1. Cultural policy system
Last update: February, 2015
Moldova as a country, territory or political entity has undergone great changes in the past few centuries and has a long history of foreign domination; indeed, questions of territory and cultural identity have been at the core of its development as an independent Republic.
At the dawn of the 19th century, Moldova was a province of Romania. In 1812, it was annexed by Tsarist Russia until 1917, when Moldova first declared itself a Democratic Republic. This political status was short lived as the parliament (Sfatul Ţării, – the National Council) voted for unification with Romania just 4 months later – resulting in a 22-year period when the Moldovan language and culture became increasingly more Romanian and Western-oriented. In 1940, Soviet forces reoccupied the Region. Moldova remained part of the USSR until the collapse of Communism in the early 1990s.
As in other USSR Republics or Eastern European countries, cultural policy was a propaganda tool of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Moldova. The Ministry of Culture and several arts associations were, therefore, obliged to conform to the Party's ideology and to ensure that cultural policy and activities were carried out according to the Central Committee's instructions.
Writers, artists and the cultural elite were also engaged as propaganda agents. The Committee granted them certain benefits and privileges in return for their efforts to consolidate the ideology of the system in a "credible and accessible" manner (Lenin's slogan "art belongs to the people"). The totalitarian state controlled the process of creativity by valuing and rewarding works of "socialist realism" and rejecting a diversity of artistic approaches.
Arts associations were originally set up to monitor and promote artistic uniformity. As they became increasingly disparate and the composition of their membership was questioned, authorities set up three state Committees – for Publishing, Press and Radio-Television – to strictly monitor and censor the ideological content of literary and artistic works. They were also given the task of suppressing any expressions of affiliation to the Romanian language or culture. During the 47 years of Soviet occupation, Moldova was denied the right to their centuries-old common language, history and culture based on ancient, classical and contemporary Romanian traditions. The result was the disappearance of a distinct national culture during the period of Soviet Moldova. This fuelled a resistance and opposition to the ruling regime.
On August 27, 1991 the Republic of Moldova was declared an independent country. This historical event was precipitated by civil war. Public demands were made for official recognition of the Moldovan-Romanian linguistic identity, a return to the Latin alphabet, and the re-establishment of Romanian as the official language.
During the years 1991-2006, the main objectives of Moldovan cultural policies were:
- to ensure conditions to promote creative works by preserving existing national institutions and revising procedures to remunerate artists for their work;
- to protect the cultural heritage by improving the copyright system, supporting the publishing sector and developing archives;
- to promote human potential through a reform of staff policy in the public cultural administration;
- to support diverse cultural processes by identifying priorities and attracting human and material resources to realise these priorities;
- to re-focus cultural management towards new models and mechanisms; and
- to promote culture through electronic media and to create an integrated information space in the cultural field.
The most visible signs of change during this transition period were the freedom of speech, elimination of ideological censorship and development of legislation which has been modified to correspond with the rest of Europe. There are a large number of "good intentioned laws" in the Republic of Moldova, which have not yet been implemented or made viable on a practical level. Shallow reforms (too often understood as a simple reduction of funding) and the lack of a comprehensive cultural policy have also suspended the full implementation of cultural policy objectives.
During the communist governance, between 2001 – 2009, the results (performances) achieved with such a great effort were ruined one after another. Culture became again the most marginalised sphere, and all previously initiated projects degenerated into actions with a pronounced communist ideology.
The decentralisation process was suspended. The criterion of professionalism was replaced with the degree of servitude to power. Dozens of monuments and books were manufactured and published, with no historical or literary value, except for the glorification of the communist past.
The new ruling government, established in 2009, is a coalition of four parties with different social and cultural platforms. It was known from the beginning that this government is a transitional one, and will exist no longer than a year. Thus, the new ministries have not designed policies for the long or medium term.
Their only target was reanimating the country from the economic collapse and reinstating human rights and liberties, and the supremacy of the law.
From the cultural perspective, two new television stations appeared and a significant number of cultural events took place, which shows a great openness of the Moldovan culture toward the cultures of the world.
28 November 2010 was the day of the new parliamentary elections. These elections were particularly important, because they determined the path Moldova was to follow in the future.
However, the elections did not have the expected results. Although the governing coalition remained in power, the dissensions within the coalition have deepened, generating a prolonged political crisis. And, consequently, the announced reforms have been postponed, especially those in the field of justice, which are absolutely necessary for the future of Moldova.
On 29 November 2013, in the frames of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, the Republic of Moldova signed an Association Agreement with the European Union. This important and unprecedented agreement symbolises openness to cooperation between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union and provides formal commitments to the community forum and establishing a general framework of relations between the parties.
Subsequently, on 13 November 2014, the European Parliament ratified the EU-Moldova Association Agreement, which includes a deep and comprehensive trade agreement. The Agreement is the foundation for a stronger political association and economic integration between the EU and the Republic of Moldova, providing free reciprocal market access.
Main features of the current cultural policy model
The Moldovan cultural policy model is mostly centred on activities of the government and the Ministry of Culture as the central body which promotes state policy in the arts and culture. The government elaborates and provides funds for the state programmes on the protection and development of culture and sets directions, forms and means to implement them.
Cultural policy in the Republic of Moldova primarily focuses on preserving cultural values under threat in response to the effects caused by the difficult and dramatic circumstances prior to the transition period. The identity crisis, characteristic of all post-Communist states, is a key cultural issue to be addressed generally by the executive of the Republic of Moldova and specifically in the difficult process of developing a sustained and appropriate cultural policy.
The cultural history of Moldova has, in many respects, been different from that of other countries with similar histories. Having been deprived of the natural interaction between national and universal values, Moldova is engaged in an on-going process of overcoming its past, which has tended to polarise outlooks and to act as a barrier for advancing specific initiatives. The Republic of Moldova is a young country struggling for its identity and is attempting to create its own economic, political and cultural future. These areas tend, however, to be self-contained: it is unclear how exactly they will be integrated.
In 2012, for the first time since the proclamation of independence, the Ministry of Culture (with the support of UNDP) initiated the process of developing "The National Strategy for the Development of Culture in the Republic of Moldova / Culture 2020". This document was finalised and approved by Government Decision No. 271 of 9 April 2014.
This document is innovative as for the first time a systematic analysis of the cultural sector of the Republic of Moldova was undertaken and as a result, the general directions and objectives for developing culture for the medium and long-term period were identified. The document was developed based on analysis of the key issues facing the cultural sector in the Republic of Moldova. It comprises an action plan for each general objective, having indicators for monitoring and evaluation of the strategy, and also an estimated budget for implementation of the priority actions.
The Mission of the Strategy is to provide the cultural sector with a coherent, efficient and pragmatic policy framework, based on the priorities described in the document. The Strategy took into account cultural sector needs and has a flexible vision that will allow development of certain cultural fields over others. Policies traced in the present Strategy form the framework for developing and implementing policies without ideologies, dogmas or centralisation of the state on the cultural sector.
According to the Strategy vision, the Republic of Moldova will have a consolidated, independent and creative cultural sector, with cultural heritage that is protected and integrated in the national and regional public policies, including the sustainable development activities: educational, social, economic, tourism and environmental by 31 December 2020.
The objective of the Strategy is assuring a viable cultural environment, through creation of an adequate framework of public policies, setting up a functional system for preserving and valuing cultural heritage, promoting creativity, developing cultural industries, increasing efficiency of the cultural management, improving the quality of life of the citizens and increasing tolerance and social cohesion.
Currently the Strategy for the development of culture in the Republic of Moldova / Culture 2020 is the basic policy document in the field of culture in the Republic of Moldova, which will allow cultural sector development.
In theory, the process of decentralisation began in 1991. In practice, the management of both funds and cultural activities has changed very little, the main reason being the lack of knowledge and experience among local authorities to set up their own budgets – a situation which still persists today.
The process of decentralisation in Moldova – as in many other post-socialist countries - is still hampered by managerial and financial problems. Cultural managers at all levels lack the experience required to redistribute functions and responsibilities among the various administrative bodies. Decentralisation and redistribution of financial and administrative responsibilities are the most difficult and complex problems that cultural policy in the Republic of Moldova is facing at present. The past decade has proven that the cultural funding system based on the former centralised model has become outdated and inadequate.
After the territorial-administrative reform in 2003, the local cultural institutions network in 32 districts was re-incorporated into a more centralised system, thus becoming more exposed to the interventionist policy of both central and district authorities.
As it was mentioned in the previous chapter, the decentralisation process failed during the period 2001 – 2009 and instead became a strongly pronounced centrist system, to the extent that the whole power of decision-making was concentrated in the hands of a few people who intervened in absolutely all projects.
Therefore, one of the tasks of the new interim government in 2009 was to re-establish the equilibrium between the exaggerated and bureaucratic apparatus of central and local mayoralties.
Local authorities can submit requests for funding from the state budget to the Ministry of Culture for projects presenting at least some interest at national level. The Collegiate Board of the Ministry of Culture then decides whether or not to approve the partial funding of such activities.
Cultural policy objectives
The National Strategy for the development of culture in the Republic of Moldova / Culture 2020 establishes four general objectives and directions for developing cultural policy of the Republic of Moldova:
- preserving national cultural heritage;
- assuring real and virtual circulation of cultural products;
- increasing the economy of the cultural sector and creative industries; and
- enhancing the contribution of culture in developing social cohesion.
A plan of action for implementation of the National Strategy for the development of culture in the Republic of Moldova / Culture 2020 was developed to attain the established objectives, which foresee concrete actions, undertaken by the Ministry of Culture for the Strategy implementation:
- creation and facilitation of a favourable climate for artists and those employed in the cultural sector;
- decentralisation of the cultural sector by diminishing costs of financing through intensification of competition in the cultural field;
- improvement and development of the business climate in the cultural sector; and
- preservation of the national cultural heritage in all its diversity.
The Strategy identifies the following key-themes for developing the cultural sector:
- diversification of the services offered by the state and private cultural institutions;
- protecting national cultural heritage; and
- elaborating the framework for creative industries development.
These actions correspond to the National Strategy for Moldova Development 2020, which places the accent for changing the paradigm of the country development through attraction of local and foreign investments, development of research and innovation activities and of export industries.
Culture in the Republic of Moldova has not benefited from any significant attention and it has not been regarded as a development priority. The cultural sphere is not included among the objectives in the national strategic documents, such as Strategy for Economic Growth and Poverty (2004-2006), the National Strategy for development 2008-2011, "Re-launching Moldova", or "Moldova 2020".
The cultural sphere is mentioned in the Government Programmes (2005-2014), although it is not seen as a development priority:
- Activity Programme of the Government of the Republic of Moldova for the period 2005-2009 "Country Modernisation –Welfare of the People";
- Activity Programme of the Government of the Republic of Moldova for the period 2008-2009 "Progress and Integration";
- Activity Programme of the Government of the Republic of Moldova: "European Integration: Liberty, Democracy, Welfare" for the period 2009-2013; and
- Activity Programme of the Government of the Republic of Moldova: "European Integration: Liberty, Democracy, Welfare" for the period 2011-2014.
The National Programme of informatisation of the cultural sphere for the period 2012-2020 foresees the following:
- creation of the infrastructure and informational cultural space necessary for providing electronic services in the cultural sphere;
- implementation of electronic governing within the central office of the Ministry of Culture and in the subordinated institutions;
- digitalisation of the cultural heritage at the rate of 75%;
- assuring digitalisation of books in public libraries;
- creation of online public cultural services; and
- creation of web pages for the cultural institutions.
The "Long-term Strategy for Economic Development and Poverty Alleviation", launched by the government in September 2003, includes several provisions concerning cultural tourism as an important part of the national economy. Over the next 15 years, the state policy in the field of cultural tourism will focus on new issues.
The main directions are:
- to adjust the frameworks and legal provisions concerning cultural tourism to European standards;
- to improve staff education and training in tourism institutions and develop high-level tourism management programmes; and
- to develop the cultural tourism sector as a part of national economic programmes.
Finances from the state and other sources need to be assured to build a comprehensive system of support in order to create conditions for the development and promotion of Moldovan culture during its current transition period.
Last update: February, 2015
The organigram represents the structure of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Moldova.
