The year 2002 has been important and successful for Bulgaria’s aspiration to become a member of NATO and the European Union. An invitation to join the Alliance and a clear road map for EU integration came as a result of years of sustained government effort and wide public support. What became nonetheless apparent was that to undertake the obligations of membership the country needed a significant improvement in the capacity to apply the law. Thus, CSD’s focus on the linkages between the rule of law and a number of soft security issues was again at the forefront of transition reforms.
Five years ago CSD began to promote a new public-private cooperation approach to one of the key rule of law areas – anti-corruption. In 2002, the main outcome of its leadership - Coalition 2000, one of the most successful anti-corruption initiatives in a transition country – looked back on a number of achievements. Having influenced government policy, enhanced public intolerance and helped Bulgaria improve over 20 points in its international corruption ranking, in 2002 the Coalition laid out the strategy for its work during the next several years. It now covers a wide range of areas including the informal economy, judicial and administrative reform, and corporate governance. Asign of its international impact was the growing number of requests for exchange of best practices from countries from the NIS, Southeast Europe and other regions.