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.

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. 


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.



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.