Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu died on Saturday night, at the age of 57, in a hospital from Nice.
Born in 1961, he was the Chairman of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, an ambassador with special assignments, special representative of the Romanian Government on energy security issues, and he held, in different governments, the positions of Director of the Romanian PM’s Chancellery, state counselor or PM’s diplomatic counselor, secretary of state and General Manager for Political Affairs of the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry.
He was PM Petre Roman’s personal assistant, the PM Theodor Stolojan’s Cabinet Director, the Spokesman of the Government, PM Nicolae Vacaroiu’s Cabinet Director, the Cabinet Director and counselor of Mircea Geoana, when he was the Foreign Affairs Minister.
In 2004, he was the PM Adrian Nastase’s Cabinet Director (2004), then he was PM Calin Popescu-Tariceanu’s Cabinet Director (2005-2008), after which date he became an ambassador with special assignments within the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
In 2001, he was the personal representative of the Chairmanship-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) for the Southeastern Europe during the Romanian Chairmanship, and in 2003 he was the Romanian Government’s representative attached to the Baghdad Provisional Authority and a counselor of the Iraqi Foreign Affairs Ministry.
In 2012, he was appointed as state counselor by PM Victor Ponta, carrying out his activity in the PM’s own working apparatus.
Also, Mihnea Constantinescu was a member of the Royal Council founded by King Mihai I, a position he held from October 2010 to December 2015.
Before joining the diplomatic service, he was a teacher at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, in the nuclear engineering field, a specialization in which he obtained the PhD title.
The political and diplomatic community is deploring Mihnea Constantinescu’s early death
MAE: A great loss for Romania’s diplomacy
The death of ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu is a great loss for Romania’s diplomacy, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Diplomatic and Consular Corps having lost a respected colleague, but ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu will remain through all he has achieved in the history of the Romanian diplomacy and will continue to be a moral, professional standard, the MAE says in a release.
“His career is intertwining with the birth and evolution of democratic, Euro-Atlantic Romania and he is a standard for what the Romanian state wished to become after the 1989 Revolution. The long of his diplomatic career, he carried out several significant projects and held various positions and important tasks that have defined Romania’s voice internationally, thus contributing to managing Romania’s major files of foreign politics, the release adds.
ForMin Melescanu: This is bad news for the Romanian diplomatic corps
Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu stated on Sunday for a TV channel that former diplomat Mihnea Constantinescu died abroad on Saturday night.
“I spoke personally with him (with Mihnea Constantinescu – e.n.) two weeks ago. Yesterday, one of our consuls spoke with him. He was very lucid during the entire afternoon, in a very good state, but unfortunately, he died on the same night, around midnight. I want to convey my condolences to the family”, Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu stated on Sunday for Antena 3.
According to the head of MAE, Constantinescu was an ambassador “of a high professional quality”.
“This is bad news for the Romanian diplomatic corps. Mihnea Constantinescu was one of the most respected ambassadors, a person of a high professional quality, balance and with a special interest in promoting Romania’s interests, regardless of the political color of the ruling parties. For us, for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, it is a great loss. We will take all the steps to repatriate him, what we can do is pray for his eternal rest and understand that these things happen and what’s important is what you leave behind you. He was an ambassador that left a very important heritage to us”, Melescanu stated.
Tariceanu: I believe he was by far the best high-level public servant and only his modesty stopped him from getting positions of a higher responsibility
Senate’s Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated on Sunday for MEDIAFAX that Mihnea Constantinescu had not only an “exceptional human quality”, but he was also the best public servant.
“I was filled with sorrow and sadness to find out about Mihnea’s death, since I had a totally special relationship with him. He was the head of my Cabinet most of the time, during my term as Prime Minister, in which period, beyond the professional relationship, I had the opportunity to appreciate him also as a human being. I can say about Mihnea Constantinescu that he was the best <public servant>, or ‘functionar public de rang inalt’ to say it in Romanian. I believe he was by far the best high-level public servant, and only his modesty stopped him from getting positions of a higher responsibility, such as secretary of state or even minister”, Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated on Sunday.
He added that in the recent years, Constantinescu was probably the most valuable Romanian expert in the energy security.
“A few years ago, I asked him to accept the position of the Foreign Minister in a certain context, which assignment I am sure he would have accomplished extremely well, given his skills in the foreign policy field, given his native nature of a diplomat, I could say, and the patriotism he showed. He refused it, as he did in other occasions too, and he dedicated his efforts and work to the foreign policy field, most of the time. In the recent years, he was probably the most valuable expert in energy security”, Tariceanu added.
The Senate’s Speaker also mentioned the “exceptional” human quality of the former diplomat.
“Apart from his exceptional human quality, he also had a certain level. If I look today in the fields of the ministries and I see certain high public servants, I realize that Mihnea was much higher than them. He was a special man”, Tariceanu concluded.
Petre Roman: I am very upset about Mihnea Constantinescu’s death. It is a huge loss
Former PM Petre Roman stated on Sunday for MEDIAFAX that the death of the former diplomat Mihnea Constantinescu is a huge loss for the Romanian state, and that he was “a man with a tremendous devotion for the public good”.
“I am very, very, very upset about Mihnea’s (Constantinescu – e.n.) death. He was much closed to me since he was a student. I brought him into the Government. He was the spokesman of the Government. He was an extremely important collaborator for me. We must say that he was what French people call so nicely «un grand serviteur de l’état», which means a great public servant”, Petre Roman stated.
The former Prime Minister added that Mihnea Constantinescu has never had “any personal ambition of glory, of holding positions”.
“I don’t think I can say with the same belief that I have the same appreciation for anyone else. He was a man with a tremendous devotion for the public good and a professional, therefore I don’t think I can say the same about anyone else than Mihnea Constantinescu. It is a huge loss. He has worked lately in the Foreign Ministry. In the end, it is a huge loss for the Romanian state. He has never had any personal ambition of glory, of holding positions. He was always the one who was doing his job, regardless of the field in which he was asked to work, to function. It really is a great loss”, Petre Roman Concluded.
Ponta: Mihnea Constantinescu, the most competent high-level public servant after 1989
Former PM Victor Ponta wrote on Facebook on Sunday that the former diplomat Mihnea Constantinescu was the most competent high-level public servant which Romanian had after 1989.
“Mihnea Constantinescu was the most competent, honest, loyal and patriot high-level public servant which Romanian had after 1989, with whom I had the chance to work / all of us owe him hundreds of projects and solutions that were really strategic and of national interest – an irreproachable friend and character. May God rest him with the best people!”, former PM Victor Ponta wrote on Sunday on Facebook.
Deputy Prime minister Birchall: Words are too poor to help me express my respect and appreciation for a dear man
“Words are too poor to help me express my respect and appreciation for a dear man, an exceptional ambassador, a colleague hard to find and a true friend who anytime, anywhere and practically at any hour was there to give a piece of advice, to encourage you, to share his opinion, in a hard to find elegance, without forcing you to take it! He loved Romania and he loved the Romanian diplomacy, dedicating them his life and professional career!” says Deputy Prime minister Ana Birchall, in a Facebook post.
“This man was a gentleman, a personality of such an intelligence and fineness, a diplomat who used to work always in a discreet manner for our anchoring in the West. He was one of my friends within the MAE. He knew how to appreciate the culture, he would have wished a Romania where merit should have been recognised effortlessly, a better country led by intelligent, patriot people. I know he cherished the warmth of my friendship and I enjoyed the long of the years his sharp, calm, commonsensical distinction.God rest his soul!” former chief of diplomacy Teodor Baconschi wrote on his Facebook page.
Mihnea Constantinescu used to be an intelligent, subtle, professional diplomat, an unmatched commonsensical person,” former Foreign Affairs minister Cristian Diaconescu said in a release.
“Mihnea was the one who has fully implicated in sustaining the anti-drug policies through the care for the National Anti-drug Agency (ANA)’s functioning at its maximum parameters when it came to the agency’s human and financial resources, having for this several meetings with the CIADO (International Anti-drug and Human Rights Centre) leadership and the ANA’s. Academician Constantin Balaceanu Stolnici, CIADO Romania president sends his condolence to the ambassador’s mourning family,” a communique by this body reads.
The Romanian Crown’s Custodian: An irreplaceable friend
“I’ve learned with endless sadness about the premature, unexpected passing away of ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu. For 20 years, he used to be a great counselor of King Mihai and mine, also an irrreplaceable friend. He used to be one the most constant and strong, discreet and professional members of my House,” reads the message of the Romanian Crown’s Custodian.