Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Cioloş has presented a Government’s activity report after one year in office.
One year ago tens of thousands of Romanians were taking to the streets to express their disapproval at the authorities’ corruption and indifference, which, in their opinion, had caused one of the most devastating disasters of the past years in Bucharest: the fire at the Colectiv nightclub that killed 64 people. The then Social Democratic prime minister, Victor Ponta, resigned, and after consultations with the representatives of parliamentary parties and civil society, President Klaus Iohannis designated Dacian Cioloş to form a technocratic government. The new cabinet was sworn in on November 17, 2015.
On Thursday, the government marked one year at the helm of the country and presented a report meant to inform the public on its accomplished and unaccomplished goals. Given that the expectations of society were very high at the time when the government was installed, they had to take measures aimed at rebuilding people’s trust in a fair, transparent and efficient manner of governing. Therefore, the government’s main objective was to ensure political, economic and social stability in an election year, with local elections in spring and parliamentary elections in winter.
The government says it managed to promote transparency and to cut down on red tape. It paid special attention to the healthcare and education fields, boosting reforms in the respective domains and allotting money from the budget. It equally unblocked several infrastructure projects. Among the government’s unfinished projects is the law on a unitary payment system, which might be finalized by the end of the government’s term in office. In an interview to the public television, PM Cioloş has explained that the Government has not yet managed to table this law meant to correct imbalances in the budgetary system, because it first had to compile a database comprising all salaries of public employees, in order to have a clear picture of the realities in the system.
Dacian Cioloş: “As we are making progress in compiling the database, we’ll soon be able to present the Government and Parliament with a law on a unitary payment scheme which should be realistic.”
However, the Romanian Government deplores the fact that the reform of public administration has failed, given the lack of political support for this reform.
Dacian Ciolos: “It is necessary to clarify the relationship between the public administration and the political system, because we need predictability in this decision-making process, we need clarity, we need to eliminate arbitrary, ad-hoc decisions that impact the effectiveness of the administrative body.”
Reforming the administrative system according to criteria of professionalism and competence is a challenge for the future government, no matter its political orientation, says Angela Cristea, head of the European Commission Representation in Romania: “In any state, it takes about ten years for citizens to feel that there has been a reform of public administration and of the status of public servants”.
According to Angela Cristea, one of the solutions would be an open governing process, in which citizens should not only be the beneficiaries of public policies, but also the ones who actually help draw them up.
(Translated by Lacramioara Simion)