Basel Institute to support the Government of Bulgaria in strengthening Anti-Corruption and asset recovery efforts

May 2022, Sofia, Bulgaria

The Government of Bulgaria and the Basel Institute on Governance have signed a Memorandum of Understanding covering long-term collaboration in the country’s efforts to combat corruption and recover stolen public funds. Through the agreement, the Basel Institute will support the Bulgarian authorities in strengthening the capacity of specialized law enforcement, judicial, and other relevant officers to effectively investigate corruption and related financial crime cases, identify and trace illicit proceeds, and recover them for the benefit of Bulgarian citizens. In addition to training and hands-on technical assistance, ICAR will work with Basel Institute on Governance partners in Bulgaria to review the current anti-corruption chain, illuminate key blockages, and structural deficits, and identify potential solutions.

Kiril Petkov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria, and Gretta Fenner, the Basel Institute’s Managing Director, signed the agreement in the Bulgarian capital Sofia on 18 May 2022, moments after the Council of Ministers approved the agreement. The signing ceremony was also attended by the Minister of Justice Nadezhda Yordanova, who will be a key partner in this program. Prime Minister Kiril Petkov acknowledged that the fight against corruption is a long-term endeavor, commenting: “This partnership is another step in the right direction, and we hope to deliver concrete results together.”

On the same day, the Council of Ministers also approved draft amendments to the Bulgarian Law on judicial Power that aim to strengthen cooperation with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO). Emphasizing this is an important piece in the puzzle, Gretta Fenner, the Basel Institute’s Managing Director,said: “We are in this partnership for the long run. The priority is bringing more checks and balances and accountability into key enforcement and judicial authorities. Then we need to ensure that citizens see and feel the impact of these reforms. It will be incremental changes, but we are confident that change is already happening.”

(Photos and text courtesy of Government of Bulgaria and Basel Institute of Governance)

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