14-04-2020

Bulgaria Announces Financial Support for Culture

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SOFIA: Bulgaria’s Minister of Culture Boil Banov announced on 10 April 2020 a package of emergency financial measures aimed at the cultural sector. The beneficiaries of the aid include both independent artists as well as state and municipal cultural institutions. The announcement came one day after a video conference that brought together the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel and the EU Ministers of Culture.

The measures declare that freelance artists who had less than 500 EUR monthly income in 2019 will receive the minimum wage of 610 BGN (312 EUR) for a period of three months. According to calculations of the Ministry of Labour and Social Politics,, approximately 1,200 of nearly 2,200 independent artists will receive support totaling 1,350,000 EUR.

Those whose monthly income was above 500 EUR are eligible to apply for monthly interest-free loans of up to 750 EUR each, repayable over the next 10 years.

State and municipal performing arts institutes will get subsidies covering at least six months subsequent to the start of the state of emergency.

If needed, the National Fund for Culture managed by the Ministry of Culture will restructure some of its calls in order to direct more funds to the independent cultural sector. Some regulations will be updated to allow eligible costs to include an increase of administration costs to 30%, and numerous deadlines will be extended.

Since 31 March 2020 legal entities with artistic and creative activities and screening halls throughout the country have been able to apply for state support to cover 60% of the monthly wages of their employees, if their jobs are preserved.

Eleven professional film organisations and the Bulgarian National Film Center have formed an ad hoc group which held an online meeting on 8 April 2020 to discuss possible changes in the regulations of the state institution.    

No other additional financial aids specifically targeted at the film sector have been officially announced to date.