Prepared by Vera Erhan

Analysis elaborated within the project „CHOICE Cultural Heritage: Opportunity for Improving Civic Engagement”, No EC Grant 2015/360-942) which is implemented based on the partnership agreemnt concluded between the Public Association National Committee ICOM Moldova and the Association of Local Democracy Agencies (ALDA).

Democracy Agencies.
Structure of Document:

General background. Brief description of the current situation in the sector of cultural heritage.

The regulation in the sector of activity; legal framework, regulation; policy framework- treaties and the conventions in force.

State interventions in the sector support: the ongoing policies, the sector financing; the divison of competencies at the level 2 of local public authorities, the sector sustainability at the level 1 of local public authorities.

The role of civil society in sector development.

Conclusions, necessary measures.

General background. Brief description of the current situation within the cultural heritage sector.

At European level, in recent years, attention to the value of cultural heritage has been conceptualized as a strategic vision of sustainable development of society. Culture and in particular the cultural heritage is analyzed in the form of an extraordinary potential from the point of view and hypostasis as: social integration factor, factor of accumulation of economic capital, condition of expression of social-cultural diversity, possibility to increase the degree of acceptance and Tolerance towards various social groups, etc. Although aligned with the European cultural policies of sector development through the adoption and ratification of a whole series of conventions, treaties, strategies and most importantly by ratification of the “Association Agreement between the Republic of Moldova, on the one hand And the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States, on the other side”[1] through Law No. 112 from 02.07.2014, Republic of Moldova still has many arrears in recognizing the capacity of cultural heritage and culture in general for the development of society in the form of all the above-mentioned aspects.

In the Republic of Moldova, the national strategic document proposing the development of all sectors of culture is the “Culture Development Strategy, Culture 2020”, adopted by the Government Decision no. 271 of 09.04.2014 “on the approval of the Culture Development Strategy” Culture 2020 “and the Action Plan on its implementation”. About 60% of the actions planned to implement the Strategy represent the cultural heritage domain. The measures planned under General Objective 1 “Safeguarding the National Cultural Heritage in All Its Diversity” come to highlight all the forms of national cultural heritage in the Republic of Moldova: the built cultural heritage, the patrimony of the building – public monuments, the archaeological heritage, the mobile cultural heritage, intangible cultural heritage and audiovisual cultural heritage. Although the planned actions have a continuous degree of achievement for the period 2014-2020, we may notice that some of the most important measures are not being achieved. One of the current causes of this situation can be found in the recommendation itself on the implementation of measures in the Strategy at the local level. This is because, at the expense of the local public authorities, there is a whole series of actions, entities that do not have sufficient financial skills and capacities to achieve them.

The Strategic Document stipulates to a certain extent the transposition of some commitments made by the Republic of Moldova by ratifying the most important European conventions in the field of cultural heritage. Thus, as a member of the Council of Europe on 13 July 1995, the Republic of Moldova ratified the European Cultural Convention in 1999, the Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe in 2001; European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage in 2001; The European Landscape Convention 2002, the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions of 2006, the Convention on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2006, the CoE Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society in 2008, the European Convention on Cinematographic Productions in 2011 .a. Even if the ratified conventions offer possibilities for intervention to the structures interested in protecting, preserving and capitalizing on the cultural heritage of the Republic of Moldova, for their real implementation there is a lack of national tools and mechanisms that would ensure the applicability of the provisions of these acts to a higher degree.

The management of the national cultural heritage and the sharing of competences in this respect is currently regulated by the insufficient legislative and normative framework, but in order to guarantee the protection of the cultural heritage as it will be noticed below and implemented Through joint initiatives of the central public authority – Ministry of Culture and other local public authorities at level one and two[2]. Thus, Art. 33 of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova states that “the state contributes to preserving, developing and sharing the achievements of culture and science, nationally and globally”, and “the freedom of artistic and scientific creation is guaranteed”, and this is not subject to censorship. Organic Law of Culture Nr. 413-XIV. of May 27, 1999 develops the constitutional principles governing the field of culture. Particularly, the cultural heritage sector is governed by the provisions of over ten specialized laws and a series of normative acts implementing them.

Even if the legislative and regulatory framework in force is necessary to be respected and implemented by the authorities at all levels, the financing of the sector on which it depends to a large extent on its development is decentralized according to the Law no. 436 from 28.12.2006 on local public administration, of Law No. 435 from 28.12.2006 on administrative decentralization and Law No. 181 from 25.07.2014 on public finances and fiscal responsibility and Law No. 397 from 16.10.2003 on local public finances. The insufficiency of financial resources and the stringency of the primary needs of the population at the local level lead to the allocation of limited funding for the support of the Culture sector, which leads to the inability to attract, but also to ensure the sustainability of the investments in the field, the deterioration of the built cultural heritage, The impossibility of ensuring the conditions for the protection and preservation of the cultural heritage. At the central level, financial resources are not enough, so most of the measures needed to develop the area planned in the Culture 2020 Culture Development Strategy do not have financial coverage. Thus, the Culture sector has a share of 1.70% of the total expenditures within the national public budget; at the level of state budget the sector holds a share of 1,07%[3], Mentioning that 7 sub-programs, managed by several state institutions – the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education, the Audiovisual Coordination Council, the Teleradio-Moldova Company, Teleradio-Gagauzia Company, are financed as follows: Cultural heritage management, culture development, protection and enhancement of national cultural heritage, support of written culture, support of public television and broadcasting, assurance of control over audiovisual institutions, support of cinematography. From the total expenditures executed from the state budget, the subprogram Protecting and valorising the national cultural patrimony, which includes the financing of activities related to the state support of the protection, preservation, restoration and valorisation of the cultural heritage of the Republic of Moldova, As well as the activity of the Agencies and Museums subordinated to the Ministry of Culture in this field, represents 17.85%. Its value has increased in recent years due to the financial support granted by the Romanian Government on the basis of the provisions of the three memoranda signed between the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Moldova and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania in 2014 to support the restoration and revitalization of three national cultural heritage Worth 2.8 million euros. At the local level, the Culture sector includes the funding of the sub-programs: leisure and recreation, culture development, protecting and valorising cultural heritage, supporting public television and broadcasting, supporting the written culture, cults, policies and culture management, 21% of total local budget expenditures. The sub-program “Protecting and valorising cultural heritage” at the level of the local budget has a share of 9.73%, positioning as expenses after the subprogram “Development of culture”, which as in the case of the state budget holds the highest share of Expenses – 83.27%.

Expenditures carried out on the cultural heritage field cover the financing of the activity of the institutions which have also competences in the protection and preservation of cultural heritage, which are the network of local and national museums – 130, of which 12 branches, the national library system – 2591, of which 1379 libraries on Near the educational institutions, the agencies subordinated to the Ministry of Culture – the National Archaeological Agency and the Agency for Inspection and Restoration of Monuments and the National Center for Conservation and Promotion of Immaterial Cultural Patrimony. In the valorization of the national non-material cultural heritage, a special role is played by the amateur artistic groups besides the cultural houses, 3265 in number, which promotes elements, forms and expressions of the traditional artistic creation. In this sector the financing is granted for the remuneration of the management staff of the artistic groups entitled “model”, title obtained following the attestation procedure based on the Regulation of activity of the amateur artistic groups in the Republic of Moldova.

At the same time, there are 2863 craftsmen and 66 craft centers in the country. Financing their activity is sporadic.

Direct competences in the protection and preservation of cultural heritage are the staff within the museums, the agencies subordinated to the Ministry of Culture and the National Center for Conservation and Promotion of Immaterial Patrimony, Institutes of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova. We mention that, in addition to the national museums and the Ministry of Culture, there are specialized commissions and councils, as follows: National Commission of Museums and Collections, National Archaeological Commission, National Council of Historical Monuments, National Council for Public Monuments, National Commission for Safeguarding National immaterial patrimony.

Functions in the preservation and restoration of written cultural heritage are also some categories of staff within the national libraries subordinated to the Ministry of Culture: the National Library of the Republic of Moldova and the National Library for Children “Ion Creanga” and the National Chamber of the Book of the Republic of Moldova. If at the level of the national museums subordinated to the Ministry of Culture there are experts in the field, including research attributions, at the level of local museums, the human resources situation is a daunting one, especially from the point of view of their professional training. Thus, 808 employees work in the local and national museum network, of which 431 are the category of specialized personnel: museographers, researchers, guides. According to the legal and normative framework in force, the restoration of movable cultural goods is carried out only by the experts certified by the National Commission of Museums and Collections. As of 01.01.2017, 25 specialists were enrolled in the register of certified experts.

According to the ambitious provisions of the 2020 Culture Strategy, by 2020, national heritage assets must be inventoried, documented, assessed and rated 80%, taking into account all forms of national cultural heritage. In order to achieve this goal, professional human resources are needed in addition to the existing ones, with activity throughout the country. Given that, at present, for example, the number of specialists employed within the National Archaeological Agency is only 16, and within the Monument Inspection and Monitoring Agency of only 7, the mission of documenting, inventorying and examination of objects of 80% national heritage is difficult to achieve. Furthermore, as can be seen from the contents of the Culture 2020 Strategy, documentation, inventory, expertise and ranking must also be carried out by local public authorities, a fact which is difficult to achieve due to the lack of specialized and local staff at first level, And two. As for the staff from the second level local public authorities with attributions in the field of protection and preservation of the cultural heritage, we note that this is insufficient both in number and in professional training. Thus, out of a total of 163 specialists employed within the services / sections / directions of culture outside the district councils, only a very small percentage is represented by specialists with direct or indirect attributions in the protection and preservation of cultural heritage. In fact, they have as main tasks – monitoring and coordinating, as the case may be, the activity in the field – the legal framework in force does not give the cultural directions levers of intervention or control over the activity of protecting and preserving the cultural heritage.

Support for professionalisation of human resources and strengthening of institutional capacities in the protection and preservation of cultural heritage is provided through the European Twinning project “Support for the promotion of the cultural heritage of the Republic of Moldova through its preservation and protection”, initiated by the Ministry of Culture in 2016.

The cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and the local public authorities of level one and two is achieved not only in support of training and professionalisation of human resources, but also through the initiation and carrying out of large-scale national events. Their purpose is to capitalize and contribute to the growth or development, in most cases, of the awareness of the population towards the values ​​of the national cultural heritage. Organizing and conducting events, such as: The People’s Port Day, established by the Parliament’s Decision no. 194 from 19.11.2015 or Museum Day and Night, European Heritage Days, Independence Day of the Republic of Moldova demonstrate the essential partnership for the development of culture, among the state institutions, represented by the professionals, the population or the general public, the economic actors and the local public authorities. This analysis will exemplify the nature of such partnerships by highlighting good practice at national level while also providing a series of recommendations to local cultural institutions and their founders to ensure sustainability of initiatives at local level.


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The regulation in the sector of activity; legal framework, regulation; policy framework- treaties and the conventions in force.

According to the Law provisions on specialized central public administration No. 98 from 04.05.2012 and the Regulation of the Ministry of Culture regulated by the Government Decision No. 696 from 19.11.2009, the Ministry of Culture is the central specialized body of public administration that promotes, elaborates and implements state policy in the field of culture, arts, publishing, polygraphy, book trade and libraries. Thus, in the last decades, a number of legislative and normative acts have been developed and promoted in order to create the necessary framework for the legal regulation of actions for the protection and safeguarding of cultural heritage.

Organic Law of Culture No. 413-XIV from 27.05.1999 presents the regulatory framework of the main fields of cultural activity. Although it requires essential adjustments to current reality, its rules are important, laying the foundations for subsequent and even unique policy and legislative initiatives in the European and South-Eastern European area, such a Law only in a few Western and Eastern European countries.

The sector of cultural heritage, is currently regulated through the following main legislative acts[4]:

  1. Law no. 1530-XII of 22 June 1993 on the protection of monuments;
  2. Law no. 218 of 17 September 2010 on the protection of archaeological heritage;
  3. Law on public monuments no.192 of 30 September 2011;
  4. Law no.280 of 27 December 2011 on the protection of the national mobile cultural heritage;
  5. Law no. 58 of 29 March 2012 on the protection of intangible cultural heritage;
  6. Law no. 386-XV of 25 November 2004 on Cinema;
  7. Law no. 939-XIV of 20 April 2000 on editorial activity;
  8. Law no. 135-XV of 20 March 2003 on folk crafts;
  9. Law no. 139 of 2 July 2010 on copyright and neighboring rights;
  10. Draft Law on graves and war commemorations, approved by Government Decision No.999 of 22.08.2016. The draft was approved in the first reading by the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova;
  11. The draft law on libraries, approved by the Government Decision no. 60 of 08.02.2017. The draft law was approved in the first reading by the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova.
  12. The museum draft law, approved by the Government Decision no. 199 of 27.03.2017.

