BROD will be bringing to you focused research reports on topics relevant to Bulgaria and Romania. You will be able to find reports in English here, as well as publications in Bulgarian and Romanian.

In addition to its own outputs in research, BROD curates a collection of older studies of the BROD partners and other relevant reports. 


A recent GLOBSEC poll indicates that the 2024 European Parliamentary (EP) elections could see record participation across the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region. This rise in voter turnout is likely to bolster the legitimacy of the newly elected Parliament.  [+]


In Romania, the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) was recently designated as the Digital Services Coordinator, responsible for overseeing and ensuring compliance with the Digital Services Act (DSA). ANCOM has also become part of the European Board for Digital Services, collaborating with other national coordinators, conducting joint investigations, issuing opinions and recommendations, and contributing to developing and implementing guidelines and reports related to the DSA. [+]


The paper offers a perspective on the growing challenge of balancing disinformation
narratives and freedom of expression within European Union (EU) media policy. It
claims that within current approaches such a balance cannot be achieved and that a
serious look at the drivers of media consumption trends and EU media policies on
disinformation is required. Within the current frame of reference there is a need to
carefully consider what we mean by freedom of expression. This paper argues that one
aspect to consider is how current EU media policy, online media consumption and
monetisation models create a space where attention-grabbing and emotionally charged
content is favoured. This viewpoint might shed light on how these trends may potentially
be overshadowing important but less attention-grabbing voices or perspectives. The
article contends that one possible approach would be policies which encourage
prioritising and investing in not-for-profit and participatory media systems built on
community ownership and grassroots input.
Key words: disinformation, freedom of expression, EU, media policy [+]


The European Union is currently facing multiple crises, not restricted to but including the COVID‑19 pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine, ecological and energy-related challenges, immigration pressures, and internal social and political issues. However, Europe and the EU are also defined by their know-how, culture, multilingualism, and contributions to the evolution of Western civilisation, a legacy that should be honoured and progressed to meet contemporary challenges. Our responsibility and hope lie in transforming society sustainably and intelligently in order to respond to anticipated and unanticipated changes. One possible instrument to do so is through European media observatories like the European Media Observatory (EDMO), which can serve as hubs for this purpose. The Bulgarian-Romanian Observatory on Disinformation (BROD) is one of the hubs collaborating with EDMO, which brings together journalists, fact-checkers, public figures, and academic researchers to work towards a society better prepared to tackle disinformation. This paper provides a broad overview of its setup and discusses some of the current challenges in monitoring the progress in counteracting disinformation. [+]


In June of 2022, Google, Meta, Microsoft, TikTok, Twitter (rebranded as X) and a selection of advertising industry companies all signed up to the strengthened Code of Practice on Disinformation (European Commission, 2022). One of the goals of this strengthened version of the code was to empower the industry to adhere to self-regulatory standards in order to combat disinformation. The strengthened code also claims to set a more ambitious set of commitments and measures aimed at combating disinformation online.

Our aim here is to offer an assessment or evaluation of the implementation of the 2022 Code of Practice on Disinformation (CoP) by these companies in Bulgaria. Very little information exists on the implementation of the strengthened Code of Practice when it comes to Bulgaria by Very Large Online Platforms and Very Large Online Search Engines (VLOP and VLOSE) and this is a country which is particularly vulnerable to disinformation narratives. [+]


In recent years Bulgaria has been in constant early elections (five national votes in two years) and governed by a caretaker cabinet for more than a year. Political tensions in the country are a result of several corruption scandals that have led to a deepening lack of trust in the institutions. As a result,  powerful societal and political divisions remain impossible to bridge. This mistrust in official institutions and societal divisions are an ideal breeding ground for disinformation. [+]


The EDMO Task Force on 2024 European Parliament Elections publishes today a report on the disinformation narratives during the 2023 elections in Europe. Ahead of next year’s EU Parliamentary elections, useful clues on what will happen during the next electoral campaign can be taken from what happened during this year’s votes. This report is based on over 900 fact-checking articles published in the context of eleven elections in ten different European countries, up to October 2023. [+]

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As Russia’s aggression against Ukraine wages on for a second year, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) finds itself on the right side of history but divided. Most countries remain steadfast in its support for EU and NATO membership, and recognise the inherent threats posed by autocratic regimes to the region’s security. Most CEE societies are taking cue from their political leaders that have sought to openly distance themselves from autocratic regimes and assume a more decisive and vocal role on the international scene. [+]


GLOBSEC highlights the key factors that contributed to the decline in trust in public institutions in the early years of the 2020's, and offers 11 recommendations to counter this worrying trend.  [+]


The GLOBSEC Vulnerability Index measures the vulnerability of eight countries (Bulgaria, Czechia, Hungary, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia) towards foreign influence on a 0-100 scale.  [+]

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In this publication, the reader is offered an in-depth analysis of GLOBSEC Trends 2023 results from Bulgaria. [+]

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Lithuania was one of the first European countries to recognize the dangers of relying too heavily on authoritarian regimes. The policies implemented by Lithuania could help other states improve their resilience to foreign malign influence, too. [+]


GLOBSEC provides insight into public attitudes regarding the war in Ukraine in 9 Central and Eastern European EU member states (Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia). While the war serves as disturbing evidence that peace is a fragile thing, it was also a key driver in strengthening solidarity in the region.   [+]


Alongside its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia has intensified its hybrid influence operations. Southeast Europe (SEE) in particular remains one of the most vulnerable soft targets for the Kremlin’s ongoing hybrid war. Democratic backsliding, governance deficits, the erosion of civil liberties, and a stalled integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions have kept the region locked in political uncertainty, strategic ambiguity, and susceptibility to foreign malign influence. Media capture and the channelling of illicit financial flows (IFFs) are two of the most critical instruments that the Kremlin employs for state capture in the region. [+]


A case study by Funky Citizens' Elena Calistru and Laura Burtan highlights that the rise of right-wing nationalists affected Romania, too. The authors demonstrate how the narratives of the AUR seek to undermine trust in democracy and transatlantic unity for their own gains.  [+]

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If liberal democracies want to enhance their resilience against foreign malign authoritarian actors, including their information operations, they need to create a culture of strategic thinking that will prevent fiascos, such as the European energy crisis. GLOBSEC's policy papers seeks to highlight how this enhanced resilience could be achieved.  [+]