Below you will find the full text of Charter 2013 translated in English. You can support the Charter by signing it through its official website:

(Independent civil initiative for the restoration of democracy and the rule of law)

Tens of thousands of citizens went out to protest across Bulgaria driven by deep concern over the abject state of democracy and statehood in the country. Clearly recognizing that a pervasive crisis of the social contract has come upon society, which carries a threat of bringing all public bodies and institutions into total disrepute, citizens – no longer willing to act as acquiescent observers of the spectacle of public order and feigned democracy – voiced their discontent in a resounding and emphatic manner.

The appointment of Mr. Delyan Peevsky as Head of the State Agency for National Security (SANS) was neither a random blip nor an unwitting mistake, hence the public outcry and revulsion that it unleashed. Mr. Peevsky’s entire career and public image are a study in the minutiae of the host of malignancies that have cumulatively brought Bulgaria to its current humiliating and seemingly irredeemable predicament. The Peevsky Case exposed the growing momentum of the usurpation of the entire political system, the media, the judiciary, the sector of national security and banks by a network of covert dependencies, which does not pay heed to the principles of rule of law and separation of powers, strips institutions of democratic legitimacy and substitutes public interest with corruption and moral depravity. The appointment of Volen Siderov as chair of the parliamentary committee responsible for countering corruption and conflict of interest and for parliamentary ethics is similarly premeditated and not a random error in the functioning of the simulative political model.

Public discontent erupted so forcefully because society witnessed the total inaptitude of government institutions to respond adequately and act to protect public interest in several cases in which the curtain was lifted onto events taking place behind the scenes where covert power mongering takes place. The public disclosure of the taped conversations between the former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, the Head of the Customs Agency Vanyo Tanov, the former Metropolitan Prosecution Service magistrate Nikolay Kokinov and the former Minister of Agriculture Miroslav Naydenov failed to bring about the legal consequences that would have logically occurred in any civilized country should facts of such disturbing implications have come to light. Last but not least, public outcry has been unprecedentedly forceful because of the multiple clashes of each of us as an individual with the country’s usurpation by the oligarchy.

The extraordinary situation calls for mature consolidation of citizens around the fundamental values of democracy. Although the identity of the actual decision-makers and the nature of the decision making process have remained outside public scrutiny throughout the transition period, their destructive implications for the country and the life of its citizens, the symbiotic relationship between power and the oligarchy and the substitution of values are plain to see. Regardless of the specific reasons for each of the many scandals in government in recent years, inter alia, incompetence, failure to act in good faith, overt criminality or any combination of them, Bulgaria has now come to a crucial moment, which calls for more than personal integrity and individuals who act with good faith in their chosen profession. The times call for a joint, concerted effort on the part of citizens that will enable an accurate and honest appraisal of the state of democracy and the main barriers to the functioning of the State to be conducted and a plan for the removal of identified obstacles and for the restoration of rule of law and authentic parliamentary representation to be formulated.

Available information and our own experience have enabled us to identify the following areas in which taking action is imperative:
– the severed link between public governance and citizens’ interests from which governments derive their legitimacy;
– the main driver for those engaged in politics is all-pervasive corruption at all levels of government;
– The State has not only failed in the fight against crime but is itself a source of unpunishable crime;
– the public domain functions as a nepotistic network and a front for secret societies and corporate cartels;
– the security services feed the economic power of the oligarchy through public-private black-market schemes, drug distribution, money laundering and financial fraud involving EU and national funds and continue to strengthen their grip on the government, the media and all areas of public life;
– courts have been forced into a weak and vulnerable position through consistent reinforcement of their dependence on political and economic influence, illegitimate empowerment of an administrative nomenclature and toleration of corruption lobbies;
– for years on end, law enforcement and oversight bodies have cultivated and perpetuated a tacit agreement on the boundaries that delineate the range of activities that can be safely pursued and must not be crossed. This allows those directly responsible for the symbiotic relationship between crime and government to remain unpunished and hinders the exposure of the actual political and economic factors, which underpin the plutocratic model of governance set in place in the last 23 years. As a general rule, government officials are investigated when they are no longer in power and, even if the goals pursued behind the scenes coincide with the legitimate aims of the law, their convergence runs contrary to the principle of the rule of law. (To wit, the recent change in the position of the Prosecution Service as to whether the former Minister of Interior Tsvetan Tsvetanov committed a criminal offence by reading the transcripts of taped telephone conversations in Parliament);
– media routinely avoid certain topics and do not report information, keeping citizens in the dark, which precludes the possibility of seeing the full picture, grasping the implications of events taking place and making  informed decisions about life prospects, the possibilities to influence the political process and counter negative developments;
– the economic and financial system act as cartels. Large property owners do not enjoy the benefit of legal certainty, contract performance and the actions of government bodies are used as instruments for racketeering and stifling independent entrepreneurship, which forces economic operators to seek and rely on protection. This fuels corruption and demoralizes citizens whose endeavors are doomed to failure in the face of having to choose between making a living for themselves, their families and workers and perpetuating the oppressive system against which they protest by granting it support;
– a culture of dependence and docility, of turning a blind eye, listlessness and expectations that one’s turn to render a service will eventually come about with a renewed promise that the plutocratic network will “return” that favour in the form of career advancement within its structures, has permeated the civil and security services and the magistracy. This model ensures the silence of those involved in it and is a part of the mechanism that perpetuates it in time. Even when individuals are “sacrificed” due to exigent circumstances (Judge Markovska is a case in point), the mechanism that ensures continued dependence and loyalty has a sufficiently strong deterrent effect on its victims who never break their silence;
– The political system functions as a clearing house for each area in which the oligarchic model thrives – a space where power, resources and opportunities are traded between insiders with the sole aim of ensuring the continued existence of the plutocracy during the next political cycle against the backdrop of a show of publicity and democracy put on for the benefit of the casual observer. The different facets of feigned democracy give legitimacy to the status quo before international observers whilst putting barriers to the stripping of masks and exposing the true centres of power, which remain hidden from public view. 

