The Rațiu Democracy Centre (Centrul Rațiu pentru Democrație - CRD) was established in 2004 in Turda, Romania, with the support of the Rațiu Family Charitable Foundation, to maintain, analyse and explore our commitment to democratic values and to honour the significant legacy of Ion Rațiu (1917-2000), today a still widely respected politician who returned to Romania in 1990 after 50 years in exile to support the restoration of a free parliamentary democracy after 47 years of communism.


Join forces and support the projects that we run through The Ratiu Forum by redirecting 3.5% of your tax to the Ratiu Foundation for Democracy.
The form can be easily and quickly filled out here.
By doing so, you contribute to initiatives that carry forward Ion Ratiu’s democratic beliefs through activities relevant to the public in Romania and the region:
  • Mentorship programs for young journalists in Romania and the Republic of Moldova
  • Journalism workshops coordinated by professionals
  • History teaching workshops for teachers and students
  • Annual awards for research papers
  • Conference series on democracy in Central and Eastern Europe


The Rațiu Forum is a joint initiative of the Rațiu Family Charitable Foundation, Rațiu Democracy Centre and LSE IDEAS. It is included in the Central and South-East Europe Programme of LSE IDEAS and it focuses on strengthening cooperation in the Balkan region, through events and collaborations, publications and projects that aim to generate a richer understanding of the region’s history, geopolitics and current affairs. Together with LSE IDEAS, the Rațiu Forum organises workshops – in-person and online – targeting history teachers and university students, journalism webinars and workshops for media professionals, as well as the Rațiu Dialogues on Democracy lecture series. In addition, in 2020 and 2021 it has co-hosted the 2020:Visions online discussions on current challenges to democracy faced by Central and Eastern Europe.

The Rațiu Democracy Centre has currently in focus programmes that cover the areas of legal education and youth participation.


Andreea Pavel (Info Sud-Est)
to receive the 2023 Ion Rațiu Journalism Award

The Rațiu Family Charitable Foundation, the Rațiu Democracy Centre and the Rațiu Forum are pleased to announce the 2023 recipient of the Ion Rațiu Journalism Award: journalist Andreea Pavel, co-founder of Info Sud-Est.

Andreea Pavel was selected for her prolific journalistic activity in the local media (Constanța), which includes among others investigation series on corruption, articles regarding social problems and cultural heritage, and also for her commitment to recruiting and training young journalists.

Among the other investigations carried out by the 2023 winner, the nomination committee has considered her investigation series regarding the European funds accessed for the Danube Delta through the Integrated Territorial Investment mechanism. These articles were followed by a European Public Prosecutor’s Office investigation into the fraud in 2022.


We are pleased to launch the nomination call for the 2023 Ratiu Mental Health Award.

The Award was established in 2016 by the Rațiu Family Charitable Foundation and the Rațiu Center for Democracy to honour Elisabeth Pilkington Rațiu (1921-2016) and to celebrate her lifetime commitment to the cause of mental health. A tireless promoter of the cause of mental health, never failing wherever she was to find ways to better the lives of those in need around her, Elisabeth helped initiate and served as Chair of the Kensington and Chelsea Branch of MIND, a mental health advocacy NGO in London. We aim to continue this legacy and contribute to increasing the quality of knowledge and services in this field in Romania, reducing the stigma and prejudices associated with mental health disorders.
The Award brings recognition to specialists with outstanding results in the field of mental health. It also encourages and supports relevant initiatives and projects in the field of mental health and increases their impact.

The prize consists of a financial reward of 2.500 EURO, which can be used however the Awardee finds suitable in order to develop the idea and the project (e.g., participation in international conferences, purchasing resources to support the project, project promotion, etc.)

Members of the community of mental health practitioners in Romania can either apply or be nominated. Nominees can thus be:mental health practitioners –  psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists, social workers, nurses in psychiatric hospitals etc. – with at least three years of experience are invited to apply. Eligible fields include research, education, psychotherapy, psychiatry, public policy etc.
More details are available here and here.

Join us on Tuesday, April 4th 2023, starting with 3.00 PM Romania Time (2:00 PM (14:00) CET) on the CRD Facebook page for the awarding ceremony dedicated to the 2022 Awardee, Daniela Bololoi, president of Help Autism Association and of the network of autism organizations RO TSA, clinical psychologist and psychotherapist. 