In the same context, we should note the initiative of the Ministry of Culture to draft the law on the protection of historical monuments. Examined by the endorsement procedure three times, starting in 2014, this bill can not yet be submitted for approval. The case is at the present stage, in the absence of the existing legislation on local public administration and the administrative decentralization, which would regulate the competences and attributions of local public authorities in relation to the national cultural heritage. In this respect, in 2016, the Government of the Republic of Moldova approved the draft Law no. 1303 of December 6, 2016, which provides for the completion of the laws on local public authorities with the cultural heritage component. This addition is a necessity in the context in which the laws on local public authorities do not provide for any norms related to the protection of cultural heritage. One of the contexts invoked by a good part of the local public administration is the lack of financial resources to ensure the effective protection of the cultural heritage, highlighting in the same context the basic principles of the local public administration which stipulate that “the local public administration authorities benefit from Decisional, organizational, managerial and financial autonomy, have the right to initiative in all matters concerning the management of local public affairs, exercising their authority within the limits of the administered territory, according to the law. ” But it is precisely this basis or principle that is based on the right to claim membership in the cultural goods existing on the territory administered by the local public authorities, especially the built cultural heritage. European cultural heritage policies, the various conventions, as well as the Council of Europe’s declarations and decisions promote the idea of ​​the need for local authorities and local communities to be responsible and responsible for local cultural heritage in all its diversity. The Namur Declaration of the Committee of Ministers of the States Parties to the European Cultural Convention of 24-25 April 2015, which preceded the adoption of the “European Strategy for Cultural Heritage Strategy 21”, addresses patrimony and territorial governance as defining the protection process From the assumption of affirmation of the territory as a remarkable entity, namely through the distinct character of its local cultural heritage. In the same sense, it determines the creation and sharing of the common sense of belonging of all members of the community, strengthening the distinctive and individual identity of the territory and its inhabitants.

The proposed legislative acts provide the necessary tools for the implementation of their provisions, but insufficient for the bookkeeping, inventorying, documenting and ranking of certain cultural heritage goods / items, which causes difficulties in their effective management at a local level. Clearly, this gap can not be considered the main cause of inefficient management of cultural heritage, and there are also a whole range of others such as lack or insufficiency of specialized human resources, lack or insufficiency of financial resources, loopholes in the law on accessing funds External financing – regarding co-financing, sponsorship, etc., the lack of interest of some local public administrations in the undertaking of cultural heritage protection, etc.

As a Member of the Council of Europe since 1995, the Republic of Moldova has ratified a number of international instruments – conventions and treaties, including in the field of cultural heritage protection and preservation over the past decades, as follows:

  1. The European Cultural Convention, adopted on 19 December 1954 in Paris, ratified by the Parliament’s Decision No.98-XIII of 12 May 1994;
  2. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 19 December 1966, ratified by the Parliament’s Decision No 217-XII of 28 July 1990;
  3. Agreement on Collaboration of Customs Services in the Issues of Seizure and Restitution of Cultural Values ​​Undisbered and / or Imposed in the Country, adopted in Moscow on 15 April 1994, in force in the Republic of Moldova on 11 August 1995;
  4. The Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its Protocol, adopted at The Hague on 14 May 1954, ratified by Parliament’s resolution no. 597-XIV of 24.09.1999;
  5. The Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe, adopted in Grenada on 3 October 1985, ratified by Lega no. 533-XV of 11 October 2001;
  6. The European Landscape Convention, adopted in Florence on 20 October 2000, ratified by Law No.536-XV of 12 October 2001;
  7. The European Convention for the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (Revised), adopted at La Valetta on 16 January 1992, ratified by Law No 533-XV of 11 October 2001;
  8. Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted on 23 November 1972 in Paris, ratified by Law No 1123-XV of 6 June 2002;
  9. Agreement on the Export and Import of Cultural Values, adopted in Moscow on 28 September 2001, approved by Government Decision No. 818 of 20 June 2002;
  10. Regulation on the Return of Cultural Values, Exported and Imported Illegal, Decision adopted on October 9, Bishkek, approved by Government Decision no. 699 of 03.06.2002;
  11. Convention on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, adopted in Paris on 17 October 2003, ratified by Law no. 12-XVI of February 10, 2006;
  12. Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, adopted in Paris on 20 October 2005, ratified by Law no. 258-XVI of July 27, 2006;
  13. The Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society, adopted at Faro on 27 October 2005, ratified by Law No.198-XVI of 26 September 2008;
  14. Convention on measures to be taken to prohibit and prevent illicit import, export and transfer of property in respect of cultural property, adopted in Paris on 14 November 1970, ratified by Law No 141-XVI of 21 June 2007;

The adoption of the listed treaties provides possibilities for action in the field of culture within the limits of the normative and legislative framework in force in the Republic of Moldova, finding that at present there is still a lack of tools and mechanisms that would implement their provisions. In fact, according to the preliminary results of the “Culture for Development Indicators” study, developed according to UNESCO[5] methodology by the Ministry of Culture and whose purpose is to show the place and role of culture in the economic and social development of society, to the “Governance” dimension, the indicator calculated for the Republic of Moldova “Establishment of framework standards for culture”, which determines the development index The framework for setting standards for the protection and promotion of culture, cultural rights and cultural diversity at international, regional and national level has a value of 0.84 out of 1. This result tells us that the Republic of Moldova integrates and aligns almost perfectly to the instruments and the mechanisms for developing the culture expressed by the provisions of the international treaties, but at the same time harmonizing the national legislation and policies according to them has almost always proved to be a slower process.

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State intervetions in supporting the sector: the ongoing policies, the sector financing; the divison of competencies at the level 2 of local public authorities, the sector sustainability at the level 1 of local public authorities.

