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Bulgaria/ 7. Public institutions in cultural infrastructure  

7.1 Cultural infrastructure: tendencies & strategies

As a result of the dominance of the state, public cultural institutions have retained their leading role and main responsibility for the development of culture in Bulgaria for years. At the same time, by steadily cutting annual public spending on culture, the state gradually relinquished its former "total" responsibility for culture, thus jeopardising the very survival of some cultural institutions. In the past few years, the state has given priority to the re-allocation of public responsibilities to the local level, however, without changing the status of public cultural institutions.

Given the absence of a specific statutory framework and clear agenda of cultural reform, private enterprise aimed at divestment and establishment of non-governmental for-profit (and partly non-profit) organisations has been haphazard and confined to certain spheres of culture only, foremost the media and cultural industries, where a free market model of cultural products and services was partly established.

As regards the NGO sector, support for culture came foremost from outside sources or partners - mainly from the Open Society Foundation and various European Union programmes (Culture, Media, PHARE etc.) , as well as donations from numerous foreign funds and foundations, as well as from expatriate Bulgarians.

Today there are new actors in cultural policies who have diversified the notion of who is responsible for the development of contemporary Bulgarian culture and who are changing the hierarchy of public responsibilities in this area.

Chapter published: 20-01-2011

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