The full truth about the modus operandi underlying the model remains unknown. It can only be uncovered by conducting a thorough and systematic, interdisciplinary analysis of all developments and elements of the model, which citizens have rejected. On the basis of an appraisal of known facts to be used as a starting premise, it can be surmised that the model is an alternative social construct with deep roots into our ailing society and mock democracy. It has been incorporated into an informal network made up of smaller networks, which spread an ethos of corruption, recruit new members and set up highly efficient new mechanisms for reproduction in the world of politics through loyalty, dependence, fear and discouraging citizens’ beliefs that a change is achievable.

Nevertheless known facts are sufficiently compelling to warrant the formulation of a strategy to oppose the plutocratic regime – instead of focusing on one-off attempts at decapitating it as best exemplified by widespread public faith in yet another saviour being elected to power (former Prime Ministers Simeon Saxe Coburg-Gotha and Boyko Borisov and the Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov are a case in point) – a tactical approach of setting up small groups must be embraced to conduct an appraisal of the key sectors that prop up the regime (the judiciary, media, security services, financial sector and the political system) and develop specific programmes and measures to be implemented through grass root activist campaigns  that challenge the oligarchy at local level through series of concerted efforts.
The functioning of the judiciary in recent years and the experience gained in the area of fledgling investigative journalism show that a model of conscious activism can be surprisingly effective vis-à-vis the complacent and inflexible plutocracy. The same applies to a host of human rights and environment protection movements, which have achieved several major breakthroughs in legislation and in practical terms, particularly in the area of human rights and the rule of law, in the face of opposition from the failed State.
There is unprecedentedly high critical mass in Bulgarian society today, which is intuitively aware of the deeply repugnant state of affairs. The partial (self-) exposure of the oligarchy and the public response to revelations are a golden opportunity. For the first time following accession to the EU, Bulgarians have a chance to firmly unite around a major national goal – to restore statehood through consistent implementation of a detailed plan for the dismantling of the current model and revive democracy and the rule of law. This calls for a reform of all sectors that prop up the oligarchy and continually supply it with resources thereby stripping public bodies and institutions of the powers vested in them, particularly those intended to safeguard the supremacy of law.

This requires:

1. Setting up expert groups to carry out the following tasks:
= develop concepts and specific legislative proposals for amendment of electoral rules and the rules governing the political system with a view to ensuring authentic political representation of citizens. This will allow sufficient time and enable the political powers that claim to have an authentic potential for representation to mobilize for active participation in the political process and present their ideas for the steps to be taken to overcome the crisis of government;
= conduct a comprehensive analysis of existing legislation vis-à-vis the possibilities for the police and other law enforcement services to abuse civil rights and liberties and develop a single programme that sets out a blueprint for the delegation of powers to the individual bodies with a view to ensuring their work is coordinated and open to scrutiny;
= develop a concept for the management of public funds that precludes the financing of the current oligarchic model by the government;
= develop a programme setting out specific safeguards for media freedom through full disclosure of the sources of funding, formulating good governance practices, nurturing investigative journalism as an explicit priority and enforcing common ethical standards;
= on the basis of achievements to date, put forth legislative proposals for relevant amendments designed to strengthen the independence of the judiciary;
As a starting point, all expert groups will compile analyses of the specific issues with implications for plutocratic governance in public sectors that are vital to the survival of the model with a view to its dismantling, notably the political system, the judiciary, security and law enforcement, media and the financial system.