As we have shown before, the state represented by the central specialized body – the Ministry of Culture drafts and coordinates the policy in the field of protection and preservation of cultural heritage. Passing through several administrative reforms, the ministry has elaborated and implemented as appropriate the normative and legislative framework in the field. Although most provisions of the legal framework stipulate that the state must ensure / oversee its implementation and ensure the financing of the activities deriving from it, the up-to-date situation shows that additional financial, additional sources are needed to regulate the field, as well as human resources to ensure the functionality, the practical implementation of the prescribed rules.

Thus, in the field of the protection of intangible cultural heritage, following the adoption of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, by Law no. 58 of 12 March 2012 on the protection of intangible cultural heritage has established the legal framework for identifying, documenting, researching, preserving, transmitting, promoting, revitalizing and capitalizing on the intangible cultural heritage of the Republic of Moldova. Although a number of instruments have been developed to implement this Law, there are still some challenges that have not been exceeded, in this case related to the activity and regulation of the field at the local level, namely: the recording and inventory of non-material cultural heritage elements, financing of documentation, research, inventory and evidence activities, lack of local specialists with attributions in the listed activities, etc. Although some questionnaires have been developed for inventory and element research of immaterial cultural heritage[6] and the Regulation on Classification of Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Maintenance of the National Non-material Cultural Patrimony of the Republic of Moldova[7], These instruments are not sufficient to carry out the tasks in the field at the local level, as required by the provisions of the Law, but also the Culture Development Strategy. Starting from the fact that at the level of the departments / services / culture services of the rayon councils, the experts in the field of immaterial cultural heritage have attributions only to coordinate the implementation of the policies in the field, and at the local level, the majority of the heads of the cultural houses or the leaders of the bands Artistic amateurs do not have sufficient knowledge and skills, stocktaking and inventory activities, patrimony files and advancement to classification are done in a sporadic, non-uniform manner and inconsistent with existing rules. Moreover, concrete methodological norms that would guide these activities were not provided, and the attribution, according to the Law, of the methodological support of the activity of the specialty structures in the territory in the field of intangible cultural heritage of the National Center for Preservation and Promotion of Immaterial Cultural Heritage, an institution subordinated to the Ministry of Culture, is also insured to a low degree. This finding is also apparent from the fact that although the Center’s attributions are clearly established in the legislative framework, at present a regulation on the activity and operation of the institution under the Act has not yet been approved. Similarly, in accordance with the provisions of the Convention and the Law, the National Center for the Conservation and Promotion of Cultural Heritage is responsible for the implementation of territorial or local protection policies, especially in community immaterial[8] heritage, which has to support through concrete measures the viability of the immaterial cultural heritage and its transmission to the young generation and to inventory its elements while preserving the information on various modern supports.

In the field of policy development in the field of intangible cultural heritage, we must mention the approval by Government Decision no. 1323 of 08.12. 2016 of the State Program on the Safeguarding of the Mother Fellowship, included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humankind (2016-2020), and the Action Plan for its Implementation. The Action Plan contains measures necessary to safeguard the patrimony element, which is the responsibility of both the Ministry of Culture and its subordinated institutions – the National Center for Conservation and Promotion of the Immaterial Cultural Heritage, as well as the local public authorities. It should be noted that for the year 2017 additional financial sources for the implementation of the Program were not allocated, and in the Sector Exploitation Strategy for Culture for the years of 2018-2020[9] These are found under New Policy Policies that require additional financial resources. Note that if at central level, at the level of state budget, the measures included in the Program can be funded by additional requests for financial resources allocation, the same is not true at local level. Under conditions of decentralization and financial autonomy at local level, the financing of the field of culture is carried out mainly for – ensuring the remuneration of the personnel employed in the field, the maintenance of the cultural institutions, including for capital investments, the co-financing of the implementation of the international projects. However, even within the austerity budget, many localities in the country are taking measures to safeguard their habit, being considered as an immaterial cultural heritage of great value for the local culture and community, which sensitizes both decision-makers and members Communities that carry this habit.

In the same context, within the limits of the available resources, the National Center for Preservation and Promotion of the Immaterial Heritage has participated and undertaken measures to safeguard the custom in common with local public authorities by creating, for example, new bands of mountaineers contributing to this Sense of promoting habit among the ranks of the younger generation.

As far as the mobile cultural heritage is concerned, it is regulated by Law no. 280 of 27.12.2011 on the protection of the national mobile cultural heritage and the Museum Law no. 1596 of 27.12.2002, but mentioning that at present a new law on museums was elaborated and approved by Government Decision no. 199 of 27.03.2017 for the approval of the museum bill. The new draft law is now under consideration in parliamentary committees and contains a number of new elements, in line with international legislation, including the introduction of the classification, accreditation and revocation of museum accreditation; regulation the attributions of the local public authorities of level I and II in the field of museums; Managing the museum’s own resources; Financial motivation of employees who handle parts classified in the Thesaurus category; The duties of the National Commission of Museums and Collections; Reorganization or liquidation of museums, etc.

The management and registration of the mobile cultural heritage is carried out on the basis of the Regulation on registration and preservation of mobile cultural heritage, approved by the Government Decision no. 1111 of 11.09.2003. Law 280 establishes the procedure for the classification of movable cultural goods that are part of the legal categories of the national mobile cultural heritage, the fund and the treasury, as well as the way of setting up the State Register of Mobile Cultural Heritage. Until now, both due to the long-standing bureaucratic procedure for the classification of movable cultural goods as well as due to the slow or even lack of evidence of the owners of cultural goods, museums and other institutions in whose property or use they are cultural to the Goods, The state of mobile cultural heritage has not been developed.

Implementation of the provisions of the special laws on mobile heritage falls under the competence of the national museums – 6, with 12 branches and 112 local museums; In the territorial profile 40 museums are located in the urban area and 90 in the rural area. The financing of the mobile heritage domain (staff remuneration, maintenance of buildings and financing of cultural actions, as the case may be) represents 38% (41% of the state budget, the local budget – 37%) of the total funding of the National Cultural Heritage Protection and Conservation Program % (State budget – 3.07%, local budget – 2%) of total funding for the Culture sector. The distribution of allowances shows that most of the allocated expenditures are intended to maintain activity and less for the development and modernization of the institution, which would involve attracting the public, expanding the scope of activity through intersectoral collaborations, developing collections and so on.