Plagiarism Checking Workshop with Emilia Șercan

31 March - 1 April 2023

Plagiarism in the doctoral theses of politicians, high-ranking civil servants, magistrates or
representatives of the defense and security system represents a significant problem in Romania.

The workshop dedicated to checking plagiarism is designed and supported by journalist Emilia Șercan, specialized in identifying fraud in academic works, and is supported by the Rațiu Foundation.

Participation is primarily open to journalists and Journalism students from Cluj-Napoca and the Western region of Romania.

The workshop will take place between March 31st and April 1st in Turda, at Casa Ratiu, and will include meals and accomodation.

At the Wilson Center, preeminent scholars and experts research topics of national and international relevance. In the spirit of President Wilson, the Center builds a bridge between the worlds of academia and public policy, to inform and develop solutions to the problems and challenges of the United States. Democracy is built on the notion of an informed and active citizenry. The Wilson Center provides the fuel that makes this possible.


Daniela Bololoi, president of Help Autism Association and of the network of autism organizations RO TSA, clinical psychologist and psychotherapist. Daniela founded the Help Autism Association in 2010, driven by the personal experience of being the mother of a child with autism and trying to remove all barriers to access to psychological, medical, educational, social and professional services and a dignified life for her child. Daniela is known as the parent who managed to overcome her own challenges, looking for solutions for the recovery of her own child, while also being the initiator of a model that has become a movement full of hope at a national level, Help Autism model being taken over by dozens of NGO’s in Romania. She is also the elected president of the information network of organizations in autism RO TSA – a network created at her initiative from the desire to coagulate these organizations into a single voice, the network consists of 91 organizations at national level representing over 4000 patients with autism. Daniela Bololoi is a member of the plenary session of the Economic and Social Council, spearhead in everything related to the field of autism, and last but not least, a clinical psychologist since 2013 and a psychotherapist since 2015. Convinced that mental health includes emotional, psychological and social well-being, and that we are all responsible for creating the conditions for a harmonious development, Daniela identified with the fight for the rights of people with neodiversity and their families. Together with her team and partners from the associative and institutional environment, she has made it her personal mission to give patients with autism spectrum disorder chances for a normal life and their families a more dignified status through tireless efforts to unlock the patient's access to integrated services settled by the state.

book launch
Brîndușa apostol: "Conversations with indrei ratiu"

The Ratiu Center paid tribute to its founder on September 20, 2022. On the 18th anniversary of taking over the mission of Ioan Rațiu, from Turda, the achievements of his son, Mr. Indrei Rațiu, were celebrated with the release of the book “Conversations with Indrei Rațiu. Memories from Casa Rațiu”, written by Brîndușa Apostol. 

The family, the Casa Rațiu team, collaborators and close friends shared, with great emotion, their own experiences. For each of them, Indrei Rațiu was a mentor and a visionary who influenced their lives. We thank him too.

As a sign of appreciation, the family and the CRD team gave him the model of Casa Rațiu, made in 3D by the architect Tudor Andrei, with the dedication:

”For Indrei, celebrating your initiative and vision in a lifetime of dedication to CRD”

“It happened last year, after Mr. Indrei’s birthday, when we reconnected after a 13-year break. I knew he had always wanted to write an autobiography book, an idea somehow inspired by his father’s books, but he hadn’t acquired the rigor to see such a project through. The book was started a few times, but everything was lost along the way. But the journey was much more complicated than I had expected. Once you get into a person’s soul, it’s very hard to detach yourself from what you find there. Especially when it comes to a man who has lived emotionally. And to juggle the changing states, but not to stray from the intended purpose. And when it comes to purpose, along the way the book revealed roles not thought of initially, but – in the end – that’s the creative process, you start from a thread and end up in places you wouldn’t have thought of. So this book, in addition to its primary memorial role, also created a bridge between the members of the Romanian-British family, but it also became a chronicle of the beginnings of Casa Rațiu. Which I invite you to discover”.



