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  • A 2019 report by the Centre for the Study of Democracy in Sofia on corruption in Bulgaria said that, according to local business people, at least 35 per cent of public procurement contracts involve corrupt practices.

    Financial Times, July 16, 2020
  • Borissov has effectively played the “good European,” said Ruslan Stefanov, director of the economic program at the Center for the Study of Democracy, a research group in Sofia. The concern is that oligarchs control critical assets and that leaves the country at the whim of a narrow group of people—what he and his colleagues call a “captured state.”

    “If they change their allegiance, it changes the whole orientation of the country,” said Stefanov, who co-authored a study entitled “The Kremlin Playbook in Southeast Europe” published this year.

    Ruslan Stefanov, Director, Economic Program, CSD
    Bloomberg, February 21, 2020
  • Ruslan Stefanov, a director at the Center for the Study of Democracy in Sofia, said Macron had a point, that the EU needed to treat enlargement as a political, foreign policy challenge, not a technical process. “There is a strong political angle to this accession process and this requires a much more assertive foreign policy on the side of the EU.

    Ruslan Stefanov, Director, Economic Program, CSD
    The Guardian, January 1, 2020
  • The report was a joint project of CSIS and the Center for the Study of Democracy in Sofia, Bulgaria, a European public-policy institute. It is the second in CSIS’s “Kremlin Playbook” series, launched in October 2016 to influence debate over Russian actions in other countries, including its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    Russia’s Economic Clout in Europe Grows Despite Sanctions, Study Says, The Wall Street Journal, March 11, 2019
  • "The legal framework for privatization has been made more transparent in recent years but concerns remain about the openness of the process particularly in respect to large-scale privatizations. Coalition 2000 observes ("Anti-corruption Reforms in Bulgaria", Sofia, 2005) that implementation of the Privatization and Post-Privatization Control Act has been “controversial and full of changes and delays. The results of the involvement of the administrative prosecution and the courts in the privatization of the Bulgarian telecom operator and Bulgartabac Holding generated reasonable doubts as to the independence of the judiciary and the existence of strong political corruption pressure on the system."

    Bulgaria: Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) — Fiscal Transparency Module, published by IMF, August 2005
  • "Frauds became more complicated in order to hide criminal activities. … Fifteen years ago, if we were investigating, we would find that the criminal inserted one artificial fake company in the sub-contracting chain. Today, if we were to check the same structure we would find six, eight or ten levels of sub-contractors, including off-shore companies. We must follow the cash-flow and this means we have to adapt ourselves also to the new modus operandi. This is why it is very important for us to use innovative methods to investigate, to detect but also to prevent fraud and corruption."

    Amira Szönyi
    Head of Unit Agricultural and Structural Funds II, OLAF, during the International Conference: Standing Up To State Capture: Innovative Methods to Investigate Fraud and Corruption in EU Funding for Agriculture, Sofia, 13-14 September 2018
  • "Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, recognized CIPE leaders and partners for their contributions to advancing business ethics. Ethisphere recognized Dr. Ognian Shentov, Chairman of the Center for Study of Democracy in Bulgaria, and Dr. Jesus Estanislao, Chairman of the Philippine Institute of Corporate Directors and the Institute for Solidarity in Asia. The Center for the Study of Democracy, a long-time CIPE partner, is a champion of anti-corruption efforts in Bulgaria and has played an integral role in the efforts to combat corruption, promote transparency and accountability."

    CIPE Executive Director and Partners Honored in Ethisphere Business Ethics Ranking, CIPE website
  • "The Ukraine crisis has also reminded us that energy security can be an issue of national security, not just for Ukraine, but for many other allies as well. Russia will remain the major supplier to Europe, there is no doubt about it, but once alternatives are in place, Russia will become more flexible when negotiating on price and contract terms."

    Mr. Michael Ruehle, Head, Energy Security Section, Emerging Security Challenges Division, NATO Headquarters at the International conference: Energy Security and State Capture Risks, Sofia
  • "I think that one of the most important steps required to tackle the informal economy is to speed up the efforts in changing the informal institutions of the society (norms, beliefs, values) in such a way as to coincide with the needs of the formal institutions (regulations, laws). We need to get the people to start buying what the government is selling. Regrettably, my experience has shown that this cannot happen by using only fines and imposing restrictions. Genuine efforts should be made to foster a culture of commitment in order to align the two. And this requires formal institutions to change if citizens are to change their approach to paying taxes. The good news is that this has already started to be done in the Nordic countries and there is a long tradition which not simply shows the positives of such efforts, but also allows us to measure them in financial terms."

    Professor Colin Williams, Sheffield University during the international Marie Curie conference States and States of Informality in Europe: Current and Future Perspectives, Sofia
  • "The report of the Center for the Study of Democracy on Energy Sector Governance and Energy (In)Security in Bulgaria offers an in-depth analytical perspective on the Bulgarian energy sector and highlights some of the main challenges that the country faces if it is to diversify its energy sources. The report also provides a useful tool for working towards a common EU energy policy based on competitiveness, security of energy supply, and sustainability. We are delighted to have had the privilege of hosting one of the two public discussions in Washington, DC, featuring this newly released and groundbreaking report earlier this month under the aegis of the Wilson Center’s Global Europe Program."

    Mr. Christian F. Ostermann, Wilson Center during the public discussion Energy Security in the Black Sea Region, Washington, DC

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