2. Current cultural affairs
Last update: April, 2020
The Sectoral Strategy for Culture and National Heritage for the period 2014-2020 states the Government's medium-term priorities for the cultural sector that also were present in the Governing Programme 2013-2016:
- Development, renovation and proper equipment of cultural infrastructures in accordance with international realities, streamline and professional improvement in management and execution;
- Draw up and implementation of a national strategy for the restoration and valorisation of cultural heritage;
- Change of the law on heritage, draft the law on protected areas and the law on patronage in culture and art;
- Promote an active partnership between the state and the civil society.
For the period 2017-2020, Romania is involved in several important activities:
- participation of Romania, as honour guest, in the International Art Festival EUROPALIA (2019);
- the "Centenary" Program (2017-2020);
- the Cultural Season Romania-France (2018-2018);
- the European Cities Program;
- the cultural programme associated to Romania's presidency of the EU Council (January-June 2019);
- the e-Cultura project;
- the participation in European Heritage Label and in 2018 – the European Year of Cultural Heritage actions;
- set-up and management of the action "European Capital of Culture" (CEaC) for 2021 in Romania;
- set-up of the national stand within the international book festivals of Jerusalem, Leipzig, Bologna, Budapest, Prague, Frankfurt, Belgrade, Istanbul and Sophia;
- organising the participation in the Venice Biennale (art/architecture).
Carrying out these activities contributes to the achievement of several general objectives and marks their importance in the context of the cultural and creative ecosystem of Romania and in the relationship with the European institutions.
Romania is constantly in the race for harmonising the European cultural objectives, by regularly updating its own agenda with the main European topics. Unfortunately, a complicated, difficult bureaucratic system – related to a lack of specialists in matters of policies and strategies, at the level of central and local authorities – makes it difficult for the cultural or artistic initiatives and products to become known in the member states.
Last update: April, 2020
The right of access to culture is guaranteed in Romania by Article 33 of the Constitution (see chapter 1.1), even though the harmonisation between the central and local levels in cultural matters (the cultural needs of the beneficiaries, areas of cultural interest, financing adaptation) is still in its early stages.
According to the results of the UNESCO-funded study Culture for Development Indicators (“a pioneering research and advocacy initiative that aims to establish a set of indicators highlighting how culture contributes to development at the national level fostering economic growth, and helping individuals and communities to expand their life choices and adapt to change”), conducted by the National Institute for Cultural Research and Training, in Romania, the necessary standard setting framework and the policy and institutional framework are operational. The majority of binding international instruments were ratified, while principles of universal declarations and recommendations have been in great part incorporated into the national law.
Significant efforts were made to elaborate a strategic framework for culture, with an action plan and an adequate budget. There was an attempt to update the strategic framework Sectoral Strategy for Culture and National Heritage for the period 2014-2020 by adopting a new strategyfor the period 2016-2022. A new strategic framework for 2021-2027 will be prepared with European funding.
Currently, the only officially assumed and approved strategic frameworks that govern the sector of culture are the Governing programme 2018-2020 (that lists the priorities for Culture) and the White paper for Unlocking the Economic Potential of the Cultural and Creative Sectors in Romania (2017).
According to the UNESCO-CDIS study, the indicator Civil society participation in cultural governance shows a result of 0.925/1 (year 2018) for Romania. The score of 0.925/1 indicates that in Romania the opportunities for access and participation of both minorities and cultural professionals in the decision-making process are present.
The participation of minorities at national level is ensured through the Council of National Minorities – a government advisory body without legal basis, coordinated by the Department for Interethnic Relations, subordinated to the Prime Minister and coordinated by the Deputy Minister for the Coordination of the Secretariat-General of the Government. The Council is consists of three representatives from the national minorities' organisations in the Romanian Parliament.
While at national level the meetings of the Council are permanent, at local level the Department for Interethnic Relations maintains permanent links and cooperates with local public administration authorities, their meetings being ad-hoc in nature.
The participation of cultural professionals at national and local level in processes related to designing and implementation of measures is ensured by a series of institutional mechanisms, such as the specialised national commissions for cultural heritage that operate under the umbrella of the Ministry of Culture and National Identity: the National Commissions for Historical Monuments, Museums and Collections, the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage, Public Monuments, and Archaeology.
The National Commission for Historical Monuments proposes the approval of the methodologies, norms and technical-scientific measures in the field of historical monuments protection, as well as the related strategies. At the same time, it draws priorities for the works and measures necessary to ensure the protection of historical monuments, irrespective of their legal situation and the source of financing; approves the List of Historical Monuments drawn up by the National Heritage Institute; proposes monuments to be included in the List of Cultural and Natural Heritage and in the UNESCO World Heritage List; approves the logo of historical monuments; proposes the classification, downgrading, non-classification or changes in the historical monuments' classification group; and fulfils other attributions given in its competence, according to the law.
With respect to the protection of historical monuments, the Ministry of Culture and National Identity has 12 Zonal Commissions organised at local level that are decentralised and specialised bodies of the National Commission of the Historical Monuments.
Last update: April, 2020
Efforts have been made in the direction of incorporating the Status of the Artist into a public policy. This includes an initiative to elaborate a public policy proposal for the support and stimulation of the cultural and creative sectors and a public consultation of the cultural sector being organised by the Ministry of Culture and National Identity in 2009. Two reports were published by the National Institute for Cultural Research and Training – Draft of a policy for the stimulation of creativity: proposals from creators, NGOs and companies from the cultural sector (the aim of the study was to identify dysfunctions and their remedies in order to formulate a public policy to stimulate creativity; the study characterises the artist’s status, taking into account the social, professional, legal, fiscal and financial status of the creator) and an update of the report, in 2011.
In 2010, the Plastic Artists' Union (UAP) put forward a law on the organisation and exercise of the profession of visual artist. The bill was an attempt to regulate the exercise of the profession of visual artist and the establishment of the Society/Order of Visual Artists of Romania, as a form of associative organisation based on professional criteria, independent, non-profit, autonomous, apolitical and of public interest, but the bill was not adopted.
Six years later, in 2016, the Ministry of Culture proposed the set-up of a Platform of Dialogue with the Civil Society, the "Cultura Vie" (living culture) Platform. A memorandum was launched with a view to finding a consensus to adopt the Status of the Artist, comprising ten basic principles:
- "Art creates identity and diversity";
- "Art is a free domain of self-expression, part of the freedom of expression";
- "Artistic creation is original and irreproducible";
- "Art is a territory for universal experiment that creates new perspectives for the society";
- "Artistic creation is a form of work and, as such, it deserves a fair reward";
- "A work of art is neither a consumption good, nor an investment. It is a complex manifestation of the human spirit, which acquires its own specificity";
- "The work of the artist aggregates communities";
- "Mobility is an essential part of the creative experience of the artist. It generates environment and facilitates association for the artistic work";
- "A propitious development of art is supported by an educated public. Artistic education is a condition for each individual's personality development and life enrichment";
- "Promoting artistic creation is an important part of Romania's foreign politics".
While the Status or Condition of the Artist in Romania represents a real concern of the cultural sector, more steps are needed to be made in order to identify concrete measures. The approval by Government Memorandum, in February 2017, of the White Paper for Unlocking the Economic Potential of the Cultural and Creative Sectors in Romania, elaborated by the National Institute for Cultural Research and Training, marks an important advancement in the context. A White Paper document marks the turning point of a process - in this case of the process of a programmed valorisation of the potential of the cultural and creative sectors (CCS). The White Paper aims gathering, under the broader concept of Cultural and Creative Sectors, some fields which are traditionally market-oriented and, consequently, likely to generate economic development, as well as other, less market-oriented fields, which have a more powerful role from a social viewpoint (community cohesion and inclusion). The White Paper managed to map the cultural and creative sectors of Romania, from the viewpoint of unlocking their economic potential, by considering their specific cultural and social value. The data will be reviewed and updated in 2020.
Last update: April, 2020
Regarding digital policy in the cultural sector, the Strategy for culture and national heritage 2016-2022 acknowledges the importance of the digital development in all the fields of culture and presents an in-depth analysis of the main evolutions and obstacles in this respect.
