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Organisation of national security through the prism of ethnic and religious relations

Внимание, ще се отвори в нов прозорец. ПДФПечатЕ-мейл


Tihomir Stoichev

During the 20th century, the foreign policy of Adolf Hitler was formulated on the basis of ethnical identity, which justified the conquest of the Eastern European territories, underlined the imperative necessity for the protection of the German minorities from the oppression by the Slavs. Likewise, the 21st century forced mankind to live through and look for constrictive solutions for numerous conflicts . Historically contingent, they present a threat to the security on the Balkans. Under the conditions of global economic crisis, the degradation, the decrease of anthropogenic resources, the breaking of traditions, values, the unfair social hierarchy have a negative impact on their development.

Any escalation of the conflicts among the various ethno-national and ethno-religious minorities is a threat to the social and political stability, brings the political relations to the test.

This impact is based on five main groups of preconditions, related to: resources; information; values; structure and communication (behaviour) that act separately or jointly. When elaborating on the national security related problems, the level of the social and political relations, the set objectives, the statutory and legal regulations, the state of the determinant social and management elements, etc, should be taken into consideration.

The national security is the dynamic state of the society and the state, reflecting the level of threat, the possibilities for timely awareness, assessment, preparation for countering and realisation of the threat, the guarantee for the citizens’ freedoms and rights, the possibilities for ensuring economic and social prosperity. Its objective and subjective sides should be constantly studied, analysed and influenced upon . It is a multi-layered functional system, where the processes of the vitally important interests of the individual, the society and the state interact and enter into conflicts with those of external nature. One side of the national security system is functional, reflecting the condition, while the other side is organisational and comprises any authorities, powers, means and organisations, assigned to ensure it .

National security exists when there is protection of the citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms, the national borders, the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country, there is no risk of armed invasion, forcible amendments to the constitutional law, political dictates or economic duress on the country and the democratic functioning of the state and civil institutions is guaranteed, as a result of which the society and nation preserve, increase its welfare and prosper.

It has three major objects to secure: individual, society and state. The state is the main subject of security, which accomplishes its functions through the authorities of legislative, executive and judicial power.

Security is guaranteed with the implementation of single state policy, systematic measures, adequate to the threats for the vitally important interests of the individual, the society and the state. Their development has to begin with the definition of the objectives in the long-term policy for the national security guarantee, with the substantiation of alternative versions of its future condition. The provision of national security is in itself a complicated process, where first and foremost comes the necessity of gathering and processing of comprehensive and objective information by means of contemporary methods, used for the set up of database, knowledge and modelling methods.

This process demands the concentration and the coordination of all resources and activities .

The state of the security is closely related to the successful fulfilment of national interests, goals, priorities and the ability, when necessary, to effectively protect them from internal and external threats. In conformity with the new concepts for the nature of the risks and threats to security, capable of creating crisis situations, are the increased possibilities for the arising of crisis, resulting from economic, social and political issues, ethnic unrest and territorial disputes.

Often, the ethnic division is a result of imposed destructive economic policy.

The main risk factors, affecting the stability and security in the Republic of Bulgaria, are its geo-political and geo-strategic situation; the existing conflicts; crisis regions; the activities of terrorist organisations; organised crime groups; disbalance in the number, dislocation and level of equipment of the armed forces; the presence of social and economic problems; unfavourable demographic features; the threat to the information security; natural disasters, large industrial and ecological accidents and calamities, etc. The possibilities for the impact of external factors on the Balkans were increased: geo-political “players”; religious centres and sects; old conflicts.

In most of the great countries’ strategies are witnessed attempts for the consolidation of regional control, establishing similarities between the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Balkans .

The Bulgarian political life is notable for the lack of proficiency in upholding national interests. Activities that threaten the social, national and territorial unity remain unsanctioned. The political stability is the main measure for security. When the internal political system is capable of achieving the set targets, it is considered to be able to guarantee stability and security.

The risks and threats may be aimed at objects and targets such as the political and state system of the country, the economic and financial stability, the property, the system of values, the defence system and the security structures, the constitutional and statutory legislation, the foreign policy, the information system in the country, the strategic infrastructure sites, the ecology and others.

The national security is subject to objective evaluation and comparison.

