Raising transparency through advocacy: challenges in fighting corruption

The basic goal of the project was to assist in raising the respectability of the Bulgarian democratic process and the transparency in the work of public institutions in three spheres: healthcare, the judiciary and public procurement. The implementation of the project took place in three main stages: In the first stage, the bulk of activities was concentrated on conducting a series of analyses and research identifying the basic deficits in the legislation and its application in the three spheres. The second stage focused on creating and maintaining a network of NGOs and media partners for the purpose of information exchange. In short, the results were: conducted surveys and analyses; established cooperation with NGOs and public institutions; two national round tables for information dissemination and exchange.

The civil society and the regional administration in the South-West region – a model for partnership

The project aimed to facilitate the mechanisms for partnership between the structures of the civil society and the local and regional administrations in the South-west region of Bulgaria. The main project goal was: better transparency, more accountability and control over the work of the administration. Some of the project activities included: 1. analyses, development of recommendations and educational seminars; 2. development and maintenance of an information web site; 3. activities for capacity building for monitoring the activities of the local and regional administration; 4. development of recommendations for improvement of the legal framework, strategic documents or public services provided by the targeted administrations; 5. activities for information and publicity.

Corruption monitoring system of Coalition 2000

Corruption Monitoring System (CMS) of Coalition 2000 was a system of empirical studies and analytical reports and represents one of the three main components of the activities of the anti-corruption initiative Coalition 2000, realized in the period 1998-2004. The main objective of CMS was to periodically present information, which would enable conclusions about the scope of corruption in the country, as well about the related public attitudes, assessments and expectations. The other functions of the CMS were to provide reliable feedback about the effectiveness of the anti-corruption initiatives of the Bulgarian society, as well as assessment of the effectiveness of the anti-corruption activities of Coalition 2000 itself.

Countering corruption at the municipal level – anti-corruption measures in the Pernik region municipalities

The project was realized in the course of Coalition 2000 and USAID Open Government Initiative Project: “Civil Society Against Corruption”” – Small Grants Program. The goal of the current project was the improvement of the interaction between administration, civil society and business at local and regional levels.”

Introduction of the methods for organizational excellence for raising the capacity of municipal governance

The project objective was the development and pilot check-up of an approach to introducing governance through organizational excellence (“Commitment to Excellence””) in the context of two Bulgarian municipalities. Its activities included: 1. establishing organization within the municipality for implementation of the project; 2. ensuring the active and informed participation in the training of all persons, related to the project implementation; 3. selection of a competent project manager and team members; 4. communication and, if needed, clarification of the ideas and concepts of Organizational Excellence among the organization’s employees; 5. self-evaluation, identification of strengths and fields to be improved, as well as the priority of individual tasks; 6. development, deployment and communication of an action plan; 7. commitment to the realization of constant improvements.”

Civil control over the work of court experts

The aim of the project was the elaboration of comprehensive analyses on the deficiencies in exercising control over the work of court experts. Another goal was the development, on the basis of the conducted analyses, of a set of ethical standards for the work of court experts as well as a model for their successful implementation within the practice of the courts. The implementation of the project included the elaboration of a legal analysis, aiming at identifying and investigating the gaps and loopholes in the Bulgarian legislation, regulating the work of court experts, as well as assessing the effectiveness of the existing mechanisms for control and liability of court experts. Furthermore, the project conducted a sociological survey, aiming at analyzing the tendencies in the existing public opinion, concerning the level of transparency in the work of court experts as well as the problems concerning their selection and control. Direct result of the implementation of the project was the elaboration and dissemination of the publication “Court Experts in Bulgaria – ethical standards and mechanisms for control over their activity”.

Reform of the Prosecution Office of the Republic of Bulgaria

The aim of the project was to increase the effectiveness of the institutional cooperation in the fight against corruption, to ease the transfer of know-how in the field as well as to increase the institutional capacity and authority of the National Prosecution Office. The outputs of the project are: 1. realization of several conferences and educational workshops for the National Prosecution Office experts with the participation of experts from the civil society sector as well as representatives of the prosecution offices of different EU countries; 2. realization of a sociological survey regarding the public perception over the work of the prosecution office as well as a training seminars for the PR department of the institution; 3. publications of the results and recommendations of the project.

Is East-Central Europe Backsliding? EU Accession Is No “End of History”

In the textbooks on democratic transition, Central and Eastern Europe provides the model of success. Yet in Brussels concern over the politics of the new EU members has been mounting. The day after accession, when conditionality has faded, the influence of the EU vanished like a short-term anesthetic. Political parties needed to behave during accession in order to reach this highly popular objective, but once freed from these constraints, they returned to their usual ways. Now we see Central and Eastern Europe as it really is—a region that has come far but still has a way to go.