| Assessing the Informal Economy|
The Economic Program
initiated a process of building a network of experts, policy makers and think-tanks
in Europe actively involved in studying and drafting policies to counter informal
economy. Two international conferences were held in April and November 2002
to strengthen the network and discuss results of academic and policy research.
Parallel to the networking process, the Economic Program institutionalized
its efforts through the creation of a Working Group on Informal Economy of
experts from governmental agencies, NGOs, academia and investigating journalists
within the Coalition 2000 institutional structure. The Economic Program developed
a new methodology for informal economy assessment based on synthetic indicators.
The methodology was tested with two pilot surveys of population and business,
and a draft assessment of informal economy based on representative survey
of population was prepared. Discussion Topics on the Economy of Crime were
drafted. The Economic Program continued to promote good corporate governance
values and standards through series of publications and conference participation.
A reader entitled In Search for Better Corporate Governance Mechanisms was
published targeted at policy makers, high executives, students and university
professors. The Economic Program fellows participated in the OECD set of conferences
aiming to create a White Paper on Corporate Governance in Southeast Europe.
u An article on Corporate Governance as Anti-Dote to Corruption, prepared
by two fellows of the Economic Program was published by CIPE in March 2002.
The Corporate Governance Dictionary published in 2001 was widely disseminated.
The Economic Program was actively involved in the creation of regional partnerships
against corruption and organized crime by holding international conferences
and building networks of experts.
I. Exploring the nature, scope and impact of the informal
of the term informal economy exist, referring to grey, underground, criminal,
shadow or unrecorded economy, etc. Being informal could be a market
"exit" option or a symptom of its non-existence. Despite the variety
of reasons that may lead to informal economic activities, the real challenge
lies in its impact on growth, social welfare, democracy and intentional trade.
Program undertook a number of activities to build an international network of
experts, policy makers and think-tanks in Europe actively involved in studying
and drafting policies to counter informal economy in order to propose effective
governance strategy for informal economy in Bulgaria and the region. The
activities of this network were institutionalized through the creation of a
Working Group on Informal Economy coordinated by Petkan Iliev from CSD.
The Working Group
consists of experts from General Tax Directorate, National Statistical
Institute, National Investigation Office, Ministry of Labor and Social Policy,
Bulgarian Presidency, National Assembly Administration, Bulgarian National
Bank, NGOs, academia and investigating journalists within the Coalition 2000
institutional structure. The Economic Program organized two international
conferences in 2002 aimed to strengthen the network of experts and to discuss
the Working Group draft assessments of informal economy.
Round table: "The Informal Economy in the EU Accession Countries:
Size, Scope, Trends and Challenges to the Process of EU Enlargement"
The round table
was organized by the Center for the Study of Democracy, the World Bank and the
Bertelsmann Foundation on April 18-19, 2002. The round table brought together
experts involved in policy and research coming from EU member states (Austria,
Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom), accession countries (Bulgaria, the Czech
Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovenia), states
participating in the Stability Pact for Southeast Europe (Albania, Bosnia, Croatia,
Moldova and Serbia) and other countries (Canada and Russia) as well as
representatives of international organizations, multilateral and bilateral aid
The discussion at
the round table focused on the following topics: size and scope of the informal
economy, methods of assessment, general views and cross-country comparisons,
and case studies from Central Europe, the Baltic republics and the Balkans. A
special panel was devoted to a related issue - risk reporting and early warning
for good governance and against corruption. About 100 experts and policy makers
attended the round table. The papers presented by the speakers as well as the
written comments submitted by the discussants will be published as proceedings
of the round table.
On 29 November, 2002, the second International
Conference: Informal Economy in the EU Accession Countries: Size, Scope,
and the Trends in Trafficking and Corruption was held bringing
together leading experts in the field - academics, policy makers, representatives
of relevant NGOs and others from Bulgaria, EU members states and candidate
countries, other SEE countries and the US to discuss the institutional
response to the grey economy and the transnational crime.
and discussions during the first day provided an adequate picture of the size
and the scope of the informal economy in the EU accession countries, explored
the nature of the informal economy through application of the available methods
of assessment, suggested recommendations on the applicability of specific
approaches depending on a dynamic set of variables and contributed to consensus
building on the role of the informal economy in Europe and its possible implications
in the process of EU enlargement.
CSD activities received
broad coverage in the specialized economic and financial press as well
as national dailies. Articles on Economic Program outputs were published
in Ikonomicheski Zhivot Weekly, Capital Weekly, Pari and 24 Chasa.
II. Building public awareness for corporate
the Center for the Study of Democracy continued to raise awareness on corporate
governance issues by bringing out and providing relevant publications to
interested parties, and participating in public discussions on relevant
legislation changes and in international conferences.
The Economic Program
organized the publication of a comprehensive reader on Corporate Governance
"In Search for
Better Corporate Governance Mechanisms"(Available in Bulgarian only).
The reader consists of original studies of recent corporate governance policies,
e.g. those of the World Bank, and basic documents on good corporate governance
of international organizations like OECD. The papers are written by well known
authors like Marek Hessel. The reader is organized in four chapters - the first
summarizes the fundamentals of corporate governance; the second is devoted to
the reforms in corporate governance systems; the third presents an overview
of regional and national strategies for better corporate governance; the fourth
provides original documents of leading organizations in corporate governance
as well as a detailed reference guide for further reading as appendices.
Copies of the <../econ/artShow.php?id=11655">Corporate
Governance Dictionar published in 2001 were distributed to journalists from
economic sections or specialized economic newspapers and magazines, policy makers
and business associations, university professors and graduate students, including
participants of the Corporate Governance Summer School organized by Bourov Foundation
in the regional debate on Corporate Governance
Two CSD senior
fellows - Plamen Tchipev and Boyan Belev participated in the Second
and Third Southeast Europe Corporate Governance Round Tables in 2002.
The series of round tables in Southeast Europe were initiated by OECD
in 2001 aiming to foster regional debate on corporate governance and draft
policy measures. The first round table was held in September 2001. The
second round table took place in May 2002 in Istanbul and focused on transparency
and disclosure, while the third round table was held in November in Zagreb
and identified key areas for improvement of corporate governance practices.
Based on papers and discussions at these round tables participants drafted
a White Paper including a set of practical recommendations and designed
to serve as a means for setting priorities and implementing reform at
national or corporate level.
A paper entitled Corporate
Governance as Anti-Dote for Corruption: Examples/lessons learned in Bulgaria
and transition countries written by two fellows of the Economic Program -
Todor Yalamov and Boyan Belev - was published in Corporate Governance: An Antidote
to Corruption, March 2002, CIPE, Washington DC.