The government has diverted EU funds to sympathetic media outlets and bribed others to be less critical on problematic topics, while attacks against individual journalists have increased.  Collusion between politicians, oligarchs and the media is widespread.  Bulgarian cuisine is similar to that of other Balkan countries and demonstrates strong Turkish and Greek influences.
683°N 23. 317°ECoordinates: 42°41′N 23°19′E / 42. 317°EOfficial languagesBulgarianOfficial scriptCyrillicEthnic groups (2021)84. 6% Bulgarians8. 4% Turks4. 4% Roma2. 6% Others[note 1]Religion (2021) 64. 7% Christianity 62. 7% Bulgarian Orthodoxy 2. 0% Other Christian 15. 9% No religion9. 8% Islam0. 1% Others9. 5% UnansweredDemonym(s)BulgarianGovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic• President Rumen Radev• Vice President Iliana Iotova• Prime Minister Galab Donev• Chairperson of the National Assembly Vezhdi RashidovLegislatureNational AssemblyEstablishment history• 1st Bulgarian Empire 681–1018• 2nd Bulgarian Empire 1185–1396• Principality of Bulgaria 3 March 1878• Independence from the Ottoman Empire 5 October 1908• Monarchy abolished 15 September 1946• Current state form 15 November 1990• Joined the European Union 1 January 2007• Joined NATO June 2004Area • Total110, 993.
^ Chenoweth, Erica (2010). Rethinking Violence: States and Non-State Actors in Conflict. Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-262-01420-5. ^ Bulgaria in World War II: The Passive Alliance. ^ Wartime Crisis. ^ Pavlowitch, Stevan K. (2008). Hitler's New Disorder: The Second World War in Yugoslavia. Columbia University Press. pp. 238–240. ISBN 978-0199326631. When Bulgaria switched sides in September ^ a b The Soviet Occupation. ^ Valentino, Benjamin A.
Peter Lang Publishers. p. 36. ISBN 978-9052013749. ^ Fishman, Joshua A. Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity: Disciplinary and Regional Perspectives. p. 276. ISBN 978-0195374926. Retrieved 30 September 2018. There were almost no remnants of a Bulgarian ethnic identity; the population defined itself as Christians, according to the Ottoman system of millets, that is, communities of religious beliefs. The first attempts to define a Bulgarian ethnicity started at the beginning of the 19th century. ^ Roudometof, Victor; Robertson, Roland (2001). Nationalism, Globalization, and Orthodoxy: The Social Origins of Ethnic Conflict in the Balkans. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp.
 The associated Varna Necropolis treasure contains the oldest golden jewellery in the world with an approximate age of over 6, 000 years.  The treasure has been valuable for understanding social hierarchy and stratification in the earliest European societies.  The Thracians, one of the three primary ancestral groups of modern Bulgarians, appeared on the Balkan Peninsula some time before the 12th century BC.  The Thracians excelled in metallurgy and gave the Greeks the Orphean and Dionysian cults, but remained tribal and stateless.
 GERB came out first in the regular April 2021 election, but with its weakest result so far.  All other parties refused to form a government,  and after a brief deadlock, another election was called for July 2021. It too failed to break the stalemate, as no political party was able to form a coalition government.  Freedom House has reported a continuing deterioration of democratic governance after 2009, citing reduced media independence, stalled reforms, abuse of authority at the highest level and increased dependence of local administrations on the central government.  Bulgaria is still listed as "Free", with a political system designated as a semi-consolidated democracy, albeit with deteriorating scores.