The Raţiu Democracy Center, CRD is a Romanian registered non-governmental, not-for-profit organization based in Transylvania, Romania. Through its varied programs and projects the Center seeks to promote values and behaviors associated with democracy, open society and multiculturalism.
CRD was founded in July 2004 by Indrei Ratiu, the son of Ion Ratiu with the support of the Ratiu Family Foundation based in London, UK and leading faculty members of Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
The Raţiu Center is particularly active in the fields of democratization and civil society building through programs and projects that aim to improve the quality of democratic life and civil participation in the public sphere. The Center’s beneficiaries range from specific groups (such as students, academics, women, teachers, pensioners, or those with special needs) to wider audiences such as whole communities.
The Raţiu Center for Democracy is also involved in several international projects including the prestigious annual Ion Raţiu Democracy Lecture in association with the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C. This public lecture launched in 2005, is encouraging and rewarding men and women of principle, thinkers as well as activists, struggling to implement democratic values and behaviors in parts of the world where these are either emerging or under threat.
The Raţiu Center distinguishes itself by promoting “democracy as a way of life,” the principle adhered to and promoted by Ion Ratiu (1917 – 2000), the life-long Romanian opponent of communism and advocate of democracy world-wide. This international perspective is complemented by programs and projects that are also distinctly local and regional focusing on the particularities of Transylvanian and Romanian post-1989 transition society.