The passing of a Whistleblower Protection Act in Bulgaria on 27 January 2023 was a major step forward for the country’s anti-corruption efforts. The law, which will take full effect on 17 December 2023, finally brings Bulgaria into line with the EU’s 2019 Whistleblowing Protection Directive. Now come the bigger steps: implementing it effectively and informing the public of both its provisions and its importance as an anti-corruption tool.

In a speech at the Anti-Corruption and National Security policy forum in Sofia, Bulgaria, the Basel Institute's President Peter Maurer commended how the Summit for Democracy is finally putting corruption at the centre of the debate about global peace and stability. He called on leaders in government, civil society and the private sector to work together to turn their commitments into action.

The second Summit for Democracy on 29–30 March 2023 will shine a spotlight on corruption as a threat to democracy, peace and security. And in the context of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, the security implications of state capture and strategic corruption will no doubt be at centre stage.

An initiative of US President Biden, the Summit seeks both high-level commitments and ground-level actions to advance democracy, fight corruption and counter authoritarianism.

In the context of the Bulgarian-Swiss Cooperation Programme, and building on ICAR’s previous operational engagements in Bulgaria in support of the country’s efforts to tackle corruption, ICAR is partnering with the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Bulgaria (PORB) to offer technical assistance and guidance in financial investigations and asset recovery. 

ICAR continues to work closely with a series of partner countries increasing their autonomy in the fight against financial crimes and money laundering as well as in recovering stolen public funds. ICAR’s current partner countries in the context of its capacity building services include Bulgaria, Romania, Tanzania and Uganda. 

Experts from Basel Institute participated during a roundtable organised in Sofia, Bulgaria on 14 July 2016 by the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD), a Bulgarian interdisciplinary public policy institute, on the topic: “Scope and implications of money laundering activities: institutional governance in the fight against money laundering in Bulgaria”. Basel Institute is a partner organisation with CSD under the Bulgarian Thematic Fund Security Project “Overcoming institutional capacity gaps to counter corruption and organised crime in Bulgaria”.

In order to tackle the widespread corruption in Bulgaria, the Centre for the Study of Democracy, a Bulgarian inter-disciplinary public policy institute, has partnered with the Basel Institute to provide technical assistance, under the Bulgarian Thematic Fund Security Project “Overcoming institutional capacity gaps to counter corruption and organized crime in Bulgaria”.