Source: Ministry of Culture, Organisational structure of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Moldova (Government Decision No. 425 from 27.06.2013).
Last update: February, 2015
The Parliament passes legislation drafted by the Ministry of Culture in co-ordination with the Parliamentary Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Public Information.
The Parliament ultimately approves the budget on culture following the submission of a bill prepared by the Ministry of Culture and in co-operation with an inter-ministerial body. Proposals for the budget can be submitted to the Ministry of Culture by national culture and arts institutions. Key pieces of legislation must be approved by Presidential advisory bodies, and occasionally by the President him / herself.
The main authorities, institutions and public organisations in the institutional framework that manage and regulate culture are:
- The Ministry of Culture;
- Agencies, Councils and Commissions subordinated to the Ministry of Culture;
- Local Public Authorities of the second level;
- Cultural Directions / Sections of the Local Public Authorities of the second level and Balti municipality; and
- Local Public Authorities of the first level.
The Ministry of Culture is the central administrative body responsible for cultural policy in the Republic of Moldova. The mission of the Ministry of Culture is to contribute to promotion of the national identity and country’s image, assuring accessibility, preserving and valuing cultural heritage and national values, developing creativity and forming personality, strengthening cultural dialogue in the Republic of Moldova and abroad for the balanced economic and spiritual growth of citizens and communities.
According to the legislative and normative acts, the Ministry of Culture is responsible for developing and promoting policies in the following areas: professional art (literature, theatre, music, choreography, visual arts, cinema and circus), arts education and cultural industries, cultural heritage and visual arts, folk art, artistic crafts, amateur artistic activity, and written culture.
Among the basic documents through which the Ministry of Culture assures implementation of the governing programme is the Programme for Strategic Development of the Ministry of Culture (PSD) for the period 2012-2014. This PSD is approved at the Ministry College meeting and represents the strategic planning document for the Ministry of Culture’s activities, and is a successor to the Institutional Development Plan.
The Ministry of Culture has the following cultural policies priorities for the medium term:
- development of culture;
- preserving national heritage and assuring wide access by citizens to cultural values; and
- promoting national cultural values as a part of the European cultural heritage.
The main objectives for the activity of the Ministry of Culture are the following:
- assuring improvement of the legislative framework regarding performance-based management in the cultural sphere institutions, including standards and performance indicators;
- promoting development of contemporary art;
- assuring protection and valuing tangible and intangible cultural heritage;
- coordinating supplementing book funds of the public libraries;
- assuring functioning and financing the educational process in the artistic education institutions; and
- coordinating the monitoring, evaluation and reporting processes regarding implementation of the policies in the cultural sphere.
In autumn 2009, after repeated parliamentary elections in the Republic of Moldova (05 April 2009 and 29 July 2009), a new, democratic government was established, after eight years of communist governance. The newly established government identified several Ministries as inefficient and decided to re-structure them, including the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which is now the Ministry of Culture, as it was before 2001.
Tourism separated from the former Ministry of Culture and Tourism although there is still cooperation in the area of cultural tourism.
Existing departments / divisions / sections were changed, as shown in the organigram of the Ministry of Culture, but any new priorities have not been announced yet.
Among the newly created structures there is the Department for Inter-Ethnic Relations, which is the body of the central public authorities responsible for implementing the national policy in the sphere of inter-ethnic relations and language functioning. The Department for International Relations, European integration and the Diaspora is specialised in policies regarding multicultural inter-ethnic relations. At the same time, on 19 October 2012, the Diaspora Relations Bureau was created within the State Chancellery, with the mission to assure the coherent and comprehensive policy framework for Moldova's diaspora, through coordination of the state policy in this sphere, consulting the diaspora associations on government policies, consolidation of Moldova's diaspora, developing, monitoring and evaluating policies and programmes oriented towards the diaspora, providing necessary assistance for the Prime-ministry regarding policies oriented towards Moldova's diaspora. In this regard for the first time during the independence of the Republic of Moldova, the diaspora is approached transversally and horizontally by the Government of the Republic of Moldova, which will allow for developing coherent policies, addressing all citizens of the Republic of Moldova, regardless of their place of residence.
