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Moldova/ 6. Financing of culture  

6.1 Short overview

The main source of financing for culture during the transition period was the state and the administrative-territorial units budgets. The cultural sector's share in the national public budget in 2009-2011 was in decline from 2.13% to 1.72%, and 1.45% in 2012-2013. The culture sector's share of GDP in 2009-2011 was also in decline from 0.83% to 0.63%, and in 2012-2013 it reached 0.58%. Funding of culture is carried out in accordance with the legal provisions on delimitation of powers of public authorities. Thus, to achieve the objectives of the state for the development of culture, institutions subordinated to the government are financed from the state budget, while the rest of the institutions - from the budgets of administrative-territorial units of level I or II.

The main document of budgetary policy of the Ministry of Culture is the Medium Term Budget Framework (MTBF). In the cultural field, the MTBF has the following sub-programmes:

Table 2:     Distribution of financing by subprogrammes, in thousand MDL, 2010-2013






I. Developing management policy in the cultural field

13 561.8

14 415.6

16 924.0

22 937.9

II. Developing culture

406 510.6

419 164.4

484 945.7

520 794.5

III. Protection and promoting the national cultural heritage


7 670.0

1 588.8

3 871.4

IV. State support for public television and radio broadcasting

74 027.9

88 603.6

98 410.2

96 874.2

V. Supporting written culture

10 416.6

9 726.3

13 509.6

5 592.1

Total by sector

505 162.9

539 579.9

615 378.3

650 070.1

Source:     Sectorial Strategy of expenses in the cultural field, 2013-2015, Ministry of Culture.

Arts education funding is carried out based on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework prepared by the Ministry of Education. In 2013 Arts education funding amounted to 99 660 900 MDL.

According to the report on execution of the National Public Budget, spending on culture, arts and sport for 2013 amounted to 1 020.1 million MDL (EUR 53 973 544), of which 376.9 million MDL (basic component and special means) are from the state budget and 644.0 million MDL are from the budgets of the administrative territorial units.

Analysing the financing policies of the cultural sphere, one can notice that there is an uneven distribution of resources, excessively focused on financing public institutions and not based on the results obtained from achieving the objectives of this sector. The volume of financing and the structure of budgets allocated for culture in recent years demonstrate that the cultural field is perceived as a consumer of resources, being underestimated by the political elite. Consequently, the model of financing culture continued to be of the Soviet type, being highly centralised, and hindering the dynamic development of the sector. Therefore, funding of the objectives of the Ministry of Culture is focused largely on maintaining the current infrastructure of culture and is less oriented towards the development and reforming of the cultural sector in the conditions of the market economy. It requires a paradigm shift for the development of culture, which can contribute to solving priority issues facing the cultural field such as: lack of efficient management of cultural institutions based on performance indicators; lack of mechanisms for financing cultural institutions based on principles of equality, transparency and competition; lack of motivational system and professional growth in management of cultural institutions; lack of infrastructure, etc.

As for the efficiency and transparency of public resource use in the cultural field, according to the audit reports of the Court of Auditors prepared by the central office of the Ministry of Culture and in some subordinated institutions, one can find that there are numerous deviations and deficiencies in the administration of expenses and in management of public property. Neither civil society, nor mass-media have public access to information on public procurement carried out, and respectively, is limited in elucidation of cases of conflict of interest or public procurement fraud. Also, on the website of the Ministry of Culture are not placed publicly reports on state budget execution by the Ministry of Culture for 2011-2013.

At the same time that professional cultural institutions are being confronted with budget deficits, they are trying to diversify their extra-budgetary resources through studies on a contract basis in artistic educational institutions, expertise of the artworks, and by renting spaces available both at the cultural institutions and artistic educational institutions.

The way the cultural sector was financed in the last 23 years clearly demonstrates that culture is not listed among the priorities of the state, and to enrol in programmes of modernisation and sustainable development of the country, this sector needs more significant financial support with major investment in human capital. There is a need for a paradigm shift on developing culture and a need for systematic decentralisation and efficient management.

In the case the state will not change essentially its vision on culture financing in the coming years, there is a risk that most of the objectives of the National Strategy for the Development of Culture of the Republic of Moldova / Culture 2020 will be compromised and not realised.

Chapter published: 11-03-2015

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