“The situation in Romania has perplexed me”

Rândurile de mai jos constituie răspunsul emisarului Centrului de Studii Internaționale de Securitate “G.C.Marshall”, Mr. Drew Beck – la semnalarea mea – primit pe 13 septembrie 2018, la ora 16.51:


“Dear Ion,

Thank you very much for your thoughtful message – I have just arrived in Bucharest a few hours ago. As I believe Mr. Gane has shared with you, the situation in Romania has perplexed me since I arrived at the Marshall Center in January last year. Because I have not seen a clear way to move things forward with our Romanian alumni, I have probably delayed in addressing the challenges here directly, but I am now at a point where either something must change or the Marshall Center will stop working with the Romanian Alumni Association. I have had extensive discussions with Ion, the U.S. Embassy, and other Romanian alumni in recent weeks, and we are all in agreement about this. The U.S. Embassy in Bucharest (Office of Defense Cooperation) is very exasperated with how things have been going (to the point that they almost refused to send anyone tomorrow).

At the end of the day, I cannot force the association to do anything (apart from ceasing to work with it) – since it is not part of the Marshall Center but rather affiliated with the Marshall Center. We do however have basic expectations about the functioning of all of our alumni associations. To that end, in the coming months we will be introducing a set of standards or norms which all Marshall Center alumni associations are expected to comply with, concerning how they are run. They will need to have regular elections, need to remain apolitical, need to be inclusive and actively encourage all alumni to be involved. More details will come soon.

I completely agree that involving the younger generation is absolutely essential – I have been working on this throughout the region. I stand ready to support such an effort. Numerous young alumni have come to me saying they feel alienated and excluded. These guys bring energy and ambition! We need them.

Tomorrow at our gathering, I will announce in broad terms the introduction of these new standards for the alumni associations and call for all alumni to assemble to jointly think about the future of the association. So, in summary, I hear you loud and clear, and I am ready to finally move things forward for the Romanian alumni, working together. Romania has a long and proud connection to the Marshall Center, as the second largest alumni community for MC in the entire world. Romania’s second alumni scholar, Sorin Tudoriu, just completed his research in Garmisch yesterday, also leaving Romania in the number 1 spot for having the most alumni scholars, more than any other country. There are too many great Romanian alumni for Romania to not be fully reactivated.

Congratulations on your son’s wedding and all my best wishes! Hope we can meet next time I am in Bucharest.

Best regards,