2. Current cultural affairs
Last update: February, 2015
Cultural policy priorities are outlined in the national programme: "Development and Protection of Culture and the Arts in the Republic of Moldova, 1997-1998" (extended to 2000-2005). Among the programme's short-term and long-term goals are:
- to develop an ethical framework for the rule of law which respects freedom of creation and thought, promoting a sense of citizenship and patriotism;
- to ensure appropriate conditions for the development and perpetuation of the creative potential in society; and
- to preserve national and ethnic cultural traditions.
Until 2001, former governments adopted a "short-term solution" strategy when implementing state policy in the field of culture. Thus, the main strategy of the Ministry of Culture during this period was to avoid any arbitrary reductions in activity and to protect the cultural institutions and networks from the worsening effects of the economic crisis and the consequent severity of cuts in state expenditure.
In April 2004, the Moldovan government excluded a very important cultural chapter from the new "Long-term Strategy for Economic Development and Poverty Alleviation", which could have provided new, more adequate policies and models for the revitalisation and promotion of national arts and culture.In this regard, culture was excluded from the national development strategies.
Over the years, culture has remained a sphere which has not been given proper attention in the Republic of Moldova. The culture sphere was omitted completely or it benefited from only marginal attention in the strategic documents such as: Strategy for Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction (2004-2006), National Development Strategy for the period 2008–2011, "Re-launching Moldova", and "Moldova 2020". Culture in the Republic of Moldova is perceived as a domain consuming public resources, not as a fundamental field that contributes to the progress of the state.
In the governing programmes (2005-2014) culture was mentioned with different levels of detail, but nevertheless was not seen as a development priority. During this period, there were five Government Programmes, namely:
- 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;
- Activity Programme of the Government of the Republic of Moldova: "European Integration: Liberty, Democracy, Welfare" for the period 2011-2014;
- Activity Programme of the Government of the Republic of Moldova “European Integration: Liberty, Democracy, Welfare" 2013-2014.
The main governing objectives in the cultural sphere established in the activity programme of the Government of the Republic of Moldova: "European Integration: Liberty, Democracy, Welfare" 2013-2014 are the following:
- Development of contemporary art as a tool for promotion and affirmation of the national culture both on the national and international arena.
- Re-establishing of cultural activity and infrastructure, especially in the rural zones.
- Financing of cultural activities according to the established priorities and being project based.
- Promotion of culture as a primary factor of preserving and developing national identity.
- Promotion of the national cultural values as a part of the European cultural heritage.
In general, it is possible to affirm that regarding the culture sphere these Programmes had general objectives that migrated from one document into another without essential modifications, while many of the priority actions remained as statements without having clear endings, incluing: ensuring rehabilitation and maintenance of cultural and historical objects based on public-private partnerships; digitisation of cultural heritage of the Republic of Moldova; modernisation and diversification of services offered by the cultural institutions; development; reforming the financing system of culture by ensuring transparency in the development, management and distribution of the culture budget, etc.
These objectives do not express the final and impact results, being geared to achieving results that do not assure enhancing performances in the cultural sphere, which increases the risk for non-transparent and inefficient use of funds.
The key document on which the Ministry of Culture bases the implementation of the Government Programme is the Strategic Development Programme (SDP) for 2012-2014. The SDP is approved on the Ministry College meeting; it is a strategic planning document for the authority activity and is the successor to the Institutional Development Plan.
The document "National Strategy for the Development of Culture of the Republic of Moldova / Culture 2020" was completed in 2014 and approved by Government Decision No. 271 of 9 April 2014. This document is innovative in that a systematic analysis of the cultural sphere of the Republic of Moldova is available for the first time, from which general directions and objectives of the culture development for the medium and long term were identified.
The mission of the Strategy is to provide the cultural sphere with a coherent, efficient and pragmatic policy framework, based on the priorities defined in the document. The strategy took into account the needs of the sector and human capital required; it has a flexible vision that will allow different levels of development for each field. According to the strategy vision, by 31 December 2020, the Republic of Moldova will have a consolidated, independent and creative cultural sector, and a protected cultural heritage, which is integrated into national and regional policies, including sustainable development activities: educational, social, economic, tourism and the environment.
The aim of the Strategy is to ensure a viable cultural environment by creating an appropriate public policy framework, the formation of a functional system of preserving and valuing cultural heritage, promotion of creativity, development of cultural industries, enhancing cultural management efficiency, enhancing citizens' quality of life, and developing a spirit of tolerance and social cohesion. Currently the National Strategy for the Development of Culture of the Republic of Moldova / Culture 2020 is the main policy document in the cultural sphere in the Republic of Moldova.
In order to implement the government programmes, during the years 2013-2014 the Ministry of Culture initiated changes in a number of legislative and regulatory acts: Museums Law No. 1596-XV as of 27.12.2002, the Law on Historical Monuments, the Law on Libraries, the Law on theatres, circuses and concert organisations, etc. (author: what is the purpose of these changes?) On 03 July 2014 the Law on Cinematography was also approved. The following acts were also developed and approved: one Decision of the Parliament; twenty normative, organisational and financial Government Decisions; five normative acts approved by the Minister's order, which govern activities on archaeological heritage, museums and on immovable and intangible heritage.
