BOLD was created in 2019 on the initiative of Dr Dimitrina Petrova, one of the cofounders of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC), in order to increase public support for liberal democratic values and consolidate supporters of human rights and democracy in Bulgaria. BOLD does not have a separate legal personality and operates as a project of the BHC.

BOLD works to improve cooperation between human rights professionals and other democracy supporters in Bulgaria, develop new strategies for public relations and strengthen the resilience of civil society during anti-democratic campaigns.

Why was BOLD set up? Historically, throughout Europe, Helsinki committees have operated as small professional groups defending human rights in the framework of international, regional and national human rights law. More recently, these committees, along with most veteran groups within the human rights movement, increasingly recognize the need to broaden the constituency of their supporters; moreover, they recognize the need to take an active part in consolidating democracy supporters.

In Bulgaria, the BHC launched BOLD, hoping to bring together the fragmented and amorphous circles of liberal-minded Bulgarians into a tangible and measurable community. Through this initiative, human rights activists are seeking to increase support for their values, working from the very start in partnership with supporters of other liberal democratic causes.

BOLD uses an online platform to develop discussions and make decisions, through voting, regarding issues of public interest. Discussions address themes that are important for our democracy, e.g. citizens’ participation in governance, judicial reform, the independence of the judiciary and the prosecutors, the role of civic initiatives and non-governmental organizations, civil liberties, media freedom, equal rights and non-discrimination, minority policies, the quality of public administration, the geopolitical dimension of the democratic process, etc.

In addition to adopting policy positions, BOLD works to better communicate liberal values to members of the public. To this end, BOLD organizes campaigns and events addressed at various audiences, striving to change to some, albeit small, degree people’s attitudes in the direction of liberal democratic values.

BOLD is a community of values and is not affiliated in any way with any political party; BOLD does not participate in election, either alone or as a member of coalitions.

BOLD comprises only individual members (physical persons), and is funded by membership fees and donations.