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Quotables

  • At this moment of global economic crisis, no one of us can afford the staggering costs of crime and corruption. And at this moment, after two decades of sacrifice and painful transition, no one can tolerate the misappropriation of even the smallest amount of EU assistance monies. And after all the good and positive things that have been achieved here in this country, none of us will deny that it is time for the negative images that have appeared in headlines and satirical artwork to be replaced with clear evidence of problems solved and of a better future being built.

    Ambassador Nancy McEldowney at the Tenth Annual Anticorruption Policy Forum
  • The state loses or has revenues, not subjected to taxation, amounting to BGN 3,7 billions. If we calculate the loss to this amount in “Obligatory social securities”, we will see that it is 1,25 billion, which equals the planned expenditures for за pensions for three months in 2009.

    Ms Maria Murgina, Director of the National Revenue Agency at the round table "The informal economy in Bulgaria: Policy responses in an economic crisis", Sofia
  • We cannot sit back and pat ourselves on the back. The work to consolidate and preserve democratic gains must continue, in Bulgaria and indeed in all democracies. Maintaining the institutions of the rule of law and justice constitutes a foundation of democracy. We have to avoid the monopolization of government by a handful of powerful elites who capture access to the political institutions and public administration. This can be achieved only by ensuring competitiveness and civic engagement.

    Ambassador John Beyrle at the opening of the joint CSD-USAID international conference "Democracy that delivers", Sofia
  • The book presented by the Center for the Study of Democracy – with financial support of the European Union – proves just that, namely that Bulgaria has not made its homework as far as the fight against organized crime and high level corruption is concerned. This has been said by a number of official political visitors both inside the country and abroad. The question of the study is "What can be done against the increasingly brazen symbiosis of policy makers and civil servants with grey business".

    Ambassador Michael Geier, German Embassy in Bulgaria at the round table Organized Crime in Bulgaria: Markets and Trends
  • The British Government has been pleased to be a partner with CSD. The project had as its objective to improve the effectiveness of criminal justice in the border regions. This project is important for the European Union as a whole. Following accession, Bulgaria now manages over 1,100 kilometers of the EU's external border, with three non-EU countries (Serbia, Macedonia and Turkey) as well as the Black Sea. And for the UK, this project is another example of the excellent bilateral co-operation we enjoy with Bulgaria, working together now as partners within the EU in tackling shared challenges.

    British Ambassador Steve Williams at the Round Table Reinforcing Criminal Justice in Border Districts
  • The Center for the Study of Democracy was one of the early participants in the democratic change in Bulgaria that the US government has supported. You all are aware of the broad and diverse portfolio that the Center manages. We are proud that the US government’s most successful partnership with the Center is in fighting corruption.

    US Ambassador John Beyrle at the celebration of ten years of anti-corruption coalitions
  • Bulgaria needs badly to match public investment with private funds to improve infrastructure and public services for the citizens and businesses. A major obstacle to achieving this is the lack of effective mechanisms for involving private business in the delivery of public services in an effective and transparent manner. Developing the legal framework for public-private partnerships, which CSD and the Center for International Private Enterprise pioneer, will not only help Bulgaria resolve public service challenges but will also enhance transparency, accountability and democratic governance.

    Dr. John Sullivan, Executive Director, Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) at the round table Building Public-Private Partnerships: The Experience of Bulgaria
  • The Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) has performed invaluable service in monitoring anti-corruption reforms in Bulgaria. The rollout of this CSD methodology on corruption continues that fine tradition. The methodology is a comprehensive system of indicators. I can say with pride that it is based on a system supported by the United States, and specifically by USAID, for the past eight years. As an effective tool for measuring both the degree of corruption and the average citizen’s attitude towards it, CSD’s methodology helps government, NGO’s, media and the public combat the corrosive impact of corruption on civic life and commercial enterprise. We all commend CSD for this work.

    Mr. Alexander Karagiannis, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the United States at the Round Table: Monitoring of Anti-Corruption Reforms in Bulgaria
  • "I am keen for us to learn from the advanced thinking of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, with whom our Embassy has a number of projects in the JHA field. The Centre has already recognised that, in some key respects, organised criminals act like any other business. This approach is shown in many of your projects, such as the Informal Economy Index, which identifies the most vulnerable areas of the economy; and the Corruption Monitoring System, which tracks the dynamics of corrupt behaviour.

    In the UK this kind of innovative thinking has already informed our own strategy and we have much to gain from sharing our knowledge and expertise in these areas."

    Caroline Flint, Under-Secretary of State for Drugs Co-ordination, Organised Crime and European issues at the UK Home Office at the public discussion Combating Organised Crime in the 21st Century, Sofia
  • "While arms export controls are relatively strict and Bulgaria's share in illicit trade is insignificant, no mechanisms exist to oversee internal flows of arms, a report by the Bulgarian Center for the Study of Democracy and the U.K. Saferworld group said. The two NGOs are calling for tighter control of small arms and more transparency in arms trade in Bulgaria. "With the intensification of the terror threat we need to make sure that our weapons would go to our friends and that our soldiers would not get shot at with Bulgarian-made rifles," said Philip Gunev, one of the authors of the report."

    The Wall Street Journal

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