Andreea Iulia Scridon

Ion Ratiu Visiting Professor of Romanian Studies
at the georgetown university

The Ratiu Foundation is pleased to report the Dr. Diana Dumitru will begin a three-year contract at Georgetown University as the Ion Ratiu Visiting Professor of Romanian Studies. She will develop courses in Eastern European studies with a substantial Romanian component that will treat the period from World War II through the post-communist present.

During the 2021-22 academic year, Dr. Diana Dumitru is a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. For two decades she has taught modern Romanian and East European history at the Ion Creangă State University in Chişinău, where she is currently Associate Professor. Among the courses she has taught are “Comparative Politics of East European Countries,” “Contemporary Eastern Europe,” “Modern Totalitarian Regimes,” and “Nations, Nationalism, and Ethno-Political Conflicts.” In 2019, Dumitru received the Honor Medal, the highest award at Ion Creangă State University for teaching excellence.

Dr. Diana Dumitru is the author of two books and approximately 40 articles and book chapters in English and Romanian, many in leading peer-reviewed scholarly journals. Her first book, in Romanian, was Marea Britanie şi Unirea Principatelor Romane (1856-1859) [Great Britain and the Union of Romanian Principalities] (2010). Her second book, The State, Anti-Semitism, and Collaboration in the Holocaust: The Soviet-Romanian Borderlands was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016 and was a Finalist in the 2017 Yad Vashem International Book Prize. It was translated into Romanian as Vecini in vremuri de restriște. Stat, antisemitism și Holocaust in Basarabia și Transnistria (Iași: Polirom, 2019). She is currently finishing a third book co-authored with Chad Bryant and Kateřina Čapkova, The Trial that Shook the World: The Slanský Trial and the Dynamics of Czechoslovak Stalinism, which is under contract with Oxford University Press.

Dr. Diana Dumitru has held many prestigious visiting and research positions around the world, as Black Sea Link Research Fellow, New Europe College, Bucharest in 2011-2012; as Gerstein Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto in 2016; Research Fellow at the Imre Kertesz Kolleg Jena, 2017-2018; and as Fernand Braudel Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence in 2021.

MUSTAFA NAYYEM, Ion Ratiu Democracy Award winner in 2014, about the Ukrainian war

Read The Times article here


The Rațiu Family Charitable Foundation, the Rațiu Democracy Centre and the Rațiu Forum are pleased to announce the 2022 Recipient of the Ion Rațiu Journalism Award: journalist Cristian Andrei, Senior Editor at Europa Liberă.


In 2019 he started a series of investigative articles regarding the funding mechanisms of Romanian media outlets, fuelled by the budget of the largest parties in Romania.

The series continued in 2020-2022 and it includes – among others – the following investigative articles

Bani de la partid pentru televiziuni și presă. PSD a cheltuit în șase luni de 33 de ori mai mult decât USR PLUS (Money from the party for TV stations and media: PSD spent in six months 33 times more than USR PLUS); 

Cadoul de 90 de milioane de lei făcut de Cîțu partidelor. Modelul german de finanțare și modelul PNL – PSD (The 90 million Lei gift from Cîțu to the parties. The German funding model and the PNL-PSD one); 

Investitorii ascunși din presă. PSD ține informațiile la secret, deși plătește milioane pe lună (The hidden media investors. PSD withholds information, despite paying millions every month).

Photo credit: Mathias P.R. Reding,

Support Ukrainian Refugees in Romania

The Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation has been supporting and helping coordinate the campaign initiated by a team of volunteers – Kateryna, Petru, Adam and Lesia – normally based in London, UK and currently located in Romania, Suceava.

“Our mission here in north Romania is two-fold. We are providing support to Ukrainian women, children and vulnerable people who have escaped across the border to the town of Suceava. We are also sending vital resources to hospitals in urgent need inside Ukraine. We are delivering batches of specific supplies required by medics to help save lives in some of the worse affected areas. While Ukrainian fighters are heroically holding Russian forces back, we are working hard alongside other volunteers to ensure Ukrainian hospitals are able to continue to operate on wounded soldiers and civilians. Our supply network is formed of trusted charities and volunteers both in Romania and Ukraine. Through their voluntary efforts, we are distributing medicines both to main hospitals and first-aiders on front lines. We appreciate that many people support large international charities that are actively fundraising in response to the shocking news coming out of Ukraine. Unfortunately, many such efforts are not yet effective inside Ukraine, with the exception of the Red Cross. Currently, more streamlined volunteers like ourselves are able to deliver supplies within days. The speed of our response is critical as the fighting continues and Ukrainian medical resources become depleted.”

