Study Visit: Mechanisms for Fight against Corruption – Bulgaria’s Experience and Challenges

On 25 and 26 November, 2010, the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC) together with the Center for the Study of Democracy organized a study visit on the Mechanisms for Fight against Corruption – Bulgaria’s Experience and Challenges for representatives of the Macedonian Parliament, Public Prosecution Office, State Commission for Prevention of Corruption, General Secretariat of the Government, Ministry of the Interior, The Association of the Units Of Local-Self Government, and representatives of non-government organizations as Transparency Macedonia and the Research Center for Civil Society. Within the visit the delegation was introduced to the public bodies and their methods for countering corruption as well as to the contribution of the civil society to that process.

Dr. Ognian Shentov, CSD’s Chairman, made the opening remarks making an overview of the anticorruption processes in Bulgaria during the years of transition and over the pre-EU accession period in Bulgaria from the point of view of one of country’s first think-tanks founded after the beginning of the democratic changes. He briefly introduced the main institutions responsible for countering corruption.

Ms. Ana Karaivanova, Chief Inspector of the Inspectorate within the Supreme Judicial Council introduced the mechanisms for countering corruption and the experience of the Inspectorate within the Supreme Judicial Council in increasing efficiency of the judiciary.

Ms. Pavlina Nikolova, Head of Anticorruption Sector, and Ms. Emilia Peneva, Prosecutor, Department of Countering Corruption, Money Laundering and Other Crime of Overriding Public Interest of Supreme Prosecution Office of Cassation introduced the activities of the Supreme Prosecution Office of Cassation and their experience in countering corruption with the means respective to their jurisdiction.

The delegation visited a session of the Parliamentary Anti-Corruption, Conflict of Interests and Parliamentary Ethics Committee where they had a close look at its work. The participants had the opportunity to discuss topics of mutual interest with the committee members and exchanged experience in countering corruption in both countries. The Committee distributed a report on its activities prepared to give profound information on its recent work.

On 26 November 2010, Ms. Ginka Chavdarova, Executive Director of the National Association of Municipalities presented the association’s experience on capturing corruption on local level, as well as the forms of corruption that were experienced during the Bulgaria’s pre-accession period. Based on association’s experience Ms. Chavdarova made specific recommendations for detection and avoiding of certain types of corruption by the relevant structures in Macedonia.

Mr. Alexander Stoyanov, Director of the sociological agency Vitosha Research presented the corruption monitoring system developed by the CSD and Vitosha Research and experts of the Center’s Law, Economic and European programs revealed specific aspects of the Bulgaria’s anticorruption infrastructure, of the links between the corruption and organized crime, as well as CSD’s experience in anticorruption initiatives and in cooperation with state institutions.

Commissioner Stefan Kutsarov, Head of Anticorruption Department, and Chief Inspector Georgi Pelovski, State Inspector of the Inspectorate within the Ministry of Interior introduced the mechanisms of operation of the Inspectorate within the Ministry of Interior. They emphasized on its function of countering corruption within the Ministry.

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