The ESC expresses explicit and unconditional support for all appropriate measures, actions and ideas fighting corruption, organized crime and abuse of public power. These negative phenomena are a serious problem in the Bulgarian society and state. The effective reaction requires the application of complex measures affecting the work of administration, law enforcement, the judiciary, the election system and political representation.

In its opinion, the ESC suggests to put to a serious public debate the status, issues and guidelines for changing the existing model of civil confiscation, where the positions of the civil society will be presented.

In the first section of the ESC document a comparative legal analysis of the civil confiscation regulated by European and other countries is provided. In the second section is made a comparative analysis of the basic principles of the bill and the existing law in force in Bulgaria. Specific proposals and recommendations to the proposed legislative changes are also made.

It is recommended, that Bulgaria should adhere to the established practice in the European Union in the adoption of legislation on civil confiscation, because of the obligations of our country within the EU as well as the practice of the European Court of Human Rights.

The legal civil forfeiture should ensure:

•     Protection of the property rights which is not acquired by or through crime, including the rights of bona fide third parties - purchasers of the property;

•     Participation of affected persons in the whole process of establishment of the criminal acquisition of the property.

The sanction of persons by a confiscation of their property, acquired by illegal activity, is to be conducted without compromise through existing mechanisms of prosecution and confiscation, along with tax, customs and other regimes.

In conclusion, the Economic and Social Council suggests the present bill to be reconsidered before its submission to the National Assembly. The ESC recommends, after extensive consultation with the civil society, corresponding amendments in the proposed bill to be made. They should take into account the best European practices and principles of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.




is the “bridge” between citizens and the national government. Its mission is to support such “bridging” so as to facilitate the communication between the society and the national government. It is the new and modern institution of the civil dialogue.

The ESC's mission is to promote civil society organisations access to and involvement in the process of decision-making on strategic economic and social issues.

The main goal of ESC's operation is to enable different representatives of organised civil society to feel free to state their views whereas unanimity on matters of common interest is encouraged. The Council expresses and protects civil society interests by communicating agreed statements and proposals submitted by its members to the executive and legislative authorities.

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