Task Force on Organized Crime in Bulgaria

The key motivation of this project was our understanding that the lack of a shared position about the sources and the social dynamics of organized crime is among the major sources for the failure of the anti-crime policies and the current war of institutions. Our concern was that the rift between the police and the judiciary creates only further weakening of the state. Therefore we established a task force representing institutions and civil society as a response to the war between the institutions.
Among the main objectives of the task force were:
  • discussion of how organized crime is understood and conceptualized by key law-enforcement and other institutions - police, judiciary system, the human rights community, media, and the general public;
  • analysis of the possible impact of different policy approaches towards crime;
  • establishment of efficient communication channels between the institutions
  • studying the possibility for shaping the public perspective on organized crime
Our project aims were:
  • formation of a common perception between the police and the judicial system about the nature of crime and the ways to confront it
  • addressing the issue to the media thus stimulating its influence on key insiders who will discuss new policies
  • drawing media attention to the negative aspects of the zero-tolerance approach
  • approaching government with key policy propositions and encouraging its response in particular with regards to the re-socialization of criminals
The final product of the Task Force was a report which analyzes the policy implications of conflicting conceptualizations of the issue of organized crime, as well as, provides policy advice. The report initiated a dialogue that should end with a shared understanding among the institutions as the essential precondition for effective policy against organized crime.
"The Fight against Organised Crime in Bulgaria: Review of Institutional Concepts and Strategies "

Period: September 2004 - February 2005
Coordinators: Daniel Smilov, Rashko Dorosiev
Financing Organisations: Open Society Foundation, New York; Balkan Trust for Democracy
Rule of Law