One of the methods determines the state power, calculated with the formula NP = (C + E + М). (S + W + Р), whereby the measurement is accomplished by expert assessments . This includes the assessment of the population number, the economic strength, applied by the state to increase its military potential – arms and military equipment, provision of physical and technical facilities, adequate provision of goods and services to the population. The most general index for economic strength is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Five base branches are usually used as well for the purposes of comparison – energy engineering, industry, agriculture, trade and mineral resources reserves. In the formula, the first co-multiplier specifies the actual strength as a possibility, the second – the spiritual strength as reality. It is the second one that specifies whether the total strength will be used in case of a conflict. The state strength is a political-strategic and military-strategic reference point, first stage in the planning of the state and military policy, a fundamental category in geo-politics .

For quantitative assessment of the existing threats are used analytical techniques and methods, determining the level of consensus in relation to risks. This is used to measure the impact of threats on the national security of the country, such as terrorism, extremism, separatism, radicalism, xenophobia, threats of economic nature (destruction, dissolution, poverty, recession, unemployment, etc.), social threats (corruption, crime, drugs, diseases, hunger, destitution, etc.), ecology threats (natural disasters, accidents, calamities, pollution, degradation) and so on. This approach takes into account the significance of territorial, demographic, ethnic, religious and other specific threats for the separate countries .

Another available methodology for national security risk assessment includes drawing a list of key security threats; choosing a numerical scale for quantitative measurement of the threat impact; the development of an evaluation chart for gathering of the necessary information; survey of a group of respondents, selected by competence criterion; processing of the gathered information from the surveys; determining the level of importance for the specific threats; calculating the level of consensus in relation to the importance of the assessed threats; summarising the obtained results. The procedure involves preliminary measuring of the various factors, events, circumstances, objects, processes, phenomena and others issues of security nature.

Measuring the importance of the threats is accomplished by using the rules for identification, objectification, arrangement, comparison, conformity, classification, generalisation and so on. Objective information is required in the process of decision-making. Processing of the gathered information can be accomplished by using the methods of nonparametric statistics . Measuring of the subjective perceptions can be accomplished in accordance with the demand for tangible information. They are often based on numeric scaling. The differential scale is calculated in the interval from one (very weak impact) to ten (very strong impact). The importance of threats is determined quantitatively on the basis of group assessments The evaluation of threats can be achieved a priori (based on preliminary information) or a posteriori (based on generalised data for previous events). Immediate assessments can be provided by the specialists in the state institutions and the civil structures. The empirical research is based on the survey of a selected group, consisting of 24 respondents. It is carried out by individually filled in evaluation chart, whereby a ten-scale system is used to assess the significance of each threat. The group assessments result from averaging of the individual assessments. They allow for the arrangement of the potential threats according to the opinion of the respondents involved. The advantages of the proposed method are in the increased objectivity and reliability of the information used for making collective decisions. The professional competence and individual abilities here are of great importance. The formalised information contributes to the justification of the expressed opinions in relation to the existing threats and the undertaking of effective measures for their restriction . The actual conflicts can be subjected to system information analysis. The mental models of the situation in the psychic of the participants in the conflict interaction are the central regulating units for arising, developing and terminating of a conflict. Many of the conflicts are proven to be rooted in social conditions and reasons. In order to make an assessment in such cases, it is necessary to specify the threshold quantities of several sets of social and economic indexes, reflecting the current situation. Assessments are required for the risk levels based on the threats, specifying a set of indexes and their position has to be constantly monitored. This will allow for the quantitative assessment of the level of threats and the degree of their impact on the state of security. Such an approach aims at the assessment of both potential and actual threats.

Yet again, the problem with interest assessment is not resolved. Confusing the level of security with the level of threat would present a methodological error.

Assessing the level of national security requires a method, determining the level of protection for the vitally important interests.

An important initial base for national security level assessment proves to be the development of quantitative index system, reflecting the contents of specific vitally important interests of the individual, the society and the state.

Without such system it is impossible to implement state management, to measure security and to achieve optimum management.

For practical purposes it would be sufficient to develop a system of 10 to 20 indexes in pecuniary and non-pecuniary form for the assessment of any interest.

To the vitally important interests of an individual can be contributed the higher quality of life, the rise of living standards, the guarantee of constitutional rights, the level of social justice, stable living factors, personal and property security, etc.

