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Thursday, 29 October

Address by Prime Minister Victor Ponta at the Open Government Partnership Global Summit, Mexico

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President Enrique Pena Nieto,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

It is a great pleasure and honor to attend this global summit on behalf of the Romanian Government. My country that is trying together with you, to change, to improve, to develop and to show a successful model for the rest of the world.

I would begin by congratulating our host – the Mexican Government, for organizing this summit and I consider that it is not by chance that we are here, in Mexico, I should say Mr. President that in Romania, in Europe, we highly appreciate the ambitious programme of reforms that you initiated. I wish you and your country all the success. And for Europe, Mexico is a strategic partner in promoting development in the world and the good governance which is in the end, the key to the success of all our countries. I would congratulate all the countries – more than 65- members of this partnership, I will have also to express my gratitude to all of you who supported the candidacy of Romania to be one of the members of the Steering Committee. I think in the end, it is very easy what we have to do together. The world is changing, and governments should be changing, because expectations are higher and higher everyday, the people who vote for us, the people who benefit of the Government must see changes, it is our duty to do it or just we stay behind and lose the opportunity.

I am coming from a country which is a relatively new democracy, only 25 years since we changed the Communist regime with the democratic one, a successful story of rule of law, economic development, and just 8 years since we joined the European Union. But only, because we are such a new democracy and member of the European Union, we are trying harder to reach the European, international standards regarding governance. And that’s why, having a very fast developing economy, 3, 8 growth this year, a very low unemployment, a system of the rule of law, and democratic media freedom is something that we are proud of, but we have to improve.

Four years ago when I took office, I used to be a young politician, now, I am not young anymore, but I think I am more experienced, and I think that I should appreciate this much more, and I tell you that I have learnt four important lessons. Transparency is always, in any case, the right choice for a Government. The natural tendency of bureaucrats, institutions, even politicians is to be more secrets, to hide something, and it is always a failure. People are expecting transparency from us, they are ready to forgive our mistakes, if we prove to be transparent, if we prove to have nothing to hide, and just we want to govern better and to learn from our mistakes.

Second lesson – the experience. Even that countries and political systems can be so different, there are experiences and methods that can be learnt from any other country. I am sure that good methods of good government, here, in Mexico or in any other country, in the world, can be applied in Romania and we can share with you, our positive or negative experience, to learn from this.

The third lesson is that new technology is maybe the most radical change in what means government. There are many of the 20 millions citizens who do not like to go everyday to a public institution, they prefer to access it from the smartphone, from the computer, to spend less time and money to benefit from the government, I think that investing in new technology and applying the new technology to the Government’s decisions and actions, is something that will radically improve the performance of the Government.

Fourth – I do not think that the public system has all the answers, on the contrary, sometimes. And I think that cooperation, learning, sharing experience with non –governmental organizations, civil society, private institutions, is the smartest choice for a Government that wants to improve. So, I have just shared this experience with you, I wish the Open Government Partnership to achieve all its ambitious targets, and I wish all of you to be able to govern better for the people who expect from us to provide them a better governance.

Thank you very much once again.



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