Thursday, October 2, 2008

Romania: The MFA promotes Romania in Italy through the public diplomacy campaign "Piazza di Romania"

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with MSMECTLP, will organize between 28th September – 9th October, a public diplomacy campaign in Italy, in order to prove that there are more things linking the Italians to the Romanians and less those that seem to separate them.

The campaign takes place under the slogan "Romania: un mondo da scoprire" ("Romania: a world to discover") and sets forth to offer both Italians and Romanians the opportunity to participate together to certain cultural and artistic actions, to public events and different meetings and seminars which would stress both the strong filiations between the Romanians and the Italians, consisting of values, joys, interests, common hobbies, and mutual advantage offered to the citizens of the two countries due to the things that they have in common.

"Our purpose was to organize events to which both Italians and Romanians to come and which would stress – according to our slogan - those aspects that bring us together. We want to show that the Italians and the Romanians are very much alike, sharing common values, common tastes, that they can feel alike and enjoy the same quality show. That is why, most of our events take place in public squares, where the Italians use to socialize. The title of the campaign is Piazza di Romania, just because we manage to fill up representative squares from Italy with representative events for Romania", said for the media Oana Marinescu, general director for Communication and Public Diplomacy in the MFA, the project coordinator.

"The participation of the MSMECTLP to this public diplomacy campaign is a natural continuation of the ministry's efforts to promote the tourist destination Romania in Italy, efforts started during the Venice Carnival of this year. Tourism is recognized as being an index of promotion for a strong image, whereas an increase of 60% of the tourist flow from Italy towards Romania during the first semester of the year 2008 as compared to the same period of the year 2007 is the result of the successful holidays carried out already by Italian tourists in Romania" said Lucia Morariu, State Secretary at the Ministry for SMEs, Commerce, Tourism and Liberal Professions.

The project started in April 2008, through the trial of identifying solutions to the image problems with which the Romanian community from Italy is confronted. The entire elaboration and organization were carried out within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, by a joint team specialists formed out of representatives of the General Department of Communication and Public Diplomacy and of the Department for Cultural Relations, Education and Science.

The project has been included in the Government's communication program in Italy, "Romania: piacere di conoscerti", the events organized during the MFA's campaign opening the series of public actions which are going to be carried out during this autumn in Italy, in order to promote Romania and to prepare the Romanian-Italian governmental summit, on the 9th of October.

This project has been possible due to the successful collaboration between the governmental and the non-governmental field. The Government allotted 350.000 euro from the state budget for the campaign "Piazza di Romania", MSMECTLP financing a part of the events with approximately 100.000 euro, whereas the left financing has come from sponsors and donations. A series of Italian companies (Intesa SanPaolo Bank, Cefin, Pirelli, the Italo-Romena Bank, ADV Communication, Vigroup Holding), together with UNIMPRESA – the organization which contains with Italian equity capital from Romania – have financially contributed to this project, as a sign of gratitude for the role played by the Romanian society in developing their business. At the same time, the MFA's initiative has also been encouraged by Romanian companies and organizations, such as: Blue Air, Petrom, PH Medical Group, Halewood, The Italians' Association from Romania – RO.AS.IT, The Organization Human Values.

A series of media organizations - TVR, Agerpres, ARBOMedia and Evenimentul Zilei – decided to get involved in the promotion of this campaign, being media partnerships of the MFA. Media Pro has encouraged the project "Piazza di Romania", by granting free broadcast rights for the film "California Dreamin' (endless)".

In Italy, the campaign is encouraged by the local authorities of Torino and Milan who have taken over the events from the public squares found under their auspices.

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