Organizers: Aspen Institute Romania, German Marshall Fund of the United States
With the support of: NATO
Co-funded by: European Union, USAID
Institutional Partners: Government of Romania, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, Ministry of National Defence of Romania, AmCham, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Romania
International Partners: Munich Security Conference, The Aspen Institute US, Aspen Security Forum, Aspen Institute France, Aspen Institute Kyiv, Aspen Institute Italia, Aspen Institute Germany, GLOBSEC
Strategic Partner: InnovX-BCR
Knowledge Partners: KEARNEY, Valorem Business Advisers
Main Partners: Vodafone, Microsoft, UiPath, Mastercard, ING, E-ON, OMV Petrom, ENEL, Modex, eMAG
Partners: Google, Alliance Healthcare, Horváth
Supporters: Cotnari, MOL, Publicis Groupe România
Media Partners: TVR, Antena 3 CNN, AGERPRES, Radio România Actualități, Emerging Europe,, DC Media Group,, Kiss FM, Piața Financiară

The annual Aspen – GMF Bucharest Forum is a platform for genuine, thought-provoking, and forward-looking debate, which seeks to address topical questions and tackle the complex issues of increasingly dynamic and volatile regional and international contexts.

Following the 10 successful editions organized so far, we are proud to mark a momentum in the identity of the Bucharest Forum with a prominent 11th edition in 2022, highlighting the collaboration between the Aspen Institute Romania and the German Marshall Fund of the US in making possible to reunite on the same stage in Bucharest high-level international speakers and moderators. The Aspen – GMF Bucharest Forum has become throughout the last decade one of the most significant strategic public debates in the region, following its mission of offering a platform for forward-thinking on economic, security and societal policies and for promoting dialogue between governments, civil society, and businesses.

The 2022 edition will take place in the context of the war in Ukraine which has impacted the entire world, both economically and security wise. From energy prices to supply chains to defense industry to consumer prices, economic effects of the war are deeply felt. The humanitarian aspect of the war remains the main catastrophic outcome, only to be complemented by all the other crisis and implications. The military activity is not foreseen to end soon, and the length of the war will only deepen multiple crises. Albeit difficult, it is not premature to start a conversation about reconstruction, that must involve stabilization of Ukraine and the region as a pre-requisite for further actions.

The multitude of profound crises from the past years amplified what was already a massive transformation occurring across the whole spectrum of our societies. Thus, while the security aspects remain a priority in these times of war, the conversation and actions of shaping the future stability, peace and progress in the region and beyond are no less important. A steady, strategic reconstruction of Ukraine involves a regional dimension and approach, where economic growth, trade, infrastructure and its security, technological development as well as moral and social reconstruction are both coherently planned for and translated into action. NATO and EU member countries on the Eastern flank have been anchors for Western support for Ukraine, and they will continue to play a major role in its reconstruction and the further development of the region in the following years.

As with each edition, the event will reunite business representatives, officials, and the strategic community, in a tri-party format that best allows for synergetic analysis and approaches. Participants from Europe, North America, NATO partner countries as well as from Middle East and Asia will come together for the two days of debate, joined by high level representatives from NATO, the EU, and national governments.

Photo Gallery

Publications & Reports:
A World in Flux – Towards a New European Architecture
A Modern Marshall Plan for Ukraine
Designing Ukraine’s Recovery in the Spirit of the Marshall Plan
Zeitenwende for the G7 – Munich Security Brief
Turning the Tide – Munich Security Report 2022



*All speakers will be attending in person, with a few exceptions, signalled accordingly.

