Long Live Europe!

Long Live Europe! But Whose Europe?

No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

European Union remains one profoundly unaccomplished political project for too many reasons. Despite a continuous external growth, since the inception, and internal maturation, it was not able to fill entirely the “real estate” of the cultural habitat which – by both stretches of the mind and grace of geography – was and is considered to represent the whole (and holy) Europe: the Norwegians and the Swiss were not seduced by the “tender offer” Brussels displayed towards them, though they are solid parts of the continent’s historical trunk either in its “heroic” (the Viking expeditions by sea) or in its “settled” (Europe’s inland highly celebrated democracy) epochs. Also, EU struggles to digest and metabolise some of the Central and Eastern European new-comers, while the Western Balkans, with the residual nation-states of the ex-Yugoslavian failed multinational union, seem, with the notable exception of Croatia, so “estranged” from Europe. More

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    The Road to Sibiu, the Road to Wisdom

    The Road to Sibiu, the Road to WisdomThoughts before the Informal Summit of the European Council, updated and illustrated with a civic selfie at the historical event

    No. 17, May-Jun. 2019

    2018 found Romania celebrating a century of nation-state unity. 2019 finds Romania as the home of the European unity. A freely and firmly committed community of nations is one of the most delicate enterprises of mankind, one that up to now no... More



    In Memory of Romania’s Last King: His Royal Majesty Michael I (1921-2017)

    In Memory of Romania’s Last King: His Royal Majesty Michael I (1921-2017)

    No. 17, May-Jun. 2019

    The life of King Michael I (Mihai I, for Romanians) embodies almost perfectly the tormented and tragic destiny of Romania, his country, in the 20th century. His quiet and reserved personality, almost a monument to stoicism, was testimony to a man... More



    An Analysis of Basel III: An Accord That Risks Becoming Obsolete Even Before Coming into Force?

    An Analysis of Basel III: An Accord That Risks Becoming Obsolete Even Before Coming into Force?

    No. 17, May-Jun. 2019

    The Basel III accord was eagerly anticipated and its adoption had a significant positive effect on the banking stocks in late 2017. Of course, there were other considerations behind the positive sentiment, such as the progress recorded by the Brexit... More



    The Steering Wheel with Free Will

    The Steering Wheel with Free WillTraditional cars versus autonomous vehicles

    No. 17, May-Jun. 2019

    “The advent of AVs on the busy roadways of the world’s nations represents a sea change in the way human transportation is conceived and enacted. We are now witnessing an epoch of significant transition in which active control of the vehicle... More



    Universal Basic Income – A Challenge for Social and Economic Policies

    Universal Basic Income – A Challenge for Social and Economic PoliciesEconomy Near Us (XIV)

    No. 17, May-Jun. 2019

    The purpose of this article is to draw the reader's attention, perhaps even initiate a debate on the Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a policy instrument for economic and social policies. It is not a comprehensive scientific study of all current... More



    The Passions of France

    The Passions of France And the fire of Notre-Dame

    No. 17, May-Jun. 2019

    Monday, April 15th 2019, was the third day of the Holy Week for Catholic Christians, the week that commemorates the Passion of Jesus Christ preceding His crucifixion and resurrection. The day followed another weekend of protests in France, when... More



    Should the State Adjust the Market? The Case of ROBOR

    Should the State Adjust the Market? The Case of ROBOREconomy Near Us (XIII)

    No. 17, May-Jun. 2019

    The duel between state and market is an old story in the debates regarding the best way to run society. Of course, there are both extremists and moderates in this debate. I am not interested in covering the large array of opinions, but in exploring the... More



    Karl Marx and Switzerland

    Karl Marx and Switzerland

    No. 17, May-Jun. 2019

    “The key to the intricate and massive system of thought created by Karl Marx (1818-83) is at bottom simple: Karl Marx was a communist”.Rothbard (1995, 317) succinctly makes a crucial point for understanding Marx: His ideas are not primarily about... More



    Mihail Manoilescu – Beyond Taboos and Clichés

    Mihail Manoilescu – Beyond Taboos and ClichésReassessing a legacy in economic theory and policy

    No. 16, Mar.-Apr. 2019

    Outside Brazil and Romania, Mihail Manoilescu is essentially a forgotten economist, and, even in the latter, when his name is mentioned he is generally taught as a trade or protectionist theorist, although he is a development, growth, trade... More



    Future Tense in the Job Market

    Future Tense in the Job MarketAnd some featuring tensions

    No. 16, Mar.-Apr. 2019

    Lately, in the community of futurists and the subgroup of Economics scholars / freaks, a theory or, better yet, a slogan has emerged, in support of the idea of the acceleration of the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0), based on... More



    Has Facebook Really Incorporated Us?

    Has Facebook Really Incorporated Us?Globalization: Like, Follow, Share

    No. 16, Mar.-Apr. 2019

    Being a social network, Facebook is about protecting privacy with one hand and pledging for publicity with the other. With over two billion users, Facebook scales up (or down) the challenges of every human community (or those of the human species... More



    Ruling over Central Banking…doms

    Ruling over Central Banking…domsThe (mir)age of independence

    No. 16, Mar.-Apr. 2019

    The independence of the central banks – mysterious or miraculous entities in the eyes of masses – is practically an inexhaustible topic for scholars-economists and political scientists, as well as for business-persons and policy... More



    The World of Romania

    The World of RomaniaWorks that made this planet a better place – Part II –

    No. 16, Mar.-Apr. 2019

    They strove to avoid being overly-parochial or nationalistic. The collection is neither exhaustive nor hierarchical, while the selection has no algorithm whatsoever behind it and no other rationale for the choices than every author-student’s... More



    The World of Romania

    The World of RomaniaWorks that made this planet a better place – Part I –

    No. 16, Mar.-Apr. 2019

    The Market for Ideas and the students from the class of 2018 of the “International Economic Diplomacy” Master’s Program, from the Faculty of International Business and Economics, of the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania... More



    A New Way of Solidarity within NATO

    A New Way of Solidarity within NATO How it was decided at the NATO Summit in Brussels, one year ago, to adapt the Alliance to a new world. And what Romania should do

    No. 16, Mar.-Apr. 2019

    The NATO Summit that took place in Brussels on the 11th and 12th of July 2018 – almost one year before its recently celebrated 70th anniversary – was the Euro-Atlantic event that fueled great passion from the mass-media and the general public... More



    Blood Is Thicker than Oil: The Throes of Venezuela’s Crisis

    Blood Is Thicker than Oil: The Throes of Venezuela’s Crisis

    No. 16, Mar.-Apr. 2019

    As the smoking gun of Venezuela’s unrest clears away, onlookers wonder whether it is about to be holstered back or cocked for another shot. To most observers, the socio-political crisis in Venezuela came as a big surprise, as if out of... More



    The Reference Social Indicator – Between Necessity and Moral Obligation

    The Reference Social Indicator – Between Necessity and Moral Obligation Economy Near Us (XII)

    No. 16, Mar.-Apr. 2019

    The Reference Social Indicator (RSI) comes to our attention after a ten-year period in which its value has not changed. The lack of political stability and, sometimes, the irresponsibility of governing parties creates the risk of deviating the value of RSI... More



    The Return of Microeconomics

    The Return of MicroeconomicsThe international edition of Professor Cezar Mereuta’s paramount work

    No. 16, Mar.-Apr. 2019

    The recent launch of the English version of the seminal study “Some Microeconomic Landmarks of the Transition Process in Romania” by Prof. Cezar Mereuță is an important step in the process of exposing the notable work of Romanian... More



    A Single European Tax?

    A Single European Tax?Economy Near Us (XI)

    No. 16, Mar.-Apr. 2019

    The European budget is the main financial tool by which the process of economic integration and convergence is driven within the European Union. In the European construction, we can identify four tools aimed at initiating, conducting, and... More



    INFatuated, INFuriated, INFlexible?

    INFatuated, INFuriated, INFlexible? Reshuffling the nuclear world order

    No. 16, Mar.-Apr. 2019

    What the international press and analysts from every corner of the world have speculated on for more than a year has happened. The White House has announced that the US is withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces... More



    Commercial Reflections for a Centennial Romania: Trading Abroad Adds to the Prosperity of a Nation, Albeit National Prosperity Shall Never Be Tradable

    Commercial Reflections for a Centennial Romania: Trading Abroad Adds to the Prosperity of a Nation, Albeit National Prosperity Shall Never Be Tradable

    No. 15, Ian.-Feb. 2019

    In the history of a nation, its commercial relations with neighbouring countries or with those over the seas matter a great deal. Someone once said that, across centuries, the most common ways of interrelating between people were war... More



    Simion Mehedinti and the Romanian Geopolitics

    Simion Mehedinti and the Romanian Geopolitics

    No. 15, Ian.-Feb. 2019

    We have the privilege and pleasure of inviting the Romanian readers of The Market for Ideas, Saturday, February 23, 2019, 13:30, at Romexpo, Pavilion B2, Stand 261, to a brief meeting with the name of the visionary geographer and geo-political... More



    Mihail Manoilescu: “Protectionism 2.0” – The (New) Name of the (Old) Game in Postwar Developmentalism