Also, over the years a number of sectoral strategic planning documents have been developed such as: the National Programme of informatisation of the cultural sphere for the period 2012-2020; Public policy proposal "Improving the management of concert and theatre institutions"; Public policy proposal "Enhancing the activity efficiency of museums"; Strategy for development of vocational-technical education for the years 2013-2020; Medium-term budgetary framework (2012-2014).
For example, the National Strategy on the Information Society E-Moldova, 2005-2015, approved by the government on 25 March 2005, contains a chapter on E-Culture dealing with new forms of promoting culture through electronic media. Later on, the National Programme on Informatisation of the cultural sector for 2012-2020 was launched, which envisages "creating infrastructure and cultural informational space necessary for the provision of electronic services in the field of culture" through (I) implementation of e-government in the central office of the Ministry of Culture and its subordinated institutions, (II) digitisation of cultural heritage at the rate of 75%, (III) ensuring digitisation of books in public libraries, (IV) creating online public cultural services, and (V) creating web pages for cultural institutions. During recent years, resources to achieve the objectives of the Programme on Information were not allocated, thus digitisation of museum pieces and books were being carried out using the resources of the subordinate institutions. Due to a lack of funding, the objectives set out in these programmes were not achieved.
The state Programme on the development of the regions, 2005-2015 entitled "Moldovan Village" includes tasks such as: protection of the local cultural heritage; promotion of cultural policies on Youth; restoration and development of the regional Houses of Culture, libraries and museums; and implementation of some European models of development of rural localities.
Cultural development policies for cultural sphere management have not been adapted to the new conditions of the market economy and have been poorly integrated into the policies of other sectors and fields of development, such as: the economy, education, the environment, youth and sport, social assistance, etc. As a consequence, the cultural sphere is not listed among the priorities of the government programmes, nor among the public policy documents, while financial resources allocated to culture, measured as a share of GDP or total expenditure from the national public budget are insufficient to meet the challenges of this sector. Inadequate funding and inefficient and opaque use of resources allocated to culture make achievement of the objectives of the National Strategy for the Development of Culture of the Republic of Moldova / Culture 2020 practically impossible, while many problems faced by the sector will remain unsolved.
This information will be published as soon as possible.
Last update: February, 2015
The Department of New Information Technologies in Chisinau (recently re-organised and re-named the Ministry of Information Development) is responsible for state strategies on the "Information Society".
Modernisation of cultural institutions and digitisation in the arts and culture field is one of the objectives of the National Strategy for the Development of Culture of the Republic of Moldova / Culture 2020 which aims to ensure real and virtual circulation of the cultural product. The specific objective of the Strategy is the creation of virtual networks of cultural institutions and products, so that by 2020 all categories of cultural heritage, including collections of museums and libraries will be digitised, while the information system of the cultural field becomes operational.
The priority actions of the Strategy are:
- technical rehabilitation and modernisation of cultural institutions;
- digitisation of the cultural heritage;
- formation of a single information system in the cultural field;
- formation of the National Virtual Museum;
- digitisation of library resources and ensuring a network for digital inter-library loans;
- forming a Virtual Library;
- creation of e-services in the field of culture; and
- training of employees of cultural institutions in information technologies.
In 2012 the National Programme for the informatisation of the sphere of culture for 2012-2020 was approved; the Programme objective being 75% digitisation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the Republic of Moldova by 2020. Another document containing provisions on culture is the National Strategy on Information Society E-Moldova. The National Programme for the informatisation of the sphere of culture for 2012-2020 foresees "creating infrastructure and cultural information spaces necessary for the provision of electronic services in cultural field" by (i) implementation of e-government in the central office of the Ministry of Culture and subordinated institutions (ii) digitisation of cultural heritage at 75%, (iii) ensuring book digitisation in public libraries, (iv) creation of online public cultural services, and (v) creating web pages for the cultural institutions. Both documents were not implemented due to lack of financial resources, lack of equipment and specialists, etc. Digitisation of cultural heritage and the information system "E-Heritage" registered modest results and basically remained only on paper. In 2012, no resources were allocated to achieve the objectives of the Informatisation Programme. In these circumstances, the digitisation of museum pieces and books is funded from the resources of the subordinated institutions, which have started implementing programmes of electronic evidence of the museum heritage and forming databases on movable cultural property owned by the national museums. In 2012, 1 000 books were digitised at the National Library (collection of "Old and Rare Books" and the collection of "Old national periodicals"); 100 000 pieces included in the electronic database of the National Museum of History and Archaeology of the Republic of Moldova; while in the electronic database of the National Museum of Art 2518 works were included; the electronic database of the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History introduced 417 analytical cards, 5 440 photo images, 52 videos, 270 recorded carols and 14 sheets of photographic negatives. The digitisation occurs in the absence of common software for all institutions, which will make it difficult to compile the materials in a single platform. 80% of the museums in the regions are not equipped with computers and technical equipment, which hinders the process of digitisation of their heritage. Currently there is no electronic archive and a unique modern programme for computerised evidence of museum heritage. Currently only 11% of museum heritage objects is digitised, while the number of online objects from the national material / immaterial, mobile / immovable heritage is very low.
As for digitizing library collections and their inclusion in the international database, 53 000 MDL were planned (159 000 MDL for 2012-2014) for the digitisation of tens of thousands of documents annually. Because libraries in the regions do not have computers or access to the Internet, the targets are unachievable. In 9 months of 2012 the National Library digitised 1 000 books, and in 2011 – 2 600 books, which were included in the database Moldavica and into the European Library, which is an integrated system of 41 European libraries.
