Effective Combat Against Corruption

Supporting Stakeholders in Implementing Anti-Corruption Standards

Duration: 2020 – 2021 (Phase 2)

In the second phase of the project, the activities will be divided in two main areas:

1) Ethical standards, mentoring and remunerations in the judiciary.

2) Prevention of the abuse of state resources for party-political and electoral purposes in Bulgaria. BILI develops action plans in these areas through monitoring, analysis and partnership with national public institutions, civil society and international partners.

Duration: 2018 – 2019 (Phase 1)

The main goal of the project is building partnerships with local stakeholders’ representatives and decision-makers and decision-takers in Bulgaria, Romania and Montenegro in order to identify, prioritize and successfully implement anti-corruption recommendations and commitments. These reforms can include legislative and regulatory changes as well as structural and institutional improvements to support the effective implementation of the anti-corruption measures and law enforcement capacity development, control and the effective fight against corruption.


Transparency of political parties and election campaigns financing

Judiciary integrity

Criminal prosecution of the corruption (bribery)

Fight against public procurement frauds and reform of law enforcement and judicial authorities


Leading organizations:

  • International Foundation for Electoral Systems/ IFES
  • Central and Eastern Europe Law Initiative/ CEELI Institute


  • Bulgaria
  • Romania
  • Montenegro

The project is executed with a grant by U.S. Department of State/ INL

BILI Signed a Cooperation Agreement with the National Audit Office

Wednesday June 3rd 2020

Tsvetan Tsvetkov, the President of the National Audit Office and  the Director of Bulgarian Institute for Legal Initiatives - Bilyana Gyaurova-Wegertseder, as a partner of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems/IFES and the CEELI Institute Prague under the project  “Effective Combat Against Corruption”, executed with a grant by U.S. Department of State/ INL, signed today an agreement for cooperation to foster independence and effectiveness of the financial control of the political parties, as the goal is the prevention of the irregular financing by improving the audit techniques and procedures.

Both sides will work towards more transparency in the financing of the political parties and election campaigns, by sharing and exchanging information, good practices and technical support. The cooperation will aim towards improving the methodology for financial control over the activities of political parties and the management of the property provided to them, as well as towards creating a public register of sanctions imposed by the National Audit Office related to the financing of political parties and election campaigns.

Public conference “Magistrates’ Remunerations – Problems and Solutions”

On February 24th, 2022, BILI held a public conference, streamed Live on Facebook - “Magistrates’ Remunerations – Problems and Solutions”

See the whole conference in our Youtube channel

Mrs. Bilyhana Gyurova opened the discussion by addressing the urgent events with the Ukraine crisis, adding that to someone the topics discussed might sound like a “luxury”, but it is important as it is directly related to the independence of the judiciary. She considers that Bulgaria deserved well-paid magistrates. She recalled that the issue has been in the spot of the debate in the system even from the pre-accession period. She shared that magistrates had felt depressed from the miserable amount of remunerations they received, however a lot of time has passed and currently remunerations in the system are relatively high in the public sphere. She underlined that based on the meetings she participated under the project, she felt tension in the system.

Mrs. Gyaurova said that today’s discussion is not about the budget of the judiciary, neither about introduction of programme budgeting, which shall be left for another discussion. The discussion is not also about reduction of magistrates’ remunerations. The discussion convened shall be for searching instruments on narrowing the gap of remunerations between instances. This is also an anti-corruption measure, underlined by GRECO, Venice Commission and other international organizations. This discussion is also about the social status of Bulgarian magistrate. Mrs. Gyaurova explained the project’s concept and partners.

Mrs. Gyaurova familiarized the participants in the discssuion with the greeting address by Mr. Milen Mateev, Chairperson of the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee.

Pavlina Petrova, economist, presented the economic models for reform of magistrates’ remunerations by starting with the mechanism and models for structuring them. Mrs. Petrova presented the main principles around which the models have been structured. She underlined that the models are developed within the current framework of the budget requested by the Supreme Judicial Council. The models do not represent the current remuneration given for rank and experience (years spent in the system), because such data was not available by the SJC. The models are formulated with idea of positive outcomes (they do not envisage any reduction of salaries). The models also do not reflect directly the workload situation which is a principle understating. Another major goal of the modelling is to narrow the immense gap in payment of the different instances.

Press conference: Presentation of the Analysis “Transparency and Effectiveness of Public Funds to Deal with COVID-19 in Bulgaria”

On June 3rd, 2021, BILI held a press conference to present the analysis “Transparency and Effectiveness of Public Funds to Deal with COVID-19 in Bulgaria”

Enjoying high media interest, BILI presented the analysis in the National club of the BTA on June 3rd,2021.

