulgarian-economy-competitiveness-2012/The policy brief presents the ranking of Bulgaria at the oldest and most comprehensive competitiveness report of nations – the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2012 of the Institute for Management Development - IMD.

The policy brief presents the ranking of Bulgaria at the oldest and most comprehensive competitiveness report of nations – the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2012 of the Institute for Management Development - IMD. The mere presence of the country in the yearbook shows that the Bulgarian economy ranks among the 59 most important points in the investment world and it has reliable indicators to assess adequately its competitiveness. In 2012, Bulgaria is one of the 24 countries that improved their competitiveness compared to 2011. The country climbed up one place to the rank of 54th out of 59 countries in the ranking of global competitiveness. Although slow, such improvement is important for the country, especially considering the fact that most of the surveyed economies - 29 have registered a decrease of their competitiveness during the global economic crisis. Despite the slight improvement, however, Bulgaria remains one of the most uncompetitive economies in the ranking. With lower positions are only Argentina, Ukraine, Croatia, Greece and Venezuela.

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news-424Mon, 28 May 2012 00:00:00 +0000Countering Organised Crime in Bulgaria: Study on the Legal Frameworkhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/countering-organised-crime-in-bulgaria-study-on-the-legal-framework/The publication analyses and assesses the legal framework on countering organised crime and examines the problems, which arise in its practical application. On this basis, recommendations are made to improve the legislation and bring it into conformity with international standards and the existing good practices, as well as to overcome the weaknesses in the application of law which impede the detection and punishment of organised criminal activity or infringe fundamental principles of criminal procedure and the rights of the participants in it.

The publication analyses and assesses the legal framework on countering organised crime and examines the problems, which arise in its practical application. On this basis, recommendations are made to improve the legislation and bring it into conformity with international standards and the existing good practices, as well as to overcome the weaknesses in the application of law which impede the detection and punishment of organised criminal activity or infringe fundamental principles of criminal procedure and the rights of the participants in it.

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news-453Tue, 15 May 2012 00:00:00 +0000Media Note: Is there really a "green" energy monster feeding on Bulgarian consumers' incomes?https://csd.bg/publications/publication/media-note-is-there-really-a-green-energy-monster-feeding-on-bulgarian-consumers-incomes/The energy sector in Bulgaria is faced with a number of challenges, the biggest of which is poor governance.

The energy sector in Bulgaria is faced with a number of challenges, the biggest of which is poor governance. Abuses triggered by the poor management of state-owned enterprises have an impact on electricity prices for consumers. As long as the governance of state-owned enterprises remains non-transparent and pricing mechanisms remain opaque, consumer confidence in the system cannot be restored.

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news-420Fri, 06 Apr 2012 00:00:00 +0000CSD Brief No 33: Management and Disposal of Confiscated Criminal Assetshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/csd-brief-no-33-management-and-disposal-of-confiscated-criminal-assets/Confiscation of proceeds from illegal activities is a widely applied mechanism in combating organized crime. The introduction and application of this mechanism is defined in several international and European acts, and is motivated by the need to restore social justice.

Confiscation of proceeds from illegal activities is a widely applied mechanism in combating organized crime. The introduction and application of this mechanism is defined in several international and European acts, and is motivated by the need to restore social justice. Both the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention against Corruption address the disposal of confiscated assets and recommend its use primarily for compensating the victims of crime. A number of European countries have implemented respective measures and mechanisms like: distribution schemes for compensation of victims of crime, financing of programs for fight against drug use, social re-use of confiscated property.

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news-418Tue, 03 Apr 2012 00:00:00 +0000Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment 2010-2011https://csd.bg/publications/publication/serious-and-organised-crime-threat-assessment-2010-2011/The report Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment 2010-2011 (SOCTA) analyses the current state and trends in serious and organised crime in Bulgaria.

The report Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment 2010-2011 (SOCTA) analyses the current state and trends in serious and organised crime in Bulgaria. The report estimates the threats generated by these criminal activities and ranks them according to the harm they cause Bulgarian society. The analysis is intended to support a better informed evidence-based design of anti-crime policies.

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news-644Mon, 02 Apr 2012 00:00:00 +0000Green Growth and Sustainable Development for Bulgaria: Setting the Prioritieshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/green-growth-and-sustainable-development-for-bulgaria-setting-the-priorities/The report reviews the green growth and sustainable development for Bulgaria. According to the authors, the current pattern of energy use in Bulgaria (including both households and industry) is unsound.

