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Monday, 29 January

Address by Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă at Cabinet investiture in Parliament

Viorica Dancila: President of the Senate, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Your Beatitude, Your Holiness, distinguished representatives of the Diplomatic Corps, president of the Court of Accounts, members of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate, candidates for Ministerial offices, First Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Romania, General Mayor of Bucharest, distinguished guests,

I am here today to get your vote of investiture. I represent alongside my colleagues designated for the new Cabinet the political will of the ruling coalition in Parliament. This Cabinet -designate brings in front of you the result of the parliamentary elections of December 2016. Toda,y you will vote not for persons, but for the will of Romania’s citizens expressed democratically. If we get this vote, we’ll govern with respect and pride for Romanians, constantly watching the programme for Government.

I have an advantage over the prime ministers who preceded me: it is for the first time when the government programme of a political majority enjoys such a high awareness level, both in the political environment and in the media, as well as among the population. In 2016, it was the first time when a parliamentary majority was voted for the programme presented in the elections. Likewise, it is the first time when the parliamentary majority governs based on the programme voted by citizens and pursues its implementation point –by –point. Furthermore, it is the first time when the opposition is following point –by-point what is laid down in the programme and sanctions even the smallest deviation. Therefore, both people in power and in opposition have a very good knowledge of the programme submitted to Parliament, and this allows me not to go in very many technical details. I will present just the main elements that I am thinking of.

My term’s objective is for Romania to be in the top half of the ranking of the strongest economies in the European Union in 2020, so that the youth should no longer leave Romania, and those who already left would wish to come back home. To attain this objective, I consider three main directions: increasing investment for modernizing infrastructure, continued growth of population’s incomes, reforming the administration and cutting through red tape.

In what concerns the investments, I have the great advantage of not starting from scratch, as happened at the start of the PSD-ALDE governance, after the technocratic government. That is why I thank the Governments of 2017, which worked on developing the investments projects and the unblocking of European funds.There are already on the list of priorities several projects of investments prepared to be launched and I will start my term in office from an absorption rate of almost 11 percent, and with all managing authorities accredited. This will allow us to reach EUR 30 billion in absorbed European funds by 2020, namely an absorption [rate] of 72.5 percent. Also, the laws on the establishment of the Sovereign Development and Investment Fund and the Development Bank of Romania are already in parliamentary debate, and after their adoption, I am counting on attracting the necessary amounts to support our ambitious investment program.

There are three major fields in which we intend to make investments over the next three years: road and rail infrastructure, where we will complete over 350 kilometers of motorway and 250 kilometers of rail in the ensuing years. We will also increase by more than 50 percent the number of modernized roads and by over 33 % the percentage of the population connected to the water network.

Education - where we have provided, through PNDL 2, funding for the 2,500 new kindergartens and nurseries, the modernization of 2000 schools and the construction of 30 student dormitories.

Healthcare - where we have the project of the eight regional hospitals and the Republican Hospital, which will become the most important centers of medical excellence in our country, but also in this region of Europe. At the same time, we will continue to equip all hospitals with state-of-the-art medical equipment, process that started last year by endowing all county hospitals with a CT scanner and a MRI device.

The second major direction: continuing to increase the population’s incomes. I want Romanians to have salaries as close to those in the European Union as possible. This is the only way in which we can prevent youth leaving the country. Last year’s salary hikes in healthcare have lowered by 70 percent the number of physicians who submitted their files to leave the country. This is the path we must take, continue to raise salaries as provided in the Unitary Pay Law for the state sector employees. At the same time, we will observe the programme’s calendar on raising the minimum salary per economy every year so that in 2020, the minimum salary will surpass EUR 300.

At the same time, however, we must continue to increase the pension point to 1,775 lei in 2020 and eliminate the inequities in the pension system through a new pension law, while allowing Romanians abroad to pay electronically from where they are the contributions to the Romanian pension system, of course, if they wish so! Those who have worked honestly for a lifetime deserve a decent living upon retirement.

A proper pension for today’s retirees is a guarantee for current employees they will have a decent life upon retirement.

The third major direction that I am considering for the next three years of government is the reform of the administration and cutting through red tape. We are a country with one of the best IT infrastructures in the world. I want most transactions and lodging of documents to take place online.

