4. Law and legislation
Last update: April, 2020
After the fall of the communist regime in December 1989, a new Constitution was adopted by the Constitutional Assembly on November 21st 1991, which entered into force following its approval by national referendum on December 8th 1991. Subsequently, the Constitution was revised in 2003 and this revision was approved by national referendum on October 18th and 19th 2003 and entered into force on the October 29th 2003.
The Constitution includes specific provisions related to cultural rights, freedom of expression and opinion, freedom of religion and national minorities' rights.
Thus, Article 33 of the Constitution guarantees access to culture as well as the freedom of each person to develop his or her own spirituality and to have access to the values of the national and universal culture. According to paragraph 3 of the same article, the State has an obligation to make sure that "the spiritual identity is preserved, national culture is supported, arts are stimulated, cultural legacy is protected and preserved, contemporary creativity is developed, and Romania's cultural and artistic values are promoted throughout the world".
Article 6 contains specific provisions related to identity rights of persons belonging to national minorities.
Article 30 guarantees freedom of expression of "thoughts, opinions, or beliefs, and freedom of any creation, by words, in writing, in pictures, by sounds or other means of communication in public". Censorship is expressly forbidden according to paragraph 2. Also, paragraph 3 provides that "freedom of the press also involves the free setting up of publications" and, according to par. 4, "no publication shall be suppressed".
Freedom of expression is closely linked to the right to information provided in article 31, which also contains specific provisions on public service broadcasters (PSBs), which are autonomous and operate under parliamentary control. These PSB “[…] must guarantee any important social and political group to exercise the right to broadcasting time”.
Last update: April, 2020
The main body of legislation pertaining to allocation of public funds in general consists of the Law no. 500/2002 on Public Finances, Law no. 273/2006 on Local Public Finances and the annual laws on the state budget.
Public funds are allocated via budgetary laws to each ministry, whose budget comprises, in addition to its own operational budget, the budgetary allocations for all subordinated institutions.
Currently, the Ministry of Culture has 44 cultural public institutions under its direct subordination, as well as 42 decentralised services of the Ministry and 4 commercial entities supervised/monitored by the Ministry. The budget of the Ministry of Culture also comprises budgetary allocations for various cultural programmes for which grants can be obtained by different cultural operators on the basis of the cultural priorities decided by the Ministry.
A number of specialised institutions subordinated to the ministry have statutory powers to launch financing programs and to open calls for application to these grants: National Centre for Cinema, National Cultural Fund Administration, National Heritage Institute and National Dance Centre. Each of these institutions has special regulations determining the scope of their activity and, in the case of first two, their budget is made up from various contributions from economic operators and not from transfers from the State budget. All state aid and grants schemes administered by the above institutions follow an open procedure based on transparent rules, competition of projects and peer review evaluation.
The financial sources of the National Cinema Fund and its destinations are regulated by E.G.O. No. 39/2005, amended and modified. The National Centre for Cinema administers the National Cinema Fund in compliance with a number of state-aid schemes to support film production and setup of film festivals in Romania and with de minimis state aid schemes such as: support for cinema education, setup of cultural cinematographic events and publishing of specialised materials, art cinema, film distribution and exploitation, participation to festivals.
The operations of the National Cultural Fund Administration are regulated by E.G.O. No. 51/11.08.1998 amended and modified. It should be highlighted that one of the major sources of the Fund is a quota of 2% of the proceeds of the National Lottery, which has lately amounted to 90% of the total budget of the fund. The funding priorities are decided upon by the board of the Fund (Board of Directors of the National Cultural Fund) which also decides on the distribution of each session’s budget among the thematic areas. It is mandatory that at least two financing sessions per year be organised. The organization of these sessions must abide by the following rules: transparency, equal access and non-discrimination and peer review. Peer review by evaluation committees composed of at least three independent experts is considered a guarantee of a transparent and non-biased allocation of grants. Recently, via E.G.O. No. 76/2018 it was decided that each evaluation committee should comprise a member designated by the Ministry of Culture and National Identity.
The operations and activities of the National Heritage Institute are regulated by Law No. 329/2009 and G.D. No. 523/2011, both subsequently modified. One of the major activities of the Institute is to manage the funds allocated for research, restoration, protection of historical monuments through the National Program of Restoration of Historical Monuments. The funds dedicated to this program come mainly from the state budget through the budget of the Ministry of Culture. The institute is also entrusted with the collection and management of the “historical monuments stamp” (“timbrul monumentelor istorice”), instituted by Law No. 422/2001, which is used for loan funding of emergency intervention works on historical monuments.
The National Dance Centre has its activity regulated by G.D. No. 1123/2004, and its operations are mainly funded via budgetary allocations and own revenues. This institution supports programs and projects of independent professionals and entities with a view to developing choreographic culture, research, experiment and innovation in contemporary dance.