The report reviews the green growth and sustainable development for Bulgaria. According to the authors, the current pattern of energy use in Bulgaria (including both households and industry) is unsound. The country’s energy intensity is striking, when compared to other European countries, thus, Bulgaria’s overriding priority is stimulating energy efficiency by sufficiently utilizing EU funds. Measures to boost energy efficiency mean more jobs and revenues for Bulgarian SMEs, while measures promoting energy savings mean utilizing the existing capacity at a low or no extra cost.


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news-430Fri, 30 Mar 2012 00:00:00 +0000Justice Sector Institutional Indicators for Criminal Case Managementhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/justice-sector-institutional-indicators-for-criminal-case-management/The present white paper summarises the main findings of the Justice Sector Institutional Indicators for Criminal Case Management study. It puts forward the main problems which EU countries face in measuring justice system performance – there is no single assessment model and many countries are still in the experimental phase.
The present white paper summarises the main findings of the Justice Sector Institutional Indicators for Criminal Case Management study. It puts forward the main problems which EU countries face in measuring justice system performance – there is no single assessment model and many countries are still in the experimental phase. Besides the legal accountability mechanisms courts tend to be a subject of managerial accountability. Despite the different approaches followed by the studied EU member states and the lack of a leading assessment methodology, certain indicators as caseload, duration of the procedure, available resources per number of cases can be distinguished as best practice.

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news-416Mon, 26 Mar 2012 00:00:00 +0000Justice Sector Institutional Indicators for Criminal Case Management: Efforts on Supranational and National Level, Bulgarian and Polish Perspectivehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/justice-sector-institutional-indicators-for-criminal-case-management-efforts-on-supranational-and-n/This publication reviews the existing practices of courts’ performance measurement and criminal cases management based on the concepts of efficiency and effectiveness, transparency, quality care, benchmarking, result orientation and accountability. These efforts are considered on supranational and national level as two components of the process of implementing a quality model in the justice sector, growing increasingly intense at EU level.

This publication reviews the existing practices of courts’ performance measurement and criminal cases management based on the concepts of efficiency and effectiveness, transparency, quality care, benchmarking, result orientation and accountability. These efforts are considered on supranational and national level as two components of the process of implementing a quality model in the justice sector, growing increasingly intense at EU level.
At national level, the report examines the achievements in implementing performance indicators in England and Wales, Germany, Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, France and Spain, as well as in Romania. The normative, policy and strategic framework of Bulgaria and Poland is also tackled in order to cover the prospects for introduction of such indicators in the two target countries.

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news-422Sun, 04 Mar 2012 00:00:00 +0000No. 32: Reinstating the Duty-Free Trade at Bulgarian Land Borders: Potential Setback in the Fight Against Organized Crime and Corruptionhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/no-32-reinstating-the-duty-free-trade-at-bulgarian-land-borders-potential-setback-in-the-fight-ag/Since the early 1990s the duty-free shops along Bulgaria’s land-border crossings were used as a channel for illegal import of excise goods (cigarettes, alcohol and petrol). With the increase of excise and VAT taxes in the second-half of the 1990s, the risk of alcohol and cigarettes smuggling increased rapidly. The duty-free shops gradually evolved into one of the main channels for the smuggling of cigarettes, alcohol, and fuel. At that period, duty free operators existed without a legal regulation but only with a licensing permit from the Minister of Finance. The smuggling was tacitly tolerated from the highest political level. Since the early 1990s the duty-free shops along Bulgaria’s land-border crossings were used as a channel for illegal import of excise goods (cigarettes, alcohol and petrol). With the increase of excise and VAT taxes in the second-half of the 1990s, the risk of alcohol and cigarettes smuggling increased rapidly. The duty-free shops gradually evolved into one of the main channels for the smuggling of cigarettes, alcohol, and fuel. At that period, duty free operators existed without a legal regulation but only with a licensing permit from the Minister of Finance. The smuggling was tacitly tolerated from the highest political level.

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news-414Sun, 26 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000Integrating refugee and asylum-seeking children in the educational systems of EU Member Stateshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/integrating-refugee-and-asylum-seeking-children-in-the-educational-systems-of-eu-member-states/This Handbook presents the research instruments and findings developed within the project “Integrating Refugee and Asylum-seeking Children in the Educational Systems of EU Member States: Evaluation and Promotion of Current Best Practices” – INTEGRACE. The research encompasses twenty-six EU Member States participating in the European Refugee Fund, as well as Denmark, Norway, and four Western Balkan states (Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina). The country reports’ main focus is on illustrating successful practices in the educational integration of refugee and asylum-seeking children (RASC).

This Handbook presents the research instruments and findings developed within the project “Integrating Refugee and Asylum-seeking Children in the Educational Systems of EU Member States: Evaluation and Promotion of Current Best Practices” – INTEGRACE. The research encompasses twenty-six EU Member States participating in the European Refugee Fund, as well as Denmark, Norway, and four Western Balkan states (Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina). The country reports’ main focus is on illustrating successful practices in the educational integration of refugee and asylum-seeking children (RASC).

Standardised outlines of select best practices (“inventory tables”) are constructed. They can aid future research in the field of RASC educational integration by forming a basic point of reference in the comparative analysis of best practices.

Review of the best practices in thirty-two countries enabled generalisations on the overall developments of policy and practice in the educational integration of RASC in the EU.

The Handbook also presents an innovative methodology for “mirror” evaluations and impact assessments aimed to identify key transferability conditions and parameters to facilitate the replication of best practices in the area of educational integration of RASC in different contexts.

Past events and publications on this topic



* Project co-financed under the European Refugee Fund. Sole responsibility lies with the author and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.

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news-410Wed, 22 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000Crime and Punishment: Studying Justice System for Shaping Criminal Policyhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/crime-and-punishment-studying-justice-system-for-shaping-criminal-policy/The current publication analyses the findings of the survey on public trust in Bulgarian police and courts, including personal assessments about the level of corruption in these institutions and the subjective perceptions of fear of crime.

The current publication analyses the findings of the survey on public trust in Bulgarian police and courts, including personal assessments about the level of corruption in these institutions and the subjective perceptions of fear of crime. Two main factors are moulding the public trust: the state institutions’ effectiveness, their procedural justice and their distributive fairness towards citizens, as well as institutions’ legitimacy, the legality of their actions and the shared moral principles, which build up the obligation to respect the rules and the decisions of these institutions.

The publication suggests that Bulgaria should introduce a system of indicators for assessing the public trust in the criminal justice system. These indicators would be instrumental for the more comprehensive definition of the problems, which criminal justice institutions face, and for more effective monitoring of public opinion fluctuations.

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news-412Mon, 20 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000Evaluation reports on the Cohesion Policy in Bulgariahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/evaluation-reports-on-the-cohesion-policy-in-bulgaria/DG Regional Policy at the European Commission published a Report on Bulgaria's progress on the Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and Energy Efficiency in Buildings and an Evaluation Report on the Achievements of the Cohesion Policy in Bulgaria. The two reports were prepared by CSD experts in the framework of the Expert Evaluation Network delivering policy analysis on the performance of the Cohesion Policy 2007 - 2013. DG Regional Policy at the European Commission published a Report on Bulgaria's progress on the Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and Energy Efficiency in Buildings and an Evaluation Report on the Achievements of the Cohesion Policy in Bulgaria. The two reports were prepared by CSD experts in the framework of the Expert Evaluation Network delivering policy analysis on the performance of the Cohesion Policy 2007 - 2013.

The first report provides an overview of the available support by the EU Structural Funds and the national instruments promoting RES and energy efficiency in buildings. It also describes the legislative framework and the operation of various state institutions in this area. Tthe report lists the remaining challenges to the management authorities, the businesses and the households which aim to utilize more efficiently the EU financial assistance and to reduce the energy poverty in the country.

The second report reviews all supported areas by the Cohesion Policy in Bulgaria and in particular the assistance provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The report is based on statistical and financial data and interviews with representatives of the Managing Authorities of Operational Programmes (OPs). The text describes the progress under the OPs and the impact of the economic crisis on the implementation of the financed projects. The report presents the main conclusions drawn from the OPs mid-term reviews and foregrounds the remaining challenges to Bulgaria.

