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International Republican Institute of the USA

19 June 2023


Donka Panayotova with contribution to a report of the International Republican Institute of the USA










In mid-June, Ms. Donka Panayotova, Chairman of the Board of Organization Drom, was interviewed by experts at the International Republican Institute of the USA regarding the institute's 2023 report on the topic "Assessment of Vulnerabilities to Corruption at the Municipal Level in Bulgaria".

The Institute was present in Bulgaria in the 1990s until 2005, but in 2021 it started working again in Bulgaria due to the high levels of corruption in our country. The Institute has now focused on corruption at the municipal level. The idea of ​​the institute is to establish political will to deal with corruption at the municipal level. The institute conducted interviews with leaders and representatives of local institutions to prepare its report on municipalities.

The results of last year's report indicates that Bulgaria has a political system in which coalitions and special interest groups compete in an attempt to use power contrary to legislation and regulations for personal gain (in the form of monetary payments, services, political support, etc.).

According to international studies, Bulgaria is placed in a position with a level of corruption. After 2007, the momentum for reforms decreased according to international reports (e.g. World Bank, etc.). It is important to note that the progress achieved on the road to political and administrative decentralization in Bulgaria has not been accompanied by fiscal decentralization. That is why municipalities depend on transfers of funds from the national government and European Union funds for a greater part of their expenses.

Mrs. Panayotova emphasized in her contribution on the mechanisms for the prevention of corruption, more transparency for citizens, clear deadlines for the implementation of municipal programs and accessible information to citizens, as well as the interaction of municipalities and non-governmental organizations in projects and platforms for joint activity.


The report of the International Republican Institute (July 2022) is available here: