Back to Reference

The relation between European and national issues of HRD and VET - a Romanian perspective on recent R&D projects

Contribution to the CEDEFOP supported project on “Promoting European Perspective in VET and HRD Research”

Liliana Voicu

May 2007

Part 2 of the Paper "Issues of HRD and VET in Central and Eastern European countries, in the light of recent R&D projects" by Sabine Manning & Liliana Voicu, published in the ERO Base of the ETV.

> View record > Download paper (PDF)


Soon after December 1989, for the young democratic society in Romania, after the moment of celebrating the end of a long dictatorship and the quasi-confusion on deciding what to do with its fresh and demanding freedom, a generally accepted scope emerged: acceding the European Union. This overall goal absorbed the most important part of the national energies: integrating the acquis communautaire and defining the Romanian way of being European. 

Now we are at the end of this long way and it is normal to pay a special regard on how the human resource is approached, not only because it was the key factor in the shift from a hyper-centralised economy to a free market and from a totalitarian society to a consolidated democracy, but because it is the key factor in attaining the Lisbon goals, to which the Romanian society is now committed. A double sided perspective, where national and European interfere not only in the background, but also in the orienting guidelines. 

It is therefore interesting to look on how European and national issues of HRD and VET are reflected in research and development projects, trying to answer a number of questions like: Which key issues of HRD/VET research are addressed in the Romanian projects? To what extent do the EU issues matter for Romania? What is their benefit for Romanian HRD/VET research and policy reforms? What is the value of the Romanian contribution to EU projects? How is the Romanian contribution to EU projects related to national projects in Romania?

In order to answer such questions, this contribution looks closely at a few recent R&D projects, trying to cover a diverse scale of typologies. The selection includes projects with larger or smaller perspective, using national or transnational methodology, based mainly on Romanian or European expertise, oriented more towards HRD or to VET issues. For comparison, a UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) report is also included, in order to offer a broader perspective of comparison, as the theme is much wider than the normal HRD/VET field: human development in Romania.

The following Romanian projects are being analysed:

  • Support to Ministry of Labour, Social Solidarity and Family for CVT development (R&D project – national)
  • Monographs – Candidate countries. Vocational education and training and employment services in Romania (research project – national, with European expertise)? National Human Development Report for 2003-2005 (research project, transnational)
  • Skills audit survey (research project, national)
  • Quality improvement of adult vocational training in Romania (development project, trans-national)
  • Further support to active involvement of Social Partners – Enhancing Sectoral Committees (development project)
  • Reflective Evaluation (pilot Leonardo da Vinci project)
As can be noticed from the examples above, the image offered by the Romanian projects matches very well the analytical overview of R&D projects carried out in CEE countries. 

Apart from this, it can be said that Romanian projects address issues that are relevant as well at European level. On the one hand, this is because, in the process of EU integration, Romania spent huge energies to meet the requirements of the accession built on the European agenda, that Romania was committed to adopt anyhow at the end of the process. On the other hand, due to the important assistance of the European expertise, EU issues were embedded in the approach and background elements of the methodologies applied. At the same time, Romanian experts in HRD & VET were connected to the European discourse in R&D and were affected by the trends ”in fashion” – European programmes to which Romania was included from early times had an important role in this respect.
Romanian HRD & VET research and policy reforms benefited from these evolutions. Romania’s way to access the EU was speeded by the HRD & VET reforms, and other elements of the integration were also eased by these reforms. Now, participation of Romania in European processes comes natural and has already a common background. Romanian contribution can matter only from this perspective, only when common understanding can underline the specific differences that are to be taken into account. Which means that not only Romanians try to adopt European ways, but the Romanian way begins to be European.

Generally, national projects seem to be more concrete and relevant to developments in Romania. Yet, it is equally important that Romanians contribute in a normal way to European projects, not least because their participation in European HRD & VET projects will influence their approach to the national projects as well. Especially as, from now on, for Romania, European is also national!

Set up: 25/05/2007
Update: 15/04/2008
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO