The Bulgarian government banned the imports of twenty agricultural goods from Ukraine. This act and the related arguments for restricting free trade supported by the government, some politicians, media outlets, and interested businesses, show why the Institute for Market Economics has been debunking economic illusions and providing answers, in times of poor knowledge breeding poor policies, for more than 30 years.

For millennia humans have been fighting for all this against the randomness of tyranny, the dominance of strengths, privilege, and discretion over common rules and freedoms, defended by just laws. They have always wanted to live in such a way that it is clear what belongs to them and what belongs to others, contracts are not broken, what is borrowed is later returned, and the ruler is punished if he steals, lies or mistreats.

In 2004 the Institute for Market Economics (IME) presented its first Alternative Budget. Each year since that we have suggested an annual budgetary frame with lower taxes, more effective spending, bold reforms, and lower state interference. At the beginning of 2023, Bulgaria will not have a state budget drafted by a regular government and voted on by a parliamentary majority.

Once again, it has become clear that Bulgaria shall not be joining the Schengen agreement for some time, mostly due to the distrust in the work of our institutions and their ability to effectively guard the outer border of the visa-free area. Apart from the deeper European integration and the further inclusion to the “rich country club,” the accession to the Schengen Area could provide a couple of specific benefits to the Bulgarian economy.