11-12 April 2024:
The Belgrade History Teaching Symposium

We are pleased to announce that the Ratiu Forum is a partner of The Belgrade History Teaching Symposium. The event, themed “Disarming History,” is scheduled from April 10th to April 12th, 2024, and is organized in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the Council of Europe. Dedicated to fostering quality history education and nurturing intercultural understanding amidst contemporary challenges, this symposium promises to be a vital platform for engaging discussions and collaborative initiatives.

At this symposium, esteemed experts, educators, and students from across Europe will converge to engage in enriching discussions and workshops. The agenda is curated to address pressing issues, including the misuse of history for political and ideological purposes, with a keen focus on post-conflict environments like the Balkans.

The symposium aims to address the misuse of history for political and ideological purposes, particularly in post-conflict environments like the Balkans. Sessions will focus on innovative approaches to teaching history and promoting reconciliation.

In addition to engaging in panel discussions and workshops, the 3rd Belgrade History Teaching Symposium offers participants the unique opportunity to explore the city through guided walking tours. These tours are designed to provide an immersive experience, shedding light on the historical context of Belgrade, particularly focusing on the events of the 1990s.

Click here for the press release.

More details are available here.

Click here to see the event agenda.


We are glad to announce that the Biannual Review (2022-2023) of the Ratiu Forum is now available.
Please click here to download.


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Professor Christopher Coker, co-director of LSE IDEAS, who supported the foundation of the LSE IDEAS Ratiu Forum.

Nicolae Ratiu, Chairman of the Ratiu Foundations:
“Christopher was a most incredible professor, intellectual, human being and inspiration to all who have known him. Over the past almost 5 years working together under his guidance and brilliance our Ratiu Forum/LSE IDEAS association has succeeded in developing into a significant and admired hub on the CEE map of rare thoughtful debate and of relevant regional programmes of which we can all be proud. Recently Christopher had written to myself and others of how much he had valued and enjoyed our working together and how important it had been for him. This is praise indeed. We must and shall carry on and perpetuate his legacy, building on what he has shown us to be possible. Under the circumstances it is the most important thing we can do to show our admiration and respect for him and to register our eternal appreciation for the example he gave us. This is indeed his own immortality.”

Christopher Coker was Director of LSE IDEAS, LSE’s foreign policy think tank.

His publications include Rebooting Clausewitz (Hurst, 2015), Men at War: what fiction has to tell us about conflict from the Iliad to Catch 22 (Hurst, 2014); The Improbable War: China, the US and the logic of Great Power War (Hurst, 2015); Future War (Polity, 2016), and The Rise of the Civilizational State (Polity, 2019). His most recent book is Why War? (2020).

He was Professor of International Relations at LSE, retiring in 2019. He was a former twice serving member of the Council of the Royal United Services Institute, a former NATO Fellow and a regular lecturer at Defence Colleges in the UK, the US. Rome, Singapore, and Tokyo. He had also been a Visiting Fellow at the National Institute for Defence Studies In Tokyo, the Rajaratnam School for International Studies Singapore, the Political Science Dept in Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok and the Norwegian and Swedish Defence Colleges.

Memories and messages can be shared here.

The Times obituary is available here


The Rațiu Family Charitable Foundation, the Rațiu Democracy Centre and the Rațiu Forum are pleased to announce the 2023 recipient of the Ion Rațiu Journalism Award: journalist Andreea Pavel, co-founder of Info Sud-Est.

Andreea Pavel was selected for her prolific journalistic activity in the local media (Constanța), which includes among others investigation series on corruption, articles regarding social problems and cultural heritage, and also for her commitment to recruiting and training young journalists.

Among the other investigations carried out by the 2023 winner, the nomination committee has considered her investigation series regarding the European funds accessed for the Danube Delta through the Integrated Territorial Investment mechanism. These articles were followed by a European Public Prosecutor’s Office investigation into the fraud in 2022. 


We are pleased to announce that Casian Gămănuț, PhD researcher in History at the University “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” of Iași, Romania, is the recipient of the 2022 Ratiu Forum History Prize.

More details about the Award can be read here.


The Rațiu Family Charitable Foundation, the Rațiu Democracy Centre and the Rațiu Forum are pleased to announce the 2022 Recipient of the Ion Rațiu Journalism Award: journalist Cristian Andrei, Senior Editor at Europa Liberă.

In 2019 he started a series of investigative articles regarding the funding mechanisms of Romanian media outlets, fuelled by the budget of the largest parties in Romania. The series continued in 2021 and 2022 and it includes – among others – the following investigative articles: Bani de la partid pentru televiziuni și presă. PSD a cheltuit în șase luni de 33 de ori mai mult decât USR PLUS (Money from the party for TV stations and media: PSD spent in six months 33 times more than USR PLUS); Cadoul de 90 de milioane de lei făcut de Cîțu partidelor. Modelul german de finanțare și modelul PNL – PSD (The 90 million Lei gift from Cîțu to the parties. The German funding model and the PNL-PSD one); Investitorii ascunși din presă. PSD ține informațiile la secret, deși plătește milioane pe lună (The hidden media investors. PSD withholds information, despite paying millions every month).


