Question: Thanks for this article. Can you provide more details about what is proposed in the Romania 100 Platform?
Hello, thank you for the question on this topic.
The “platform” Romania 100 launched by PM Dacian Ciolos is essentially a political vehicle that helps National Liberal Party (PNL), Save Romania Union (USR), President Klaus Iohannis and its author – PM Ciolos, joint together under same umbrella without breaching the Constitution and without hurting the political egos (or ambitions) of the two political actors in the group (PNL and USR), ahead of the parliamentary elections. Indeed, the platform was backed by both PNL and USR, which expect to boost their combined scores and change the political balance that at this moment, according to the polls, indicate Social Democrat Party (PSD) would form the majority with its ally ALDE. We believe such a performance (changing the balance) is not unlikely, particularly as ALDE leader (also Senate’s leader) turned radical against anticorruption directorate DNA. Making anticorruption the core electoral debate helps new parties like USR or new political entities such as Ciolos’ platform. In fact, this might be another aim of the platform – diluting the identity of PNL as an “old” party, by the addition of USR and technocrats.
PM Ciolos said that the platform is for the use of any party winning the elections. This was another good marketing move. Social Democrat Party (PSD) accused Ciolos of plagiarism, claiming that all the strategies included in the platform are copy/paste from PSD programmes. And PSD leader Liviu Dragnea might be right, with the note that the general ideas expressed by Ciolos can be found in all the political strategies expressed in Romania over the past 25 year.
Structurally, the platform is designed in three layers: the first layer is for the marketing of the product, a series of ten “beliefs” expressed by Ciolos. They are designed to be strong statements (sort of political Decalogue), but some believe they are a bit excessive particularly in contrast to the "current" performance of the government of technocrats headed by PM Ciolos [the real performance of the government is likely to be measured with a lag].
The second layer describes what PM Ciolos would do as PM in the first 100 days of his new term: change the structure of the government, reduce bureaucracy and use IT extensively in public administration. Prioritisation of public investments and best use of EU funds.
The third layer outlines the main national projects that, according to PM Ciolos, should be pursued by any government. This means broader public administration reform, unification of the wage system in the public sector and the enforcement of the anticorruption strategy. Among the national projects there is a document drafted by the ministry of economy (Competitive Romania 2016). There are no radical ideas included (such as questioning the role of FDI, or renewable energy above certain threshold, or protectionism). Ideologically, the economic programme is rather of neo-liberal extraction, in line with IFIs recommendations.
Follows a translation of the platform (fast forward; if any clarification needed, please do not hesitate)
Layer I: the Decalogue
1. I support a corruption-free Romania
2. I support a Romania with a responsible political class
3. I support a Romania governed in good faith
4. I support a Romania where everyone works and receives fair payment
5. I support a Romania without poverty
6. I support a Romania with a competitive economy
7. I support a truly educated Romania
8. I support a healthy Romania
9. I support a Romania that has a voice as EU and NATO member
10. I support a Romania of all Romanians
Layer II: actions for first 100 days
Government must rethink ministerial-level functionality with a Cabinet formed by a handful of ministers, ministries merged with the principle of cluster development and a reduced number of implementing agencies and regulators. Restructuring central government by amending Law 90/2001 sanctioned by law on the organization and functioning of the Government, to include a model of internal organization for each ministry, explaining powers to eliminate the risk of duplication of tasks. Governance is built on cross-sectoral objectives, clearly assumed the benefit of citizens (eg coordinated investment, reduce poverty, reduce bureaucracy, administration digitization, modern infrastructure, etc.). #ComisiadeTaiatHartii 2.0 (paper-cutting committee 2.0) becomes an independent institution within the Government Chancellery reduce bureaucracy and continue their mission in support of the citizens, entrepreneurs and simplify inter-institutional relations. Institutionalizes government #GovITHub and Information Technology Coordinator. These institutions aim to ensure that IT investments of public institutions be made effective as a strategy and in the interests of citizens. Government strategies, public policies and legislative projects undergo an initial assessment of their impact when adopting or once every 3 years. Those who fail the test the effectiveness and impact ceases automatically. Consolidation of all national and European funds earmarked for development and a real multi-annual approach to their use. Budgetary funds which distributes money based on political clientelism without the basis of projects or plans for development and control mechanisms must be abolished. Clearly prioritized public expenditure, impact assessment. Be operationalized and strengthened the Chancellery institutional assessment unit public investment. All government investments pass through this filter.
Layer III: broad national projects
Public administration reform: amending Law 188/1999 regarding the status of public introduction of new criteria for recruitment, evaluation and their incentive. The objective is to create a public administration professional, competent, integrity, transparency, both at central and local level.
Changing the Framework Law 284/2010 on the unitary pay of personnel paid from public funds to eliminate discrepancies and discrimination between different sectors of the public sector.
Operationalization of the National Anticorruption Strategy, strengthening the National Agency for Administration of Goods seized (ANAB), Covenant multiannual financing and strengthening the judiciary.
Assuming and operationalization of the 17 chapters of Romania Competitive Strategy.
Creating a national program to support entrepreneurship as an engine of Romanian economy. Each dollar invested in public funds should support sustainable economic growth, quality, creating jobs and attracting private capital.
Continued anti-poverty package with budget allocation, legislative changes, deadlines for fulfilling commitments annually.
Legislative proposal to establish a multiannual financial framework, to ensure continuity of major investments in the economy by hiring multiannual budgetary resources. Romania's budget will be prepared to follow the program and objective, not the need for institutions to justify their existence.
Establishing a portfolio of investment projects of national interest, which benefit from European funds and national budget in health, education, infrastructure sea.
Prioritization of applied research, development and innovation as elements of growth of value added in the economy.
Encouraging the participation of the Diaspora in the economy through approaches such as "RePatriot" and follow-Diaspora Start-Up.
Review of legislation and creation of national forests program for the conservation and sustainable exploitation of them.
Reorganization of State Domains Agency in a structure that allows the purchase of agricultural land, land consolidation and reselling them to young farmers, so as to support local agricultural development, strengthen family farm, the associative forms and the middle class in the countryside.
A legislative package to encourage agricultural production and marketing (including export) of added value, the branch association and organization in agriculture and establishment of Agricultural Chambers as independent agricultural advisory structures and support for farmers, coordinated by them.
Continued investment in the cadastre of the country, especially for agricultural land.
Continuation and improvement of the program of prevention and risk management of earthquake and other natural disasters.
Continuing the change of perspective in the implementation of EU programs, with an emphasis on simplification, increased quality and impact of projects that they have funded programs in economics. Initiated development of innovative financial instruments using European funds.
Implementation of strategies for Integrated Territorial Investment from EU funds and national budget in the Danube Delta, the Jiu Valley, Moldavia, Rosia Montana-Western and identify other areas that require integrated intervention packages of public and private funds.
Training in optimal conditions Romanian Presidency of the EU Council in 2019.
Development of Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary pipeline Austria (BRUA) continuing the energy interconnection and strengthen the independence and energy security of the country.
Multi-annual approach to upgrading of the national historical and cultural heritage.
Supporting sports performance and development of a national program to promote mass sports.