Another national / state level institution active in the field of culture and cultural diplomacy is the Romanian Cultural Institute, established on the basis of Law No. 356/2003 as an autonomous administrative authority operating under Parliamentary control (however, the Cultural Institutes set up in other countries by the Romanian Cultural Institute are administratively subordinated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The institute is funded through budgetary allocation from the state budget. Over the years, the institute has developed a number of grant schemes and funding programs focusing on developing intercultural dialogue and on the promotion of Romanian culture in other cultural areas.
At the local level the allocation of public funds is very similar to what was described above. Public cultural institutions are subordinated either to County Councils or to Local (municipal or communal) Councils. In each case their budget is decided upon by the relevant Local Council and the execution of the overall local budget is entrusted to the Mayor Elect or to the president of the County Council. The two above mentioned categories of funding for public institutions can be found at this level.
It should be noted that, traditionally, in Romania, the current and capital expenditures of libraries are funded from the relevant state or local budget, whereas the expenditures of museums and performing arts institutions are funded from allocations from the relevant budget, as well as from their own revenues.
G.O. no. 51/1998 in its revised form places an obligation on all local authorities, irrespective of their level (county, municipal or communal), to set up a system of financing cultural programs, projects or activities similar to that established for the National Cultural Fund Administration. These authorities have total control on deciding the amount of the budgetary allocation with this destination; however the legal provisions mandate that an amount of 2% to 8% of this allocation should be assigned for “emergency financing”. The general rules of open calls - at least one session per year, transparency, equality of access and peer review - have to be implemented effectively by each authority. Although major municipalities and most counties have implemented this system, the same cannot be said for all smaller local authorities. There is no national monitoring or reporting institutions on this topic, which is currently on the agenda of the National Institute for Cultural Research and Training for the next two years.
Last update: April, 2020
The general social security framework covers civil servants, employed persons with individual labour contracts, as well as self-employed persons and independent artists with annual average income of at least 12 salaries at the level of minimum gross salary (in 2018 this is 1.900 lei and therefore the annual average income should be 22.800 lei). Voluntary coverage for those falling under the threshold is available.
The new provisions of the Fiscal Code that entered into force as of the 1st of January 2018 have brought about important changes in the social security framework for all beneficiaries and in particular for independent artists for which the sole income is derived from copyright and neighbouring rights. These new developments are as of yet difficult to evaluate because the final date for filing the fiscal statements on the basis of which social contributions are calculated was set for the 31st of July 2018.
Briefly, the major change relates to shifting the obligations of calculating and paying social security rates from the employer / beneficiary of the copyright contract to the employee/ independent artist. In addition, the social security taxes have been set to 25% for the mandatory pension fund and 10% for health insurance. It should be noted that for all copyright-derived income there is a lump sum deduction of 40% and therefore only the remaining 60% of the gross income is subject to taxation and to the payment of social security contributions.
One of the major issues that is still unclear is whether the health insurance coverage operates for independent artists during the period elapsed from the moment of receiving the income until paying the contributions pursuant to the Fiscal Administration Decision (next fiscal year). The previous social security system provided the concomitant payment of the income and of the social security charges. Voluntary payment in advance is provided by law, but the administrative mechanism is unclear in this respect and many artists are not familiar with the procedures.
Exemptions from the payment of social security contributions to the pension fund for copyright income are provided for employees (who already contribute to the mandatory pension fund) and for retired persons.
Last update: April, 2020
There is no specific tax legislation for culture, but special provisions for the cultural and creative sectors may be found in the general legislation framework, which is the Fiscal Code of Romania (Law no. 227/2015, amended and modified).
As of the 1st of January 2018, the income tax has been reduced from 16% to 10%. For employees and civil servants, income tax is calculated and paid directly by the employer. Self-employed persons have an obligation to calculate and pay their income tax directly. Independent artists and any other person that derives an income from the capitalisation of their author’s rights or neighbouring rights, can opt for a minimum mandatory tax payment (by the “employer”) of 7% upon receiving the respective tax-subjected income (with an obligation to directly pay the remainder of the tax annually) or for a final tax payment by the “employer” of 10%. As described in paragraph above the lump sum deduction of 40% is automatically applied to the gross income before calculating the tax income.
Law No. 32/1994 on sponsorship, modified, constitutes the general legal framework for private corporate support in various domains, including creative and cultural sectors, but the fiscal regime applicable is set forth in the Fiscal Code. The recipients of sponsorship agreements, the sums or goods received are not subject to taxation. For the sponsors, their sponsorship expenditures are tax deductible up to a certain limit:
- Annual value of sponsorships (including the value of goods) cannot exceed 20% of the profit tax.
- Annual value of sponsorships (including the value of goods) cannot exceed 0.5% of the annual turnover.
In compliance with the Fiscal Code, self-employed persons may offer sponsorships for no more than 5% of their net income.
Private citizens may redirect 2% of the value of their income tax to support, at their discretion, not-for-profit organisations or activities, including those in the cultural and creative sectors. It should be noted that 3.5% of the income tax may be redirected only to not-for-profit and religious entities that provide accredited social services. This applies to employees, retired people and self-employed persons, as well as to independent artists for the income derived from the monetization of their works/performances.
The profit tax rate is 16%. A reduced rate of 5% profit tax is applicable to nightclubs and night bars, discotheques and casinos. For private educational institutions, revenues from their main activity are not subject to profit taxation. Cultural institutions are not subject to profit taxation with the exception of commercial activities. In the case of not-for-profit organisations, the Fiscal Code, in article 15 paragraphs 2 and 3, lists the various categories of revenues which are non-taxable.
There are several VAT rates in Romania:
- Standard rate of 19%, applicable for the majority of goods and services (since the 1st of January 2017).
- Reduced rate of 9%, which does not apply to cultural goods or services.
- Reduced rate of 5%, applicable to school textbooks, books, newspapers and magazines; services of access to museums, historical monuments, archaeological sites, fairs, exhibitions, cultural events and cinema halls with the exception of those exempted from VAT.
- Exemption from VAT, applicable to educational services, services of adult professional training, cultural services supplied by public cultural institutions or by not-for-profit cultural organisations recognized by the Ministry of Culture, specific activities of public service broadcasters, other than of commercial nature etc.
Last update: April, 2020
The Labour Code (Law No. 53/2003, amended and modified) creates the general legal framework for labour relations. As a general rule, labour contracts should have an indefinite duration. However, the Labour Code states that under a number of specific circumstances and strict conditions, individual labour contracts can be concluded for a limited duration/period.
A more flexible approach was enacted by G.O. No. 21/2007, whereby individual labour contracts of limited duration may be concluded by performing arts public institutions as a derogatory system from the general Labour Code provisions.
A unified system of salaries for those working in the public sector, including cultural institutions, is set up by Law No. 153/2017.
It should be noted that, in response to public demands by employees of the cultural institutions, the Government has enacted E.G.O. No. 90/2017 whereby the level of salaries was raised by 20% for local public cultural institutions (i.e. subordinated to local authorities) and by 50% for artistic personnel in performing arts institutions.
The involvement of volunteers is regulated by Law No. 78/2014 and, although article 3 para. b) lists art and culture among the public interest activities where voluntary involvement is supported by the State, there are no special provisions concerning this sector.
Law No. 62/2011 on social dialogue, amended and modified, sets up the general framework for the negotiation and conclusion of collective labour agreements. However, the law creates the framework only for collective negotiations between employers and employees bound by the existence of individual labour contracts. Thus, collective bargaining agreements which might be used by independent artists when negotiating with public or private cultural institutions or any other producer do not fall within the scope of this law. Although there are some initiatives of the independent sector to modify the existing legal framework so as to enable the creation of trade unions of independent artists and the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, there is no clear development in this respect.
Last update: April, 2020
As part of the Berne Convention, Romania has adopted the droit d’auteur model. At the national level, the copyright system has been modified and updated by Law No. 8/1996, which has been regularly updated in order to comply with the European regulations and the international instruments ratified or adhered to by Romania.
Romanian law distinguishes between:
- Moral rights that protect the link between the authors and their works via a paternity right, a right of integrity, a right to divulgation and a right of withdrawal. For performers, the law recognizes paternity rights and a right to respect the quality of their performance.
- “Patrimonial” rights, i.e. economic rights that proceed from the exploitation of a protected work or subject matter.
The duration of “patrimonial” rights spans for the entire life of the author and, as a general rule, for 70 years after the author’s death. For neighbouring rights, the duration of “patrimonial” rights is of 50 years from the performance or first publication or communication to the public of its fixation, with the exception of phonograms, for which the duration is of 70 years.
In 1996, Romania has recognized the neighbouring rights for performers as well as for phonogram producers, film producers and broadcasting organisations.
Sui generis rights are recognized to database producers. The law provides specific limitations and exemptions for the use of a protected work or subject matter, in particular for information and educational purposes in line with European and international legal frameworks on the basis of the three-step test set up in the Berne Convention. The law also provides for specific conditions concerning the use of orphan works.
