Ion Ratiu Democracy Award
Ion Ratiu Democracy Award expresses the deep commitment to democracy of the late Ion Ratiu through his contributions as a Romanian politician and intellectual as well as his interest in democratic change worldwide.
Awarded yearly with the support of Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation, it provides a month-long scholarship at the Wilson Center during which awardees have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the scholarly, policymaking, and NGO communities in Washington, D.C.
Whether they are in exile from repressive regimes or operating within emerging democracies, recipients of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award are democracy advocates with the type of life-changing experience in Washington that Ion Ratiu encountered as a young Romanian democracy activist in the 1970s and 1980s.
The lecture delivered by each awardee emphasizes the struggles of those fighting for democracy in their home countries to a broad audience of scholars, researchers, activists and policy makers. Our Ion Ratiu Democracy Awardee attends annually the World Youth Democracy Forum in Washington addressing an international audience via the web.
In addition to the Award recipients of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Awardee will have an opportunity to engage with the Washington policy, media and scholarly communities, but also to find time for reflection and writing on democratic activism often not possible in the day-to-day struggle in their home/exile country. In this sense the Ion Ratiu Democracy Awardee will seek to replicate the type of life-changing experience that Ion Ratiu encountered as a young Romanian democracy activist in Washington in the 1970s and 1980s.
Camelia Bogdan is an experienced Bucharest Court of Appeals judge specialized in countering economic crime and asset recovery of proceeds of crime.
In her capacity of expert of the European Commission, she has participated, starting with 2009, in more than 40 international conferences or training sessions of the law enforcement agents, being invited/recommended by international institutions such us World Bank, European Commission, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (formerly known as the European Office for Harmonizing the Internal Market).
She is also associated researcher with the Centre Régional Francophone de Recherches Avancées en Sciences Humaines et Sociales de Bucarest (CEREFREA–Villa Noël), representing her fellows in the Scientific Council. The results of her academic activity include 2 monographs, one PhD thesis, two guides for the Romanian magistrates on countering money laundering/financial investigations of transnational organized crime activities, more than 100 judicial studies published in law reviews and papers presented at conferences and colloquiums. In 2009, Camelia Bogdan was awarded a PhD in Criminal Law from the Bucharest University, Faculty of Law, for the thesis: ”Countering Money Laundering of the Proceeds Derived from Organized Crime Activities, in the light of Domestic and International Regulations”. She is currently preparing her new international PhD in joint supervision of Bucharest and Strasbourg University. Her thesis title is “Asset Recovery of the Proceeds of Crime in French and Romanian Criminal Trial”. Camelia Bogdan also graduated the European College of Financial Investigations and Analysis of Financial Crimes (C.E.I.FA.C.) third training session and as a result of that, she holds an LLM from the Strasbourg University for the Dissertation ”Judicial Investigations During Trial”.
Between December 2016 and January 2018, Camelia Bogdan has been a visiting fellow affiliated with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London and the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law from Lausanne. In 2018, she received the Fulbright Senior Award for Visiting Scholars and she is currently affiliated with the Center for International Financial Crimes from Levin College of Law, University of Florida. Her research focuses on Fostering Efficacy In The Asset Recovery Of Proceeds Of Transnational Corruption.
Camelia Bogdan was twice expelled from the Romanian judiciary. Firstly, on 8th of February 2017, the the Judicial Section of the Superior Council of the Judiciary accused her of cumulating functions and conflict of interest. She won at the Supreme Court, but the C5 panel decided that she should be removed for 6 months at Târgu Mureș Court of Appeal, in order to serve a disciplinary sanction, starting with 15th January 2018. She was expelled for the second time in April 2018 allegedly because she would have infringed the principle of repartition aleatoire. Her case is currently pending at the Supreme Court.
Rațiu Family Charitable Foundation, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Rațiu Center for Democracy are pleased to announce that Dr. Manuel Cuesta Morua, a leading scholar and political activist from Cuba, will receive the 2016 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award, a one-month fellowship in Washington, D.C.
A historian of Contemporary Asia, Dr. Manuel Cuesta Morua has worked extensively on democratic reforms in Cuba. Over the last two decades Cuesta Morua joined and played a leading role in a number of human rights organizations, including the Human Rights and National Reconciliation Commission.
With other dissidents, he established the Reflection Table of the Moderate Opposition, in 1998, and organized Arco Progresista in 2002. He has been arrested multiple times for defending human rights and organizing opposition gatherings in Havana. He has held more than 300 round table discussions that focus on proposing a new, democratic constitution for the nation. In March 2016 he was a member of a select group of Cuban dissidents to meet with President Obama at the U.S. Embassy in Havana. At present Cuesta Morúa is coordinating, with other prominent activists, the Plataforma Ciudadana #Otro18, seeking electoral reforms in Cuba, and belongs to the Unity Roundtable for Democratic Action, a coalition of organizations and personalities from Cuba and abroad.
“A new, democratic answer is required, indeed. A democracy rooted in liberal ideas, founded on diversity, thorough analysis and inclusive debate, and a large informed participation, on open systems and citizenship. Especially citizenship. A strong democracy able to admit at the end of the day, following Robert Frost, that perhaps the other might also be right. There are people who believe winning the argument is more important than winning the vote. Not in reaching the government, perhaps, but surely for the power of democracy. We will only succeed if we understand democracy triumphs only if it remains an universal value.”
Dr. Manuel Cuesta Morua
Is one of the most respected and popular Ukrainian journalists and bloggers. Mustafa Nayyem has been working at “Ukrainska Pravda” (“Ukrainian Truth”) since 2006, directing online media. In April 2013, along with several colleagues, he founded Ukraine’s first independent Internet TV Channel: Hromadske.tv. This unique platform is funded by independent donations, and was created in response to censorship and media monopolization.