Day 1 – November 29

09.40 – 09.55 EET Introductory Remarks

  • Florin Pogonaru, Vice-President, Aspen Institute Romania
  • Laura Thornton, Director and Senior Fellow, Alliance for Securing Democracy, German Marshall Fund of the United States

10.00 – 10.30 EET Opening Speech followed by Q&A

  • Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General, NATO

Q&A Moderated by Cristina Cileacu, Journalist, DIGI24

I. Towards a Comprehensive New European Architecture. Presentation of the Report

10.35 – 11.05 EET High Level Conversation with Mircea Geoană, Deputy Secretary General, NATO
Moderated by Edward Luce, US national editor and columnist, Financial Times

11.05 – 11.10 Keynote Message

  • Olena Zelenska, First Lady of Ukraine (pre-recorded message)

11.10 – 11.20 EET Keynote address

  • Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Türkiye

Introduced by Radu Tudor, Political and Defense Analyst

11.20 – 11.40 EET High-Level Conversation on A New European Security Architecture – Resolute in the face of Russia’s aggression

  • Jan Lipavský, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic
  • Ambassador Julianne Smith, U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO

Moderated by: Steven Erlanger, Chief Diplomatic Correspondent in Europe, The New York Times

11.40 – 11.50 EET Presentation of the Report on A Comprehensive New European Architecture – with Aspen Institute Italia

  • Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President for Inter-institutional Relations and Foresight, European Commission (pre-recorded message)

11.50 – 12.30 EET Panel 1 A New Political and Democratic Architecture in Europe

The war in Ukraine brought to the forefront the European security, in both its military, economic, energy, cyber and societal dimensions. Changes are required to ensure a long-lasting security, and stability, of the continent, and they are being discussed in both the intellectual and decision-making circles. The panel will look at the new architecture of European security, its possible and desirable design, and the path to its realization.

Keynote address: João Gomes Cravinho, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal

  • Ivan Krastev, Chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia, Permanent Fellow, Institute for Human Sciences, IWM Vienna
  • Arancha González Laya, Dean, The Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain
  • Laura Thornton, Director and Senior Fellow, Alliance for Securing Democracy, German Marshall Fund of the United States
  • Jacek Rostowski, Chairman, Foundation for Contemporary Liberalism in Warsaw; Former Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister of Poland

Moderated by: Alina Inayeh, Advisor to President, German Marshall Fund of the United States

12.35 – 13.10 EET Panel 2 A New European Economic Architecture 

The world economy has been structurally affected by the war following the pandemics, beyond stagnation and high consumer prices. Events of the last few years have changed economic processes and affected economic links, from supply chains to investments. The word of the day is resilience, weathering the difficult times still ahead, while making sense and integrating the occurring or foreseen systemic changes. What would be the best development policies in times of stagnation? How best can economic development trigger stability? How can economic convergence be more sustainably achieved?

  • Gallina Vincelette, Country Director for the European Union, Europe and Central Asia, World Bank
  • Mihaela Bitu, Chief Executive Officer, ING Bank Romania
  • Róbert Vass, Founder and President of GLOBSEC
  • Jean-Christophe Boucher, Scientific director of the International Policy and Trade group at the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary

Moderated by: Maria Tadeo, Europe Correspondent, Bloomberg

II. Societal Resilience as First Line of Defence

13.15 – 14.00 EET Panel 3 Cyber Resilience and Countering Cyber Threats – with Aspen Institute US & Aspen Germany

Cyber-attacks, often carried out on behalf of state actors and directed at damaging and disrupting the information systems of liberal democracies, have led to a paradigm shift in the security and defence field. The panel will analyse challenges posed by new technologies, looking in particular at improving resilience in the context of technology-related threats, especially when it comes to trans-Atlantic cooperation.

  • Jeff Greene, Senior Director for Cybersecurity Programs, The Aspen Institute; Former Chief for Cyber Response & Policy, National Security Council, White House (by video conference)
  • Jeff Bullwinkel, Regional Vice President, Corporate External & Legal Affairs, Microsoft Europe
  • Chelsey Slack, Deputy Head, Cyber and Hybrid Policy Section, NATO Headquarters
  • Dan Cîmpean, Director, National Directorate of Cyber Security (DNSC) (by video conference)
  • Arthur Lazăr, Deputy Director, Cyberint Centre

Moderated by: Radu Puchiu, Director, Technology & Society Public Policy Program, Aspen Institute Romania