In terms of intangible cultural heritage protection, the Strategy recognizes the importance of imposing both a series of measures to increase the number of digitised moveable heritage resources and the encouragement of the access of private owners to the restoration and conservation of the moveable heritage, which may be costly sometimes.
The matter of digitisation was approached at national level as early as 2009, when Romania drew up and assumed a public policy in this field. However, the results of implementing these undertakings were delayed, especially due to underfunding. According to the National Strategy for the 2020 digital agenda, the end of 2015 should have marked the digitisation and publication of 750,000 resources within the European Digital Library. Until August 2016, only 7.6% of these resources were digitised and consequently the Ministry of Culture proposed the E-cultura project, which was going to be financed from non-refundable European funds; the project aims for the digitisation of 750,000 resources coming mainly from the field of moveable cultural heritage, until 2020.
Furthermore, the text of the Strategy encourages public cultural institutions to develop digital instruments with a view to increasing the access to and reusing the cultural assets owned by cultural institutions (particularly by museums, libraries, archives).
The Digital Agenda for Europe 2020 stipulates culture-related goals, such as an increased degree of digital literacy and the increase of digital inclusion and skills. One of the pillars of the Strategy regarding the digital single market for Europe (2015) is the improvement of consumers' and enterprises' access to digital goods and services across Europe. These goals are also found in Romania's digital Agenda 2020, which sets several objectives related to the digitisation of the national cultural content. Besides, the National Strategy regarding Romania's Agenda 2020 sets the following objectives: at least 80% coverage through broadband networks (with speeds over 30 Mbps); at least 60% of Romanians using the Internet regularly; at least 30% of Romanians making online purchases and at least 35% of Romanians using the e-government systems.
The IT structure is not yet clearly defined in Romania's institutions, and the inter-operability degree is low; several cultural institutions separately own and manage different databases (INP, National Archives, national and university libraries). The existing databases have a significant degree of redundancy, their contents partially overlap and they are updated from different information sources and with different frequency because of the lack of documents that would formalise and standardise the information flow. These distortions occur as a consequence of the lack of adequate information transmission channels, the absence of a set of unitary norms and regulations, and the low degree of communication between the institutions involved. A large part of the digital cultural resources is registered within libraries, but the size of the collections belonging to the libraries varies depending on the type of library and, at local level, on the approved budget for its operation. The IT infrastructure and the digitisation projects within libraries differ depending on the budget of each library. The electronic resources purchased by libraries are reduced.
Nevertheless, in 2018, the E-cultura: Romania's digital library project was launched under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture and National Identity, with the National Institute for Heritage as associated member. The value of the project amounts to 11.4 million euro, being funded through the Competitiveness Operational Program (COP) 2014-2020, Priority Axis 2, action 2.3.3.: Improving ICT infrastructure and digital content in the field of systemic e-education, e-inclusion, e-health and e-culture. The specific objectives of the E-cultura project are:
- Growth of the number of cultural heritage elements digitised and displayed online, in a single access point;
- Increase of the degree of inter-operability between the institutions that own elements of cultural heritage;
- Promotion of the national cultural heritage by displaying the digitised cultural resources in europeana.eu.
Last update: April, 2020
As per the 2011 census, the main minorities of Romania are: Hungarians – 1.23 million people (circa 58.9%), Roma – 0.62 million (29.8%), Ukrainians – 50.9 thousand (2.44%), Germans – 36 thousand (1.73%), Turks – 27.7 thousand (1.33%), Lipovan Russians – 23,49 thousand (1.13%) and other minorities with under 1% (up to 20 thousand people) each – Tatars, Serbians, Slovakians, Bulgarians, Croats, Greeks, Hebrews, Italians, Poles, Czechs and others.
According to the CDIS-UNESCO study, the Multilingual Education index of 52% reflects a relatively good level of promoting multilingualism in Romania, showing that, out of the total language teaching hours in the first two grades of middle schools, 48.33% are dedicated to the official language, 45.00% to international languages and 6.67% to languages of national minorities. In Romania, there are 10 national minorities with access to education in their own language, listed by the Law 282/2007 for ratifying the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages: Bulgarians, Czechs, Croats, Germans, Hungarians, Russians, Serbs, Slovaks, Turks, and Ukrainians.
