About The Romanian Foundation for DemocracyThe Romanian Foundation for Democracyis an independent, non-governmental organization, founded in November 1992 at the initiative of Prof. Dr. Emil Constantinescu and the Foundation’s Executive Director, Prof. Dr. Nicolae Anastasiu, correspondent member of the Romanian Academy.
The Romanian Foundation for Democracy was appointed a public utility organization through G.D. 1580 from December 4, 2008.
The Romanian Foundation for Democracy joins in the Horary Council outstanding personalities of the academic and cultural fields from Romania and its Diaspora in Europe and the US.
The RFD has played an essential role in the democratization process, in changing mentalities after the fall of the communist regime, and in building the civil society and the democratic opposition during the post-communist period, which eventually led to Romania’s first real democratic change in 1996.
The Romanian Foundation for Democracy was involved in several projects concerning youth education (East and Central European Scholarship Program, in collaboration with Georgetown University), humanitarian projects (Anti-personnel mines - a Threat to the individual, in collaboration with Handicap International), as well as in projects dedicated to supporting the development of Romanian democratic institutions (Administration in the Citizen’s Benefit, in collaboration with Robert Schuman Foundation).
The RFD has implemented numerous programs of general interest, such as the one dedicated to dialogue between citizens and local governments, organized seminars on environmental issues or on the relationship between science and religion, as well as programs for dialogue between media representatives. Other projects were developed in cooperation with the National Democratic Institute (NDI-USA), National Endowment for Democracy (NED-USA), Hanns Seidel Foundation, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, etc.
At present, the RFD is running the project FRESH START, co-financed by the European Commission through the Leonardo da Vinci transfer of innovation programme. Young offenders face discrimination, social exclusion, and unemployment.Therefore, they have few professional options when they try to reenter the labour market after being freed from prison, not only because of their criminal background, but also due to a lack of knowledge, abilities and competencies. These factors make it difficult for them to find a job. Moreover, European VET trainers do not seem to have benefited from specialized training to efficiently train former detainees so that they might develop entrepreneurship abilities and start a new business. The European Commission is co-financing the project FRESH START with the purpose of training VET trainers through a sustainable training model that will allow them to teach entrepreneurship abilities to former detainees, aged between 18 and 25 years. In brief, the European project "Fresh Start" wants to create a specialized train-the-trainers course to offer VET trainers new competencies that will allow them to transmit former detainees’ knowledge on the development of entrepreneurship abilities. The final aim is to offer young ex-offenders the knowledge, abilities and competencies necessary to allow them to start and develop their own businesses as a professional option after being freed. The European project Fresh Start is implemented by a transnational consortium of 7 partners from 5 EU member states: Romania, Greece, Lithuania, Portugal and Estonia. The project kick-off meeting took place in Bucharest and was organized by the Romanian Foundation for Democracy on March 31, 2011. For additional information, you can access the project website http://www.freshstartproject.eu.
The FarmForward project, financed by the European Commission (European Union Lifelong Learning Programme), was implemented by a consortium of six partners from Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Sweden during 2008-2010.
The RFD organized the conference Miners’ Riot from 13-15 June 1990, after Twenty Years: our Point of View. The project coordinators were: Adrian Dumitrescu, Ion Iofciu, Viorel Ene. The conference was organized in collaboration with the Association of Victims of the Miners’ Riots 1990-1991 in Romania and included the roundtable University Square and Miners’ Riot. Testimonies from University Square protagonists and victims of the miners’ riot and the workshop Present View on University Square and Miners’ Riots from January - June 1990. University of Bucharest Doctoral Schools in History, Political Science, Law and Philosophy participated in this event. Participant testimonies and interventions will be presented in a volume published under the aegis of the Bucharest University.
In 2009, the RFD organized the international conference 1989: The year that changed the world. Vision of protagonists of change on the future of Europe, marking the two decades anniversary of the Romanian Revolution in December 1989 - a popular uprising marked by the tragegy of 1,600 dead and 3,500 seriously injured and mutilated. Prominent leaders of revolutionary movements that led to the collapse of totalitarian regimes in the space between the Berlin Wall and Siberia, between Central Europe and Central Asia, and between the Baltic Sea and the Balkans, and political personalities who led the democratic transition in Central and Eastern Europe presented their experience and vision on crucial events for the history of Europe and of the contemporary world.
In 2007, the project School of Center-Right Politician was carried out; it consisted of a series of conferences and symposiums organized as round tables, and held with center-right politicians and civil society representatives, journalists, opinion makers and political analysts. Punctual issues of national and European level general interest were debated. The meetings took place in major cities corresponding to Romania’s developing regions: Bucharest, Iasi, Suceava, Constanta, Pitesti, Craiova, Timisoara, Cluj, Brasov. The topics discussed at round tables were: Youth policy - national politics; Center-right doctrine values and principles; The rule of law and authority of state institutions; State institutions and constitutional order; A European-style administration - an administration for the citizen; Responsible policy and political responsibility; Romania for Europe, Europe for Romania; Amendment of the Constitution in accordance with European standards; Single vote, guarantee of future accountability; Reform of Parliament according to European Union values. The goal of the project was to stimulate the citizens’ interest in participating in public life by raising their awareness on their options and thus, by voting, supporting and promoting the restructuring process of the political class. On the same occasion The center right militant Guideline was published which is a study about center-right policy and the European Union, and was drafted by the RFD with the support of the Free Initiative Institute (ILI).
Following the international conference 1989: The Year that Changed the World. The Vision of Protagonists of Change on Europe’s Future, the RFD will publish a comprehensive volume including speeches and messages, experiences and visions of prominent leaders of the revolutionary movements that led to the collapse of totalitarian regimes. The editorial project 1989: The Year that Changed the World. The Vision of Protagonists of Change on Europe’s Future will be coordinated by Florin Şperlea, former beneficiary of an EGF scholarship at the section Geopolitics, geo-strategy, national security.
At present, the RFD has initiated the editorial project Democracy - from Birth to Full Age. 1990 - 2007, which will comprise twovolumes with ample documents on Romania’s situation during post-communist period. The volumes will contain testimonies of those involved in the transition towards democracy, analysis of the consequences of the transition in economic, social, cultural fields, presentations of other former communist countries situations for the same period, and more.