The right of access to culture is guaranteed in Romania by Article 33 of the Constitution (see chapter 1.1), even though the harmonisation between the central and local levels in cultural matters (the cultural needs of the beneficiaries, areas of cultural interest, financing adaptation) is still in its early stages.
According to the results of the UNESCO-funded study Culture for Development Indicators (“a pioneering research and advocacy initiative that aims to establish a set of indicators highlighting how culture contributes to development at the national level fostering economic growth, and helping individuals and communities to expand their life choices and adapt to change”), conducted by the National Institute for Cultural Research and Training, in Romania, the necessary standard setting framework and the policy and institutional framework are operational. The majority of binding international instruments were ratified, while principles of universal declarations and recommendations have been in great part incorporated into the national law.
Significant efforts were made to elaborate a strategic framework for culture, with an action plan and an adequate budget. There was an attempt to update the strategic framework Sectoral Strategy for Culture and National Heritage for the period 2014-2020 by adopting a new strategyfor the period 2016-2022. A new strategic framework for 2021-2027 will be prepared with European funding.
Currently, the only officially assumed and approved strategic frameworks that govern the sector of culture are the Governing programme 2018-2020 (that lists the priorities for Culture) and the White paper for Unlocking the Economic Potential of the Cultural and Creative Sectors in Romania (2017).
According to the UNESCO-CDIS study, the indicator Civil society participation in cultural governance shows a result of 0.925/1 (year 2018) for Romania. The score of 0.925/1 indicates that in Romania the opportunities for access and participation of both minorities and cultural professionals in the decision-making process are present.
The participation of minorities at national level is ensured through the Council of National Minorities – a government advisory body without legal basis, coordinated by the Department for Interethnic Relations, subordinated to the Prime Minister and coordinated by the Deputy Minister for the Coordination of the Secretariat-General of the Government. The Council is consists of three representatives from the national minorities’ organisations in the Romanian Parliament.
While at national level the meetings of the Council are permanent, at local level the Department for Interethnic Relations maintains permanent links and cooperates with local public administration authorities, their meetings being ad-hoc in nature.
The participation of cultural professionals at national and local level in processes related to designing and implementation of measures is ensured by a series of institutional mechanisms, such as the specialised national commissions for cultural heritage that operate under the umbrella of the Ministry of Culture and National Identity: the National Commissions for Historical Monuments, Museums and Collections, the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage, Public Monuments, and Archaeology.
The National Commission for Historical Monuments proposes the approval of the methodologies, norms and technical-scientific measures in the field of historical monuments protection, as well as the related strategies. At the same time, it draws priorities for the works and measures necessary to ensure the protection of historical monuments, irrespective of their legal situation and the source of financing; approves the List of Historical Monuments drawn up by the National Heritage Institute; proposes monuments to be included in the List of Cultural and Natural Heritage and in the UNESCO World Heritage List; approves the logo of historical monuments; proposes the classification, downgrading, non-classification or changes in the historical monuments’ classification group; and fulfils other attributions given in its competence, according to the law.
With respect to the protection of historical monuments, the Ministry of Culture and National Identity has 12 Zonal Commissions organised at local level that are decentralised and specialised bodies of the National Commission of the Historical Monuments.