20. May 2022

New agreement with Government of Bulgaria to strengthen anti-corruption and asset recovery efforts

Kiril Petkov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria, and Gretta Fenner, Managing Director of the Basel Institute on Governance
Kiril Petkov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria, and Gretta Fenner, the Basel Institute’s Managing Director, signed an agreement that promises to boost Bulgaria’s capacity to combat corruption and recover illicit assets. Photo courtesy of Government of Bulgaria.

The Government of Bulgaria and Basel Institute on Governance have signed a Memorandum of Understanding covering long-term collaboration in the country’s efforts to combat corruption and recover stolen public funds.

Through the agreement, the Basel Institute will support the Bulgarian authorities in strengthening the capacity of specialised law enforcement, judicial and other relevant officers to effectively investigate cases of corruption and related financial crime, identify and trace illicit proceeds, and recover them for the benefit of Bulgarian citizens.

In addition to training and hands-on technical assistance, ICAR will work with our partners in Bulgaria to review the current anti-corruption chain, illuminate key blockages and structural deficits, and identify potential solutions.

Kiril Petkov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria, and Gretta Fenner, the Basel Institute’s Managing Director, signed the agreement in the Bulgarian capital Sofia on 18 May 2022, moments after the agreement was approved by the Council of Ministers. The signing ceremony was also attended by the Minister of Justice, Mme. Nadezhda Yordanova, who will be a key partner in this programme.

The Prime Minister acknowledged that the fight against corruption is a long-term endeavour, commenting:

“This partnership is another step in the right direction, and we hope to deliver concrete results together.”

On the same day, the Council of Ministers also approved draft amendments to the Bulgarian law on judicial powers that aim to strengthen cooperation with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO).

Emphasising that this is an important piece in the puzzle, Gretta Fenner said:

“We are in this partnership for the long run. The first priority is to bring more checks and balances, more accountability, into key enforcement and judicial authorities. Then we need to make sure that citizens see, and feel, the impact of these reforms. It will be incremental changes, but we are confident that change is already happening.”

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