Romania’s Return to the West
Professor of Romanian Studies, School of Slavonic and East European Studies
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On January 1, 2007, Romania joined the European Union and the extended family of European democracies. That the country should have been deemed to satisfy the criteria for EU membership barely seventeen years after overthrowing one of the most odious dictatorships of twentieth-century Europe is nothing short of remarkable. Romania ‘s membership formally and finally reversed its political consignment to the Soviet sphere of influence after the Second World War – with the attendant social and cultural consequences – and, at the same time, harnessed and sought to mesh the country into the economic and political development of the Union . To what extent is Romania ‘s “return to the West” a question of identity? What challenges does integration into the EU pose for Romania ? How dependent is that integration upon functioning administrative structures? This lecture will address these questions.
Dennis Deletant is currently Professor of Romanian Studies at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College, London; he held the same position at the University of Amsterdam (on secondment from UCL) between 2003 and 2010. He was appointed to the board of the British Government’s Know-How Fund for Central and Eastern Europe in 1990 and was actively involved in its work in Romania and in the Republic of Moldova until 1999. For this service he was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1995. He was awarded Ordinul Pentru Merit with the rank of Commander for Services to Romanian Democracy on December 1, 2000 by President Emil Constantinescu of Romania . Between 2000 and 2001 he was Rosenzweig Family Fellow at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. He is the author of several monographs and volumes of studies on the recent history of Romania , among them Ceausescu and the Securitate: Coercion and Dissent in Romania , 1965-89; Romania under Communist Rule; Communist Terror in Romania : Gheorghiu-Dej and the Police State, 1948-1965; and Ion Antonescu: Hitler’s Forgotten Ally. Dennis Deletant will join CERES in the Fall of 2011 as Ion Ratiu Professor.