Interview with Dan Dima: Romania’s image can be “contaminated” by the United States or of the relationship with China depends on the choice

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Dan Dima, former adviser to President Traian Basescu chancellery and coordinator of the Center for Public Diplomacy, believes that “the Romanian reality is much better than the perception that outsiders have.” Dima Romania recognizes that the main problem is “credibility”, but from his point of view is a problem that can be fixed if the local officials there an “equivalence” between “what you say” and “what they do”.

It takes a country brand, says Dan Dima, organizer of the European Forum for Public Diplomacy, but fear not return one idea “longer spend million on TV commercials … unbridled nature” because there are beautiful landscapes and underdeveloped countries. On the other hand, Dima points out that “if you want a near US legitimacy, that is, if you want the legitimacy USA contaminate, then stay with American, and if you want a legitimation reported the Area of ​​influence of China, then go on other option. ”

What’s missing Romania to change image and unpredictable peripheral country in one attractive?

DD: “Perception marginal” is an element on which it can intervene more difficult not to say that it can not intervene at all – is, if you like, a handful of practitioners of public diplomacy worldwide. Peripheral or central perception is perception resulting from histories of nations – things that obviously we can not change. In short, it is almost impossible to be able to change anything here, but I assure you that many states are in an area peripheral perception enjoys a generally good picture, so useful – good, but if you want a bit boring.

Regarding predictability, this part of the country induce credibility, and credibility is an essential attribute. Fortunately and experience assure you that the ‘credibility’ is the easiest “fix” the techniques of public diplomacy. Being predictable means to be willing to listen to public expectations and to produce the policies that the public expects. Finally, the last issue that you referred to, attractiveness, it involves both the predictability and management expertise in the areas that make a country attractive to foreign audiences famous fields interact and produce what we call “country brand” .

We will be attractive if we know how to make attractive Romanian government if the investment environment will become attractive if Romanian exports will be seductive if foreign tourism will meet public expectations, if we manage to export the species surrounding cultural world is interested and if Romania has the attributes of a modern national model, model … is still unclear to us.

Do you think that the proximity of Ukraine will produce imaginary joint investors, for example?

D.D .: not, under any circumstances. If things remain as they are today, whether we place ourselves in an area of support or neutrality towards Ukraine, investments will not suffer in this regard. What are evaluations influence investment objectives are clearly defined fields in spaces clearly marked – in other words, if the investments fall, no case or situation there is Ukraine fault. Sure, if aggression Ukraine are likely to increase obviously when Romania and all states in the area will suffer, but if things are menus that so far, there is no reason for concern.

What are the sources of credibility in Romania?

DD Resources credibility of Romania are entirely in the hands of Romanian makers. From this point of view, so we should be optimistic – we can not imagine that someone threatens the credibility knowingly Romania. To find out, however, that changes the level of credibility, it is necessary to know what are the ingredients of the credibility of the country. First, credibility is built with messages of equivalence between what we say and what we do with the balance between internal and external communication, avoiding any cost of replacing patriotism with nationalism.

From another perspective, Romania’s credibility takes a lot of legitimacy. Legitimate to regulate that in turn respect existing regulations and are legitimate if we associate with entities with legitimacy proactively assumed by everyone – are legitimate if we export more viable solutions, not problems. Credible if we accept responsibility observations objectively and with whom we agreed to evaluate each other. These are some major construction lines and growing credibility. You will notice that there are many areas where Romania has worked.

In the past 25 years, when Romania had the best picture?

DD: The last 25 years devoid of purpose – we know where we stand today in the external image and do not know how we want to show in the future. I’m afraid to get too late, too little, terribly wrong how important external image.

In the last 100 years, when we can talk about the best image of the country?

DD: No doubt, when the map of Europe Union and the emergence of a modern and high on the eastern flank produced a certain kind of positive perception was a miracle and miracles are so rewarded – the interwar period we are talking about today, so nice has benefited greatly from the wake of that moment. Past 25 years, however, are marked by fragmented developments, untapped performance, at least questionable ways in which we manage crises and the overall image of a toxic disregard for the consequences of external perception. Received domestic political stakes and sometimes I had the feeling that the makers Romanian International Space foreign audiences do not even exist – the result of such an attitude is seen today.

