|On October 7, 1998 representatives of more than 20 non-governmental organizations met with Coalition 2000 representatives to discuss the role of the non-governmental sector in the fight against corruption in Bulgarian society.
"Coalition 2000 is a public-private partnership initiated by a group of Bulgarian NGOs to counter crime and corruption in Bulgaria. It is an open process and, therefore, contributions from other non-governmental organizations and individuals are encouraged," said Emil Georgiev, Coordinator of Coalition 2000. According to Mr. Pasquale Ferraro, Deputy Director of the International Development Law Institute, which provides expert assistance to the Coalition 2000 process, the Anti-Corruption Action Plan developed by Coalition 2000 represents a platform for cooperation between various NGOs depending on the specific areas of their knowledge and expertise.
"NGOs with expertise in the legal area can contribute to those efforts of Coalition 2000 that are related to the reform in the judiciary," Nely Viodorova from Democracy in Action Foundation pointed out. According to Hristo Mudrov, President of Humanity Foundation, a telephone hot line and a mail box should be established to collect information about cases of corruption. This information should be later submitted to the executive branch of power, which will be expected to take specific actions.
"Coalition 2000 should become more active at a regional level, building grass-root support for its activities," Dr. Plamen Dimitrov, Deputy Director of the Democratic Network Program, believes. NGOs, which have branches in the province, should help Coalition 2000 with the establishment of its own local representation.
The participants in the meeting agreed that Coalition 2000 was an important initiative, which could be instrumental in reducing the level of corrupt practices in Bulgaria. According to Mr. Georgiev, all sub-contracting opportunities within Coalition 2000 will be advertised in the media so that a higher number of NGOs be able to contribute to its anti-corruption efforts.