Before the entry into force of Law No 8/1996 collective management was restricted in scope and application to composers and writers. Now, collective management societies (not-for-profit entities) have been set up for each domain and in some instances more than one per domain. Currently there are 16 collective management societies recognized by the Romanian Copyright Office. Following the transposition of Directive 2014/26/EU, it is expected that independent management entities (which are for-profit entities) will be set up. It is therefore, too early to evaluate the real impact that these entities may bring about once they’ve entered the market. According to the Romanian legal framework, collective management is mandatory for: private copy levies, public loans, resale rights, broadcasting of musical works, public communication of musical works, equitable remuneration for performers and producers for public communication and broadcasting of commercial phonograms, cable retransmission, orphan works and online multi-territorial licensing of musical works. In addition, collective management societies may collect on the basis of individual mandates from their members the following rights on: reproduction of musical works on phonograms or videograms, public communication of works with the exception of musical works and of audiovisual performances, public lending other than that subjected to mandatory collection and rental rights.
Even before the transposition of Directive 2014/26/EU, Romanian legislation provided extensive rules of supervision on the activities of collective management societies by the Romanian Copyright Office. Following the transposition of said Directive, this role has been further strengthened and the scope of supervision has been broadened.
Taking into consideration the large number of substantial revisions adopted in the more than 20 years since the entry into force of Law No. 8/1996, Law. No. 74/22.03.2018 operated a major overhaul of the entire body of the law no. 8, re-numbering its articles and republishing it in a revised and consolidated form.
Currently, there are no public initiatives to create new bodies for the purpose of researching, supervising and proposing specific legal measures concerning the protection of rights in the digital environment and online.
Last update: April, 2020
The current legal framework concerning data protection, as of May 25th 2018, is Regulation (EU) 2016/679 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) - GDPR.
The provisions set forth in Regulation (EU) 2016/679 may have an impact on the operations and activities of certain cultural institutions such as, inter alia:
- National Heritage Institute, which operates all nationwide databases on cultural heritage, including personal data of owners.
- National Institute for Cultural Research and Training, which operates nationwide databases on translators, impresarios for performing arts and participants in various training programmes.
Collective management societies may find themselves in a similar situation as described above, since they manage the personal data of all their members and of right holders for whom they have to collect and distribute remunerations for the mandatory collection.
Generally speaking, all cultural institutions have updated the terms of service on their websites which take in account the new rules on data protection. Online payment of tickets for cultural events is generally managed by third party entities and not directly by the cultural organisations themselves, therefore liability for compliance with GDPR lies with these entities.
Last update: April, 2020
The Constitution of Romania states in Article 13 that the official language is Romanian.
Article 6 para. 1 – Right to identity, “[…] recognizes and guarantees the right of persons belonging to national minorities to the preservation, development and expression of their ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity”.
Paragraph 2 of the same article, states that “the protection measures taken by the Romanian State for the preservation, development and expression of identity of the persons belonging to national minorities shall conform to the principles of equality and non-discrimination in relation to the other Romanian citizens”.
There are also a number of normative acts (laws and Government Decisions) pertaining to the use of Romanian language and of the languages of national minorities in relation to public authorities and in the educational system.
Law No. 500/2004 for the use of the Romanian language in public places, relations and institutions, states that any text of public interest written or spoken in a foreign language must be accompanied by its translation or adaption into Romanian language. Broadcasts transmitted in other languages by Romanian broadcasters or under Romanian audiovisual licenses must be subtitled in Romanian or benefit from a simultaneous translation.
In addition, Article 17 para. d) of the Audiovisual Law No. 504/2002, amended and modified, entitles the National Audiovisual Council to “issue, with a view to the application of the provisions from this Law, regulatory normative decisions […] in regard to […] the monitoring of the correct expression in Romanian language and in the languages of national minorities”. It also grants minorities the right to benefit from free broadcasting of programmes in their languages if the minority in question exceeds 20% of the total population in a given administrative unit.
Law No. 215/2001 on local public administration, in its Article 19 states that local public authorities, their subordinated public institutions as well as public services must ensure the use of a minority language in their relations with members of the respective minority in all cases where that minority population exceeds 20% of total population in a given administrative unit.
National Education Law No. 1/2011 states in Article 10 that learning the Romanian language is mandatory and that educational services shall be provided in the languages of the national minorities, too. Articles 45 and following recognize the right of persons belonging to national minorities to study and to be educated in their mother tongue at all levels, types and forms of pre-university education. Specific provisions concerning higher education in the languages of national minorities are to be found in Articles 135 and following of the Law.
Special obligations are imposed upon public services broadcasters through Law No. 41/1994 on the organisation and operation of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation and Romanian Television Corporation, republished, which states, inter alia:
- In Article 15: public service broadcasters have, as one of their main activities, the carrying out of broadcasting programmes in Romanian, in the languages of the national minorities as well as in other languages for information, cultural, educational and entertainment purposes.
- In Article 35: the board of territorial studios which broadcast programmes in the languages of the national minorities should have members representing the producers of those programmes.