    Mihail Manoilescu: “Protectionism 2.0” – The (New) Name of the (Old) Game in Postwar Developmentalism

    No. 15, Ian.-Feb. 2019

    Mihail Manoilescu, more than an engineer, journalist or professor, was a Romanian political and economic thinker. Although in his country he was not recognized and his theory used, he has inspired other countries in different regions... More



    Drifting Away

    Drifting Away In the “middle” of “extremism”

    No. 15, Ian.-Feb. 2019

    Summers in Germany are usually temperate. The humid winds from the West and from the North keep temperatures at a decent average, letting people enjoy sunny, but not torrid days, while also safeguarding some vital sales of the traditional beer... More



    How Migration Saved the White City

    How Migration Saved the White City

    No. 15, Ian.-Feb. 2019

    Few parts of the world can boast of a history as turbulent as that of the Balkan peninsula. Never quite East, nor quite West, it has been at the crossroads of different cultural and political influences throughout the centuries. One of the places... More



    The Structural Incompleteness of Economics

    The Structural Incompleteness of EconomicsRebuilding Economics

    No. 15, Ian.-Feb. 2019

    As I understand it, in the economic discipline there are two major paradigms in the sense that Thomas Kuhn employed the word, to mean modes of thought: a) the neoclassical paradigm (the still current mainstream); b) the behavioural paradigm... More



    The Impact of Russia’s Strategic Interest in the Black Sea Region on the Imbalance of the Russian Economy

    The Impact of Russia’s Strategic Interest in the Black Sea Region on the Imbalance of the Russian Economy

    No. 15, Ian.-Feb. 2019

    March 6th, 2009, Geneva. In an attempt to boost the diplomacy between the two nations, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Russian Minister Sergei Lavrov with a red button with the English word “reset” mis-translated into a Russian... More



    New Developmentalism, Old Ideas

    New Developmentalism, Old Ideas

    No. 15, Ian.-Feb. 2019

    The so-called anti-austerity backlash in Romania, led by the now defunct unnatural alliance between the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Social Democratic Party (PSD) of eight years ago, has kept the Romanian public on the edge and can even... More



    A Social Space in Facebook Times

    A Social Space in Facebook Times The biased management of issues

    No. 15, Ian.-Feb. 2019

    The Facebook personal profile, even if it is accessible to a small number of people, is a public space, not a private one. Social networks have become a central part of everyday life. Facebook is the most used social network, likely the second site that... More



    Smaranda Brăescu: The Girl with Her Head in the Clouds

    Smaranda Brăescu: The Girl with Her Head in the Clouds

    No. 15, Ian.-Feb. 2019

    In the early 1900s, modern aviation was still in its infancy. It was an era when iconic inventions and discoveries in terms of flying machines were only starting to see the light of day. The first pilot licence obtained in Romania was issued in 1911, after the... More



    Human Action. The Foundation of Society

    Human Action. The Foundation of Society

    No. 15, Ian.-Feb. 2019

    Over time, numerous socialist utopians have sought the perfect society. Some had colossal plans and some claimed good intentions, but when social conditions would not meet their hopes and dreams, they blamed moral precariousness... More



    Super Bowl and a Soup Bowl

    Super Bowl and a Soup Bowl

    No. 15, Ian.-Feb. 2019

    Football is a community distilled product (“You’ll never walk alone” goes the Liverpool F.C. anthem, adopted, against all odds - in the Beatles city, from a Pink Floyd show tune). Football unevenly blends feelings brewed by a collective order... More



    MORE ARTICLES

    Man, Mansion, and Motion (I)

    Man, Mansion, and Motion (I) A Forward History of Homesteading and Horsepowering

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    Known as one of the economic foundations, human action, as stated by Ludwig von Mises, refers to action as any process which is based on a certain purpose and conscious behaviour. In order for the action to be done, people employ particular means, mechanisms, tools or other helpful implements. However, those tools are not necessary for men to act. Action can be exercised with or without additional equipment. David Gordon further details the action axiom in An Introduction to Economic Reasoning and outlines that actions are not necessarily linked to physical movement. The process of acting can be done either with mobility and motility (a case in which examples are more than obvious) or with no physical movement on the part of the subject. An action can be performed without physical movement if it passes the self-consciousness filter and aims towards an increase in utility. For example, being in a waiting room, a seated man can stand up (which is an action realized through movement) or can stay down (which is also an action as staying is done deliberately and consciously in order to rest his feet). As long as voluntarily not moving involves further consequences, the action still takes place. More