14.00 – 14.30 EET Lunch Break

14.30 – 15.15 EET Panel 4 Accelerating Innovation in Romania and Central and South East Europe – with InnovX-BCR

Aspen Institute Romania’s RO-WIN Program aims to work together with InnovX-BCR to build a platform for sharing expertise and knowledge that connects Romanian innovation champions living abroad with promising, innovative entrepreneurs in the country, liaising Romania to key nodes and major hubs within the innovation market. The panel will bring together acknowledged Romanian innovators, representatives of large VCs and high-potential start-ups and scaleups, in a discussion on building and financing an innovation ecosystem in Romania.  

  • Andrei Roth, Commercial Pricing Director, UiPath
  • Sonia Fedorovici, Head of Legal and GP, RocaX
  • Marius Dascalu, CEO Headlight Solutions
  • Voicu Oprean, Founder, AROBS

Moderated by: Ionut Stanimir, Executive Director Marketing and Communication, BCR / Aspen fellow 

15.15 – 16.15 EET Panel 5 Black Sea as a Strategic Vortex – with Munich Security Conference

The war in Ukraine has brought to the forefront not only the instability in Europe’s East (the Black Sea region), but also the imperious need to rethink the European security. While NATO remains the cornerstone of that architecture, the multiple facets of the modern war and the new web of geopolitical relations call for a deeper approach to security. Reconstruction of Ukraine, and indeed the whole region, has stability as one of its prerequisites, that can only be provided by a sound security architecture that considers the entire region of the Black Sea, on land, air and sea. Important components of security, as the latest events prove yet again, are energy and strategic infrastructure security, alongside cybersecurity and societal resilience. The panel will address the multiple challenges of the Black Sea region, its future security approaches as well as paths to stability.

  • Simona Cojocaru, State Secretary, Ministry of National Defence of Romania
  • Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, First Deputy Speaker, Member of the Committee of Foreign Affairs and the Committee of European Affairs, Parliament of the Republic of Latvia, Riga; Munich Young Leader 2014
  • Lieutenant General (ret.) Frederick Ben Hodges, Senior Advisor, Human Rights First; former Commander of the United States Army in Europe, New York
  • Michal Baranowski, Director, Warsaw office, German Marshall Fund of the United States

Moderated by: Ambassador Dr. Christoph Heusgen, Chairman, Munich Security Conference

16.15 – 17.15 EET Panel 6 Energy Security and Green Transition: Twin Goals for the Future of Energy

Even before the war in Ukraine, Europe and Western democracies had decided to decarbonize their economies, which, in particularly in the case of the EU are still highly dependent on Russian gas. Now, Russia’s instrumentalization of energy as a foreign policy weapon, which is threatening Europe’s energy security, provide an impetus to accelerate the green transition and secure alternative, cleaner energy sources. The panel will discuss short and long-term solutions contributing to the twin goals of decarbonizing the economy while ensuring energy security.

  • Virgil-Daniel Popescu, Minister of Energy, Romanian Government
  • Christina Verchere, CEO, OMV Petrom
  • Carlo Pignoloni, CEO & Country Manager, ENEL Romania
  • Claudia Griech, General Manager, E.ON Energie Romania SA
  • Kurt Weber, Managing Director, Horváth

Moderated by: Cristian Pirvulescu, Director, Aspen Energy & Sustainability Program

17.15 – 18.00 EET Panel 7 Perspectives for Peace in Ukraine and the region – with Aspen Institute France

Stability in the entire region depends on the end of the war in Ukraine. While time is of the essence, so that support to Ukraine does not weaken, so is the fulness of Ukraine’s victory. Developments that are needed to lead to a lasting peace, as well as those needed once peace is achieved are of equal importance. The panel will analyse both, discussing what it takes to achieve and maintain victory, and, consequently, peace.

