Ambassadors Early Education Initiative 2012-2017

was formed by nine ambassadors to Romania, in support of early education for all – as the foundation for building a competitive European workforce in the decades to come.
22 April 2012

Michael Schwarzinger, Austria Estanislao de Grandes Pascual, Spain
Ulla Vaisto, Finland Jean-Hubert Lebet, Switzerland
Andreas von Mettenheim, Germany Martin Harris, United Kingdom
Mario Cospito, Italy Mark H Gitenstein, USA
Matthijs van Bonzel, The Netherlands


On January 28, 2013, nine ambassadors to Romania from Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway, the Netherlands, and Sweden met to discuss how to support Romania to provide early education to as many children as possible. Dante Stein, Secretary-General for Romania’s National Development Strategy until 2019, hosted the meeting on behalf of OvidiuRo.


On February 4, 2014, the third meeting of the “Ambassadors’ Initiative for Early Education” was held at the residence of Italian Ambassador Diego Brassioli.

Princess Marina Sturdza and Education Minister Remus Pricopie also took part in the discussions on the best ways in which foreign governments can facilitate access to early education for all children in Romania, especially the ones coming from disadvantaged families.

The British Embassy supported the extension of the Every Child in Kindergarten program in Cluj, with a contribution of 10,000 pounds, and Norway allocated 250,000 euros for the expansion of FCG in three other counties (Brașov, Dâmbovița, and Dolj).

From left to right: Amb. Jean-Hubert Lebet – Switzerland, Ms. Hilde Bereit Eide – Norway, Ms. Julia Gross – Germany, Amb. Marek Szczygiel – Poland, Mr. Dante Stein, Minister Remus Pricopie, Princess Marina Sturdza, Amb. Alexander Filipov – Bulgaria, Amb. Gerard Corr – Ireland, Mr. Duane Butcher – USA, Amb. Anders Bengtcén – Sweden, Amb. Michael Schwarzinger – Austria, Amb. Michael Sternberg – Denmark, Amb. Matthijs van Bonzel – Netherlands, Ms. Leslie Hawke, Amb. Diego Brasioli – Italy, Ms. Maria Gheorghiu.


On 5 February 2015, the 4th Annual Meeting of the Ambassadors’ Early Education Initiative was hosted by British Ambassador Paul Brummell and had as special guests the Minister of Education, Mr. Sorin Cimpeanu, and the State Secretary within the Ministry of Labour, Mr. Codrin Scutaru. Also participating were the Ambassadors of Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Israel, Netherlands, Switzerland, UK and USA.

Minister Cimpeanu and Secretary Scutaru expressed their commitment to getting every poor child in gradinita and their endorsement of food coupons (tichete social) as an incentive to increase preschool attendance of children living in poverty. They also explained their intent to issue an Ordin Interministerial to clarify the authority of government entities to allocate food coupons for this purpose. This is an important step toward getting literally Fiecare Copil in Romania in Gradinita by 2020.

ambassadors meeting 2015

From left to right: Ms. Cora Motoc (Senior Political Officer UK Embassy), Amb. Karsten Vagn Nielsen (Denmark), Amb. Ulla Väistö (Finland), Amb. Diego Brasioli (Italy), Amb. Dan Ben-Eliezer (Israel), Mr. Dante Stein, Amb. Jean-Hubert Lebet (Switzerland), Mr. Sorin Cimpeanu (Minister of Education), Amb. Werner Hans Lauk (Germany), Ms. Maria Gheorghiu (Cofounder OvidiuRo), Amb. Gerhard Reiweger (Austria), Amb. Matthijs van Bonzel (Netherland), Ms. Adriana Brummell, Amb. Paul Brummell (UK), Mr. Eduard Corjescu (Manager of Labor Legislation Department within Ministry Of Labor), Ms. Leslie Hawke (Cofounder OvidiuRo), Mr. Dean Thompson (Chargé d’Affaires US Embassy), Mr. Codrin Scutaru (State Secretary within the Ministry of Labour).


The fifth Annual Meeting of the Ambassadors’ Early Education Initiative, hosted by USA Ambassador Hans Klemm and his wife took place on 26 January 2016. Adrian Curaj, Minister of Education and Ambassadors of Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK and USA stated their continued support for offering access to education to the most impoverished children in Romania. The passing of the 248/2015 law was a great step but complementary actions are needed in order to have the same impact that the pilot program had.

ambassadors meeting 2015

Left to right: Andreea Cîrlan, (Political Officer, Sweden), Pasi Kokkonen (First Secretary)(Finland), Amb. Francois Saint-Paul (France), Codrin Scutaru (McGuireWoods), Amb. Stella Ronner-Grubac (Netherlands), Amb. Paul Brummell (UK), Amb. Tove Bruvik Westberg (Norway), Maria Gheorghiu (OvidiuRo Cofounder), Amb. Hans Klemm (USA), Leslie Hawke (OvidiuRo Cofounder), Ligia Deca (Presidential Advisor on Education), Adrian Curaj (Minister of Education), Amb. Werner Hans Lauk(Germany), Amb. Tamar Samash (Israel).


Foto ambasadori 2017On March 7, the sixth Annual Meeting of the Ambassadors’ Early Education Initiative was hosted by the French ambassador François Saint-Paul at his residence. The Ambassadors of Denmark, Finland, France, Israel, Sweden Switzerland, UK and USA, and the representatives of Germany and Netherlands Embassies were updated on the progress registered by the Fiecare Copil in Gradinita Law and the complementary actions that OvidiuRo took over the past year.