The analysis consists of 4 main parts, including overview of international anti-corruption standards, a legal analysis of the legal framework and practice of regulation during the state of emergency, an economic analysis of the funds allocated to address the health, economic and social aspects of the crisis, and a journalistic investigation.

The press conference was attended by the analysis’ authors – Vanya Grigorova, atty.Greta Ganeva, Teodor Slavev, PhD, and the editor of the analysis and director of BILI – Bilyana Gyaurova - Wegertseder. Dr. Slavev opened the press conference with a quotation of the impressive sum of money that amounts the corruption in the healthcare globally for 2019 – 500 billion USD according to the World Bank. The financial abuses are coming with the unexpected overload on the healthcare system, governance and control systems which in turn increase corruption risks in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

After the international practice review, atty. Greta Ganeva brought the issue of the legal adequacy of anti-epidemic measures in Bulgaria. She focused on a specific measure, stretched for way too long – the prohibition on the export of medicines, for which the European Commission reminded Bulgaria to actually cancel this measure. In her economic analysis, Vanya Grigorova stressed on the issue of types of business, provided with national financial support – transport companies, real-estate companies, delivery companies and hospitals, including Specialized Hospitals for Rehabilitation, etc. Grigorova noted also the malicious practices in the healthcare, the duration of the hospital treatment, unnecessary hospitalization and abuses that lead to higher direct payments by the patients. Strong public reaction was caused by the price at which Bulgaria purchased PCR-tests - 16 BGN for a PCR test and the lack of response by the NHIF and private laboratories for the price formation.

Presentation of the analysis “Abuse of State Resources for Party-Political and Electoral Purposes in Bulgaria”

On November 17th, 2020, BILI held a press conference and a hybrid discussion to present the Analysis “Abuse of State Resources for Party-Political and Electoral Purposes in Bulgaria”.

With high media interest, BILI presented the analysis in the National club of the BTA on November 17th, 2020.

This analysis is the first of its kind study on the serious issue of the modern public environment and it is written by a team of authors under the international project “Effective Combat Against Corruption”, executed with a grant by U.S. Department of State/ INL. Bulgarian Institute for Legal Initiatives is the project partner for Bulgaria.

The study is based on legal critical analysis on the prohibition for misuse of state (public) resources for party-political and electoral purposes, as well as on the scarce practice of implementing the prohibition. Due to the legislative fluidity of the decree, the current provisions are insufficient to prevent possible abuse in an election campaign. Public services, provided by the state and the municipal authorities and their administration, and the public procurement allocation, are the most frequent cases, in which the public resources abuses might be used in benefit of a political party, coalition or a running   candidate. The upcoming two national elections in 2021 give  BILI team a reason to raise the painful for the Bulgarian society issue – fair election competition under equal conditions, and to propose 21 recommendations for overcoming the scarce legal framework to overcome the bad practices on national and local level, so that the public resources can be preserved but also to alert that the advantage in the election campaign is a sign of the controlled state captured state. The recommendations aim to improve the legal framework and the practices in its implementation by the authorized bodies. The role of the media and the NGOs is important in signaling and overcoming bad practices in our country.

The authors of the analytical study are convinced that raising the issue of abuse in public is the first small step on the way to overcome the misuse of public resources by the parties and coalitions that are in power.

Authors of the study: Iva Lazarova, associate professor Natalia Kiselova, PhD., Teodor Slavev, PhD., atty. Tsvetomir Todorov.

Editor: Bilyana Gyaurova-Wegertseder

International Conference “Money in Politics: Limiting the Irregular Influence on Political Parties”

 September 16th, 2019, at 01:00 PM at Grand Hotel Sofia, “Triaditza 1 Hall”, Bulgarian Institute for Legal Initiatives held international conference on the subject of “Money in Politics: Limiting the Irregular Influence on Political Parties”.

Representatives of the parliament and government , the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Central Electoral Commission and the National Audit Office, the business, the expert and the academia  took part in the conference.

The conference was part of the “Effective Effective Combat Against Corruption.Supporting Stakeholders in Implementing Anti-Corruption Standards” project. Bulgarian Institute for Legal Initiatives is the project partner for Bulgaria. The project is executed by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems/ IFES and the CEELI Institute Prague, partners from Romania and Montenegro. The project is executed with a grant by U.S. Department of State/ INL.

One of the project’s highlights is the transparency and accountability of the financing of political parties and election campaigns. During the discussion views, analyses and research data related to the transparency of the financing of political parties and election campaigns were presented. There were also proposals for amendments of the legal framework in order to strengthen the control over the financing, to increase the confidence in the institutions, empowered with these tasks. Comments were also made regarding the abuse of state resources.

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