  • Natalie Jaresko, Chair, Aspen Institute Kyiv (by video conference)
  • Misha Glenny, Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna; Author of McMafia, DarkMarket and the Balkans
  • Sarah-Myriam Martin-Brule, Full Professor, Bishop’s University, Non-Resident Fellow, International Peace Institute
  • Alena Kudzko, Vice President of GLOBSEC, Director, GLOBSEC Policy Institute

Moderated by: Jean-Christophe Bas, Founder and CEO, Connecters for Peace & Executive Board Member, Aspen France, MMF alumni ‘91

19.00 EET Cocktail Reception with InnovX-BCR

Day 2 – November 30

III. Systemic shocks and Lessons Learned from the War in Ukraine

09.00 – 09.15 EET Introductory Remarks

  • Vasile Iuga, Treasurer, Aspen Institute Romania
  • Clara Volintiru, Director, Black Sea Trust & Bucharest office, German Marshall Fund of the United States

09.15 – 09.25 EET Opening Remarks

  • Florin Spătaru, Minister of Economy of Romania

09.30 – 09.40 EET Keynote Address

  • Janusz Wojciechowski, Commissioner for Agriculture, European Commission (pre-recorded message)

09.40 – 9.55 EET High – Level Conversation on Lessons Learned from the War in Ukraine *

  • Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President responsible for an Economy that Works for People, European Commission
  • Steven Erlanger, Chief Diplomatic Correspondent in Europe, The New York Times

*Confirmed pre-recorded

10.00 – 10.45 EET Panel 1 Designing Ukraine’s Recovery in the Spirit of the Marshall Plan

Ukraine needs support to rebuild, and an expansive international recovery effort is to be mounted in the spirit of the Marshall Plan. While the momentum is building on the determination to assist Ukraine in its recovery, there remain issues that need to be solved before and in order for the effort to materialize: when should reconstruction start? Who should lead the international effort? Who should support it? And how can a proper administration of the resources be ensured?

  • Thomas Kleine – Brockhoff, Vice President and Executive Director of the Berlin office, German Marshall Fund of the United States (presentation GMF study – A Marshall Plan for Ukraine)
  • Lesia Vasylenko,Ukrainian MP, People’s Deputy of Ukraine, MMF alumni ‘19 (by video conference)
  • James Hope, USAID Mission Director for Ukraine (by video conference)

Moderated by: Ramona Avramescu, Journalist, TVR, MMF alumni ’08

10.45 – 11.00 Keynote address

  • Baiba Braže, Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, NATO

11.00 – 11.50 EET Panel 2 Harnessing the Power of Innovation in the Euro Atlantic Area

For the first time in centuries the technological advantage of the Western world is contested. China and other global and regional powers are shaping a new tech world order. Maintaining the Western technological edge became a matter of national security and of enduring competitiveness. How can the pool of talent in “the triple helix” between governments, business, and academia in the transatlantic community can best be put to work?

  • Sebastian Burduja, Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitalisation of Romania
  • Deeph Chana, Co-Director of Institute for Security Science & Technology, Imperial College London & Chair, Emerging and Disruptive Technology (EDT) Advisory Group, NATO
  • Igor Zgrabljić, Government Affairs and Public Policy Manager, Google
  • Ovidiu Tisler, Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company’s Bucharest office
  • Mihai Ivașcu, CEO & Co-founder, Modex

Moderated by: Sabina Iosub, Journalist, Antena 3 CNN

11.50 – 12.40 EET Panel 3 Supply Chains of the Future: Switched Off – Switched On

The consecutive crises of the last few years, and especially the war in Ukraine, have forced economies to adapt to changes or blockages in supply chains. Sabotage of critical infrastructures is becoming a tool in the hybrid warfare arsenal, while the technological revolution is forging ahead. Adapting sectors of economies, at the least, to such shocks and structural new trends, become imperative for both our security and economy. The pandemics has also brought about a discussion about value chains in the healthcare sector, highlighting the fact that the resilience of health systems and security of supply in the healthcare sector have become critical to national security. How can the public and private sector collaborate towards ensuring this?