Ukrainian Democracy After the Maidan: Threats and Opportunities
Mr. Nayyem and Hromadske.tv played a crucial role in the “Euromaidan” protests. His Facebook post in which he issued a call to go to Independence Square (Maidan) in Kyiv, to protest the Ukrainian government’s decision to stop Ukraine’s process of integration into the European Union, was shared over one thousand times in a matter of hours. These protests precipitated the fall of President Yanukovych’s government and are evidence of the Ukrainian people’s struggle for freedom and democratic values, and Mustafa Nayyem’s actions around that time have placed him as an important leader of the protests.
"I was extremely moved by the memorials in the Maidan when I visited Kiev as an election observer in May. Ukraine has a tough road ahead, and journalists like Mustafa Nayyem play a vital role in building a competent, transparent, and pluralist government. Mustafa Nayyem’s dedication to these values makes him a worthy recipient of this year’s Ion Ratiu Democracy Award.Jane Harman"
Director, President and CEO, Wilson Center
"As the tenth recipient of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award, Mustafa Nayyem embodies Ion Ratiu’s aspirations for democratic change in Europe and beyond."
Christian F. Ostermann
Chair of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award, Wilson Center
Mustafa Nayyem honored for efforts to establish democracy in Ukraine
The “Spark” of Euromaidan and Meridian
Democracy in Ukraine: A Conversation With 2014 Ion Ratiu Award Winner Mustafa Nayyem
Democracy Award for Ukrainian Parliamentarian
Ukrainian Lawmaker: ‘We Are Hostages Of Putin’
Read the lecture:
Ukrainian Democracy after the Maidan: Threats and Opportunities
Aung San Suu Kyi was honored with the prestigious award in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, during the “Women Leading Democracy Building in Myanmar” Workshop. The award was presented by Mr. Nicolae Ratiu, chairman of The Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation. This was the first time a Raţiu Award nominee is honored in her home country at a program that advances her cause among the people whose rights she defended and fought for.
Nobel Award for Peace Acceptance Speech
Nabeel Rajab, a leading human rights activist and president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights received the 2011 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award, presented annually by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
The Price of Freedom and Democracy: Defiant Bahrainis and the Arab Spring
"The Government of Bahrain would be wiser to tolerate dissent and promote the free expression of views. Events in the region in the past year make clear that local voices will not remain silent and repression will be resisted.
Director, President and CEO, Wilson Center
2011 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award Workshop – Washington DC
World Youth Democracy Forum with Nabeel Rajab
Statement on Nabeel Rajab by The Hon. Jane Harman, Director, President and CEO, the Wilson Center
CNN Report on Bahrain Violence
State Department stands up for Nabeel Rajab
Nabeel Rajab sentenced to two years in appeal
National Endowment for Democracy
Read the lecture:
The Price of Freedom and Democracy: Defiant Bahrainis and the Arab Spring
Adam Michnik is the editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland’s largest daily newspaper. He was a founding member of the Komitet Obrony Robotnikow (Committee for the Defense of Workers) in 1976 and a prominent activist during the Solidarity movement in the 1980s
Democracy: Traps and Question Marks
He participated in the Round Table Talks of 1989, and was later elected to Poland’s first non-communist parliament, where he served from 1989-1991. Michnik is the author of several books, including „Letters from Prison and Other Essays” (1987); „The Church and the Left” (1993); „Letters from Freedom: Post Cold War Realities and Perspectives” (1998); and „In search of Lost Meaning” (2011).
Adam Michnik to Receive 2009 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award
IRDL Awardee Adam Michnik Featured by Foreign Policy Magazine
The 2009 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Democracy: Traps and Question Marks by Adam Michnik Featured in International Media
“Ways towards Freedom” featuring Adam Michnik in dialogue with Emil Hurezeanu
Solidarity Under Strain by Adam Michnik
Anatoli Mikhailov is a highly respected expert of German philosophy and the Rector of the European Humanities University, a university he established in Minsk in 1992 in order to provide an alternative to the established education process inherited from the Soviet Union. In 2004, the Lukashenko regime ordered the university shut down.
Democracy as a Challenge
In 2004, the Lukashenko regime ordered the university shut down. Mikhailov was forced to leave the country and has been in exile in Vilnius since. The University was reopened in Vilnius since 2005 with EU help and is educating 270 graduate students in addition to a number of students that are taking long distance learning courses from the university.
Professor and researcher at El Colegio de México since 1977, he has also taught at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia de Económicas (CIDE), the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and at a number of other national and international universities. He is a frequent writer for newspapers and magazines, most notably Reforma and was a founding member of the newspaper La Jornada.
From 1990 to 1996 he was president of the Mexican Academy of Human Rights and from 1994 to 1999 he was a member of Civic Alliance, one of Mexico’s most prominent NGOs. Dr. Aguayo is President of the Board of Directors of Fundar, Centro de Análisis e Investigación.
"Aguaio is one of Mexico’s most prominent human rights and democracy advocates, a scholar and teacher and the author or editor of more than 20 books, as well as numerous articles, book chapters and contributions to the Mexican and Latin American media. In the course of his work he helped start a newspaper, La Journada, helped found Sedepac, an NGO devoted to democratic development and cofounded Civic Alliance, an umbrella organization whose 30,000 plus members have pioneered anti-corruption efforts and the reform of governance in Mexico."
Director, Center for Democracy and Civil Society