EMIL CONSTANTINESCU
President Professor, University President Civic Leader Geologist, Explorer

 

 

Prof. Dr. Emil Constantinescu
President of
Romania 1996 – 2000

 

 

     After the fall of the communist dictatorship, in December 1989, he becomes an active participant, along with professors, colleagues of his and other Romanian intellectuals, in the effort to set up the democracy in Romania, to defend human rights and fundamental freedom, and in the creation of the civil society.

     He participated, along with other outstanding personalities, at the 42 days meeting, which took place during April – May 1990, in the University Square. After the brunt of the miners that invaded Bucharest in June 1990, upon professors and student, he and some of his colleagues founded University Solidarity.  

He was also been a founding member of the Civic Alliance (1990), the most important non-governmental organization in Romania. The associations joined the democratic parties in opposition and they made up the Romanian democratic Convention – CDR (1991). He was proposed by the University Solidarity and supported by the Civic Alliance, as unique candidate for the Romanian presidential elections in 1992. he entered the second poll and obtained 38% of the votes in the confrontation with the president of that time.

After this first political experience the Democratic Convention elected him as its president (1992 – 1996). It followed a continuous struggle to strengthen the democratic opposition and its governance program. As a result, the Democratic convention won in 1996 the local and parliamentary elections and Emil Constantinescu was elected through direct vote President of Romania on a four-year term.

During 1996 – 2000, Romania committed itself in a large reform process in the economic, justice and administration sectors. The coalition government made up of the Democratic Convention, the Democratic Union of the Hungarians in Romania – UDMR and the Social Democratic Union – USD has accelerated the privatization and the restructuring of the state industry. During this time have passed the bills regarding the restitution of agricultural land and forest confiscated by the communist regime, the access to the files made by the political police of the former securitate service, the local budgets, the fight against corruption and money laundry. There were improved the laws of local administration, the Criminal Code, as well as the guarantees for respecting the human rights during case trails and lawsuits.

As a mediator between the powers of the state, President Constantinescu has succeeded to make the political forces and the civil society have a common cause in order to surpass governmental, parliamentary and social crises, to solve essential problems regarding the judicial state of the ownership, Romania’s position regarding the conflict in Kosovo and approving the cross-country right for the NATO air forces.

President Constantinescu has represented Romania at the main summits after which Romania was nominated on the fist place for the second NATO enlargement (Madrid, 1997; Washington, 1999); has started the negotiations for accession to the European Union (Helsinki, 1999); has obtained the OSCE chairmanship for 2001 and entered the OSCE trilateral starting with 2000. The bilateral friendship and cooperation relations with other states were considerably improved, as well as the trilateral cooperation with neighbor countries in the Central and South-Eastern Europe.

Considering the year 2000 a decisive one for supporting Romania’s candidate-ship for accession to NATO and to start the negotiations with the European Union, rather than an electoral year, President Constantinescu decided to avoid any electoral connotation of his actions and not to run for a new term in the presidential elections. He succeeded to mediate and to obtain the signed agreement for the National Economic Development Strategy on Medium Term by all the parties in the Parliament. He decided to assume the political cost for the unfulfillments of his administration regarding the increase of the population living standard and the fight against corruption, proposing to the governmental coalition to support an independent candidate-ship for the Presidency of a technocrat, the prime minister of the government at that time, who made that year the first healthy and durable economic growth.

In December 2000, Emil Constantinescu recommenced his work as university professor and his steps to consolidate the nongovernmental organizations role as president of the Association of Citizenship Education – ASPEC, of the Romanian Foundation for Democracy – FRD and founding president of the Institute for Regional Cooperation and Conflict prevention – INCOR.

He is a founding member of the Balkan Political Club, member in its Managing Board and member of the East West Institute Managing Board, in New York. He was president of the international commission for supervising the parliamentary elections in Senegal (2001).
     In March 2003 he sets up the People’s Action trend, which intend to be a vivid, healthy and dynamic political structure opened to all those who contribute to Romania’s welfare, a European structure able to create a unite, coherent and solidarity force.


HONOURS AND AWARDS

 

- European Statesman of the Year 1998, award conferred by the Institute for East-West Studies, New York

- American Bar Association Award for extraordinary leadership in advancing the rule of law, Atlanta, USA

- Aristide Calvani Award for Peace, Democracy and Human Development, Paris, France

- Award for Democracy, Democratic Centre, Washington DC, USA

- Coudenhove-Kalergi European Award for contribution to the development of Europe and the free movement of     ideas, Bern, Switzerland


ORDERS

- Legion of Honour, Great Cross, French Republic

- Saint Michael and Saint George Order, Great Cross, United Kingdom

- Order of the Elephant, Denmark

- Saint Olaf Order, Great Cross, Norway

- Order of Merit of the Republic of Austria

- White Rose of Finland, Collar, Republic of Finland

- Order Infante Dom Henrique, Collar, Portuguese Republic

- Cross of the South, Collar, Federal Republic of Brazil

- Saviour Order, Great Cross, Hellenic Republic

- State Decoration, Republic of Turkey

- Stara Planina Order, with Ribbon, Republic of Bulgaria

- Aztec Eagle Order, Collar, United States of Mexico

- Double White Cross Order, Republic of Slovakia

- King Tomislav Order, Collar and Great Star, Republic of Croatia

- Skanderberg Order, Republic of Albania

- Sun of Peru, Great Cross with Brilliants, Republic of Peru

Independence Order, Collar, Qatar

- Yaroslav the Wise Order, 1st Class, Collar, Ukraine

- Order of the Republic of Moldavia