Programme agreement signed for the Culture programme in Romania

The programme agreement for the Romanian Culture programme was signed on 24 May 2018

Photo credit: Donald Weber

Key information about the programme

  1. The programme is operated by: Ministry of Culture in Romania
  2. The Donor Programme Partners in this programme are: Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage (RA) and Arts Council Norway (ACN)
  3. The programme’s objective is: Social and economic development strengthened through cultural cooperation, cultural entrepreneurship and cultural heritage management
  4. The programme funding amounts to € 24.7 million (excluding co-financing) and is funded entirely by the EEA Grants

Why is the programme needed?

It is broadly recognized that culture can contribute to sustainable and inclusive development. Cultural activities, including intercultural dialogue, strengthen social cohesion in communities and enable individuals to fully engage in the social, cultural and economic life of their communities. To fully harness this potential, cultural organisations must be better equipped to reach out and engage people in their activities. To be able to do this effectively and on the long term, they must also find ways to ensure their financial stability.

While a large part of the rich cultural heritage in Romania needs restoration, conservation efforts rely on the limited national resources made available each year. To ensure a lasting renovation that also benefits the local community, revitalisation needs to be conceived and carried out with the active participation of local stakeholders and should include an entrepreneurial approach.

Thirdly, a significant part of the Roma minority living in Romania is socially excluded. Using cultural activities to improve their access to education, documenting and sharing Roma cultural history to improve intercultural understanding are possible paths towards the social inclusion of Roma.

What will the programme achieve and who are the beneficiaries?

The programme is expected to support local and regional development and strengthen social cohesion in Romania. It will improve cultural heritage management through projects breathing new life into heritage sites using innovative and participatory governance models, attracting new forms of sustainable tourism.

The programme will also make culture more accessible through projects bringing exhibitions and cultural events closer to the people, broadening the audience for cultural activities. It will stimulate entrepreneurial skills with a view to create dozens of new jobs and provide in situ training for staff of cultural players training more than 125 specialists. It is expected to improve the situation of the Roma through specific support to Roma cultural initiatives.

The direct beneficiaries of the programme are public institutions, NGOs and SMEs, or owners/holders of monuments, as well as cultural organisations and holders of cultural objects. Private and public cultural organisations (NGOs and SMEs) from Romania and the Donor States as well as research and education institutions from the Donor States can contribute as partners in the projects.

How will the programme strengthen bilateral relations?

The Programme Operator and  the Donor Programme Partners (DPPs) have organised a matchmaking event in Romania, linking up cultural players from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway with those in Romania. Funding will also be allocated for cultural cooperation and exchanges between the Donor States and Romanian organisations. Moreover, guidelines will be drafted to award mobility grants to cultural players in Romania and in the Donor States, which will result in exchange of knowledge and best practices.

Availability of funding through open calls

The funding in this programme will be made available through the following open calls:

First call:              launched 15 April 2019, closed 17 July 2019

- Second call:        Expected launch Q4 2019

- Third call:            Expected launch Q4 2020

  • “Development of Roma cultural initiatives” – Expected launch Q4 2019

Bilateral call:


Download the full programme agreement for more detailed information about the programme

More information can also be found on the Programme Operator's website and on the Donor Programme Partners’ websites: Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage (RA) and Arts Council Norway (ACN)