Geoana, who heads the ASPEN Romania Institute, stressed the need to modernise the Romanian state, i.e. the central and local public administration and he highlighted the support rendered by the World Bank and other international institutions to this effect, adding they ‘should probably make more effort’.
‘At this moment, 20 years since the political system and the society climate was changed, maybe it’s high time we admitted that the main obstacle to the accelerated modernisation of Romania is the administration and the manner in which the Romanian state functions and produces quality services (…). One cannot become a modern nation with an unreformed state, but the public administration mostly should be motivated to serve the public good and the public interest.
This (economic and financial) crisis should be a cold shower, from which we should understand that such a crisis might still emerge and that the world’s geopolitical map is changing (…). We are at a time of huge mutation comparable to the fall of communism by magnitude’, he said.
Social Democrat Geoana said the Government is concerned with re-launching the economy, that has already begun showing signs of a recovery.
He pointed out that the signals sent by the European Central Bank, which are an encouragement for the Romanian banking sector, should also be a signal to re-start crediting in the Romanian economy. While he admitted it is natural for the banks to be cautious, he insisted that their main concern should be related to get lending re-started and added that moves to this end by the National Bank of Romania and the economic circles would be extremely useful.
Geoana argued that the current economic and financial crisis should be used as an opportunity to repair ‘certain things done wrong in the last 20 years’. He cited among such things the ‘overseer’s attitude’ the state sometimes shows the economic climate and even an attitude of ‘harassing the firms’, explaining that while the big companies are able to defend themselves, the small and medium-sized ones have more difficulties in surviving.
‘I believe a mature state should devote more time and energy to turning the Romanian business climate into a friendlier business environment, a more predictable one and into a European business climate’, he argued.
The ASPEN Romania chairman underscored the need to shape up certain economic areas as priorities for the future public investment.
One of the main questions of this moment is ‘how will the Romanian economic landscape look like after the crisis ends’, Geoana said, reiterating that the effects of the global economic and financial crisis in Romania could also be used as ‘an opportunity’.