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

 

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

 

Emil Constantinescu is born on November 19th, 1939 in Tighina (today in Republic of Moldova), son of an agricultural engineer native of Southern Romania. He attends the high school in Pitesti and after the graduation in 1956 he attends the Law Faculty of the University of Bucharest. In 1960 he is graduated in judicial studies and is assigned as probationer judge at Pitesti Local Court. The political climate forces his to give up this position and, since 1961, to attend the courses of the Geology – Geography Faculty, which he graduates in 1966. He is doctor in Geology from the University of Bucharest; Doctor ès Sciences from the Duke University, USA.

 

Has a prestigious career in high education and scientific research acknowledged on national and international level. From 1966, he is successively assistant, lecturer, at the Faculty of Geology. Since 1991 till now he is professor of Mineralogy within the University of Bucharest. Currently is professor at the Bucharest University Doctoral School. During 1991–1992 he was visiting professor at the Duke University, USA. He is author of 12 specialty books, among which “Mineralogy in the System of Earth Sciences”, published by Imperial College Press, London, was launched by the Geology Department within Cambridge university in the presence of prof. John Deer, former vice-chancellor (rector) of Cambridge University. He published over 60 studies in the most important scientific magazines from Romania and abroad. Is honorary member and elected member in the Geological and Mineralogical Societies in Great Britain, Germany, USA, Greece, and Japan; in the Geography Society in France and in the „National Geographic” Society in the USA. He lectured at the Universities Tübingen, Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley, Columbia, Georgetown, Indiana, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Lima, Sydney, Melbourne, Prague, Warsaw, Bratislava, Turku, Cairo, Lublin, Kiev.

 
After the fall of the communist dictatorship is elected pro-rector (1990-1992) and then rector of the University of Bucharest (1992–1996), president of the National Council of Rectors in Romania (1992–1996); member of the Permanent Committee of the Association of European Universities – CRE (1992–1993; 1994–1998); member of the International Association of University Presidents – IAUP (1994–1996).

 

Within his civic activities, he engages since December 1989, along with other colleagues professors and well-known Romanian intellectuals in the effort to set up the democracy in Romania, to defend human fundamental rights and freedom, and in building the civil society.  He was amongst outstanding personalities, who after violences against professors and students made by miners who had invaded Bucharest in June 1990, founded the association University Solidarity, whose speaker he was at that time. Is a founding member and vice-president of the Civic Alliance (1990-1996) and President of the Civic Alliance (1990-1993). The Civic Alliance and the University Solidarity, along with other civic entities and democratic parties, joined and made up the Romanian Democratic Convention – CDR (1991). He was its first president, by rotation, in 1991. Proposed by the University Solidarity and the Civic Alliance, after a preliminary scrutiny, as unique candidate of the RDC for the presidential elections in 1992. He entered the second poll and obtained 38% of the votes in the confrontation with the incumbent president of that time, thus marking the first great victory of the democratic anti-communist opposition.

 

After this first political experience, the Democratic Convention elected him as its president (1992 – 1996). Times of continuous struggle followed to strengthen the democratic opposition and its governance program. He initiated and signed, on behalf of the Romanian Democratic Convention, the “Contract with Romania”. Having its leadership assured by Emil Constantinescu, 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 his presidential mandate (1996-2000) Romania has engaged in a large scale process of reform in economy, justice and administration. Privatization and state industry were accelerated. Were adopted the Law for restitution of agricultural fields and forests confiscated by the communist regime, the law permitting access to files made by the political police of the former Securitate department, the local budget law, laws for fighting against corruption and money laundry. Were changed and enriched the Law of the Local Administration, Criminal Code, guarantees for respecting the human rights within criminal and civil lawsuits. As a mediator between state autorities, President Constantinescu has managed to unite political forces and the civil society for the purpose of governmental, parliamentary and social crises aiming to come with solutions for essential issues referring to the juridical regime of ownership.

 

President Constantinescu open the crucial way for Romania towards NATO and EU. He launched, together with President Bill Clinton in Bucharest,  "the Romania-US Strategic Partnership" and Romania was able to start the EU accession negotiations (Helsinki 1999) and established a number of 36 Europartliamentaries (Nice 2000). Bilateral relations of cooperation with other states were substantially improved, just like the trilateral cooperation with neighboring countries, which contributed to stability in Central and Southeastern Europe. He initiated and supported large regional infrastructure development projects "Renaissance of the Silk Road", "Romania at Crossroads" and transportation of oiland gas from Central Asia to Central Europe (Constanta-Trieste pipeline).

 

Upon the end of his presidential term (December 2000), Emil Constantinescu resumed his academic career and made further steps to consolidate the nongovernmental organizations role: as president of the Association of Citizenship Education – ASPEC, of the Romanian Foundation for Democracy – FRD (www.frd.org.ro) and founding president of the Institute for Regional Cooperation and Conflict prevention – INCOR (www.incor.ro). Starting with 2006, he launches the XXI European Generation Forum, which aims to encourage the creation of a young new Romanian meritocracy, able to impose with dignity our national identity within the top levels of the new Europe (generatiaeuropeana.ro). In 2008, he founded the Romanian Academic Forum (www.far.org.ro), with an International Board joining remarkable personalities among which Boutros-Boutros Ghali, Un Secretary General (1992-1996), Federico Mayor, UNESCO Director (1987-1999), Ivo Slaus, president of the World Academy for Art and Science (2011-2014). The National Board joins present and former presidents of the Romanian academy, present and former presidents of Romanian great universities and other prestigious personalities coming from the academic and cultural field. The aim of this Forum is for the Romanian intellectual elites to elaborate a vision upon the future of the Romanian nation for the first half of the 21st century and of a Sustainable Development Strategy for Romania.

