PressOne has identified 32 of the members of the Academy of National Security Sciences, a state-funded institution. *The ASSN leadership has refused, for more than two months, to publicly disclose the names of its members. *Several academics have recently resigned, after the press started writing about this organization. *Eight of the ten individuals in ASSN are or have been PSD members. *Nine members of ASSN do not have, or at least on a visible level, any connection at all to the field of national security. *Two members of ASSN are part of the Presidential Administration. *Five members of ASSN were Ministers in previous PSD government.
The Academy of National Security Sciences (ASSN) mimics the behavior of a secret society.
In recent months, the institution known as the “Gabriel Oprea Academy” has quickly gained notoriety in the context of allegations of plagiarism and abuse made by the former deputy prime minister while in office.
Despite the interest it has been shown, ASSN has made it a goal to maintain complete silence about its membership and the activity of its members. The member’s names are not officially known, although they benefit from lifetime special pensions provided by the state budget.
In addition, the few names that have so far been identified only raise further questions about the role of this supposedly scientific institution.
Although some of the most powerful and influential citizens of Romania belong to ASSN, no one wishes to openly discuss the fact that they are members.
Some of the academics who have been identified as being a member of ASSN are purposefully trying to distance themselves from this institution, minimize their position and even trivialize it. This is the case even though they are full-time members and receive a monthly stipend of 2,700 lei for their membership.
The initial name of this institution was the Academy of Military Sciences (ASM). It was founded in 2012 thanks to the initiative of a group of senators and deputies – among them Gabriel Oprea, Teodor Melescanu, Eugen Bădălan and Eugen Nicolicea.
The first president, elected by secret ballot on July 5, 2012, was General-Lieutenant Prof. Dr. Teodor Frunzeti.
The other members of the upper administration were also elected by secret vote: Vice-President – Police Officer and Professor Gheorghe Popa; Secretary General – Colonel (r) Professor Gheorghe Boaru; head of the Military, Information and Military Security Section – Brigadier General (r) Professor Viorel Buță; the head of the Public Order section – General (r) Professor Sergiu Medar; and the head of the Information section – Chief Commissioner of Police Professor Stefan Pruna.
The leadership was changed in a meeting that took place on January 29, 2015 of the General Assembly of the then Academy of Military Sciences. At that time, a new president was elected: George Maior, who had resigned two days before as director of the Romanian Intelligence Service.
At the same time, the elected vice-president was Professor Vasile Mihail Ozunu, director of the National Defense College of the “Carol I” National Defense University, and Gabriel Oprea’s close friend. The elected Secretary General was Professor Gheorghe Toma, at that time rector of the National Intelligence Academy, and, coincidently, another close friend of Oprea.
A shift in power dynamics
Moreover, 2015 was a year of metamorphoses for the Academy of Military Sciences. Through a new law that amended the original law dating back to 2012, the name of the institution was changed to the Academy of National Security Sciences.
On June 19, 2015, in a sitting held at the Government headquarters, George Maior was elected honorary president of ASSN and Gheorghe Toma became the interim president.
About three weeks before, Maior had been appointed Romania’s ambassador to the United States of America and could no longer hold the foremost position in ASSN leadership.
On August 27, 2015, in the presence of President Klaus Iohannis, ASSN organized a conference for the purpose of presenting the fundamental concepts of the National Defense Strategy (The document put forth by ASSN, is severely criticized in an analysis published on Contributors.ro, by Professor Marian Zulean, specialist in security and military sociology studies).
During a speech he made at the time, President Klaus Iohannis said that ASSN “brings together prestigious specialists in the field”, but also that it is “the youngest institution that is of academic trajectory and is focused on scientific research in the field of national security sciences”.
On the same occasion, George Maior announced that his role in ASSN leadership would be suspended while he served as ambassador. This statement could suggest that the former director of the SRI has this position reserved for when he returns to Bucharest.
