4.2.7 Intercultural dialogue: actors, strategies, programmesIn Bulgaria, the National Council for Co-operation on Ethnic and Demographic Issues (NCCEDI), under the aegis of the Council of Ministers, is the main national level institution which is responsible for coordinating policies related to intercultural dialogue. It facilitates cooperation between state bodies and NGOs of different minority groups and considers policy proposals submitted by other Ministry departments. Following approval by the Council of Ministers, the NCCEDI monitors, analyses and coordinates measures aimed to:
Regional Councils on ethnic and demographic issues are being created within the administrative structures of district governments. They are responsible for implementing nationally approved measures in their relevant district / region, as well as for developing relevant regional strategies and programmes.
The NCCEDI receives annual funding, from the Council of Minister's budget, to support organisations of ethnic minority groups and their activities. The following types of projects are eligible for funding:
In 2004, the National Council adopted the "Strategy for Educational Integration of Children and Students from Ethnic Minority Groups". This strategy and follow-up action plans were developed by the Ministry of Education and Science for the school years 2004/2005 and 2008/2009. For more specific information on the strategy and the action plan see: http://www.ncedi.government.bg/MoES-STRATEGY.htm and http://www.ncedi.government.bg/1_Action%25PlanStrategyBGL.htm.
One of the conclusions reported on in the national strategy is that "the history and culture of minorities are insufficiently presented" in the general school curricula. Activities designed to address this deficiency are outlined in the National Action Plan:
Both the national strategy and action plan were drawn up on the basis of a report conducted by the International Centre for the Study of Minorities and Cultural Interaction, available from: http://www.imir-bg.org/.
Culture plays a key role in the National Action Plan on the Roma Inclusion Decade (2005-2015). The main purpose of this action plan is to achieve sustainable and cultural integration of the Roma people in Bulgarian society. The following activities have been envisaged:
The authorities responsible for realising these activities are: the Ministry of Culture, the NCCEDI, the Folklore Institute under the Bulgarian Academy of Science and non-governmental organisations.
The European Year for Intercultural Dialogue 2008 was launched in Bulgaria on 30 January 2008 by its National coordinator - the Ministry of Culture - announcing the National project "HOUSE", co-financed by the European Commission. The project consisted of communication events, concerts, thematic films and screenings, specialised publications, exhibitions, conferences, seminars and round tables, 2 events in its main programme, as well as many associated events throughout the country. Several thousand participants were directly involved. A detailed programme and information about the events is available at http://www.dialogue2008.bg/.Additional Resources: