Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the resurgence of global authoritarian hybrid threats have focused the attention of the democratic community on the security implications of state capture and strategic corruption. Entrenched oligarchic networks have been stonewalling good governance reforms around the world, hampering democratization and fueling institutional distrust, political turmoil, inequality, and poverty. Southeast Europe has been among the most vulnerable regions in this respect. The EU and the US have sought to strengthen democratic resilience and anti-corruption responses by leading on economic security and democratic governance.
In order to provide a platform for cooperation for government and civil society representatives from Southeast Europe and their international peers, the Center for the Study of Democracy, in cooperation with with the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice, Basel Institute on Governance, and Friedrich Ebert Foundation, organized a policy forum under the anti-corruption cohort of the Summit for Democracy in Sofia, Bulgaria on 21 March 2023. The participants presented the year of action achievements of the governments from the region and discussed the Action Agenda with the next steps in their anti-corruption efforts.