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Moldova/ 3. Competence, decision-making and administration  

3.2 Overall description of the system

The Parliament passes legislation drafted by the Ministry of Culture in co-ordination with the Parliamentary Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Public Information.

The Parliament ultimately approves the budget on culture following the submission of a bill prepared by the Ministry of Culture and in co-operation with an inter-ministerial body. Proposals for the budget can be submitted to the Ministry of Culture by national culture and arts institutions. Key pieces of legislation must be approved by Presidential advisory bodies, and occasionally by the President him / herself.

The main authorities, institutions and public organisations in the institutional framework that manage and regulate culture are:

  • The Ministry of Culture;
  • Agencies, Councils and Commissions subordinated to the Ministry of Culture;
  • Local Public Authorities of the second level;
  • Cultural Directions / Sections of the Local Public Authorities of the second level and Balti municipality; and
  • Local Public Authorities of the first level.

The Ministry of Culture is the central administrative body responsible for cultural policy in the Republic of Moldova. The mission of the Ministry of Culture[1] is to contribute to promotion of the national identity and country’s image, assuring accessibility, preserving and valuing cultural heritage and national values, developing creativity and forming personality, strengthening cultural dialogue in the Republic of Moldova and abroad for the balanced economic and spiritual growth of citizens and communities.

According to the legislative and normative acts, the Ministry of Culture is responsible for developing and promoting policies in the following areas: professional art (literature, theatre, music, choreography, visual arts, cinema and circus), arts education and cultural industries, cultural heritage and visual arts, folk art, artistic crafts, amateur artistic activity, and written culture.

Among the basic documents through which the Ministry of Culture assures implementation of the governing programme is the Programme for Strategic Development of the Ministry of Culture (PSD) for the period 2012-2014. This PSD is approved at the Ministry College meeting and represents the strategic planning document for the Ministry of Culture’s activities, and is a successor to the Institutional Development Plan.

The Ministry of Culture has the following cultural policies priorities for the medium term:

  • development of culture;
  • preserving national heritage and assuring wide access by citizens to cultural values; and
  • promoting national cultural values as a part of the European cultural heritage.

The main objectives for the activity of the Ministry of Culture are the following:

  • assuring improvement of the legislative framework regarding performance-based management in the cultural sphere institutions, including standards and performance indicators;
  • promoting development of contemporary art;
  • assuring protection and valuing tangible and intangible cultural heritage;
  • coordinating supplementing book funds of the public libraries;
  • assuring functioning and financing the educational process in the artistic education institutions; and
  • coordinating the monitoring, evaluation and reporting processes regarding implementation of the policies in the cultural sphere.

In autumn 2009, after repeated parliamentary elections in the Republic of Moldova (05 April 2009 and 29 July 2009), a new, democratic government was established, after eight years of communist governance. The newly established government identified several Ministries as inefficient and decided to re-structure them, including the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which is now the Ministry of Culture, as it was before 2001.

Tourism separated from the former Ministry of Culture and Tourism although there is still cooperation in the area of cultural tourism.

Existing departments / divisions / sections were changed, as shown in the organigram of the Ministry of Culture, but any new priorities have not been announced yet.

Among the newly created structures there is the Department for Inter-Ethnic Relations, which is the body of the central public authorities responsible for implementing the national policy in the sphere of inter-ethnic relations and language functioning. The Department for International Relations, European integration and the Diaspora is specialised in policies regarding multicultural inter-ethnic relations. At the same time, on 19 October 2012, the Diaspora Relations Bureau was created within the State Chancellery, with the mission to assure the coherent and comprehensive policy framework for Moldova's diaspora, through coordination of the state policy in this sphere, consulting the diaspora associations on government policies, consolidation of Moldova's diaspora, developing, monitoring and evaluating policies and programmes oriented towards the diaspora, providing necessary assistance for the Prime-ministry regarding policies oriented towards Moldova's diaspora. In this regard for the first time during the independence of the Republic of Moldova, the diaspora is approached transversally and horizontally by the Government of the Republic of Moldova, which will allow for developing coherent policies, addressing all citizens of the Republic of Moldova, regardless of their place of residence.

After the territorial-administrative reform in 2003, 32 District Offices, the municipal Department of Culture Chisinau and the municipal Directorate of Culture Balti were set up to manage all local cultural institutions. Their main goals are:

  • to ensure conditions necessary for the development of folk art and traditional handicrafts, as well as for entertainment and other cultural activities;
  • to carry out programmes on conservation and promotion of culture and art in the districts / municipalities by organising various cultural events: festivals, competitions, activities aimed at conserving and promoting folk art, reviews of amateur groups, fine arts and handicraft exhibitions; and
  • to submit to the Ministry of Culture and the district / municipal Council an annual report on its activity and on the operation of the institutions under their control.

The network of the cultural institutions in the territory includes 1 232 Houses of Culture, 1 368 public libraries, 109 schools of art, music and painting and 119 museums.

In conclusion, one can affirm that the structure of cultural public institutions and organisations is over dimensioned, which does not favour the development of the private sector. This creates conditions for inefficient and non-transparent utilisation of the public heritage, because institutions responsible for governing culture have incoherent functions and competences, and there is inadequate administration and public control. Impediments of the institutional framework are determined by the inefficient administration of the cultural sector, having at its core the centralised management of the soviet type, which hinders implementation of reforms in the cultural sphere. The institutional and regulatory framework of cultural sphere does not correspond to the actual economic and social realities.

[1]Programme for the Strategic Development of the Ministry of Culture for the period 2012-2014

Chapter published: 11-03-2015

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