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In June 2012, Romanian Cultural Institute was restructured by an emergency ordinance. This measure has been contested by several artists and cultural organisations.

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Romania/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.2 Public actors and cultural diplomacy

The Romanian Cultural Institute has the mission to promote Romanian culture abroad, with a view of preserving the cultural identity of Romanian Diaspora. The main purpose is to increase the visibility of Romanian cultural values. It subordinates (together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) fifteen branches – The Romanian cultural centres or institutes in the following cities: Berlin, Brussels, Szeged, Budapest, Istanbul, Lisbon, London, Madrid, New York, Paris, Prague, Rome, Stockholm, Tel-Aviv, Warsaw, Venice, and Vienna. The Institute functions under the Presidency of Romania and manages various projects.

On June 13 2012, the Government of Romania passed an emergency ordinance modifying the 2003 law establishing the Romanian Cultural Institute. The present ordinance changes the subordination and control of the Romanian Cultural Institute from the Presidency of Romania to the Senate, and the structure and process of appointing its leadership. Within 15 days since publication in the Official Gazette (i.e. June 29, 2012), the Senate should appoint the new President, Vice-presidents and Board of RCI.

In justifying the emergency nature of this piece of legislation, the government bill notes that it responds to the need to "preserve and perpetuate national identity" and takes in to account that maintaining the current functioning of RCI will lead to "the extension of the highly negative effects of some state of affairs that tend to affect, permanently, the sense of belonging to the Romanian nation of those who are already settled, temporarily, in other states".

The bill also invokes "dysfunctional aspects in the organisation and functioning of the Romanian Cultural Institute" that need to be addressed, without the bill including any change in the functioning of the institute besides the revised subordination and leadership appointment. The Speaker of the Prime Minister also noted that this bill is a must for the democratisation of an institution that had previously been politicised (see also: This measure has been contested by several artists and cultural organizations in the weeks following the decision.

Table 1:     The overall budget of Romanian Cultural Institute, 2005-2007


The overall budget for promoting Romanian culture abroad

Percentage for cultural projects and programmes

Percentage for administrative expenses


3 million EUR




6 million EUR




13 million EUR



Source:     Romanian Cultural Institute.

Several cultural agencies support the promotion of foreign cultures in Romania:

All of these institutes host public libraries, organise events (seminars, conferences, festivals etc), organise language training centres, and host various concerts, exhibitions etc. They fund different the independent projects of cultural organisations and actors. These centres are also partners in various programmes and projects, along with public and non-public institutions.

Romania has various bi-lateral agreements at ministerial level, with corresponding Ministries of Culture. France is a major partner on heritage management issues. There are also various inter-governmental agreements and co-operation treaties in the area of culture. For example, in the field of cultural heritage have been realised:

  • the Administrative agreement between the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Romanian Ministry of Culture and Heritage in the period 2005-2010; and
  • the Administrative agreement between the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Romanian Ministry of Culture in the field of Museums for 2007-2012.

In the accession process to the EU, Romania developed different partnerships with foreign agencies and organisations regarding education and training. France and Germany, for example, are major partners in this area. Another example of an exchange programme is a partnership with Greek organisations in the area of industrial archaeology, regarding the town of Sulina (situated in Eastern Romania, the Delta of the Danube region). Exchange programmes have been developed with French institutions in the fields of archaeology and restoration (see also chapter 3.4.1).

Overall, the Romanian structures charged with supporting projects in the cultural field (visual arts and architecture, written culture and libraries, museums, theatre, dance, music, heritage, intangible heritage, cultural management and permanent training) also involve international co-operation.

Chapter published: 11-09-2012

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