On May 1, 2003 IRIS International Security and Democratization Program started the implementation of the project entitled Benefiting from Enlarging NATO to Southeast Europe: Promoting the New NATO Agenda. The Program was aimed at providing assessment and policy alternatives of how Bulgaria and Romania, in their new function as NATO members, would translate the new mission of the Alliance into regional policy action. The program offered recommendations that capitalized on the experience of the two countries in conducting reforms in order to maximize the effectiveness of stability and security building in the region. The program aimed at contributing to increased understanding of how enlarged and transformed NATO would respond to the 21st century security challenges to provide a security arc for its members.
Within the program implementation IRIS conducted monitoring and evaluation of domestic performance of Bulgaria in complying with NATO standards. The approach employed a combination of policy research, watchdog and public awareness components.
The policy research was aimed at systematically tracking Bulgaria′s progress of NATO accession in comparative perspective - checked against the progress of other applicants - and widely circulated among the public, media and policy-makers. Expert task forces were established with the purpose to:
Based on its previous experience, IRIS continued to perform watchdog activities aimed at exercising public pressure on the government for sustaining the reforms′ pace of NATO candidate countries after the NATO Summit 2002.
Type of services provided
The public control over policy implementation ensured successful adaptation to membership requirements. This was achieved through involving like-minded policy research institutes and mobilizing public support to exercise watchdog activities and influence decision-makers. The accomplishment of that objective was pursued through the implementation of an advocacy model including: 1) defining pending and upcoming problems of the NATO accession process; 2) summoning a coalition of like-minded policy institutes, experts and opinion leaders; 3) gathering public and media support; 4) crafting targeted policy solutions to offer to policy makers.
Watchdog activities were performed on Bulgarian government performance, Bulgarian military contribution to the US-led post-war reconstruction of Iraq; Bulgaria′s strategic defense review, etc. These watchdog activities IRIS carried out in partnership with a coalition of fellow policy institutes and NGOs - Institute of Euro-Atlantic Security, Institute for Security and International Studies, George C. Marshall Association of Bulgaria, the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, among others.
This one-year program was supported by the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
The main goal of IRIS in assessing the NPP Belene project is aimed at developing a comprehensive picture of the liabilities and the effects which the construction of this facility will have on Bulgaria’ energy market, on the sustainability of the energy system and the energy consumption in the country for the next 3-5 decades and on the functioning of the Bulgarian political and public administration system in mid-term perspective. The IRIS analyses will also particularly focus on the larger strategic and security context that NPP Belene will create in completing the monopolization of the Bulgarian energy system by Russia – bringing it under total Russian control.
The overall goal of the proposed project was to assure the continuity and sustainability of the larger BSYRF effort by establishing an Alumni Association of the programme’s graduates, allowing them to meet on a regular basis, discuss current issues and take common action to solve those issues by means of joint advocacy efforts and project development.
The overall goal of the project is to enhance and institutionalise interaction among the most influential think tanks in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine in order to arrive at common positions and launch common initiatives on improving international security and cooperation in the Black sea region as well as to support all major efforts by national governments and international organisations to this end.
The overall goal of the project was to extend and empower the network of young reformers of the Black Sea countries, launched by the pilot BSYRF project in 2010, as an instrument to serve a double-edged purpose: first, to provide a platform for the young reformers to communicate and advocate to the institutions of the EU the interests of their countries for closer cooperation with Europe; second, to open new channels of influence for the European policy makers to develop and implement an overall strategy for multilateral cooperation between the EU institutions and the policy communities of the Black Sea countries.
The project is an effort at supporting reformist thinking and reformist activities across the region of the Black Sea through identifying and encouraging reform-oriented, influential young policy-makers, civil servants and civil society activists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine into an effective and viable network.
In October 2006 IRIS initiated the project Bulgaria in the Euro-Atlantic Security System with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The project was aimed at advancing recommendations for improving institutional performance in Bulgaria, Georgia and Moldova, based on comparative analysis of a selected cluster of institutions mirroring the state of the society and governance by employing the ‘democratic auditing’ methodological approach. Institutional analysis, public opinion surveys and case studies of best practices were employed to elicit alternative policy solutions.
Between May 2004 and May 1 2005 IRIS International Security and Democratization Program implemented the “Networking for the Black Sea Region Stabilization and Integration” program. The proposed program built on the achievements of GMFUS and IRIS’ own efforts in the Black Sea region. The program was aimed at assisting with developing and launching an overall policy strategy for integrating the Black Sea countries into the Euro-Atlantic mainstream.
The project aimed at evaluating the civic organizations′ attitudes, needs and capacity with respect to civic participation in the decision making in Ukraine and Moldova and also at identifying specific competencies needed for successful civic mobilization and participation in the decision making.
Between May 1, 2003 and May 1, 2004 IRIS International Security and Democratization Program implemented the program entitled Anchoring the Black Sea Countries to the Euro-Atlantic Mainstream: Policies, Mechanisms and Multilateral Networks. The Program was aimed at promoting strategies, policies and actions that would ultimately anchor the countries of the Black Sea region firmly to the Euro-Atlantic mainstream.
IRIS International Security and Democratization Program implemented the project entitled “Promoting Security and Regional Cooperation: The Perspectives of NATO Enlargement and EU Association of Southeastern Europe Towards the Year 2002” started on May 1, 2001. Project aimed primarily at providing IRIS with the necessary resources and strengthening of its capacity to actively contribute to the process of policy formulation and implementation concerning Southeastern Europe.
The project aimed to set priorities and clearly define the goals of the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe. It provided analytical assistance and policy growth/development in the fields of regional security systems institutional development and infrastructure economic development.