What was the major event in Bulgarian politics in the second quarter and why?
While the Western Balkans Summit would be probably the most obvious pick, I would settle with the ongoing CEZ case. It exemplifies not only the problems still existing in the liberalization of the energy sector, but it also stands as confirmation of the distrust of a lot of Bulgarians in the soundness of the economic and political processes. The way that the government has been handling it domestically and on European level is astonishing. Selling the energy monopolist in Western Bulgaria to an unknown company, alleged involvement and cover-ups by the government, offshore companies, and Russian banks; this should be the plot of a novel, not actual political processes in a member state of the EU.
What do you expect to be the next major development in Bulgarian politics in the third quarter or further and why?
With the active EU Presidency coming to an end by the end of June, I would expect the ongoing tensions in the government to increase. The nationalists have taunted the Prime Minister a lot and the necessity of having a stable government for the duration of the Presidency will have expired. Hence, a break-up seems likely, which should result in a caretaker government. At the same time, there are two new political platforms on the horizon, one of which again designed to be GERB's sidekick. Therefore, I expect a lot of political turmoil in the next months, which might lead to early elections in 2019.
Daniel Kaddik is Director of the Southeast Europe office of the Germany-headquartered Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, a non-profit organization that promotes liberal values, the rule of law, and economic freedom. Providing policy consultations and educational programs, the Foundation is active in more than 60 countries around the world. Having worked previously for the Foundation in Germany, India and Russia, Daniel Kaddik is actively involved in promoting entrepreneurship and personal and political responsibility.