Bulgaria

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    Interview with Irina Bokova, Candidate for UN Secretary General: “My biggest priority is to keep the United Nations relevant”

Interview with Irina Bokova, Candidate for UN Secretary General: “My biggest priority is to keep the United Nations relevant”

The United Nations will select a new Secretary General this year to take over from Ban Ki-moon, whose term ends on 31 December. In the leadup to the appointment, we are featuring interviews with some of the candidates for the role. In the fourth of these discussions, EUROPP editor Tena Prelec speaks to Irina Bokova, the candidate from Bulgaria, […]

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    Bulgaria’s new voting reforms risk undermining the country’s electoral process

Bulgaria’s new voting reforms risk undermining the country’s electoral process

A recent amendment to Bulgaria’s electoral system has resulted in increased voting restrictions for Bulgarians living abroad, who can now only cast their ballots in diplomatic missions. Drawing on data from the Electoral Integrity Project, Andrea Fumarola and Nikolay Marinov assess what the new rules may mean for the country’s democracy.

The Bulgarian National Assembly has recently held an extraordinary sitting to adopt amendments […]

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    On different tracks: Bulgaria and Romania under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism

On different tracks: Bulgaria and Romania under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism

Romania and Bulgaria both joined the EU in 2007 and became subject to an ad hoc tool, the ‘Cooperation and Verification Mechanism’ (CVM), which was created by the European Commission to evaluate the progress of the two countries. Today, however, there is a growing gap between the two states: while Commission officials have suggested the possibility of Romania graduating out […]

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In the Balkans, investors operate within a devil’s circle

Promoting entrepreneurship is often viewed as a key component for generating growth in the transition economies of eastern Europe. Tim Vorley and Nick Williams write that tackling corruption has an important role in this process. Drawing on recent research in Bulgaria and Romania, they assess the challenges posed by corruption for entrepreneurs in the region, noting that the issue […]

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    European views on the UK’s renegotiation: Italy, Poland, Bulgaria and Malta

European views on the UK’s renegotiation: Italy, Poland, Bulgaria and Malta

The success or failure of David Cameron’s planned renegotiation of the UK’s EU membership will depend to a large extent on how the other 27 EU member states respond to his proposals. But how do countries across the EU view the UK’s renegotiation? Building on a report published in 2014 by the German Council on Foreign Relations, EUROPP is […]

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    Bulgaria’s uninspiring election campaign is likely to lead to another hung parliament

Bulgaria’s uninspiring election campaign is likely to lead to another hung parliament

Bulgaria is holding parliamentary elections today, after the government led by Plamen Oresharski resigned in July. Kyril Drezov gives a final overview of the campaign and the main parties competing in the election. He argues that while much will depend on which of the small parties overcome the four per cent electoral threshold, there is every likelihood of another […]

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    Bulgarian parliamentary elections: a final look at the parties and the polls

Bulgarian parliamentary elections: a final look at the parties and the polls

Bulgaria will hold parliamentary elections on 5 October, following the resignation of the country’s government in July. Ahead of the vote, Stuart Brown gives an overview of the background to the elections, each of the main parties and some of the opinion polling on the likely results.

On Sunday, Bulgaria will hold parliamentary elections for the second time in less […]

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    Five minutes with Maria Spirova: “Party politics in Bulgaria has become completely nonsensical”

Five minutes with Maria Spirova: “Party politics in Bulgaria has become completely nonsensical”

Bulgaria will hold parliamentary elections on 5 October following the resignation of the Bulgarian government in July. In an interview with LSEE’s Tena Prelec and EUROPP’s editor Stuart Brown, Maria Spirova discusses the protests which have taken place in Bulgaria since 2013, the party politics of the country, and the bank crisis which underpinned the resignation of the government.

What […]

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September 25th, 2014|Five Minutes with...|0 Comments|
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    The fall of Bulgaria’s government provides an opportunity to overcome the country’s persistent corruption problem

The fall of Bulgaria’s government provides an opportunity to overcome the country’s persistent corruption problem

The Bulgarian parliament was dissolved on 6 August, with new elections being called for 5 October. As Aneta Spendzharova writes, one of the key precipitating factors in the Bulgarian government’s collapse was a scandal relating to one of the country’s largest banks. She argues that the banking crisis is indicative of wider corruption issues within Bulgaria and that the […]

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    With Plamen Oresharski’s government on the verge of resigning, it remains to be seen whether Bulgaria can finally emerge from its political crisis

With Plamen Oresharski’s government on the verge of resigning, it remains to be seen whether Bulgaria can finally emerge from its political crisis

