Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure BG-2020-11/501 – Updated – measures in Bulgaria
|Country||Bulgaria , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 13 March 2020 – 30 April 2021|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Income protection beyond short-time work
– Extensions of income support to workers not covered by any kind of protection scheme
|Author||Tsetomila Sabcheva and Luboslav Kostov (Citub)|
|Measure added||12 April 2020 (updated 13 July 2021)|
Independent artists will be entitled to one minimum wage, together with social security contributions, for the period of emergency plus one month thereafter - that is, for three months. The money will be donated through the Culture Fund and will be applied for online and by mail.
Acceptance of applications and then disbursements should start by 15 April 2020. The idea is to support the most needy artists, who have relatively lower incomes compared to others in their industry.
More projects are being considered through the National Culture Fund, for example a drastic increase the budgets of these projects. So far, 10% of their value has been for administrative expenses. In addition, the duration of many cultural projects, which have been delayed by the pandemic, will be extended. In this way the ministry hopes to sustain art teams.
There are around 2,200 freelance artists in Bulgaria. According to preliminary estimates, at least 50% of them will be able to benefit from the measure.
Freelance artists can receive a creative scholarship in the amount of the minimum wage BGN 720 (€360) per month for a period of three months. The measure aims to provide income for the artist who have been affected by the pandemic measures between March and June 2020.
Only artists who had average monthly incomes of less than BGN 1,000 (€500) last year could benefit from the support. The measure will cost BGN 2.7 million (€1.35 million) to the budget of the Ministry of Culture.
A further requirement is that applicants have not received an interest-free loan or other financial support on another basis under a financial assistance measure in the conditions of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Some 1,028 applications were submitted during the application period from 21 to 30 April 2020.
However, on 17 June 2020, artists gathered to protest in front of Ministry of Culture as only 323 independent artists have been approved to receive the aid. Nevertheless, many of the approved applicants did not receive the aid up until end of June 2020, although the programme has been announced in March.
Workers in non-standard forms of employment
|Does not apply to businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
The measure has been proposed after a group of freelance artists sent a letter to the minister of Culture affairs with the request to be supported during the state of emergency. The letter was signed by artists engaged in several cultural projects like 'Sofia Film Fest', 'Derrida Dance Center', 'ONE for Art Culture' Foundation, organising 'One Dance Week', 'Bulgarian Music Association', 'ACT Association for Free Theatre' and many others small theatre companies, producers and independent artists.
The measure was implemented after negotiations with representatives of artists' federation. However, most of the artists did not approve the income requirements and organised a protest in front of the Ministry in June 2020 with a request to amend the programme and support independent artists with a monthly income higher than BGN 1,000 (€500) as well.
|Economic area||Sector (NACE level 2)|
|R - Arts, Entertainment And Recreation||R90 Creative, arts and entertainment activities|
|R93 Sports activities and amusement and recreation activities|
|Occupation (ISCO level 2)|
|Legal, social and cultural professionals|
Eurofound (2020), COVID-19: Assisting artists and freelancers, measure BG-2020-11/501 (measures in Bulgaria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/BG-2020-11_501.html
30 January 2023
Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.Article
12 September 2022
Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.Article
12 September 2022
This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.Article
Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.