Gov Accountability

Institute for Market Economics wins Atlas Network’s 2024 Europe Liberty Award

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Atlas Network is proud to present the 2024 Europe Liberty Award to Institute for Market Economics (IME). The award was accepted by Executive Director Svetla Kostadinova at Europe Liberty Forum 2024 in Madrid, Spain.

The Europe Liberty Award is part of the “Templeton Freedom Award” prize program sponsored by Templeton Religion Trust—named for the late investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton. In addition to Latin America, the program sponsors awards in Latin America, Africa, Asia, North America, and the Middle East & North Africa. Its grand prize, the Templeton Freedom Award, is presented annually at Atlas Network’s Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner in New York City. In 2024, the prize program will award $270,000 in grants to high-achieving organizations that make innovative contributions to economic freedom and human progress.

Thanks to the Institute of Market Economics, Bulgaria is reforming its legal system to remove some of the remaining legacy of Soviet domination. Starting in 2015, IME has championed rule of law in Bulgaria, most notably with the creation of the “IME Legal Program.” For years, the IME Legal team has created a network of supporters, communicated its key messages intensively, and worked with all political parties to implement judicial reforms. As a result, the Bulgarian National Assembly passed a constitutional amendment in December 2023, removing many Soviet influences from the country’s judicial system and reining in the previously unchecked power of the Prosecutor General. The amendment reduced the length of the Prosecutor General’s term, created a system of oversight and accountability, and removed the office’s ability to freely meddle in the lives and businesses of law-abiding citizens.

Read more about their work here.

This year’s runners-up are Adam Smith Institute (UK) and Bendukidze Free Market Center (Ukraine).

“As Europe continues to grapple with war, rising authoritarianism, and other threats to freedom and liberty, our think tank and ‘do tank’ partners are holding fast to their free-market principles,” said Atlas Network CEO Brad Lips. “And, because of idea entrepreneurs’ unwavering commitment to human dignity and individual liberty, these European freedom champions are making serious progress in countries like Bulgaria, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. Our team could not be more proud of their efforts, especially in the face of extreme pushback from the continent’s emboldened authoritarians.”