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Country brand: brick dropping

Millions of Euro wasted on successive operations meant to persuade communication experts into finding the best country brand for Romania. And it seems more millions will be wasted on the same purpose, whereas the outcome of it is predictable.

Why don't we choose for our country brand our national attitude, for which we are internationally famous, a fact denied by nobody, since we have got generations of absolutely exceptional representatives? No one can deny our brilliant unwiseness, our brilliant brick dropping at key moments when we are to make a point.

If we approach it seriously, we must up with with a piece of elementary truth: no matter where, language is the main country brand. Some nations turned national languages in the perfect means to acquire supremacy over the world. Once it was French that dominated as language of diplomacy and culture, nowadays it is English compulsory for a significant part of the world and almost compulsory for business. Other large territories kept the languages of erstwhile colonizers, Spanish or Portugese, just as Dutch and local dialects to a much lesser extent.

As far as Romania is concerned, our chance to make Romanian more present in Europe emerged once with the accession to the EU, when Romanian acquired the status of an official language. This is very interesting, but very, very useless. Here is an example of powerlessness: Romanian Commissioner Leonard Orban is in charge of the editing and translating of all EU documents. In one of my reports from Bruseels I mentioned it, but I think it is relevant and worthy of more comment.

When the European Commission released the interim report on the state of Romanian Justice, the document was distributed to the attendants in the press room in 3 versions: French, English and Romanian. It is just that the employees of the department headed by Mr. Orban left the printer soft as they pleased, since it was about a language no one had special care for. It didn't matter anyway, for only Orban's Romanians would see the text and this lacked any diplomatic relevance. Therefore the Romanian version copies were full of bullets instead of letters. So what ? It is nothing, for we are used to mocking ourselves, even at the highest level of representation in European structures.

Do you think there could have occured such an error to a text written in French, English, German, Spanish or other? The protest would have followed on the spot and they would have demanded that the wrong versions should be at once replaced by right ones. Furthermore, they would have thought about political connotations and the respective states' representatives to the EU would have written a protest.

Two representatives of Mr. Orban's office (one of them a Romanian woman) passed by the piling Romanian versions, but they didn't care. Of course there was no response whatsoever from the lady representing Romania at the EU. Why would they care? Isn't this the product of stupid diplomacy, working on a national priciple such as unwise brick dropping? Isn't the head of Romanian diplomats the first to give an example? He talks to Vladimir Voronin academically, but he doesn't protest in the international forum within which the Chishinau leader continues to mock the elementary truths in Romania's history?

Given these, why wonder that we crop what we seed: indifference?

Cristian UNTEANU
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