We are glad to announce that the latest Annual Review of the Ratiu Forum is now available.
Please click here for more details.
Our 2022-2023 Annual Review will be available soon.
“Despite the challenges of Covid, I am pleased to report that throughout 2021 the Ratiu Forum has managed to organize a full and regular programme of Webinar conferences focussing on our core preoccupation – the Issues and Challenges facing Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans”
(Nicolae Ratiu, Chairman of the Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation)


The Rațiu Family Charitable Foundation, the Rațiu Democracy Centre and the Rațiu Forum are pleased to announce the 2021 Recipient of the Ion Rațiu Journalism Award: journalist VICTOR ILIE, who currently reports for Recorder

In November 2020 Victor Ilie published the investigation that discovered and brought to the public’s attention the “King of the pandemic”, the main person responsible for purchasing vital medical equipment for the Romanian state and its citizens, a master of a “kingdom” dominated by corruption, defiance and incompetence. According to the members of the Jury Committee that evaluated this year’s proposals, the article written by Victor Ilie is an example of quality journalism produced by an independent press project, an investigation carried out at a time when the access to information was often limited for journalists.

Photo credits: Andrei Pungovschi


The Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation, the Ratiu Democracy Centre and the Ratiu Forum are pleased to announce the 2020 Recipient of the Ion Ratiu Journalism Award. 

DIANA ONCIOIU, reporter at the alternative publication Dela0 and also a member of the Să Fie Lumină team, has been nominated for her investigation regarding the trialing of sexual abuses against minors by Romanian courts.

Diana Oncioiu sheds a light on a painful reality in Romanian courts: the manner in which sexual abuses against minor victims are trialed and the tendency of judges to assume that sexual relations took place also with the acceptance of the child-victim. This is possible in a system that assigns blame to the victim, despite the condemnation of the Romanian State by the European Court for Human Rights, which concluded that the Romanian criminal-law system had failed to legally protect children against degrading treatment and to pursue the best interests of minors in the administration of justice. The investigation can be read here.

The Awardee writes for the alternative publication Dela0 and is also a member of the Să Fie Lumină collaborative project, initiated by and the Center for Media Investigations. She also has a background in broadcasting, having worked for five years for Realitatea TV and Digi24. She covers mainly social topics – domestic violence, education, social assistance, extreme poverty.  Diana Oncioiu will officially receive the Award at a ceremony during the 2020 Ratiu Dialogues on Democracy, an event that will occur online this year between September 15th-18th

More details about the event are available here.

Established in 2015, the Ion Ratiu Journalism Award is inspired by the example of Ion Ratiu who, upon his return to Romania after 50 years in exile, fought for freedom of the press, a necessary condition of any functional democracy. The Award promotes and encourages investigative journalism in Romania by rewarding the most important achievements of Romanian journalists. The nominations of investigative journalists are made by the Center for Independent Journalism, the Romanian Center for Investigative Journalism, Active Watch, and by representatives of Romanian journalism faculties and departments. 

More details about the Award can be read here.

Former Awardees

2019 Alex Nedea, journalist at

2018 Paul Radu, co-founder of RISE Project

2017 Ovidiu Vanghele, journalist at Să Fie Lumină

2016 Emilia Șercan, journalist at

2015 Cătălin Tolontan, chief-editor of Libertatea


The brave, highly detailed and well-researched investigation into the Romanian Courts’ handling of sexual abuse cases amongst minors impressed the jury and convinced us that Diana Oncioiu well deserves the Award for this and indeed for other subjects she has investigated. We believe very strongly that investigative journalism must be supported and encouraged by those in a position to fill the gap left by mass media. The quality also has necessarily to be excellent to be picked up more widely and she has certainly achieved this. To this end, we have and continue to organize workshops for Romanian journalists, involving both Romanian and international experts”, states Nicolae Ratiu, Chairman of the Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation.


We are pleased to announce that the first Annual Report of the Ratiu Forum is now available, with a series of insights regarding our activity in 2019-2020 and our plans for 2021.
“With the pandemic still with us the threats and challenges facing liberal democracy in our region may have been knocked off the front pages but they still persist and in some areas fester and grow, requiring careful analysis and confrontation by our experts from around the world. Through our regular, rich and active programmes, run in cooperation with LSE IDEAS, the Ratiu Forum will continue to seek and share with our participants the further knowledge we gain as well as to explore new original ideas about crucial elements of national, regional and international topics pertaining to the strengthening of liberal democracy – all central to the Ratiu Forum’s purpose.” 
(Nicolae Ratiu, Chairman of the Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation)