The main national actors responsible for international cultural cooperation are the Ministry of Culture, the Romanian Cultural Institute and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While the Ministry of Foreign Affairs promotes and supports cultural cooperation via its specific diplomatic instruments, including the activity of the cultural attachés, the Romanian Cultural Institute is entrusted with the mission to present, promote and protect Romania’s culture and civilisation and to support the free flow of values of culture and science and consolidate and amplify the relations with Romanian communities abroad.
The international mission of the Ministry of Culture encompasses not only the promotion of Romania’s cultural values within the international arena, but also the initiation and negotiation of international/regional/bilateral conventions, protocols and agreements in the cultural field.
The main objectives and trends that guide the international cultural cooperation of Romania are:
- Promotion of all forms of Romanian culture in the European and international arenas.
- Promotion and support of intercultural exchanges and of cultural diversity.
- Support for the mobility of Romanian cultural professionals and of foreign cultural actors.
- Support for professional networking and cooperation between public and private cultural actors.
Every year the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organises a meeting with Romanian ambassadors where a special session is dedicated to public/cultural diplomacy to facilitate the exchange of information and discussing future priorities and projects together with the Ministry of Culture and the Romanian Cultural Institute.
The Romanian Cultural Institute fulfils its international mission of cultural diplomacy throughits strategic projects. The Institute also has a network of 19 Cultural Institutes set up in different countries that has been developing programmes and activities under its supervision. Some of these main strategic projects for 2018 were: Lipatti 100 (100th birth anniversary of the musician Dinu Lipatti), Benjamin Fondane International Prize, Brancusi 140 etc. The main themes for the Romanian Cultural Institute’s 2019 strategic projects were: 100 years since the First World War, 30 years since the Romanian Revolution, Europalia Festival (Belgium). In addition, the Romanian Cultural Institute has an extensive programme of subsidies and grants addressed to Romanian and foreign artists and specialists in a large variety of fields. Although the Romanian Cultural Institute operates under parliamentary control, it has operational ties with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in particular in respect to the administration and functioning of the 19 Cultural Institutes abroad.
Another important actor with a specialised mandate is the Institute of the Romanian Language created by G.D. no. 34/1999, subordinated to the Ministry of Education. The Institute organises and supports Romanian language, culture and civilisation “chairs” (lectorate), which are currently operational in 51 universities in Europe, North America, Caucasus and South and East Asia, as well as teaching courses in Romanian language, culture and civilisation in educational institutions in EU member states.
Romania hosts several cultural agencies that promote foreign cultures in the country and help strengthen and diversify the scope of intercultural dialogue:
- The French Institute
- The British Council
- The Hungarian Cultural Centre
- The Goethe Institute
- The Cervantes Institute
- The Italian Cultural Institute
- The Czech Cultural Centre
- The Polish Institute
All of these institutes organise language courses and a large array of cultural and educational events and host public libraries. They also fund cultural projects proposed by various cultural actors as well as partnerships with public cultural institutions or cultural NGOs.