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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    Smith, Hayek and the Virus: Entrepreneurial Responses in Times of Crisis

    Smith, Hayek and the Virus: Entrepreneurial Responses in Times of Crisis

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    The world is struggling with despair in the face of an uncaring threat at the moment of writing these ideas: that word is not even worth mentioning any longer, since it is probably on the lips (and in the ears) of the majority of people worldwide.... More



    Taxation of Wage Earnings for Pension Purposes in Romania, since 1950

    Taxation of Wage Earnings for Pension Purposes in Romania, since 1950Some implications at present

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    The income tax has increased about four times in Romania since 1950, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS). The evolution of gross and net earnings shows that we have reached a doubling compared to the period.... More



    Pandemic: Of Words, Beasts, and the Gates of Peace

    Pandemic: Of Words, Beasts, and the Gates of Peace

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    The world is facing a pandemic. People are looking for ways in which to minimize its effects and defeat the virus. Some are taking all the necessary precautions. Some are treating the situation lightly. Some are panicking. And some… are.... More



    On the Self-Testability of the Minimum Wage

    On the Self-Testability of the Minimum WageEconomy Near Us (XXVII)

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    As I have shown, in a previous intervention, in which I explained the conceptual difference between the minimum salary (the actual minimum wage, with the particularity that is generated by the market, rigorously called “minimum nominal salary”).... More



    Corona-Economy: From Crisis to Rebuilding Trust

    Corona-Economy: From Crisis to Rebuilding Trust

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    The Corona-Economy is already the grand economic challenge of the year 2020, but also of the political establishment. The latest developments are very serious, quite worrying for many sectors, which demand a coordinated response in terms of.... More



    The Race to The Bottom in Oil

    The Race to the Bottom in Oil

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    With the developed world in transition towards a short and medium-term economic self-flagellation as a means of reducing the impact of the SARS-COV-2 virus spread, there is little room for economic news that is not related to markets tumbling.... More



    Will the Coronavirus Amplify the Role of the Government in the Economy?

    Will the Coronavirus Amplify the Role of the Government in the Economy?

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    A defining phenomenon for virtually the last hundred years is the expansion of state influence in all areas. The extreme was reached in the communist and fascist countries, where, under dictatorship, all freedoms were altered. In Western.... More



    Brâncuși’s Endlessness and the Scarcity of Some Means

    Brâncuși’s Endlessness and the Scarcity of Some MeansTo whom does his work belong?

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    The public subscription for Brâncuși’s “The Wisdom of the Earth”, to get it from private hands “back” to the Romanian state, failed not so long ago. In markets, big money is paid for his works, more than “all” Romanians managed to gather. The moral? Art.... More



    COVID-19: Counting the Cost

    COVID-19: Counting the Cost

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    Fighting epidemics, or stopping them from spreading, has a cost. The direct costs of the COVID-19 pandemic are, of course, deaths and the sickness that prevents people from working. However, the indirect effect or Economic Cost include the labor.... More



    How the Evolution of ITC Shaped the Field of Diplomacy

    How the Evolution of ITC Shaped the Field of Diplomacy

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    When looking at the historical evolution of diplomacy and foreign policy, for centuries they have ended up relying on the traditional establishment of delegations or ambassadors, formalizing bilateral and multilateral agreements regarding various.... More



    The CoVID-19 Pandemic – Changing the Paradigm

    The COVID-19 Pandemic – Changing the ParadigmSir William Osler: “Medicine is a science of uncertainty and the art of probability”

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    For almost three months now the entire world is in the midst of a very aggressive and rapidly evolving outbreak with new Coronavirus, that today is known as COVID-19. The origin of the outbreak is in China, the province of Hubei (Wuhan) and.... More



    A Strategy of Subversion

    A Strategy of Subversion

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    Half a century ago the German sociologist Helmut Schelsky succinctly dissected the political strategy of left-wing radicals in West Germany and the West generally. His essay, “The New Strategy of Revolution,” remains one of the best.... More



    (Corpo)Rational Person(ality)

    (Corpo)Rational Person(ality)

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    It is perhaps characteristic of modern times to gather large groups of people who share the same perpetual quest for what is called freedom of expression and action within a free world, to make use of it with every single opportunity they might.... More



    Interstellar Rights

    Interstellar RightsProviding more legal support to companies to explore outer space brings benefits to all mankind

    No. 22, Mar.-Apr. 2020

    The exploration of space is now shifting the paradigm as recent innovations put in light incredible discoveries. The space economy is undoubtedly the most captivating industry of the future. As it develops, dependence on satellite-based.... More



    From Energetics to Economics

    From Energetics to EconomicsStarting from the nodal analysis concept, engineer Cezar Mereuță opens up a new domain of inter-disciplinary research for economists

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    The fine connoisseurs say that statistics are perfectly comparable with the beach attire of an attractive young woman: reveals what everyone is allowed to see, but hides from the public eye the most appealing details. Because statistics is a science.... More



    The Efficient Wage and Its Challenges

    The Efficient Wage and Its ChallengesEconomy Near Us (XXVI)

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    The standard Economics states that the gross nominal wage which is consistent (that is, non-contradictory) with the criterion of economic behaviour of the employer – the gross profit maximization – must be at most at the level of monetary.... More



    Technology and Ethics: Of Man and Wisdom

    Technology and Ethics: Of Man and Wisdom

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    In Isaac Asimov’s Bicentennial Man, the fictional robot character of Andrew Martin spends centuries suffering many modifications in order to be accepted by humanity as one of their own.The story shows Andrew, whose name comes from the Greek.... More



    Romania: A New Energy Power

    Romania: A New Energy PowerAfter a slowly diminishing status, brighter days to come?

