|Grant Number||BG_X 2008_146|
|Organization||BULGARIAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE PROMOTION OF CITIZENS INITIATIVE (BAPCI)|
|Project Name||EMPOWERING BULGARIAN CIVIL SOCIETY FOR DIRECT DECISION-MAKING THROUGH A NEW DEMOCRATIC LAW ON REFERENDUMS|
|Amount Awarded||USD 19,102.00|
|Grant Period||May 10, 2009 - January 10, 2010|
In 2008 27% of the citizens of Bourgas and 39% in Sozopol municipality voted in referendums on the controversial Bourgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline. Almost all of them rejected the project, believing it was an onslaught on their human rights. Their vote however was scrapped for the reason that turnout did not meet the required 50%+1. Other local communities have also attempted to influence government decisions e.g. in 2007 45% of the citizens of Kresna and 28% of the citizens of Kozlodui voted on developments impacting their health and environment. Their vote had no legal bearing. High turnout threshold is not the only problem with direct decision–making in Bulgaria. The acting totalitarian law abounds in restrictions: citizens are not allowed to initiate referendums, a plentitude of issues are excluded from popular vote, referendum results are not binding etc.