site.btaSome 30% of Citizens, 25% of Companies Experienced Increased Corruption Pressure in 2023, CSD Report Shows

Some 30% of Citizens, 25% of Companies Experienced Increased Corruption Pressure in 2023, CSD Report Shows
Some 30% of Citizens, 25% of Companies Experienced Increased Corruption Pressure in 2023, CSD Report Shows
Snapshot of the public discussion (BTA Photo)

In 2023, administrative corruption in Bulgaria has reached its third peak in the last two decades, with 30% of citizens and a quarter of companies experiencing increased corruption pressure and increased personal involvement in corruption. This is according to a report by the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) entitled "The State of Capture in Bulgaria: Тhe Elusive Quest for Anti-Corruption Results". The results of the analysis were presented on Tuesday at a public discussion at the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria, organized jointly with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

“… the lack of any tangible results from the flagship case against the state capture networks obviated by the forced default of the Corporate Commercial Bank in 2014, which the prosecutor-general had overseen for five years as the leader of the specialised anti-corruption prosecution office. His subsequent dismissal in the summer of 2023 was a similarly forceful display of the outsized undue political influence over the judiciary,” the document reads.

Yordanka Chobanova, Head of the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria, Norbert Beckmann-Dierkes, Head of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Representation in Bulgaria, and Ognian Shentov, Chairman of the Center for the Study of Democracy, addressed the participants.

"Bulgaria’s capacity to safeguard its economic security against Russia’s weaponization of strategic corruption in Europe has been undermined. Future-proofing the country’s democracy requires prioritizing two concurrent policies: exposing and targeting the mechanisms behind Russia-related state capture, and increasing anti-money laundering enforcement, with a particular focus on illicit financial flows in the energy sector," the analysis adds.

The paper also notes that the country's anti-corruption legislation is ineffective and selective, and that the mandate of the European Public Prosecutor's Office should be used and extended to cover violations of EU sanctions against Russia.

“The Bulgarian government needs to mainstream and sustain anti-corruption reforms. The recent constitutional amendments have the potential to strengthen judicial and political accountability. Next, the anti-corruption system of regulatory and enforcement agencies and inspectorates needs to be re-activated,” the report's main conclusions say.

/RY/

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By 09:09 on 14.06.2024 Today`s news

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