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About Us

“What should have died along with communism is the belief that modern societies can be run on a simple principle, whether that of planning under the general will or that a free-market allocation.” Charles Taylor (Canadian Philosopher) in The Ethics of Authenticity, 1991

We are a group of Romanian, Romanian-born and foreign scholars and policy thinkers who strongly believe that Romania must remove the shackles of the neoliberal ideology and adopt a common-sense, third way, between the discredited dogmas of socialism-communism and the seductive illusions of freewheeling capitalism as promoted by neoliberal ideologues.

We believe the person-in-community to be the prime economic and social unit of a nation. Persons only exist in and through communities, first and foremost, the community of one’s family, of one’s religious faith.

We believe that any national development strategy should take into account the real needs of real people.

We believe in a “A Third Way”, a centrist political and economic system, which fosters an active citizenry, involved and desirous of associative relationships within a truly representative and participatory State.

We firmly believe in the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, one being complementary to the other.

We believe in markets, but only in markets tempered and constrained by powerful moral and social values. The state has a crucial role to play in encouraging , enabling and when needed enforcing a fairer market.

We believe that markets have their role and place but that there are public services that should be shielded from the logic of market fundamentalism; we believe in the Platonic distinction between merchant activities and guardian roles and functions; the former should be left within the market purview; the latter should be protected from market imperatives; we believe such goods and services as public transportation, exploitation of natural resources, education, public health should not be designed and delivered according to a strict market logic.

We believe that governments should not stand idle, like bemused spectators, as foreign companies take over the country’s natural resources or domestic companies in strategic industrial sectors. They should set different standards for acquisitions for companies in the natural resources sector or in the financial sector.

We believe in a plurality of forms of business ownership, from private businesses, stock-exchange listed companies, business cooperatives, State-owned enterprises, hybrid, or mixed, enterprises (a joint ownership by State and private investors) and so on. None of these firms should be allowed to engage in monopoly pricing or in other monopolistic practices, or to externalize costs to society.

We believe that the legal system must provide adequate protection to minority shareholders and subject the management of a State-controlled enterprise to the governance discipline of a stock-market listed company. Governments should impose, by law, state-of-the-art governance principles and processes to all State-owned or State-controlled companies.

We believe in the great economic and social potential of cooperatives in several key economic sectors, namely agriculture, retailing, savings institution and green industries. Business cooperatives play a very significant role in the economy of many countries. For instance, cooperatives ranked among the 300 largest in the world represent 20% of the GDP of Finland, 14% of Switzerland and New Zealand, 13% in Netherlands, 10% in France and 6.8% in Quebec (Canada).

We believe that a smart government genuinely concerned with job-creation and spreading the wealth to all its citizens should establish a fiscal and legal context favorable to business cooperatives, employee-owned enterprises, family-owned businesses and social businesses.

We believe in sustainable development for Romania. The government should promote a fiscal and legal framework which encourages businesses to increase transparency, conserve resources and build a business case for environmentally sustainable and socially constructive projects.

We believe that all citizens of Romania must have access to quality health care; Romania should have a strong network of medical guilds which should be empowered to establish their own clinics, their own training, and their own pharmacies.

We believe that education is the key to economic prosperity; we believe in re-establishing the high-quality education system that used to be the pride of Romania.

We believe that the natural endowments of Romania, its natural resources, its striking beauty should be the basis of its prosperity, through sustainable agriculture, ecotourism and the caring exploitation of natural resources.

We believe that Romania needs to create popular prosperity within the framework of a propertied, associative society that will restore the social middle – the network of organic or voluntary communities (families, unions, parishes, sport clubs) mediating between the market and the state.

Bad habits and bad policies die hard… or at least very slowly! But we are hopeful that Romanians dearly want to believe in a better future for their society, for their children; only if Romanians stand up and hold their government, politicians and mass media accountable for their actions and decisions will a new dawn of hope, prosperity and fairness rise all over Romania.

Globalization and European integration are not excuses. National governments, if firm, politically smart, and supported by an active and responsible citizenry, do have considerable power and latitude to act in the interests of their society’s economic and social development.

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Mission Statement

This center is a forum for the promotion of ideas and actionable policies to bring about a fair and prosperous Romania. Our mission is to help salvage Romania from its misguided politics and dead-end economic policies.
Ravaged by the “experiment” of socialism-communism, Romania embraced the equally destructive, if more subtle, “experiment” of neo-liberalism, with its free, meaning unhinged, market economics and its pernicious incantations of “globalization” and “financial market efficiency”.
The consequences for Romania have been disastrous […]

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Suggested Publications

Black Markets and Business Blues

FI Press Montreal - Yvan Allaire, Mihaela Firsirotu: Black Markets and Business Blues Black Markets and Business Blues, Autori: Yvan Allaire, Mihaela Fîrșirotu, FI Press Montreal
This book tells a sad tale. This is the tale of how and why the U.S. financial system and the American model of corporations, touted as examples for the rest of the world, have proven fragile and destructive. It is the tale of how, over the last thirty years, financial markets became populated by funds of all sorts, operators of every breed, speculators of every stripes, and have taken control of publicly listed corporations.
This tale tells of the consequences: short-term management of companies, greed, in and around corporations, the loss of loyalty and commitment within companies, weak governance… The book singles out the particular case of Canada which struggles, with moderate success, to steer clear of the worst excesses of financial capitalism.

Beyond Monks and Minow

FI Press Montreal - Yvan Allaire, Mihaela Firsirotu: Beyond Monks and Minow Beyond Monks and Minow, Autori: Yvan Allaire, Mihaela Fîrșirotu, FI Press Montreal
The distemper of our times and investors’ belated outrage have turned corporate governance into a growth industry. Along with much hand wringing, disconsolate essays on ethics, host of new rules and regulations have come the banal and the trivial, invariably trotting on the allure of a surging phenomenon.
The essays contained in this monograph were written à chaud over the period of January 2002 to June 2003 as the debate was raging over the causes of this latest round of financial fiascos and over the proper measures to prevent a recurrence. The leitmotiv of our texts is that we must seek the root causes for what happened before launching into poorly conceived, and ultimately self-defeating, crusades.

A treia forță, România profundă

Editura Logos - Ovidiu Hurduzeu, Mircea Platon: A treia forță, România profundă A treia forță, România profundă, autori: Ovidiu Hurduzeu, Mircea Platon, Editura Logos, 2008
• Premiul pentru carte-eveniment 2008 al revistei "Convorbiri Literare"
• Carte nominalizată pentru Premiul special al Uniunii Scriitorilor pe anul 2008
"Publicăm aceste eseuri în speranţa că vor ajuta la coagularea unei «a treia forţe». Între capitalismul foştilor comunişti şi marxismul de salon pe banii corporaţiilor occidentale, între cârdăşia politico-economică pozând în piaţă liberă şi lichelismul ideologic-corporat pozând în nonconformism de stânga, între vechiul şi noul establishment, România profundă a dispărut în exil interior sau propriu-zis. Propunem acest manifest la două mâini în nădejdea că va ajuta la identificarea unei «a treia căi». Una de întors acasă."

Economia libertății

Editura Logos - Ovidiu Hurduzeu, John Medaille: Economia libertăţii A treia forţă. Economia libertății. Renaşterea României profunde, Editori: Ovidiu Hurduzeu, John Chrysostom Médaille, Editura Logos, 2009
Dincolo de capitalism şi de comunism, înaintea lor şi după ele, există modele economice mai potrivite firii omeneşti. Economii ale viitorului cu rădăcini adânci în trecut.

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