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Date and Location

April 16, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET


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​Study Group with Ioana Petrescu (Simply Green and Harvard University) and Clara Volintiru (Simply Green and The Bucharest University of Economic Studies) 

There is a varying commitment to climate action across countries.  Established democracies like the United States and many of the Western European member states have already made sizeable and meaningful commitments to the fight climate change and have transformed their economies. In contrast, many of the Central and Eastern European member states in the EU lag behind established democracies in implementing serious environmental reforms. We seek to explore what are the main challenges of the climate action agenda and how different countries (both advanced and new democracies) address and overcome them.  The study also takes into consideration how institutional settings and various domestic stakeholders, such as energy state owned enterprises, might affect environmental policy. 

Clara Volintiru is Associate Professor in the Department of International Business and Economics (REI), at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies (ASE). She is also a Simply Green member, a Romanian environmental NGO.  She graduated a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and has been involved in various international research projects in the field of behavioural studies, good governance, informal exchanges and political economy. Her projects focused on Central and Eastern European and EU’s peripheries. She has conducted research for international organizations such as the World Bank, European Commission, OECD, Eurofound, or the Committee of Regions. Her recent publications appeared with Oxford University Press, Palgrave, Routledge, Springer, Peter Lang, Rowman & Littlefield and in such peer-reviewed journals as CESifo Economic Studies, Acta Politica, European Political Science Review, Eastern European Politics, or Research & Politics. Synthetic versions of her work are available in videoabstracts or such online platforms as Forbes, EUROPP, IPI Global Observatory, Emerging Europe, Global Policy or Huffington Post. She is currently Director of the Economic Opportunities and Financing the Economy Program at the Aspen Institute, and a German Marshall Fund ReThink.CEE fellow.

Ioana Petrescu is a Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government and the President of Simply Green, a Romanian environmental NGO. Dr. Petrescu is a former Romanian Finance Minister. While minister, she pursued policies to cut tax evasion and tax avoidance, promote financial transparency, improve tax compliance, lower the tax burden for businesses and keep fiscal discipline. She also served in the government as an economic adviser to the prime minister and head of his delivery unit, where she monitored the implementation of the prime minister’s priorities in procurement, employment, energy and tax compliance. She is an international consultant on issues such as tax reform, central government delivery and local public services and runs the Center for Leadership and Innovation at the National School of Political Science and Public Administration in Bucharest. In the past, she also served as an expert for the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels. She was an Assistant Professor at University of Maryland and she holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard. She published in various academic journals and newspapers. Her 2017 book, Essays in Taxation and International Relations, analyzes issues such as flat taxation and government revenues. Ioana’s research project, Making Public Policy in Adolescent Democracies: Paths to Adulthood, explores good practices in the delivery of public goods and services in new democracies characterized by corruption and clientelism, low paid bureaucrats, poor institutions, frequent political turnover, unclear legislation, and little transparency. Her faculty sponsor is Jeffrey Frankel, James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth at Harvard Kennedy School. Email:

Speakers and Presenters

​Ioana Petrescu, Clara Volintiru