Civil monitoring of the financing of the local election campaign in Bulgaria

The aim of the project was to realize a campaign against the wide spread practices of vote buying and the corruption in the election process at local level. In order to reach its target the project realized: 1. methodological training of local volunteers for monitoring the election process. 2. accumulation of data during the election process. 3. media monitoring regarding the election campaign 4. a sociological survey regarding the transparency and democracy of the election process 5. consultation, analyses and publication of the accumulated information from the realized activities. As a result the project developed a special Index for transparency in the financing of the local election campaign.

Towards establishing effective partnership: Improving citizen participation in anti-corruption initiatives at the local level

The project aimed at encouraging the establishment of a network of civil society organizations, offering an institutional support to NGOs in the city of Blagoevgrad for improvement of the anti-corruption climate at the local level. The major activity lines include thematic training seminars; developing an Index for measuring the Transparency of the local anti-corruption environment and designing a strategy for its improvement.

Youth initiative against corruption in Sliven

The project aimed to change the attitude of young people towards corruption through initiation of anti-corruption course in high-schools in the Sliven region. For the purpose, the project developed a program for anti-corruption education that included group simulations, case resolution in areas such as mediation and lobbying, money laundering, conflict of interests etc. Some of the project outputs included: 1. a sociological survey; 2. a round table with municipal representatives, lawyers, non-profit youth organizations, the civil association Public Barometer and students from the four surveyed schools; 3. development of a three-module training program; 4. a press conference.

Policy Forum

The Anti-Corruption Policy Forum is a high profile public event for anti-corruption initiatives, supporting the efforts of the civil society and public institutions in the fight against corruption. The Policy Forum convenes once a year to review the results of the preceding period, and to provide guidelines for the work over the next year. Members of the Policy Forum are prominent public personalities with established integrity and reputation as well as representatives of public and private institutions. The main purpose of the Forum is to discuss the annual Corruption Assessment Report of the Center for the Study of Democracy.

Facing the administration: Research on the good practices of the Bulgarian administration

The aim of the project was to improve the public perception towards the public administration by identifying and promoting the good practices of the municipal administration. The outputs of the project are: 1. a survey of the good practices in the local public administration; 2. publication of a comprehensive report with precise recommendations based on the findings of the research; 3. realization of six educational seminars for dissemination of the findings within the target groups; 4. media coverage of the project including a national press conference.

Public budgets monitoring

The project aims at consolidating a systematic approach to the civil monitoring and control over budgetary process. Its activities include: drawing up reports on the implementation of budget 2006; comments and evaluations, provoked by specific information occasions, related to budget proposals for 2007; drawing up a report on the status of health insurance system; drawing up a report on the readiness for absorption of European Structural funds; making of sector analysis of the expenses in the field of education; analysis of the efficiency of the existing system for education funding and the opportunities for its enhancement.

Civil society against buying of electoral votes: the effective civil society control as a factor for conducting fair and democratic elections

The primary goal of the project was to promote integrity in the election campaigns, to mobilize civil society organizations in order to exercise effective control and monitoring over the election campaigns in view of prevention of buying of electoral votes and to increase the level of integrity of the democratic process in general. The project objectives were: 1. to formulate adequate proposals for legislative amendments designed to restrict buying of electoral votes during the upcoming elections for MPs of the National Assembly and members of the European Parliament in 2009; 2. to mobilize the civil society structures for exerting an active public pressure on state institutions in order to adopt the civil society proposals for legislative amendments and to ensure fair democratic elections. 3. to advocate for civil and political intolerance towards the issue of buying of votes through focusing public attention on the importance of this phenomenon and organizing a civil society advocacy campaign for a fair and nonbiased electoral campaign. 4. to enhance the capacity of NGOs for exercising an effective monitoring over elections and to enhance the capacity of the state institutions for effective counteraction and restriction to the practices of vote buying.

Collective business actions against corruption

The main goal of the project was the establishment of a governance framework for the Bulgarian network of the UN Global Compact in order to strengthen and enhance its role in the country. The project was meant to achieve greater involvement in the initiative on the part of members and partners and provide a platform for dialogue and collective action in line with the latest developments in corporate social responsibility.

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.