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Energy Security

The energy sector plays a key role in the Bulgarian economy. It concentrates sizable state and private financial and human assets. Energy resources represent 20% of Bulgarian imports and 15% of the country’s exports. The energy sector is dominated by heavily regulated state-owned and private monopolies, thus providing a favorable environment for a lack of transparency, pervasive private political and economic vested interests, fraud, corruption, overinvestment and under-servicing, and disregard of state and consumer interests. The consequences of bad governance are enhanced by a lack of clear strategic and legal framework. Bulgaria’s EU membership, and the increasing role of the European Commission in forming a common energy policy based on market liberalization, energy efficiency and renewables, creates the opportunity for adopting better governance practices and opening up of the Bulgarian energy sector. A key objective of the Center for the Study of Democracy’s research and advocacy is to improve energy sector governance for a transparent and sustainable economic development.


all events

Foreign Meddling in the Western Balkans: Guarding against Economic Vulnerabilities
The Center for the Study of Democracy participated at a briefing at the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, held in Washington D.C. The participants in the briefing noted that malign outside influence in the Western Balkans, in particular by Russia, is of increasing concern. The lack of a strong legal framework makes countries in the region especially vulnerable to foreign capital that can be used to sow instability, undermine integration, and delay democratic development. more »
Priorities for the Bulgarian Energy Sector until 2050: Strategic Vulnerabilities
Bulgaria and Europe have reached an energy crossroads. To meet the European Energy Union’s ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emission in the electricity sector by over 90% until 2050, they should transform their energy systems, taking into account the inevitable socio-economic implications. more »
The EU Energy Union and the Russian Gas Projects: Energy Choices and Energy Security in Europe
Russia has been a critical but controversial energy supplier for Europe for centuries, and the way the EU and Russia energy strategies develop and interact in the decades to come is going to be important for the energy choices of European households. Gas has been a particular case in point in this regard. more »
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 »


all publications

Assessing Russia’s Economic Footprint in the Western Balkans. Corruption and State Capture Risks

Statement by the Center for the Study of Democracy regarding Russia’s Economic Footprint in the Western Balkans

CSD Policy Brief No. 74: Assessing Russia's Economic Footprint in Bosnia and Herzegovina

CSD Policy Brief No. 73: Assessing Russia's Economic Footprint in Montenegro

   Economic Program

Bulgarian Energy Policy

Copenhagen 2009: Outliers among CO2 emitters: choose your pick





Are Bulgarian consumers willing to pay for clean energy?






National Energy Strategy 2020

National Action Plan on RES


Think Tank Fund