The monitoring and accounting of any such indexes will allow for the introduction of timely corrections in the respective policies, which in its turn will affect the management and the resolution of the conflicts.

There is a necessity for the development of a separate system of economic and non-economic indexes, characterising the contents of the vitally important interests in the system Individual – Society - State.

The next stage is to determine the threats – their interaction and conformity with the specific interests and subjects. It is possible one and the same threat to endanger a chain of interests. The following step is to assess the level of protection of these interests. The level of security risk is expressed by the probability of threat impact, multiplied by the amount of variation from the objectives. Once assessing the security risk level for each threat, we shall establish the average value of the security risk level. The risk is a manageable parameter; it can be subjected to managerial influence for the purposes of reducing the security risk under the conditions of indefiniteness of many factors. A risk does not relate to another, so they have to be neutralised separately.

The methods for national security risk management include:

- method for monitoring of the environment, allowing effective control over any changes in the situation; timely planning and organisation of activities in restricting the probabilities for the realisation of the threat and adopting measures for reducing the possible detrimental consequences, as well as effective re-grouping and focusing on the priority tasks;

- method for strategic planning of the system activity for national security guarantee, which includes a timely foresight in relation to the sources of threat, forecasting the dynamics in the development of events, acting before the actual manifestation of the threat, timely development of counter measures and plans for utilization of the reserves;

- method for using the international security system mechanisms, allowing the neutralisation of many threats, especially external ones, utilizing the resources of the international community, based on the international law standards.

The analysis of the problems, presenting the national security guarantee of a country, is a research process into the constant and variable characteristics of the state organism, of society, determining their ability for protection and achievement of individual life interests. The geo-political approach presents the possibility to declare factors with active impact on the national interests.

The scientific analysis of the conflicts may be defined as a system of consecutive, methodological, theoretical, methodical and organisational-technical procedures for the purpose of obtaining information for the studied phenomenon and its practical application for conflict settlement.

To the benefit of the conflict research, it is important to use principles, formulated at different levels of methodology: philosophic, general scientific or specific scientific: of development; of the universal connection; for compliance with the laws of dialectics; of systematic approach; of objectivity; of interdisciplinary work.

The origin and development of conflicts have impact, and it is important to take into consideration not only the interests of the immediate counteracting parties, but some other participants as well, such as the “supporting groups”.

The contradictions reflect the conflict of interests and the objectives of the parties, the endeavour to settle the contradictions that do not appear on the surface of things and that are not clearly distinguished and noticeable.

When analysing each and every conflict, it is necessary to define the conditions under which the participants are acting, to assess the social circumstances as well. The classification of conflicts encourages the acquisition of knowledge and the development of the processes, flowing through their structure. It can be accomplished according to the form of manifestation in certain sphere of social activity; according to the grounds forming the reasons for their origin; according to the participating in the conflict parties; according to the scale, duration and the way of settlement of the conflict. Conflicts may be considered from the point of causality, form of manifestation, characteristics of the parties involved.

The international community and the politically involved individuals recognize that the conflicts on ethno-national and ethno-religious grounds are a valid threat for national security and because of that they are given deeper consideration.

The census of the population in Bulgaria is forthcoming, arguments are arising, deliberate tension is instigated, which will probably obstruct the comprehensive gathering of information. The EU Race Directive allows the use of statistical data under the necessary of proving indirect discrimination. The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance also encourages the gathering of ethnic information for the purpose of adequate assessment of the situation with the ethnic minorities. In the Republic of Bulgaria, the gathering of information for ethnic origin is permitted under the Protection of Personal Data Act, the Statistics Act, the Population, Housing Fund and Agricultural Holdings Census Act.

The integration of minorities suggests our engagement with the topics of ethnic tolerance and compatibility, which have to be included in the everyday communication. Such issues have to be introduced in the schools, in the civil servants’ training, in the programme documents of the political and civil individuals, etc. The employment, poverty line and unemployment programmes have to include measures, guaranteeing recruitment, training and employment of staff in accordance with the respective ethnic and demographic situation. It is of particular importance such criteria to be applied by the rights-safeguarding and rights-protecting structures, whose everyday contact with people has far-reaching effects.