    The Reconstruction of the National Defense Industry, a Historic Opportunity

    The Reconstruction of the National Defense Industry, a Historic Opportunity

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    Prior to 1989, the defense industry in Romania was an important contributor to the state budget, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars and providing extensive employment. At that time, Romania ranked ninth in the world in terms of export of armament. In the early 1980s, Romania exported arms worth $670 million. More than that, two thirds of the armament and ammunition required by the Romanian Armed Forces were covered by internal production, which is an important security factor in a country’s ability to sustain a prolonged conflict. More

    Telecommute and Video Games – On the Future of Work

    Telecommute and Video Games – On the Future of Work

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    Today, many new paths are being created towards financial security and professional accomplishments. The market allows for numerous choices. And the effects are seen throughout society. Certain people love jobs which involve a lot of traveling. Some, on the contrary, prefer to be in an office environment. Others want or need to stay at home. Those in the latter category, however, sometimes dread losing their income or are worried that they will miss out on professional achievements. They may even be concerned that society will look down on them for not working, which happens, perhaps more often than previously thought.  More

    Womenomics – Is It Worth Talking About Gender?

    Womenomics – Is It Worth Talking About Gender?

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    Women Prime Ministers and Presidents are no longer newsworthy. At least not everywhere. Company presidents are so many that, again, the gender of a company’s CEO is not at all a newsworthy issue. At least no one wonders that the Northern countries, Ireland and some of the others have no issues with women in business or politics and generally consider diversity in almost all areas of public life as a norm. More

    Water – the Ultimate Geostrategic Resource

    Water – the Ultimate Geostrategic Resource

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    Water resources are a vital substrate and precondition of life and human development has increased this importance, by introducing considerations of agriculture, economics, industry (especially metallurgy) and energy extraction. Where there is a shortage of water, competition for limited supplies may cause nations to consider access to water as a matter of national security and act accordingly. History is abundant in examples of competitions and disputes over cross-border freshwater resources, which in John Waterbury's (1979) vision is called hydropolitics. More

    The Private Academy

    The Private Academy And the “lost tools of learning”

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    The Private Academy (www.academiaprivata.ro) is a purely private educational project. Initiated in the fall of 2015, it was meant as an alternative set up to recover the spirit of authentic education, devoid of official accreditations and useless stencils, and at the same time not dependent on captive clienteles. The idea behind it was that maybe there are people who still believe that education is a good thing that must be acquired not for diplomas or formalities, but for its intrinsic value. Likewise, maybe there are people who think education is a good thing and who believe that they have something to offer in this respect. The only genuine reform of education is to bring those categories together. More

    The European Construction. Intellectual Project vs. Emergence

    The European Construction. Intellectual Project vs. Emergence

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    Society is a component element of Popper’s third world, i.e., of the world formed by objectivizing the content of thoughts (ideas, theories, desirability, etc.), which is achieved mostly by social action. This means that the social “objects” (therefore the economic “objects” too) appear, become and disappear only by social action. One may say that the social ontology is, simply, the effect of the social praxeology, that society is a political product (supra-individual cause and effect). Therefore, the social construction is a teleological construction obtained by completing the universal causes (material, efficient, formal) with the final cause (purpose). Being a teleological construction, the social construction is an intellectual construction (intellectual project), therefore a normative process, not a natural process (as one of the parents of the European construction, Robert Schuman, believed). More

    Do Not Miss the EU’s Ringing Bell!

    Do Not Miss the EU’s Ringing Bell!

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    Romania has to comply quite quickly with the documents produced and published by the European Commission with regard to the future of the European Union. As authors, we are advancing some proposals according to which Romanian policymakers should see the reformation of the EU as a good opportunity to match the country’s future with the EU’s destiny. We are advocating for immediate steps to be taken if Romania will effectively contribute to a more united Union with Romania in it. All European partners should consider seriously the principles of solidarity and cohesion and sharing responsibilities for a stronger Europe. The disrespect these stakeholders felt during the last crisis was echoing in the lack of political discipline in many economic and social engagements regarding the EU as a whole and every member state individually. Romania has to take the opportunity to be closer to the decision-making process within the EU, thinking seriously about becoming a member of the Eurozone by joining the Banking Union and adopting the euro.  More

    Euro Adoption: Chance and Challenge for Romania

    Euro Adoption: Chance and Challenge for Romania

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    Like the other Central and Eastern European countries, Romania committed itself to adopting the euro as soon as it will meet the necessary conditions. The candidates have, however, a considerably large margin of manoeuvre in determining the moment when they will adopt the euro. Especially two accession criteria to the Monetary Union – harmonization of the legal framework with the Eurozone standards and the prior participation in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM) – are entirely under the sovereign control of the states. On the other hand, the institutions of the Eurozone have an important role in the euro adoption process, notably when it comes to assessing the extent to which a certain country is ready to participate in the ERM II. More

    Horror Vacui: The Crisis of Meaning of the Globalized World, as Demonstrated by the EU. A Jungian Approach

    Horror Vacui: The Crisis of Meaning of the Globalized World, as Demonstrated by the EU. A Jungian Approach

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    What does globalization mean? But actually, is there any meaning to it? If not, could one be edified? By whom, on what grounds, how and, after all, why would it matter? I will partly explore all these questions, with special regard to the European Union and, maybe surprisingly, on the grounds of Jungian analytical psychology (with some tints of phenomenology and hermeneutics).  More

    Can Prosperity Be a Catalyst for Integration?

