On April 9th 2014, some of the SPE students have decided to take one hour of their time (which could be used for sunbathing purposes, as the weather was very enjoyable) and attend the conference that was held at the American Corner of the National Library of Romania. The event was entitled “The Strategic Partnership between the USA and Romania”, and the speaker was Joseph Trimble, political attaché of the United States Government to the U.S. Embassy of Bucharest.
The 60-minute conference was evenly structured, so that the presentation would be proceeded by an equal amount of time dedicated to questions from the audience. In the first part, Mr. Trimble has presented the 4 major fields of cooperation between the United States of America and Romania – fields that also define the mission of the U.S. Embassy:
1. Security Cooperation
2. Law enforcement/Intelligence
3. Economic Growth and Trade Issues
4. Rule of Law and Democratization
During the second part, the issues that were raised by the attendees varied from a comparison between the Romanian and the American systems of checks of balances, the nature of the U.S. foreign policy agenda, and questions about the recent events from Ukraine and Russia.
Here are a few impressions of the students who attended the conference:
Vlad Costea: “Overall, I left the room with a satisfied mind. I am fully aware that there is a large amount of information that cannot be revealed to the public for security reasons, but the details and arguments provided during both the presentation and the Q&A session were spot-on. One thing I really appreciate is the way in which Mr. Trimble had presented: He did not miss a chance to praise the Romanian intelligence and troops for their boldness and high qualifications, but at the same time he did not hold back from pointing out how corruption affects the Romanian political and business sectors. Moreover, he never said that the U.S.A. is a flawless and mistake-proof political actor, nor had he exceeded the boundaries of his position by making direct recommendations to the Romanian people or government (with the sole exception of encouraging participation to the democratic deliberative processes). Instead, Mr. Trimble has emphasized on the universal human rights and democratic values that the U.S. promote worldwide, and has expressed his strong belief in a free market economy that is backed by a transparent political system. I really hope that Mr. Trimble would also join an event of our English club and hold a short lecture at the Faculty of Political Science sometime in the near future!”
Anaelle Durand: “As a French student, going to Joseph Timble’s conference was very interesting insofar as I could tackle the US-EU relationships from a new perspective: the standpoint of the links between Romania and the U.S. We could enjoy an introduction to the areas of collaboration between the two countries in concrete terms, from the role of Romania within NATO (in the war in Afghanistan for instance) to the economic ties (the reference to Ford’s and Microsoft’s presence in the country). Joseph Timble pointed out what has to be upgraded in the Romanian political system, in particular the practice of corruption, but he also highlighted the efficient cooperation in the military and intelligence.”