The major provider of financial support for the cultural and creative sectors is the national budget (both the State budget and the local budgets).
Private financing, as a form of sponsorship, CSR schemes or private donations and grants (via the 2% mechanism described in para. 5.1.5 supra) is not equally developed and tends to concentrate in major cities.
An important source for cultural financing, not yet fully understood by all cultural operators, can be found in the various Operational Programmes 2014-2020 (e.g. Regional Development, Administrative Capacity Building, Human Capital, Competitiveness).
In addition, Romanian cultural operators may access the EEA Grants Program as well as a number of grant schemes and programmes managed by Cultural Institutes of other countries in Romania (e.g. Switzerland, Germany, France etc.)
At the national level, budgetary allocations for the cultural and creative sectors are channelled through the budget of the Ministry of Culture.
The budgetary allocations to the Ministry of Culture have three main destinations:
- to cover its own operational and investment expenditures;
- to allocate necessary funding for all subordinated institutions;
- to support various cultural programs initiated pursuant to specific pieces of legislation or decided upon by the Ministry (via internal decisions – Ministerial Orders) and for which grants can be obtained by different cultural operators on the basis of the cultural priorities decided upon by the ministry.
Currently the Ministry of Culture is directly managing the following grant schemes and programmes:
- Priority Cultural Programme, which offers annual or multi-annual grants for projects that comply with a number of eight specific criteria.
- “Emergency Cultural Needs” (Nevoi Culturale de Urgență) for which 2% to 8% of the annual budget of the ministry is allocated (in accordance with with G.O. No. 51/1998, amended and modified), and the criteria for financing such programs and projects are decided upon annually, via a Minister Order, and are attributed directly for each program.
- Financing of Cultural Magazines and Publications; a programme established in compliance with Law no. 136/2015 on financing representative cultural magazines of Romania,, which stipulates the allocation of an additional 25% (minimum) of the amount of 4,500,000 lei (specified for publications of Creators’ Unions) to publications that do not belong to the creators’ unions-members of the National Alliance of Creators’ Unions.. These grants are allocated following an annual open call session.
- National Culture Day – celebrated on the 15th of January each year. The grants are given following an open call for projects.
- National programme for Financing Systematic Archaeological Research, regulated by G.O. No. 43/2000, amended and modified, for which research projects are selected on the basis of the annual plan of archaeological researches.
- Creative camps for visual arts, based on an annual selection of proposals.
- “CultIN” – a program designed for entrepreneurs from cultural and creative industries with a potential to generate added value by monetizing intellectual property in the following areas: architecture, traditional crafts, design, digital media and set up of cultural hubs.
- “Acces” – a program dedicated to the promotion of contemporary culture, intercultural dialogue and creative potential of the youth and innovative approaches to cultural heritage.
Some specialised institutions subordinated to the Ministry of Culture have statutory force to launch financing programmes and open calls for application to these grants and financing schemes. These institutions are: National Centre for Cinema, Administration of the National Cultural Fund, National Heritage Institute and National Centre for Dance.
Each of these institutions has special regulations determining the scope of their activity and in the case of the first two their budget is made up from various contributions from economic operators in the form of para-fiscal taxes, as well as from allocations from the State budget.
All state aid and grants schemes administered by the above institutions follow an open procedure based on transparent rules, competition of projects and peer review evaluation.
The operations and activity of the National Heritage Institute is regulated by G.D. No. 593/2011 and a series of laws (L 422/2001, L 6/2008, L 26/2008), with their respective subsequent modifications. One of the main activities of the Institute is the management of the funds allocated for research, restoration, protection of historical monuments via the National Programme for the Restoration of Historical Monuments. The funds dedicated to this programme come mainly from the state budget through the budget of the Ministry of Culture. The institute is also entrusted with the collection and management of the “historical monuments stamp” (“timbrul monumentelor istorice”), instituted by Law No. 422/2001, which must be used, inter alia, for loan funding of emergency intervention works on historical monuments.
The National Centre for Dance has its activity regulated by G.D. No. 1123/2004 modified, and its operations are funded via budgetary allocations and own revenues. This institution supports programmes and projects of independent professionals and entities with a view to develop choreographic culture, research, experiment and innovation in contemporary dance.
Subsidies granted by the ministry to its own subordinated institutions are decided upon on the basis of the evaluation of the programmes implemented in the previous year and on the scope of the proposed managerial programme for the next budgetary period.
Recently, the Government has adopted E.G.O No. 76/2018 approving a programme of investments in culture for the period 2019-2026 of 4.5 billion lei dedicated to financing the purchase of historical monuments and movable cultural goods, building of cultural infrastructure, interventions and restorations of historical monuments, rehabilitation and modernization of existing cultural infrastructure. The programme shall be managed by the Ministry of Culture and National Identity.
Eligible beneficiaries are public institutions, national and local, whose contributions shall amount to 2% of the total value of the respective investment.