|The results from the first stage of the Coalition 2000 process (July - December 1998) and the main activities to be undertaken in the second stage (to last 30 months) were discussed at a meeting of the Coalition 2000 Steering Committee which took place at Sofia International Management Centre on December 11, 1998.
The participants in the meeting expressed their satisfaction with the work done by Coalition 2000 so far. The Anti-Corruption Action Plan developed by the Coalition had been welcomed by anti-corruption experts at the World Bank, the Council of Europe, the Center for International Private Enterprise and also by the financier George Soros. It was pointed out that Coalition 2000 had managed to build a public-private anti-corruption partnership, which could now serve as a model for other countries in the region.
During the discussion it became clear that Coalition 2000 was prepared to undertake additional anti-corruption activities depending on the availability of financial resources. In the first place, the Coalition wanted to help the establishment of anti-corruption councils in 4-5 municipalities in the country. The anti-corruption councils would include representatives of local administration, local media, local business associations, opinion leaders and representatives of non-governmental organizations. Their task would be to collect information about corrupt practices and propose measures to oppose them.
It was also possible to organize service delivery surveys in several municipalities the results of which would be published in local media. The publications would be followed by town-hall meetings involving representatives of local authorities and citizens to discuss the shortcomings of local administration and to suggest possible remedies. In addition, modern information technologies could be harnessed to improve the transparency in the work of local administration.
On request by the Deputy Minister of Finance and Head of the Customs Department at the Ministry of Finance, Plamen Minev, Coalition 2000 was to consider an anti-corruption partnership agreement with Customs authorities.
The participants in the meeting supported the proposal to organize a round-table with foreign business associations in the country and with representatives of the Foreign Investment Agency to discuss common actions aimed at reducing the level of corrupt practices in Bulgarian society.
The inclusion of anti-corruption texts in textbooks used in Bulgarian high schools was another possibility to reinforce the anti-corruption message of Coalition 2000.
The Coalition 2000 Steering Committee members agreed that proliferating the Coalition 2000 experience in the development and implementation of an anti-corruption strategy to other transition economies should be a long-term objective of the participants in the process.