1. We, a group of citizens invited by the Mayor of Sofia Municipality, are gathering to work voluntarily and without commissions for the cause Sofia to be elected for European capital of culture in 2019.

2. Out activity will help Sofia Municipality and Sofia Development Association, which is obliged with Resolution 677/ 02.12.2010 of the Sofia Municipal Council to be in charge of the organization of posing Sofia’s candidature for European capital of culture in 2019.

3. Our goals are:

3.1. To popularize Sofia as a candidate for European Capital of Culture 2019;

3.2. To facilitate the development of Sofia as a modern European city that has the spirit of the Bulgarian history and culture;

3.3. To support the sustainable growth, enterprise and initiative of Sofia and its residents;

3.4. To encourage the liaisons between the cultural operators and the business as a factor for dynamic and sustainable growth;

3.5. To encourage forums for ongoing dialog between the civil society, business, state institutions, municipal administration for creating a public environment that respects the ethnical and cultural diversity of the region and the modern democratic valuables;

3.6. To build eco culture and public environment suitable for development, culture and sports in Sofia;

4. The activities, which with we will support the candidature of Sofia for European Capital of Culture, are:

4.1. Consulting the preparation of  vision, strategy and documents regarding the candidature of Sofia for European Capital of Culture 2019;

4.2. Dissemination of information for the candidature, lobbing, supporting the provision of publicity and involving the civic society in the process of preparation the candidature of Sofia for European Capital of Culture 2019;

4.3. Supporting the process of fundraising, consulting the business plan development and ways for provision of sustainable benefits from the election of Sofia for European Capital of Culture 2019.

5. The means for achievement of our goals are:

5.1. Initiatives and participation in official events on national and international level for popularization of the candidature of Sofia for European Capital of Culture in 2019;

5.2. Initiation and participation in work meetings, conferences, forums;

5.3. Initiation and participation in analyzes, surveys, consulting;

5.4. Initiation and participation in fundraising campaigns and other methods for financing;

5.5. Building partnerships on local and international level aiming to popularize and support the candidature of Sofia for European Capital of Culture in 2019.

6. Regarding the facilitation of the organization of our activity:

6.1. We will gather at least once a year and at these meetings we will report our activity for the past year and approve an action plan for the next one;

We will organize our activity in three discussion forums: „Forum for creative program of the initiative”; „Forum for visual identity of the initiative”; „Forum for financial sustainability of the initiative”. The discussion forums will gather at least once every two months and participation will be voluntary. A protocol from the discussion forums will be kept and send out electronically to all of us.

This document was adopted on a meeting of the Initiative committee “Friends for Sofia – European capital of culture”, held on 18.04.2011 in Sofia.


  • Yordanka Fandakova – Mayor, Sofia Municipality
  • Elen Gerdzhikov – Chairperson, Sofia Municipal Council
  • Albena Spasova – Member of the Organizational Committee, International Triennial of Stage Poster 
  • Prof. Alexander Kyossev - Director, Sofia University Cultural Centre
  • Andrea Bocelli - Musician
  • Andrey Ivanov - Municipal Councillor
  • Andrey Kovachev - Member of the European Parliament
  • Blagoy Ragin - Chairperson, Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association
  • Boyko Boychev - Manager MSH Arena Armeec Sofia
  • Boris Missirkov - Photographer 
  • Prof. Valeri Stefanov – Literary Critic
  • Vassil Dimitrov - Director, Cantus Firmus
  • Velislava Popova  - Editor-in-Chief, Dnevnik newspaper
  • Vicky Politova - Director, BTV Media Group 
  • Vladimir Kissyov - Municipal Councillor
  • Vyara Ankova - Director, Bulgarian National TV
  • Assoc. Prof. Georgi Lozanov - Media Expert
  • Arch. Georgi Bakalov - Chairperson, Union of Architects in Bulgaria
  • Dessislava Gavrilova- Director, The Red House - Centre for Culture and Debate
  • Diana Miteva - Chairperson, Ladies’ Forum
  • Prof. Dimitar Momchilov - Rector,  National Academy of Music "Prof. Pancho Vladigerov" 
  • Dimitar Paskalev - Architects for Sofia Association 
  • Elizabeth Kostova - Writer

