At the local level, the different autonomous territorial authorities exercise their competences, with the respect to cultural affairs, by developing and adopting local cultural policies, deciding upon the allocation of the local budget for their subordinated public cultural institutions and for other cultural programmes and projects. By virtue of these powers, local authorities can also fund their own cultural administration and create cultural units in order to implement the established cultural policies.
There are 103 municipalities, 215 towns and 2861 communes in Romania and, as a general rule, local authorities have a Commission for Culture within the local deliberative body of the county/municipal/town council, made of elected members of that body. In most municipalities and major urban areas, the overall supervision of cultural affairs is entrusted to a technical/specialised department within the respective local authority. Various public institutions have been set up by several local authorities with a view to exercising, by delegation of competences in the cultural field, a series of actions with regard to financing cultural projects, heritage conservation and organisation of public cultural events. The participatory dimension of cultural actors and of civil society at large in the cultural policies processes differs widely from one local authority to another.
The development and adoption of comprehensive cultural policies have received a major boost in 2014-2015, when the competition for the nomination of a Romanian city as European Capital of Culture 2021 was launched. It should be noted that in the drafting process of these cultural policies, there was a massive interest and an ongoing participation of all local stakeholders, which contributed to raising the awareness of the local communities on the added value that culture can bring about.