At the same time, the interim president of ASSN, Gheorghe Toma, was replaced by Remus Pricopie, former Minister of Education. It is not clear why one interim, Toma, was replaced by another interim, Pricopie, nor was the exact method used for appointing a new member to the leadership committee.
The information was not found in the press releases issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) at that time, largely due to the fact that all public information regarding ASSN was deleted from their official website.
Sources who have close ties to ASSN have told us that the logic behind this change to ASSN’s interim leadership is a direct result of the shift in power dynamics between Gabriel Oprea and George Maior. As a result, “Oprea’s man” was replaced with “Maior’s man”.
Remus Pricopie, the current rector of the National School of Political and Administrative Studies (SNSPA), is a close associate of George Maior. In fact, Maior was a lecturer at SNSPA and since 2014, has been a professor at this institute of higher education.
How to become a member of ASSN
According to ASSN law, the institution is “under the scientific coordination of the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Romanian Intelligence Service”.
Listed below are the most important scientific research related entities within the Ministry of National Defense (MApN), the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) and the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI): the postgraduate school of the National Defense University “Carol I“, subordinated to MApN; the postgraduate school, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza“, coordinated by the Police Academy, subordinated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs; and the National Intelligence Academy, “Mihai Viteazul“, subordinated to the SRI.
In recent months, these postgraduate institutions have been involved in scandals related to the plagiarism of numerous doctoral theses; and are assiduously protected by the Ministry of Education.
In the founding laws of ASSN, it is stipulated that ASSN “brings together individuals who offer great scientific and professional value in the fields of scientific research, particularly regarding the defense system, public order and national security”.
The ASSN statute also establishes a series of minimal criteria for obtaining the status of incumbent member or correspondent member, which are divided into two categories: (1) publishing activity and scientific research and (2) didactic and scientific activity.
In the department of “publishing activity and scientific research“, the members or correspondents must be the primary authors or co-authors of books, manuals, university courses or monographs, have articles published in journals recognized by the National Council for Scientific Research or in the books belonging to international conferences; or involvement in scientific research projects.
In the “didactic and scientific activity” department, the titular members or correspondents must be university professors, associates, or organizers of conferences in the country or abroad.
Other requirements that are taken into consideration based on an internal scoring system are factors such as membership in the National Council for the Certification of Titles, Diplomas and University Certificates (CNATDCU). Membership in the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education earns one triple scores (15 points for CNATDCU), double (10 points for ARACIS) and a tenured university professor a little less (5 points).
Many of the ASSN members have been or still are members of the most important control institutions of higher education.
Nine members do not meet their own requirements
Although the ASSN has existed since 2012, and after its adoption of the previously mentioned Law of 2015, its members’ allowances have been paid for by the state budget, the ASSN is still completely non-transparent regarding its formation.
The opacity of the ASSN has meant that there are terms such as masonry, dome, esoteric academy or occult organization used when referring to this institution.
And yet, who are the ASSN members and what is the role of this Academy?
With the help of public information and our sources, we identified 32 of the members. However, the complete list is larger and many remain anonymous.
At least nine members, according to their career path, have no connection whatsoever to military sciences and are not, as the law requires, “individuals who offer great scientific and professional value in the fields of scientific research, particularly regarding the defense system, public order and national security.”
The nine academics who do not meet the criteria of the law are, at the time of publication: Remus Pricopie, President of ASSN; Vasile Dîncu, Deputy Prime Minister; Adrian Curaj, Minister of Education; Petre Tobă, Minister of the Interior; Sorin Cîmpeanu, former Minister of Education; Dan Mihalache, head of the Presidential Chancellery; Gabriel Liviu Ispas, State Secretary in the Ministry of Education; Gigel Paraschiv, State Secretary in the Ministry of Education; and Ion Neagu, lawyer.
At the time of the initiation of these nine individuals as members, the president of ASSN was George Maior.
