Title of the call for project proposals


Call number



The Programme focuses on the role that culture and movable cultural heritage play as an engine for local and regional development by putting an accent on employment, social inclusion and entrepreneurship in the cultural sector.

The general objective of the Programme is to strengthen social and economic development through cultural cooperation, cultural entrepreneurship and cultural heritage management. To achieve this, the Programme will promote cultural entrepreneurship initiatives, the ultimate goal of which is to reduce economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area and to strengthen the relations between the Donor States – Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein – and the Republic of Bulgaria.

In order to enhance the exchange and cooperation between organizations from the Donor States and Bulgaria, the Programme Operator – the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture – partners with Arts Council - Norway for the implementation of the Programme.

The specific goal of Outcome 1 is to enhance cultural heritage management by supporting projects aimed at presenting cultural heritage in revitalized, restored and renovated spaces (Output 1.1) and by making cultural heritage objects digitally accessible (Output 1.2). Therefore, through this call the PO will select and support project proposals that best contribute to achieving Output 1.2 and are focused on one or more of the following thematic areas:

a) Enhanced management and presentation of cultural heritage, incl. through revitalization, restoration and renovation of spaces;

b) Promotion of cultural entrepreneurship.

Projects under this call will be evaluated and selected in three stages:

1.       Stage 1. Evaluation of the administrative compliance and eligibility of the applicant/partner.

2.       Stage 2. Technical and financial evaluation of the project proposals.

3.       Stage 3. Selection Committee issues a final list of projects to be supported.

Eligible applicants

  • Eligible applicants are non-commercial public entities[1], established as legal persons on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria and whose principal activity is in the cultural and creative sectors (as defined in Regulation (EU) No 1295/2013 establishing the Creative Europe Programme) including municipalities and regional administrations.
  • Natural persons are not eligible project promoters.
  • The applicant should have the administrative, financial and operational capacity to implement the project.
  • Each applicant may submit only one project proposal under this call. In case an applicant has submitted more than one project proposal, only the last project proposal submitted within the deadline will be admitted for evaluation. All previous project proposals will be considered withdrawn.

Eligible partners

  • Eligible partners under this call are any non-commercial, public or private, entity and non-governmental organizations, established as a legal person in Bulgaria or in the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).
  • Natural persons are not eligible project partners.
  • Under this call, the partnership is desirable but not obligatory. The PO will encourage projects which are based on partnerships between the applicants and partners from the Donor States.
  • Projects which envisage the implementation of activities together with partners from the Donor States will receive additional points during the assessment of the project proposals.
  • There is no limit to the number of project partners and one partner can participate in more than one project proposal.

Requirements of eligibility

The projects under this call must correspond to the following mandatory requirements of eligibility:

a.       The activities provided for in the project proposals can be implemented on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria and in the case of a partnership – on the territory of the partner(s) from the Donor States.

b.      Each project proposal must provide for the creation of at least 2 new jobs.

c.       Each project proposal must include an activity for revitalization[2] of spaces of/in cultural heritage institutes.

d.      Each project proposal must include the activity of organizing a new exhibition.

e.       The project proposals must provide an activity for training of management and expert personnel of the Project Promoter in the subject area of Output 1.1. (for more information see item 9, letter “e” of the Application Guidelines):

f.       Each project proposal must include activity for development of an entrepreneurship plan, which should be implemented for a period of 5 years after its creation. The plan can be updated if necessary.

g.       Each project proposal must include an activity for the formation of a project management team, and each Project Promoter is directly responsible for the management of the project and for achieving quality implementation of the proposed activities (for more information see item 9, letter “g” of the Application Guidelines).

h.      Each project proposals must include an activity for publicity and information on the objectives and the activities of the project as well as on the financial contribution of the EEA Grants, including the development of a bilingual (in Bulgarian and in English) web-page for the relevant project. The activity shall correspond to the criteria described in the Communication and Design Manual of the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021 and to the ones set by the Regulation on the Implementation of the EEA FM 2014-2021.

i.        Each project proposal must include a risk analysis and it should be detailed by the applicant in the Application Form, Section 11 “Additional information necessary to assess the project proposal” (see more information in item 9, letter “i” of the Application Guidelines).