Museums subordinated to the Ministry of Culture have their own web pages. A positive example of propagation in the field of intangible cultural heritage is the Intangible Cultural Heritage site, made by National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History. The website includes intangible cultural heritage included in UNESCO List, in the National Register of Intangible Heritage, with explanatory texts, photos and video files. In total there are over 5 000 images and photographs of different elements of intangible heritage.
An example of promoting immovable cultural heritage through information technologies is the application "E-Heritage" created by the Agency of Inspection and Restoration of Monuments on the platform http://www.geoportal.md, which offers online data of over 1 000 monuments from the immovable heritage of the Republic of Moldova. In the same context an invaluable contribution to research and promotion of the architectural heritage of Chisinau municipality represents the online platform http://www.monument.sit.md, launched by the Association "SIT".
Improving of informatics began earlier due to the initiative of the Soros Foundation in Moldova. Specific support schemes in the cultural sector are also due to the work of this foundation. Thus, the National Library, the National Children's Library, the university and scientific libraries were equipped with hardware and software (Integrated Library System TINLIB). More recently, SFM has supported special databases at the Academy of Theatre, Music and Fine Arts.
The Novateca Programme funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a successful programme that facilitates transformation of libraries in the Republic of Moldova into the vibrant community institutions. To achieve the objectives, the Programme focuses on four main areas of activity: equipping libraries with modern technologies, training librarians, collaboration with local and central public authorities to support public libraries as community development centres, cooperation with civil society and the private sector to raise awareness of the public and institutions regarding modernisation of libraries. All activities of the Novateca Programme support the development of librarians - leaders in innovation of library services and modernisation of libraries at the local, regional and national levels. Novateca will equip libraries with computers, selecting libraries on a competitive basis, will purchase equipment for libraries and will develop a sustainable system of IT support for the libraries.
In 2009 the activity of the state company Moldova-Film was re-animated, after many years of stagnation. The re-animation of the activity of Moldova-film became possible after the digitalisation of the cinematographic equipment in 2008, which also allowed the restoration of cinematographic material from the archives.
Currently, the archives of Moldova-film are used in the production of a series of documentaries about the 23 years period since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a co-production with Germany. Another project in work is the documentary about the deportations that took place in Bessarabia in mid XX, a co-production with Romania.
In June 2011 the Government of Moldova approved a draft law on bringing back to the country 30 Moldovan films, the original of which had been transferred during soviet times to Ukraine for copying. These films are Moldovan productions which, for various reasons, from the early 1990s, were sent to the Cinematographic Centre "A. Dovjenco", and so far, could not be restored to the country. Thus, that is an act of returning the national cultural heritage.
Last update: February, 2015
To date, there are no government programmes to support trans-national intercultural dialogue in Moldova.
Until 2001, the former Ministry of Culture supported artistic productions (literature, artistic performances and poetry recitals) in the Ukrainian regions of Odessa and Cernauti, which are mainly populated by Romanian speakers. It has also offered assistance to cultural associations of Moldovans in the Russian Federation.
The Diaspora Relations Bureau (DRB) launched or supported financially cultural programmes in 9 cycles of cultural and artistic events, both in the Diaspora and in the Republic of Moldova, in about 40 cities in Europe, the Middle East and the USA. The events involved around 30 000 people, with 7 000 books and other information materials being dispersed. For developing dialogue with the Diaspora and in order to consolidate the capacities of the associations of Moldovans who live abroad, the DRB maintains relations with 200 Diaspora associations in 30 countries. The DRB distributed over 500 books to the cultural centres in 10 countries and assured logistic support for transporting 4 000 books from the Diaspora to the Republic of Moldova.
There are no funds and programmes available for specific trans-national activities for young people in the Republic of Moldova. On the other hand, there are many non-governmental organisations, foundations and associations which have specialised programmes contributing to the development of young people, including artists: the Centre for Cultural Policies, the Centre for Contemporary Art KSA:K, "Contact" Centre (with branches in Balti, Cahul, Comrat and Soroca), Soros Foundation, Centre for Youth Development, NGO Junior Achievement, International Centre of Modern Languages, Association ARS DOR, "Oberliht", German Cultural Centre AKZENTE, Theatre "Spălătorie", "Unlimited music" associations etc.
The Centre for Contemporary Art KSA:K, in partnership with Cathedra UNESCO of the South-East European Studies of the Moldova State University, organised a workshop on creative writing for artists – "Continuities of the Socialist Modernity", while from 24-26 April 2013 a Workshop "Mapping of Mobility: Nodes of Transitions and Meetings" was also organised.
ARS DOR is an Arts and Professional Development Centre that provides consulting, training and capacity building programmes for the cultural sector of the Republic of Moldova. In this respect, ARS DOR Association contributes to developing and implementing cultural policies, by initiation of advocacy campaigns and lobbying, and by carrying out 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, providing trainings in cultural management and marketing, cultural mapping, project management, fundraising, etc.
The Soros Foundation Moldova has supported a large number of trans-national projects in theatre, visual arts, contemporary music, dance, choreography and literature over recent decades. The Soros Foundation Moldova played a key role in the implementation of the three-year Pilot-Project "Reinforcing Moldova's Development Capacities by Strengthening its Cultural Sector", acting as the partner of the European Cultural Foundation (see chapter 2.9).
Intercultural dialogue: actors, strategies, programmes
In 2014 the Government of Moldova has proposed developing the National Strategy "Diaspora – 2025". This document will set the general framework for ensuring coherence of state policy on the diaspora and implementing a shared vision of the government in this field. For the first time in the history of independency of the Republic of Moldova, the diaspora component is approached horizontally by the Government of the Republic of Moldova. The body responsible for developing the National Strategy "Diaspora – 2025" is the Diaspora Relations Bureau of the State Chancellery, which has the task of ensuring a coherent and comprehensive policy for the Moldovan diaspora through coordination of state policy in the field, consultation over government policies with diaspora associations, Moldovan diaspora consolidation, development, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes for the diaspora, and providing necessary assistance to the Prime-Minister on policies for Moldovan Diaspora.
The Interethnic Relations Bureau is another body of the central public authority responsible for implementing the national policy in the field of inter-ethnic relations and language functioning. The Department of International Relations, European Integration and the Diaspora specialises in policies on multicultural inter-ethnic relations.
The Interethnic Relations Bureau co-operates with the Ministry of Culture (on intercultural issues) and the Ministry of Education (on inter-linguistic activities). The House of Nationalities co-ordinates the organisation of different national inter-cultural events and programmes: exhibitions, contests, festivals. It reports to the Department's cultural and documentation centre for public inter-cultural organisations.
Over 78 inter-cultural and inter-educational NGOs that represent Moldova's ethnic groups are associated with the Department for Ethnic Relations. They make a significant contribution to the preservation, development and expression of their respective cultural, linguistic, religious and ethnic identity. These associations usually organise local (municipal) intercultural events.
The Centre for Minority Issues brings a significant contribution to inter-educational policy, with its bilingual (Russian and Romanian) informational publication "EtnoDialog". The magazine is edited in the framework of the project "The Prevention of Inter-ethnical conflicts through educational integration policies" and with the support of the international organisation CORDAID.
On May 17-21 2013, a national team from the Republic of Moldova participated in the Youth Delphic Games of the CIS member states, which were held in Novosibirsk, Russian Federation.
Over 80 ethno-cultural organisations representing 30 ethnic groups from the Republic of Moldova presented their culture and traditions in the frames of the 14th edition of the Ethnic Festival held on 21 September 2014 in the public Garden Stefan cel Mare si Sfant in Chisinau. The event is organised annually by the Bureau of Inter-ethnic Relations in collaboration with the Mayor Hall of Chisinau Municipality.
The VI Congress of the Moldovan Diaspora was held on 1-3 September 2014 in Chisinau, attended by 145 delegates from over 28 countries. The congress was a good opportunity to dialogue, and to establish new projects for diaspora organisations that promote the cultural image of the Republic of Moldova. The Government Strategy on diaspora – "Diaspora 2025" was presented in the frames of the congress. The event aimed to strengthen relations between the Government of the Republic of Moldova and migrants from Moldova abroad through dialogue on the most pressing issues of common interest and also mechanisms of involvement and contribution of migrants to their country of origin, applying the experience gained abroad.
It is estimated that up to 600 000 Moldovans are living abroad. According to the data for the years 2005-2012 analysed in the Report on Extended Migration Profile, there is a steady annual emigration of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova, indicating involvement in migration processes by about a quarter/up to a third of the working population.
According to the same Report, remittances made by individuals through banks during 2012 constituted 1.494 billion USD, which represents an increase by 2.2 times compared to 2005 and attained in 2008 the maximum rate of 1.66 billion USD, representing 27.4% of GDP. According to the World Bank estimates, the flow of remittances achieved historical peak in 2007 with a remarkable share of 36% of GDP. Most migrants leave the country for economic reasons as the Republic of Moldova is the poorest country in Europe and is ranked 113 out of 187 countries is the world, included in the 2013 Human Development Index.
The International Organisation for Migration launched a Call for Proposals for Diaspora Associations and initiative groups under the Diaspora Small Grants Mechanism, in order to support the communication between Diaspora associations and migrants in their host countries, to develop existing or create new ways of communication between the Republic of Moldova and migrants abroad, to create service platforms for migrants in host countries and to strengthen the institutional capacities of Diaspora associations and initiative groups. The total amount of support will be EUR 50 000 or a maximum of EUR 5 000 per project.
Last update: February, 2015
Intercultural education is not part of the general school curricula specifically. This issue is included within other educational programmes for schools such as citizenship, democracy and human rights, which are carried out in schools by specialised non governmental organisations. One example is the ONG "Independent Society for Human Rights Education", which drafted manuals for teachers and pupils on human rights and democracy that include chapters on cultural diversity, national values and identity, promotion of tolerance, religions etc.
Another point of interest in this context is the European campaign "All different, all equal", carried out by the Youth and Sport Directorate of the Council of Europe in partnership with the European Commission and the European Forum for Youth. The Campaign focuses on three main subjects: eliminating discrimination and promoting diversity; inter-religious and intercultural dialogue; inclusion, democracy and good governance. Within the Campaign various activities will be conducted: art festivals, training of trainers (teachers, local public authorities, journalists, NGOs etc.), promotion materials will be distributed, promoting these values through media etc. Some activities within the framework of the European Campaign "All equal-all different" to be undertaken in Moldova are:
Activities undertaken by the NGO "Institute for Democratic Initiatives" (Orhei). Include: training of trainers (local public authorities, local NGOs etc.) on promoting diversity through inclusion and participation in the community life.