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news-1Wed, 06 Oct 2010 12:21:00 +0000Are Bulgarian consumers willing to pay for clean energy?https://csd.bg/publications/publication/are-bulgarian-consumers-willing-to-pay-for-clean-energy/Bulgarian households pay the lowest price of electricity in Europe in absolute terms. Price increases are inevitable to cover costs of new investments in production and transmission. Bulgaria has signed binding agreements within the European Union to achieve 16% of final or energy consumption from renewable energy sources (RES) by 2020, which will bring further pressure on prices for final consumers. Are Bulgarian households ready to foot the bill of more expensive electricity?Bulgarian households pay the lowest price of electricity in Europe in absolute terms. Price increases are inevitable to cover costs of new investments in production and transmission. Bulgaria has signed binding agreements within the European Union to achieve 16% of final or energy consumption from renewable energy sources (RES) by 2020, which will bring further pressure on prices for final consumers. Are Bulgarian households ready to foot the bill of more expensive electricity? How much more are they willing to fork out of their budget for green energy? 

A mere 13% of Bulgarian households are willing to pay extra for clean energy. Of those 82.5% would only bear a modest increase in their electricity bills – with up to 10%. Willingness to pay a ‘green energy premium’ is directly linked to the level of income. Low income households support cheaper although ‘dirtier’ energy. 63% of the population has used wood for heating, which remains the cheapest energy source. This shows that sustainable development through RES is not readily supported by Bulgarian consumers and there is a need of economic stimuli and campaigns to activate people and businesses in that direction. The Bulgarian government needs to balance carefully between new investments and the effects of price increases on socially and energy vulnerable members of society. 

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news-656Fri, 16 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0000Examining the links between organised crime and corruptionhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/examining-the-links-between-organised-crime-and-corruption/The study Examining the links between organised crime and corruption was commissioned by the European Commission (DG JLS). This is the first study that examines systematically across all 27 EU Member States how organised crime uses corruption as a tool. The study is based on more than 150 interviews with corruption specialists (police, prosecutors, criminologists, and fraud specialists). More than 120 statistical and survey indicators on corruption and organised crime were analysed to examine the trends and patterns in organised crime’s use of corruption.Contents

The study Examining the links between organised crime and corruption was commissioned by the European Commission (DG JLS). This is the first study that examines systematically across all 27 EU Member States how organised crime uses corruption as a tool. The study is based on more than 150 interviews with corruption specialists (police, prosecutors, criminologists, and fraud specialists). More than 120 statistical and survey indicators on corruption and organised crime were analysed to examine the trends and patterns in organised crime’s use of corruption.

The study focuses on how organised and white collar criminals use corruption to target public institutions (politicians, police, judiciary, and customs), as well as how it is used for the operation of key criminal markets (cigarettes, drugs, prostitution, car-theft, and extortion-racketeering). The study also examines how private sector company employees are corrupted by organised criminals. Although the study does not map the specifics of how corruption is used in each EU Member State, six in-depth studies (on Bulgaria, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, and Spain) provide a more in-depth look in the situation in these countries.

The study was presented in April 2010 at a meeting organised by the EC to representatives of ministries of interior of all 27 EU Member States. In July 2010, the study was presented at a hearing of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) of the European Parliament.

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news-3Sun, 14 Feb 2010 23:00:00 +0000CSD Brief No 21: Investigation of Money Laundering: An Institutional Approachhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/csd-brief-no-21-investigation-of-money-laundering-an-institutional-approach/The policy brief makes an overview of the organized crime, corruption and money-laundering in Bulgaria. According to the authors, in spite of several legislative initiatives and a growing amount of prosecutorial decrees for money-laundering in the last decade, the prosecution for this type of crime in Bulgaria remains insignificant.Organized crime in Bulgaria is quick to adapt to the new realities and by and large enters the legal economy by legalizing capital accrued from criminal activities. This process poses a significant threat to the country: while in developed democracies money-laundering is carried out through the complex financial operations or investments in the legal economy (for instance through the purchasing of real estate and movables), in Bulgaria money-laundering takes on a specific form – political investment.

The policy brief makes an overview of the organized crime, corruption and money-laundering in Bulgaria. According to the authors, in spite of several legislative initiatives and a growing amount of prosecutorial decrees for money-laundering in the last decade, the prosecution for this type of crime in Bulgaria remains insignificant. The complexity of the crime, the objective difficulties for its investigation, as well as the necessary inter-institutional approach on an international level to combat such activities explain the relatively small number of prosecutions.