  • This Call allows the approved projects to generate revenue.
  • If the project is implemented with a partner, then it is mandatory to include funding for the project partner, and this must be detailed in item 5 “Budget” in the Application Form as follows:

- If representatives/employees of the partner(s) are performing project implementation activities, then their costs should be detailed in the “Expenditures for experts” category;

- The participation of representatives/employees of the partner(s) in the project management team is not an expense for the partner, but an expense for the Project Promoter for project management. In this case, the Project Promoter should include the salaries and travel expenses for all members of the project management team (as well as for the representatives/employees of the partner(s) included in the project management team) in the category “Expenditures for project management” in the budget.

  • Applicants under this Call do not have the right to submit project proposals if the proposals include products or results which have been already created/achieved or such which are in the process of implementation or such for which funding has been provided under another project, programme or any other funding scheme based on the national budget, the budget of the EU or on other donor programme.
  • Ineligible for funding under this Call are activities which have started before the date of signing of the project contract.
  • The planned duration of each project in respect to the grant funding, including the including the activities provided for therein, cannot exceed 24 months.

Deadline for submitting applications

  • Deadline for submitting project proposals: 18 August 2021, 5:30 PM (UTC+2)
  • Applicants who wish to participate under this Call must prepare and submit a project proposal by filling in the web-based Application Form with an electronic signature in the EUMIS 2020 system at .
  • Before submitting project proposals, the applicants may request clarifications from the PO regarding the grant procedure by sending enquiries via e-mail at The questions can be asked no later than 21 days before the deadline for submission, and the clarifications will be published within 10 days of receipt of the questions, but no later than 14 days before the deadline for submission of project proposals.
  • A project proposal submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Selection process

  • The evaluation and the selection of the project proposals will be organized by the PO in three stages: 1) Administrative compliance and eligibility (ACE); 2) Technical and financial evaluation (TFE) and 3) Selection Committee (SC).
  • For the evaluation of the applications the PO establishes an Evaluation Commission that includes a non-voting Chairperson, non-voting Secretary and experts to carry out the ACE and TFE. For the TFE at least 50% of the assessing experts should be independent from the PO and the SC.
  • In case inaccuracies are detected, the Evaluation Commission will request the applicant to eliminate them only once, and it should be done within the period set by the Evaluation Commission of 7 working days. Failure to eliminate them is grounds for rejection of the project proposal.
  • Only project proposals that have passed the stage of administrative compliance are allowed to be assessed for eligibility.
  • Only project proposals that have passed the ACE stage are allowed to reach the TFE stage.
  • An applicant whose project proposal is rejected can submit a written objection to the Head of the PO within a week (7 calendar days) following the notification.
  • At the TFE stage the project proposal is assessed independently by 2 assessors, and each could score it with up to 100 points in their evaluation sheet. In order for a project proposal to be considered for funding, the average score from the 2 TFE assessors must be equal to or greater than 60 points.
  • During the TFE process, the Evaluation Commission can ask questions to the applicants if it finds circumstances that require further explanations on the budget regarding quantitative and/or value indicators of the proposed costs. The same circumstances can lead to a reduction of the budget of the project proposal.
  • For the selection of the project proposals the PO establishes a Selection Committee that reviews the list of the proposed for funding project proposals (in the order of their ranking and the size of the allocated funding), a list of reserve projects, list with the rejected project proposals and the reasons for their rejection, and a list of withdrawn project proposals (if any). The SC proposes the final list to the Head of the PO who takes the final decision.

Total budget of the Call


Maximum and minimum amount of grant per project

The maximum grant applied for should be €400,000

The minimum grant applied for should be €150,000

Project grant rate

  • The maximum grant rate is 100% of the total eligible expenditure of a project.
  • The Project Promoter has the right to an advance payment of up to 30% of the agreed project budget.
  • The total value of the advance and the interim payments shall not exceed 80% of the project’s budget as laid down in the project contract. The Programme Operator retains 20% of the agreed budget until the approval of the Project Promoter’s final report.

Duration of the projects

  • Up to 24 months, but not longer than 30 April 2024.
  • Expenditures incurred after 30 April 2024 will not be considered eligible.

Contacts for more information

Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria

E-mail:, Tel. (+359) 2 9400 916.

Budgetary organizations within the meaning of §1, item 5 of the Additional Provisions of the Public Finance Act of the Republic of Bulgaria.

[2] For the purposes of this call, revitalization, restoration and renovation means the introduction of a qualitative change in the interior, exterior elements, purchase of equipment and/or new design in spaces representing and promoting cultural value items or visited by an audience that will give them new life, energy and attractiveness. A project under this Call could also include the revitalization of spaces functioning as museum shops, libraries, conference halls, etc., but their renovation is admissible only if it is in addition to the revitalization of exhibition spaces for permanent and temporary exhibitions.