The Strategy for culture projecthighlights the role of cultural diplomacy in the improvement of the intercultural dialogue, while education through culture has the goal to improve the intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity. The Strategy gives funding priority to "projects and programmes of public and private cultural operators that mainly aim for the conservation, development and valorisation of the tangible and intangible heritage of the traditional minorities and of the ethnic groups; promotion of diversity and valorisation of minorities' and ethnic groups' cultural expression; valorisation of the culture of new ethnic groups, of immigrants and refugees, including their cultural expressions – support for the projects approaching social and economic issues specific to the integration of these groups into the Romanian society; dialogue cooperation and promotion and intercultural skills to carry out new cultural productions; intercultural education, both through participation in training and learning stages in other countries, via youth exchange and through providing opportunities to know the culture of ethnic minorities from one's country; organising ongoing training courses for the teachers in the field of intercultural education, which should be the basis for supporting the principles of non-discrimination and equality of chances."
The National Strategy on Immigration 2015-2018 included a direction of action for the promotion of intercultural dialogue and of contacts at all the levels of society through the set-up of multicultural activities within the objective to create an environment facilitating the integration of citizens from third-party states. These goals are attainable through the ACCES program, which supports cultural projects promoting the intercultural dialogue.
An example of a successful project in the field of intercultural dialogue is the Project Migrant in Intercultural Romania. This project was developed in partnership with the League for the Defence of Human Rights (Cluj branch, ADIS Association in Bucharest) and the Centre for Civic Resources in Constanta (in the period September 2012-June 2015). The project was co-funded through the European Fund for the integration of third-country nationals andmanaged in Romania by the General Inspectorate for Immigrations. It included several workshops on these matters, where bills were proposed to facilitate the integration of migrants in Romania as a border-country of the European Union. Furthermore, it included the Festival of Multiculturalism, which took place under the aegis of the League for the Defence of Human Rights – Cluj, member of the International Federation for the Defence of Human Rights based in Paris.
Last update: April, 2020
In the society and economy of knowledge, there is an increasing need for specialised human resources, with multiple and transferable abilities. Work and management in the field of knowledge require the continuous adaptation to the market needs, to the ever-greater dynamics and challenges generated by the socio-economic transformations and technological developments. In this respect, knowledge becomes a currency itself, an investment that secures survival and development for the society materialised not only at national level, but also at international level, due to the globalisation of labour markets.
National policies in the field of education include the concept of lifelong learning or ongoing professional training increasingly, as an essential premise for the intelligent and sustainable development. In Romania, all these tend to align to the European framework, which links the employment policies to the knowledge economy. Thus, the focus is put on the final outcome of education and training, which should be the insertion in the labour market or in the targeted occupational sector.
In the last twenty years, the Romanian education system has made progress in terms of inclusion policies for the national minorities. In 2017, the study National Minorities in Romania revisited. Educational policies and the protection of the linguistic (human) rights stated that ”in Romania live 20 officially recognized minorities, which represent 11,08% of the total population” that time. The diversity of ethnic groups and, implicitly, of the languages their members speak, makes it difficult to formulate coherent and transparent educational policies. The comparative staistical data (school year 1999-2000 vs. school year 2012-2013) provided by the Ministry of National Education, through the State Secretary for Minorities from that date, show the evolution of teaching in the national minorities’ languages in Romania:
|SCHOOL YEAR 1999-2000||SCHOOL YEAR 2012-2013|
|Language of tuition||School units||%||Language of tuition||School units||%|
|Total Romania||27.512||100||Total Romania||19.000||100|
|Total minorities||2.755||10,01||Total minorities||2.872||15,11|
German, Serbian, Ukrainian, Slovak, Czech, Croatian
||German, Serbian, Ukrainian, Slovak, Czech (only pre-school and primary education), Croatian (pre-school, primary and upper secondary education – college), Turkish, Bulgarian, Italian, Greek||370||1,94|
Source: The important parameters of teaching in the national minorities’ languages in Romania, Bucharest, the Ministry of National Education, the State Secretary for Minorities.