After the territorial-administrative reform in 2003, 32 District Offices, the municipal Department of Culture Chisinau and the municipal Directorate of Culture Balti were set up to manage all local cultural institutions. Their main goals are:
- to ensure conditions necessary for the development of folk art and traditional handicrafts, as well as for entertainment and other cultural activities;
- to carry out programmes on conservation and promotion of culture and art in the districts / municipalities by organising various cultural events: festivals, competitions, activities aimed at conserving and promoting folk art, reviews of amateur groups, fine arts and handicraft exhibitions; and
- to submit to the Ministry of Culture and the district / municipal Council an annual report on its activity and on the operation of the institutions under their control.
The network of the cultural institutions in the territory includes 1 232 Houses of Culture, 1 368 public libraries, 109 schools of art, music and painting and 119 museums.
In conclusion, one can affirm that the structure of
cultural public institutions and organisations is over dimensioned,
which does not favour the development of the private sector. This
creates conditions for inefficient and non-transparent utilisation of
the public heritage, because institutions responsible for governing
culture have incoherent functions and competences, and there is
inadequate administration and public control. Impediments of the
institutional framework are determined by the inefficient administration
of the cultural sector, having at its core the centralised management
of the soviet type, which hinders implementation of reforms in the
cultural sphere. The institutional and regulatory framework of cultural
sphere does not correspond to the actual economic and social realities.
Programme for the Strategic Development of the Ministry of Culture for the period 2012-2014
Please find the available information on this subject in 1.2.2.
Please find the available information on this subject in 1.2.2.
Last update: February, 2015
In the Republic of Moldova there are about 7000 registered NGOs, but culture is among the areas where the presence of NGOs is very modest and represents about 5% of the total number of NGOs, of which only 2% are active.
In such circumstances, an art market cannot exist, while the ability of lobbying and advocacy of the civil society from the field of culture is extremely weak. Financing policies are mainly focused on the financing of public institutions, while the non-governmental sector is practically neglected. The Ministry of Culture does not have a public policy on development of the private cultural sector, while the unique form of financial support is a fund of 2 million MDL annually, which is less than 1% of the budget of the Ministry of Culture. Funding of artists' unions and civil society associations takes place under the "Regulation on financing from the state budget of programmes, projects and cultural activities carried out by civil society associations", approved by the Government Decision No. 39 of 26 January 2009. In 2013 only 53 projects were funded, in the amount of 1 790 200 MDL.
Lately, through various cultural activities, the following organisations manifested themselves: Cultural Policy Centre, Centre for Contemporary Art KSA:K, Moldovan Association of Contemporary Music, ARS DOR Association, Association Oberliht, Artists Associations "Papyrus-studio", German Cultural Centre AKZENTE, Theatre "Spălătorie", "Muzica nelimitată", etc.
The Association of Artists "Papyrus-Studio" is an NGO, operating since 1999 and aims to animate the artistic life of the Republic of Moldova through implementing new technologies and materials.
ARS DOR is an Arts and Professional Development Centre that provides consulting, training and capacity development programmes for the cultural sector of the Republic of Moldova. In this respect, ARS DOR Association contributes to developing and implementing cultural policies, initiation of advocacy campaigns and lobbying, by making research and developing analytical studies in the cultural field. At the same time, ARS DOR consults institutions from the cultural field in developing strategic development plans, provides training in cultural management and marketing, cultural resources mapping, project management, fundraising, etc.
In October 2011 a Convention on support and development of culture in Moldova was jointly signed by Creative Unions, cultural institutions and representatives of six political parties – "Culture 2015".
The aim of signing this convention is the modernisation and inclusion of Moldovan culture in the international circuit. The Convention envisages actions aimed to support artists and other professionals in the field, and foster cultural life in the country for the next four years, corresponding to the length of activity of the current parliament. (for more information see also chapter 2.1)
Last update: February, 2015
The Ministry of Culture co-operates with the Ministries of the Economy, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Education, Labour and Justice along with the Department of Ethnic Relations, via inter-ministerial joint committees. It is responsible for raising cultural issues in committees whose activities are of an economic or commercial nature.
