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Wednesday, 23 December

Speech by Prime Minister -designate Florin Cîţu at the joint plenary session of Parliament for the investiture of the new Cabinet

Florin Cîţu: Thank you, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, President of the Senate, dear colleagues, members of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, dear members of the Cabinet, dear Romanians. As of today, Romania will have a full-fledged Prime Minister and Government. I want to assure you all from the beginning that I will not deceive the trust you will bestow on me, by means of the Parliament convened today here. I, as future Prime Minister and the entire Romanian Government, will do our duty towards all Romanian citizens, regardless if they voted for us or not.

Both I and my team will do our best to achieve the two objectives we have already mentioned and with which I am sure that all political parties agree: to overcome as quickly and as well as possible the health crisis, and get the economy back on its feet.

The COVID-19 crisis highlighted the need to apply a new model of public governance and economic and social development. In this context, the centre-right coalition proposes a programme for government that combines measures to get out of the crisis with long-term development policies in order to build a normal Romania, to which every Romanian aspires. The new model of economic and social development focuses on investments as an engine of economic development, able to generate the highest economic growth in the European Union in the period 2021-2024.

In our programme for government, the support of the investment process is doubled by an ample process of structural reform designed to ensure the consolidation of sustainable economic growth, requiring calibration of the mix of sustainable macroeconomic policies. In achieving these two objectives, I firmly declare that two things will matter: time and efficiency and to make myself understood: when talking about time, I mean that all the goals that I and my team set for ourselves will have clear deadlines that must be met. For instance, I want to get over the vaccination period as quickly as possible and get out of it healthy. I strongly believe that the most important thing, at this moment, is the health of Romanians. As of today, I announce to you all, including my team members, that I will personally monitor the achievement of the goals we set for ourselves. In terms of efficiency, the Cabinet you will invest today will be a Cabinet of professionals, who will monitor the efficiency of each proposed project. We will never propose objectives which cannot be met on time and which are not for the benefit of Romanians. You know very well that I was previously Minister of Finance, and that's how I did things. We say goodbye to proposed projects that have no funding and which are presented merely as political statements. More work and fewer declarations.

For me and my center-right Cabinet, private property is sacred. Yes, and I'm looking at you here, for whom this is a fad. And the entrepreneur is a hero. We will take even more steps to simplify the rules and cut through the red tape, in order to facilitate voluntary compliance and tax administration. I will implement a fairer, more efficient, simpler and more transparent tax system that will support economic activities.

We know very well that today Romania is the country with one of the lowest tax burdens, a low tax revenue in GDP in the EU. It is not a very bad thing. At the same time, the coalition will not increase or introduce new taxes and fees. Currently, the main effort will be made to improve tax receipts, by eliminating distortions and gaps that minimize the tax burden and ensuring fairness and equity in the system, as we did this year, in times of crisis, when we collected more than you did in years of economic growth. As mentioned in the programme for government, the budgetary tax system will be adapted to the evolution of the economy, so as to facilitate economic growth. At the same time, I propose that the citizen be equal to the state - again I look at you, in your time in office, it was never like that - both in financial and administrative relations. In my mandate, I want the state to stop making abuses in its relation with the citizens of Romania, it is one of my main concerns. And this can only be achieved through the digital transformation and computerization of public institutions. Another of my important objectives, in fact, the pandemic and its consequences on the lives of citizens and the society as a whole have brought to the forefront the importance of digitalization in all areas of the economy. In order to improve administrative processes and facilitate interaction with citizens and the business sector, it is necessary to transform public administration, using the new generations of digital instruments. I would like to assure today the pensioners and all those who need help, that we do not leave them behind.

Regarding Romania’s foreign relations, I firmly declare that there is only one path for Romania, together with the EU, as a full member. Likewise, in terms of the special relationship with the United States of America, we will stay firmly committed to all the projects we have together, military or economic ones.

Finally, dear Romanians, reviewing what I have said so far, time and efficiency will be the main instruments for implementing the programme for government.

And before concluding, please allow me to introduce to you the members of the Cabinet, a Cabinet of professionals: Ilie Dan Barna, Vice Prime Minister; Kelemen Hunor, Vice Prime Minister; Nicolae Ciucă, Minister of National Defence; Bogdan Aurescu, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Alexandru Nazare, Minister of Public Finance; Lucian Bode, Minister of Interior; Sorin Cîmpeanu, Minister of National Education; Virgil Popescu, Minister of Energy; Adrian Oros, Minister of Agriculture; Bogdan Gorghiu, Minister of Culture; Raluca Turcan, Minister of Labour and Social Protection; Cătălin Drulă, Minister of Transport; Claudiu Năsui, Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Tourism,; Stelian Ion, Minister of Justice; Cristian Ghinea, Minister of Investments and European Projects; Vlad Voiculescu, Minister of Health; Ciprian Teleman, Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitalization; Cseke Attila, Minister for Development, Public Works and Administration; Tánczos Barna, Minister of Environment, Water and Forests; Eduard Novak, Minister for Youth and Sport. I conclude by wishing you happy holidays!  Thank you.

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