 

He is Doctor Honoris Causa of the Universities in Liège, Athens, Montréal, New Delhi, Beijing, Ankara, Sofia, Maribor, Chisinau, Bangkok, Astana and of the Ecole Normale Supérieure – Paris.

 

He is awarded: the Prize of Romanian Academy (1980); Palmas Academicas, awarded by the Brazilian Faculty of Letters, Rio de Janeiro (2000); golden and honorific medals from Comenius University in Bratislava; Caroline University in Prague and from the University in Sao Paolo; Arthur Bertrand Medal, awarded by the Academy of Sciences, Institut de France; medals conferred by the National Institute of Sciences and Arts in France, Paris–Sorbonne University and the University in Amsterdam; the European Statesman of the Year prize (1998), East West Institute, New York; 'Aristide Calvani' prize for Peace, Democracy and Development of the Christian Democratic International, Paris (1998); The 1998 International Democracy Medal, awarded by the Center for Democracy, Washington;  the Coudenhove – Kalergi European Prize, Vienna, 1998.

(http://european-society-coudenhove-kalergi.org/europapreistraeger4.asp);

Award of the American Bar Association Central and East European Law Initiative (CEELI) (1999); receives the NIRAM ART prize - Trophy "Ambroise Vollard"  for the European Generation Foundation work that is aimed at professional and moral formation of a Romanian elite (2011), Madrid; Gusi Peace Prize, Manila, the Philippines (2013); Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin, and the trophy “Peace through Culture and Education” (2013); The Prize “Black Sea Caspian Sea for strengthening tolerance and cultural diplomacy in BSCSIF member countries”, Istanbul, Turkey, (2014).

Was invited to join the juries awarding important international prizes: Lech Walesa Prize, Gdansk; Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent, Human Right Foundation, USA\Oslo Freedom Forum; Tesla Memorial Prize.

Speaking of the international activity, he was invited to participate in important think tanks and international associations: he is a founding member of the Balkan Political Club (2001-present) (http://www.balkanpoliticalclub.net/members.php?page=1); member in the Board of Directors of the East-West Institute in New York and currently director emeritus (http://www.ewi.info/emil-constantinescu), USA;  member in the High Council of the World Francophone Organization (2003-2007); since 2006 is member in the International Board of the International Centre for Democratic Transition in Budapest (http://www.icdt.hu/about-us/boards-and-staff/international-board). Is member in the International Advisory Council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victims_of_Communism_Memorial_Foundation) since 2007.  

 

He was president of the international commission for supervising the parliamentary elections (2001) and presidential elections (2007) in Senegal and of the parliamentary elections in Tunisia (2011).

 

Since 2007 is co-chairman of the World Justice Project and since 2008 is one of the WJP Directors (http://worldjusticeproject.org/?q=board-of-directors).

 

In 2008 founded the New Democracies Forum, together with Lech Walesa, President of Poland 1990-1995; Zhelyu Zvelev, President of Bulgaria 1990-1997; Frederik Willem de Klerk, President of South Africa 1989-1994; Kim Young-Sam, President of the Republic of Korea 1993-1998; Francisco Guillermo Flores Perez, President of the republic El Salvador 1999-2004.

Together with Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of Poland (1995-2005) and former Foreign Affairs Ministers from Central European ad the Baltic countries initiated Task Force for Belarus (http://www.icdt.hu/projects/projects-by-regions/central-and-eastern-europe/task-force-on-us-foreign-policy-towards-central-and-eastern-europe).

 

In 2008, with  Jerzy Buzek, Prime  Minister of Poland (1997-2001), Mart Laar, Prime Minister of Estonia (1992-1994, 1999-2002) and Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary (1998-2002) is involved in the foundation of ACT (Advisors on Cuban Transition)

(http://www.miniszterelnok.hu/in_english_article/advisors_on_cuban_transition_roundtable_founded).

 

Since 2009 is permanent guest and speaker at the Oslo Freedom Forum.

(http://www.oslofreedomforum.com/speakers/emil_constantinescu.html).

 

Since 2009 is member in the International Board of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin and from 2011 is the president of the Academy of Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin

(http://www.culturaldiplomacy.org/index.php?en_advisoryboard).

During 2010 – 2014 was member in the Habitat for Humanity International Board of Directors one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the world, funded by President Jimmy Carter. (http://www.habitat.org/how/ibod.aspx).

Since 2010 is Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and since 2011 is elected Trustee in the WAAS Board of Trustees.

(WAAS, http://www.worldacademy.org/content/trustees

In a member of the Global Round Table International Board, Brussels (2012), member in the Nizami Ganjavi International Center International Board (since 2013); member in the International Board of the Library of Alexandria (http://www.bibalex.org/boardoftrustees/default_en.aspx) (2014); member of the Heavenly Culture, World Peace Peace, Restoration of Light Advisory Council (http://www.hwpl.kr) (2014).

Since 2014 is member in the World University Consortium Board of Directors. (http://wunicon.org/about-us/board-of-directors.html).