BILATERAL AND MULTILATERAL CULTURAL COOPERATION
The International Cultural Policy of Bulgaria is being implemented through the membership in or in cooperation with international organizations such as the EU, Council of Europe, UNESCO, WIPO, ASEM, SEECP, OIF etc., through the implementation of bilateral and multilateral intergovernmental and interministerial agreements, programmes and action plans and through the participation in various international cooperation platforms. In the period 2012-2016, Bulgaria signed more than 80 agreements, memoranda and cultural cooperation programmes.
Bulgaria has 11 cultural institutes abroad that are created as a result of bilateral agreements (Berlin, Bratislava, Budapest, Prague, Moscow, Skopje, Warsaw, Vienna (Wittgenstein House), Paris, London and Rome. Bulgarian cultural institutes abroad actively participate in the network of cultural institutions of the member states of the European Union – EUNIC. State Cultural Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, established in 2006 as a tool of cultural diplomacy. Among the main objectives of the institute are to participate in creating a positive image of contemporary Bulgaria with rich cultural heritage and dynamic modern culture, which contributes to the processes of intercultural dialogue and international cultural cooperation.
Bulgaria is active in all forms of regional cooperation initiatives such as the Council of Ministers of Culture of South-East Europe, established in March 2005.
Active cooperation takes place within the Forum of Slavic Cultures, which is a successful example of partnership between government and non-governmental cultural institutions.
Cultural cooperation is part of the existing grant programmes of the EU with all neighbouring countries. The most successful of these programmes are those in the field of cultural heritage, traditional arts and crafts, as well as youth exchange.
Bulgaria participates actively in the formulation of EU policy in the Black Sea region and European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which also have a cultural dimension.
International cooperation is implemented in accordance with the policy of the Bulgarian state in the field of international relations, priorities for the development of Bulgarian culture and on the basis of existing legal regulations. It includes:
- Increase the Bulgarian presence and the position of Bulgarian culture.
- Building a positive image of Bulgaria as a stable partner in the international cultural policy and international relations by consistently led policy of actively developing relations in the field of culture, based on mutually beneficial contractual relations.
- Promoting the achievements of Bulgarian art and culture abroad and foreign culture in our country.
- Affirmation of the values of cultural diversity.
- Participation of Bulgarian artists in the world art market , facilitating the free movement of artists, of cultural property and cultural products.
- Strengthening the role and mission of culture as a means of preventing and overcoming crisis situations and conflicts.
- Organizing international bilateral events in Bulgaria and abroad.
- Explore opportunities for promotion and dissemination of Bulgarian culture abroad through participation in various international events, competitions, festivals, exhibitions and other appropriate forms, as well as international events taking place in Bulgaria.
- Planning, coordinating and controlling the activities of the Bulgarian cultural institutes abroad. Creation of new cultural institutions based on bilateral treaties.
The participation in international organizations and cooperation platforms and the implementation of bilateral and multilateral agreements for the promotion of Bulgarian culture and of the positive image of the country is expected to establish a dialogue between cultures and to promote the development of friendly and mutually beneficial relations with other countries around the world.
Funding from the budget of the Ministry of Culture through the Programme for Promotion and Presentation of Bulgarian Art and Culture Abroad. The funds envisaged for 2013 amounted to BGN 3,815,900, for 2014 – BGN 4,104,900, and for 2015 – BGN 3,959,402.
Through project subsidies granted by the government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, public and private organizations could participate in initiatives aimed at promoting Bulgarian culture and civilization in Europe and spreading European values among the Bulgarian population.