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The Culture Protection and Development Act (Закона за закрила и развитие на културата) sets out that the Ministry of Culture implements policy for protection and development of culture in accordance with its functions and powers and in observance of the principles of law.
The Ministry of Culture is in charge of the national policy of culture, cultural organisations and bodies for protection of culture, its national identity, and the ways for supporting and funding cultural work and authors.
The Ministry of Culture is the supreme central executive authority in the field of culture, which has the right of legislative initiative. It is empowered to formulate and implement the main principles of governmental cultural policy. Furthermore, authors, as well as nongovernmental organisations operating in the field of culture, are another direct and active participant in the process of formation of the cultural policy.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports is in charge of the national youth policy. Taking into account the multi-sectoral nature of youth policy, the Youth Act (Закон за младежта) (effective from 20.04.2012, last amendment 13 March 2020) stipulates that one of the main principles of the governmental policy in this field is the coordination of youth policies in the field of education, social policy, healthcare, culture, sports, justice, internal affairs and defence.
The Ministry of Education and Science is in charge of the national policy in the field of education and science. The Ministry of Education and Science develops and adopts state standards of education and curriculums. General education in school is the same for all types of schools and is obtained in the course of the entire course of study at schools, covering, among other things, key competences, such as initiative and entrepreneurship, cultural competence and skills for expression through creativity.
A Culture and Media Committee is established at the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria, which reviews bills and other acts of the National Assembly in the field of culture and media. It is in charge of ex-post impact assessment of laws falling within its jurisdiction, which is aimed at identifying their efficiency and level of achievement of objectives.
Municipalities and local self-governance authorities implement their culture and art programs at local level. Municipalities formulate and implement their policy for protection and development of culture combining the principles of the national cultural policy and the local conditions and traditions. In accordance with the Culture Protection and Development Act (Закона за закрила и развитие на културата), municipal councils, among other things, adopt resolutions for granting creative scholarships to support young authors of culture.
National Culture Fund (Национален фонд „Култура“) is the Bulgarian organization that supports at national level the creation, development and dissemination of Bulgarian culture and arts in the country and abroad. National Culture Fund (Национален фонд „Култура“)is established by the Culture Protection and Development Act (Закона за закрила и развитие на културата) and starts its work in November 2000. Its main objective is to support the development of culture by raising, managing and spending funds intended for the implementation of the national policy in the field of culture as set out in the programs of the government of the Republic of Bulgaria for the respective period and in the Culture Protection and Development Act (Закона за закрила и развитие на културата). Some of the resources of the Fund are spent for creative scholarships supporting young and distinguished authors and other young specialists in the field of culture for a period of 2 years, as well as for programs and projects aimed at expanding the access of children and young people to cultural activities.
The National Institute of Immovable Cultural Heritage (Национален институт за недвижимо културно наследство) supports the Minister of Culture in the implementation of the governmental policy in the field of protection of the immovable cultural heritage.
Schools of arts and culture (Училища по изкуствата и по културата) have their own specificity that gives them a status of cultural institutes mainly aimed at ensuring professional training and education in the field of arts and culture (article 13 of the Culture Protection and Development Act (Закона за закрила и развитие на културата)). They are located proportionately across the territory of the country, some of them being situated in the big cities, and others – in regions with strong traditions in the respective field of art. See section 8.5.
Cultural institutions comprise museums, theaters and musical groups (stage arts), and libraries.
Chitalishta /Culture clubs/ (Читалища). In accordance with article 2(1) of the National Culture Clubs Act (Закон за народните читалища), national chitalishta (culture clubs) are traditional self-governing Bulgarian cultural and educational associations in settlements, which perform governmental cultural and educational assignments. All natural persons, irrespective of their age and sex, political and religious beliefs, and ethnical background, may participate in their activities. Chitalishta (culture clubs) are non-profit legal entities.
As part of the general governance in the country, the Ministry of Culture actively interacts with all governmental and municipal authorities in the implementation of the cultural policy at national level. Furthermore, active cooperation is also established with a number of foreign cultural institutes established and operating on the territory of the country, among which: British Council, Institut Francais, Goethe Institut, Instituto Cervantes.
While performing its functions, the Ministry of Culture is supported by public expert councils and committees comprising representatives of creative societies, interested authorities and organisations, as well as individual authors and experts. (article 16 of the Culture Protection and Development Act (Закона за закрила и развитие на културата))
An Ordinance on the terms and conditions for protection of children with distinguished talents (Наредба за условията и реда за осъществяване на закрила на деца с изявени дарби) is adopted (effective from 01.01.2004, last amendment – 31 March 2020). Protection of children with distinguished talents is a system of measures that ensures the development of children’s talents by ensuring financial support and opportunity for expression.
In coordination with the Minister of Education and Science and the Minister of Youth and Sports, every year, not later than the 31st of January, the Minister of Culture submits to the Council of Ministers a Program of measures for protection of children with distinguished talents from state and municipal schools (Програма на мерките за закрила на деца с изявени дарби от държавни и общински училища) for the current calendar year. The program covers the national and international contests, Olympiads and competitions for which protection measures under the Ordinance are implemented by means of lump-sum financial support and scholarships.
In coordination with the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria, on annual basis and within the respective time periods for preparation of the draft state budget for the next year, the Ministry of Culture submits to the Ministry of Finance a summary proposal for funding of the program. The funds allocated for protection measures in 2020 are as follows:
- Ministry of Culture – BGN 502 710 (about EUR 257 000)
- Ministry of Education and Science – BGN 793 050 (about EUR 405 000)
- Ministry of Youth and Sports – BGN 504 240 (about EUR 257 000).
In accordance with the Youth Act (Закон за младежта) (effective from 20.04.2012, last amendment 13 March 2020), the Minister of Youth and Sports is supported by the National Consultative Council on Youth with regard to the implementation of the governmental youth policy. The National Consultative Council on Youth:
1. gives opinions on draft legal regulations and strategic documents relevant to the youth policy;
2. proposes measures for achievement of the objectives of the governmental youth policy;
3. discusses other issues relevant to the implementation of the youth policy.
The National Consultative Council on Youth comprises the following members:
1. deputy minister of youth and sports, deputy minister of economy, deputy minister of tourism, deputy minister of labour and social policy, deputy minister of healthcare, deputy minister of culture, deputy minister of interior, deputy minister of justice, deputy minister of regional development and public works, deputy minister of finance, deputy minister of education and science, deputy chairperson of the Child Protection State Agency;
2. representative of the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria;
3. representative of the National Representation of Student Councils;
4. one representative of each nationally represented youth organisation.