There are several other relevant laws that offer a more detailed perspective on the issue of minority languages:
- Law No 20 /2019 establishes the Day of the Romani Language on June 16
- Law No 214/2018 establishes the Day of the Macedonian language on December 8
- Law No. 213/2018 establishes the Day of the Ukrainian Language on November 9
- Law No. 253/2017 establishes the Day of the Yiddish Language and Theatre on December 13
- Law No. 247/2017 establishes the Day of National Minorities in Romania on December 18, as a national day
- Law No. 100.2015 establishes the Day of the Bulgarian Language on May 24
- Law No. 279/2015 establishes the Day of the Hungarian Language on November 13
- Law No. 130/2014 establishes the Day of the Czech Language on September 28
- Law No. 97/2009 on the foundation of the Cultural Institute of Tatars "Sebat Husein" in Constanta
- Law No. 366/2007 on the foundation of the Prize "Mehmet Niyazi" in order to promote Tatar literature, arts and culture in Romania
Although there is no specific piece of legislation concerning the mandatory use of national minority languages in the cultural sector, secondary legislation pertaining to the organisation and functioning of performing arts institutions, institutes, theatres and operas which have either bilingual programmes or operate solely in the language of a national minority (German, Hungarian and Yiddish).
Last update: April, 2020
Currently, there is no further information.
Last update: April, 2020
Romania does not have a general legislation referring to general issues of cultural policies for the cultural and creative sectors overall. The legal provisions in force are sector-specific, and therefore shall be described infra in the following subchapters.
Relevant primary legislation of a transversal nature, covering specific issues for the whole or the majority of the cultural and creative sectors, is presented below.
A. Private cultural entities organisation and activities
- G.O. No. 26/2000 on associations and foundations, amended and modified
- Law No. 31/1990 on (commercial) companies
- Civil Code (Law No. 289/2009)
- E.G.O. No. 44/2008 on self-employed persons (“authorized natural persons”) and individual and family enterprises
- Law No. 1/2005 on co-operative organisations
- Law No. 120/2015 regarding the stimulation of individual investors, known as business angels
B. Management of public cultural institutions
- E.G.O. No. 189/2008 on the management of public cultural institutions – a law that regulates horizontally the management, administration and superintendence of these public structures, regardless of their type. This law has a major impact on the depoliticization, professionalization and transparency of the management and assignment of institutions managers, which, up until 2004, was political.
C. Cultural orders and decorations
- Law No. 29/2000, republished, on the national system of Orders and Decorations, instituting the Cultural Order and Cultural Medal
D. Government programme and policies
- Programme of the Government for 2018-2020, chapter on Culture, Religious Affairs and Minorities
International legal instruments related to culture, signed, adopted, acceded to or ratified by Romania are presented below.
|Title of the international legal instruments||Organisation responsible for administering it||Year of entry into force in Romania and title of national instrument|
|European Cultural Convention||Council of Europe||19.12.1991 – Law no. 77/1991|
|European Code of Social Security||Council of Europe||10.10.2010 – Law no. 116/2009|
|Convention for the Protection of Architectural Heritage of Europe||Council of Europe||01.03.1998 – Law no. 157/1997|
|European Convention on Transfrontier Television||Council of Europe||01.11.2004 – Law no. 11/2004|
|European Convention on the Protection of Archaeological Heritage (revised)||Council of Europe||21.05.1998 – Law no. 150/1997|
|European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production||Council of Europe||01.07.2002 – Law no. 28/2002|
|European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages||Council of Europe||01.05.2008 – Law no. 282/2007|
|Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities||Council of Europe||01.02.1998 – Law no. 33/1995|
|European Landscape Convention||Council of Europe||01.03.2004 – Law no. 451/2002|
|European Convention on the Legal Protection of Services Based On, or Consisting of Conditional Access||Council of Europe||01.07.2003 – Law no. 305/2002|
|Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict with Regulations for the Execution of the Convention. The Hague||UNESCO||21.03.1958 - Decree no. 605/1957|
|Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.||UNESCO||21.03.1958 – Decree no. 605/1957|
|The Hague Convention against Discrimination in Education||UNESCO||09.07.1964 – Decree no. 149/1964|
|Convention concerning the International Exchange of Publications||UNESCO||09.06.1965 – Decree no. 835/1964|
|Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials, with Annexes A to E and Protocol annexed. Florence||UNESCO||24.11.1970|
|Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage||UNESCO||16.05.1990 – Decree no. 187/1990|
|Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property||UNESCO||06.12.1993 – Law no. 79/1993|
|Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against Unauthorized Duplication of their Phonograms||UNESCO/WIPO||01.07.1998 – Law no. 78/1998|
|Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions||UNESCO||20.07.2006 – Law no. 248/2006|
|Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage||UNESCO||20.01.2006 – Law no. 410/2005|
|Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict||UNESCO||07.08.2006 – Law no. 285/2006|
|Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage||UNESCO||31.07.2007 – Law no. 99/2007|
|Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works||WIPO||01.01.1927|
|Berne Convention – revised 1896, 1908, 1914, 1928, 1948, 1967, 1971, 1979||WIPO||17.04.1998 – Law no. 77/1998|
|International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations||WIPO/UNESCO/ILO||22.07.1998 – Law no. 76/1998|
|Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization||WIPO||26.04.1970 – Decree no. 1175/1968|
|Copyright Treaty (WCT)||WIPO||06.03.2002 – Law no. 205/2000|
|Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT)||WIPO||20.05.2002 – Law no. 206/2000|
|Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)||WTO||01.01.1995|
|Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects||UNIDROIT||01.07.1998 – Law no. 149/1997|
|International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights||UN||20.11.1974 – Decree no. 212/1974|
Last update: April, 2020
In Romania, the field of cultural heritage benefits from a large, but insufficiently harmonized regulatory framework, which specifically regulates all the aspects of protection, especially for the field of moveable and immoveable cultural heritage. For each field of cultural heritage there are special laws and application norms.
