The main instruments of international co-operation are bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements and cultural co-operation programmes. However, the Ministry concludes more detailed protocols with some countries, e.g. the annual protocol of co-operation with the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs of Romania.
To date, the Republic of Moldova has concluded agreements and detailed programmes on cultural co-operation and cultural tourism development with 35 countries.
The three institutions most involved in this process are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-ordinates and negotiates all the agreements on international cultural co-operation and has a key role in international cultural affairs that may have wider political implications. The Ministry of Culture usually drafts the international inter-ministerial agreements and cultural co-operation programmes and is responsible for its administration.
The Ministry of Education is responsible for cross-border co-operation in education and science, and for exchanges in the field of art, music and literature with countries such as Italy, France, Russia and Romania. One example in this field is the co-operation protocols between the Moldovan and Romanian Ministries of Education, whereby over 1 000 Moldovans study in different institutions in Romania each year, including art universities and research cultural centres. In 2014 this number increased to 7 840 young people. These programmes are carried out and funded by the Romanian Government.
On 26 August 2010, a protocol of cooperation was signed between the Romanian and Moldovan Ministries of Education on mutual recognition of diplomas and certificates of studies awarded in Moldova or Romania, and thus in the EU. The document stipulates that the university curricula in both countries will be unified in the near future, along with the mutual recognition of scientific titles.
The Romanian Cultural Institute, Romanian Ministry of Culture and Religious Denominations and the Department for Relations with the Romanian Diaspora are also very active in supporting cultural projects in the Republic of Moldova (e.g. fellowships, research projects, summer schools for artists, publishing of writers’ works and other cultural publications etc).
In September 2010, the Romanian Cultural Institute “Mihai Eminescu” was opened in Chisinau. The Romanian Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova commented that this event was an instrument of modern cultural diplomacy.
According to Government Decision No. 610 of 19 August 2013, an Agreement for collaboration between the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Moldova and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia, was signed in Chisinau on 11 July 2013. According to Government Decision No. 677 of 2 September 2013, an Agreement for collaboration in the cultural sphere was approved between the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the Government of Turkmenistan, signed in Chisinau on 24 July 2013.
In the last years a number of foreign film festivals were organised, with the financial support of the embassies based in Moldova, such as the Film Festival of the Francophone Countries, Great Britain, Japan, USA, Israel, Poland, Spain and Sweden. In the period October-November 2013, the Days of Spanish culture in the Republic of Moldova were organised, which took place on the National Day of Spain, and Days of Polish Films and Festival of Sweden films were held in Chisinau and Tiraspol.
The cultural agenda in 2013 was overloaded with cultural events, both national and international. Among them are the following cultural actions: International Festival of Theatre and Film schools “ClassFest”, Festival “Days of New Music”, XII edition, International Saxophone Festival “Sax Story”, International Piano Festival “Pianistic Nights from Moldova – Black Sea”, XII edition, Ethno-Jazz Festival, International Festival of violin music “The Queen Violin”, II edition, International Competition of symphonic conducting, XIX edition, International Festival of Opera and Ballet Stars “Maria Biesu invites”, International Painting Biennale Chisinau – 2013, etc..
More sporadically, training, language courses, and research grants are implemented and partially financed by such organisations as the Romanian Cultural Institute, Swiss Development Cooperation, Goethe-Institute, the British Council, and the Alliance Française.
Special articles of the concluded agreements regulate financial conditions for participation at international cultural events listed in co-operation programmes, as well as guarantees for international exhibitions. The Ministry of Culture funds only part of certain international events (festivals, fairs, exhibitions) organised in Moldova. Other international cultural activities and travel expenses for participation at events abroad are funded from other sources (local budgets, sponsorship, grants, etc.).