Please join our efforts! More details are available here.

"Their battle is also our battle"

Nicolae Ratiu, Chairman of the Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation

These last days of invasion and death grip our hearts and minds with horror and sadness. The heroic resistance of our Ukrainian neighbours who fight to preserve their freedom and right to pursue their independent and democratic lives, fill us with admiration. Their battle is also our battle. Putin wants democracy destroyed, not just in Ukraine but in all former communist bloc countries. The Ratiu family and our foundations have fought against dictatorship and autocracy for generations in the support of democracy as the most powerful and just alternative to such systems. That battle here at home is now even more critical. Whether Putin succeeds or not in Ukraine, our societies will now be under even greater threat from those who are seduced into working with him – a man who promotes an evil, unprincipled gangster society. We do not want such a society in România. Our founder and inspiration Ion Ratiu, in his role as Romania’s representative at the North Atlantic Council, with all his possible persuasive powers argued and lobbied for Romania’s membership of NATO, to protect our nation against just such a future danger, believing that Russian hegemony and expansionism was inevitable. As members Romania and our neighbouring NATO partners are today protected by the strongest defensive alliance in world. But, regardless of the outcome in Ukraine we all remain under threat and must continue the work of strengthening our democracies in all the areas where we still fall short – continuing corruption, inadequate rule of law, threats to independent journalism, insufficient health care and poverty. Putin exploits these weaknesses wherever he identifies them. We as a nation cannot allow that to happen or we could face a similar fate to Ukraine. We meantime hope and pray for the Ukrainian nation and encourage all to show generosity to their refugees.


The Rațiu Democracy Centre and the Rațiu Family Charitable announce the 2021 Recipient of the Elisabeth Pilkington Rațiu Mental Health Award: Mrs Lidia Stoica, president and founding member of the Association of Patients with Chronic Diseases “Restart to Life”. The Awardee established in 2017 the first continuous professional training programme in Romania for an overspecialization in the field of psycho-oncology. She also launched a free Psychological Support Group project for oncological patients in Romania.

The 2021 Ion Rațiu Democracy Award and Fellowship:
Roman Protasevich, Belarus

The Rațiu Family Charitable Foundation and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars announce that Belarusian activist Roman Protasevich will receive the 2021 Ion Rațiu Democracy Award and Fellowship. Roman Dmitriyevich Protasevich (26 years) is the former editor-in-chief of the Nexta Live channel, which is based on the Telegram messenger app and has over 1 million subscribers, being the primary source of news that covered the 2020-2021 Belarus rallies. On 23 May 2021, Protasevich was detained by Belarusian authorities after the international passenger flight from Athens to Vilnius was intercepted in Belarusian airspace by a Belarusian fighter jet and directed to land in Minsk.

The 2021 Ion Rațiu Journalism Award:
Victor Ilie, Recorder

The Rațiu Family Charitable Foundation, the Rațiu Democracy Centre and the Rațiu Forum are pleased to announce the 2021 Recipient of the Ion Rațiu Journalism Award: journalist Victor Ilie, who currently reports for Recorder.

In November 2020 Victor Ilie published the investigation that discovered and brought to the public’s attention the “King of the pandemic”, the main person responsible for purchasing vital medical equipment for the Romanian state and its citizens, a master of a “kingdom” dominated by corruption, defiance and incompetence. According to the members of the Jury Committee that evaluated this year’s proposals, the article written by Victor Ilie is an example of quality journalism produced by an independent press project, an investigation carried out at a time when the access to information was often limited for journalists.

In the last 17 years, CRD has developed projects with a local, regional and international impact in fields like active citizenship, education, and human rights protection. Since 2019 it also supports The Rațiu Forum, a joined initiative between the London based Rațiu Family Charitable Foundation (RFCF) and the London School of Economics LSE IDEAS think tank. CRD is also a partner of the annual awards granted by RFCF – the Ion Rațiu Democracy Award, in partnership with Wilson Center, the Ion Rațiu Journalism Award and the Elisabeth Pilkington Rațiu Mental Health Award.