Expert sending is increasingly perceived in Romania and other new EU member states (NMS) as one of the most effective ways to develop capacity for development cooperation and, very important, to create capacity and support for awareness raising and development education. Development cooperation is fundamentally about eradicating poverty and its associated problems throughout the most affected countries in the ACP (Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific).

In Romania/NMS however at present Sub-Saharan Africa and its endemic problems are out of the public agenda. Particularly after 1989 there is virtually no bounds left with Africa. Whatever legacy is left from the relations established with African countries during the Cold War era, this is generally compromised and perceived in a negative way. There is no exaggeration in saying that Africa has fallen off all Romanian/NMS maps. As a consequence, in the absence of direct links to Africa, promoting development cooperation in Romania/NMS, both as a national and European policy, is very difficult. People simply do not feel connected in any way to problems in the global south. Migration has not been an issue for Romania/NMS so far. There are very few migrants coming from poorer countries (mostly from Asia) and very few refugees from Africa. Economic ties with countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are very poor. Political linkages are almost non-existent. Mass media is only marginally interested in issues in this region of the world and usually by simply propagating negative stereotypes.

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