The main pieces of legislation regulating the field of cultural heritage in Romania are:
Moveable cultural heritage
- Law no. 182/2000 on the protection of the national moveable cultural heritage, republished, with subsequent modifications and amendments;
- Order no. 2035 / 2000 for the approval of the Methodological Norms for the record, management and inventory of the cultural assets held by museums, public collections, memorial houses, cultural centres and other such cultural units;
- Order no. 2.239 / 2019 for the approval of the Norms regarding the re-evaluation of the moveable cultural goods held by public institutions, with a view to ensuring their correct reflection in accounting documents;
- Government Decision no. 886/2008 for the approval of the Norms of classification of the moveable cultural goods;
- Order of the Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs no. 2.009/2001 for the approval of the Norms for the accreditation of experts, with subsequent changes and amendments;
- Government Decision no. 1420/2003 for the approval of the Norms regarding the trade with moveable cultural goods, with subsequent changes and amendments;
- Order of the Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs no.2044/09.05.2001 on the set-up of the Registry of destroyed, stolen, vanished or illegally exported cultural goods owned and/or managed by public and private legal persons and the Methodology of inscribing such goods in the respective Registry;
- Decision no.518/2004 for the approval of the Methodological Norms on the permanent or temporary export of moveable cultural goods;
- Ordinance no. 44/ 2000 on some measures regarding the insurance of the temporarily-exported moveable cultural goods – Republished;
- Government Decision no. 1221/2000 for the approval of the Methodological Norms regarding the issuing of the governmental guarantee certificate;
- Government Decision no. 1546/2003for the approval of the Norms for the conservation and restoration of classified moveable cultural goods;
- Government Decision no. 216/2004on the authorizing the conservation and restoration laboratories and workshops, with subsequent modifications and amendments;
- Order of the Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs no. 2.008/2001 for the approval of the Norms of accreditation of conservators and restorers, with subsequent modifications and amendments.
Museums and public collections
- Law no. 311/2003 on museums and public collections, republished;
- Order of the Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs no. 2297/2006for the approval of the Criteria for granting the prior endorsement for establishing museums and public collections;
- Order no. 2057/2007 for the approval of the criteria and norms on licensing museums and public collections;
- Order of the Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs no. 2.185/2007 for the approval of the norms for classifying museums and public collections.
Immoveable and archaeological cultural heritage
- Law no. 422/2001onhistorical monuments, republished, with subsequent modifications and amendments;
- Order no. 2495 din 26 august 2010 for the approval of the Methodological Norms on the licensing of specialists, experts and technical controllers in the field of historical monuments protection;
- Order of the Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs no. 2.260/2008 for the approval of the Methodological Norms of classification and inventory of the historical monuments, with subsequent modifications and amendments;
- Order of the Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs no. 2.237/2004 for the approval of the Methodological Norms of marking historical monuments, with subsequent modifications and amendments;
- Order of the Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs no. 2.684/2003 for the approval of the Methodology of drawing up the Obligation regarding the use of the historical monument and of its contents;
- Government Decision no. 493/2004 for the approval of the Methodology of monitoring historical monuments inscribed in the World Heritage List and of the Methodology regarding the drafting and the framework-contents of the protection and management of the historical monuments listed in the World Heritage List;
- Government Decision no. 1.430/2003 for the approval of the Methodological Norms on the situations wherein the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs and the local public administration authorities, respectively, contribute to the coverage of the costs of protection and intervention on historical monuments, on the proportion of the contribution, the procedures, as well as the conditions that the owner – other than the state, municipality, town or commune – must meet;
- Government Decision no. 610/2003 for the approval of the Methodological Norms regarding the procedure of granting the credits necessary to carry out protection works on the historical monuments owned by private natural or legal persons;
- Order no. 2173 of 28 March 2013for the approval of the Regulations of organising and functioning of the National Commission of Historical Monuments;
- Government Ordinance no. 43/2000on the protection of the archaeological heritage and the institution of some archaeological sites as areas of national interest, approved with modifications and amendments by Law no. 378/2001, republished, with subsequent modifications and amendments.
