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Ministry of Culture works on a policy of supporting the creative and cultural sectors, with a special focus on SMEs and NGOs having a cultural profile.


Copyright industries’ share of the national economy increased from 3.75% in 2002 to 5.95% in 2009.

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Romania/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.3 Cultural/creative industries: policies and programmes

According to the National Development Plan for the Cultural Sector 2007-2013, the cultural industries are defined as those activities of production and reproduction, as well as large scale distribution, of symbolic goods. They tend to occupy an increasing role in the economic, social and intellectual life of communities and in the continuous reshaping of behaviour. These industries consist of activities of production and public communication of symbolic goods, whose economic value derives primarily from their cultural value. The sector includes both "classical" cultural industries (audio-video production, radio, film, editing), "new" industries (design, multimedia, architecture, gaming), as well as traditional arts (visual arts, handicraft, shows, written culture).

Currently, there is a shift towards the more recent concept of cultural and creative sector. This concept was used in a new initiative: Public Policy Proposal for the stimulation and the support of Creativity in Culture.  The main aim of this proposal is the development of the economic dimension of culture by providing a financial framework, appropriate fiscal and social regularity bodies in the cultural and creative industries, especially SMEs, including the independent cultural sector (self-employed, creative and independent artists).

In 2011, the Centre for Research and Consultancy on Culture completed the second edition of the study The Contribution of Copyright-based Industries to the Romanian Economy. The study is based on the WIPO copyright model, in which the creative industries are divided into CORE-copyright industries, partial copyright industries, interdependent copyright industries and non-dedicated copyright industries. The contribution of creative industries to the gross domestic product (GDP), labour force, international trade and investment, reflect their growing importance for the Romanian economy. The contribution of these industries to the national economy registered a significant evolution: from 3.75% in 2002 to 5.95% in 2009. Moreover, in 2008 the creative represented 7.24% of the Romanian economy. This figure is comparable to the contribution of real estate transaction, 7.08% and even higher than that of the tourist industry 1.34% and restaurants 1.50%.

The negative trend exhibited in 2009 by the creative industries is deeper than that of the national economy, which shows that compared with other economical domains this sector is more sensitive to external factors.

The CORE-copyright industries involved around 31 000 firms, accounting for 4.5% of the Romanian firms. Over a seven-year period from 2002 to 2008, the number of firms in the CORE copyright industries grew rapidly, with a rate of 26% per year. Turning now to the different domains, on average, the number of firms increases each year, reaching the highest level in 2008. However, this growth had ended the following year, when there was a wide degree of variation with individual categories experiencing decreases between 2% and 40%. Amongst the categories with the highest decrease, the recordings reproduction stands out; after a decrease of 4% in 2008, the number of firms that were actively engaged in this area continued its negative trend. The same descendent trend was visible in book publishing (from 1 523 firms in 2008 to 1 047 firms in 2009). In 2009, advertising and software and new media were two areas that exhibited a positive trend; the number of firms operating in programme editing grew by 40% (see:

In 2009, there were 141 736 employees in the creative industries, representing 4.48% of the active labour force. The number of creative workers in Romania has grown considerably during the last decade. The same study indicates that from 2002 to 2008 the employment in the creative industries increased by 65%. However, this trend has shown a decrease in 2009, when 142 000 workers were employed in the creative industries. In 2009, the greatest volume of creative workers was absorbed by software and new media – 36 465 employees (26% from the total number of creative workers), book editing/ publishing – 24 100 employees (17% from the total number of creative workers), advertising – 15 066 employees (11% from the total number of creative workers), performing arts – 2 310 employees (2% from the total number of creative workers), music industry – 540 employees (0.5% from the total number of creative workers).

Table 2:     The number of employees in the creative industries, 2002-2009










CORE copyright industries

44 019

76 115

89 613

101 801

91 451

99 773

121 299

99 073

Partial copyright industries

30 044

37 738

36 701

32 257

30 183

31 509

26 877

21 520

Interdependent copyright industries

17 733

17 203

14 683

24 864

13 940

13 224

14 055

11 129

Non-dedicated copyright industries

11 821

15 524

16 000

18 528

8 777

8 601

8 825

10 015

Copyright industries

103 617

147 045

156 521

180 450

144 352

153 107

171 056

141 736

Source:     Centre for Research and Consultancy on Culture, The Contribution of Copyright-based Industries to the Romanian Economy, 2011.

In 2008, the Centre for Research and Consultancy on Culture carried out a study entitled a Draft for a politics for the stimulation of creativity. The aim of the study was to identify the problems of different fields in the cultural sector and provide solutions, in order to formulate a public policy draft for the stimulation of creativity. Generally, the problems encountered by professionals in the field appeared to be similar for all the cultural sectors, the most notable ones concerning matters of production and distribution. Whether they regard a lack of technology, of qualified personnel and proper spaces, or simply some administrative shortcomings, these problems have an impact on creativity as well as on the public's access to culture. Another series of issues pertain to the judicial system and lie in legislative ambiguities and copyright uncertainties (see also:

The main challenges to small and medium sized culture industry firms in Romania were underlined in a recent study realised in 2009 by the Centre for Research and Consultancy on Culture named The Economic Crisis' Effects on Cultural Operators. The results of the research pointed out that, in the first half of 2009, the most notable decline concerning funding sources was related to sponsorship, public funding, self funding, scholarships and grants. Also, most businesses (78%) indicated a decline in their turnover rate, between January 2009 and July 2009, compared to the same period in 2008. One of the biggest challenges is related to growth in company expenses caused by an increase in the exchange rate: as many expenses (rent, copyright, translations, artists' payments, etc.) are equated in foreign currency (Romania tries to align with European Union's monetary policy and Romanian companies are trying to avoid financial losses caused by exchange rate differences). Among the investment activities included in the research, the most notable decline has been encountered in the purchase of technical devices (73%) and investment in professional training (66%). The economic crisis affected the companies in the cultural field in terms of the number of distributed products and the number of returns. There has been a lower level of demand in the market and 44% of the respondents stated that the number of returns from distributors has increased (see also:

Regarding the support and development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) active in cultural and creative sectors, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage signed a cooperation agreement with the Ministry for Small and Medium Enterprises, Commerce and Business in August 2009. The cooperation protocol was aimed at supporting the development of entrepreneurial culture in the cultural and creative industries and also at developing a strategic framework to support and stimulate cultural SMEs through loans and grants. The protocol is targeted at cultural and creative industries, especially SMEs, at the confluence of economics and culture. The document corresponds to those decisions and actions taken at EU level in recent years sensible to the socio-economic impact generated by significant SMEs in the field of culture (

Chapter published: 21-08-2012

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