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State Capture Unplugged

For a number of years, CSD’s Corruption Monitoring System has indicated that administrative corruption in Bulgaria shows little signs of abating. The same applies to an even more potent form of corruption – state capture. These two manifestations are closely linked because they represent different facets of the same phenomenon: corruption behavior. Rampant administrative corruption in the country is indicative not only of violations by public officials in their dealings with business and members of the public. Such a situation is exacerbated by high levels of political corruption – that is, high prevalence of corrupt transactions perpetrated by management level public officials and elected politicians. more »

Previous Highlights »

Tackling Criminal Finances: Anti-Money Laundering in Bulgaria
There is a need for a new, more holistic approach in tackling criminal finances. The current approach concentrates too narrowly on legal investment of criminal proceeds and imprisonment, instead of how perpetrators illegally invest their money and utilise both their own and external financing in their activities. An unintended outcome of this approach is that it indirectly fosters reinvestments in criminal activities. more »

State Capture Unplugged: Countering Administrative and Political Corruption in Bulgaria
The lack of a sustainable anticorruption solution in Bulgaria is indicative of a far more significant problem - the numerous corrupt relations and dependencies involving high-level officials and politicians, known as state capture. This leads to the formation of systemic flaws such as abuse of public procurement mechanisms, hidden economy, VAT and other tax scams, blocking of law enforcement and control institutions, media capture. more »

CSD awarded five stars from Transparify
In the 2016 Transparify ranking, the Center for the Study of Democracy is awarded five stars for a second time, along with two SELDI members from Montenegro – the Center for Democratic Transition (CDT) and Institute Alternative (IA). Transparify, a non-profit initiative based in Georgia (Caucasus), provides the first-ever global rating of the financial transparency of 200 major think tanks in 47 countries. more »

Validating Radicalisation Monitoring Tools in South East and Central Europe
Countering radicalisation that turns to terrorism has become an issue of particular concern for many European spcieties. Both Islamist and right wing radicalization have seen resurgence in recent years leading to violent attacks on European soil. In this context the early detection of radicalization processes and the understanding of the root causes and factors that trigger them becomes ever more important so that early prevention is enacted. more »


Corruption pressure and involvement

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"Key public institutions have been captured by private interests," the Sofia-based Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) think-tank said. "Critical sectors of the public administration and the judiciary have become dysfunctional to the extent that nothing short of a drastic shake-up would have any impact". It said the number of corruption cases processed by law enforcement and punished was "negligible compared to the real magnitude of the problem".

Bulgaria losing corruption fight, Agence France-Presse, 4 July 2016

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"The Corruption Assessment Report of the Center for the Study of Democracy focuses on the strongest form of corruption in Bulgaria – state capture. For several years in a row it ascertains that the unacceptable has occurred - administrative corruption has given way to a system of corrupt relations that allows long-term privileged access to public resources for the same figures."

Mr. Rosen Plevneliev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria during the Twelfth Anti-Corruption Policy Forum: State Capture Unplugged: Countering Administrative and Political Corruption in Bulgaria, 4 July 2016

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