1 The EU discovers Romania Romania first made official contact with the European Economic Community (as it then was) at the height of the Cold War. In 1973 it managed to obtain preferential trading status from the EEC. This was long before Brussels established any formal ties of this nature with other ‘People’s Democracies’ of Eastern Europe.1 Geopolitical concerns motivated the EEC in its relations with Romania. It was a communist state, indeed a dogmatic one, modelled in its later stages on North Korea. But it was also a maverick one which appeared to have
According to this book, Romania's predatory rulers, the heirs of the sinister communist dictator Ceauşescu, have inflicted a humiliating defeat on the European Union. The book argues that Brussels was tricked into offering full membership to this Balkan country in return for substantial reforms which its rulers now refuse to carry out. It unmasks the failure of the EU to match its visionary promises of transforming Romania with the shabby reality. Benefiting from access to internal reports and leading figures involved in a decade of negotiations, the book shows how Eurocrats were outwitted by unscrupulous local politicians who turned the EU's multi-level decision-making processes into a laughing-stock. The EU's famous ‘soft power’ turned out to be a mirage, as it was unable to summon up the willpower to insist that this key Balkan state embraced its standards of behaviour in the political and economic realms. The book unravels policy failures in the areas of justice, administrative and agricultural reform, showing how Romania moved backwards politically during the years of negotiations.
6 NATO, the EU and Romania’s strategy of duplicity Running parallel with the EU accession negotiations during the PSD’s years in office was an accelerating process for Romanian membership of NATO. Talks commenced in 2002 after Romania was invited to open negotiations for membership and concluded in April 2004 when the country became a full member of the Atlantic alliance. Until a few years previously such a prospect had seemed a far distant one. Romania had actively sought to join NATO in the late 1990s, claiming that it fulfilled the military conditions for
During the Second World War and its aftermath, the legend was spread that the Germans turned the bodies of Holocaust victims into soap stamped with the initials RIF, falsely interpreted as made from pure Jewish fat. In the years following liberation, RIF soap was solemnly buried in cemeteries all over the world and came to symbolise the six million killed in the Shoah, publicly showing the determination of Jewry to never forget the victims. This article will examine the funerals that started in Bulgaria and then attracted several thousand mourners in Brazil and Romania, attended by prominent public personalities and receiving widespread media coverage at home and abroad. In 1990 Yad Vashem laid the Jewish soap legend to rest, and today tombstones over soap graves are falling into decay with new ones avoiding the word soap. RIF soap, however, is alive in the virtual world of the Internet and remains fiercely disputed between believers and deniers.
2 Labour in Romania and Ukraine: two approaches to managing worker discontent Romanian and Ukrainian labour in regional perspective Post-communist Europe saw the biggest wave of industrial action at the beginning of transformation, in 1992–1994. Workers and trade unions organized strikes and demonstrations in all of post-communist Europe’s four biggest countries, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, and Romania, and also in the member states of the rapidly disintegrating Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Yet only in Slovenia did the worker protests of the early 1990s lead to
The book’s main idea is to study why and how successful forms of workers’ interest representation could emerge in a hostile context. The post-communist context makes it difficult for workers and trade unions to mobilize, pose threats to employers, and break out of their political isolation. But initial fieldwork uncovered many instances of worker groups and trade unions that overcame such difficulties, something that led to the following overarching research question: What specific strategies can succeed in advancing the rights and living standards of workers? The book’s main argument is that strategy matters even under the harshest conditions. Successful unions ensured a situational definition connecting the workers' and the union leaders' perceptions about employers and thus ensuring that workers would back the actions of the union. Furthermore, successful unions calibrated threats they addressed to employers to the production intentions of the employer and to the employer's organizational structure. They also ensured outside support, at least in the form of state intervention. The cases studied in this book are 18 conflict episodes at 10 privatized plants in the Romanian steel industry and Ukraine's civil machine-building sector in the 2000s.
5 The illusions and disillusions of the Romanian Revolution: the case of the Timisoara revolutionaries The controversies surrounding the 1989 Romanian Revolution Using original data extracted from a series of interviews with the leaders of the Timisoara Revolution, newspaper articles dating back to the period immediately following the revolution and comments collected during the 2004 Timisoara symposium commemorating fifteen years since the revolution, this chapter seeks to understand why many of the leaders of the Romanian Revolution feel betrayed, abandoned
3 Child protection in Romania and European Union accession Romania in a way suffered a lot because of this ‘black sheep’ label because of the children’s situation, but in a way, Romania received so much financial support and assistance that now Romania is a model of how it has transformed and reformed its child protection. (Commission official) Introduction European Union (EU) leverage over the reform of child protection in Romania was unprecedented within the context of Eastern enlargement. The Romanian children’s case, including the issue of international
2 European Union accession conditionality and human rights in Romania The Commission has no competence to monitor prisons in the Member States and then it starts becoming difficult if you start monitoring things externally for which you don’t have an internal mandate. And I know that Member State X can say ‘well Commission, why are you looking so strenuously into those prison conditions in these candidate countries when we are not really sure you should?’ (Commission official) Introduction The end of the Cold War afforded the former communist states with the
9 Work and occupation in Romanian psychiatry, c. 1838–1945 Valentin-Veron Toma Along with other types of occupation, such as reading, writing and sporting activities, work has been used as a form of therapy in Romanian psychiatry from the mid-nineteenth century. For example, the first workshops for mental patients were created at the Mărcuța asylum in Bucharest in 1855, just seventeen years after the institutionalisation of psychiatry in the Romanian principalities. Work and other occupations were considered appropriate mainly in the treatment of long