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June 25, 2022

Ambassador Gerhard Reiweger: Austrians don’t know enough about Romania

Austrians do not know enough about Romania, and creating a country brand is “a challenge,” Austrian Ambassador in Bucharest Gerhard Reiweger stated on Wednesday, at the Youth’s Perspective on Romania’s Public Diplomacy within the EU” event.

During this event, held in Bucharest, three youth teams presented three online applications that help those who would like to know more about the European Union: EU Buddy, Euroquiz and EU Choose. EU Buddy is a programme for young people going abroad to ask for information in the online community, Euroquiz is an online general culture test, and EU Choose presents the democratic process through the perspective of a member of the European Parliament.

The projects were developed within a week-long “hackathon”.

“We are trying to see what Romania should look like,” affirmed Eric Bartha, director of the Danube Youth Alliance. He said that all the three projects developed by the young people would be equally promoted and that a manifesto that will contain the conclusions of this experience will be drawn up.

The Ambassador of Austria in Bucharest talked about public diplomacy in the context of creating the European countries’ image, but also about the need for dialogue in the context of creating a country brand. “It is not just the political and legal power involved in this effort, an atmosphere of understanding within societies must be created, and that goal cannot be achieved in the short term,” he said.

“The image of a country’s economy is part of the global perception. If Austria is perceived only in cultural or tourism terms, it means that we have to work on our image from the economic involvement point of view. It is the same for Romania. How many people even know that you have a growing IT sector where the young generation is so involved?” he said.

The event was also attended by Anca Gherle – adviser at the Ministry of Public Consultation and Social Dialogue and Dan Nechita – President of Smart Everything Everywhere.

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