Liberal ideas in Bulgaria; tradition and contemporaneity [8 July 2004]

Liberal ideas in Bulgaria; tradition and contemporaneity The end of transition: Liberal perspectives (translation of the last paragraph of the full text)

The governance of the country up to 1997 was accompanied by many crises that did not allow the governments in charge to finish their mandates. The stabilization of Bulgaria started slowly in 1997 when a number of processes begun: the currency board was introduced, the privatization began, active legislative activity was developing, denomination of the national currency took place, conditions for investment policy development were established, a consistent foreign policy was pursued. Until the parliamentary elections in 2001 a significant inner stability in the country is achieved– institutional, economic and social, but the right democratic government fell short of voters expectations for efficiency of the implemented reforms. In reality, the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) is the only political party, which completes its mandate but its governance finishes with lost at the parliament elections. The reasons behind this are complex. In relation to this, it could only be reminded that at the end of its mandate, the UDF created the image of a party with a strong concentration of power, unable to cope with criminality and the corruption within the party. The governance of UDF started the stabilization of the country but it turned out to be without the necessary support of the voters in order to keep the chosen political direction. That is why, looking for a change, people voted for the National Movement Simeon II.

The governance of National Movement Simeon II proves that liberalism has its place in Bulgarian political and public life and can be successful. National Movement Simeon II is the first ruling political party in Bulgaria, which increases its credibility among voters at the end of its mandate. The reasons behind this are the successful foreign policy of the government, financial and especially tax policy and social policy, in particular the decrease of unemployment, as well as the fight against corruption and criminality. In practice, National Movement Simeon II accomplishes one of the main national priorities – the full NATO membership of Bulgaria and with the completion of the negotiations for a membership in the EU it becomes the European project of Bulgaria. The parliamentary elections in 2005 will be of significant importance, since in the next government’s mandate Bulgaria will become a full member of the European Union.

Today the liberal ideas have a key role in the political life of Bulgaria, as well as in Eastern Europe. It should not be forgotten that they are an essential part of every serious policy in the modern world which leads to higher growth of GDP. The implementation of liberal economic policies creates prerequisites for increase of the economic freedom, which in turn stimulates the economic growth. This leads to raising of the welfare of many social groups and mainly of the entrepreneurs – the engine of economic growth, the stronghold of the emerging middle class. That is why liberal formations should direct their efforts towards the achievement of a rapid economic development and competitiveness of the economy.

An important prerequisite this to be achieved is civil society activity, personal initiative encouragement, the young generation participation in the development of the liberal ideas.

Magdalena Stoyanova

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