The „Culture and Creativity“ Partnership

The Mayor of Sofia Municipality Yordanka Fandakova met with mayors and deputy mayors from Kyustendil, Pernik, Burgas, Gabrovo, representatives of the National Association of the Municipalities of the Republic of Bulgaria and different Bulgarian professional associations and clusters, non-governmental organizations, universities and businesses related to culture, representatives of the network of European cultural institutes in Bulgaria, to discuss and develop the „Culture and Creativity“ partnership. The meeting was hosted by the Sofia Development Association.

Mrs. Fandakova presented the implementation of Bulgaria’s first cultural development strategy „Sofia – Creative Сapital 2013-2023“ and emphasized the vision, consistent policy measures, achievements and potential of Sofia as a city for development of and through culture. „We know that many other municipalities in Bulgaria have similar stories and achievements. That’s the exact point of this meeting – to join forces, so that our cities can be stronger at the European level and also to take advantage of new opportunities, specifically in the field of culture,“ she said.

Mrs. Malina Edreva, Chairperson of the Education, Culture, Science and Cultural Diversity Standing Committee of Sofia Municipality, led the discussion, that focused on the future. Svetlana Lomeva and Sevdalina Voynova from the Sofia Development Association presented the upcoming second European Innovation Campus that will be held in Sofia on June 8-9, 2023, and is organized together with Maria Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, and the vision for the „Culture and Creativity“ partnership, whose goal is to jointly protect the interests of Sofia and Bulgaria, to put them on the European map and to contribute to European policies as a whole.

The event’s participants all agreed that Sofia has the capacity to be a regional center of cultural and the creative sectors and industries for Southeast Europe, and a common platform can give many opportunities for support, advocacy, projects and mutual support and exchange.

„We have been waiting for such an initiative for a long time. We want to have such a partnership, with Bulgaria as the center for it. We must be proactive and united,“ said Genoveva Hristova, chairman of CreaTech Bulgaria.

The Executive Director of the National Association of the Municipalities of the Republic of Bulgaria Silvia Georgieva expressed the Association’s support for the initiative and emphasized that the unification of all Bulgarian municipalities can provide a suitable platform for the exchange of ideas and knowledge for the development of the partnership. She also pointed to the project of a concept for integrated territorial investments in the South-West Development Region developed by the Association’s consulting team, which is specifically aimed at the development of cultural and creative industries through the perspective of information and communication technologies, and added that this is an example of consistency in policy of Sofia as an established generator of economic growth. NAMRB will be a partner in the upcoming European Innovation Campus in early June, which will be hosted by Sofia. 

A cooperation agreement with all interested parties is to be drawn up and signed.