According to its code of bylaws, the Romanian Academy, Romania’s highest cultural forum, has several main objectives: cultivation of the national language and literature, study of the national history, research into major scientific domains, and promotion of democratic and ethical principles of free communication of ideas in Romanian sciences, arts and letters.
The Romanian Academy is incorporated and functions autonomously. Its activity is financed by the state, as well as by donations, legacies and other funds earmarked for the accomplishment of academic goals. The Academy administers its assets independently.
There are 181 acting members (academicians and associate members), a number established by law; all members of the Academy are elected for life. Eligibility criteria include Romanian citizenship and outstanding performance in a scientific, artistic or literary domain. Candidates for associate membership can be up to 65 years old and can become full members any time after that. The Academy also has 135 honorary members who are both Romanian and foreign citizens of great intellectual value; their number is established by the General Assembly. Age is not a criterion for eligibility as an honorary member.
Membership in the Academy confers certain rights, of which foremost are, naturally, the moral ones. Members of the Academy enjoy recognition for their excellence, contribute to the direction of the Academy’s activity through their opinions and votes, participate in the activity of the Academy’s sections and scientific institutes in their respective domain, and the Academy’s full members bear the much coveted title of "Academician". Their remuneration is generally modest, and during the current period in the Romanian economy, almost symbolic.
It must be also noted that the Academy continues to sustain an activity designed to recognize and remunerate, also modestly, the outstanding performances of scientists, artists and literati who are not Academy members but have made eminent contributions to Romanian intellectual life and cultural progress. Such are the Awards of the Romanian Academy, granted annually for outstanding books, exceptional achievements or lifelong activity. There are 70 such awards, bearing the names of major Romanian cultural figures. They can be received only once in a lifetime and can go, of course, only to non-members.