In the European Parliament, almost all documents are drafted and they are circulating in the virtual space based on electronic signature. I want us to implement this model as soon as possible in our country. In addition to computerization, I’m considering cutting red tape by simplifying the fiscal system, reducing or merging the number of taxes paid by companies and citizens. I’m considering a maximum of 50 taxes with general application and as soon as possible. I will tell it very clearly, to leave no room for interpretation: as long as I will be Prime Minister, I will not introduce any new tax in Romania. My aim is to simplify the economic life and not to complicate it. This week, I will give up form 600 and then almost all the others. A single form per year for those performing independent activities is our proposal as of 2019.

Distinguished lawmakers, as regards Romania’s foreign policy, I want to outline that, based on my experience as European MP, I understand very well how important is cooperation with European institutions and my intention is to extend the European dimension with respect to the ruling act. I will extend special attention to Romania’s strategic partnerships and especially to our partnership with the United States. I want Romania to be a country with full openness towards international cooperation and diplomatic relations with other states. My aim is that Romania upholds in a dignified manner its national relations externally and is a reliable partner in its political and economic relations with the other states.

Distinguished members of Parliament,

I just want to make a few political considerations. First, I want to make it clear that I will lead a political Cabinet, a Cabinet that is proposed and endorsed by the parliamentary majority. This country must be run by elected persons, not by the appointed ones! Therefore, the Cabinet will answer for the appropriateness of its decisions only to the elected, i.e. exclusively to the ruling coalition. For as long as I am prime minister, no other institution, no other power center, will tell the Cabinet what to do. Secondly, I remind you that this year, we are celebrating the Great Union Centenary. Also next year, Romania will take over the presidency of the EU Council. There are two major moments for Romania and I am calling on the entire political class to show maturity.

I am fully open to dialogue with all political forces, with the president of Romania, in order to generate consensus on the country’s major themes pertaining to national interest.

I suggest this dialogue on one condition: to be a civilized dialogue. In the European Parliament, I have learned that the voice of reason is heard louder than the high tone.

I would therefore like to invite you, given these two very important moments for Romania, the Centennial Year and the EU Presidency, to make an effort together to put aside the aggressiveness, screams, offenses or cheap gestures and to try to cultivate a civilized dialogue between us. I have seen in the European Parliament that power and opposition can have a constructive and civilized dialogue. I invite you, colleagues in the Opposition, to such a dialogue and I invite all of us to try to build consensus on the support and presentation of Romania externally. 2018 should be remembered as the year when we started building important socio-cultural projects such as: the National History Museum, the National Art Museum or the three Opera Houses from Cluj, Iasi and Craiova.

In conclusion, I would like to thank all those who have sent me congratulatory and support messages in recent days: friends, colleagues, Romanian and foreign officials or ordinary citizens. You all told me that you see my nomination as Prime Minister as a sign of confidence and hope in the future of Romania. I very well understand that this hope and the great expectations people pinned on this Cabinet place even greater responsibility on my shoulders. I therefore tell you that I shall take into account all endorsements, and that I will do my best to persuade Romanians that they were not wrong when they dared to believe in Romania.

In my closing remarks, I would like to read the list of Cabinet members:

Vice prime minister, minister of Regional Development and Public Administration- Paul Stanescu

Vice prime minister, minister of the Environment - Gratiela Leocardia Gavrilescu

Vice prime minister - Viorel Stefan

Vice prime minister for Romania's strategic partnerships' Implementation - Ana Birchall

Minister of Internal Affairs - Carmen Dan

Minister of Foreign Affairs - Teodor Melescanu

Minister of National Defence - Mihai Fifor

Minister of Public Finance - Eugen Orlando Teodorovici  

Minister of Justice - Tudorel Toader

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development - Petre Daea

Minister of National Education - Valentin Popa

Minister of Labour and Social Justice - Lia - Olguta Vasilescu

Minister of Economy - Danut Andrusca  

Minister of Energy - Anton Anton

 Minister of Transport - Lucian Sova

Minister of European Funds - Rovana Plumb

Minister for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship - Stefan Radu Oprea-

Minister of Health - Sorina Pintea

Minister of Culture and National Identity - George Ivascu  

Minister of Waters and Forests - Ioan Denes

Minister of Research and Innovation - Nicolae Burnete  

Minister of Communications and Information Society - Bogdan Cojocaru  

Minister of Youth and Sports - Ioana Bran

Minister of Tourism - Bogdan Gheorghe Trif

Minister for Romanians Abroad - Natalia Intotero  

Minister for Liaison with Parliament - Viorel Ilie

Minister -delegate for European Affairs - Victor Negrescu

 

Thank you!

 

 



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