- Order of the Minister of Culture no. 2.072/2000 on the establishment of the Register of Archaeologists;
- Order of the Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs no. 2.458/2004 on the Establishment of the Regulation of the National Archaeological Repertoire;
- Order of the Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs no. 2.426/2005 for the approval of the methodological norms for inscribing several priority archaeological sites in the List of areas of national archaeological interest;
- Order of the Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs no. 2.483/2006 for the approval of the List containing the Areas of priority archaeological interest;
- Order of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage no. 2.494/2010 for the approval of the Methodology of licensing the specialised personnel in the field of archaeological research and its inscription in the Register of Archaeologists;
- Law no. 50/1991 on the authorization of construction works, republished, , with subsequent modifications and amendments;
- Law no. 350/2001on land planning and urbanism, with subsequent modifications and amendments;
- Order of the Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs no. 2.183/2007 for the approval of the Methodology of financial evaluation of the damage on the immoveable national cultural heritage – historical monument or archaeological site.
- Law no. 6/2008 on the legal regime of the technical and industrial heritage.
Intangible cultural heritage
- Law no. 410/2005 on the acceptance of the Convention on the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage;
- Law no. 26/2008 on the protection of the intangible cultural heritage;
- Order of the Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs no. 2491/2009 for the approval of the Regulation on granting the title of Living Human Treasure;
- Order of the Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs no. 2.436/2008 on the drafting of the National Programme of safeguarding, protection and valorisation of the intangible cultural heritage;
- Order of the Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs no. 2.236/2008 on the organisation, functioning and duties of the National Commission for the Safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage.
For the moveable and immoveable cultural heritage the legislation establishes a mechanism of special protection, the classification. The moveable cultural goods may be classified, depending on their cultural relevance, into two categories, thesaurus and basic fund, while the immoveable goods and sites fall into three categories of historical monuments: monument, ensemble and site.
For both the moveable and the immoveable heritage the law establishes restrictions on usage, the right to intervention (obligations of attested/licensed personnel's endorsement and carrying out of interventions must be met) on the classified goods, there are inventory requirements, approval requirements on conservation and restoration, of traffic monitoring, as applicable (property transfer, selling, export etc.)
The interventions on classified moveable and immoveable cultural assets are reserved of certain specialists only, selected by means of administrative mechanisms of certification (historical monuments, archaeology) or accreditation (moveable heritage), based on the relevant expertise in the field and on the endorsement of a commission (in the case of archaeology and moveable heritage, there are national commissions involved, while in the field of historical monuments there is a special commission).
Since 2006, there have been discussions in Romania on the encoding of the legislation in the field of the cultural heritage. Working groups set up in 2014 and 2016, respectively, set the premises for the approval of the Prior Theses of the Cultural Heritage Code (approved by Government Decision no. 905/2016). These theses underpin the drafting of the Cultural Heritage Code – a process currently under development, as part of the project "Historical Monuments – strategic planning and optimized public policies" (P.O.C.A. - Support for the implementation of quality management, simplified measures for citizens and the business environment, systematization of legislation and systemic evaluation of the regulatory framework). In the codification process the legal and administrative deficiencies are analysed and the established mechanisms are revised, with a view to be optimized.
2021 is the estimated deadline for the approval of the new Cultural Heritage Code.
Last update: April, 2020
Law no. 8/1996 contains specific provisions on the mandatory clauses of a copyright contract for a theatrical or musical performance of a work, as well as on the neighbouring rights of performing artists, including collective management of rights.
The main legal text for this sector is G.O. no. 21/2007 on performing arts and concert institutions and companies and on the artistic impresarios’ activity. It establishes the necessary legal framework for the organisation and functioning of the “project theatre” (where artists are recruited on a project-by-project basis and their whole activity is project-based) as differing from the traditional Romanian system of “repertoire theatres”. It also creates the possibility, in particular at the level of local authorities, to use existing infrastructure to host performances. The issue of the necessary competences of artistic impresarios had long been a thorny subject in Romania, therefore through this legal text a mandatory examination, licensing and registration of these persons have been established.
