Community centres hold a special place in the country's ongoing cultural policy for culture development at national, regional and local levels. They serve as an established factor for developing a civil society mindset in Bulgaria, including, inter alia, by applying the principles of tolerance and respect for cultural expression of all communities in the country and beyond.
As of 2019, there are 3,682 community centres registered in Bulgaria, 1/4 of which are in cities and the rest in villages.
According to the provisions of the Public Community Centres Act, they are traditional self-governing Bulgarian cultural and educational associations established in settlements nationwide, which also perform state cultural and educational tasks. All individuals, regardless of their age and gender, political and religious beliefs and ethnic self-awareness, may participate in their activities. In addition to general cultural and educational tasks, they are also called upon to help preserve the customs and traditions of the Bulgarian nation in its vast diversity.
Community centres enable equal representation of different ethnic and religious communities, as well as people of different genders and faiths. Thus, community centres become an expression of the cultural-ethnic identity for the people who establish them. This is where different elements of cultural expression continuity and diversity can be noticed most distinctly.
Community centres themselves have become initiators and organisers of numerous festivals and cultural events of a diverse nature and format, in which the country's various ethnic communities display their traditional culture preserved over the years.
Indicatively, the country's community centres are becoming a vivid expression hub for concepts set forth in the series of international regulations adopted in recent years, which were also ratified by Bulgaria.
Since the dawn of their creation, Bulgarian community centres, by their very nature, have applied the basic principles of these documents in terms of preserving and promoting cultural expression diversity, as well as enabling different cultures to flourish and engage in mutually enriching free interaction.
With its sustainable development programmes and policies, the Ministry of Culture creates real prerequisites for establishing the existing and introducing new cultural and educational activities in community centres.
The Ministry's priorities are activities aimed at children and young people, intangible cultural heritage protection, non-professional art development, cultural integration of ethnic communities, disabled people, active ageing, equal involvement of women and men in cultural life, etc.
The Ministry supports the community centres' budget by allocating additional subsidised units. The allocation was made in compliance with the Regulations for allocating budget resources for additional subsidised units to public community centres per region, municipality, settlement, and per community centre.
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Organisation de la société civile (OSC)
Annual reports present the benefits and contributions to developing this sector as a result of the support provided.