EU National Institutes for Culture - EUNIC

A role model for what Europe stands for in Moldova

Narcis Afrisanei, director of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Chisinau and the current cluster president shares his reflections on the importance of EUNIC collaboration in the Republic of Moldova.

If in other EUNIC clusters the collaboration between the European Institutions comes as a strong recommendation, where the result would be creating a better network, here, at the “Eastern border”, our mission is a bit different. We are in the vicinity of a true war, with casualties and dramatic destinies, which in the Republic of Moldova is transferred in a hybrid format. Not only we have to stay together to amplify the result of our collaboration, but we serve as a direct role model for what Europe and European Union stands for. We are in the limelight, as well as each European institution, and we have to come with who we are, with lows and highs, with vulnerabilities and challenges, but with the model of the best, so far, framework developed by a human network of brains and ideas. We’ve seen a lot of new European institutions coming to Chisinau to engage into this common effort.

Starting with 2023 a lot of Member States decided to open embassies in the Republic of Moldova, including the Embassies of the Kingdom of Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and Denmark including a local branch of the Danish Cultural Institute, as well as Embassy of Norway and it is looking likely that other European countries will soon follow. This is in addition to already existing institutes and embassies.

A lot of hard work has been made by the previous team that managed the Chisinau cluster due to the much needed a resuscitation of the activity inside EUNIC Moldova. Having now established a strategic direction, in 2024 the EUNIC cluster is putting an emphasis to consolidate the collaboration amongst its members with a new mandate to evaluate all past projects and recent activities, to on one hand better understand the local environment and what is proposed to the general public, and on the other hand prioritise and reconfirm individual commitments of each of the cultural institute or embassy which is part of the cluster. When we know better as each individual member what we are aiming for, then it is easier to start and build up a strong strategy for the next 5 years that would help us in achieving our common and individual goals in the Republic of Moldova particularly with the cluster membership growing. So far, we have managed to commit to a couple of very strong and visible cultural events, and we are discussing about the possibility of initiating the first Contemporary Art Biennale in Chisinau. We also aim to play an active part in the initiatives of the EU Delegation in Chisinau.

Chisinau has a great vibe and we start seeing it as the ideal place to put together the Eastern Partnership Countries together with the European Member States. It could be the perfect hub where East and West would meet. It could serve as the perfect dialogue platform where artists, authors, journalists, cultural workers and the general public from both the Easter Border States and the EU States could meet. There are a lot of opportunities, great interest and when we come with our logistics and European experience, the Republic of Moldova can embrace successfully a new direction.

Co-funded by the European Union Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.