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Council of Europe

Culturelink review, no.23/November 1997 - contents - imprint - archive

Bulgarian Cultural Policy in a State of Transition

National Report, European Programme of National Cultural Policy Reviews
Council of Europe Culture Committee, 1997, 238 pp.

The National Report entitled The Cultural Policy of Bulgaria in the Transition Period is an analytical survey covering the 1990-95 period. It has been prepared at the request of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria by the Institute of Culturology, Sofia, in order to meet the demands of the Council of Europe's Review Programme of National Cultural Policies Development. By succeeding to accomplish that task, Bulgaria has become the tenth in a series of country reviews being undertaken under the auspices of the Council of Europe, soon to be followed by Croatia and Portugal.

The transition to democracy and market economy in the post-communist world opens wide horizons for the development of culture, at the same time placing culture under new and extremely difficult conditions in these countries. The study on Bulgarian cultural policy is oriented towards analysing the running processes, as well as cultural and political activities necessary to regulate them, maintaining a mostly descriptive character. A team of researchers, headed by Mr. L. Koprinarov, has fulfilled the task very well. The report is shaped to answer the expectations of two groups of readers - experts in the field of cultural research and a broader audience (politicians, artists, cultural administration representatives, etc.).

The problems of financing and regulation of cultural policy have been given special emphasis, because they are most acute and difficult to solve, and also among the most poorly studied and systematised ones so far in Bulgaria. Also, the area of copyright and related rights is thoroughly described, presenting the legislative measures taken recently in order to solve the problem of 'piracy' in the cultural industry of Bulgaria.

Taken as a whole, this report offers a closer insight into the somewhat contradictory process of emerging cultural policy in Bulgaria at an early stage of its post-communist development.

However, the report points out the facts that are characteristic not only for Bulgaria, but also for some other countries 'in transition' facing the need to cope with the rapidly changing context of their societies, including the sphere of culture.

Some of these facts are the following: the understanding of culture as a precondition for social development is not present; the decentralisation of the state cultural policy encounters stubborn resistance; the financial management of culture is in a bad state, etc. On the other hand, the report evaluates the new subjects of cultural policy that only recently appeared on the stage, offering competitive visions of cultural development - private cultural institutes, foundations, religious communities, and the like. This situation, marking a growing demonopolization and liberalization in the field of cultural policy, may lead towards a 'new spirit' in the Bulgarian cultural policy.

For more information, please contact: Council of Europe, Cultural Policy and Action Division, F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France, tel.: (33 3) 88 41 2632; fax: (33 3) 88 41 2753.

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Arts Education in Europe: A Survey

by Ken Robinson, Culture Committee, Strasbourg, 1997, 188 pp.

Within its Culture, Creativity and the Young project, the Council of Europe's Culture Committee has now published Arts Education in Europe: A Survey by Professor Ken Robinson. The survey of current provisions for the arts in formal education at primary and secondary levels was presented in Culturelink (See Culturelink no. 21/April 1997, pp. 41-42).

For more information, please contact: Cultural Policy and Action Division, Council of Europe, 67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France, tel.: (33 3) 88 41 26 32; fax: (33 3) 88 41 37 52.

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European Institute of Cultural Itineraries

The Cultural Routes Programme of the Council of Europe was launched in 1987 with the revival of the famous routes which in the Middle Ages led innumerable pilgrims from different parts of Europe towards Santiago de Compostela (Spain). The establishment of routes, illustrating the overall unity and internal diversification of European culture, stressed the aims and ideals of enhancing a European identity coupled with a genuine respect for the cultural heritage and beliefs of others, being moreover conducive to the enhancement of cultural tourism.

A number of cultural routes have thus been set up by the Cultural Policy and Action Division under the supervision of the Culture Committee and CDCC. These include: Santiago de Compostela, Rural Habitat, Silk and Textiles, Baroque, Monastic Influence, Mozart, Hanseatic Cities, the Vikings, Parks and Gardens, Great Geographical Discoveries, and Humanism.

On each of these themes, seminars and expert meetings have been held, resulting in a clear identification of the respective transnational cultural routes and, in most cases, in the setting up of permanent networks, each with its own co-ordinating centre and newsletter or review. Shortly, all networks should be established and/or consolidated, increasingly taking charge of the implementation of self-funding projects and activities. For this they will receive support from the European Institute of Cultural Itineraries, created on 1 July 1997 in Luxembourg on the joint initiative of the Luxembourg authorities and the Council of Europe. The Institute will examine newly proposed itineraries, coordinate and technically assist the networks, and set up a data base.

The responsibility of providing information, communication and documentation to the networks and other interested bodies or individuals is entrusted to the Cultural Routes Resource Centre set up in 1997 in Luxembourg.

For further information, please contact: European Institute of Cultural Itineraries, Tour Jacob - Plateau du Rahm, 2427 Luxembourg; tel.: (352) 24 12 50; fax: (352) 24 11 76.