About Aspen Public Policy Programs

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.

About the Program

Since 2017, under the umbrella of Aspen New Economy & Society Program, a community was created comprising multiple stakeholders from the public, private, and non-governmental sectors, aiming to identifying key constraints and untapped opportunities facing the existing economic, investment, and development model of Romania and to formulate public policy recommendations regarding investment prioritization, public and private resources mobilization and complex projects implementation capacity.

Since 2021, the Program has developed a broader perspective on the issues resulting from the Covid19 crisis and the overlapping socio-economic challenges our societies’ face. The New Economy & Society Program is further engaging in a constructive and focused dialogue on multi-stakeholder solutions. It is more urgent than ever to build an effective collaboration between the public and the private sector. The program is addressing interconnected themes that reflect the way forward out of the crisis for the Romanian economy and society, including:

  • the recovery and resilience of our society, including new financial instruments available.
  • the development of more resilient national economies, as well as the capabilities of economic agents and the sources of success for resilient businesses.
  • the persistent challenges related to climate change: a new economic modelacross Europe and America will be fundamentally linked to the climate economy. The program is addressing the way Romanian businesses and governmental actors can engage efficiently and timely with the new tendencies in this field and mediate the potential negative impact the transition can have in certain sectors and regions.
  • Additionally, the program continues to pursue some of the topics addressed in previous years, such as financial inclusion, financial education, andnew technologies in the financial sector.

The core deliverables of the 2024 edition include:

  • Three thematic roundtables for the Program Community, issuing policy recommendations:
  • Roundtable #1: Innovative financial solutions for social equity: From financial inclusion to systemic change, organized with the purpose of debating innovative financial solutions that can directly target the root causes of economic disparities, on March 28th.
  • Roundtable #2, date TBD.
  • Roundtable #3, date TBD.
  • A Custom Leadership Seminar for the program community (date TBC). Under the guidance of seasoned moderators, the seminar challenged members of the community (including decision-makers and public sector representatives) to think more critically and deeply about the good society, and to have an informal, constructive debate on contemporary challenges faced by leaders in the financial sector.
  • A White Paper with public policy recommendations for the relevant decision makers (under development).

2024 Program Partners: Mastercard, Provident Financial Romania, Garanti BBVA, TUD Group, Raiffeisen Bank

Program Track Record

  • Over 25 thematic, in-person roundtable meetings and webinars (during the pandemic) focused on policy recommendations.
  • 4 Program White Papers with recommendations for relevant decision-makers, including the Economic Development and Opportunities in Romania: Local Business Environment Index (LBEI).
  • 5 editions of the Custom Leadership Seminar for the Program community.
  • Dedicated panels at the Bucharest Forum, AIR’s main high level international event, where the Program conclusions and recommendations were recommended in a prominent public setting.
  • Until 2022, when she became Director of the Black Sea Trust of the German Marshall Fund (GMF), the Program was animated by the valuable intellectual contribution of Clara Volintiru.

An archive of our activities in the Program can be found HERE.