The Ministry of Culture also provides support for committees, which undertake cultural co-operation with other countries such as Italy or France.
Recently, a Board was created with representatives of ethnic minority associations, within the Department of Inter-Ethnic Relations, with the role of debating the most important issues of this institution, including those concerning intercultural dialogue.
Last update: February, 2015
The Moldovan model of Cultural Policy is based on the strong influence of the state on cultural institutions and their activity. For years, the state tried to maintain and to revive the the infrastructure that remained as a legacy from the Soviet period, using resources for culture inefficiently. The state did not invest in human capital which has to manage this infrastructure in the new conditions of the market economy. As a result, we have an underdeveloped cultural infrastructure: institutions with weak management capacity and an acute shortage of skilled human resources.
Some signs of democratisation such as decentralisation and the combination with market mechanisms appeared through the establishment of new agencies such as: the State Enterprise "Impresarios Agency", State Agency for Morality Protection, Agency of Inspection and Restoration of Monuments, National Centre of Folk Arts, and the National Archaeological Agency. Thus, a substantial part of public responsibilities were transferred to these institutions, but the role of the civil society still remains underestimated and unappreciated.
Recently, the Ministry of Culture has developed the Decentralisation Programme of the Cultural Sector, which aims to strengthen the financial, institutional and management autonomy, establishes the powers and responsibilities of the cultural sector management, the central and local public authorities of the I and II level. Thus, the following powers were delegated to the local public authorities of level I and II: patrimony, planning, development and management of infrastructure necessary for cultural activities. They will ensure management of cultural institutions from the regions through rayon / municipal specialised bodies (cultural departments, divisions, services).
Last update: February, 2015
Table 5: Cultural institutions financed by public authorities, by domain
|Domain||Cultural institutions (subdomains)||Number (Year)||Trend (++ to --)|
|Cultural heritage||Cultural heritage sites (recognised)||-||-|
|Museums (organisations)||3 (2013)|
|Archives (of public authorities)||-||-|
|Visual arts||public art galleries / exhibition halls||-||-|
|National College of Fine Arts||1 (2013)|
|Boarding school at secondary level, which provides special courses in fine arts||1 (2013)|
|Performing arts||Symphonic orchestras (see below - Concert Halls and Performing Institutions)||-||-|
|Music schools (Colleges of Music)||3 (2013)|
|Boarding schools at second level, providing special courses in music and choreography.||3 (2013)|
|Music / theatre academies (Academy of Theatre, Music and Fine Arts)||1 (2013)|
|Dramatic theatre||12 (2013)|
|Music theatres, opera houses||2 (2013)|
|Dance and ballet companies (National Academic Ensemble of Folk Dance ”JOC”)||1 (2013)|
|Books and Libraries||Libraries||3 (2013)||n/a|
|Audiovisual||Broadcasting organisations||1 (2013)|
|Interdisciplinary||Socio-cultural centres / cultural houses (National Centre of Folk Arts)||1 (2013)|
|Other||Publishing and Printing Houses||5 (2013)|
|Concert Halls and Performing Institutions (including orchestras)||17 (2013)|
Source: Ministry of Culture, 2013.
Last update: February, 2015
In the course of the last 10 years almost all of the major cultural institutions have re-named themselves either "National" or "Centres" without, however, radically changing their status, other than by acquiring impresario rights and a degree of autonomy in the management of their buildings and halls. Similarly, all arts associations ceased being organisations promoting state programmes and became voluntary associations of artists (writers) united primarily by professional interests rather than artistic or conceptual goals.
In the period from 1995 to 2000, university and scientific libraries, the National Library, and the National Children's Library were equipped with hardware and software (Integrated Library System TINLIB). These libraries set up local area networks, bibliographic and specialised databases containing over 700 000 records. Funding for the computerisation of libraries (with a few exceptions) and for other eligible projects in the scientific and cultural fields has been provided by the Soros Foundation of Moldova.
