The most important shift in Bulgaria’s anti-corruption policies in recent months is the move from “soft” (awareness-raising) campaigns to “hard” (prevention and sanctions oriented) measures with immediate anti-corruption effects.
Taken together these recent developments create a tipping point for countering political corruption, a critical mass of action to guarantee that Bulgaria moves to a new equilibrium of lower political and administrative corruption. The latest CSD Brief points out that more pressure and support both from EU partners and from the Bulgarian civil society and mass media would be needed for the country to move more quickly to this new equilibrium.
Bulgaria still needs to address several outstanding challenges to complement its initial steps against political corruption:
coordination of anti-corruption measures;
pro-active generation of anti-corruption policies;
decrease the corruption vulnerability of public procurement by ensuring transparency and accountability;
reducing channels for political payback and corruption;
reducing VAT fraud;
more efforts in the administrative domain, including government’s commitment to independent oversight of its anti-corruption actions;
measuring the impact on the level of corruption of all anti-corruption programs implemented in the country.
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