No year in the modern history of Bulgaria has passed without its twists and turns. But 2013 has been exceptional in many aspects. It marked Bulgaria’s first seven years of EU membership, without witnessing the long-awaited breakthrough in rule of law and good governance. The disillusionment with Bulgaria’s political establishment and the continuing economic slump call for mobilization of Bulgarian civil society, for building new bridges for democracy and prosperity for all.
Throughout 2013 the Center for the Study of Democracy continued its long-standing commitment to address the most pressing issues on the public policy agenda of the country through impartial, research-based policy proposals targeted at policy makers at national and European level. The Center laid new cornerstones for public policymaking in the areas of justice and home affairs, good governance, human rights and migration, and energy security and competitiveness.
In 2013 the Center carried on with its pioneer work on monitoring crime trends, on new policies to counter organized crime, and on improving the Bulgarian public’s confidence in the criminal justice system. CSD brought the best European practice to Bulgarian law-enforcement authorities, by publishing a comprehensive study on the European perspectives on countering police corruption.
As a part of its overall effort to strengthen national and regional governance, CSD continued to coordinate the work of the Southeast Europe Leadership for Development and Integrity (SELDI), an international anti-corruption network of leading civil society organizations and experts from Southeast Europe. SELDI’s public-private partnership approach remains CSD’s preferred social technology of achieving impact at national and international level.
In the course of 2013, CSD continued to be active in the area of human rights and migration. In the light of the Syrian migration crisis CSD strengthened its efforts to promote measurable and sustainable migrant integration policies and social inclusion of vulnerable migrant groups by facilitating the transfer of best practices among EU countries.
CSD has championed the monitoring of energy security and competitiveness to improve economic governance and policy making in the country. True to the principle that what can’t be measured, cannot be done, CSD introduced Bulgaria’s Energy Security Risk Index aimed at bringing more transparency and open data to the energy policy dialogue in the country towards achieving good governance and sustainable development of the energy sector.