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МнениеПуснато на: Вто Окт 26, 2010 8:57 pm    Заглавие:  ...FIGHT AGAINST EXTREMISM, VIOLENCE, ORGANIZED CRIME AND...  

Jordan Bakalow, D.Sc., deputy at the 41st National Assembly, chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, Religions, Complaints and Petitions of the Citizens, member of the Commission on Internal Security and Public Order. Author of many research articles on the issues of national security in Bulgarian, English and Arab.


At the end of the first decade of the 21st century we face new challenges and new fundamentals. The correct analysis of the present, the true assessment of the evolving processes and moreover - the new algorithms for political organization and counteraction against the old and new challenges will predetermine not only our national security, but also the existence of the most valuable achievement of the generations up to ours – Bulgaria.
All states – big and small – need to strengthen security. Each country strives for steady protection of its interests.
The variability of processes in security is amazing. The decision-makers in our country, influenced by circumstances, which imposed and in some cases still impose the need to hurry, settled a permanently high rhythm of changes beginning from the sphere of legislation and ending with the everyday functioning of the security structures. As a result, nowadays we have a multisided and extensive legal field of security, in which new norms are incessantly being adopted and the newly adopted ones are almost right afterwards submitted to current amendments. The last turns to be a serious problem for the Republic of Bulgaria.
This dynamics together with the incessantly increasing quantity of norms creates objective difficulties for everyone, who would dare to analyze the status quo in the area of security. That imposes the need to look for a suitable cognitive structure.
Based on analysis of the new security environment, the major factors influencing the level of security of the Republic of Bulgaria were found out and evaluated. The role of the political parties in the formation and execution of the security policy and more specifically in the fight against extremism and violence, organized crime and corruption was pointed out.
The security environment has external and internal parameters. Their division is conditional to a certain extent, but is also unavoidable when an analysis is done. For this reason the security environment is being explored from two view points – first, as security environment for all (the country, the region and the world are envisaged) and second – as our specific security environment. Besides, depending on how the environment affects our security, it is determined as either directly or indirectly affecting.
Because of their dynamic nature, the trends that we observe in the international security environment are very difficult for analysis and interpretation.
The following interdependent problems exist: the changing character of security policy; actuality and realistic approach in the determination of national interests and the execution of national security policy; influence of untraditional threats to national security.
The security environment in the beginning of the 21st century is significantly changed in comparison with the previous decades.
A peculiarity, which is in direct connection to the security of our country, is the fact that its relative impact in international relations is comparatively low, but at the same time the processes and trends in the modern world affect us as much as the other actors and in some cases our problems are even more difficult to solve than those of other nations.
The positive factors of the security environment have an important role in our security policy. They should be taken into consideration when the policy is being elaborated. Some of the positive factors are the stability of the European region, our country’s affiliation with the democratic states family, the existence of world networks in economics, information and of coarse, in the various aspects of security, the irreversibility of the democratic processes in Bulgaria.
However, the security environment is particularly important for security policy with its negative impacts. They are the ones that should be clarified and analyzed as well as the ones which require the preparation of adequate responses and should be controlled.
A negative factor in world security environment is modern terrorism. The events in the beginning of the 21st century showed that one of the biggest threats to the security of mankind is terrorism and the war against it is a new type of war. A war led by new type of participants with different methods and means of struggle. A war in which the whole population is involved and is actually participating.
A common ascertainment is that the modern world is facing the threat of international terrorism. It is performed by extremist groups which very often stand behind the ideas of fundamentalist Islam. The main reason for the activation of fundamentalism is due to the existence of prevailingly young population to whose behavior action, rebelliousness and aggression are typical. The education received is far from the level of the efforts put in its popularization.
The radical Islam plays the role of a collective safety-valve and clear alternative to individual choice. The Muslim accepts his submission to the ruler as a duty. In other case he will commit a sin equal to crime. Practically the fundamentalist Islam turns to be a part of the invisible front the demarcation line of which does not exist.
Another negative factor of the security environment is the international organized crime. In the beginning of the 21st century organized crime is undoubtedly a hot topic in the political agenda and the public debate.
Modern organized crime has already exceeded the traditional understanding for hierarchy and corruption and taking advantage of the supranational integration and technological progress, it uses the deficiencies and limitations of the legal systems, causes great damage to individual ownership, and negatively influences the socio-political system and legal values such as human life, environment, public health and economy.
Facing the increasing levels of organized crime in the recent years, the countries around the world undertake significant reforms in the spheres of penal process, so that they increase the effectiveness of the competent bodies.
Statistic evaluation and quantitative indicators are generally emphasized when assessing the effectiveness of the fight against organized crime. It requires another type of assessment. Due to the fact that this phenomenon causes extreme damages in economic, political and social aspect, the effectiveness of the structures involved in the fight against it should be much more concentrated on the qualitative aspects having direct influence on society as a whole. It is obvious that a unified model for counteraction of the grave crime could not exist. Each state reacts to this issue in a different way depending on its internal and institutional organization as well as on the public inclinations and expectations. Even a specific fragment from a reform performed in another country should be applied only if its context is accepted and correctly understood.
The UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Nov 15th 2000) determines organized crime as a collective activity, committed by three or more persons, connected in certain hierarchy or personal relations and allowing their leaders to gain profits and to control national or foreign territories and markets by the use of violence, threats and corruption either in their criminal activity or with the aim to penetrate into the legal economy.
The most general characteristics of organized crime are the following:
- monopole over certain criminal activities (drugs, prostitution, etc.);
- systematic use of violence against the persons daring to dispute that monopole or the internal discipline of the organization;
- the disappearance of one of the members of the organized criminal group does not affect its activity;
- hierarchic and bureaucratic structure with functional distribution;
- acquired knowledge in the area of law, finance and accounting;
- transnationalization of some of the activities of the organized criminal group;
- ability to influence on political, administrative and legal process.
We can speak about four stages in the development of the organized crime. Predators’ stage – a small group in a small territory, using violence with defensive character, the crimes are purely instrumental. Parasites’ stage – the group develops corruption interaction with representatives of the legal power, piles huge resources and penetrates into the legal sectors of economy. Symbiosis stage – the legal political and economic circles become dependant on the monopoles and networks of the organized crime. Transnational stage – the group develops activities on a world scale, establishes transnational connections and is capable of challenging the national and international authorities.
The Action plan to combat organized crime, adopted by the Council of Europe on Apr 28th 1998 states:
Organized crime is increasingly becoming a threat to society as we know it and want to preserve it. Criminal behaviour no longer is the domain of individuals only, but also of organizations that pervade the various structures of civil society, and indeed society as a whole. Crime is increasingly organizing itself across national borders, also taking advantage of the free movement of goods, capital, services and persons. Technological innovations such as Internet and electronic banking turn out to be extremely convenient vehicles either for committing crimes or for transferring the resulting profits into seemingly licit activities. Fraud and corruption take on massive proportions, defrauding citizens and civic institutions alike.
Whilst in their roots human rights were initially established in order to protect the citizens from the potential interference of state, which could intervene in their personal life, the real threat for security and freedom nowadays stems from terrorism and organized crime and the state is bound to protect its citizens from that danger.
Organized crime could have very serious consequences for the state.
The present economic crisis has an impact on the development scenarios of organized crime. The idea for further penetration of the organized crime as a result of the economic crisis is so complex and intertwined with so many factors, that at this stage every attempt to predict the final result will be shallow and of limited value.
Compared to international organized crime, the authorities involved in its counteraction tend to adapt more slowly to the changing surroundings.
At home the most difficult issue is the one to deal with corruption. It stands one of the calamities of the modern Bulgarian society.
We should take in mind the cultural context of the phenomenon corruption. It grows in the soil of the ubiquitous system of connections, which was a major means for people to cope with the chronic deficits of totalitarian life.
Risks for national security could be also found in the practices of ineffective governance, consequence of the democratic deficit, which creates conditions for institutional corruption and at the same time, ruins the citizens’ trust in democratic governance. The governance deficit also reflects to a significant degree the crime situation, decreased security of citizens, low level of healthcare, low effectiveness of the social support system.
The general problem of governance is its philosophy. It is a tradition in the country to assign the major responsibilities to the central authorities, which have very low presence out of the centre. They meet significant difficulties in coordinating joint actions especially when they have to be organized in a pre-crisis, crisis or post-crisis period. At the same time neither the central budgeting of the ministries, nor the tasks executed by them favour the establishment of horizontal connections of cooperation of the network-of-networks type in order to control the processes and to use the available resources to the highest degree. In that way the philosophy of the centralized policy in our country should be changed and gradually but with no delay be substituted with a policy of establishment of network-of-networks, especially in the field of security.
Our state has to respond to the challenge to overcome the low transparency in public spending, which favours the booming of corruption, the isolation of the local authorities from the solution of the citizens’ problems, the low reactive capability of the governance, the lack of proactive capacity and as a whole the lagging behind in the process of regionalization, typical for the EU countries.
The challenge for efficient action of the national security system of the Republic of Bulgaria is the level of social balance and thus the social unity of the citizens. The problems related to social insecurity, chronic poverty, misfortunes in healthcare and sharp social differentiation hide significant conflict potential and their timely solution is an element of the national security maintenance.
Good security policy in a democratic state suggests a basic level of solved social and economic issues of society.
The already mentioned deficiency in centralized governance leads to clustering of resources in certain central structures. This results in conditions for insufficient synchronization of the activities in the sphere of security.
A particularly important element of the security policy is to guarantee the normal everyday life of the citizens. It is necessary to drastically decrease the insecurity of the citizens connected with crime, road accidents, accidents at work, and especially the sufferings during and after natural disasters, as building blocks of a national security policy serving the people.
As a NATO and EU member Bulgaria needs a high level of compliance of its security system with the security systems of the other member-states of these unions. This stands to be a serious challenge for our country.
Concluding the presentation of the security environment, we could say that the changes in it and its dynamics have an interrelated and interdependent character. The complex influence on our security requires a complex response and a strong capacity for operational analysis and effective decision-taking.