Regarding the policies launched by the Ministry of Culture, we mention the elaboration of the proposal for “Public Policy on the Modernization and Effectiveness of Museum Activity” which presents some intervention options that would improve the museum’s work and increase their visibility in the cultural and social spheres. So far, the document has not been applied in practice and no choice has been made for modifying the current management and funding arrangements for the museum set out in the policy proposal public. Accordingly, the legislative and regulatory framework has not been amended and supplemented in recent years, with the exception of the drafting of the new museum law, which was mentioned earlier.

As regards the protection of the real estate heritage, it is regulated by Law no. 1530 of 22.06.1993 on the protection of monuments. By the same decision was approved the State Monuments Registry of Republic of Moldova. At the current stage, both the Act and the Registry require major changes to bring them together. Moreover, until now the process of inventory and evidence of mobile monuments (those corresponding to the provisions of Law No. 1530) and real estate monuments has not been initiated. The lack of inventory files and their inclusion in an up-to-date National Registry (according to the Act, the register needs to be updated every three years on the basis of additional lists), which would be available also electronically, represents an enormous risk in the management and protection of cultural heritage, The lack of rigorous evidence implies indirectly the increase of the possibilities of violation of the legislation, including those related to the privatization of properties that could fall under the protection of the state, the destruction and the continuous degradation of the historical monuments. In order to connect the existing Law to the current requirements, a new draft law on the protection of historical monuments was developed by the Ministry of Culture. The draft law, although endorsed three times by the authorities concerned, has not yet been submitted to the Government for approval.

At local level, the recording and registration of historical monuments in Local Registries is sporadic. Very few rayon councils have record registers, but it is not clear whether the registered properties have inventory files, which are the basis for inclusion in the Register. At the incipient phase, there is the elaboration of the Regulation of the National Registry and the Local Registries of Historical Monuments.

Under Law no. 1530 on the protection of historical monuments, the Ministry of Culture, the National Council of Historical Monuments, has the task of approving the project documentation regarding the interventions in the protected monuments (preservation, restoration, consolidation) and intervention projects in the protected built areas Reconstruction, new construction).

For the legal regulation of the property heritage and commemorative works, it was approved by Government Decision no. 999 of 22 August 2016 the bill on graves and war memorial works. At this stage the draft is being examined by the specialized commissions of Parliament.

Law on public monuments no. 192 of 30.09.2011 was adopted in order to create optimum conditions for the promotion of national and international values ​​through monumental works of art placed in public spaces, their integration into cultural, educational, urban development and spatial planning policies, the provision of a framework Appropriate legal framework for the edification and protection of this type of monuments, adjusted to the provisions of the conventions and recommendations of UNESCO and the Council of Europe on the field of cultural heritage. In order to streamline the functioning of the present law, a draft law was drafted which provides for some additions / adjustments, including the establishment of the national data base for public monuments. For the purposes of recording and creating the National Register and Local Registries of Public Monuments, the National Regulation and Local Registries of Public Monuments were approved by Order of the Ministry of Culture no. 380 of December 27, 2016. Although in 2011, when the Law on Public Monuments was approved, the attributions of the public authorities for recording and inventory of the public monuments, the instruments The unified actions required for the action were only offered at the end of 2016. Under these circumstances, at local level, many of the Record-Keeping Registers were developed without inventory files, creating individual and distinct structures, which would not have allowed the creation of the base National data.

From the analysis of expenditures executed on the Culture sector at the local level, the amount of financial allocations for preservation and restoration of monuments with protected status can not be identified; A mere 0.03% of the funding of the program Protecting and Capitalizing on the National Cultural Heritage was intended to build and protect historical values.

The field of archaeological cultural heritage is legally regulated by Law no. 218 of 17.09.2010 on the protection of archaeological heritage. In recent years the normative framework for the implementation of the Law has been approved, such as the Regulation on archaeological heritage registration and classification, the Regulation on Archaeological Research and Expertise, the Regulation on the National Archaeological Register and the National Archaeological Register. In order to establish and implement the mechanisms for the protection and research of the national archaeological heritage, the National Archaeological Commission works alongside the Ministry of Culture.

Collaboration on the Archaeological Cultural Heritage Protection Branch between the Ministry of Culture and its Institution The National Archaeological Agency and the local public authorities are productive in terms of systematic or preventive archaeological research and random archaeological discoveries on the public property land of the administrative-territorial units. But there are still many situations when the uncontrolled process of privatization of land and new construction works has led to the irrecoverable destruction of hundreds of archaeological sites, and hundreds of others have been subjected to ascending aggression to date.

 According to the Agency’s attributions, the National Archaeological Register is completed annually with newly discovered archaeological sites. The elaboration of the National Archaeological Register is at the initiation stage.

Under the conditions of administrative, financial and decision-making decentralization, and under the Laws of Local Public Administration of Level I and II, which expressly stipulates that between central and local authorities, between public authorities of the first and the level of the There are no reports of subordination except in the cases provided by the law, the cultural heritage field is insufficiently monitored, insufficiently sustained even from a methodological point of view, insufficiently or not at all, and some measures are also required at the level Local to protect it are largely ignored by local public authorities.

At the same time, some of the requirements may not be imposed by the directorates / sections of culture, especially if they provide additional financial costs than those provided in the local budget. But in the context of collaborations to promote certain cultural heritage elements and the development of large-scale national cultural events, these have intensified in recent years. As a result of the successful partnerships and involvement of both local public authorities of level I, II, public associations in the field and the Ministry of Culture, national cultural activities were organized for the promotion of Traditional Folk Tradition or Traditional Carpet, also represented by the majority of ethnic groups on the territory of the country.

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The role of civil society within sector development.

If the state is the structure that has the primary purpose of designing and implementing policies in different areas, the civil society has the role of monitoring and questioning their degree of implementation identifying the real impact of an initiative on community and to submit justified demands on the idea that within the public association people are affiliated with aspirations, ideologies and plans for a common future.