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    While contemporary interest in energy questions focus on the Middle East, Romania has an impressive record in petroleum production which can be traced to 1517. Romania has a history of more than 150 years in oil extraction and in 1838 became.... More



    A Leaflet for Economics?

    A Leaflet for Economics?

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    It may be rightfully supposed that the first few months of higher education represent a turning point for most people. It is undoubtedly of a great importance that people take the decision of wholeheartedly stepping into a new environment and.... More



    Europe after Brexit: Isolating the Continent

    Europe after Brexit: Isolating the Continent

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    The exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union remains undoubtedly the event of the year 2020. From a technical, procedural and institutional point of view, it was an impeccable, flawless process, according to the provisions... More



    With Regards to Government Charity for the Private Sector

    With Regards to Government Charity for the Private SectorEconomy Near Us (XXV)

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    In a market economy, which is also presumed to function within a free society, generally, the goods and services needed for individuals are acquired through economic transactions (regularly through work and the processes around it – saving... More



    Relations with East Asia – A View from Romania

    Relations with East Asia – A View from Romania

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    The situation of the world today makes it difficult to even agree on whether we, as humanity, are going towards the right or the wrong direction. This is indeed a time of increasing fluidity, fake news, rapidly rising populism, which all makes vision and... More



    The Future of Cars: Reinventing Transportation

    The Future of Cars: Reinventing Transportation

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    The automobile industry’s cycle-race to embrace electric and autonomous vehicles did not include all its factories and workers. Neither did softening global auto sales help the market situation. And a change in the downward slope of the number of... More



    On Brexit and Other Exits

    On Brexit and Other Exits(Praxeo)Logical insights regarding economic and political integration

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    The United Kingdom has just spent its first days out of the European Union. The exit, completed by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson (the third British PM in a row, since Brexit began, four years ago) together with his political counterparts from... More



    A Perspective by and for the Youth

    A Perspective by and for the Youth

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    To most of us, it goes without saying that today’s youth will be tomorrow’s helmsmen amidst the tumultuous sea that life is. For “the little ones had become big, and the big ones had become almost men during the two years they were adrift in the... More



    My Mauser Is Bigger than Yours

    My Mauser Is Bigger than YoursThe arms race in the South Caucasus

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    The arrival of four recently acquired Russian Su-30SM heavy multifunctional jet fighters in Armenia is far from being defined as ‘turning the chessboard on one’s opponent’, but it definitely triggers a new stage in the arms race between Armenia... More



    Political and Economic Fallacies: A Tribute to Sir Roger Scruton

    Political and Economic Fallacies: A Tribute to Sir Roger Scruton

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    Adam Smith’s invisible hand, Frederic Bastiat’s essay “What Is Seen and What Is Unseen,” Michael Polanyi’s Tacit Dimension, Friedrich Hayek’s “spontaneous order,” and the Christian doctrines of subsidiarity and sphere sovereignty – these... More



    Leadership à la CEE: Values & Approaches

    Leadership à la CEE: Values & Approaches

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    Another book review? Of yet another leadership book? There are and continue to appear so many books on leadership from so many angles, including innovation, creativity and artificial intelligence. And yet, what makes this particular book... More



    Russia’s Trump Card against China and Reshaping Power Dynamics

    Russia’s Trump Card against China and Reshaping Power DynamicsWhat Russia stands to gain from the US - China rivalry

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    On 18 December 2019, Donald Trump, the current President of the United States of America, was impeached by the House Judiciary Committee following allegations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, the third US President to be... More



    Russian Relations with North Korea

    Russian Relations with North Korea

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    The changing relationship between Russia and North Korea has its beginnings when the Soviet Union and China became rivals for influence within the Communist world. In the contemporary context, there is a triangle of complicated relations... More



    The Market Liberalization of Space Odysseys

    The Market Liberalization of Space Odysseys

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    Towards the end of 2019, a software issue during launch meant that Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft was unable to perform its first mission to supply the International Space Station as intended. It might by counted as merely one of the many problems... More



    The Anthropocene-Fallacy: Learning from Wrong Ideas

    The Anthropocene-Fallacy: Learning from Wrong Ideas

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    The Anthropocene is a proposed geological epoch dating from the commencement of significant human impact on Earth’s geology and ecosystems, including, but not limited to, anthropogenic climate change. While it is not an... More



    The Market for Ideas: Supplying and Demanding Thoughtfulness

    The Market for Ideas: Supplying and Demanding ThoughtfulnessRuminations that inspired the creation, three years ago, of a wilfully free-speech and free-access, hopefully critical and creative, magazine

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    It has been three years since our project – The Market for Ideas – took shape. We have tried to present our readers with interesting ideas from a wide variety of fields and penned by a wide variety of others. To the best of our abilities, we have tried not to... More



    Crossroad Years

    Crossroad YearsSensing 2019, with a tint of 1989 and a glow of 2020+

    No. 21, Jan.-Feb. 2020

    Human beings are obsessed with identifying trends and motifs in the passage of historical ages and to personalize, even deify, their geographical cradles. From the very sages of cultures and civilization(s) to the common folk, it seems that every turn... 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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