The Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of intangible Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe came into being in 2008 as it was registered as a non-profit organization in accordance with the Bulgarian legislation.
With Resolution adopted on the 35th session of UNESCO General Conference on October 2009, the Regional Centre is recognized as a regional centre (category 2) under the auspices of UNESCO.
On Novermber 10, 2017 the Director-General of UNESCO – Ms Irina Bokova (2009-2017) and the minister of culture of the Republic of Bulgaria – Mr Boil Banov signed the Agreement regarding the continuation in Sofia (Bulgaria) of the Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe under the auspices of UNESCO. This Agreement is concluded for a period of six years as from its entry into force. The Agreement is ratified by law and promulgated in State Gazette issue № 32 from 13.04.2018.
The Agreement between UNESCO and the Government of Republic of Bulgaria regarding the establishment in Sofia of a Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe under auspices of UNESCO ((Category 2) was signed on October 25, 2010 in Paris (France).
On March 16, 2011 Bulgarian Parliament adopted the Law on ratification of the Agreement and then it enters into force.
UNESCO Director-General, Ms Irina Bokova, together with the former Foreign Minister, Mr Nikolay Mladenov, former Culture Minister, Mr Vezhdi Rashidov and the former President of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, acad. Nikola Sabotinov, officially inaugurated on February 20, 2012 in Sofia the Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe under the auspices of UNESCO.
- THE ORGANIZATION
Cofounders of the Sofia Centre are Ministry of Culture of Republic of Bulgaria, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Bulgaria and Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
The necessary funds for the running costs of the Sofia Centre are provided by the Bulgarian Government. For this purpose a specific article in the Bulgarian Cultural Heritage Act is amended.
Scope: On the session of the General Assembly, two new member states from South-Eastern Europe were unanimously and enthusiastically welcomed as part of the Centre. Until today, the Regional Centre has 17 Мember States: Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Albania, Republic of Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Bulgaria, Republic of Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Georgia, Republic of Greece, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Republic of North Macedonia, Republic of Serbia, Republic of Slovenia, Republic of Türkiye and Ukraine. The scope of the Regional Centre is expected to expand in the forthcoming years.