  • Emil Tabakov Conductor, composer
  • Ennio Morricone - Composer
  • Zhelyo Boychev – Member of Parliament
  • Prof. Zheni Zaharieva - Chairperson, Union of Bulgarian Musicians and Dancers  
  • Ivan Drandiyski – Director, Arena Armeec Sofia
  • Prof. Ivan Ilchev  - Rector, Sofia University
  • Ivan Pavlov - Chairperson, Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers 
  • Ivo Hadzhimishev  - Photographer 
  • Irina Yordanova - Municipal Councillor
  • Irina Savina - Deputy Mayor, Sofia Municipality
  • Kiril Valchev – Jornalist
  • Koprinka Chervenkova – Editor-in-Chief, Culture newspaper
  • Krasimir Uzunov - Director, Focus Information Agency
  • Maxim Minchev - Director, Bulgarian Telegraph Agency
  • Malina Edreva -  Municipal Councillor
  • Maria Bozhkova - Director, International Relations Department, Sofia Municipality
  • Meglena Kuneva - EU Commissioner /2007- 2010/
  • Arch. Nikolay Barovsky - Chairperson of the Chamber of Architects - Sofia
  • Ognyan Donev - Chairperson, Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria
  • Penny Raeva - Executive Director, National Palace of Culture 
  • Arch. Petar Dikov  - Chief Architect, Sofia Municipality
  • Prof. Petya Bagovska - Chairperson, Union of Bulgarian Musicians and Dancers
  • Assoc. Prof. Plamen Bochkov - Rector of New Bulgarian University
  • Prof. Plamen Dzhurov - Conductor, Sofia Soloists Chamber Ensemble
  • Prof. Plamen Kartalov - Director, Sofia Opera and Ballet
  • Radosvet Radev - Director, Darik Radio
  • Rayna Kabaivanska - Opera Singer
  • Sasho Donchev - Chairperson, Bulgarian Industrial Association
  • Svetlana Atanassova – President, Bulgarian Association of Travel Agents
  • Prof. Svetoslav Kokalov - Rector, National Academy of Art 
  • Silva Zurleva - Chairperson, Board of Directors, NTV
  • Sylvie Vartan - Singer, Actress
  • Stanka Tosheva – Editor-in-Chief, Capital newspaper
  • Stefan Kitanov - Director and Producer, Sofia Film Fest
  • H. E. Stefano Benazzo - Ambassador of Italy to Bulgaria (2008-2012)
  • Stefka Kostadinova - Chairperson, Bulgarian Olympic Committee 
  • Todor Chobanov - Deputy Mayor, Sofia Municipality
  • Franco Nero - Italian Actor
  • Hristo Angelichin - Municipal Councillor 
  • Hristo Mutafchiev - Chairperson, Union of Bulgarian Actors
  • Hristo Stoichkov  - Football Player
  • Hristo Shterionov - Executive Director, Sofia Airport 
  • Tsvetan Simeonov - Chairperson, Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Tsvetelina Borislavova - Chairperson, Credo Bonum Foundation
  • Yuriy Vulkovski - Director, Foundation for Urban Projects and Research
  • Yavor Dimitrov - Director, Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Yanko Georgiev - Executive Director, Bulgaria Air
  • Yaroslava Bubnova - Director, Institute of Contemporary Art




Mission & Goals

We established the Sofia Development Association (Sofia – DA) to promote and encourage the constant dialogue between civil society, business, public institutions and municipal administration for creating social environment which supports the development of Sofia as a modern European city, aids the sustainable development, entrepreneurship and initiatives of Sofia and its citizens, and fosters the interconnectedness between education, science, and business.

Our main tasks are:

To encourage the establishment of partnerships, both at the national and international level, aiming at the development of modern, accessible, and secure city environment in Sofia;

To support the project activities of the Municipality of Sofia by providing information, organizing trainings, and consulting the process of project development and management;

To assist the collection and analysis of data on Sofia city development, the monitoring and assessment of the effectiveness of the planned and implemented municipal policies, the involvement and utilization of the expertise of scientific institutes and centers, universities, nongovernmental organizations, private companies and persons;

To collaborate with Sofia Municipality in carrying out public campaigns both at the national and international level.

The Sofia Development Association was established with Resolution 348/08.07.2010 of the Sofia Municipal Council and was registered as a not-for-profit legal entity with the Sofia City Court on 16.08.2010, company case No. 495/2010. Governing bodies of the Association are its Managing Board and Executive Director, appointed by the Sofia Municipal Council. Members of the Managing Board are municipal councilors from different political parties and representatives of the municipal administration.


Get involved and help Sofia win the title of European Capital of Culture 2019!

Become a Volunteer!

As a volunteer for Sofia Development Association, you will have an opportunity to work for Sofia's bid for European Capital of Culture 2019:

• Join the team of Sofia Development Association (SDA) and give us a hand in our office;
• Unleash your creativity and design information and promotional materials about Sofia;
• Distribute information leaflets and brochures about Sofia's application for European Capittal of Culture;
• Help us brand key spots and sites in the city, included in the creative program for 2019;
• Get involved in the organization of accompanying events – conferences, seminars, working meetings (arranging the meeting room,
distributing materials, assisting the participants, interpretation);
• Communicate and liaise with participants in the events (recruit participants, send information, etc.);
• Become a tour guide and introduce Sofia to the guests and participants in the cultural events;
• Get involved in other initiatives and events included in the Cultural Calendar of Sofia Municipality.

• In the beginning of each month, receive a schedule of the events and pick the time and date for your participation;
• Flexible working time, depending on your availability;
• Let us know if you’re available for ad hoc events (stand-by regime.)

What are we looking for:
• Students, senior citizens, and everyone who would like to be part of this initiative (volunteers must be 18 or older when they start working
for SDA);
• Responsible team players;
• Available on call;
• Good command of foreign languages is a plus;
• Previous volunteer experience is an advantage but is not mandatory;
• Candidates interested in a long-term commitment to SDA (after 2013).

What do we offer:
• Volunteers will have free access to other events organized by SDA or affiliated institutions;
• Opportunity to meet and work with some of the most interesting artists in Sofia and Europe;
• Opportunity to develop your social skills, communication and organizational skills
• Receive a Volunteer Certificate from SDA and Sofia Municipality.

How can you get involved:
Download the application form and send it (please 
include “SDA Volunteer

Program” in the e-mail “Subject” line.)

Application deadline: rolling

Our volunteers



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