|The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC) published its second report on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of
National Minorities. The report critically evaluates the report submitted by the government of Bulgaria pursuant to article 25, paragraph 1 of
the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. It draws on the extensive research of the BHC on minority rights in Bulgaria
for a period of more than ten years and on information provided by other NGOs and academic institutions.
The alternative report evaluates the government report objectively but in substance underlines its deficiencies thus trying to avoid repetition.
The alternative report follows the structure of the government report and refers to several supplements that should be considered an integral
part of the alternative report. In September 1999 the BHC published a report on the fulfilment of the commitments of Bulgaria under the Framework
Convention. The alternative report is a follow up of the 1999 report.General weaknesses of the government reportThe report submitted by Bulgaria
pursuant to Article 25, paragraph 1 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities on April 9, 2003, is marked by a major
flaw, which cannot but be pointed out, because it reflects on the overall quality of the report's content and analysis. The language of the
report, which was prepared and submitted with about 18-month delay, is comprised of general statements in most of its part, i.e. legal provisions
are enumerated without being supported by prima facie evidence of effective implementation; concluded and/or underway projects and policies aimed
at the cultural, economic, and social advancement of ethnic, linguistic, and religious minorities are simply enlisted as well, and not propped up
by any account of achieved results; the entire "Factual" component of the report is weak, because of lack of factual evidence such as concrete
examples provided, statistics /or any data/ indicating achievements in the spheres outlined by the Framework Convention; and, last but not least,
the report is silent or cursory on numerous important issues, which should have been addressed under the separate headings of the report.
You can access the report online at: /news/2004/january07_e.doc
For more information: http://www.bghelsinki.org/press/2004/e01-07b.htm