The cultural institutions in Romania can be divided in two categories: the institutions from the public sector and from the private sector. The public sector is dominated by the so-called national basic infrastructure (BIS), i.e. the main public cultural institutions subordinated to and financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Identity (see chapter 1.2.1). Most of the public cultural institutions are subordinated to the Local Public Administrations. Recently, there have been many tensions between the Government and the public cultural institutions due to the budget cuts that are blocking the activity of those institutions. However, it’s a fact that the cultural sector is still under financed in Romania. Although official data show that the Ministry of Culture and National Identity’s budget has increased by almost 31% since 2018, these increases are mostly due to wage raises operated by the government and are not always reflected in the quality of the cultural products offered to the public.
The only general classification on types of public cultural institutions is regulated by special laws, as follows:
– Museums, collections and exhibitions
– A non-specific category under the name of “cultural establishments”, which comprises: cultural centres with a diverse activity, people’s art schools, people’s universities, folk centres, culture houses, rural culture houses.
There is no classification for criteria such as quality, size, accessability level (per number of inhabitants) or quantity (cultural equipment, rooms, seats or technical equipment). The only difference between institutions of the same type is the level of the authority they are subordinated to, and this criterion also makes the difference in the personnel’s wages.
We cannot draw a parallel between the levels of public and private infrastructures, because of both the lack of relevant statistical information and the excessive dynamics of private cultural organisations’ occurrence and disappearance.
Each year, more and more companies decide to sponsor the events and projects of the cultural sector, but the law on sponsorship is obsolete and unattractive to the potential sponsors. Moreover, the major policy trends concerning the relationship between the public and private cultural sector have evolved in the last few years. A significant number of public performing arts institutions have developed partnerships with cultural NGOs either by co-producing events, programmes and projects or by hosting private theatrical or musical productions of cultural NGOs. Cultural education programmes, workshops and masterclasses are also jointly developed in the framework of these partnerships. These are trends that have developed in the last several years, but are mainly witnessed in major cities.