President Klaus Iohannis addressed the Parliament plenary sitting on Monday afternoon, proposing the lawmakers an electoral year without speculative and populist actions.
Iohannis told MPs that along with the approaching electoral campaigns, some electoral-flavoured laws have been adopted. “In 2016, you have the big chance to make things different. I propose to you a different kind of electoral year, with no populist or speculative actions (….) I invite you to take some major stakes, together: to regain the confidence in the politics, to continue efforts in such fields where progress has been achieved, to lay some headstones in the big public system area for 2017, regardless of whom comes into power,” the Romanian president stated, explaining he refers to changing practices, mentalities, integrity standards and stressing that the legislative instability is generally affecting the economy, the society and ends up as a vulnerability of the democratic system.
Klaus Iohannis said that his commitment to the rule of law enhancement remains the same. “The fact that you did not understand that parliamentary immunity cannot block the justice’s requests is off-putting. Romania has embarked on an irreversible path. The rule of law enhancement and independence of the judiciary are steadfast commitments that must be also reflected in Parliament (…) As for me, I won’t be a mere spectator and I won’t de limited to a formal role. I’ll act within the limit of my duties in order to make sure that Romania’s path is firmly continued and that the professionalism and integrity requirements are observed,” the President argued.
He stated that his message is very clear: ‘this state cannot act in a chaotic, disordered way where everybody does what he pleases and every institution has its own agenda.’
“The state powers are not competing with one another. A ruling cannot be truly performing without a strong Parliament and the judiciary system cannot be strong without a related executive power. There is national strategy related to the strategic partnerships with US, NATO, EU but also a policy of national development.”
President Iohannis also warned that Romania is behind some essential issues on the citizen’s agenda, such as the big public systems, education, health, pensions or the demographic issue.
“What solutions are we finding for the hundreds of thousands of youngsters who have no Baccalaureate diploma, what is going to happen if we find out that the pension’s system is not sustainable anymore? We are behind on major issues, including regarding the centenary of the Great Union,” Iohannis argued.
On foreign policy, the head of state said there are still major challenges to be managed this year, such as the migration crisis, the rising of terrorist threats, security risks in the eastern region or the questioning of the European project.
“For Romania, 2016 should mean a quantitative rise of the strategic partnership with the USA, precisely on an economic level. Romania is and will be a democracy; a predictable and stable anchor of strategic importance at the eastern border of NATO and EU. We have the responsibility of boosting the national defence,” the President said.