The Centre for Innovation Technologies and the Ministry of Education and Youth will work together on a plan to prepare and organise an Arts Festival "All equal – all different", which is intended to be open to children from specialised and auxiliary educational institutions and boarding schools from Chisinau as well as other from all over Moldova.
Another initiative in this initiative is the recently (May 2010) launched contest within the PLURAL + MOLDOVA Video Festival on the theme of Migration and Diversity, organised with the support of the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (AoC), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The Festival aims at involving youth in addressing the issues of integration, identity, diversity, human rights and social cohesiveness around the globe by recognising young people as engines for social change in a world that is often characterised by segregation, divisions and intolerance.
Last update: February, 2015
Although the number of independent media companies is sufficiently large, only 20% of weeklies, daily newspapers, magazines and broadcastings are indeed independent. The rest (about 40%) belong to different individuals or groups of journalists who promote the policy of diverse parties, companies etc. In 2012, statistics recorded 232 magazines and other periodicals and 166 newspapers in the Republic of Moldova.
Due to pressures from the government and the Ministry of Finance, cultural reviews stopped receiving public funding as of 1995. As a result, two magazines ("Columna" and "Codru") folded. Another 8 have managed to survive thanks to sponsorship from different private companies, non-governmental organisations and foundations: the weekly "Literatura şi Arta", the monthlies "Basarabia", "Contrafort", "Semn", "Atelier", "Viata Basarabiei", "Limba Română", and the quarterly "Sud-Est". The Romanian Cultural Institute and Romanian Cultural Foundation also provide assistance. Although these cultural reviews have all managed to maintain a steady level of readership, sporadic funding has led to infrequent publication and reduced print-runs.
Apart from cultural magazines, 8 weekly and 12 daily newspapers periodically deal with cultural topics. In 2012, the annual circulation of magazines and periodicals was 2.9 million copies, which is 1.3 million less than in 2011. The share of magazines in Romanian was 46% in 2012. More difficult is the situation concerning the publication of newspapers, whose combined circulation is declining in recent years: from 1.5 million copies in 2009 to 0.9 million copies in 2012, while the annual circulation fell from 54 million (2009) to 40 million copies (2012). According to sociological data, for 82% of Moldova's population television is the main source of information, while only 14% of the population receives information from the printed media. The difficult social and economic period determines the attitude of Moldova's population towards the printed mass media.
There are 190 TV stations and 42 radio stations covering the entire territory of the Republic of Moldova. All these stations work on the basis of licenses issued by the Audiovisual Co-ordination Board. According to the Law on the Audiovisual Sector and the guidelines issued by the Board, each channel should broadcast 65% of its programmes in the official language, the share of indigenous music should not be less than 20%, and over 30% of all broadcast programmes should deal with cultural and educational issues.
However, most of these stations are re-transmitting Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian and other TV and radio programmes, with their own cultural programmes added. This is the reason why the statistical data on this issue refers only to the programmes broadcast by "Teleradio-Moldova" Company - the share of cultural programmes within the company is: Radio-Moldova – 34.5%; TV-Moldova 1 – 23% in Romanian and 3% in the languages of ethnic minorities.
TV Moldova 1, restructured after the parliamentary elections held on July 29, 2009, has diversified its transmissions on cultural issues. It transmits live concerts and performances, important cultural events that take place in various cultural institutions, and programmes that include prominent cultural personalities etc.
The share of domestic programmes (within the same company) is 91.4% and of foreign ones – 8.6%.
Jurnal TV is the media partner of most international festivals. It also organises TV debates about the events. Additionally, twice a week there are interactive debates with the participation of the audience on cultural issues. From its inception, Jurnal TV has literally impeded the demolition of several monuments of cultural and historic value, by informing the public and drawing local authorities' attention to the subject.
The Moldovan Union of Journalists, the non-governmental Independent Journalism Centre and several other Clubs in the field include, in their activities, debates on professional ethics and, on the other hand, support local media in denouncing pressure and censorship by public authorities and various business and political groups of interests.
Last update: February, 2015
Romanian is the language spoken by the majority of the indigenous population; however this is not reflected clearly by its status as "official language". The status of the "official language" in the Republic of Moldova is critical to national cultural policy development.
Two years before the collapse of the USSR, the Supreme Soviet of the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic passed three language laws: Law on the Official Language, Law on the Functioning of the Languages Spoken in the Republic, and Law on the Re-introduction of the Latin Script. These laws were followed by the government's State Programme Ensuring the Functioning of Languages Spoken in the MSSR, designed to open the way for the Romanian language to become the main means of communication in all areas of society.
The Law on the Official Language assigned the Romanian (state) language the same status as Russian. However, no less than 20 of the 32 sections of the law make reference to the Russian language. As a result, Russian has remained the language used in official documents in all structures of the central and local public administration. In addition, the mother tongue of the native population is not yet "a language of inter-ethnic communication".
The language laws introduced by the Soviet regime contained a non-scientific concept "the Moldovan language" (Moldovan is one of the numerous dialects of the Romanian language) that has not been corrected in the 1994 Constitution of the Republic of Moldova. Despite the amendments of the General Assembly of the Academy of Science and other linguistic local and international forums, the state authorities name the official language as "Moldovan", while the schools, universities, mass-media, intellectuals and public administration use the term "Romanian language".