The major elements of the security policy are its second part. They constitute the response to the challenges, threats and risks stemming from the security environment in its two dimensions – internal and external.
The general integrating element of the national security policy of the Republic of Bulgaria should be the establishment and maintenance of an optimally functioning national security system, which is capable of working in close cooperation with NATO, EU, UN, OSCE and the other international institutions.
The national security system is the instrument of the security policy, which should give the adequate response to the influences of the security environment.
The security policy results in the national security system, but the policy consists of certain specific elements, through which it responds to the influences of the environment.
The anti-terrorist element of the security policy is one the most important ones. It is true that Bulgaria has founded and developed forces to combat terrorism in its security structures. The scientific and practical work on the research, analysis and elaboration of combat mechanisms against modern terrorism is widely carried out.
Capabilities for anti-terrorist protection of military, police and civilians taking part in peace enforcement and peace keeping missions in different conflict points around the world are also developed.
Our country is in close connection with other countries on that issue. They are our partners and allies in support of anti-terrorist actions abroad.
Being relatively aside from the direct terrorist threats, Bulgaria should be oriented to several major directions.
The first of them is to keep incessant activity of the analysts, the intelligence and the police, so that we have a high capability to find and neutralize terrorist actions on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria. The next direction is to maintain and develop the national boundaries as an important body of national security and a barrier against the penetration of terrorist networks and groups on the territory of the country and thus on the territory of the European Union.
Another direction is the preparation of the country and the population for improvement of the capability to cope with the consequences of a terrorist attack. The next direction, related to this, is to develop legal basis on the combat against terrorism, which would give the necessary freedom of the anti-terrorist activities without exceeding authorities and disturbing the normal life of the society.
Finally, it is necessary to ensure the budget needed for these activities, to keep close relations with the allies in the zones of our participation in conflict regulation as well as in the other forms of cooperation and, of coarse, to continue the research of terrorism and the measures undertaken for its counteraction. The accent should be prevailingly on prevention, connected to revealing the anti-humane load of the extremist ideas and at the same time on the efforts, which the Republic of Bulgaria really puts to support the normal life in the zones of conflict damaged by extremist activities.
Another element of the security policy is the counteraction against international organized crime. The complex nature of the international organized crime requires that the counteraction bodies should develop new optimal forms of cooperation in a very short time. We could point out the State Agency for National Security as an example for new decisions in that field. It is expected that this new model for the practice of the Bulgarian special services will give wider opportunities for fast and synchronized activities against the most dangerous crime, including the international organized crime. Development of this trend in the field of intelligence would strengthen the potential to cope with the new challenges.
The Ministry of Interior and the Bulgarian special services maintain active operational connections with their allies and partners in the region, Europe and the world and execute series of successful operations in the fight against organized crime. They are partners with Europol and Eurojust and cooperate in the area of data exchange connected with the interception of illegal channels for stolen vehicles, trafficking in humans, drugs and goods. They also cooperate in the field of extraditions.
The directions for action in the framework of that element should be several.
First, it is necessary to work for the improvement of coordination, because as analyses have shown, this is one of weakest points in the sphere of security in our country. Moreover, we speak about coordination on a larger scale than it is generally thought. It should include not only police and intelligence but also the structures of transport, finance and economy.
Another direction is the availability of the necessary information for that counteraction. It is not excusable to establish new structures on this issue, which are soon afterwards closed such as the Centre for information ensuring in the combat against organized crime within the Ministry of Interior. Our database to fight international organized crime should be developed in a way to achieve interoperability and quick exchange of data with the partner services.
The next direction is to take the necessary care for the strengthening of the legal, professional and social status of the servants involved in the fight against international organized crime and thus to increase their resistance and responsibility.
The foreign policy of the Republic of Bulgaria is characterized by more continuity, which undoubtedly turns the country into a producer of security and stability in the Balkans. This favourable situation is a result of the successive maintenance of the Euro-Atlantic choice of the Bulgarian society.
A security policy is expected to guarantee the normal everyday life of the citizens by respecting their dignity and creating conditions for them to receive timely and qualified assistance in situations that threaten their life and ownership. But in order to achieve that mission, efforts, resources and clear responsibilities are expected from the decision-makers, the public servants and the security services.
The intelligence services element in security policy is mainly designed to guarantee the settled constitutional order in the Republic of Bulgaria. Our country is a democratic one, a preferred tourist destination, as well as the aim of many immigrants, and a substantial number of people cross it daily. This openness of our country together with the emergence of organized crime in the period of the shift in the ownership turned it into an attractive place for a few intelligence structures of foreign states. The Bulgarian intelligence after our integration to NATO and the EU is bound to execute its national, ally and partner duties by ensuring our foreign policy and the participation of Bulgarian representatives in missions and activities abroad. The modern means to obtain information and to impose influence become more complex with high speed, which leads to attempts for high technology attacks, including via Internet. This requires serious investments to strengthen the capabilities of the special services and at the same time many more times more effective democratic control so that this might of theirs is not used against Bulgarian citizens without legal grounds.


1. Common Foreign and Security Policy - CFSP
2. European Security and Defense Policy - ESDP
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