Minister for Romanians Abroad Andreea Pastarnac stated on Thursday in Suceava that one of the objectives of the ministry she is coordinating concerns the preservation of the national identity, and to this end it considers the financing of projects which aim at the extension, professionalisation and streamlining of media in Romanian.
"One of the Ministry's major objectives is to preserve the spiritual and linguistic identity of the Romanians living abroad today. We have very large communities that have already settled abroad for 15-20 years. (...) We are trying to approach on two levels, the Romanian language at the educational level and the Romanian language promoted through the media in the Diaspora. There are a large number of publications, newspapers, television and radio stations and on-line publications in the Romanian language of Romanians living outside the country borders and, through our ministry's financing programme, we have tried this year, to pay special attention to publications and provide direct support through the grants we give. We have a project to support journalists in Serbia where we have important communities and there are struggles to maintain media in the Romanian language," Andreea Pastarnac said.
The minister also announced that in the second semester of this year a training programme will be carried out for Diaspora journalists, in Bucharest and also in areas in Romania where there are important territorial studios producing programmes for the historical communities, but also for a new Diaspora.
According to Pastarnac, the ministry's budget is 8 million lei, and according to the current legislation in force, the financing is made on four pillars, without any budget separation between them. "The way the Ministry works, according to Law 321 in force, is based on their requests. So, if you had a daily paper or a blog in the Diaspora, you would write a project and request the ministry's support for your activity. The draft is submitted to a committee which, in the light of the recently adopted national strategy, would be taken into consideration, would be approved or not. So how a grant is given is based on the direct requests of journalists in the Diaspora," Andreea Pastarnac further said, stating that any authorized person, blog or NGO meeting the conditions of the financing guide can apply, and the ministry representatives strive to approve as many requests as possible.