Mrs. Eleonora Cercavschi, recipient of the 2008 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture Award, was honored with the Order of the Republic (Ordinul Republicii) - the highest Moldovan distinction presented by the country's President.

On August 31, the day of Romanian Language in Moldova, President Mihai Ghimpu decorated a distinguished group of citizens for their outstanding service to society in the fields of languages and sciences. Mrs. Cercavschi, principal of the Stefan the Great High School (Liceul Stefan cel Mare si Sfant) in Grigoriopol was recognized with the Order of the Republic for having devoted her career to defending the right of Transnistiran children to be educated in Romanian language.

Press coverage of the ceremony in Romanian can be found at the following news sites: and

Mrs. Cercavschi's keynote address Democracy and Freedom as Fundamental Human Rights, delivered at the 2008 Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture, is available in a Wilson Center publication. Copies of the publication can be mailed out upon request. Please send all requests to