All of these laws and state acts were adopted in 1989 when the Republic of Moldova was still part of the USSR and did not correspond to the radically changed circumstances in 1991, when Moldova declared its independence. Despite this, the legislation on language have not been edited or amended for 22 years. On 5 December 2013, the Constitutional Court examined two complaints concerning the interpretation of art. 13 of the Constitution, which were joined into a single file at the initiative of the Constitutional Court. As a consequence, the Constitutional Court decided that the text of the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Moldova shall prevail the texts from the Constitution. Thus, the Romanian language is the state language of the Republic of Moldova, since it is the term stated in the Declaration of Independence of the country. The text of the decision brings the arguments: being the preamble to the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Moldova is integral to the Constitution. In the case of divergence between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution's text, the primary text of the Declaration of Independence should prevail. The present decision is definitive and cannot be subjected to appeal.
Last update: February, 2015
Promotion of the principle of equality between women and men in the Republic of Moldova is at the stage of legislation harmonisation with international and European standards and at the stage of implementation of Community provisions on equal opportunities and equal treatment for men and women. Although there are indexes of improvement in the legal status of women, they still fail to fully exercise their rights. The most problematic areas are: empowering women on the political, economic and social arenas, as well as violence against women. Women in the Republic of Moldova are weakly represented in politics, and in management positions in both Central and Local Public Administration.
The Moldovan Forum of Women's Organisations includes over 220 organisations aiming at the improvement of women's social status. 18 out of these represent women of various ethnic groups. The National Women's Council and the National Women's Studies and Information Centre help women to adapt to the conditions of a free market economy, they support women to achieve decision-making positions and generally promote feminine values. The Soros Foundation, in co-operation with 18 other NGOs, carries out a programme on gender equality which includes a multitude of activities to address women's specific problems. Organisations like the Women Journalists' Club "Ten Plus", the Association of Aestheticians, the Association of Virtuous Women, the Women's Politics Club 50/50, or the National Association of Women Inventors strive to support women's professional activities in arts, science and technology. They also organise different cultural activities and encourage women to participate in the cultural, social and political life of the country.
While women traditionally hold the majority of memberships in cultural organisations, they occupy only about 5% of all key positions. In the Ministry of Culture, the share of women in decision-making positions amounts to 10%.
In the period 2010-2014, the level of women's representation in the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova constituted 19 seats out of 101, which is only 18.8%.
This information will be published as soon as possible.
Last update: February, 2015
According to the 2004 census, Moldovans represent 78.2% of the total of population of 3.39 million. The census indicates a dramatic decrease of population numbers in Moldova - from 4.5 million in 1989 to 3.39 million in 2004. This is mainly due to the fact that the separatist region of Transnistria did not participate in the latest census. Furthermore, official statistics show that over 600 000 citizens left the country to seek employment abroad.
In the period 12-25 May 2014, the population census was conducted in the Republic of Moldova. The National Bureau of Statistics was due to announce preliminary results of population census in December 2014. Final figures will be known in 2015, 27 months after conducting the census.
There are 18 minority groups in the country. The four largest are Ukrainians, Russians, Bulgarians and Gagauz.
Table 1: Largest minority groups in Moldova, 1989 and 2004 census figures
|Groups||Number of persons||% share of total population|
|Ukrainians||600 000||283 367||13.8||8.4|
|Russians||562 000||198 144||13.0||5.8|
|Gagauz||157 500||147 661||3.5||4.4|
|Bulgarians||90 000||65 072||2.0||1.9|
|Other||121 500||44 350||2.7||1.3|
Source: National Bureau of Statistic, 2007
Note: The category "other" comprises Jews, Belarusians, Poles, Germans, Roma, Greeks, Lithuanians, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Tatars, Chuvash, Italians, Koreans, Uzbeks and Georgians. They have a variety of institutions operating as communities (11), societies (14), unions (2), centres (4), associations (4) and foundations (4).
There are 78 ethnical-cultural groups in the regions and towns of Chisinau, Soroca, Bălţi, Orhei, Cahul, Comrat, Bender, Ceadir-Lunga, Vulcanesti, Ocnita, Taraclia and Tiraspol which play a part in preserving and developing national traditions as well as the mother tongue and cultural traditions of their respective minority communities. In recent years, representatives of Ukrainians, Russians, Bulgarians, Belarusians, Germans, Azerbaijanis, Armenians and Georgians have set up national communities, representing organisations of a social, cultural and humanitarian nature. These communities do not limit themselves to purely cultural activities. They protect the civil, economic, social and religious rights of their members. They also play a co-ordinating role, among all the public organisations, for their respective minorities and have been empowered to speak on their behalf and represent their interests. The status of these communities allows them to raise money to fund their statutory activities, and offer financial support to their members.
In accordance with the principle of equality and universality enshrined in legislation, ethnic minorities are able to pursue their own culture and practice traditional arts.
In the 1990s, a sub-system of cultural institutions for ethnic minorities was set up, based in the state library, museum and theatre network. In Chisinau (the capital city of Moldova), there are 6 libraries for ethnic minorities and also the Russian State Theatre Company "A. P. Cehov". The first Gagauz theatre company was created in Comrat and the first Bulgarian theatre company now operates in Taraclia.