In the last decades, at European level the civil society has become a mass of specialized professional people who provide high-quality, concrete services for the benefit of the citizen, and, as the case may be, of the state-public authorities. At the same time, the civil society is the movement for protection and respect for the social, economic and cultural rights of an individual. In the Republic of Moldova, in the field of human rights civil society and part of civil society representatives are in many cases considered to be a factor contributing naturally to the democratization and defense of the vulnerable population which is the manifestation of a spontaneous form of civic and democratic action. Moreover, it is often the case that in literature it is expressed the idea that, in the post-Soviet countries, as is the Republic of Moldova, one of the indicators of their successful transformation into democratic societies is the development of civil society, its role in influencing the decision-making process as well as its ability to participate in effective implementation and monitoring of the consequences and outcomes of different public policies.

As in the case of many countries in transition, the Republic of Moldova as state has not immediately developed and expressed its strong support for the development of civil society, precisely because of constant criticism of public authorities, criticism that can mobilize a large part of the population against state policies.

In the field of culture, the involvement of civil society in policy formulation and substantiation as well as in facilitating access to external funding sources to support the development of cultural projects of the associative and public sector has intensified over the last decade. This is also due to the intensification of the dialogue with the European partners, the European member states concurrently with the idea of ​​the Republic of Moldova’s accession to the European Union.

Like many post-Soviet European countries, three important and defining aspects characterize the civil society sector in the Republic of Moldova at the present stage, including the one specific to culture sector, namely:

  1. the existence of certain profiles specific to civil society: 1.1 Representatives of the actively involved associations, both in attracting external funding to support the sector, and in launching policy-making initiatives or substantiating existing ones, called professional organizations that act in most cases as broad-based advocacy organizations, including Independent artists, artists employed in public and / or professional institutions working in different cultural fields (archives, theaters, museums, cultural heritage). Where appropriate, such organizations are mentioned even in the text of the normative acts. Such organizations may be mentioned: the Union of Plastic Artists and Other Creative Unions, the Union of Architects of the Republic of Moldova, the Cultural Policy Center, the Congress of Local Authorities of Moldova, etc.1.2. Representatives of various amateur artistic groups and organizations that promote folk music, dance and folklore, theatrical art (artistic amateur bands), although they represent a large force of people (according to the 2016 statistical data in the 3265 artistic formations 28186 people are involved in amateur activities) and represent, from a certain point of view, the most visible segment of civil society, starting from its non-commercial character in activity, yet they are not involved in initiating or substantiating public policies; 1.3. The third group includes art institutions, culture created by professional artists or professionals. These types of formations are a very flexible form of organizing artists that allows them to efficiently seek funding and to carry out various artistic projects. The activity of their members is characterized by the fact that they lobby for the improvement and adjustment of the existing legislative framework or come up with proposals for the elaboration of new ones. In the Republic of Moldova, the Union of Motion Picture Makers was actively involved in the elaboration of the Cinema Law in 2014, which at the current stage also requires adjustments in the launching of the State Funding Contest for Cinematographic Projects; The active involvement of the Creation Unions: theatrical, musicians in the elaboration of the Law on Theaters, Circuses and Concert Organizations in 2002, which also requires additions and modifications; The involvement of the Union of Writers in Book Publishing and the Librarians’ Association in the elaboration of the new Law on Libraries (approved by Government Decision No. 60 of 08.02.2017), involvement in public discussions and the launch of cultural projects in the urban space of the Oberliht Youth Artists Association ; The active involvement of the National Consultative Council of the Heads of Directions / Culture and Culture People and others. 1.4. The fourth group of civil society organizations includes “all other” groups, from local subsidiaries of existing non-governmental organizations to various non-governmental organizations not only involved in artistic creation but also in other segments of cultural life like advocacy and lobbying, research and study groups, or in the management of projects in different fields, such as cultural tourism, regional development or the environment. Such organizations in the Republic of Moldova can be mentioned: ICOM, ICOMOS, Soros Foundation Moldova, United Nations Development Organization, and others.
  2. Involvement of civil society in attracting funs for launching and development of various cultural projects. If at the state level, the external assistance priorities were focused on the field of culture only in the last three years (starting the Twinning project in the field of cultural heritage, supporting the restoration projects of three national heritage objects built by the Romanian Government, the signing of the Administrative Arrangement between the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Moldova and the Ministry of Culture and Communication of the French Republic on cooperation in the field of cultural heritage), at the level of the civil society, projects with large-scale foreign financing were implemented ten years ago, such as SOROS-Moldova Foundation for the creation and promotion of local development strategies “Revitalizing Moldova’s development capacities by strengthening the cultural sector”.

The implementation of the CHOICE project in the Republic of Moldova, implemented through ICOM Moldova is an example of the capacity of the civil society sector to attract external funds, currently benefiting from 7 public associations. Here we shall note that there are 29 organizations active in the field, in cultural heritage particlarly, which have applied in the first stage of selection of eligible financing projects. The public talks organized by ICOM Moldova on 28 April highlighted the results of the projects, as well as the problems faced by the representatives involved in this process over time.

Thus, on account of the practice, the following conclusions can be highlighted:

