Bulgaria’s New Protest Movement Must Avoid Old Mistakes

By bringing together opposition Socialists, environmentalists and the urban middle class, the protest wave in Bulgaria has real potential – if the lessons of past failures are learned.

Two weeks ago it was still hard to imagine tens of thousands of protesters taking to the streets in Bulgaria, demanding – among other things – the resignation of the government. Daily mass protests in Sofia and elsewhere in the country have brought back vivid memories of the protest wave of 2013 and 2014.

Until recently, Bulgaria seemed to be slumbering under the so-called “stability” of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s third government – a coalition of his own centre-right GERB party with several far-right parties.

In the past years, disparate protests took place and scandals occurred, but nothing ultimately rocked the boat. Stability – and thus Borissov – prevailed, with the status quo bolstered by the EU and the European People’s Party in particular.

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