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The Ministry of Culture was restructured at the end of 2009 for the second time in recent years.


Local authorities are increasingly independent and are drawing up their own cultural policies, as well as taking decisions on their co-financing and development.

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Bulgaria/ 3. Competence, decision-making and administration  

3.2 Overall description of the system

At the national level, responsibility for the formulation and implementation of cultural policies is shared between the legislature (the National Assembly), and the executive (the Council of Ministers). At the local level, cultural policies are implemented by the bodies of local self-government.

The supreme central executive body with the right to initiate legislation in the sphere of culture and formulate the main principles of national cultural policy is the Ministry of Culture.

The Ministry of Culture is headed by a Minister, Deputy Ministers and a Secretary General. The Office of the Minister includes a Political Cabinet with Protocol Service and Public Relations Service, and an Inspectorate. The Minister is advised mainly by a Collegium and several expert councils representing various arts fields.

The Minister is entitled to appoint his / her own political cabinet, which supports him / her in reaching and promoting concrete decisions concerning governmental policy and its promotion in society. The Political Cabinet comprises deputy-ministers, the head of the Cabinet, the Parliamentary Secretary and the head of The Public Relations Unit. There are three specialised units within the structure of the Cabinet - Protocol Service, Inspectorate and Internal Audit Units. The Minister is advised mainly by a Collegium of the Ministry and the Public Expert Councils representing various arts fields. The structure of the Ministry has been changed two times in the last four years.

The current structure of the Ministry came into force in November 2009 (In June 2010 a third deputy minister was appointed to take charge of the new theatre reform). With the introduction of the new Structural Regulation of the Ministry of Culture, some serious transformations were made. The structure includes one major directorate - the "Inspectorate for Protection of Cultural Heritage" and even 9 directorates, 6 of which are specialised directorates for "Cultural Heritage", "Legal Affairs and Property Management", "Coordination of Programmes and Projects", "Cultural Policy", "Arts and Creativity" and "Copyright and Neighbouring Rights". The Secretary General is in charge of the directorates which deal with the resource management policy: "Human Resources, Administrative and Business Affairs", "Budgeting and Financial Resource Management" and "Property Management".

With the introduction of the new Structural Regulation of the Ministry of Culture in June 2006, the Council of Ministers transformed the existing national art centres (the National Music and Dance Centre, the National Centre of Museums, Galleries and Visual Arts, the National Book Centre and the National Theatre Centre), which had been "arms-length" structures with an autonomous legal status and budget, into Directorates. The reason given for this transformation was failure to optimise the resource options in previous years. The centres had not been able to raise any significant non-budget (external) funding and budget funds could not be assigned only to independent experts or structures. "It is necessary to more carefully allocate taxpayers' money in the operational legislative regulations, while rendering an account of the reasonable security and financial effectiveness" (Kr. Philipova, former director of the National Theatre Centre and current director of the new Directorate).

The Executive Agency "National Film Centre" and the National Institute of Monuments of Culture, which is in charge of the protection of cultural landscapes, remain structures with an autonomous legal status and budget.

The activities of the Executive Agency and the Institute are guided by a programme approved by the Minister of Culture, supervised by a deputy minister and implemented by their respective directors.

The lower levels of cultural competencies correspond to the constitutional division of territorial administrative units: districts (oblast) and municipalities (obshtina). The main unit of territorial administration is the municipality (of which there are 262), which is legally autonomous, and has property rights and freedom of association. At the municipal level, cultural competence is exercised in the form of local self-government, including financial control which is distributed among the respective municipal Councils on Culture.

Chapter published: 20-01-2011

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