  1. The CHOICE project is the first large-scale project that has benefited the local public associations with cultural patrimony activities in particular. Either the initiated projects highlight the value and richness of the local cultural heritage demonstrating that it can be a potential source of tourist attraction and community interest, insufficiently explored at the present stage in most of the local communities on the territory of the Republic of Moldova;
  2. The initiated projects led to the strengthening of dialogue and collaboration between representatives of public associations, local public authorities, community members and representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises.
  3. Implementation of projects can be considered good practice in the field. For example, the “Museum-Space for Community and Intercultural Dialogue” project by “The Public Association of Honor, Dignity, Homeland” demonstrated that the available space within the museum can be useful for creating a communication platform between the young and elderly generation giving the latter the opportunity to transmit immaterial cultural heritage elements, being the living bearers of this type of treasure.
  4. Projects carried out in local communities have had an impact on raising public awareness of certain elements of local cultural heritage. Although existing on the territory of the locality they belong to, the vast majority of the population is unaware of the value, capacity and importance of the local cultural heritage to the development of the common sense of belonging, the formation / development of the civic sense, the education of young ghats in the spirit This cultural-territorial affiliation and even identity. Implementation of the project “Trajan’s Waves – Resources for Development and Sustainable Cross-Border Cooperation” (Community Foundation for Sustainable Development) or the project “The Revival of History – Inclusion of the Duruitoarea Veche Cave in the European Touring Circuit” (Public Association for Children and Youth of the Inheritors) By involving community members in capitalizing on the cultural heritage potential, while disseminating information through information campaigns to the rest of the population.
  5. The started projects led to the launching of new ideas and initiatives for their continuation and / or development, as well as to the collaboration with the state institutions in facilitating their implementation. For example, following the launch of the project “From commemorating to reconciliation – creating spaces for dialogue between generations” (Genesis Public Association, Mereni, Anenii Noi) and the discussion with the decision-makers from the Ministry of Transports and Roads Infrastructure, of public consultation on the transmission of a means of transport necessary for the project.
  6. The carried out projects have demonstrated that vertical communication with decision-makers, including at central and horizontal level, with other public associations and even specialized institutions can be achieved by virtue of achieving tangible, practical results Which may be in the interest of the population, but also of other institutions of interest. For example, in the development of the project “Historic Site Camp of the Royal King Carol XII in Varniţa – valorisation and promotion / SITVAR” (The Association of Women, Hope, Future of Varniţa, Anenii Noi), the National History Museum and the Agency for Monument Inspecting and Restoration and in the project of the”Mostenitorii”- Academy of Sciences of Moldova;
  7. The projects also demonstrated that although the population eventually became involved in some of them, they can easily detect the lack of interest and reluctance to participate in decision-making, especially since they directly target them. The culture of social participation is also a guarantor of “maturity”, of civic and democratic education, developed for millennia in the European space but still perceived in the Republic of Moldova as a growth exercise;
  8. The projects highlighted the difficulties faced by both public associations and local public authorities in covering the co-financing rate that is required to be covered.
  9. The projects highlighted one of the biggest problems at the present stage: lack of awareness of the value and management of cultural heritage, both for decision-makers and for communities. At the same time, they have shown that there is a poor culture of collaborations and partnerships between various state structures, local public authorities and the associative sector.
  10. The CHOICE project has, however, shown that there is a low capacity to implement and manage overall European projects with external funding.

(3) Moreover, this last point, listed above, highlights another characteristic of civil society in the Republic of Moldova. Although there are successful precedents in managing foreign funded projects, we must recognize that, as a whole, the capacity of public associations to implement and manage European projects is still poorly developed. For example, funding opportunities are provided by the Creative Europe Program, to which the Republic of Moldova has been participating since 2014. According to the existing data, only 4 applications have been submitted to the Culture sub-program in 2015, and in 2016 – 8 applications. In the Media subprogram, in 2015 the “Chronograph” project of the Documentary Film Festival, which was funded in 2016 with approximately 30,000 euros, was applied. We recognize that there is a very small percentage of the public associations able to submit to such financing programs, as at present 572 non-governmental organizations in the field of Culture and Art are registered according to the State Register of Non-Commercial Organizations (which constitutes 5.09% of total registered organizations).

Under the “Regulation on the Financing of State Budgets of Cultural Projects by Public Associations”, approved by Government Decision no. 834 of 08.10.2014, the Ministry of Culture annually organizes the Contest for financing from the state budget the cultural projects of the public associations. Thus, this competition is a possibility to finance cultural projects, but also an experience in the field of cultural project management. According to the data presented by the Ministry of Culture, financial resources have been allocated to support the projects of 10 public associations (out of a total of 43) in 2015 and 12 in 2016 (out of 44 total), representing about one quarter of The total number of beneficiary financial support associations. Applicants and non-winning associates were only a few – 5.

(4) In the first instance, the profiles of the civil society sector are exemplified, we need to pay additional attention to the fundamental role that it should play in public policy development initiatives, highlighting and applying their capacity for lobbying and advocacy by influencing policy at all levels. Even though some examples of involvement have been shown, the civil society sector in the Republic of Moldova must demonstrate that it can influence decisions not only directly in the democratic political process but also by capitalizing on the support of the public and the private sector – which can all have a crucial influence on Government attitudes. In fact, according to Christopher Gordon, policy analyst and policy expert, “political models reflecting the realities of civil society are far more effective than what the center requires. The holistic and “horizontal” model (bottom-up) has far more chances of success than the “vertical” (top-down) that will always be more vulnerable to an unexpected sudden change or even the whims of certain politicians when Finds power “. In this context, in the domestic context, civil society representatives, although active in some segments, can and must demonstrate that their practice can be of value in the context of policy-making initiatives, but that they exercise their advocacy capacity in relation to Structures of the same type or in relation to other public institutions or even the state.

Moreover, according to the Ministry of Culture decision-making transparency reports, it has been noticed that in the last years, proposals or recommendations to the policy initiatives of the authority, by the public associations did not come, even if a list can be found on the institution’s website of stakeholders – as 30 public associations in the field

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Conclusions. Necessary Measures

The above analysis summarized the main issues related to the regulation, management and safeguarding of cultural heritage through several stakeholders and from which the following conclusions can be drawn:

  • In recent years, the Ministry of Culture has achieved a number of results, and has exercised its duties in accordance with the legal framework in force, but yet, as has been shown, challenges are under the auspices of: defining some normative acts necessary for the management of the cultural heritage domain; improving and strengthening the dialogue with local public authorities (first level, first) and civil society representatives; The dissemination of regulatory acts in the field, both at I and II level.
  • In order to mobilize the public associations, the idea to launch annual funding priorities within the Partial Financing Contest from the state budget of cultural projects, organized by the Ministry of Culture, priorities that would support the local initiatives with impact and those in the field of cultural heritage protection.
  • The attributions of the local public authorities in the field of management, protection and preservation of the cultural heritage, although existing in many specialized legislative acts, can not be enough or even not at all, provided the correspondence between the necessary funds and the allocated ones is not ensured.
  • Even if there is a national policy in the field of cultural heritage protection, the laws on local public administration do not expressly provide for the competences of the local public authorities of level II and I in relation to this, which does not allow the control and monitoring and take immediate action to prevent the deterioration or disappearance of patrimony elements.
  • Major challenges in protecting and preserving cultural heritage also include the capacity of human resources, insufficiently shaped / developed specifically from this point of view.
  • The capacity of the civil society sector to manage projects is still poorly developed.
  • Taking into account the rigid funding obtained from the state, it is necessary to identify new mechanisms of financial self-support. Currently, under the conditions of a market economy, the state can not and should not in any case support the activity of public cultural institutions, if they can not show performance and profitability (not only economic, but also social, educational, Tourism, etc.).
  • The experience of public associations involved in the management of projects with foreign funding should be disseminated in order to present good practices and obstacles that can be encountered.
  • The various projects initiated in the field of cultural heritage can be ways to strengthen the dialogue between the younger and the elderly generation.
  • The space of cultural institutions, as well as the museum, can be used in educational, artistic, volunteer and intergenerational activities.
  • ICOM Moldova, in its capacity as manager of several European projects, should promote the idea of ​​joining this body and launch advocacy campaigns to mobilize institutions in the field, including public associations.
  • The CHOICE projects and others targeted at local level institutions have shown that the local community can have both reluctant reactions and openness to participation and involvement. This again highlights the poor ability of the population to perceive the importance of participation in decision-making or the launching of new initiatives
  • The experience of the CHOICE projects has highlighted that institutional communication between the various structures of the state, the associative sector and local communities is a reticent, bureaucratic one.
  • Taking into account the aforementioned conclusions and considering the European Cultural Heritage Strategy for the 21st Century as an extremely valuable strategic document from which to derive a series of measures and best practices for the management of the field, including the Republic of Moldova, the following recommendations are proposed:

– Cultural heritage and civil society partnership – public cultural institutions and local public authorities:

– It is necessary to create and develop existing central mechanisms to strengthen dialogue and partnership between local public authorities – cultural institutions and the associative sector. Considering that 90% of the cultural institutions are located in rural areas, state policy should provide for concrete measures to support cultural institutions, such as the launch of state programs for technical and material endowment of museums (which under the terms of the law can be achieved by transfers with a special destination from the state budget to the local one) or the prioritization of the financing of the cultural projects of the local public associations.

– The communication between the representatives of active civil society involved in the field of cultural heritage should be strengthened in a constant dialogue platform, which would allow for the permanent dissemination of information, good practice, both at the local and the central level. Such a task could be assumed by ICOM Moldova.

– Training activities of staff employed in institutions with competence in the protection and preservation of cultural heritage, such as museums and similar events that took place under the CHOICE project and organized jointly with the Ministry of Culture, should be stepped up.

Cultural Heritage and Territorial Development:

– In order to develop the spirit of territorial and identity belonging to the historical cultural heritage, it is necessary to launch campaigns to raise awareness of local public authorities and local communities. Such campaigns would also make them responsible for preserving, within the limits of the built cultural heritage, the prevention of illegal actions to exploit the archaeological heritage or to destroy it. Although such campaigns will not immediately lead to the expected outcome, the patrimony protection, the initiative could be launched by representatives of the civil society sector, including the one represented by the mayors of the country.

– Attracting economic agents from the territory of local communities to support the development of the cultural heritage or to protect and preserve it.

– Good practices following the deployment of various cultural projects at local level should be disseminated and made publicly available. This would gradually increase the awareness of the value of the patrimony.

– At European level, in order to raise awareness of the archaeological heritage discovered on the territory of the country, excavations are open to the general public. Such practice can be successfully taken over and implemented on the territory of the Republic of Moldova, provided that 30 new archaeological discoveries are made annually and 380 others are documented in the field.

– Integration of cultural heritage in development planning and territorial planning. Task required to be taken into account by authorities at all levels, both central and level I and II.

– Considering cultural heritage in all its manifestations as a touristic and economic potential of value for local development. At country level, there are many examples that demonstrate that, with political will, professionals in the field and civil society support, it is possible to initiate tourist routes designed to promote cultural heritage in all its diversity.

– Raise awareness of local public authorities, members of local communities and other educational institutions to integrate in the promotion of mobile cultural goods by jointly organizing activities in the museum space. The initiators of actions can and are in many cases the heads of the museum institutions. Sharing good practices in their guild would make it more efficient to work as a whole, but also trigger new joint initiatives.

– Use and implementation of techniques for preservation and restoration of mobile cultural heritage objects with the idea of ​​presenting them to the general public. Organizing such exercises, but also tours in protected but endangered areas, would raise awareness of the heritage values. Creating workshops of craftsmen in the museum can have the same result.

Cultural heritage, knowledge and education:

– Dissemination of good practice gained from the implementation of CHOICE projects, namely to highlight the involvement of younger generations.

– It is necessary to integrate education into the curriculum through cultural heritage. Even though at the current stage the Ministry of Education proposes curricula to various disciplines covering artistic (except compulsory) curricula, they are optional. In this respect, it is necessary to establish a central dialogue between the Ministry of Education and Culture in order to identify the possibilities of integrating the cultural heritage in the education process, and at the local level between the educational institutions and the persons responsible for the cultural heritage department).

– Implementing measures to encourage young people to get involved in the protection and promotion of cultural heritage. Taking into account the fact that the majority of the localities operate Youth Councils, they can be attracted to common activities with public associations or institutions in the field, such as: collecting and documenting non-material cultural heritage elements. At the same time, young people can be involved in workshops and workshops for learning craftsmanship.

– Supporting regional exchange and cooperation initiatives between different structures to promote knowledge in the field: public associations, cultural institutions and education.

– Raising awareness of local communities through the public associations and the projects they promote about the importance of their participation in the decision-making process, identifying the cultural heritage features that characterize the town and its responsibility for protecting and preserving it. Although it seems a difficult task to accomplish, as our country’s society still does not have the experience of democratic participation and a poorly developed civic spirit, such initiatives need to be supported and promoted.

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[2] The competences of the local public authorities of level one and two are regulated by Law No. 436 from 28.12.2006 on local public administration.

[3] The data present the expenditure status carried out until 31.12.2016

[4] All the regulation and normative acts in force in the state register of the judicial acts of the Republic of Moldova, into Romanian and Russian language can be found on: www. As well as on the Ministry of Culture web page:



[7] Ministry of Culture Order No.334 of 31.12.2013


[9] The sector strategy for expenditures The Culture represents a policy document which establishes the budget of the authorities from the sector in relation to the main measures of policies which are financed as well as the new ones which require additional financing sources  The Mediumterm Budget Framework forthe years of 2017-2019.

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