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news-2Mon, 08 Feb 2010 09:52:00 +0000Monitoring and Assessment of Public Policies and Programmeshttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/monitoring-and-assessment-of-public-policies-and-programmes/The report entitled Monitoring and Assessment of Public Policies and Programmes reviews the methods for monitoring the activity of the public sector, central and regional authorities and public-private partnerships.The report entitled Monitoring and Assessment of Public Policies and Programmes (available in Bulgarian only) reviews the methods for monitoring the activity of the public sector, central and regional authorities and public-private partnerships.

The systematic and thorough use of integrated tools for the monitoring and evaluation of public policies and programs is yet to become the norm in Bulgaria. The underestimating of the importance of these practices is one of the reasons for the relatively low level of preparedness of the country in adjusting to the requirements and challenges of EU membership. The lack of monitoring and evaluation of public policies and programs leads to many problems, e.g. related to the mismanagement of EU pre-accession and structural funds, the implementation of the harmonized European legislation, the capacity of the Bulgarian administration. In this context, the knowledge and use of these methods and techniques is a prerequisite for sound, effective and accountable governance. They are also needed for increased public participation and involvement of all stakeholders in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of public policies and programs.

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news-283Wed, 13 Sep 2006 00:00:00 +0000CSD Brief No. 10: A Painful Shift in Bulgarian Anti-Corruption Policies and Practicehttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/csd-brief-no-10-a-painful-shift-in-bulgarian-anti-corruption-policies-and-practice/The most important shift in Bulgaria’s anti-corruption policies in recent months is the move from “soft” (awareness-raising) campaigns to “hard” (prevention and sanctions oriented) measures with immediate anti-corruption effects.
In its March 2006 annual corruption assessment report On the Eve of EU Accession: Anti-Corruption Reforms in Bulgariathe Center for the Study of Democracy emphasized that “corruption, particularly in the high echelons of power, is one of the most critical problems faced by Bulgaria on the eve of its accession” as the Bulgarian “public tolerates less corruption and is increasingly concerned by it.” Bulgaria needs to present clear evidence of results in its fight against corruption, in particular on high political level.

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news-655Fri, 17 Mar 2006 00:00:00 +0000On the Eve of EU Accession: Anti-corruption Reforms in Bulgariahttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/on-the-eve-of-eu-accession-anti-corruption-reforms-in-bulgaria/This is the seventh consecutive Corruption Assessment Report providing an overview of the state and dynamics of corruption in Bulgaria and Bulgarian anti-corruption policy. It analyzes the main opportunities and challenges of the anti-corruption process in the context of Bulgaria’s approaching accession to the EU.Contents
Download in PDF 

This is the seventh consecutive Corruption Assessment Report providing an overview of the state and dynamics of corruption in Bulgaria and Bulgarian anti-corruption policy. It analyzes the main opportunities and challenges of the anti-corruption process in the context of Bulgaria’s approaching accession to the EU.

The report builds on regular monitoring of the spread of corruption, its trends, evaluations of the anti-corruption efforts and initiatives implemented by government institutions and by civil society, as well as a number of suggestions and ecommendations on anti-corruption measures. 2005 marked a reversal of the positive trend in the decline of corruption since 1998, while still emaining at half the level of seven years ago. This development suggests that “soft” anti-corruption measures have exhausted their potential and more effective approaches to counteract and prevent corruption must be found, especially at the administrative and political levels. These should be supported through a corruption monitoring and assessment by civil society of the public sector, articularly the agencies administering EU’s structural funds. The report also refers to external risks which could emerge after Bulgaria’s
accssion to the EU.

 

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news-49Thu, 02 Oct 2003 00:00:00 +0000Judicial Anti-Corruption Programhttps://csd.bg/publications/publication/judicial-anti-corruption-program/The Judicial Anti-Corruption Program was developed by eminent Bulgarian lawyers, including magistrates, and resulted from the combined efforts of influential non-governmental organizations, representatives of state institutions, and experts.

The Judicial Anti-Corruption Programhas been developed by eminent Bulgarian lawyers, including magistrates, and has resulted from the combined efforts of influential non-governmental organizations, representatives of state institutions, and experts.

In the course of the work the Program was presented to a number of state institutions, non-governmental organizations, professional associations, the media, experts and citizens so that they could provide their opinions, recommendations and proposals. A draft version of the document was discussed at a workshop attended by representatives of the stakeholders.

The Judicial Anti-Corruption Program draws on most of the remarks and proposals received and is aimed to prompt a further debate on the discussed issues.

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