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Romania/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.7 Intercultural dialogue: actors, strategies, programmes

Cultural policies in Romania have the priority of promoting intercultural dialogue.

The National Strategic Plan for 2009-2013 states that the Ministry of Culture is responsible for specific programmes to support the cultural and linguistic identities and the diversity of expression, cultural activities and artistic practices of minorities groups.

Several NGO's, such as the Soros Open Society Foundation and media monitoring agencies - Academia Catavencu, Romani Criss etc, alongside with international agencies (UNDP Romania), have developed several projects in this area.

A good practice model is the one created by an NGO, Education 2000+ Centre, which organises training for school teachers and summer camps in order to reduce ethnically differentiated access to education. One of the projects that this NGO organised is: "Roma Girls go to School as well! (2005-2006)."

The main goal of the project was to reduce the school drop-out rate due to early marriage and early pregnancy among Roma girls, to optimise the quality of education and improve the achievement of Roma girls in primary and secondary schools. Subsequently, the project aimed to encourage and strengthen local school-community partnerships, in order to design and implement the necessary educational tools for setting up an effective and efficient "second chance" education system open to this specific target group. The programme also aims at preventing exposure to social exclusion and to raise awareness of the risks involved in early marriage and early pregnancies. It also aimed to develop local implementation models that could be replicated nationwide.

In 2008, the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue organised by the European Parliament and European Council, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage initiated the funding programme "Intercultural Dialogue 2009". The aim of the programme was to give financial support to contemporary intercultural projects in the fields of: visual arts, theatre, music, dance, cinematography, and literature. Regarding the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, the institution entrusted for managing this programme was the Consultancy Centre for European Cultural Programmes in association with the following cultural actors: Toaca Foundation, The National Network of Museums in Romania, The Romanian Peasant Museum, the Geomedia Centre and Jeunesses Musicales Romania. One of the most important projects realised in the context of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue was PUZZLE, which encompassed some of the following events: The Caravan of Intercultural Dialogue (The Department for Interethnic Relations), the Conference dedicated to the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue (The National Agency for Community Programmes in the Field of Education and Training), The Campaign Appreciate diversity  (The Resource Centre for Ethno-cultural Diversity), Talk Down the Walls project (British Council), a study on cultural adaptation of foreigners to the specifics of Romanian society (the Romanian Immigration Office), and The Workshop Intercultural dialogue and collaboration for Roma access to quality education (Intercultural Institute of Timisoara).

The Association of Journalists in Romania has created a media project called the Media Institute for Diversity ( It has been initiated by a group of journalists who write in the Romanian language, languages of national minorities or asylum seekers and refugees who live in Romania. It is meant to promote an innovative approach to diversity in Romania. The mass-media, as an opinion maker and as the "fourth power of a modern state", plays a major role in this process of reconfiguration of the pluralist society, of the "union in diversity", in cultural mediation (age, gender, sexual orientation criteria), intercultural mediation (ethnic and religious minorities) and trans-national mediation (asylum seekers, refugees, tourists), in fighting every form of discrimination, etc.

The institute's aims are to:

  • periodically organise theme campaigns, in the framework of a partnership network that should bring together mass media departments/sections in Romania and abroad (education, culture, social issues, political issues, healthcare, gender, youth, children, etc.);
  • create an Observer in order to optimise the access to information about diversity in Romania;
  • organise debates on diversity (gender, ethnicity, generations, etc.);
  • organise training sessions for journalists who wish to specialise in diversity matters;
  • organise cultural, inter-cultural and trans-national mediation;
  • award annual prizes for diversity in the mass-media;
  • issue a quarterly publication devoted to inter-cultural dialogue;
  • publish an annual report devoted to diversity in Romania;
  • organise public awareness campaigns to promote diversity in Romania;
  • promote the dialogue between the Romania mass-media and the media or national minorities living in Romania;
  • perform theme/multi-disciplinary / sectoral analyses;
  • issue dedicated brochures / books;
  • create an online library;
  • create a database with the national minorities living in Romania;
  • create a database with contact details of representatives of Diversity; and
  • organise visits in multi-ethnical communities.

Additional Resources:

Government's overall approach to intercultural dialogue

Database of Good Practice on Intercultural Dialogue

Key Resources

Chapter published: 21-08-2012

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