  • Andreas Treichl, President, European Forum Alpbach, Chairman, ERSTE Foundation (pre-recorded message)
  • Marek Dietl, Advisor to the President of the Republic of Poland
  • Patriciu Achimaș Cadariu, Scientific Coordinator, National Plan for the Prevention and Fight against Cancer; Surgical Oncologist
  • Vasile Iuga, Founder and Partner, Valorem Business Advisors; Treasurer, Aspen Institute Romania
  • Clara Volintiru, Director General, Bucharest Office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States

Moderated by: Andrew Wrobel, Founding Partner, Emerging Europe

12.40 – 13.30 EET Panel 4 Towards a Collaborative Digital Economy in Romania  

According to the 2022 Digital Economy and Society Index, Romania ranks last out of all EU countries in terms of digital competitiveness. The panel will look into solutions to reduce disparities between Romania and the rest of the EU in the digitalization of both the public and private sectors, in order to make sure citizens and businesses benefit from new technologies. The panel will discuss ways to improve digital skills and boost the use of cloud services, automation, blockchain, and e-commerce.

  • George-Cristian Tuță, Quaestor, Chamber of Deputies, Romanian Parliament
  • Margareta Mucibabici (Chesaru), Public Affairs & Social Impact Director, UiPath
  • Carol Șerban, Management Consultant, Kearney

Moderated by: Veronica Ștefan, Founder Digital Citizens Romania / Expert on AI and human rights, Council of Europe, YLP Fellow 2021

IV. Peace, Security and Prosperity in the Era of Great Power Competition. A renewed Transatlantic Partnership

13.30 – 14.10 EET Panel 5 NATO-EU Cooperation Providing for a Renewed European and Global Architecture

NATO continues to be the indispensable bedrock of our security. As the very definition of security is rapidly changing, covering an ever-broader spectrum of fields, EU’s role in some aspects of security is growing, so is the need for cooperation between the two institutions. The panel will look at areas and modes of cooperation between NATO and the EU, discussing complementarities, synergies, and divergences.

  • Dan Hamilton, President, Transatlantic Leadership Network; Senior Fellow, Johns Hopkins University SAIS (by video conference)
  • Ana Cătăuță, Member NATO PA, Chamber of Deputies, Parliament of Romania
  • Judith Obholzer, Head of Geopolitical Security, Vodafone (by video conference)
  • Christopher Skaluba, Director, Transatlantic Security Initiative, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council

Moderated by: Robert Lupițu, Editor in Chief, Calea Europeană

14.10 – 15.00 EET Lunch Break

15.00 – 15.45 EET Panel 6 A Comprehensive New European Architecture – Perspectives of European Aspen Alumni

The security architecture built over decades in Europe is now under profound transformation, as is the case for the economic and political models. Thus, a Comprehensive New European Architecture is in the making. To analyse these momentous changes, Aspen Institute Romania has sought to engage the alumni networks of European Aspen Institutes, and has invited young leaders from across the continent to contribute with a high-level essay on a proposed New European Architecture. Now, at Aspen-GMF Bucharest Forum, our flagship event, we aim to provide these young leaders with the opportunity to discuss, together with Romanian contributors, their vision regarding the future of Europe.

  • Gerardina Corona, Lieutenant Colonel, Chief of the Press Office-External Relations, Carabinieri Corps Headquarters, Rome; Alumna Aspen Institute Italy (by video conference)
  • Blas Moreno, Co-director & Editor in chief, El Orden Mundial Spain; Fellow Aspen Institute Spain
  • Sami Biasoni, Chief of Staff, Société Générale CEO Office; Finance lecturer professor, ESSEC Business school; Fellow Aspen Institute France
  • Alexandru Dincovici, Anthropologist, Associate lecturer NSPSPA and University of Bucharest, Fellow Aspen Institute Romania

Moderated by: Simona Spinaru, Diplomat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, Fellow Public Service Leadership Program 2020, Aspen Institute Romania

15.45 EET Closing Remarks

  • Mircea Geoană, Deputy Secretary General, NATO