Entrenched oligarchic networks have been stonewalling good governance reforms around the world, hampering democratization and fueling institutional distrust, political turmoil, inequality, and poverty. Southeast Europe has been among the most vulnerable regions in this respect. The EU and the US have sought to strengthen democratic resilience and anti-corruption responses by leading on economic security and democratic governance.
In order to provide a platform for cooperation for government and civil society representatives from Southeast Europe and their international peers, together with the Center for the Study of Democracy, the Ministry of Justice of Bulgaria and the Basel Institute on Governance we organized a policy forum under the anti-corruption cohort of the Summit for Democracy in Sofia, Bulgaria on 21 March 2023. The policy-level plenary session in the morning presented the year of action achievements of the governments from the region and the next steps in their anti-corruption efforts. In the afternoon, anti-corruption institutions and civil society actors followed up with practical ideas on strengthening public-private partnerships in specific areas of impact, such as asset declarations, politically exposed companies, corruption risk assessment, and collective action.