Monitoring the cultural domain in Romania during the Covid-19 crisis

Support for the Cultural Sector

Release date: April 8, 2020

These effects also brought about mobilisation on the part of the central administration, the public and private sector and, last but not least, the public. Their responses to the crisis intertwined in several points, involving new sources of financing, but also the development or adaptation of instruments, as illustrated below:

Measures taken by the authorities to counteract these negative effects:

March 18th, 2020


OUG 30 / March 18th, 2020 is issued, which provides allowances for independent artists and individuals:

  • Art. 15, paragraph 1: providing a compensation equal to the gross minimum wage per economy for authorized natural persons and individual enterprises.
  • Art. 10: the method of granting technical unemployment in the case of SRLs and NGOs that temporarily suspend the employment contract. Thus, the employees benefit from a state subsidized allowance of 75% of the salary, but not more than 75% of the average gross salary in the economy. [SOURCE]

March 18th, 2020

OUG 29 / March 18th, 2020 is issued which includes economic and fiscal-financial measures with an impact on the cultural sector:

  • Art. 1: Implementation of a multiannual program to support SMEs in order to reduce the effects of the spread of COVID-19, by guaranteeing credits and subsidizing the interest for this financing.
  • Article 10, paragraph 1: Small and medium-sized companies, as defined by Law no. 346/2004, who have totally or partially interrupted their activity based on the decisions issued by public authorities, during the period of emergency, having been granted a certificate for emergency situations issued by the Ministry of Economy, benefit from deferred payment of utilities, electricity , natural gas, water, telephone and internet services, as well as the deferred payment of the rent for the building destined for registered offices and secondary offices. [SOURCE]

To facilitate these procedures, the National Agency for Payments and Social Inspection (Ministry of Labor and Social Protection) offers instructions and resources for compiling and filing applications in electronic format at the county agencies.

March 26th, 2020

OUG 32/March 26, 2020 is issued, following consultations between the Ministry of Culture and the independent cultural sector [SOURCE].

The Ordinance stipulates that natural persons who obtain income exclusively from copyright and related rights, according to the regulations in effect, will receive a compensation equal to 75% of the average gross national wage guaranteed from the general budget consolidated by the County Agencies for Payments and Social Inspection or the Agency for Payments and Social Inspection of the Municipality of Bucharest. The data subjects must not obtain income from other activities and must declare on their own responsibility that they are unable to carry out their activity based on the decisions issued by the competent public authorities according to the law, during the state of emergency period established. [SOURCE]

March 25th, 2020

The National Institute for Cultural Research and Training announces the establishment of the Register of the Independent Cultural Sector, useful in all the steps regarding the mobility and support of this sector, determining the regulatory needs and ensuring its presence in the future national strategy in the field of culture.

March 25th, 2020

The Administration of the National Cultural Fund announces that it keeps open the call for the second financing session of 2020, precisely to support the cultural operators in the context of the aggravation of the crisis caused by Covid-19 [SOURCE]. Moreover, some of the public cultural institutions (National Dance Centre, National Heritage Institute, Clujean Cultural Centre, National Museum Complex ASTRA Sibiu, Studio M Theatre in Sfantu Gheorghe) announce that they will not attend this funding session in order to  show their solidarity with the independent cultural operators, whose resources have been drastically diminished.

March 27th, 2020

 The Ministry of Culture has launched the ACCES Online 2020 financing project, dedicated exclusively to the private sector, as a financial support tool for cultural projects, which have the capacity to be disseminated exclusively in the online environment. The project was designed in particular to help artists who, during this period, can no longer perform their artistic activities with the public. For this reason, the Ministry of Culture decided that this year, the annual funding session through the ACCES Program should be dedicated to cultural operators in the independent sector. The projects submitted under the ACCES Online 2020 program must be in the fields of theatre, music, dance, visual arts and intangible heritage. The amount allocated to finance the selection session is Lei 1,000,000 (Euro 207,000). The maximum amount that can be requested for a cultural project / action is Lei 50,000 (Euro 10,300). To be eligible, the cultural offers submitted under the ACCES Online Program must run between May 30th and August 31st, 2020. The deadline for submitting the participation file is April 30th, 2020. [SOURCE]

March 31st, 2020

The Government of Romania, through the Authority for the Digitization of Romania, has approved, through an emergency ordinance, measures that will allow the use of the electronic signature for:

  • digital communication between state authorities and institutions
  • digital communication between them and natural and legal persons
  • ensuring the development of vital processes of the state through the implementation of secure information and communication means. [SOURCE]

Also, solidarity initiatives appear with the mission to support the cultural sector, but also to involve the cultural sector in supporting the efforts of hospitals in the current context:

  • On the 16th of March a petition is launched [SOURCE] asking the Government to support the independent artists that have been deprived of their main financial resources. The petitions has been signed by almost 18,000 people.
  • On the 20th of MarchThe Radio Romania Cultural station announces the priority broadcasting of Romanian music to support the artists affected by the state of emergency [SOURCE].
  • On the 26th of March, the Clujean Cultural Centre together with the Health Observatory launches the Artists Together platform with the mission to engage artists in an effort to inform and raise public awareness in Romania on the importance of observing the rules and recommendations communicated by the authorities during the generated state of emergency during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as to help inform the population about relevant factual data in the current context. The first call for projects closed on the 31st of March and the results can be accessed here
  • On the 30th of March A single Cluj platform is launched bringing together institutions and individuals from various fields, including culture, to mobilize resources to hospitals and authorities.
  • On the 6th of April Micro-grants for independent artistic productions: Fundatia9, with the support of its co-founding partner – BRD Groupe Societe Generale, created ARTISTS ROOMS, a programme supporting independent artists through micro-grants for artistic creation and production during lockdown.