When we asked Maior the reason for which these nine members were accepted, he told us: “You probably know as well as I do that the position of president of ASSN did not suddenly make me change from a person who is concerned with strategic issues, theories, concepts and their practical implementation into a bureaucrat with the preposterous ambitions of an accountant. I did not prepare files for potential members, I did not tally up scores, I did not put a check mark beside each of the requirements that these members fulfilled. It would’ve been counterproductive to take on this role of a civil servant rather than dealing with the aspect of creating a vision and developing external relations, which the function of president that an Academy presupposes.”
However, as president of ASSN, George Maior also served as president of the Scientific Council and the Executive Office of the Scientific Council, entities responsible for the election of new members, according to the law of operation and the status of ASSN.
The Presidency and the Government, represented in ASSN
Two of the most important institutions, the Presidency and the Government, are represented in ASSN.
Two of the academics belonging to ASSN are employees of the Presidential Administration – Dan Mihalache, head of the Presidential Chancellery, and Teodor Frunzeti, adviser to the Department of National Security. Four other members are part of the current Government: Vasile Dîncu, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development; Adrian Curaj, Minister of Education; Petre Tobă, Minister of the Interior; and Gigel Paraschiv, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Education.
A fifth Government employee, Gabriel Liviu Ispas, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Education, resigned from ASSN about a month ago.
According to the Statute, the ASSN is made up of three specialized sections: (1) the Military Sciences Section; (2) the Public Order Section and (3) the National Security and Intelligence Section.
The maximum number of members is also established by statute: 200. Of the 200, 50 are incumbent members, 50 are correspondents, 50 are associates and finally, 50 are honorary members. The incumbent members and the corresponding members of ASSN are elected and remunerated for life, and the associate and honorary members are elected for a period of four years, with the possibility of being re-elected for a term of office.
The maximum number of incumbent members of the Military Science Section is 25, the number of correspondent members is 25, the number of honorary members is 25, and that of the associate members is 25.
At the Public Order and National Security Section, the maximum number of incumbent members is 13, the maximum number of corresponding members is 12, the number of honorary members is 13, and the number of associate members is 12.
At the National Intelligence and Security Section, the maximum number of full members is 12, the number of correspondent members is 13, the number of honorary members is 12, and the number of associate members is 13.
Department of Military Sciences
The Department of Military Sciences corresponds to the area of defense and brings together several people who teach at the National Defense University “Carol I” or who are in the management of MApN.
Gabriel Florin Moisescu, Major General (r), Associate Member of ASSN and President of the Military Science Section.
He is a university professor and started his teaching activity in 1990 at the National Defense University. Until March 1, 2016, he was the rector of UNAp, then he was put in the reserves by a presidential decree. Between 2007 and 2014, he was rector of the Air Force Academy “Henri Coandă“. He had previously been director of the UNAp Defense Intelligence College.
Vasile Mihail Ozunu, Major General (r), Associate Member of ASSN, Vice President of ASSN.
He is a university professor and director of the National Defense College within UNAp. He is one of Gabriel Oprea’s closest friends. In Gabriel Oprea’s Minister of Defense mandate, Ozunu (photo) was the State Secretary in charge of the Department for Relations with Parliament, Public Information and the improvement of the quality of life for the MApN staff.
Gabriel Oprea owes much of his university career to Ozunu. Ozunu was part of the commission that granted him the title of university professor in 2001, without Oprea fulfilling the legal requirements outlined in the job application.
In October 2015, Ozunu was also part of Gabriel Oprea’s daughter, Ana Maria Tudor’s, dissertation committee. Ozunu also sat on the committee for the doctoral thesis of Gabriel Oprea’s son-in-law, Alexandru Marius Tudor. Lastly, he was part of the dissertation committee of several doctoral theses coordinated by Gabriel Oprea at the Police Academy and the National Intelligence Academy, of which PressOne wrote about exclusively.
Sources close to ASSN have told us that Vasile Mihail Ozunu recently signed an application for resignation from ASSN. Most likely, this happened after February 16, 2016, the date when he filed statements of wealth with interest to be ASSN’s vice president.
Teodor Frunzeti, four-star general (r), incumbent member of ASSN and full member of the Academy of Sciences (AOSR).