    Can Prosperity Be a Catalyst for Integration?

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    More and more, in every segment of society, it has become clearer that the dimensions of societal progress must be better understood. As growth and development proved to be less relevant to measure societal progress, experts and decision-makers consider that another concept could be more relevant, namely economic prosperity. In the equation of the new concept, in addition to the economic dimension of development, the social one becomes essential. Reducing discrepancies across member states has always been one of the objectives of integration, but the evolution of each economy made it more difficult for the European entity to reach this goal. Another assumption is that European citizens consider that the European project started to undergo certain changes, a “social deficit”, so it is imperative to define the elements of the new social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union.  More

    Does the European Union Pursue a Neo-Protectionist Trade Policy?

    Does the European Union Pursue a Neo-Protectionist Trade Policy?

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    With the advancement of the multilateral negotiations, which resulted in a significant reduction in the level of customs duties and other measures implemented at the border, traditional means of protection have become less important in the public policy equation adopted and implemented by the economic powers. These paradigm shifts have created a favourable framework for the proliferation of non-tariff measures, which have gained a significant influence on trade flows. The main analytical objective of this article is to analyse the trade policy of the EU, bringing to the fore the trend of restricting trade flows with third countries. There is some evidence that, in the 21st century, the trade policy of the EU continues to have a flavour of neo-protectionism, with the trend of restricting trade flows gradually increasing, calling into question the achievement of the desideratum of multilateral trade liberalization.  More

    The Worrisome EU Defense Union

    The Worrisome EU Defense Union

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    In 2016, the EU put forward a new vision and a new plan for a “Defense Union”. The proposals are supported mainly by France and Germany – Europe’s most notable military powers. France and Germany are also the two major continental contributors to NATO’s defense system. Presently, both of these European states look for a more substantial “European defense” structure by and for Europeans, but certainly not excluding NATO. While the French loudly claim that the current EU proposal was initially a French one, the German side has more interest in its success. The team of France and Germany is mainly an alliance of common pragmatic interests rather than of a common political will. Germany’s defense industry is in a better situation, while the French one is hindered by the country’s stagnating economy (i.e., the French deficit issue due to EU’s macroeconomic governance requirements). More

    Fortress Europe under Siege: The Ongoing Refugee Crisis

    Fortress Europe under Siege: The Ongoing Refugee Crisis

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    The term “Fortress Europe” was used during World War II to denote European territories occupied by Nazi forces, as well as military operations conducted by the British military against mainland targets in Germany. It was also used by Britain’s enemy, Nazi Germany, to refer to its goal of conquering the entirety of Europe so as to create an impenetrable powerbase. After the war ended, the term was used in the context of the European Union’s policies on immigration, border control and trade matters, with positive connotations for conservative factions opposing migration and negative for the more open factions.  More

    The European Union Is in a Limbo of Its Own Making

    The European Union Is in a Limbo of Its Own Making

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    The current woes of the European Union are intentionally treated superficially or obtusely in public discourse, as it also emanates from the prestige media which generally co-opts European elites to its worldview, even when they nominally disagree with specific policy prescriptions. Beyond the crisis of the moment and the tendency to transform everything into a morality play involving good and noble Europeanists and regressive nationalists, there are specific factors of its own making which hinder the EU’s adaptive processes and make it increasingly likely that the project may founder. Whether it does so under the blows of an unknown or unremarked crisis or threat (as most empires do), or whether it will simply strain under the accumulated errors and stresses of a thousand bad policy compromises, one should dismiss the “illusion of inevitability” that accompanies public discourse on globalization in general and EU regionalism in particular.  More

    Three Unions in a (Life)Boat

    Three Unions in a (Life)Boat Lessons for the Europeans, from the Americans and the Soviets

