On 23 July 2014, British Ambassador to Bulgaria Jonathan Allen presented Diana Kovatcheva with a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) Honour. At the official ceremony held at the Ambassador’s Residence in Sofia, the former Head of Transparency International and former Minister for Justice Mrs. Diana Kovatcheva has received a warrant, signed by Her Majesty The Queen, and formal insignia.
The ceremony was attended by nearly 60 former and current Mrs. Kovatcheva’s colleagues working within the judiciary system, NGO sector as well as Heads of Mission.
Mrs. Kovatcheva has been recognised for her tireless efforts against corruption, and her commitment to creating a more transparent and independent judiciary and constant efforts to ensure the rule of law.
British Ambassador Jonathan Allen said on the occasion:
The Rule of Law means that we live in a society underpinned by fairness. It means that the rules apply to all. No-one is above the law, not even kings. Diana Kovatcheva has been known to many Ambassadors and staff at the British Embassy over her many years working for Transparency International Bulgaria and as Justice Minister. In that time, Diana’s commitment to transparency and the Rule of Law has never wavered. Time and again, I watched as she came across serious problems and challenges and was impressed by her determination always to do the right thing, even if it was not always politically expedient. Diana Kovatcheva may be receiving today a British honour, but it is Bulgaria that Mrs Kovatcheva has served and which should be proudest of her.
Upon receiving the Award, Mrs Diana Kovatcheva said:
It is a great honour that my work has been recognised by His Excellency Jonathan Allen and, by extension, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Behind this prestigious insignia of honour lie many years of hard work, limitless enthusiasm and the support of many of my colleagues, friends and family. Let us not forget that success is achieved through responsibility. Such a distinction requires double the effort and double the attention to everything that I will be doing in the future.
More about Diana Kovatcheva’s criteria for receiving MBE Honour
The Honour recognises Mrs Kovatcheva’s efforts to promote transparency and integrity to issues of significant public interest in her work at Transparency International – Bulgaria.
During her time in office, Mrs Kovatcheva is remembered for the adoption of Asset Recovery legislation in Bulgaria in 2012 which for the first time in Bulgaria introduced civil confiscation, her commitment to promote the standards of juvenile justice, and her engagement on property disputes faced by British nationals in Bulgaria. At Transparency International-Bulgaria, she led the monitoring of Trakya Motorway and campaigns against vote buying.
More about MBE
The MBE is awarded for a significant achievement or outstanding service to the community and service that stands out as an example to other people.
The Order of the British Empire recognises distinguished service to the arts and sciences, public services outside the Civil Service and work with charitable and welfare organisations of all kinds. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V, and comprises five classes, in civil and military divisions. The five classes of award to the Order are, in descending order of seniority:
Today the Order of the British Empire is the order of chivalry of British democracy. Valuable service is the only criterion for the Award, and the Order is now used to reward service in a wide range of useful activities. Citizens from other countries may also receive an honorary award, for services rendered to the United Kingdom and its people. There are more than 100,000 living members of the Order throughout the world.
St Paul’s Cathedral is the Chapel of the Order. The motto of the Order is “For God and the Empire”.