Political Dispossession of Roma in Contemporary Europe | Wilson Center
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Political Dispossession of Roma in Contemporary Europe

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The Global Europe Program is pleased to host the 9th Annual Ion Ratiu Democracy Award Workshop on Political Dispossession of Roma in Contemporary Europe featuring Dr. Angela Kocze, leading Hungarian Roma rights activist and a visiting assistant professor at Wake Forest University, NC.

Dr. Kocze has an international reputation for interdisciplinary approach, combining political activism and policy-making with in-depth participatory research studies on the Roma situation in Hungary and elsewhere. Dr. Kocze also worked as a founding director of the European Roma Information Office (ERIO) in Brussels (2003-2004), as well as the former director of the human rights education program at the European Roma Rights Centre (1998-2003) in Budapest. Dr. Kocze was the founding director of the Romaversitas program (1996) in Budapest which offers scholarships and mentorship for Roma minority university students.

Established in 2005, the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award (IRDA) aims to bring visibility and international recognition to the ideas, ideals and accomplishments of individuals around the world who are working on behalf of democracy. It brings recognition to the importance of the work carried out by democracy activists around the world.  The event expresses the deep commitment to democracy of the late Ion Ratiu through his contributions as a Romanian politician as well as his interest in democratic change worldwide.

Previous awardees include Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar, 2012), Nabeel Rajab (Bahrain, 2011), Oleg Kozlovsky (Russia, 2010), Adam Michnik (Poland, 2009), Eleonora Cercavschi (Moldova, 2008), Anatoli Mikhailov (Belarus, 2007), Saad Ibrahim (Egypt, 2006), and Sergio Aguayo (Mexico, 2005).



  • Angela Kocze

    Ion Ratiu Scholar
    Visiting Assistant Professor, Wake Forest University
  • Jud Nirenberg

    Roma Activist, Washington, DC
  • Gisella Gori

    Senior Political Advisor, Delegation of the European Union to the United States, Washington, D.C.
  • Jonas Rolett

    Regional Director, Southern Central and Eastern Europe, Open Society Foundations
  • Madalina Mocan

    Executive Director, Ratiu Foundation for Democracy, Turda, Romania
  • Mark Gitenstein

    Special Counsel, Mayer Brown, and Former Ambassador of the U.S. to Romania
  • Cristiana Grigore

    Visiting Fulbright Scholar, Bard College, NY
  • Christian F. Ostermann

    Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
    Woodrow Wilson Center
  • Michael Uyehara

    Director, Office of European Affairs (DRL/EUR), Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State