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Moldova/ 2. General objectives and principles of cultural policy  

2.1 Main features of the current cultural policy model

The Moldovan cultural policy model is mostly centred on activities of the government and the Ministry of Culture as the central body which promotes state policy in the arts and culture. The government elaborates and provides funds for the state programmes on the protection and development of culture and sets directions, forms and means to implement them.

Cultural policy in the Republic of Moldova primarily focuses on preserving cultural values under threat in response to the effects caused by the difficult and dramatic circumstances prior to the transition period. The identity crisis, characteristic of all post-Communist states, is a key cultural issue to be addressed generally by the executive of the Republic of Moldova and specifically in the difficult process of developing a sustained and appropriate cultural policy.

The cultural history of Moldova has, in many respects, been different from that of other countries with similar histories. Having been deprived of the natural interaction between national and universal values, Moldova is engaged in an on-going process of overcoming its past, which has tended to polarise outlooks and to act as a barrier for advancing specific initiatives. The Republic of Moldova is a young country struggling for its identity and is attempting to create its own economic, political and cultural future. These areas tend, however, to be self-contained: it is unclear how exactly they will be integrated.

In 2012, for the first time since the proclamation of independence, the Ministry of Culture (with the support of UNDP) initiated the process of developing "The National Strategy for the Development of Culture in the Republic of Moldova / Culture 2020". This document was finalised and approved by Government Decision No. 271 of 9 April 2014.

This document is innovative as for the first time a systematic analysis of the cultural sector of the Republic of Moldova was undertaken and as a result, the general directions and objectives for developing culture for the medium and long-term period were identified. The document was developed based on analysis of the key issues facing the cultural sector in the Republic of Moldova. It comprises an action plan for each general objective, having indicators for monitoring and evaluation of the strategy, and also an estimated budget for implementation of the priority actions.

The Mission of the Strategy is to provide the cultural sector with a coherent, efficient and pragmatic policy framework, based on the priorities described in the document. The Strategy took into account cultural sector needs and has a flexible vision that will allow development of certain cultural fields over others. Policies traced in the present Strategy form the framework for developing and implementing policies without ideologies, dogmas or centralisation of the state on the cultural sector.

According to the Strategy vision, the Republic of Moldova will have a consolidated, independent and creative cultural sector, with cultural heritage that is protected and integrated in the national and regional public policies, including the sustainable development activities: educational, social, economic, tourism and environmental by 31 December 2020.

The objective of the Strategy is assuring a viable cultural environment, through creation of an adequate framework of public policies, setting up a functional system for preserving and valuing cultural heritage, promoting creativity, developing cultural industries, increasing efficiency of the cultural management, improving the quality of life of the citizens and increasing tolerance and social cohesion.

Currently the Strategy for the development of culture in the Republic of Moldova / Culture 2020 is the basic policy document in the field of culture in the Republic of Moldova, which will allow cultural sector development.

In theory, the process of decentralisation began in 1991. In practice, the management of both funds and cultural activities has changed very little, the main reason being the lack of knowledge and experience among local authorities to set up their own budgets – a situation which still persists today.

The process of decentralisation in Moldova – as in many other post-socialist countries - is still hampered by managerial and financial problems. Cultural managers at all levels lack the experience required to redistribute functions and responsibilities among the various administrative bodies. Decentralisation and redistribution of financial and administrative responsibilities are the most difficult and complex problems that cultural policy in the Republic of Moldova is facing at present. The past decade has proven that the cultural funding system based on the former centralised model has become outdated and inadequate.

After the territorial-administrative reform in 2003, the local cultural institutions network in 32 districts was re-incorporated into a more centralised system, thus becoming more exposed to the interventionist policy of both central and district authorities.

As it was mentioned in the previous chapter, the decentralisation process failed during the period 2001 – 2009 and instead became a strongly pronounced centrist system, to the extent that the whole power of decision-making was concentrated in the hands of a few people who intervened in absolutely all projects.

Therefore, one of the tasks of the new interim government in 2009 was to re-establish the equilibrium between the exaggerated and bureaucratic apparatus of central and local mayoralties.

Local authorities can submit requests for funding from the state budget to the Ministry of Culture for projects presenting at least some interest at national level. The Collegiate Board of the Ministry of Culture then decides whether or not to approve the partial funding of such activities.

Chapter published: 11-03-2015

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