The Bulgarian Institute for Legal Initiatives (BILI) is a non-partisan independent NGO working to promote the Rule of Law in Bulgaria and the region of South-East Europe and the Black See. BILI was founded by the former country director of ABA CEELI - Marc Lassman and three former staff attorneys of the Initiative: Bilyana Gyaurova - Wegertseder, Todor Dotchev and Violetta Kostadinova. It is registered in 2006 as a foundation designated in public interest and as a matter of principle is financed exclusively from recognized international and governmental assistance programs. BILI is a relatively young organization, but in this short time it has managed to establish itself as a reliable partner able to initiate and trigger policy oriented reforms. We were able to show that a locally owned NGO can make a difference and sustain itself not only through diverse funding but also through trying to “sell” the Bulgarian experience to the other countries from the region with which we share common cultural and social traits. In doing this, BILI also managed the side-split between the governmental and the non-governmental sector proving that the nongovernmental actors can effectively cooperate with the state institutions.

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