In Moldova, there are special training programmes for teachers in schools and kindergartens in the languages spoken by ethnic minorities. During the last decade, the Comrat State University and the Comrat Pedagogical College, the Pedagogical College in Taraclia and the Subsidiary of the Music College "Stefan Neaga" in Tvardita were established. In addition to the large network of schools with teaching in Russian, Ukrainian is taught in 71 schools, Gagauz in 49 schools and Bulgarian in 27 schools. Belorussian, Lithuanian, Greek, Georgian, Armenian, and German children learn their mother tongue and culture in Sunday schools set up by ethno-cultural societies.
Within the "Teleradio-Moldova" company, two special departments were set up to broadcast in minority languages – "Comunitate" and "Radio-Moldova International". Their programmes make up about 40% of all programmes (24.9% in Russian; 14.8% in Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Gagauz, Polish, Yiddish, and Romaic). In Balti, Edinet, Ceadir Lunga, Vulcanesti, Ocnita, Briceni, Soroca and Comrat, TV and radio stations regularly broadcast programmes in Gagauz, Bulgarian and Ukrainian.
Almost half of the total production (according to 2005 statistics – 44.7%) of the publishing sector in Moldova - books, newspapers, magazines – is in Russian.
The main instruments regulating the status of ethnic minorities are:
- the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, adopted on July 29, 1994;
- the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Moldova of August 27, 1991;
- the Law of the Republic of Moldova on the functioning of the languages spoken in the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic of August 31, 1989;
- the Decisions of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova on application of the language legislation (September 1, 1989);
- the Declaration of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova on the legal status of individuals belonging to ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities, in the context of the armed conflict in Transnistria (May 26, 1992);
- the Law on Citizenship modified by the Law on Multiple Citizenship in June 2003;
- the Law on Religions of March 24, 1992;
- the series of Laws and Decisions on the Legal Status of the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia;
- the Law on Education of March 9, 1995;
- the Concept of Educational Development in the Republic of Moldova (February 1996);
- the Law on Public Associations of January 10, 1997;
- the Law on the Territorial Organisation of the Republic of Moldova, No. 191-XIV of 12 November 1998 (Official Gazette of the Republic of Moldova, 1998, No. 116-118, Article 705). In May 2003 10 counties that were set up in application of this law were changed with the same 32 former districts; and
- the Law on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National Minorities and the Legal Status of their Organisations of August 19, 2001
The Moldovan Parliament ratified the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities on October 22, 1996.
In 1991, the State Department for National Issues of the Republic of Moldova was created, a body of the central public authority responsible for implementing national policy on inter-ethnic relations and language functioning. On 14 November 1990, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldovan adopted the Decision on the establishment of the Department and on 25 April 1991 the government adopted the Decision, at the same time determining Department objectives and staff. As a result of Department reorganisation, the name of the Department was amended from Department for National Relations and Languages Functioning (1998) to the Inter-ethnic Relations Department (2001), while later it became the Bureau of Inter-ethnic Relations (2005), (2010).
The structure of the Bureau has a Division for ethnic and national minority relations, a Division for External relations and the diaspora, a Division for promoting the official language and control over compliance of linguistic legislation. The National Centre of Terminology and the House of Nationalities are subordinated to the Bureau, which sustains and develops the ethnic cultures of all nationalities living in Moldova. It co-ordinates and organises national cultural and educational programmes.
In 2012, the Diaspora Relations Office was created within the State Chancellery, with the mission to ensure a coherent and comprehensive policy framework for the Moldovan diaspora through coordination of state policy in the field, consultation on government policies with diaspora associations, strengthening the Moldovan diaspora, development, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes dedicated for the diaspora, and providing necessary assistance to the Prime- Minister on policies for Moldovan Diaspora.
Last update: February, 2015
Social cohesion is not provided for directly in the cultural policies of the Republic of Moldova, while being a basic aim in all state programmes and strategies launched over the years. On the other hand, the considerable number of social and cultural events and cultural activities, and expansion of audience and participation in them, shows that social cohesion is already a subject of cultural policy.
The term "social cohesion" can be found both in the purpose and objectives of the "National Strategy for the Development of Culture of the Republic of Moldova / Culture 2020". In this regard, the objective to "Increase of the contribution of the cultural sector in developing social cohesion" aims at a progressive increase of participation in cultural activities of citizens, so that, by 2020, the participation rate will constitute at least 40% of the population, while cultural consumption should increase by 1% annually.
In July 2002, the Republic of Moldova signed the European Charter on Regional or Minorities Languages. In order to prepare the ratification of this important document by the Moldovan Parliament, the Council of Europe and the Centre for Minority Issues organised a series of activities: 3 informational seminars in Comrat, Taraclia and Briceni and a national conference in Chisinau. On 27 September, 2007 in Comrat, a seminar was held on "The European Charter on Regional or Minorities Languages – an instrument for promotion of cultural diversity and mutual concord between the groups speaking different languages in a multicultural society. The role of local and regional public authorities in the promotion and implementation of the Charter in Moldova".
Over the last 10 years, Moldova has accumulated a lot of experience in organising special events around national, religious and other holidays. These events are attended by thousands of people from different nationalities, ages and social conditions and have a proven to be effective for promoting social cohesion and understanding. Many of them are organised and financed by different private companies.
This information will be published as soon as possible.
