Ten Municipalities Bulgaria
In Bulgaria, IRI carried out VCA assessments in ten municipalities: Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Kardzhali, Pernik, Razgrad, Ruse, Sofia, Stara Zagora, Veliko Tarnovo, and Vratsa.
The selection of assessment locales reflects the diversity of Bulgarian municipalities in terms of population size, political preference, economic make-up, geographical location, ethnic composition, and previously documented risks of corruption. The set of municipalities under study encompass large cities and small towns, primarily urban and primarily rural districts, communities dependent on agriculture, industry, and services, and areas with above average concentrations of ethnic minorities.
Based on VCA assessments in Bulgaria, IRI compiled a full report entitled “Assessing Municipal Vulnerabilities to Corruption in Bulgaria: An Examination of Ten Bulgarian Municipalities” in July 2022. In this report, IRI outlines not only key problem statements and tailored recommendations for each municipality, but also cross-cutting vulnerabilities and recommendations from findings across the country. IRI’s five cross-cutting findings are:
- Corruption prevention mechanisms are seldom used
- Transparency is practiced without attention to accessibility of information
- Unresponsive administrations lead to the use of informal channels
- Formal participation mechanisms cannot overcome citizen disengagement
- Civil society does not play a substantive role in municipal policy
For more information, find the full report linked below.
- IRI paired its VCA assessments with polling in each municipality to raise municipal officials’ awareness of citizen perceptions of corruption, transparency and anticorruption efforts at the municipal level.
- IRI established a working group in each municipality to review VCA and polling results and draft reform agendas to respond to identified vulnerabilities to corruption.
- IRI held a national anticorruption conference in Bulgaria, where it brought together working group members, mayors and deputy mayors from all ten municipalities together to discuss challenges and solutions to transparency, citizen participation and anticorruption efforts. Mayors signed a municipal anticorruption pact, demonstrating political will for adoption of reform agendas.