It is already well-known that children and young people from Roma community are a disadvantaged social category, often discriminated against, with dramatic effects on their education. In the study carried out in 2011 by the Agency of Community Development Together for UNICEF, it was revealed that more than 70% of the school dropouts are Roma pupils, and the causes of these educational dropouts are: poverty, poor quality of the education received in families and the lack of human and material resources in the educational institutions.
In this regard, after 1996 until now, the Ministry of National Education, as well as other public or private educational entities, have developed programs and projects to encourage the inclusion of Roma children both in the educational system and in society, in general. An initiative that solved the controversy ”integrated education vs. inclusive education” was the elaboration of the case study Inclusive education in Romania, started by UNESCO and UNICEF, which became an autonomous publication in 2001 (Including the excluded: meeting diversity in education. Example from Romania). In the elaboration of this study were involved entities such as: Ministry of National Education, UNESCO Office in Romania, University of Bucharest, UNESCO CEPES (the de-centralised office for the European Center for Higher Education), Institute of Educational Studies and NGO Save the Children Romania. One of the case studies included in this study refers to: ”the social and educational inclusion of Roma children; European and Romanian policies; schooling for the Roma population in Romania; positive intitiatives.”
Another notable initiative was the PHARE 2003 programme, entitled ”Access to education for disadvantaged groups”. This program aimed at facilitating access to quality education for all children, regardless of their ethnic, linguistic, socio-economic or psychological characteristics. PHARE has piloted the creation of resource centers in order to help teachers develop more inclusive classrooms and schools. The activities of this programme focused on training sessions in the field of educational inclusion (UNESCO International Bureau of Education, Romania. Regional Preparatory Workshop on Inclusive Education. Eastern and South Eastern Europe, 14-16 June 2007).
Last update: July, 2012
The policy coordination authorities in the media sector are the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, which implements policies, and the National Audiovisual Council (NAC), which is the secondary regulator for the sector.
Romania has ratified the European Convention on Transfrontier Television and modified its national legislation accordingly.
Currently, in order to harmonise its specific legislation with the acquits communautaire, Romania closely follows up the revision process of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, and of the TVWF Directive, in order to adapt its legislation accordingly.
Romanian public service broadcasters operate alongside numerous commercial counterparts. Currently, there are now approximately 80 Romanian television channels (almost half of them having more than 1 local station), plus 4 operated by the Romanian Television Society - the public broadcaster (TVR 1, TVR 2, TVR International, TVR Cultural and TVR Info). Due to financial problems the Romanian Television Society announced the closing down of TVR Cultural and TVR Info (see also http://www.romania-insider.com/romanian-state-owned-tvr-to-close-down-two-channels-layoff-staff-in-attempt-to-save-money/63105/). As of September 2012, only TVR info has been shut down. Also 845 cable companies also operate in Romania.
The National Audiovisual Council (NAC) is a public, autonomous authority under the control of the Parliament and is the protector of the public interest in the field of audio-visual communication, under the conditions provided by the Audiovisual Law no. 504/2002 revised in 2010.The Council has advisory competence with regard to other public authorities, without being empowered with legislative initiative.
The NAC was founded in 1992 (under Law 48/1992, replaced in 2002 by Law 504 revised in 2010)in order to provide a legal framework for the setting up of a competitive and free private market in the Romanian audiovisual field.
The NAC is the only regulatory authority in the field of audio-visual programme services and must ensure the following:
- observance of a pluralist expression of ideas and opinions in the programme services transmitted by radio-broadcasters under Romanian jurisdiction;
- pluralism of information sources for the public;
- free competition;
- a fair balance between the national radio-broadcasting services and local, regional or thematic services;
- protection of human dignity and of minor children;
- protection of the Romanian culture and language, as well as the culture and languages of ethnic minorities;
- transparency of mass communication means in the audio-visual sector; and
- transparency of its own activities.
The main debates among media professionals and other actors of the cultural community are targeted at the following issues:
- TV and radio cross ownership (without print media and ISPs);
- transparency provisions not fully enforced;
- the production and dissemination of indigenous content: Audiovisual Law no. 504/2002 (amended in 2003 and in 2006) provides, in line with the TWF Directive, that broadcasters have to reserve at least 10% of their programme budgets, or their broadcasting time, for independent productions (excluding the time allocated to information, sports events, games, publicity, teletext and teleshopping services); and
- there are no cultural obligations for broadcasters, except for those in the public service (Romanian Television Society and Romanian Radio Society) - the law is currently under revision.
Last update: April, 2020
The official language of Romania is Romanian. In 1999 the Romanian Language Institute was established as a specialised institution with the object of promoting the Romanian language, culture and civilisation overseas. The programmes managed by the Romanian Language Institute are:
- Romanian language lectureships in universities abroad;
- The project regarding the teaching of the Romanian language, culture and civilisation course in educational establishments in member states of the European Union;
- Certification of Romanian language skills.
In an attempt to support the correct use of Romanian language, the Parliament adopted a Law on the use of Romanian in public places, relations and institutions (Law no. 500/2004). The correct use of Romanian language in radio and TV programmes is the subject of a series of monitoring reports and analyses carried out by the National Institute of Linguistics “Iorgu Iordan – Al. Rosetti”, which highlight errors in orthography, grammar, syntax as well as, inter alia, incorrect usage of certain borrowed words or expressions. These reports are also used by the National Audiovisual Council. Various broadcasters are scheduling programmes dedicated to the correct use of Romanian language, focusing on the most frequent mistakes and errors.
The main issue regarding language in Romania is the protection of the languages of the 20 minority ethnic groups. Protective principles can be found in the Local Public Administration Law no. 286/2006, including the right to use one's mother tongue within administrative procedures (Article 17),or the systematic translation of geographical names and indicators in all the spoken languages of a given area (Article 10 to 13). In October 2007, Romania adopted Law no. 282 in order to ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, signed at Strasbourg on 5 November 1992.
Last update: April, 2020
In 2018, the CDIS-UNESCO study shows that the gender equality objective in Romania has not been approached yet due to the legislation and the lack of studies concerning gender equality. As for education, the differences between women and men are the smallest. The Romanian legislation and the educational system are comprehensive; therefore, boys and girls have equal rights and chances in accessing education. The recorded differences in Romania are not so high concerning the involvement in the labour market and the chances of women obtaining equal jobs to men. The biggest difference between women and men relates to the participation in politics and everyday life decisions (79% men versus 21% women in politics and decision-making).
The Romanian system needs improvement regarding gender equality or a more precise gender equality legislation adjustment. In this regard there is a strategic commitment for equal gender chances which was established in the period 2016-2019. This commitment regards five key action domains: equal economic independence for women and men; equal remuneration for equal work responsibilities; equality in decision-making; dignity, integrity and discontinuing gender-based violence; and promoting gender equality outside the EU.
Furthermore, there is a difference between men's and women's perceptions in the context of cultural and social values: the “CDIS-UNESCO” study shows a result of 58% regarding the level of positive assessment of gender equality, where 53% milestone equals to the statement: ”Men make better political leaders than women do” and 75% milestone equals to: ”University is more important for a boy than for a girl”. This result follows the strategic directions as prescribed in the European Strategic Commitment to Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, 2016-2019, which contains five priorities and key actions:
- Increasing the participation of women in the labour market and equal economic independence for women and men;
- Reducing the wages, earnings and pensions gaps between women and men and fighting against poverty among women;
- Promoting equality between women and men in the decision-making process;
- Fighting against gender-based violence and supporting and protecting victims;
- Promoting gender equality and women's rights around the world.
There have been no objective reasons for discrimination in Romania – the law on unitary wages does not differentiate between men and women and, although an increase of the number of men in management positions is noticed, there are no signs of a trend, according to the results of the study.
Last update: April, 2020
The Strategy for culture and national heritage 2016-2022 includes several measures to develop the adjustment of the infrastructure and the physical milieu of culture, in general, to the needs of disabled people:
- Promotion of cultural expressions specific to the urban and rural culture in a certain area, inclusively through formats adjusted for disabled people;
- Development of services and infrastructures of information on the local and regional cultural offer and heritage values that can become touristic landmarks, including cultural routes accessible to people with disabilities;
- Set-up and development of local and / or sectoral creative-innovative hubs and clusters, considering from the start the need for ICT equipment and the principle of accessibility for people with disabilities as well as the possibility of using assistive devices and technologies;
- Drafting evaluation norms for all categories of moveable cultural heritage, disabled people's access included;
- Analysis and harmonisation of legislation protecting intellectual property rights, so as it would not represent an unreasonable or discriminatory barrier for the access of disabled people to cultural products;
- Elaboration of cultural materials in formats accessible to disabled people or equipment with access technologies (defined in the National Strategy A society with no barriers for disabled people, 2016-2020).
Once the Convention on the rights of people with disabilities was ratified by Law no. 221/2010, Romanian Government recognised the right of disabled people to equally participate in the cultural life and it pledges to take all the adequate measures to ensure that disabled people:
- benefit from access to cultural materials in accessible formats;
- benefit from access to television programmes, movies, theatre and other cultural activities, in accessible formats;
- benefit from access to places dedicated to performances or cultural services, such as libraries, theatres, museums, cinema theatres or travel services and, to the greatest possible extent, from access to monuments and sites of national cultural importance.
Furthermore, Romania pledged to take all the necessary measures, in accordance with the international legislation, to ensure that the laws protecting the intellectual property rights do not have a unreasonable or discriminatory barrier for the access of disabled people to cultural products.
The National Strategy A society without barriers for people with disabilities 2016-2020 mentions a number of 752,931 disabled people in 2015. Around 48% of these persons lived in rural areas, and, at the end of 2014, 70,493 were children. One of the general objectives of this strategy is ensuring the full participation of disabled people in all the fields of life, via access to public transport, to information, mass media and other facilities, which means access to cultural life, inclusively.
The multi-annual strategy was approved in 2018. It confirms that the participation in leisure or sports activities, the freedom to develop spiritually and the access to the values of national or universal culture are all guaranteed by the Constitution.
The limited access of people with disabilities to cultural activities pertains less to their difficulties and more to external, environmental, communication or attitude-related barriers. Therefore, one of the assumed objectives of the respective strategy is providing them access to non-formal education programmes, to sportive, cultural, leisure and recreational activities. As a matter of fact, Law no. 448/2006 on the protection and promotion of the rights of impaired people provides that "the competent authorities of the public administration have the obligation to facilitate the access of people with handicaps to the values of culture, to heritage-, touristic, sports and leisure sites", inclusively by offering free access to performances, museums, artistic manifestations and sports activities (for children and adults with severe or pronounced handicap).
Last update: April, 2020
The matter of social cohesion in Romania's public policies is based on the reference document National Strategy on Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction 2015-2020, which defines vulnerable groups and proposes social and economic measures to stimulate the inclusion and to increase the social cohesion. Starting from this document, the Strategy for Culture and National Heritage 2016-2020 proposes as general objective the "boosting of cultural interventions for vulnerable groups". This Strategy supports the priority funding of projects and programmes of public and private cultural operators that aim at:
- “carrying out cultural interventions dedicated to vulnerable groups;
- supplying cultural services adapted to the individual needs of disabled people;
- raising awareness on the problems of vulnerable groups and valorising their cultural expressions, inclusively by mass media and ICT channels;
- providing conditions of access to culture for people with disabilities;
- promoting the cultural offer (adapted formats included) among the vulnerable groups;
- facilitating the access to cultural events for vulnerable categories;
- access to culture and education in prisons, correctional and special schools of Romania;
- ensuring opportunities of artistic and cultural expression for the young with limited economic resources, who are prone to social marginalisation, as well as for youth with disabilities (according to the National Strategy on Youth Policy, 2015-2020);
- developing the professional skills of the personnel within public cultural institutions in the field of activities with vulnerable groups."
Regarding the Roma population, the census of 2002 recorded 535,140 persons, 60.1% of whom living in rural areas. According to the 2011 census, the number of Roma people is 621,573. Other statistics estimate a larger number: for example, the EC monitoring report of 2004 estimated 1.8-2.5 million Roma people. In 2004, according to a study of the World Bank, approximately 74.3% of the Roma population was facing a high risk of social exclusion, as a result of chronic gaps in the economic development, determined by the ongoing discriminatory attitude towards this ethnicity.