Frunzeti (photo) was the first president of the Academy of Military Sciences after the establishment of the Institution in 2012. He is currently the presidential adviser in the Department of National Security within the Presidential Administration.
He was the Chief of the General Staff of the Ground Forces between 2006 and 2010 and the rector of UNAp between 2010 and 2014. He was part of the dissertation committees in support of several doctoral theses coordinated by Gabriel Oprea at the National Intelligence Academy.
Gheorghe Calopăreanu, Colonel, Associate Member of ASSN and Associate Member of the AOSR.
He is a university professor and started teaching in 1991 at the National Defense University where he held several management positions. Since March 2016, he has been rector of UNAp.
Viorel Buță, Brigadier General (r), ASSN member and incumbent member of the AOSR.
He was the president of the Department of Military Science, Intelligence and Military Security in the Academy of Military Sciences. He has been active as a university professor at UNAp since 1996.
Gheorghe Boaru, Colonel (r), Associate Member of ASSN and Corresponding Member of the AOSR.
He is a university professor and PhD supervisor at UNAp. He was the Director of the Center for Scientific Research in the field of military actions at a tactical and operational level, as well as the Director of the Center for Scientific Research in the field of defense resource management.
Ion Mitulețu, colonel, incumbent member of ASSN.
He is a university professor and served as scientific secretary of the UNAp Senate.
Cătălin Ștefăniță Zisu, Lieutenant General, Associate Member of ASSN.
He is the commander of the Joint Logistics Headquarters of the MApN, which has all of the country’s military hospitals under its wing, in addition to the Romanian Army’s official sport’s club, “Steaua“.
Zisu’s military career can be characterized by the way that he breezed through his career, which included breaking the record for youngest general in the Romanian army at just 36 years of age.
During that time, the media reported that Zisu obtained his university degree under suspicious conditions and that he was involved in real estate deals between MApN and Gigi Becali. He is also known to be close to Gabriel Oprea.
Sources close to ASSN have told us that General Cătălin Zisu recently submitted a request for resignation from ASSN, during the same period that Vasile Mihail Ozunu submitted his resignation.
Alexandru-Petru Gălușcă, Air Fleet General (r), founding member of ASM and corresponding member of ASSN.
The last position he held before his transfer to the reserves was Deputy of the Romanian Military Representative to NATO and the EU. He was attached to the aero and naval defense of Romania in Beijing and was Deputy Director of the DGIA between 2005 and 2007.
Adrian Stroea, Brigadier General (r), correspondent member of ASSN.
He is the commander of Larom 8th Brigade. He is a doctor and graduate of the National Defense College.
Corneliu Bocai, Rear Admiral (r), Honorary Member of ASSN.
He is a doctor and associate professor at the “Mircea cel Bătrân” Naval Academy. He has held several leadership positions in the Romanian Marines.
Public Order Section
The Public Order Section is linked to the area of competence and refers to the Romanian police, bringing together several people from the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” Police Academy, subordinated to MIA and others.
Gheorghe Popa, Police Treasurer (r), incumbent member of ASSN and president of the Public Order Section.
He has been a member of the Academy of Military Sciences since its inception and is currently the Vice President. He is a tenured university professor at the Romanian-American University and was Rector of the Police Academy until March 10, 2016, when he too went into the reserves.
Popa’s retirement was followed by an audit carried out by the Control Body of the Ministry of Interior (MIA), which unearthed a series of irregularities at the Police Academy. Although he had been a professor at the Romanian-American University since 2014, in January 2016 he participated in a competition for the position of university professor at the Police Academy, which is prohibited by the Law of Education.
Even though he had been admitted, Gheorghe Popa resigned from the position before being confirmed in the Senate of the Academy after PressOne had requested details about the type of position he occupied in the educational institution.
Petre Tobă, Police General Prosecutor, member of ASSN.
He had been the Minister of the Interior in the Cioloş government since November 2015, and does not “offer great scientific and professional value in the fields of scientific research, particularly regarding the defense system, public order and national security”.