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    The unions of states, in their either federalist or inter-governmental setting, are portrayed in economics and political science literature, by certain scholars and pundits, as quasi-romantic stories and, by others, as purely-cynical undertakings: they are, for the first, expressions of common destinies, while for the second, mere cartels of political exploitation. Though, beyond charitable or circumspect translation of state gatherings, the undeniable facts are that the state, as an organization of humans, has a maximizing logic and that this logic is exercised as the monopoly of (legitimate?) violence with the privilege of (unconsented?) expropriation, by taxation, regulation and inflationary redistribution of purchasing power. The maximization logic of the state (apparatus) – rightly de-homogenized from the rest of society – leads to a triple choice: to increase domestic exploitation, to expand abroad, or both. More

    Banks as Money Labs

    Banks as Money Labs Mervyn King, The End of Alchemy

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    A year has passed since the publishing of Mervyn King’s book The End of Alchemy. Money, Banking and the Future of the Global Economy, by Little Brown, London. Why, then, review it today? As readers will see for themselves, the book is definitely topical, not only as money and banks and global economy are leading characters on the world stage, but also as it is written in such a manner as to allow the (un)initiated peruser to gain (further, deeper) insight into the intricacies of world economy and how it came to be what it is today. More

    Food Wars

    Food Wars

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    ‘May the force be with you’, and it’s not Anakin Skywalker who possesses it, but it looks like you’d rather find it in old grandma’s cooking book. Dishes seem to have historically had the power not only to feed hungry stomachs and greedy souls, but also to beget monstrous diplomatic disharmonies. Not that it necessarily came to weapon-like conflicts, but still enough on the plate to leaven in a sourdough of cultural schisms.  More

    The Youth Atlantic Treaty Association and Its Role in Promoting Euro-Atlantic Values

    The Youth Atlantic Treaty Association and Its Role in Promoting Euro-Atlantic Values

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    The Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA) is a network of young professionals and academics who are interested in international security policies. YATA consists of 36 member organizations or so-called National Chapters, all of which are the youth wings of established NGOs in their respective countries. These NGOs act as the national chapters of YATA’s parent organization, the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA). YATA’s vision is to be the leading youth network to foster the values of democracy, rule of law, liberty, peace and security, and reinforce the transatlantic link. More

    Building Civil Society Resilience in the Baltics

    Building Civil Society Resilience in the Baltics

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    The Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association (EATA) is part of the Atlantic Treaty Association family of organizations. Being established in 2001, the main purpose was to prepare Estonian society to join NATO by introducing NATO as an organization and its values to the people. After joining NATO in 2004, EATA’s activities have been very closely related to NATOs public diplomacy and promoting NATO among the Estonian people. More

    Challenges and Opportunities for the Future of Competitiveness

    Challenges and Opportunities for the Future of Competitiveness

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    Discussing competitiveness is both a challenge and an act of courage. Nonetheless, approaching a new perspective in this matter literally means walking into the lion’s den.Tackling such a challenge was a consequence of the subtitle of the Sectorial Operational Programme “Increasing Economic Competitiveness”, namely “Investing in your future” (structural instruments 2007-2013). This was the main instrument to bring into being the second specific priority of the National Strategic Reference Framework (2007-2013) – long-term improvement of the economic competitiveness in Romania – an aspect, which is covered by the National Development Plan as well. More

    “America’s Subprime-acy” in Retrospect

    “America’s Subprime-acy” in Retrospect (A decade after the first signs of another wasted crisis)

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    Almost ten years have passed since the first symptoms of America’s subprime crisis emerged, yet the lessons of the “age of turbulence” remained unabsorbed by the great public. People devoured semi-explanations imputing the crisis to epidemics of greed and/or stupidity, ignoring the white elephant in the room: the flawed design of the modern finance & banking system. More

    Understanding Sudanese and South Sudanese “National Dialogues”

    Understanding Sudanese and South Sudanese “National Dialogues”

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    Assessing the conduct and results of the recent National Dialogue in Sudan, and its current variation in South Sudan, reveals a lot about the countries’ political culture(s). The division of the biggest African state into an Arab-dominated, Muslim-majority North and the African, Animist-and-Christian South, completed in 2011, did not stop the flow of models of political “ways of doing things”. In many aspects, borrowing the neighbour’s ideas remains a natural choice.  More

    Saudi Arabia and the New Middle East

    Saudi Arabia and the New Middle East

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    The Arab Spring, also known as the Jasmine Revolution, represents a series of protests that embraced the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), since the end of 2010, resulting in the collapse of certain authoritarian regimes in the region. In practice, the Arab Spring was externally regarded by Riyadh as a threat to its strategic security, potentially undermining its regional influence, as well as the Saudi alliances More

