Bulgaria’s approach to countering and preventing radicalisation has been influenced by the European Union’s evolving understanding of radicalisation as a home-grown problem that also requires soft measures. This understanding was adopted as the basis for the Bulgarian Strategy for Countering Radicalisation and Terrorism (2015-2020). However, the country was unprepared to ensure the Strategy’s implementation. Prevention measures were insufficiently applied and the approach continues to be dominated by law enforcement.
This report first takes a look at the main institutional stakeholders (both state and non-state) in Bulgaria linked to preventing/countering violent extremism (P/CVE), then offers a country-specific analysis of processes and issues deemed pertinent to the country, before analysing the institutional perceptions of the seven drivers set as the basis of the macro analysis. Out of these drivers, those perceived as the most relevant by actors seem to be religion, political grievances (far-right ideology), poverty, inequality and an additional factor appearing horizontally in most stakeholders’ accounts: education. These macro perceptions can serve as a starting point for the subsequent analysis of the meso- (community-level) and micro- (individual-level) drivers of radicalisation and violent extremism in the country.
The country report on Bulgaria is available for download here.