In an exclusive article written by PressOne, it was revealed that over 250 pages of Petre Tobă’s doctoral thesis, obtained in 2011 at the National Defense University, is plagiarized. So far, neither UNAp nor CNATDCU have investigated the way in which Petre Tobă became a doctor in military sciences, pointing to a lack of legislation in the matter.
Sources involved in Romanian politics have told us that the appointment of Petre Toba as Interior Minister was influenced by Presidential Councilor Dan Mihalache, thanks to a request made by Gabriel Oprea.
Sergiu Medar, Lieutenant General (r), incumbent member of ASSN.
He has been a member of the Academy of Military Sciences since its inception and was the president of the Public Order Section until January 2015. He is a university professor.
In 2009, the press wrote that he was a suspect in a DNA (National Corruption Directorate) investigation into about how around 100 people became professors at UNAp. The file was titled “The Scandal of Titles and Degrees at UNAp”.
He was sentenced to one year of prison with suspension (no jail time) in the file “Houses for Generals” in March 2015. Sergiu Medar was also a presidential adviser in the Department of National Security, the head of the National Intelligence Community and a member of the Supreme Council of the Defense of the Country in the mandate of Traian Basescu.
He previously held the position of Chief of the Military Intelligence Directorate and General Manager of the General Defense Intelligence Directorate.
Cristian Popescu, Chief Commissioner of Police, Associate Member of ASSN.
He is a university professor and was Vice-Rector of the Police Academy from 2013 until March 2016. He has been a professor at the Police Academy since 1998.
Ion Busuioc, Colonel, Associate Member of ASSN. He was Vice-Rector of the Police Academy from 2014 to March 2016. He has been a professor in the Police Academy since 2005.
Stefan Eugen Pruna, Chief Commissioner, Associate Member of ASSN.
He has been a member of the Academy of Military Sciences since its inception and was the chairman of its Intelligence Section until January 2015. He is a university professor at the Police Academy and Vice-Rector, having been appointed for the position on March 10, 2016. He is a member of the Commission of Military Sciences, Intelligence and Public Order at CNATDCU.
Dan Victor Cararopol, Chief Commissioner, Associate Member of ASSN.
He is a university professor and Director of the Doctoral School of the Police Academy. He is a member of the CNATDCU Military Sciences, Intelligence and Public Order Commission.
Marius George Tical, Chief Commissioner, Associate Member of ASSN and Associate Member of AOSR.
He is a university professor and the director of the National College of Internal Affairs of the Police Academy. He is a member of the CNATDCU Military Sciences, Intelligence and Public Order Commission.
Adrian Iacob, Chief Commissioner, Associate Member of ASSN.
He is a university professor and the Dean of the Faculty of Police in the Police Academy.
Florin Neacșa, Lieutenant Colonel, Associate Member of ASSN.
He is a university professor and Dean of the Faculty of Firefighting in the Police Academy.
Gabriel Liviu Ispas, founding member and incumbent member of ASSN.
He is Secretary of State for pre-university education, appointed by Sorin Cîmpeanu in the short term he served as interim prime minister after the resignation of Victor Ponta in November, 2015.
He is a university lecturer and suspended Dean of the “Titu Maiorescu” Law School. He has a degree in law and theology. He is a member of the ARACIS Council.
He has held several leadership positions in the Ministry of Education during the mandates of Anton Anton, Daniel Funeriu, Liviu Pop, Ecaterina Andronescu and Remus Pricopie.
He was the personal advisor to Prime Minister Adrian Nastase. He is a graduate of a short-term course at the National Intelligence Academy of the SRI…
In October 2015, Ispas (photo) was part of the supervisor committee for the doctoral theses of Gabriel Oprea’s daughter, Ana Maria Tudor, and his son-in-law, Alexandru Marius Tudor.
Close sources to ASSN told us that Gabriel Liviu Ispas has recently applied for resignation from ASSN. The information was confirmed to us by Ispas.