Public diplomacy is a new field for Romania, however, the Foreign Ministry has proposed to develop. What would have done?

DD: MFA is a model institution of conventional diplomacy – diplomacy spaces, borders, negotiations, relations between governments, Malita’s diplomacy in a word. Today, the conventional diplomats requested a new tool that helps us to relate to foreign audiences – a tool could not be reliably operating on some audiences that have turned from spectators to actors in international life.

Times have changed, boundaries and identity are replaced today by the country’s international performance depends on the place in which we place ourselves in the minds of the foreign public. I am not able to say whether MFA is prepared to respond to such demands, which can tell you is that we need expertise in evaluation, vision, innovation and expertise in building strategies. Also we need the restraint and realism in setting goals.

There are many elements that enter into the equation and it is impossible to tell what the MFA has done. If you still have a chance, I will say that I would enjoy if MAE would be more open-minded if they accept diplomatic support new public diplomacy. So far I feel that is afraid of it.

If you had to describe the image of Romania, seen, for instance, the foreign press, which would have three main advantages and disadvantages?

DD: foreign media writes what principle is given, and when not given anything, try to allocate the subject of ethics and honesty Romania or neutral news – things not assumed by one, or news stories that the media Romanians access – that the people on the street who do extraordinary things. It would not be fair to blame because we present it in a better light because no one here does not deal with this problem. Romania’s image clearly by foreign media filter is not good and I would say that is just a distorted image, marred by our own carelessness.

Our main advantages are and I think it should be promoted somehow – Romanian reality is much better than the perception that we have out up to us how we manage to design outside this, then we must not forget that we live in a democracy still young and a series of policies yet to be implemented and it is understood he expects to be promoted.

Finally, one last advantage is that the main problem of Romania’s “credibility” – where the responsibility and we will do extraordinary things.

Our major disadvantage is that we can not stop those “sources” that we discredit constant – that we fail to stop producing conflicting messages, messages disproportionate and inconsistent with the actions factual posts.

In Eastern and Central Europe is the country with the most active public diplomacy (and why)?

DD: Now come to mind two countries in the region – Croatia, Hungary – they seem to develop a more active public diplomacy and significant results. Croatia is strongly motivated by a delay which joined the European project, but also benefit from the experience of the old European partners and Hungary, which apparently uses a wellspring of resources in trying to achieve its national objectives.

Leaving people trained in Romania could be used by officials who complain of brain drain to benefit the country’s image?

DD: No, honestly I do not think that an effective public diplomacy in the Diaspora – does not have the culture of using diaspora diaspora is not intended nor altruism to Romania. I do not blame them … probably because these people leaving the country and wanted to be able to perform here. Of course the further analysis, indirectly, or through statistics, Romania can benefit from intellectual values ​​they export, but I would not be so optimistic about the weight of this benefit.

We lack a country brand?

DD: Obviously we’re missing a “country brand” but to country brand we lack more. I’m a little afraid to think about today’s brand of country that I want to return any idea longer spend one million on TV commercials … nature unleashed in my country. The tools that we can use in the construction of country brand are vectors that Romanians do not trust, and decision makers do not know – we promote further mountains, industrial capacity, resources and large buildings … – well, these vectors are no longer useful today because the public wants to hang items easily on the go, in an age of speed … the fact that we lack a good brand is reflected in the price you damaging export practice the foreign customer confidence Romanian products – factors that in turn make up the brand itself. It’s a vicious circle …

Association with the United States helps to increase Romania’s image and it does not matter in terms of public diplomacy?

DD: Definitely a politician would give a different answer mine. In terms of public diplomacy is important to watch what you get – if you want a near US legitimacy, that is, if you want the legitimacy USA contaminate, then stay with American, and if you want a legitimation reported the Area of ​​influence of China, then go the other version – both have sufficient legitimacy catalyzed a major notoriety the contamination on the level of legitimacy, credibility so, but again, it’s important to whom you want to project yourself during and after the therapy.

Romania is connected through partnerships and alliances her American magnetism area, therefore it is recommended to seek a transfer of legitimacy with the USA and in the spirit of European format which we belong. It is obvious that each version has its advantages and disadvantages indicated, but is clear that it is impossible to get positioned so that you can reap the benefits of both variants alliance.

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