From January 1, 2024, Sofia will be a full member of the Society for Culture and Creativity at the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT CCSI eV). The organization was established in 2021 with the aim of strengthening and transforming the cultural and creative sectors and industries by connecting creators and organizations in the largest innovation network in Europe.
In 2023, on the initiative of Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality in the period 2009-2023, the activities of the Society were presented to artists, cultural operators, businesses and local authorities, as the activity and opportunities provided by the structure aroused serious interest among the various participants in the cultural process and confirmed the leadership position of Sofia in it. Yordanka Fandakova was invited and Sofia became one of the founders of the Policy Club at the Society.
With Decision 925 of September 14 this year, the Metropolitan Municipal Council entrusted the Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality with the organization of the application for full membership.
The Culture and Creativity Society has a budget of EUR 300 million under the Horizon Europe program for the current program period 2021-2027.
This funding, together with the additional attracted public and private funds, will be invested to achieve the set ambitious goals and support the cultural and creative sectors and industries. Initiatives in the fields of education, innovation, business and cultural development will be organized and supported in order to improve the competitiveness of European cultural and creative sectors and industries, and their capabilities for green, digital and social transition.
Innovative educational programs for masters, doctoral students and continuing education, innovation projects that will lead to the creation of new products and services with greater market potential will be supported; businesses and enterprises in the start-up phase or during their growth; initiatives that strengthen cultural identities and values, as well as social cohesion, etc.
In order to achieve the balanced and expedient spending of funds, six regional centers (Co-location centers) have been created to ensure better interaction with local representatives of sectors and industries.
At the moment, Southeast Europe is entrusted to the regional center in Vienna, but the representatives of the Society are aware that the development of culture and creative industries in the Balkans have their specifics. This provides an opportunity for the Metropolitan Municipality, as a full member of the Society, to work for the opening of a new regional center in Sofia.
Full membership in the Society for Culture and Creativity at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology can become a key tool for fulfilling the goals of the new strategy for the development of culture in the Metropolitan Municipality.
Strategy “Culture and the arts – the new energy for sustainable development of Sofia” 2023-2033 outlines a shared vision and goals for the development of culture and arts in Sofia for the period 2023-2033, building on what has been achieved in the area in the previous 10 years and taking into account the new role of culture and the arts as a driver of sustainable development for the next 10 years until 2033.
The strategy integrates elements of the New European Agenda for Culture, while in parallel this document builds on Sofia’s strengths and opportunities, seeking to use the full potential of culture to help build a more inclusive and fairer city.