Open letter to the Prime Minister of Romania, Mr. Florin Cîțu

Published on February 09, 2021

Mr. Prime Minister,

 today marks 11 months since, starting with March 9, 2020, the cultural sector in Romania is closed to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus, limitations that the cultural sector has understood and supported, the health of culture lovers and public health being priority for us, those who work in this sector.

But what a whole industry can no longer understand, Mr. Prime Minister, is that, almost a year after the announcement of these restrictions, in the public space are thrown, with maximum lightness, statements without any form of empathy and consideration for of the existing disaster in this sector.

Given that for those in this sector, financial aid has not come so far, it is difficult for the entire industry to follow all these statements that are not an invitation at dialogue and finding solutions.

People in this important sector (artists, technicians, entrepreneurs) are no longer able to pay their bank loans, support their rents or provide for their families and children. Please turn your attention to the desperate reality of this part of Romanian society.

Just as state authorities have an obligation to ensure, through restrictive measures, in a pandemic situation, the guarantee of a country's public health, the same authorities have an obligation to ensure that the part of society most severely affected by restrictive measures will survive without lives destroyed and without too many ruined business.

The suggestion that the losses from the closure of the cultural sector in 2021, to be taken over by the organizers through private insurance, not only denotes a lack of understanding of the mechanisms governing the insurance system and the current situation in the cultural area, but also against the European current, in which governments, precisely to restart the cultural sector and ensure stability and predictability, provide state guarantees starting with the third quarter, at the level of billions, for a possible new cancellation or restrictions on the number of participants, if the pandemic situation will impose it.

Taking into account the above mentioned and the confusion created in the public space following the statements from the last days, we request you, Mr. Prime Minister, the following:

  • Compensatory solution for the disastrous losings suffered by the cultural industry; financial support by including the cultural sector in the Compensation Scheme for losses suffered, on the HORECA model, to compensate the sector for losses up to 20% of the turnover difference 2019/2020, the scheme implemented under the coordination of the Ministry of Economy.
  • Creating a working group, under the supervision of the Prime Minister's office, to find solutions and define clear rules for the reopening of the cultural sector. The sector does not demand the absurd or the impossible, but demands the establishment of a clear, predictable framework, related to the disease rate and taking into account the scientific studies accepted worldwide, with non-discriminatory application rules.
  • In support of the reopening plan, the rapid launch of the Cultural Sector Reopening Scheme, under the coordination of the Ministry of Culture.

In order to present a complete list of the situation in the cultural sector, we request, Mr. Prime Minister, a meeting with both the representatives of the sector and the representatives of the Ministry of Culture, who currently have a centralization of the situation in the sector, with the representatives of the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Health.

The desire to participate in cultural events is a need of the entire society, not just ours, of those who work in this industry. Thus, according to the ongoing survey conducted by AROC (Romanian Association of Promoters of Concerts and Cultural Events), which was answered so far by over 8,500 people, 70% of those who participated in events in 2020 said that they felt safe, and over 90% said they would participate in events in 2021, of which 75% agree with vaccination or on-site testing.

With consideration,
AROC members

Subscribed to AROC, the Romanian Association of Organizers of Concerts and Cultural Events, the associative structure of the organizers of festivals and concerts in Romania, consists of the most representative actors on the Romanian market (ARTmania - ARTmania Festival Sibiu / Blaj aLive, Asociatia Fapte - Jazz in the Park, Asociatia Mozaic - Mozaic Jazz Festival, Asociatia Festivalul de Film Transilvania - TIFF, BestMusic Live / METALHEAD, Comparty Events - diMANSIONS Hit Music Festival, Electric Castle, Emagic Live - Awake Festival, Global Records, Movement Team - Sports Festival, NEVERSEA , Plai Cultural Center - Plai Festival / JazzTM, SNRS - Sunwaves Festival, Sprint Media, Summer Well, The Institute, The Mission / Fall in Love Festival, UNTOLD, VRTW, Wine and Street Food Festival, Why Not Us - Street Food Festival, Wise Factor - The Fresh).

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