    Rendez-vous in Paris: Trump vs. Macron, Round No. 4

    Rendez-vous in Paris: Trump vs. Macron, Round No. 4

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    Paris sera toujours Paris, as the title of a famous song rightfully acknowledges: traditionally a land of grace and sophistication that inspired poets and artists for centuries, and the shiniest jewel in Europe’s crown, which, through its charme et charactere, can impress everyone who happens to be its guest, including world famous political leaders. Recently, it hosted one of the most important events on the current international relations agenda, namely a high-level meeting between the newly elected chef d'État of the French Republic, the young Emmanuel Macron, and the President of the United States, an already controversial figure, although relatively new in his position as well, Donald J. Trump. After their first three meetings at the NATO and G7 summits in May, and at the G20 summit in early July, during which each of them has been trying to tilt the balance of power, Macron invited Trump over on Bastille Day to celebrate and extend France’s thanks on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the US entry in the First World War. The anniversary was an excellent pretext for the two to get together and talk real politics, settle disagreements and figure out common approaches to the most important international problems, such as terrorism and climate change. More

    North Korea: “Reading the Tea Leaves”

    North Korea: “Reading the Tea Leaves”

    No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017

    The “hermit kingdom” of North Korea is back in the news, at the center of a new round of exchanges of bellicose declarations, underpinned by failed tests for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that, nevertheless, show the impressive progress of the country’s indigenous program. The missile capabilities are meant to provide a delivery device for the country’s nuclear weapons, the other great program beset by a string of failures and shoestring successes. Western observers are now attempting to “read the tea leaves” in order to predict when the country will have achieved the ability to threaten the continental United States, while the threat to its immediate neighbors, South Korea and Japan, remains real but uncertain. The weapon systems involved are complex and, as has been suggested of the recent failed test, prone to cyber-attacks and sabotage through the component supply chain. Rather, the immediate threat to a country like South Korea is all of the conventional artillery pointed at its capital, which would make flattening Seoul in a matter of hours a foregone proposition. With Donald Trump at the helm of the US and sending carrier groups in the vicinity, a man given to grand gestures as negotiating bids, the latest tensions with North Korea seem momentous, as if some form of denouement to the regime in Pyongyang is looming. The form it would take is critical to its neighbors, who fear both the ways in which the country can lash out violently, as well as the consequences of a collapse of power, such as millions of refugees trying to cross land borders or internecine warfare.  More

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    Amfiteatru Economic

    OEconomica No. 1, 2016
    IN THE AGORA
    Agora
    “Pierre Werner Centenary” medal “Pierre Werner Centenary” medal

    The National Institute for Economic Research “Costin C. Kirițescu” of the Romanian Academy bestowed the “Pierre Werner Centenary” medal to the Rector of the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Professor Nicolae Istudor, Ph.D., in recognition of his contributions to higher education and academic research and of his sustained efforts to promote the national culture and its values in the Wernerian sense of harmony and compatibility with the wider European civilization and its aspirations.

    The ceremony was occasioned by the 4th edition of the International Conference ESPERA 2016 on “Economic Scientific Research – Theoretical, Empirical and Practical Approaches”, which took place in Bucharest on December 15-16, 2016. Professor Nicolae Istudor’s keynote speech may be viewed here.

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    Geopolitics and the New Silk Road Geopolitics and the New Silk Road

    Professor Silviu Neguț, Ph.D., delivered a speech on the geopolitics of the New Silk Road and its Eurasian philosophical backdrop during a conference organized by the Black Sea University Foundation on the subject of “Oil and the New Silk Road”. The event took place on December 13, 2016, and brought together a host of noted Romanian specialists from academia, government and private sector. Among them were Vasile Iuga, Senior advisor at PwC Romania, Radu Dudău, the Energy Policy Group, and Liviu Mureșan, the EURISC Foundation. The discussions were moderated by Professor Dan Dungaciu, Ph.D., President of the Black Sea University Foundation and head of the Institute for World Economy, the Romanian Academy (details here).

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    NATO foreign ministers’ meeting NATO foreign ministers’ meeting

    Alexandru Georgescu was a participant, alongside Răzvan Munteanu, Iulian Popescu and Andrei Vlăsceanu, on the ZIUA Z (D Day) TV Show hosted by Col. (ret.) dr. Ion Petrescu on the subject of the latest meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers. The TV Show aired live on December 8, 2016, on 6TV and can be viewed online here.