Intelligence and National Security Section
The Intelligence and National Security section corresponds to the area of competence of intelligence services. This section includes eight people who apparently have no connection to the intelligence field.
Niculae Iancu, Associate Member of ASSN and President of the Department of Information and National Security.
He is a Colonel in the SRI and Rector of the National Intelligence Academy of the SRI. Until 2013, he was George Maior’s personal advisor. In fact, sources from the intelligence services have told us that Iancu is a close relative of George Maior, being brought from the Ministry of Defense to the SRI in 2007.
Iancu is a graduate of the Military Technical Academy, and while at MApN, he was a scientific researcher at the Center for Testing, Evaluation and Scientific Research of Armaments.
George Maior, founding and incumbent member, former president of ASSN and currently the honorary president.
He has been a university professor at SNSPA since 2014. From 2006 to 2015 he was the Director of the SRI. He had previously been a PSD Senator and Secretary of State in the Ministry of Defense. Since September 2016 he has served as Romania’s Ambassador to the USA.
Gabriel Oprea, four-star general, founding and incumbent member of ASSN.
He is a university professor and doctoral supervisor. PressOne previously wrote that Oprea obtained his two official roles of professor and doctoral supervisor without complying with any of the legal criteria outlined at the time.
In the summer of 2015, Hotnews.ro released an article stating that Oprea plagiarized his PhD thesis, which he defended in 2001 at the University of Bucharest. It also stated that he coordinated six other plagiarized doctoral theses.
Until now, no state institution has verified the legitimacy of the procedure through which Gabriel Oprea obtained his doctorate and became both a university professor and a doctoral supervisor.
He became involved in the field of politics in 2002 as a member of the PSD, a party he was excluded from in 2009. In 2010, he founded the UNPR together with a group of former PSD members and reservists from the defense system. He led the UNPR, as president, until the beginning of March 2016. He was Minister of the Interior twice, Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister for national security.
He is being the subject of several criminal cases that are currently under investigation by the DNA and the General Prosecutor’s Office, one of them related to the death of the police officer Bogdan Cosmin Gigină.
Remus Pricopie, incumbent member and current President of ASSN.
He is a university professor and has been the Rector of the National School of Political and Administrative Studies since 2012. He has a degree in Physics and Chemistry from the University of Bucharest, as well as a Master’s degree in International Relations and European Politics from the University of Liège (Belgium), a Master’s degree in Communication and PR from the SNSPA and a PhD in Political Science from the SNSPA. He teaches courses in public relations and communication.
Since 1996, he has held several positions in the Ministry of Education, among them spokesperson and counselor in the ministerial offices of Ecaterina Andronescu, and was the Minister himself between 2012 and 2014. He is a member of the PSD.
Adrian Curaj, incumbent member of ASSN.
He is currently a Minister at the Ministry of Education. He is the first member of the current Government who has been identified by the press as a member of ASSN. Euractiv.ro wrote that Adrian Curaj has found himself in a situation of conflict of interest because he is remunerated monthly as a member of ASSN, yet as the Minister, he is the one who approves the ASSN budget.
He has repeatedly refused to state whether he intends to resign from ASSN. “I will definitely take it into consideration, make the decision and announce what I’ll do in terms of staying or leaving,” Curaj said at a debate organized by the Social Dialogue Group while also claiming to donate the monthly salary he receives from ASSN.
He refused to order an investigation into Gabriel Oprea to determine how the forementioned became a university professor and doctoral supervisor as well as to to verify the allegations of plagiarism, which have been addressed to his governmental colleague, Petre Tobă, invoking the lack of legislation.
Prior to his appointment as Minister, Adrian Curaj (photo) was the General Director of the Executive Unit for the Financing of Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI), the institution that allocates money for the purpose of research.
He holds a degree in Electronics and Telecommunications, and a PhD in Automation Systems. He is professor of Automation at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest. Since 2012, he has been the head of the UNESCO Chair for Policy in Science and Innovation at SNSPA.
