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2004 | 2005


April - 2005


For whom the bell tolls

Foreign ministry rings in embassy changes

Reforms in diplomatic missions are common after a change in Government, but the ministry's recalling of a large number of ambassadors from abroad has come under fire.
Government reforms to recall and retire its existing diplomatic corps has lead to court cases from staff who feel they were unfairly sacked and criticism from senior figures.
Former minister of Foreign Affairs Mircea Geoana said that some of the staff “did not deserve this” and one senior analyst labelled the reform “a mess” because it did not address the real problems. However ambassadors contacted by The Diplomat said they accepted the decision.
According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (MAE) Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, the changes, though massive, are natural.
The minister says the MAE lacks management culture and has serious human resources issues to solve.
He is recalling nine diplomats who end their four year term, in Germany, the Netherlands and USA, for example. MAE is also withdrawing 13 diplomats who have reached retirement age, such as Romanian representatives in Armenia, Canada and France.







Where can one find international schooling in Bucharest?

Over these pages The Diplomat gives a directory of the options available in the capital. Nearly all of schools are in the north of the city and focus on primary and secondary education (grades one to twelve), while most are newly established institutions in the last five years. It is a growing market and many schools feel they cannot contain the numbers of foreign and Romanian pupils struggling to win a paid place.


Dutch courage

Hundreds of brave investors from the Netherlands are moving east, but not all firms may be prepared to fill in thousands of pages of documents just to export a truckload of chairs.
A shift eastward is happening in Europe, argues Lotte Schippers, second secretary economic affairs and the environment at the Netherlands embassy, and this will see increases in not just trade, but also investment.

Business >



High hopes from the low lands

Keen to help restore the architecture, see reform in the judiciary and dazzle delegations with business opportunities, trained lawyer and career diplomat Pieter Jan Wolthers talks to Michael Bird about Dutch explorations in the Balkans
Migrants from the Netherlands are no strangers to Romanian hospitality. In classical times, Roman legionaries on the Danube were formed of Dutch cavalrymen gifted from the low land tribes to the latest Caesar and, in the 12th century, mediaeval entrepreneurs from the south of Holland and north of Belgium travelled to Transylvania to develop the land, textile industry and trade. Traces of their presence in sharing agricultural techniques persist, in words for machinery, such as 'forka', which are similar in Dutch and Romanian and also, arguably, in the manner rural settlers fold their caps to keep out the sun.


Un nouvel élan de la francophonie en Roumanie

Keen to consolidate the educational and cultural links between the two countries, as well as attracting more FDI, new French Ambassador Herve Bolot talks to Ana-Maria Smadeanu, ahead of Bucharest's international summit on Francophonie in 2006
He could have been a geographer, a player of the flute or the organ, but French Ambassador Herve Bolot has instead worked his way through most of the diplomatic roles in Paris, New York, Congo and Vienna before arriving in Bucharest this year.
“I've tried a little of everything,” Herve Bolot says, “and I think that a good ambassador must have experience of all the cultural, economic and political areas.”

National day >