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 absolute responsibility for culture, thus jeopardising the very survival of some cultural institutions. In the past few years, the state has given priority to the reallocation of public responsibilities to the local level, however, without changing the status of public cultural institutions.
There is no specific statutory framework and clear agenda of cultural reform. The private enterprise aimed at divestment and establishment of non-governmental for-profit (and partly non-profit) organisations has been haphazard. They operate in certain spheres of culture only, foremost the media and cultural industries, where a free market model of cultural products and services was partly established.
Regarding NGOs, support for culture came foremost from external sources or partners – mainly from the Open Society Foundation and various European Union programmes (like Creative Europe), as well as donations from numerous foreign funds and foundations (EEA Grants), and from expatriate Bulgarians.