June 2004 - As eight post-communist countries entered the EU last May, Romania was among the few applicant countries that did not manage to implement the accession criteria. Like the other applicant countries, Romania has been aggressively lobbying to enter Western institutions and it has been successful in arguing for its geostrategic importance in Europe, as is reflected by the fact that it was admitted to NATO last June. Yet, despite the strides it has taken and its commitment to recreating the western ideal at home, Romania is still far behind most of its neighbors in its transition from communism to liberal democracy. Here, I will attempt to address the major obstacles to Romania's progress and the country's prospects for stepping up the pace of reforms in the near future.
April 2008 - (This article was written as part of Dr. Merdjanova's research at the Wilson Center and published at Religion Dispatches.) In the cacophony of voices in the European public square in the wake of the Fitna controversy, two broader lines can be discerned. While the protagonists of interreligious and intercultural toleration—in both secular and church-related circles—constitute a clear majority, the message sent by Wilders has not fallen on deaf ears.
The Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at The George Washington University and the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award at the Woodrow Wilson Center co-hosted the 2009 World Youth Democracy Forum for DC-Area Students. The Forum featured 2009 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Awardee Adam Michnik.