IRSEA Upgrades Partnership with The Habibie Center, Both Parties Envisage Pragmatic Cooperation

On May 25th 2022, Romanian Institute for Europe-Asia Studies (IRSEA), Romania, upgraded its institutional partnership with The Habibie Center (THC), Indonesia, by signing a new Memorandum of Understanding with the renowned Indonesian think-tank.

Having partnered with THC since 2008, IRSEA has maintained regular communication with its partner. However, in the light of the developments associated with the think-tank and research institutes worldwide, where digitalisation and on-line conferencing has gained significant momentum, IRSEA and THC have mutually agreed to diversify their cooperation by adapting and upgrading their partnership in order to conduct - inter alia - virtual activities and events, with an aim to assure bilateral institutional development remains continuous and pragmatic.

On behalf of IRSEA, Ambassador (p) Gheorghe Savuica, President and Founder of the Institute, recalled the recent global developments, both positive and negative. IRSEA's President further stressed the complementary character of the Romanian think-tank's scope of research (such as political, strategic, economic and cultural) and THC's main research interests (such as democracy and human rights). H.E. the Ambassador recalled his lifetime dedication to supporting the bilateral relations between Romania and Indonesia, mentioning his first international experience, as a student of Bahasa Indonesia, in 1961. Decades later, IRSEA's President and Founder has been appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Romania to Indonesia. On this occasion, the President of IRSEA has extended his invitation to Prof. Dewi Anwar, Chair of THC's Board of Directors, to become Honorary Member of IRSEA. The invitation has been accepted and the due procedure will follow. Ambassador Savuica commended Julia Novrita, THC's Director for Program and Development, as well as IRSEA's Director of Programmes for their success in finding mutual research interests of the two think-tanks and identifying pragmatic grounds for cooperation.

On behalf of THC, Prof. Dr. Dewi Fortuna Anwar, Chair of the Board of Directors, recalled her previous meeting with Ambassador (p) Gheorghe Savuica. In a highly enthusiastic note, Prof. Dr. Dewi stated her expectations for a pragmatic cooperation between the two institutions and appreciated the current developments in digitally-enhanced cooperation, such as teleconferencing, will further facilitate the bilateral cooperation. According to the Indonesian academic, the new framework of cooperation between the two think-tanks is also suitable for enhancing people-to-people connections between Indonesia and Romania. Prof. Dr. Dewi also pointed at the similarities between THC and IRSEA, particularly in terms of the valuable experience and consistent expertise of their respective leadership and researchers. Mr. Umar Juoro, the Head of the Institute for Democracy, Economy and Ecology, Mr. Muhammad Hasan Ansori, Executive Director and Julia Novrita, Director of Program and Development, also participated at the event. Mr. Luthfy Ramiz, researcher at ASEAN Studies programme, was the MC of the event.

H.E. Dan Adrian Balanescu, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Romania to the Republic of Indonesia witnessed the event. The Romanian Ambassador praised the significance of the MoU Signing Ceremony, manifested his official support, and commended the "very good" bilateral relations as well as the "fruitful and interesting consultations at different levels" between Romania and Indonesia. In the same note, the Romanian Ambassador expressed his determination to continue the launched project of upgrading and developing the existing bilateral juridical framework. He personally congratulated Ambassador Savuica for being "a genuine diplomat and genuine promoter of the bilateral relations between Romania and Indonesia".

H.E. Amhar Azeth, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Indonesia to Romania similarly witnessed the event in the presence of Mrs. Andreea Rusu and Mr. Akhmad Masbukhin, First Secretary. The Indonesian Ambassador praised the 72 years of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Romania and expressed his "great expectations" from the newly upgraded partnership, recalling his friendship with Ambassador Savuica. Ambassador Azeth has extended his personal invitation to Prof. Dewi to visit Romania as soon as possible.

Having virtually signed the upgraded partnership agreement during an on-line Ceremony, the representatives of the two think-tanks further stressed their mutual desire to cooperate and thanked all the Distinguished Participants, mentioning the discussions will further continue through the established focal points at institutional level.

Established by Ambassador (p) Gheorghe Savuica as Romania's first independent, autonomous, not-for-profit think-tank particularly dedicated to the study of Europe-Asia Relations, IRSEA has paid a close attention to the political, strategic, economic and cultural aspects in Southeast Asia and ASEAN. Besides a consistent track of international cooperation, the Romanian think-tank has designed and developed several inclusive dialogue platforms, such as IRSEA Distinguished Speakers, IRSEA Roundtable, IRSEA Diplomatic Training Programme, as well as research programmes, weekly foreign policy briefings and occasional papers on Asia-Europe studies.

THC was founded by Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie and his family as an independent, non-governmental and non-profit organization with a vision to advance modernization and democratization efforts in Indonesia based on morality, cultural integrity and religious values. Its mission is to creating a culturally and structurally democratic society that recognizes, respects and upholds human rights, as well as examines and raises issues of democratic development and human rights and to promote and improve human resource management and technology socialization efforts. This mission is used as the basis for strategic development programs in THC's agenda, which includes democratization and human rights, human resources in the fields of science and technology, media and information, marine resources, dissemination and dissemination of technology, as well as network formation and cooperation.

The video documentation of the signing process is accessible via this link

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