The Romanian Government's Strategy for the inclusion of Romanian citizens belonging to the Roma minority for the period 2015-2020 recognises that "both the cultural policies for the whole population and the elements specific to ethnic minorities are based on several principles, such as: population's participation in cultural activities, aspiration towards equal access to culture and understanding that the cultural sector may have beneficial economic and social effects when the programs are successful". In this respect, the strategy proposes a series of action directions and cultural policy-specific measures, whose joint effect is the increase of the degree of inclusion of the Romanian population of Roma ethnicity.
The Governing Programme 2018-2020 provides, in its turn, a strategy based on specific programmes, meant to ensure a substantial improvement of the Roma people's situation, with special focus on the Roma communities facing extreme poverty. The general plan of action includes:
- Strengthening the structures for the implementation of the national strategy for Roma people at local level;
- Achieving a viable partnership between the structures of the public administration and the Roma communities;
- Solving the problems related to the ownership rights on the lands and lodgings owned by Roma people and implementing rehabilitation programs for the houses in the areas inhabited by Roma people, by means of ensuring electric power, fresh water, sewage, methane gas, sanitation;
- Streamlining the measures focused on sectoral aspects (access to the labour market, promotion of income-generating activities, access to health services, reducing school dropout, promotion of artistic values, creation of civic education programmes, crime prevention).
Last update: April, 2020
The social impact of arts and culture, in general, is reflected in the drawing up of the objectives and action plans within the local cultural strategies. Cultural planning represents an advantage for any community, and debates and discussions during the planning period bring together cultural operators and political and administrative decision-makers who design the town's cultural offer and address the needs and expectations of the town's citizens. All the fourteen Romanian towns found in the pre-selection of the competition for the title of European Capital of Culture 2021 had implemented arguments in their local cultural Strategies sections for the potential social impact of a cultural sector developed in the framework of a programme like the European Capital of Culture.
An actual example in this respect is the Cultural Strategy of the City of Bucharest 2016-2020, with its first priority axis "Including culture as an engine of urban development". This priority axis focuses on "the inclusion of the cultural dimension as an essential factor in the harmonious and balanced development of a city. Long-term planning cannot ignore this aspect, and this is the reason why all the other development plans (urban, mobility, social, economic, tourism development plans) must embed the principles of the Cultural Strategy. Thus, a sustainable urban development includes the expansion and rebalance of the city's cultural landscape, including highlighting the neighbourhoods’ identity and a greater involvement of the citizens, the growth of community cohesion. This contributes to the valorisation of the history of the city and of the various quarters and communities and in order to transform Bucharest into a place where the quality public space, the built heritage and contemporary architecture complete each other and boost one another in favour of the citizen's quality of life and the city's increased attractiveness" . Submitting such an objective requires that the development of the societal areas should start with the cultural-artistic factor.
The Cultural Strategy of Timisoara 2014-2024 (European Capital of Culture in 2021) places culture as a transversal dimension of all the public policies: "The concern for the cultural life of Timisoara requires a lively relation between culture and urbanism, architecture, environment, education and it contributes to the local and regional development. Through its public policy documents and essential studies carried out by the public administration in the last years, Timisoara shows that it gives culture its deserved role because of the multiple benefits it brings to individuals, to the local community and economy."
Last update: April, 2020
There is a real concern to submit asustainable development strategy (the document National Strategy for the sustainable development of Romania 2030), with focus on such objectives as: quality education, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, which also include actions at the level of the cultural sector. However, the the subject of cultural sustainability is not yet treated as such and is not a priority for the authorities of the Romanian state. The main reason for such an approach from the state is the traditional manner of funding the rather vast network of public cultural entities of Romania.
Last update: April, 2020
Another problem with Romania's cultural policy was identified as early as 2016, in one of the studies published by the National Institute for Cultural Research and Training (White Book for Unlocking the Economic Potential of Cultural and Creative Sectors in Romania), i.e. the lack of transversal policies including such fields as the cultural and creative sectors, education and tourism. Despite the fact that the main decision makers in the field have had numerous debates on this topic, these initiatives were not manifested in strategies, policies or action plans.