COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Romania/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.5 Cross-border intercultural dialogue and co-operation

Several governmental bodies operate in this field:

The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage has an office for minorities' culture (The Minority Culture Department), which is responsible for supporting inter-cultural dialogue, along with promoting cultural events and organisations and institutions belonging to minority groups. The Minority Culture Department is responsible of administering the "PROETNICULTURA" programme which provides a framework for protection and logistic support, preservation, affirmation, development and free expression of cultural ethnic identity, linguistic and religious national minorities in Romania. It promotes the spirit of ethnic tolerance, mutual respect, intercultural dialogue, collaboration and maintaining a permanent link with other government institutions in the field and NGOs from Romania and abroad that support minority issues (see also: http://www.cultura.ro/Documents.aspx?ID=117)

The National Agency for Roma (NAR) was founded in accordance with Government Ordinance No. 78/2004, approved by Law 7/2005. The National Agency for Roma (in accordance with the provisions of Government Decision nr. 1124 from September 2005) is responsible for applying, co-coordinating, monitoring and evaluating the social intervention fields stipulated in the Government Strategy for Improving Roma Conditions, approved by the government in April 2001. The National Agency for Roma coordinates the programme Decade of Roma Inclusion, an international initiative with the participation of governments, international organisations and Roma civil society representatives from several countries and which proposes, over ten years (2005-2015), to significantly reduce socioeconomic disparities between Roma and the rest of society, based on the idea that the Roma are the largest minority in Europe, and also the most vulnerable (http://www.anr.gov.ro/html/Deceniul.html). This programme also involves more international partner organisations such as the Open Society Institute and Soros foundations network, the World Bank, European Commission, United Nations Development Programme, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Council of Europe Development Bank, Council of Europe and, most importantly, Roma representative organisations who work in international organisation dedicated to this category.

The government established the National Centre of Roma Culture (NCRC) - Romano Kher – by Government Decision no. 834/2003. The centre is a public institution under the supervision of the MoCNH, dedicated to the preservation and promotion of traditional Roma culture. It is also in charge of endorsing and promoting the Roma contemporary cultural manifestations. The objectives of the centre are, according to the 430/2001 Law, dedicated to the strategy of improving the situation of the Roma population.

The centre focuses on the intercultural communication between Roma and the other cultural communities living in Romania and in Europe.  In 2004 NCRC has negotiated the founding of a whole section dedicated to Roma culture within the project called "Sibiu – European Cultural Capital" where it facilitated the access of more than one hundred Roma artists: painters, craftsmen, brass bands and dancers. Because of its involvement in the festival, the NCRC has been invited to two international festivals: Ulm (2006) and Fellbach (2007), both in Germany.

In 2008, NCRC organised an international session of communication and public consultation regarding Roma culture in Timisoara. The project was funded by the MoCNH and the project co-organisers were The Association of Gypsy Women – "Our Children", Parudimos Association and Timisoara Intercultural Institute. The theme of the conference evolved around the markers of the Roma culture and the tension between those markers and "modernity" concepts. During the same year, NCRC co-organised, alongside the foundation Thumende in Bucharest, a session of documentary films focused on Roma specific themes. It has also launched the presentation of its new management programme proposed by the new director in the multimedia hall of the MoCNH.

Policies for Culture was a regional framework programme of the ECUMEST Association (Bucharest) and the European Cultural Foundation (Amsterdam), initiated in the year 2000, which aimed to encourage a participative principle in the design, implementation and evaluation of new effective cultural policies throughout South East Europe. The Policies for Culture Programme (PfC) developed a platform of more than 500 organisations in the region (NGOs, public authorities at national, regional and local level, universities and research institutes, cultural magazines and journals) and initiated "PfC Plus" (addressing countries such as Slovakia or Turkey) and "CPEG – the Cultural Policy Education Group".  The Policies for Culture Programme closed at the end of 2008 but the website associated to the project is still available online (http://www.policiesforculture.org).

For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section


Chapter published: 21-08-2012

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