Gheorghe Toma, Brigadier General, member of ASSN, former Secretary General of the ASSN, former acting president of ASSN.
He is a university professor and doctoral supervisor at the National Intelligence Academy of the SRI. He is one of Gabriel Oprea’s closest friends. He was also part of the committees supervising several doctoral theses coordinated by Gabriel Oprea at the Police Academy and the National Intelligence Academy, exclusively presented by PressOne.
Between 2012 and 2015 he was the doctoral supervisor of Gabriel Oprea’s daughter, Ana Maria Tudor, and his son-in-law, Alexandru Marius Tudor, also playing a part in the doctoral committee. In a pervious article, PressOne wrote that the both husband and wife plagiarized a number of scientific articles that were part of their doctoral program.
Toma was Vice-Rector for Education and Research of the National Intelligence Academy in the period between 2008–2015. He was dismissed after the scandal regarding the plagiarized doctoral theses, which were defended in this institution, were revealed to the public. He is the chairman of the CNATDCU Military Sciences, Intelligence and Public Order Commission.
Vasile Dîncu, founding member of ASSN and incumbent member.
He was the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development in the Cioloș Government. He is a university professor and doctoral supervisor in the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work at the University of Bucharest and associate professor at the National Intelligence Academy.
He was a PSD member until 2008 and represented this party when he served as Senator for Cluj. He was Minister of Public Intelligence and President of the Agency for Government Strategies in Adrian Nastase’s government.
He is a member of the Commission of Sociology, Political and Administrative Sciences within the CNATDCU. He founded the Romanian Institute for Evaluation and Strategy – IRES, which he sold for one million euros shortly before being appointed to the Cioloș government. He is a close friend of Gabriel Oprea, whom he advised in the summer of 2015, when the former president of UNPR hoped to be named Prime Minister by President Iohannis.
Dan Mihalache, member of ASSN.
He is presidential advisor and has been the head of the Presidential Chancellery since December 2014. Since 2010, he has been an associate professor and university lecturer at the Christian University “Dimitrie Cantemir”.
He graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Bucharest and has a PhD in Political Science from SNSPA. He was a member of the PSD in the Romanian and European Parliament. He was the advisor to Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, Deputy Secretary General and Secretary General of the Ponta Government.
Sorin Cîmpeanu, member of ASSN, correspondent member of the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences “Gheorghe Ionescu Sisești” and correspondent member of the Academy of Technical Sciences.
He is a university professor and Rector of the University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in Bucharest. He was Minister of Education from December 2014 to November 2015, supported by the Conservative Party. After the fall of the Ponta government, he was appointed Interim Prime Minister until the formation of a new government.
He is Secretary General of CNATDCU and the graduate of a short-term course at the National Intelligence of the SRI.
Gigel Paraschiv, correspondent member of ASSN.
He is the Secretary of State responsible for higher education in the Ministry of Education. He is a university professor and vice-rector at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest. He has a PhD in mechanical engineering. Although he is an engineer, between 2007 and 2011 he was an associate member of the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences “Gheorghe Ionescu Sisești“.
He is a member of the PSD. He is the one who, for several months in the summer of 2015, refused to answer and blocked the requests of the press regarding Gabriel Oprea’s university career and doctorate.
Ion Neagu, member of ASSN.
He is a university professor, doctoral supervisor and patron of the “Nicolae Titulescu” University, serving as Rector between 2002 and 2012.
He was an FSN senator and a PSD deputy for a term. He is also a lawyer, taking on the case of Miron Cozma, Gabriel Bivolaru and Victor Atanasie Stănculescu, defending them in court.
He is a close friend of Gabriel Oprea, who coordinated his doctoral theses. In fact, Oprea was accused of plagiarizing several dozens of pages from a treaty signed by Neagu.
Institute of Diplomatic Relations
Various close sources in ASSN have told us that although he is not a member, Alexandru Cumpănașu has been sought after by the leadership of the Academy to run a Diplomatic Relations Institute, set to debut in the near future.
