The Public Policy Programs of the Aspen Institute Romania seek to improve the formation of policy through transparent, non-partisan, evidence based, multiple stakeholders’ dialogue. Based on the Aspen Method, our programs offer public decision makers, private stakeholders and representatives of the non-governmental and academic sectors an exceptional platform for reflection, aiming to reach consensus on concrete policy recommendations in Romania’s most relevant policy fields. By engaging with public decision makers from the start of the reflection process, in an informal and informed dialogue, mutual ownership of our policy recommendations is fostered.

Focus & Objectives of the Program

The program aims at strengthening the strategic culture of the relevant stakeholders in the national security and defense communities, anticipating the transformations in the realm of defense and strengthening governance, leadership and policy formulation. It also seeks to encourage technology transfers and the diffusion of dual-use solutions for the defense industry and the national economy of Romania, providing valuable insights to decision makers through a non-biased, multidisciplinary support platform. Initial areas of main interest focus on hybrid security threats, cyber defense, energy security and the relationship between security, defense sector and related industry.

The program aims to:

  • Enhance Romanian and regional defense and security against both traditional threats, dangers and uncertainties, and a range of other challenges and risks posed by non-state actors, individuals and state-sponsored adversaries, through policy proposals that could be taken up by the Romanian military and be exported to other states with focus on a “Porcupine Defense” against hybrid campaigns.
  • Make an ongoing review of Romania’s National Defense Strategy, considering the current long-term strategic challenges.
  • Analyze cyber defense resilience and development alternatives.
  • Analyze societal resilience in front of multiple asymmetrical threats.
  • Identify energy sector vulnerabilities and other regional threats.

Format of the Program

  • A dedicated Program Community comprising multiple key stakeholders from the public, private and academic sectors;
  • A dedicated Program Task Force, focusing on identifying the program’s priorities;
  • Thematic workshops for the program community, on the major topics identified; On December 12, 2019, AIR organized, together with the Bucharest Office of the German Marshall Fund of the US, the workshop on the topic of the Romanian Defense Industry, providing an overview of the existing defense industry in the country and the framework for industrial cooperation and offering policy recommendations in order for Romania to capitalize on existing opportunities.
  • Papers outlining policy recommendation concerning the national security and defense priorities, as identified in the workshops;
  • One international public conference in Bucharest, Atlantic-Black Sea Security Forum, during which the main policy recommendations of the program are presented in a prominent public setting. In 2020 the event will be organized under the framework of Aspen Institute Romania’s flagship event, Bucharest Forum.
  • A dedicated Aspen Leadership Seminar for the program community, focusing on contemporary challenges faced by leaders in the security and defense sectors.