Bulgaria has endured political instability since 2013, following a series of protests and the resignation of the country’s government under Boyko Borisov. As Ekaterina Rashkova writes, the new government led by Plamen Oresharski, which emerged from elections in May 2013, has come under intense pressure in recent months and is widely expected to resign. She argues that with elections […]

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    Bulgaria’s decision to suspend work on the South Stream pipeline is likely to increase the EU’s leverage in negotiations with Russia over Ukraine

Bulgaria’s decision to suspend work on the South Stream pipeline is likely to increase the EU’s leverage in negotiations with Russia over Ukraine

Bulgaria has announced that it is to suspend construction of the South Stream gas pipeline, which is aimed at transporting Russian gas exports through the Black Sea to South Eastern Europe and beyond. Tomas Maltby writes on the background to this decision at both the EU level and within Bulgaria itself. He notes that as the South Stream pipeline […]

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    The European Parliament elections in Bulgaria are likely to reinforce the country’s political stalemate between left and right

The European Parliament elections in Bulgaria are likely to reinforce the country’s political stalemate between left and right

The Bulgarian government currently lacks a majority in the country’s national parliament, with the governing coalition counting on support from 120 out of 240 MPs. Kyril Drezov writes that the upcoming European elections will likely be fought on the basis of this domestic situation, with European issues playing only a minor role, and the majority of seats being distributed […]

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    Bulgaria and Macedonia would be hardest hit by a suspension of Russian gas exports through Ukraine

Bulgaria and Macedonia would be hardest hit by a suspension of Russian gas exports through Ukraine

One of the great concerns for EU states over the on-going situation in Crimea is their reliance on Russian gas to meet their energy demands, with around 60 per cent of these imports being delivered through pipelines in Ukraine. Jack Sharples and Andy Judge provide a comprehensive assessment of what the impact would be if the transit routes via […]

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EU freedom of movement is coming under increasing pressure in the UK and other European states

EU citizens have the right to live and work in any other EU state. As Roxana Barbulescu writes, however, this principle of freedom of movement has come under pressure from a number of recent developments. Focusing on the UK, she notes that while there are substantial economic benefits from freedom of movement, there is now growing support for putting restrictions […]

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Unless the West strengthens its support for Bulgarian civil society, the country is in danger of drifting back into the arms of Russia.

Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007 and has been a member of NATO since 2004. Iveta Cherneva argues, however, that recent developments suggest the country may be turning toward Russia. The current government led by Plamen Oresharski has backed a number of Russian led energy projects in the country, such as the construction of a new nuclear power plant. […]

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The EU’s designation of Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist group is a critical step toward preventing its illicit activities in Europe.

Last month the EU added Hezbollah’s military wing to its ‘blacklist’ of terrorist organisations. Matthew Levitt gives an overview of the developments that have led to the EU’s decision, and assesses its likely impact on Hezbollah’s operations. He argues that in addition to giving EU member states the legal basis to investigate Hezbollah’s actions, the decision also sends a clear […]

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Bulgaria’s on-going protests are driven by a society that refuses to tolerate further a political class that disregards democratic principles

Only weeks after national elections in May, street protests have once again erupted in Bulgaria. Marietta Stankova writes that what began as a protest against an ill-judged state appointment has developed into a widespread movement of dissatisfaction with the government’s lack of respect for democracy. In spite of the protests, and while new elections are increasingly probable, a major change in […]

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Brussels blog round-up for 22 – 28 June: MEPs in the limelight, France vs. the European Commission, and the EU’s new budget deal.

Chris Gilson takes a look at the week in Brussels blogging. The EU centre and the crisis  Friday sees a meeting of the European Council in Brussels. Ahead of the summit, the European Council on Foreign Relations presents the view from seven of the EU’s capitals. The European Commission released its draft budget for 2014-2020 on Wednesday. Open Europe looks at […]

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The rise of governments led by technocrats in Europe illustrates the failure of mainstream political parties.

The Eurozone crisis has led to a perceived rise in ‘technocratic’ governments, led by unelected bureaucrats. Duncan McDonnell argues that caretaker governments are often used as a synonym for technocratic ones by the media, but that not all caretaker governments are led by technocrats, and nor are all technocrat-led governments caretakers. He writes that when governments are composed of technocrats, this […]

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Bulgaria’s low election turnout is a symptom of the growing mistrust for the ruling GERB party and the country’s political system.

Last weekend’s election saw GERB continue as the largest party in Bulgaria’s parliament, a success for former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. Antoaneta Dimitrova argues that while European commentators may see the election result as confirmation of the government’s good management of the country, the low turnout of 53 per cent suggests that Bulgarians have become disenchanted with GERB and the […]

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