The National Council on Ethnic and Demographic Issues is an advisory and coordinating body, facilitating the Council of Ministers in formulating and implementing the state policy on ethnic and demographic issues. It carries out advisory, coordinating, information, analytic and organisational activities. Its capacity relates to that of the Regional councils for Cooperation on Ethnic and Demographic Issues. They announce publicly any measures, undertaken for the purpose of comprehensive and swift process for the integration of minorities.

This Council assists in the cooperation, coordination and consultations between the state authorities and the associations of the Bulgarian citizens and other legal non-profit entities, involved in the sphere of interethnic relations, human rights. In the hierarchy it cooperates with the Commission for Protection against Discrimination; the Regional councils for cooperation on ethnic and demographic issues, the local self-government authorities, the schools for higher education, the research institutes and other organisations; structures in foreign countries and international organisations; legal entities and state authorities.

Such framework allows the development of any assignments and solution projects to be preceded by the work of already existing and institutionalised interdepartmental units, whose structure may be the subject of another special research.


For the purposes of national security guarantee, it is necessary to develop a harmonious system for monitoring, active modelling and settlement of the major conflicts. First and foremost, this process has to be ensured in view of the various risk factors and threats, guaranteeing the efficient protection of sites and objectives they may be aiming at.

Due to failures in appreciating the ethnic and ethno-religious conflicts, and their permanently present essence and quality being flared up due to various reasons, we consider that it is mandatory to introduce reassessment and contemporary efficient organisation.

These phenomena proved its destructive capability on the Balkans yet again by the end of the 20th and the beginning of the new 21st century. The monitoring of the potential conflicts has to become permanent effort of the state, the different branches of science, the various religious institutions and their leaders, the non-government organisations, etc. It is mandatory to develop a long-term national policy especially on the national issue; to create a mechanism for risk and threat level assessment in relation to the ethnic and religious relations in the country, in the region and throughout the world; to summarise the information and the findings, concerning the dynamics in the interethnic relations according to the respective indicators.

The suggested by the government National Security Strategy can be one of the elements of the National Security Policy, providing long-term guarantees for the state and its citizens.

The framework of EU political development was complemented by the adoption of the Common Foreign and Security Policy that came in effect during 1993. This framework aims at consolidating security; maintaining peace and international security; promoting international cooperation; development and strengthening of democracy and the supremacy of law, rights and fundamental freedoms.

In the national security methodology, special consideration should be given to the elaboration and decision-making mechanisms. The elaboration and accomplishment of well-considered decisions on behalf of the state, the authorities, the organisation and the means for national security guarantee are of exceptional importance to the security of the individual, the society and the state itself. The well-organised duplication in the preparation of the decisions by the higher state authorities will allow the search for the optimum way for the resolution of the issues, relating to guarantee of the national interests protection; actual and potential threats to the national security. The elaboration and accomplishment of well-considered decisions on behalf of the state, the authorities, the organisation and the means for national security guarantee are of exceptional importance to the security of the individual, the society and the state itself. The currently involved staff in national security works chaotically, without synchronisation, in unprincipled competition, strongly influenced by the guidelines of transitory political and institutional determination. Affected by such drawbacks, they can hardly be engaged with the national objectives and interests. At the same time, the hierarchy of the risks and threats is not strictly distinguished, which is an obstacle in the national security priorities.

Additional literature:

1. John Packer, Helsinki Monitor, том 11, № 4, 2000, стр. 29-45;

2. International Journal on Minority and Group Rights, Volume 4, No. 2, 1996/97.// International Journal on Minority and Group Rights, Volume 6, No. 3, 1999.

3. Rolf Ekeus, Предварителни мерки за предотвратяване на конфликти, Върховният комисар на ОССЕ за националните малцинства , Хелзингбург, 29-ти август 2002 год.

4. Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Practicing what we Preach: Early Action to Prevent Conflict Intervention by Rolf Ekeus OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities

5. Слатински Н., Националната сигурност и демографските проблеми на България,  сп. "Международни отношения", No. 1, 2006 г., стр. 30-54

Notes about the author:

Tihomir Stoichev is awarded Master’s degree in history and political science; he is a postgraduate in the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies. His main work and publications concern the national security issues. He is the chairman of the National Anti-Crime and Anti-Terrorism Forum, a member of the Balkan Research Centre and the International Academy of Personal Protection and Security.

