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Artists occupy the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR)

August 3, 2012

via ICR (Romanian Cultural Institute) New York


On June 13, 2012 the new Romanian Government issued an urgent ordinance (a law that skips parliament through government responsibility, because of national urgency) in the name of de-politising the Romanian Cultural Institute (thereafter ICR). The urgency? The feeling of national belonging within Romanian communities abroad is permanently threatened by the current organization of the ICR.

Basically, the law changes the mission of the Institute from representing Romanian culture abroad to serving the Romanian communities abroad. So it’s not bringing Romanian culture to foreign audiences anymore, it’s about bringing Romanian culture to the Romanian communities. The law also changes current management and submits the Institute to the Senate. Until now the Institute has been under the authority of the President of Romania, who only appointed the President of the Institute but couldn’t interfere in the programming or structure. This was considered “political control” by the new government, an urgent matter which couldn’t be delayed. So it decided to make it all political by appointing the board by vote of senate. The majority of Senate present, that is. Vice presidents of ICR can’t be affiliated to political parties, according to the new law, but there is no mention about the ICR president’s status – therefore the president could be a member of a political party.

You can read the full text of the ordinance here.



via Romanian Insider

On July 31st 2012, Romanian writer Horia Roman Patapievici and the rest of the leadership of the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) announced that they will resign, in response to the announcement of severe budget cuts for the institution. Romania’s Finance Ministry announced ICR its budget will be cut by some EUR 3.1 million, more than a third. The Ministry asked ICR to stay within the around EUR 6.1 million budget this year, as approved at end 2011. The ICR has however spent or committed to spend some EUR 6.9 million this year, so in order to comply with the recent request, it should work on a negative balance until the end of the year, with no budget at all.

On top of it all, the country’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday (July 31) ruled constitutional the ordinance number 27/ 2012, which moves ICR under the Senate supervision and changes its mission, making it responsible for the Romanian national identity abroad. When the ordinance was issued, the leadership of ICR said it would step down if the ordinance was deemed constitutional. By law, the Senate will name the executive directors of ICR and its board.



via Raluca Voinea

Artists occupy the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR)


Starting today, 03.08.12 at 11:00 AM we are waiting for you at the headquarters of the Romanian Cultural Institute, Al. Alexandru no. 38 in Bucharest to join us for an occupy movement at the ICR. This movement, initiated by members of the cultural community in Romania is a reaction to the change of functioning status and mission of the Institute through the emergency ordinance 27/2012, confirmed by the decision of the Constitutional Court on the 31st of July 2012.

We demand:
– selection of the president and vicepresidents of the Romanian Cultural Institute through a public contest and not through a political nomination;

– selection of the directors of Romanian Cultural Institutes abroad also through a public contest;

– the constitution of a jury commission for these contests, comprising represantatives of both the institutional and the independent cultural community;

– withdrawal of the Romanian Cultural Institute from under the jurisdiction of the Senate concerning the strategy and the content of cultural programs; the constitution, instead, of a non-political and professionally competent board, including representatives of the independent cultural community, able to evaluate the quality of the Institute’s activity;

– establishing a clear and transparent administrative functioning of the Romanian Cultural Institute; the guarantee of non-interference of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and of the Ministry of Culture into the cultural programs of ICR;

– respecting the budget approved for ICR for 2012 and provisioning a decent budget for the functioning of the institution in the future.

We consider these demands are the minimum to insure the autonomy and de-politicization of a cultural institution of national interest. We invite also all those outside Romania and support this movement to occupy the Romanian Cultural Institutes abroad.


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