Alexandru Cumpănașu was present at all of the public events organized by ASSN. He also appears in the group photo taken during the ASSN presentation conference on June 17, 2015, placed right in the second row, behind George Maior.
It might be surprising to note that Cumpănașu is known to be a close friend of Gabriel Oprea as well. During the time he was Minister of the Interior, he made a space available to the Association for the Implementation of Democracy in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Ministry paid all utility bills, a fact that was discovered by the Court of Auditors following an audit.
According to the ASSN’s governing law, each of the incumbent members receives a monthly stipend, equal to the average salary of the current economy. A correspondent member benefits from a monthly living stipend equal to 50% of the value of the average salary per economy.
In the initial governing law of ASSN, it was foreseen that the Academy would finance itself. However, after the modification of the law in 2015, the lifelong stipends of the incumbent members and the correspondent members became paid for by the state. The money is distributed through the budget of the Ministry of Education.
Thanks to the budget transparency portal that was launched by the Ministry of Finance, we learned that in January alone ASSN paid a total of 119,719 lei (~ $30,000) towards its members.
Of the 32 ASSN members we have identified, 25 are incumbent members, three are correspondent members, and three have an uncertain status. For the stipends of the 25 incumbent members, 67,500 lei were paid, and for the three correspondents, 4,050 lei. If we consider the three members with uncertain status to be correspondent members, add another 4,050 lei.
The total mount paid in one month towards the 32 members we have identified in this article is 75,600 lei. This means that out of the total of 119,719 lei there is 44,119 lei unaccounted for.
It is assumed that the individuals who ensure the status of ASSN leadership receive additional amounts, as management stipends, which means that the total number of ASSN members was somewhere between 40 to 45 people in January 2016.
However, according to HH 1122/2013 regarding the approval of the Organizational Structure and the Statute, ASSN has its own working apparatus that totals a maximum of 26 individuals.
At publication, it is not clear how many employees exist in the technical structure of ASSN. It is an assumption that has been made considering there is someone who handles the monthly payouts so that members can collect their stipends. This means that part of the amount of the remaining 44,119 lei (from the above calculation), went to the payment of the employees from ASSN’s technical team.
The silence of ASSN leadership
Close sources to ASSN have told us that the five members of ASSN who are also members of the AOSR – Teodor Frunzeti, Gheorghe Calopăreanu, Viorel Buță, Gheorghe Boaru, Marius George Tical – have made a request to waive the lifelong stipend from the AOSR. According to the law, a person can be part of more than one Academy, but can only earn money from one.
We do not know what option ASSN members who are also part of the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences or the Academy of Technical Sciences will have.
The ASSN leadership has consistently refused to respond to PressOne’s requests regarding its members.
The first requests were sent in January, to the personal e-mail of ASSN President, Remus Pricopie. Up until the date this article was published, there has been no response to our emails, telephones or messages.
On February 10, I sent a new request by mail, under Law 544/2001, to the institution’s address, and on February 25, I sent an administrative complaint, through the same means of transportation.
When contacted by phone in order to inquire about the organization of the ASSN, Deputy Prime Minister Vasile Dîncu, “father” of Law 544 on free access to information of public interest, told us that it is not elegant to disclose information regarding his colleagues. However, he did state that the list of members of this academy should have been classified as such.
In an email, George Maior, former president of ASSN, replied that he would discuss the issue of the requests regarding the makeup of the Academy with the current president:
“Regarding the list of ASSN’s members, I assure you that Mr. Remus Pricopie is in good faith and will provide you with the information. Moreover, I promise you that I will personally call you to inquire about the status of your request.”
Close sources of ASSN have told us that Remus Pricopie traveled to the US last week, one of the reasons being to discuss the “ASSN situation” with George Maior.
And Deputy Prime Minister Vasile Dîncu also went to the US two weeks ago, on a visit that was not official in nature. The existing friendship between Vasile Dîncu and George Maior is well known.