When the Ratiu Foundation was originally established in 1979, Romania was under communist control, and somewhat isolated from the political, security, social and cultural developments of Europe and the wider world. Some elements of the Ratiu Foundation agenda, particularly as they related to democracy, human rights and journalism, were developed in the context of this situation and with reference to what was possible, practical and doable at that time.
Reflections on the changing context
This context has however changed dramatically since 1989 and has in eect passed through three distinct phases.
Firstly, Romania went through a traumatic and euphoric transition in trying to break free of its communist legacy and restore its position as a fully sovereign state. In the second phase Romania chose to align its policy thinking and institutions to qualify for NATO and EU membership, which nally occurred in 2004 (for NATO) and 2007 (for the EU). And in the third phase – essentially from full EU membership onwards – Romania has had to change gears again and to think of how to actively participate in these institutional arrangements, and to contribute to shaping their thinking. These developments, taken together, have completely transformed the landscape within which the modern Romanian state and its people now have to operate. If we take up the narrative from the second point onwards, on joining NATO and the European Union, Romania had to converge and comply with the rules, practices,
principles and procedures of these two institutions, while simultaneously reorganizing its domestic system, understood in its broadest terms. In this sense they were takers, not shapers in the international and regional context, but were simultaneously constrained in their domestic policy choices by commitments made to the EU and NATO. This process generated its own set of problems, which has now given way to a new set of challenges; namely, how to participate actively and constructively within these two organizations, how to shape the way they function, while also completing the domestic policy transition required of membership. At the same time – and often underestimated in the challenge it poses – is that Romania and its people have had to reconnect to the ancient lineage of their own heritage, legal systems, culture, economy and history using approaches and techniques that are more open, exploratory, dispassionate and analytical. This transition from an autocratic communist state to an active member of NATO and the European Union has thus created an entirely new context in which to think about things. Hence, the Ratiu Forum is created in partnership with LSE IDEAS to address some of the most serious issues facing democracy in Romania today.
ROMANIA NEEDS TO RETHINK ITS HISTORY WITH REFERENCE TO DEVELOPING A NARRATIVE THAT RECOGNIZES AND RESPECTS ITS ETHNIC RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL PLURALITY
ROMANIA NEEDS TO
RETHINK THE WAY IT
SEES ITSELF AND ITS
PLACE IN THE
ROMANIA NEEDS TO ADDRESS THE REQUIREMENTS OF JOURNALISTS, STUDENTS AND ACADEMICS WITH REFERENCE TO THE ROLE OF HISTORY WITHIN ROMANIA AND IN THE REGION IN FORMING ATTITUDES AND OPINIONS; THE EUROPEAN UNION, WHAT IT DOES AND HOW IT WORKS AND IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON
THE JOURNALISM MASTER CLASS
16TH-17TH NOVEMBER 2019 / TURDA, JUD. CLUJ
LSE IDEAS, in collaboration with Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation and the Ratiu Democracy Centre, invites Romanian journalists to the first edition of the Journalism Master Class, which will take place in Turda between the 16th – 17th November 2019. The Journalism Master Class will be conducted by the East Europe Editor and Moscow Bureau Chief for the Financial Times, John Lloyd. Speakers: Alison Mutler (Chief Correspondent Romanian Associated Press), Kit Gillet (British freelance journalist for the NY Times, Guardian and Economist), Wojciech Przybylski (Editor-in-chief of Visegrad/Insight and chairman of the Res Publica Foundation), Janos Karpati (Hungarian Spectrum). The overall purpose of this initiative is to explore the current situation of Romanian journalism as compared to other central European states in 2019. With this exercise, we intend to create a journalism network hub in Romania and throughout the region, oering support and sharing professional expertise that can be drawn on from journalists abroad. Our intention is to hold a regional master class in 2020 in view of expanding the impact and network
John Lloyd co-founded The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford in 2006, where he was Director of Journalism and a Senior Research Fellow. He is a Contributing editor at The Financial Times, and Chairman of the School of Civic Education (Russia). Lloyd was a freelance reporter in Belfast in the early 1970s. He was a reporter on LBC Radio, worked at London Weekend TV as a reporter on the London Programme and producer on Weekend World. At the Financial Times he has been Labour Editor,Labour and Industrial Editor, East Europe Editor, Moscow Bureau Chief; and founding editor of the FT Weekend Magazine. He has edited both Time Out and the New Statesman.
John Lotherington is director of the 21st Century Trust in London, which in 2009 forged a long-term partnership with Salzburg Global Seminar where John also leads the health and health careinnovation programs. He began his career in history education and maintains an interest in that area. His publications as editor and author include The Communications Revolution; Years of Renewal: European History 1470 to 1600; The Seven Ages of Life; The Tudor Years; and introductions to The Florentine Histories by Niccolò Machiavelli, The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione, and the Divine Comedy by Dante. He is an associate board member, and former Chair, of the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development, a trustee of Cumberland Lodge, and a governor of Goodenough College, London.
THE TEACHING OF HISTORY WORKSHOP
FEBRUARY 21-23 / TURDA, JUD. CLUJ
The main reason for this workshop is to continue our promotion of civil society projects. In this case, we are exploring with Romanian schoolteachers the various versions of history teaching, (one which puts the lid on nationalism/populism). We are discussing the dark side of Central European countries' history that is either ignored or denied. And we are targeting the younger generation – 25– 40 year – olds.
Expected outcome - to be followed by a regional conference in
2021 which would bring together University teachers to discuss their experience of teaching former schoolchildren in the first year.
We hope that this might be part of a contribution to a larger debate about a national history curriculum. The History Workshop will be conducted by John Lotherington who taught History at Christs Hospital, an independent public school in London. John Lotherington is connected with the 21st Century Trust and Salzburg Seminar.
RATIU DIALOGUES ON DEMOCRACY 2020 / JUNE 1 - 2, 2020
The Ratiu Dialogues on Democracy is an event held annually in early June to coincide with Ion Ratiu's birth date. The overall purpose of this lecture series is to strengthen discussions and visions on democracy. We aim to have the Dialogues develop a credible reputation as a meeting place for those from a range of professional backgrounds who share an interest in current challenges facing Balkan nations, with a particular emphasis on Romania. The target audience gathers in Turda and Cluj, policymakers, public
institutions, leaders in the business community, as well as trustees and followers of CRD.
We have developed the reputation of the Dialogues so they have become the ‘must attend’ for those, from a range of academic disciplines, who have an interest in the development of this region. It is our aim to ensure that the Dialogues becomes a meeting point for active researchers, and that they have opportunities for relationship-building and collaboration which acts as a stimulus for future research projects.
In addition to being attended by academics, policy-makers, politicians etc, we are open to doctoral and masters students as we feel it is an extraordinary experience for them – to be exposed to leading thinkers. We have invited Professor Christopher Coker at LSE IDEAS to design the content of RDD 2020 with a view towards current issues in the region.
THE RATIU DIALOGUES ON
THE RATIU DIALOGUES FOR
DEMOCRACY 2020 HAS FOCUSED THE
AGENDA ON ROMANIA IN THE EU
THE THEMES ARE:
» Challenges to Liberal Democracy
» Challenges of Technology, Fake News,
Freedom of the Press
» Crisis in Action, Serbia and Western
Balkans, Greece and the nancial crisis
» Political Challenges, Russia and
» Are western values universal?
» The China model
» The crisis in historical perspective
EU / NATO context
The other major institution in which Romania is active is NATO. The NATO membership determines Romania’s strategic priorities and shapes its defense and security agenda. Diplomatic priorities now straddle EU and NATO perspectives, creating still another set of considerations to be understood. Participating actively within NATO’s complex command and consultation structures requires a deep level of understanding of NATO principles, procedures and operating systems. The importance of working with other national cultures with NATO, often with unresolved historic rivalries, friction and tensions, corresponds closely with the nature of the challenge of working with other countries in the EU.
Programmes that help deepen familiarity with these perspectives could serve a very useful purpose in the broader democratic and engagement processes that the Ratiu Foundation promotes. By connecting the wider EU and NATO context to the priorities of the Ratiu Foundation, we can see the outlines of potential future engagements that should be high impact. We are in the process of identifying specic areas in which we would like to be active.
Prof. Christopher COKER - London School of
Christopher Coker is Professor of International
Relations, LSE and Director LSE IDEAS. His most
recent book is The Rise of the Civilizational State.
He is a former editor of the Atlantic Quarterly.
His books include Twilight of the West, Future
War and Barbarous Philosophers: reections on
the nature of war from Heraclitus to Heisenberg.
His books have been translated into 8 languages,
though not alas Romanian!
He lectures extensively in Europe US and Asia.
The Ratiu Forum
The Ratiu Forum is a joint initiative by the Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation, Ratiu Democracy Centre and LSE IDEAS, currently ranked the top university-affiliated think-tank in the world.
This brochure summarizes the collaboration and joint activities of LSE IDEAS Think Tank and the Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation in view of having a more regional mid to long term approach to issues facing Romania and Central South-Eastern Europe.