{"title": "Corruption in Bulgaria Threatens Social Stability","content": "
According to a CIPE-funded survey, 57% of adult Bulgarians believe that their politicians are primarily interested insecuring special privileges for themselves and their friends. Bulgaria's Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD)conducted a national survey on perceptions of corruption and found that it engenders pessimism about the promiseof economic reform and weakens confidence in democracy. Low trust in public officials can derail a country's transition to a market economy. CSD's survey revealed that themajority of Bulgaria's population does not approve of the way reform is being implemented, though they agree thatthe transition to a market economy is inevitable. Corruption steps in when citizens don't realize their legally established rights, the survey found. For instance,although nearly all Bulgarians know that the law entitles them to free medical treatment, 86% of surveyrespondents believe they must bribe doctors in order to receive medical services. CSD's work on corruption builds on its programs that encourage privatization, capital markets and greater publicparticipation in policymaking. Working with CIPE and NGOs, CSD developed an anti-corruption public awarenesscampaign that was launched as a pilot program in the mid-1990s. The success of this initiative led to the recentcreation of Coalition 2000, a widespread effort to fight corruption involving the private sector, NGOs, the academiccommunity, and the Bulgarian government.