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.

Civil society for transparency of the national and municipal policy in the South Black Sea region

The project aim was to improve the mechanisms for control over the work of the public administration in the in the South Black sea region in Bulgaria by creating partnership between the civil society structures and the administration. This initiative supposed to increase the transparency and accountability of the later. The project activities included: 1. analyses of the main problems and obstacles in the work of the targeted administrations; 2. development of precise recommendations for improvement; 3. establishment of a system for information exchange, including system for signals of cases of corruption; 4. realization of series of round tables for more transparency in the work of the administrations in the region; 5. activities for information and publicity.

The secrets of municipal property management

The project aimed at increasing the transparency in the work of the municipal administrations in the country through monitoring and analyses of the practices in the municipal property’s management process, privatization, restitution and public procurement. Some of the main project activities include: 1. development and dissemination of information brochures on the topics: “Citizens and local authority – administrative service”” and “”The poverty – national problem connected with corruption””; 2. nomination and price award for the best anti-corruption innovation practice in local government based on the conducted analyses; 3. realization of practical seminars for citizens and experts from the municipalities; 4. regular press conferences presenting the accumulated information.”

Publicity and transparency in the work of the administration, governance and public spending of the municipal council of the Sopot municipality

The project aimed at increasing the transparency and accountability of the work of the municipality of the city of Sopot by improving the partnership between the structures of the civil society and the local authorities. The project activities included: 1. assessment of the transparency and accountability in the work of the municipal administration; 2. evaluation and development of recommendations regarding the transparency in the work of the municipal council; 3. development and realization of a web based portal for dissemination of information regarding the activities of the municipal administration for improving the access to information for citizens and the business.

Development of a sustainable system for civil monitoring of the effectiveness and transparency of the work of the public administration and for overcoming the existing deficiencies of the administrative services for the citizens and for the business

The project aimed at increasing the transparency and accountability of the public administration through the creation of a sustainable system for inclusion of the civil society structures in the formulation and implementation activities of the public administration. In short, the project included: 1. an analysis of the current deficiencies in the work of the public administration with the citizens and the business; 2. formulation and development of mechanisms for improvement through analyses of best practices; 3. implementation of a sustainable system for cooperation that guarantees the constant involvement of the civil society actors in the practical implementation of the policies of the public administration in four pilot municipalities; 4. realization of seminars for the target groups concerning the European best practices of good governance.

Curbing corruption and promoting transparency in the work of municipal councils in Bulgaria

The project aimed at identifying corruption-generating practices in the work of local authorities. The project fulfillment included three stages: 1. an analysis of the Municipal Council documentation and the local newspapers; 2. a focus-group discussions with Municipal Councilors and community representatives for determining the target groups and spheres of competing interests; 3. social experiments in resolving typical cases in three of the selected municipals. As an outcome a Policy Paper and a Handbook comprising analytical material, suggestions for amending the Rules and Procedures of Municipal Councils’ functioning and for public feedback was developed.

Partnership between the citizens and the municipal administration – a guarantee for transparency and accountability

The project aimed at increasing the capacity of the structures of the civil society in four municipalities in the fight against corruption. The capacity building refers to the capabilities of the civil society organizations to implement models and methods for monitoring and control over the public services provided by the municipal administrations . The project main activities included: 1. development of a local civil society partnership network; 2. survey of best practices in Bulgaria with regard to services of general interest provided by the local authorities 3. development of a web site for the partnership network in order to facilitate the communication between the target groups as well as to ease the monitoring process; 4. analyses of the existing deficiencies in the provision of services of general interest in the selected four municipalities and development of action plans for improvement; 5. realization of round tables with representatives from the civil society sector and the administration in order to discuss and improve the action plans; 6. monitoring over the implementation of the provided recommendations in the action plans; 6. analysis of the results of the project and dissemination of the good practices achieved.

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.