This legal text has been amended and modified several times to address concerns expressed by the theatrical community, in particular with a view of establishing a derogatory system that differs from the general employment provisions set forth in the Labour Code, in order to support employment and recruitment of artists and technical personnel. Thus, performing arts and concert institutions have a more flexible employment scheme in that they can recruit directly the necessary staff for limited periods of time without the restrictions established by the Labour Code.
Other relevant legislation for this sector includes:
- Law no. 298/2006 on measures to inform the public on playback performances;
- E.G.O. no. 118/2006 on cultural establishments, which contains provisions on the scope and range of activities of cultural establishments such as rural culture houses, culture houses, cultural centres, “people's art school” (vocational training and adult education). Any of these establishments can develop activities in the field of theatre, dance, music, street arts, festivals, fairs, etc.;
- G.D. no. 530/2005 on the organisation and functioning of the National Dance Centre in Bucharest, which is the only public institution dedicated to the promotion of contemporary dance. It operates as producer/co-producer of dance performances, workshops and festivals, as well as a funding entity for dance-related projects and as a host for invited dance performances.
Last update: April, 2020
In addition to the specific provisions related to visual arts contained in Law no. 8/1996 (e.g. the resale right) the main piece of legislation regarding this sector is Law no. 120/2006 on public forum monuments. This law institutes the National Commission for Public Forum Monuments as a standing special entity of the Ministry of Culture, whose main activities are to propose to the Ministry an overall strategy concerning public forum monuments, analyse and to approve/revise/reject projects to promote such monuments and to establish a “protection zone” for them. Up to 15 territorial (at the sub-national level) commissions are established, having a mandate similar to the national commission, but limited to rural areas.
Various secondary legal acts and decisions of the local authorities set up the framework conditions and the actual operation of artistic residences and/or visual arts creative camps (sculpture, painting, photography, design, decorative arts and crafts).
Last update: April, 2020
- Law no. 111/1995 on the legal Deposit of documents, republished. At the national level, the legal deposit is organised by the National Library of Romania and has as beneficiaries a number of six libraries, including that of the Romanian Academy and three main university libraries. The legal deposit extends to electronic documents, but does not cover cinematographic films and internet content (with a digital origin).
- Law no. 334/2002 on public libraries, republished. This law creates the general framework for the organisation and functioning of all types of public libraries and establishes their respective missions. It preserves and strengthens the traditional architecture of the national system of libraries whereby the National Library of Romania has an overall methodological role. It also establishes the National Commission of Libraries as a standing entity coordinated by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture with national scientific authority.
- Law no. 186/2003 for the support and promotion of written culture, republished. The law provides a large array of support measures that may be used by the Ministry of Culture and by any local authority with a view to financing the publishing of important works, such as encyclopaedias, dictionaries, critical editions of classical works, literary debuts and children's books.
- Law no. 136/2015 on financing representative cultural magazines of Romania. Its provisions have been described in paragraph 5.1.3 (supra).
There are no rules concerning fixed book price. The operationalization of the public loan rights has not been concluded.
Last update: April, 2020
- G.O. no. 39/2005 on cinematography. It draws upon preceding legislation and develops the operations and governance of the National Cinematographic Fund, which is managed by the National Centre for Cinema. It creates a comprehensive framework for instituting state aid schemes for support to the cinema industry (see paragraph5.1.3 supra).
- Law no. 8/1996 on copyright and neighbouring rights, republished. It contains specific provisions on audiovisual works and on the neighbouring rights of film producers. In addition, it regulates the rights of photographers as authors as well as the respective rights of the person portrayed in a photograph. Specific provisions concerning the right to privacy including the right to image proceed from the Civil Code.
- Audiovisual Law no. 504/2002, amended and modified. It transposes the AVMS Directive (2007/65/EC) and institutes programming obligations on broadcasters concerning European works (majority quota of European works in stock programming and a minimum of 10% of programming times or programming budget for independent productions). It regulates audiovisual licences, the operation and powers of the National Audiovisual Council. It also contains specific provisions on the protection of journalistic sources, on the protection of journalists and the protection of broadcasters’ headquarters and work points.
- Law no. 41/1994 on the organisation and functioning of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation and Romanian Television Corporation, republished. It places upon both PBS an obligation to ensure through all their activities: pluralism, freedom of ideas and opinions, free communication of information and correct information of public opinion. Both PBS have specific language responsibilities (described in paragraph 5.1.9 supra) as well as cultural responsibilities.
- Law no. 148/2000 on advertising.
Last update: April, 2020
- Law No. 184/2001 on the organisation and exercise of the profession of architect. It creates the legal framework for all activities in the field of architecture, the conditions of granting “the right of signature” to architects, their rights and obligations.
- Law No. 148/2000 on advertising. It creates the legal framework for advertising, protection of consumers and protection of any persons and/or entities using advertising services.