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New Measures to Counter Russian Influence Adopt the Recommendations of the Kremlin Playbook Report

Ten bipartisan US Senators tabled comprehensive Russia sanctions legislation, the Countering Russian Hostilities Act of 2017, which aims to introduce comprehensive sanctions on Russia for their cyber intrusions, aggression and destabilizing activities in the US and in Europe. The proposed legislation has recognized some of the key findings and policy recommendations from the recent report by CSD and CSIS The Kremlin Playbook: Understanding Russian Influence in Central and Eastern Europe including that Russia had tried to exert influence in Europe by sowing “distrust in democratic institutions” and “engaging in well-documented corruption practices” to increase Russian influence in European countries. more »

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Radicalisation and extremism risks in Bulgaria: towards more effective diagnostic and assessment tools
Over the last decade radicalisation and extremism are of growing concern for European societies. New risks of Islamist and far-right radicalisation have impelled the introduction of policies, the effects of which are only now being evaluated. As radicalisation that risks escalating into violence is more amenable to prevention than repression, having the capacity to detect early warning signs and trace the spread of extremist activity over time is critical. more »

 
EU Funds and the Path to Good Governance in Bulgaria and Romania: Lessons Learnt
Ten years after accession to the EU, the challenge of corruption continues to define both Bulgaria`s and Romania`s status within the Union. The EU has imposed a series of conditions on the two countries in the area of anticorruption while allocating considerable financial support for modernization for nearly two decades. The question remains to what degree have EU funds specifically targeted greater anticorruption progress and what has been their tangible impact. more »

 
Monitoring radicalisation risks in Central and Southeast Europe: Shaping diagnostic tools for EU policymakers
The rise of Islamist and right-wing radicalisation processes among disaffected young people is pushing some to acts of terrorism and is a growing concern. Many EU Member States have been proactive in countering this phenomenon and have acquired substantial experience in developing prevention and de-radicalisation policies and programmes. However, many European national authorities have followed a ‘trial-and-error’ approach, adopting untried and untested measures in the face of an immediate threat and in response to public concerns. more »

 
Members of the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) Center for Excellence visit the Center for the Study of Democracy
Radicalisation is a complex phenomenon that requires holistic policy approaches to prevention, involving a multitude of state and non-state actors. Тhe key role of frontline practitioners in prevention has been increasingly recognized at national and EU levels. The Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) brings together practitioners from around Europe who work daily with people who have already been radicalised, or who are vulnerable to radicalisation. more »

 
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Russian Economic Footprint as Share of the Economy

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     CSD IN THE MEDIA
 

Given Bulgaria’s extreme energy reliance on Russia, which provides over 90% of its natural gas and all the fuel for its Soviet-built nuclear power station, and the important role of Russian companies in the national economy, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, concluded in a report written last year with the Sofia-based Center for the Study of Democracy that Bulgaria “is at high risk of Russian-influenced state capture.”

Russia Uses Rigged Polls, Fake News to Sway Foreign Elections, The Wall Street Journal, 23 March 2017

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According to the Center for the Study of Democracy, there was “rule of corruption” in the country. In a July report, the center estimated that more than 22 percent of the population was affected by corruption, but that charges were brought in only 0.01 percent of all cases. The center concluded that corruption had become systematic, functioning as an additional tax on public services, and that state institutions have practically been privatized by their employees.

US Department of State, Bulgaria 2016 Human Rights Report, 4 March 2017.

 

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