During the last 15 years, the Soros Foundation Moldova was the main sponsor of culture and arts in the Republic of Moldova. It supported the cultural sectors through different programmes, grants, honourable premiums, scholarships etc. In the last couple of years, the Foundation has re-oriented its activity towards policy making. Therefore, artists no longer have funds in this sector. On the other hand, the Soros Foundation brings to Moldova new perspectives. For example, the Foundation's Cultural Policy Programme is developing strategies for the changes to and viability of the cultural sector in Moldova. Through the training and workshops organised within this specific Programme, the cultural agents are trained on how to apply and collect funds from international organisations and also state institutions.
The yearly expenditure provided by Soros Foundation in the field of cultural policies development constitutes 90 000 USD.
Last update: February, 2015
The main instruments of international co-operation are bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements and cultural co-operation programmes. However, the Ministry concludes more detailed protocols with some countries, e.g. the annual protocol of co-operation with the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs of Romania.
To date, the Republic of Moldova has concluded agreements and detailed programmes on cultural co-operation and cultural tourism development with 35 countries.
The three institutions most involved in this process are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-ordinates and negotiates all the agreements on international cultural co-operation and has a key role in international cultural affairs that may have wider political implications. The Ministry of Culture usually drafts the international inter-ministerial agreements and cultural co-operation programmes and is responsible for its administration.
The Ministry of Education is responsible for cross-border co-operation in education and science, and for exchanges in the field of art, music and literature with countries such as Italy, France, Russia and Romania. One example in this field is the co-operation protocols between the Moldovan and Romanian Ministries of Education, whereby over 1 000 Moldovans study in different institutions in Romania each year, including art universities and research cultural centres. In 2014 this number increased to 7 840 young people. These programmes are carried out and funded by the Romanian Government.
On 26 August 2010, a protocol of cooperation was signed between the Romanian and Moldovan Ministries of Education on mutual recognition of diplomas and certificates of studies awarded in Moldova or Romania, and thus in the EU. The document stipulates that the university curricula in both countries will be unified in the near future, along with the mutual recognition of scientific titles.
The Romanian Cultural Institute, Romanian Ministry of Culture and Religious Denominations and the Department for Relations with the Romanian Diaspora are also very active in supporting cultural projects in the Republic of Moldova (e.g. fellowships, research projects, summer schools for artists, publishing of writers' works and other cultural publications etc).
In September 2010, the Romanian Cultural Institute "Mihai Eminescu" was opened in Chisinau. The Romanian Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova commented that this event was an instrument of modern cultural diplomacy.
According to Government Decision No. 610 of 19 August 2013, an Agreement for collaboration between the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Moldova and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia, was signed in Chisinau on 11 July 2013. According to Government Decision No. 677 of 2 September 2013, an Agreement for collaboration in the cultural sphere was approved between the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the Government of Turkmenistan, signed in Chisinau on 24 July 2013.
In the last years a number of foreign film festivals were organised, with the financial support of the embassies based in Moldova, such as the Film Festival of the Francophone Countries, Great Britain, Japan, USA, Israel, Poland, Spain and Sweden. In the period October-November 2013, the Days of Spanish culture in the Republic of Moldova were organised, which took place on the National Day of Spain, and Days of Polish Films and Festival of Sweden films were held in Chisinau and Tiraspol.
The cultural agenda in 2013 was overloaded with cultural events, both national and international. Among them are the following cultural actions: International Festival of Theatre and Film schools "ClassFest", Festival "Days of New Music", XII edition, International Saxophone Festival "Sax Story", International Piano Festival "Pianistic Nights from Moldova – Black Sea", XII edition, Ethno-Jazz Festival, International Festival of violin music "The Queen Violin", II edition, International Competition of symphonic conducting, XIX edition, International Festival of Opera and Ballet Stars "Maria Biesu invites", International Painting Biennale Chisinau – 2013, etc..
More sporadically, training, language courses, and research grants are implemented and partially financed by such organisations as the Romanian Cultural Institute, Swiss Development Cooperation, Goethe-Institute, the British Council, and the Alliance Française.
Special articles of the concluded agreements regulate financial conditions for participation at international cultural events listed in co-operation programmes, as well as guarantees for international exhibitions. The Ministry of Culture funds only part of certain international events (festivals, fairs, exhibitions) organised in Moldova. Other international cultural activities and travel expenses for participation at events abroad are funded from other sources (local budgets, sponsorship, grants, etc.).
