The objective of this event was two-fold: first, to assess the impact of Romania's first year as a member of the European Union on the country's economy, politics and society as a whole and second, to highlight strategic challenges for the next five years.
The purpose of the debating session was to assess the initial impact of Romania's first year as an EU member state on the country's political environment; the economy; and society as a whole. The three dimensions discussed were:
The political dimension:
- Are there any signs of a "Europeanisation" process within the Romanian political system?
- To what extent do central and local institutions perform and promote policies in an EU framework?
- What lessons can be learned from the recent European parliamentary elections?
The economic dimension:
- Does Romania follow the same economic pattern as previous acceding countries?
- How much of the economic growth can be attributed to EU membership? What are the effects on the labour force, markets and institutions?
- What needs to be done to strengthen competitiveness?
The societal dimension:
- What are Romanian perceptions of the European Union? Do Romanians feel more European since accession?
- Which behavioural attributes have been reinforced, and which inhibited, by the closer relationship with Europe?
- What lessons on social integration can be drawn from recent events in Italy?