Ambassador Romana Vlahutin is a visiting distinguished fellow for geostrategy at GMF. She served from 2019 to 2022 as ambassador at large/EU special envoy for connectivity in the European External Action Service, where she spearheaded EU connectivity strategy and worked as a chief negotiator for the EU-Japan and EU-India connectivity partnerships. Vlahutin was the EU ambassador to Albania from 2014 to 2018 and led EU support for the country’s public policy reform process, including that for the judiciary. She was the Croatian president’s foreign policy advisor from 2010 to 2014.

Vlahutin is a Croatian career diplomat, having served as head of the political section at the Croatian embassy in Washington, deputy ambassador in Belgrade, and director of strategic analysis and policy planning at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Zagreb. She also worked as an analyst for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and, in Kosovo, as a political director for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.   
 
Vlahutin is a graduate of Zagreb University and Harvard University. She is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations. 
 
AREAS OF EXPERTISE: Strategic infrastructure, Connectivity, European Union, European Foreign and Security Policy, European enlargement process

Media Mentions

This is a project that made Iran, China, Russia, even Turkey nervous,” said Romana Vlahutin, the former European Union special envoy for connectivity who’s now a distinguished fellow at the German Marshall Fund. “Maybe that is the best proof of its strategic importance.
We are in an abnormal moment of geopolitical risk around the Black Sea [because of] Russia’s invasion,” Romana Vlahutin, a visiting fellow at the German Marshall Fund and former EU special envoy for connectivity, told RFE/RL. “It’s hard to plan for something when things are this volatile, but we know that what we don’t do, others will.
Romana Vlahutin, a distinguished fellow at the German Marshall Fund and the former EU special envoy for connectivity, told RFE/RL that Global Gateway currently lacks 'a clear strategic vision on how it will contribute to the creation of new diversified and resilient value chains.'
It’s essential for countries to have the possibility to make a choice on what's best for them. If there are only Chinese offers on the market, it means there is no choice. This must change.
Both the economic and political dimensions of the IMEEC initiative led to nervous reactions on the part of the Chinese, which proves the long-term strategic value of this route.
Translated from German