Last update: February, 2015
In recent years, Moldova has participated in projects run by several international organisations, such as the Council of Europe, the Central European Initiative, the European Union (RAPHAEL and PHARE projects as a non-member state), and UNESCO, the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme. Moldova was the most active participant in the Council of Europe's MOSAIC project. Within this framework, Moldovan cultural policy-makers and administrators took part in multilateral seminars on the funding and sponsorship of culture, working conditions for artists and cultural diversity. As a result of these activities, the National Report on Cultural Policy in the Republic of Moldova was prepared. In September 2001, in Chisinau, National Debates were organised relating to this document, with the participation of the Culture Committee of the Council of Europe.
The Ministry of Culture has also co-operated with international organisations that have representations in Moldova: UNDP, TACIS, Latin Union, and the Alliance Frances. For example, in 2000, the National Strategy on cultural tourism was elaborated by UNDP in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture.
Since 2002, Moldova participates in the Community of Independent States' (CIS) cultural programme - Delphi's Games for Youth, a contest for young artists organised each year in different countries of the CIS. In 2005, this cultural event took place in Moldova.
The Republic of Moldova has ratified all UNESCO Conventions on cultural issues.
The agencies charged with implementing and monitoring the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions are the Moldovan National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education and Youth, the State Department for Inter-Ethnic Relations and some of the most important centres and associations for Human Rights and for Minority Issues.
In the frames of the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme, cultural institutions from the Republic of Moldova participated in 4 projects: 1. Say Cheese: Eastern Family Album. Capacity Building, Networking and Promotion of Thematic Eastern Partnership Photography; 2. "Sharing History, Cultural Dialogues"; 3. Sustainable Public Areas for Culture in Eastern Countries (SPACES); 4. Valorisation and Improvement of Management of Small Historic Centres in the Eastern Partnership Region (VIVA EAST). Also, on 17 April 2013, in the frames of the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme, the Regional Monitoring and Capacity Building Unit (RMCBU) in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Moldova, organised the round table "Strategies for culture development: a national approach". It also involved a number of training activities, which included experts from the cultural sphere from 6 countries - members of the Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaidjan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), and experts from the RMCBU and international experts.
The European Commission, Directorate General for Culture and Education, commonly with the Ministry of Culture and Monuments Protection of Georgia, organised the first Ministerial Conference on the Eastern Partnership for Culture from 27-29 June 2013 in Tbilisi. The Conference had the objective of exploring how the cultural sphere can contribute to achieving sustainable development in the following fields: a) political reforms, democratisation, civil society development; b) economic development and creation of jobs; and c) social cohesion. Conference participants approved a Declaration in which are stipulated priority fields for cultural cooperation in the frames of the Eastern Partnership.
In the frames of the 4th Platform of the Eastern Partnership "Inter-human Contacts", the Republic of Moldova proposed the following collaboration priorities for the next 3 years: cultural cooperation and exchanges, art and artists mobility; cooperation in the field of protection and preserving cultural heritage; cooperation in the field of informatisation of the cultural sphere and digitisation of cultural heritage; cooperation in the field of development of cultural industries; cooperation in the frames of the international platforms such as UNESCO and the Council of Europe, with regard to developing cultural diversity, and preserving and valuing cultural and historic heritage.
Among the projects supported financially by the European Commission there is also the Pilot Project "Rehabilitation of cultural heritage in the historical centres".
Last update: February, 2015
Due to the centuries-old common language, history and cultural traditions, Moldova has close cultural links with Romania, developed at both institutional and individual levels. The festivals of Romance and folk Music, theatre festivals, individual exhibitions, film and theatre co-productions, training courses and workshops on different cultural sectors are only a few examples of direct professional co-operation between these two countries.
The Moldovan Opera and Ballet Theatre and the National Philharmonic co-operate directly with western musical impresario agencies and have regular tours in Europe (e.g. the United Kingdom).
The "Eugene Ionesco" Theatre co-operates with theatrical companies (including co-productions) from Romania, Russia, Italy, France and Japan. It is also the initiator and organiser of the Biennial International Festival, which includes organised public debates and workshops on the most important issues in the theatre sector.