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    Romania’s EU Council Presidency Romania’s EU Council Presidency

    On November 28, 2016, dr. Octavian-Dragomir Jora declared for Agerpres: “Looking forward to Romania’s Presidency of the EU Council in the first semester of 2019, our country has to employ wisdom and intelligence in mating two essential strains of modern governance by utilizing an appropriate political decision-making structure and an open and competent popular consultation. The first is going to be the often invoked ‘country project’. It does not have to represent a simple piece of ‘literature’, filled with the intellectual infatuation of the contributors and the documents’ custodians, but a two-directional educational exercise (between the decision-making and reflecting elites, on the one hand, and the public, on the other hand) and a sincere discovery of ‘national interest’. In my opinion, this is the best known ‘unknown’ of the domestic public discourse. It is a fixture in the national psyche post-accession, while remaining tantalizingly out of reach of both the public and the authorities and their advisors. The second one is this administrative exercise, which demands institutional maturity: the Presidency of EU Council. Addressed responsibly and rigorously, the course of managing the EU agenda represents a unique moment of opportunity and challenge which can have the benefit of improving Romania’s image as an exotic and erratic presence in the European picture”. (www.agerpres.ro)

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    European challenges for Romania European challenges for Romania

    Europarliamentarian Laurențiu Rebega and the Foundation for the Europe of Nations and Freedom organized on the 26th of November, in Târgu Mureș, the Conference “The European Union and Economic Challenges for Romania”. The event took place in proximity to the impending anniversary of Romania’s accession to the EU, nearly ten years ago. The presentations discussed the pros and cons of accession and highlighted the risks, vulnerabilities and threats that our country will have to manage. Professor Dumitru Miron, Ph.D., and Associate Professor Octavian-Dragomir Jora, Ph.D., from the Faculty of International Business and Economics, the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Professor Nicolae Băciuț, writer and publicist, and Cora Maria Muntean, President of the National Association of Romanian Merchants (ANCR), were among the speakers (details here).

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    CEECs and the geopolitical winter CEECs and the geopolitical winter

    Alexandru Georgescu was a participant, alongside Răzvan Munteanu and Iulian Popescu, on the Valori Euroatlantice (Euroatlantic Values) TV Show hosted by Col. (ret.) dr. Ion Petrescu on the subject of the Geopolitical Winter in Eastern Europe. The TV Show aired on November 20, 2016, on 6TV and can be viewed online here. Key quotes and comments can be found here.

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    Science and the metrics of visibility Science and the metrics of visibility

    Octavian-Dragomir Jora delivered a speech at Târgul de Carte Gaudeamus (the Gaudeamus Book Fair), on November 16, 2016, during the launch of an important book, “A concepe, a redacta și a publica un articol științific. O abordare în contextul cercetării economice” (“Conceiving, Writing and Publishing a Scientific Article. An Approach in the Context of Economic Research”), written by Vasile Dinu, Gheorghe Săvoiu and Dan-Cristian Dabija. Octavian-Dragomir Jora argues that the neglect of scientific dissemination in national journals is a result of a structure of perverse incentives for researchers, for whom a series of “minimalistic” criteria have been set with an exclusively external orientation and without an attempt to establish a reasonable set of coefficients for truthful comparison between internal and external publications. This leads to distortions of the Romanian landscape for reviewing, validating and disseminating scientific ideas, hindering their gradual entry into the worldwide scientific marketplace and maintaining an unproductive separation between national and global spaces (details here).

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    Riga 2016, China-CEECs meetings Riga 2016, China-CEECs meetings

    As a member of the EURISC Foundation, Alexandru Georgescu was the only Romanian attending the International Think Tank Forum of China and Central and Eastern European Countries held in Riga, Latvia, on November 4, 2016, in parallel with a series of other events related to 16+1 cooperation, including the Summit of the Heads of Government of 16+1, the launch of the Logistics and Transport Center for 16+1 in Riga, a business forum and a conference of sinologists. A short article in Romanian describing the event can be accessed here. A publication titled “Afterthoughts of the Riga 2016 China and Central and Eastern European Countries Think Tank Forum” can be accessed here, featuring also a contribution from Alexandru Georgescu.

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    16+1 and Belt and Road initiatives 16+1 and Belt and Road initiatives

    As a member of the EURISC Foundation, Alexandru Georgescu accompanied EURISC Foundation President dr. Liviu Mureșan to the International Conference on Synergies between 16+1 and the Belt and Road Initiative, organized by the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS) on September 25-26, 2016, in Shanghai. A short article in Romanian describing the event can be accessed here.

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    EU, liberal or illiberal momentum EU, liberal or illiberal momentum

    The Center for Institutional Analysis and Development – Eleutheria (CADI), The Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FN), The Institute for Economic Studies – Europe (IES – Europe) and The Society for Individual Freedom (SoLib) organized The September School of Economics, Politics and Philosophy, September 20-25, 2016, at the Hotel Apollo Hermannstadt in Sibiu, Romania. This year’s theme was “Europe at the Crossroads: Illiberal Challenges, Liberal Alternatives”. On this occasion, Octavian-Dragomir Jora delivered a speech entitled “Brave New Europe: Technology, Democracy, Technocracy, Demagoguery” (details here).

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