2. Setting up a public committee composed of reputable legal professionals and public activists tasked with summarizing the individual analyses, conducting and independent study and appraising the state of democracy in the country. This will shed light on the processes that shaped the transition period and the people responsible for guiding their course.
This requires dedicated voluntary work in the public domain and political life to ensure broad awareness of the new national goal and the urgent imperative for its achievement. A permanent activist campaign is necessary to publicly challenge all manifestations of plutocratic networks in the different sectors with the instruments of liberal democratic publicity and the law. This will simultaneously narrow the room for manoeuvre of the regime and revive institutions, the legal order and democracy.
By this Charter, we – legal professionals, social scientists, journalists and active citizens, regardless of our political views – unite to uphold the values of European humanism and democracy, the belief that human dignity may only thrive when underpinned by authentic rule of law safeguarded by an independent court and genuine commitment to reform.

This declaration intends to create viable prospects for the unfolding of a nationwide effort and expresses our belief that achieving a decent and meaningful life in a democratic state that offers equal opportunity on a meritorious basis and fair and equitable treatment by the law depends on each of us as an individual.
With a clearly stated and active position, each citizen who declares their support for the Charter will counter the continued expansion of the model and hinder its functioning.
We call for the dissemination of the Charter invite our fellow citizens to support it with their signature!
Hristo Ivanov – legal professional
Miroslava Todorova – legal professional
Emi Barouch – journalist
Petya Vladimirova – journalist
Daniela Dokovska – legal professional
Rumen Petrov, PhD – tutor in social work
Tsvetozar Tomov – sociologist
Tanya Marinova – legal professional
Velislava Ivanova – legal professional
Krasimir Kanev – human rights activist
Margarita Ilieva – legal professional
Yuliana Metodieva – journalist
Nelly Kutzkova – legal professional
Marin Bodakov – poet and journalist
Emilia Nedeva – legal professional
Antoaneta Tsoneva – fair and free elections advocate
Borislav Belazelkov – legal professional
Polina Paunova – journalist
Mihail Ekimdzhiev – legal professional
Georgi Atanasov – legal professional
Asen Genov – blogger
Atanas Chobanov – journalist
Toma Belev – forestry expert
Professor Antony Todorov – political scientist
Svetoslav Terziev – journalist
Atanas Atanasov – legal professional
Emilia Dvoryanova – novelist
Andrey Angelov – legal professional
Bilyana Gyaurova-Wegertseder – legal professional
Zhivko Georgiev – sociologist
Prolet Velkova – journalist
Rumyana Chervenkova – journalist
Professor Evgeny Daynov – political scientist
Yonko Grozev – legal professional
Boris Mitov – journalist
professor Doncho Hrusanov – legal professional
Rosen Bosev – journalist
Hristo Komarnitski – cartoonist
Elena Encheva – journalist
Zornitsa Hristova – translator
Professor Angel Kalaydzhiev – legal professional
Deyan Kyuranov – political scientist
Yavor Gardev – theatre director
Manol Peykov – publisher
Associate Professor Svetla Margaritova-Vuchkova – legal professional
Professor Ivaylo Dichev – cultural anthropologist
Valentin Trayanov – translator and publisher
Professor Georgi Kapriev – philosopher
Professor Ognyan Gerdzhikov – legal professional
Rada Smedovska – legal professional
Iglika Trifonova – theatre director
Veselin Stoynev – journalist
Spas Spasov – journalist
Lilia Hristovska – journalist
Mirela Veselinova – journalist
Nery Terzieva – journalist
Lyudmil Todorov – theatre director
Ivan Bedrov – journalist
Diana Andreeva – expert in the economics of culture
Ivan Bakalov – journalist
Veselina Sedlarska– journalist
Koprinka Chervenkova – journalist
Lilly Marinkova – journalist
Petko Tsvetkov – environmentalist
Emil Spahiysky – journalist
Professor Georgi Dyulgerov – theatre director
Professor Marina Kapatsinskaya – musician
Tatyana Waxberg – journalist
Silvia Velikova – journalist
Velislava Antonova – journalist
Yavor Dachkov – journalist
Associate Professor Christian Takov – legal professional
Associate Professor Georgi Arnaudov  – composer
Ivan Bedrov – journalist