Ruslan Stefanov

Director, Economic Program

ruslan.stefanov(at)online(dot)bg ll Hi-res Photo


Master's degree in Economics and Business Administration, University of National and World Economy, Sofia and University of Economics and Business Administration, Vienna


Ruslan Stefanov has more than 15 years of experience in delivering high quality research and civil society solutions to governance problems in Southeast Europe and in Bulgaria. He has extensive consulting experience through Vitosha Research EOOD, CSD’s consulting arm. Ruslan is a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Sheffield University Management School.

He is the coordinator of the Southeast European Leadership for Development and Integrity (, the largest indigenous regional anticorruption network of 30 civil society organizations from the Western Balkans and Turkey.Ruslan is a member of the Local Research Correspondents Network on anticorruption of DG Home of the European Commission, and is part of the largest ever European Union research effort on anticorruption— Since 2002 he has been coordinator of the Economics of Corruption and Hidden Economy Group at CSD as well as editor of the economy section of the annual CSD Corruption Monitoring Report.

Ruslan has been a regular contributor to European Parliament briefings on corruption, organized crime, and the hidden economy in Bulgaria and in Central and Eastern Europe. He has participated in the work of the UNODC Expert Group for Anti-Corruption Coordination. Ruslan is a member of the Free Enterprise and Democracy Network and the Development Institute of the Center for International Private Enterprise and a member of the Advisory Board of the Cluster for Research on the Informal Sector and Policy at the University of Sheffield.

Ruslan’s second major area of interest is innovation and competitiveness. He has been the coordinator of the Bulgarian chapter in IMD’s Global Competitiveness Yearbook since 2006, and is the editor of, the foremost monitoring and assessment tool of research and innovation policy in Bulgaria. He was part of the expert group on Smart Specialization in Romania and Bulgaria of DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission. Ruslan has continuously analyzed the governance, performance and innovation potential of European Union Structural and Investment Funds in Bulgaria since 1999.

Research Focus

Anti-Corruption, Hidden Economy, Energy Governance, Innovation and Competitiveness, Southeast Europe, European integration

Selected publications

Shadow Power: Assessment of Corruption and Hidden Economy in Southeast Europe, SELDI, 2016, co-editor   
Corruption and Organized Crime Threat Monitoring Report, Macedonian Center for International Cooperation, 2016, contributor 2015, Applied Research and Communications Fund, 2015, co-editor
State Capture Unplugged: Countering Administrative and Political Corruption in Bulgaria, Center for the Study of Democracy, 2016, co-author
Public Integrity and Trust in the European Union, The Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, 2015, co-author
Bulgarian Public Procurement Market: Corruption Risks and Dynamics in the Construction Sector, Chapter in Government Favouritism in Europe (Ed. Alina Mungiu-Pippidi), Brbara Budrich Publishers, 2015, co-author
Corruption Assessment Report: Anticorruption Policies against State Capture, Center for the Study of Democracy, 2015, co-author
Monitoring the Hidden Economy in Macedonia: Trends and Policy Options, Center for the Study of Democracy & Center for Research and Policy Making, 2015, editor
Energy Sector Governance and Energy (In)Security in Bulgaria, Center for the Study of Democracy, 2014, co-author 2014, Applied Research and Communications Fund, 2014, co-editor
Bulgarian Anti-Corruption Reforms: a Lost Decade? Chapter in The Anticorruption Frontline (Ed., Alina Mungiu-Pippidi), 2014, co-author
Anticorruption Reloaded: Assessment of Southeast Europe, Center for the Study of Democracy, 2014, co-author
Corruption in South East Europe, Chapter in Handbook of Doing Business in South East Europe, Dietmar Sternad and Thomas Døring eds, Palgrave Macmillan 2012, co-author
The Hidden Economy in Bulgaria and the Global Economic Crisis, Center for the Study of Democracy, 2011, co-author
Green Energy Governance in Bulgaria at a Crossroads, Center for the Study of Democracy, 2011
Energy and Good Governance in Bulgaria: Trends and Policy Options, Center for the Study of Democracy, 2011
The Energy Sector of Bulgaria, CSD Policy Brief (published jointly with The Atlantic Council), March 2010


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