Е-мейл адресът e защитен от спам ботове.

0898 772 080

Джонстоун, Дайана, Нагаждане на престъплението към наказанието, Сб. Господари на света, Скритите цели на войната на Балканите, Изд. НЗ, София, 2000, с.111

Анцупов А.Я., А.И. Шипилов, Конфликтология, СПт., 2007, 490 с.

Димитров, Д. Й., Конфликтология,  УИ „Стопанство”, София, 2004, с.144,145

Прохожева, А.А., Общая теория национальной безопасности, М., 2005, с. 16- 17

Пак там, с. 25- 33

Прохожева, А.А., Общая теория национальной безопасности, М., 2005, с. 128-132

Интересите на българските граждани са в реалното гарантиране на конституционните права и свободи, личната безопасност, повишаване качеството на живот, социално и здравно осигуряване;Интересите на гражданското общество са в утвърждаване на демокрацията, гражданския контрол върху институциите и свободата на сдружаване, в правата на религиозните, етническите и малцинствени групи, в съхраняването на националните духовни и културни ценности и традиции; Интересите на държавата изискват защитата на Конституцията, суверенитета и териториалната цялост на страната, политическа и финансова стабилност; на икономическото и социалното развитие, строго спазване на правовия ред, равнопоставеност и взаимоизгодно международно сътрудничество.

Вж. Ноктиюм, Таня, Жан- Пиер Паж, Югославия: империалистическа война, която цели установяването на нов световен ред, Сб. Господари на света, Скритите цели на войната на Балканите, Изд. НЗ, София, 2000

NP  е държавната мощ, С е критическата маса(сума от коефициентите на броя население и територията на страната), Е е  икономическата мощ, М е военната мощ, S  е  стратегическата цел на държавата, W е мотивация на населението, Р е политическата воля на държавното ръководство.

Гиндев, Е., Национална сигурност и държавна мощ, лекция VІ, вж.

International Conference on Security Policy, Munich, Germany, 11-12 February, 2007, htp://security

Позиционна средна величина в статистиката. Най-често се използват перцентили, децили, квинтили, квартили, терцили и др.

Христов Ст. , Оценяване на заплахите за сигурността УНСС, катедра „Национална и регионална сигурност” Икономически алтернативи, брой 3, 2007

Прохожева, А.А., Общая теория национальной безопасности, М., 2005, с.264- 271

През 2008 г. НССЕДВ отчита, че с други партньори е изпълнил задачите си. В системата на МВР, МО и др. министерства и ведомства са включени теми за етническата толерантност и работа в мултиетническа среда. Създадени са пет кризисни центъра за деца, жертви на трафик, като тяхната дейност се финансира от държавния бюджет чрез общините- с. Балван, община Велико Търново  и  градовете Пазарджик, Алфатар, Драгоман и Монтана. Подобряване достъпа до здравеопазване и образование, подобряване на заетостта и жилищните условия на представителите на етническите малцинствени групи с акцент върху най-уязвимите в социално-икономическо отношение граждани. Важна част от работата на МОН е работата по Оперативна програма „Развитие на човешките ресурси” 2007 – 2013 г. на Европейския социален фонд. За развитието на интеграционните процеси при етническите малцинства особена роля има създадения през 2005 г. Център за образователна интеграция на децата и учениците от етническите малцинства (ЦОИДУЕМ). Към МС съществува специализирана Дирекция етнически и демографски въпроси към МС. Дейност отчита и Комисия за защита от дискриминация

Напр. образование- достъпност, толерантност, съотносимост към пазара, ниво на модернизация,  въвеждане въпроси, свързани с толерантност и търпимост и др.; политическите партии- програмните документи, платформи, интервютата,  дейност, призиви към радикализъм, сепаратизъм, ксенофобия, ограничаване на човешките права и свободи и др.; медиите- представянето на малцинствена, етническа и етнорелигиозна проблематика; неправителствените организации (НПО) - проява на опасни тенденции и дефицити от категорията на изброените; равнище на насилие- включва насилието върху личността, данни за криминогенната обстановка(брой престъпления, извършители, жертви) и въздействащите върху нея фактори; населението по групи и регионална разпределенност- данни за въможни огнища на конфликтност.

Стойчев Т., Националната сигурност изисква национална политика за сигурност,


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