The Romanian Ministry of Culture is a founding member of the Council of Ministers of Culture of South-East Europe (CoMoCoSEE) following the signature of the Copenhagen Charter in 2005 and it held a rotating annual presidency in 2011.
Romania is also a member in several regional agreements, partnerships and projects such as the Central European Initiative, the Stability Pact in South-Eastern Europe, the Danube Cooperation Process, the South-Eastern European Cooperation Initiative and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC).
Taking into consideration the traditional ties with French culture and civilisation, enhanced by the strong influence of the French legal and administrative system, Romania is an active member of the Organization Internationale de la Francophonie.
Between November 2018 and July 2019, Romania was a co-organiser of the Season Romania-France, an international cultural project that coincided with the Romanian Presidency at the Council of the European Union, as well as with the celebration of two Centenaries: that of the Great Union (1918), implicitly of modern Romania, and the Centenary of the First World War’s ending. The Season Romania-France had a positive institutional impact, opening premises for the development of direct partnerships.
Romania, through the National Cultural Fund Administration, is an affiliate member of the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA).
Romania joined UNESCO in 1956 and from 1972 until the end of 2011 it hosted the European Centre for Higher Education of UNESCO (CEPES). The UNESCO National Commission of Romania was set up under the direct coordination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of the Ministry for National Education, to ensure a close relationship with UNESCO and act as a multi-disciplinary body for the coordination of programmes, projects and activities in Romania. In this regard, by the end of 2019, the National Institute for Cultural Research and Training (NICRT, Ro. INCFC, Ed.) and its partners launched the UNESCO-funded study Culture for Development Indicators, which focuses on the contribution of culture to Romania’s sustainable development, as well as on the intersections of the most interesting statistical data on cultural participation, the economic impact of cultural activities and the importance of professional training. The results are embedded within seven analysis dimensions: economy, education, governance, social participation, communication, equality of chances and heritage.
Since its accession to the EU (2007), Romania has participated in all major programmes and initiatives in the field of culture and audiovisual, particularly in the following:
- European Heritage Label. Launched in 2006 to highlight the multiple European dimensions of historical monuments, natural and urban sites or commemorative sites, thus celebrating European values, ideas and history. The Sighet Memorial (former communist prison) is one of the sites that have been awarded this label following the new selection procedure introduced in 2011.
- Creative Europe Programme. The Ministry of Culture, through its specialised unit for the management of projects, is hosting the Romanian Creative Europe Desk.
- Europe for Citizens. The contact point for this programme is also hosted by the Project Management Unit of the Ministry of Culture and National Identity.
- EU Strategy for the Danube Region. Romania is a co-coordinator with Bulgaria for the priority area number 3 (promotion of culture and tourism, of “people to people” contacts) and the Ministry of Culture is the technical coordinator for culture-related matters.
- EU Strategy for the Black Sea Region. Romania supports the regional cooperation, in particular with a view to contributing to the development of the cultural tourism, through such projects as, inter alia, the establishment of the Cultural Port of the Black Sea.
- European Capital of Culture. Following the city of Sibiu, which was awarded this title in 2007, alongside Luxembourg, the city of Timișoara has won the competition and was designated as “European Capital of Culture” for the year 2021.
Romania is one of the beneficiary countries of the EEA financial mechanism. Under the current grant scheme, the Ministry of Culture, through its Project Management Unit, was entrusted with the management of the financing programme dedicated to culture Cultural entrepreneurship, cultural heritage and cultural exchanges (RO-CULTURA). The aim is to support integrated and innovative management of cultural heritage, including that of the Roma minority and strengthening access to culture via the development of cultural entrepreneurship, audience building and support for cultural initiatives concerning the Roma minority.