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Romania/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.1 Overview of main structures and trends

The Department for International Relations and Interculturalism, within the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, is responsible for reciprocal cultural exchanges in bilateral relations and for coordination of programmes and cultural projects undertaken by the Romanian cultural institutes abroad in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the Romanian Academy.

The keys objectives of the Department for International Relations and Interculturalism are:

  • to coordinate the national programmes in the areas of European cultural cooperation and international relations
  • to propose strategies and programmes aiming at the promotion of Romanian culture abroad and at the promotion of foreign culture in Romania; and to ensure their implementation, together with specialised departments. 
  • to initiate and supervise, on a multilateral level, Romanian participation in programmes of international organisations (Council of Europe, UNESCO, the International Organisation of Francophone countries etc.);
  • to analyse and to set up the lists of cooperation accords signed in the field of culture, in order to inform through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the government members and the representatives of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage who travel abroad on work matters;
  • to support, with the cooperation of a specialised department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an official relationship between the Ministry of Culture and cultural attachés posted in Romania and Romanian cultural attachés based abroad.

The Department for Cultural, Educational and Scientific Relations, within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is also responsible for cultural co-operation in the education and scientific fields. This Department elaborates and administers the executive programmes that exist at bi-lateral level.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not have its own budget to carry out cultural projects proposed by Romania's missions abroad. This work is supported by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Romanian Cultural Institute, based on their priorities and on the budget of the two institutions. In 2009, The Department for Cultural, Educational and Scientific Relations supported the organisation of some cultural projects through Romania's diplomatic missions abroad. Some examples of activities and developments in the year 2009 are:

  • participation in European film festivals and in other international festivals (Algiers, Baku, Beirut, Mexico, Damascus, Jakarta / Dilli, Yerevan, Kuala Lumpur, Lima, Ljubljana, New Delhi, Manila, Phenian, Singapore, Tashkent; International Festivals: Bogota – BOGOCINE International Film Festival, Buenos Aires – Independent Film International Festival, Helsinki International Film Festival , Moscow – DetectiveFest and the International Film Festival , The Hague – International Film Festival);
  • Romanian Film Weeks / Galas in various countries (P.R. of China, Peru, India, Vietnam);
  • participation in an art exhibition dedicated to the Danube in Ankara ; and
  • photo exhibition – Romania UNESCO World Heritage (for more information see:

At intergovernmental co-operation level, Romania participated in the negotiations and offered support from the early stages for the adoption of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Paris, 2005). Important developments include Romania's key interest concerning cultural action directly focused towards two main targets: the European Union member states and the neighbouring countries of South Eastern Europe and the Black Sea Region, with special attention granted to the needs and expectations of Romanian communities living abroad and the general public. These developments focused on several regional agreements, projects and partnerships, such as the Council of Ministers of Culture of South-Eastern Europe (2005), the Central European Initiative, the Danube Cooperation Process, the Stability Pact in Southeastern Europe, and the Southeastern European Co-operation Initiative.

The main cultural diplomacy priorities for 2012 established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are (

  • creatively promoting Romania`s economic, tourism and cultural objectives in the process leading to the EU Strategy for the Danube;
  • taking the existing partnerships to a higher level by emphasizing the economic, technical-scientific, cultural and educational aspects as an objective of Romania's foreign policy;
  • consolidating the scientific and cultural diplomacy dimensions, inclusively by organising fairs and exhibitions in order to disseminate our values and traditions;
  • funding projects to preserve our national identity and enrich Romanian heritage abroad;
  • creating an IT platform to facilitate, via our diplomatic missions and consular offices, access to information in specialised areas (labour market developments, legislation on rights);
  • improving the legal and institutional framework dedicated to the interaction with the Romanians living abroad, based on their specific interests and concerns; and
  • extending the collaboration between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and of the National Heritage, the Romanian Patriarchate, the Romanian Cultural Institute and the Romanian Academy in order to promote Romanian culture and spirituality in the EU and support intercultural dialogue with countries on other continents.

Chapter published: 21-08-2012

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