Last update: February, 2015
From December 2006 to December 2007, the Cultural Policy Programme of the Soros Foundation-Moldova, in cooperation with the European Cultural Foundation, is implementing the Pilot-Project "Visions on Cultural Policy for Moldova: from changes to viability". The project represented the first phase of a three-year Pilot-Project of the European Cultural Foundation, carried out in partnership with the Soros Foundation-Moldova: "Reinforcing Moldova's Development Capacities by Strengthening its Cultural Sector".
The project aims at drafting some initial policy visions and concrete practical measures for cultural development in Moldova; setting up a task force comprising cultural managers and decision-makers who will promote the current needs and interests of the cultural sector and advocate for them at all relevant policy levels; developing training and capacity building programmes and tools / services gradually serving all relevant stakeholders in Moldova's cultural sector; building up a group of culture professionals as local trainers / consultants / experts who will develop and implement future training and consulting programmes in Moldova which, among others, shall serve the professionalisation of cultural managers dealing with strategic planning, organisational development, fundraising, etc.
In order to achieve these objectives, the Soros Foundation Moldova has organised 5 Round Tables on the main cultural sectors: Performing Arts, Literature, Visual Arts, Cultural Industries and Houses of Culture. The experts (one for each of these sectors) have elaborated specific key- subjects for debates:
- current situation in the field of (the 5 sectors);
- protection and development of national patrimony. Preservation of cultural identity;
- state versus culture;
- financing of culture. diversification of funds' sources;
- decentralisation of cultural action and ensuring equal access by the population to cultural values; and
- role of cultural action in solving community issues.
In June 21-22, 2007, an international conference was held on "The Cultural Policy of the Republic of Moldova in the transition period: Experience, Provocation, Viability, Prospects". The Conference gathered together artists, managers of the main cultural institutions, decision-makers in the field of culture from all over Moldova and representatives of the European Cultural Foundation and other international organisations, as well as the cultural secretaries of foreign embassies in Moldova. The participants discussed the reports and papers prepared by Moldovan and foreign experts on issues identified during the previously organised round tables. At the end of the conference, the participants were divided into four workshops, where they discussed and drafted the main instruments, measures and strategies to be promoted within a forward-looking cultural policy for the Republic of Moldova.
In 2009, within the 3rd phase of the project, the book "Vision on Cultural Policy of Moldova: from changes to sustainability" was published. The book was largely inspired by the present Compendium of Cultural Policies Project (Moldova), since the author of the Moldovan profile was also a member of the group of experts. The book paves the way for the capacity building process in the cultural sector of the Republic of Moldova and reflects the results of a series of activities carried out within the multi-year project. The book was disbursed free of charge within the first Cultural Congress in the Republic of Moldova which took place in December 2009.
The Congress united most art and culture workers in Moldova, representatives of central and local authorities, and all NGOs active in the cultural sphere. It was organised by the Centre of Cultural Policies, in collaboration with the Soros Foundation Moldova, and with the financial support of the Swedish Agency for International Development (SIDA) and the European Cultural Foundation.
Starting from the premise that the cultural sphere must represent a national priority, the Congress adopted a Resolution that demands the following:
- implementing cultural policies in conformity with the cultural process from the country, as well as from the region;
- creating premises for the development of contemporary art as a means of promoting and affirming the national culture;
- supporting the artistic education infrastructure;
- ensuring transparency in the elaboration, management and distribution of the budget designed for culture;
- facilitating access to cultural and artistic goods. Encouraging citizen participation in cultural and artistic processes;
- supporting artists in implementing the Declaration on the Status of Artists;
- supporting art associations and unions. Restoring cultural activity and infrastructure in rural areas;
- creating autonomous art, theatre and concert companies; organizing fine art exhibitions, screening of high quality films of artistic value in localities, as part of an educational state programme;
- including artists and craftsmen in regional programmes of cultural, social and economic development and supporting their activity from various budgets; and
- creating a Cultural Fund that will consist of budgetary and extra-budgetary funds designed for cultural and artistic projects.
It was decided at the Congress to organise an annual meeting within the cultural sector, thus in December 2010, the 1st General Assembly of Art and Culture Professionals will be held.
In October 2011, the presidents of the artists' unions and representatives of several cultural institutions and political parties signed the Convention on the support and development of culture in the Republic of Moldova – "Culture 2015".
This convention aimed at modernisation and integration of culture from the Republic of Moldova into the international circuit. The Convention foresees actions supporting employees from the cultural sphere and boosting cultural life of the country over four years, during which the future Parliament will be active.
One of the first actions to be taken under the Convention was to create an advisory board composed of renowned professionals from the cultural field. This council would be report to the Parliamentary Committee on Culture, Education, Research, Youth, Sports and Mass-Media, with the aim of prior consultations on draft laws in the cultural field.
Convention "Culture – 2015" provides for:
- approval of laws on cultural funds, artists' unions and the status of the artist;
- developing a programme of restructuring and modernisation of cultural houses and libraries from the Republic of Moldova, which will be provided with computers and Internet access;
- launching the Centre of training for employees in the cultural sphere; and
- launching a programme on mobility support of the cultural products from the country and digitisation of the cultural heritage of the Republic of Moldova.
An important action for implementation of the Convention is amending the legislation and setting the wage level of employees in the cultural field at the same level as those in the educational field.
Until today laws on creating the National Culture Fund were not amended, the training centre for employees has not been created, financing of culture remains similar to the centralised Soviet model, the decentralisation process runs slowly, while dialogue with civil society from the cultural field is practically missing.