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Observatory of Cultural Economics
65, Iskar St.
Sofia 1527, Bulgaria
t/f: +359 2 846 35 34


The Observatory of Cultural Economics (OCE) is a non-governmental organization, founded in 2008, Sofia. It is a Bulgarian modern think tank for crucial cultural and economics issues, which had during the last 10 years established very good relationships with leading experts and researchers in Bulgaria and abroad working in the area of cultural and creative sector. Over the past years, the Observatory of Cultural Economics has carried out the mapping of the cultural and creative industries in Bulgaria. The research is carried out annually and covers data for the period 2008 – 2015.  On the basis of our project’s analysis of the economic contribution of CCI in Sofia - the city won the title of UNESCO “Creative City of Film“ in 2014. Backed by the initiative and methodology of the Observatory, a program for the support of debut short films by the National Culture Fund (2008) is now in place. The Observatory is a research organization actively involved in the formation of the National Cultural Policy. It created an innovative initiative for the conduct of the first national pre-election debates (2009) – Several important national initiatives have emerged from the debates (2009 – 2017): the funds for culture can reach 1% of GDP; to introduce a new alternative financial instrument - art lottery; culture to become an inseparable part of the economic and political agenda of the development of Bulgaria. An especially important action among the Observatory's activities is the seminars and conferences it delivers. For the period 2011 – 2014, in partnership with the Goethe Institute - Sofia, it held 14 seminars on the theme "Stimulating the development of cultural and creative industries in Bulgaria". This was the first of its kind and largest event in Bulgaria to disseminate knowledge, research and discussions in this field. 

The mission of the Observatory is to observe and analyze the economical aspects of events and processes in the spheres of Bulgarian arts and culture, and to disseminate the collected information to the needs of the cultural sector in the country and abroad. 

The Observatory has set three main goals: 1) to further develop the theory of economic analysis in the area of arts and culture, 2) to encourage cultural practitioners and decision- makers to make use of the theory and practice of economic analysis in the cultural sector, and 3) to support arts and cultural organizations get successfully involved in formulating policies and adopting strategies in the field of culture. 

To achieve these goals the Observatory initiates the creation of networks in the field of cultural economics and development of national and international projects in compliance with the modern trends in the creative economy.  

 Its main activities include: 

  • Conducting of applied research, comparative analysis and empirical surveys in the sphere of economy of culture; 
  • Disseminating reliable, impartial and wide-ranging information; 
  • Performing consultancy services to the cultural community; 
  • Supporting the excellence of continuing training and education in the area of arts and culture; 
  • Holding seminars, public discussions, conferences, etc; 
  • Making evaluation of cultural events and their progress in time, using developed to this end annual indexes; 
  • Developing and putting into practice a system of quantitative and qualitative indicators specifically related to the cultural sector.  

Selected researches, projects, seminars, debates, round tables, publications: 

  • ·         Legislative and financial aspects of the activities of the National Fund "Culture", 2008 (applied research); 
  • ·         The Observatory of Cultural Economics Sofia created a concept and methodology for the program "Short cinema" – coordinated by the National Cultural Fund (2008); 
  • ·         Virtual Culture and its impact on Cultural Tourism: The Experience of the Southeast European Countries (e.g. Bulgaria). Study and publication supported by UNESCO and CULTURELINK, 2008 – 2009; 
  • ·         Socio-economic role of the festivals in Bulgaria (applied research, partnership) 2009 – 2010; 
  • ·         Sustainable development of the Bulgarian culture with the funding support from the gaming industry (applied research, partnership) 2009 – 2010; 
  • ·         Inertia or development: analysis of the efficiency of public cost of culture for the period 1988 – 2009 (e.g. the film industry and performing arts) - (applied research in partnership with the Center for Culture and Debate Red House- Sofia) 2009; 
  • ·         The global financial and economic crisis and Bulgarian Culture – restrictions implemented, expected impacts (applied research supported by the Institute Open Society - Sofia) 2009; 
  • ·         Series of pre-election debates of the topic Culture & Policy (2009-2017) (with preliminary preparation of analytical research text about: the role of the President and Bulgarian culture, role of the municipalities and Bulgarian culture, role of the EU in the Bulgarian culture, financing and legislation of the arts and cultural industries and other topics);
  • ·         Bulgarian Cinema: facts, trends. Yearly publication in partnership with the National Film Agency and Program Media – Bulgaria (since 2010), ongoing; 
  • ·         Analysis and methodological framework of the cultural and creative industries in Sofia, 2010 – 2011. Research project in partnership between the Observatory of Culture Economics, Sofia Municipality and the National Statistical Institute; 
  • ·         Seminar series “Stimulating the development of cultural and creative industries in Bulgaria”, a common project of the Observatory of Cultural Economics together with Goethe-Institute Bulgaria (14 small conferences).  2011 – 2014; 
  • ·         Develop a more transparent, efficient and effective mechanism for the selection, monitoring and evaluation of events in the Sofia City Cultural Events Calendar. 2012 – 2013. Sofia Municipality Europe Program Project, 2012; 
  • ·         Sofia Creative City of Film of UNESCO, a project of the Observatory of Cultural Economics and Sofia Municipality, strongly supported by the Bulgarian film community 2014;
  • ·         Strategy “Sofia Creative City of Film 2017 – 2027“; a project in partnership between the Observatory of Cultural Economics and Sofia Municipality. 2016 – 2017,; 
  • ·         "Sofia City of Creative Economy", a project in partnership between the Observatory of Cultural Economics, Sofia Municipality and the National Statistical Institute, 2016 – 2018;

The team:


Diana Andreeva

Bilyana Tomova

Irina Ivancheva

Rozalina Laskova




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