Nova Romania e.V. – Press release
The establishment of the nonprofit association
Nova Romania (NovaRo) e.V.
Members from Bavaria, of the Romanian community and those of the German-ethnicity community with roots in Romania, have set up the non-profit civil association Nova Romania e.V. The association was born out of the pro-European civic protest in Munich as a reaction to the so-called “Law of Amnesty” of the Romanian government, a law that seeks partial legalization of acts of corruption.
The Association will organize, alone or together with similar organizations in Romania and from the European Union, actions and events with and for the civil society. The association will also operate as a “Think Tank”, conceiving and implementing projects for the consolidation of democracy in Romania as well as for strengthening the dialogue between the European citizens.
As a first step, the association calls for the formation of an extra-parliamentary opposition in Romania. The civil society actors are to agree on the strategy of actions and protests in the country and abroad, as well as the establishment of a permanent constructive dialogue with the pro-European political forces.
“Are you against the rule of law”?
The repeated attempts made by the new Romanian Government to partially decriminalize the acts of corruption led to the largest protests in the country’s history. More than 600,000 participants protested against the government, formed by the PSD-ALDE coalition, as well as for the support of the European values and principles of the rule of law.
Government representatives seem to be diluting the anti-corruption legislation, which is one of the most severe in Europe. In their appreciation, many criminal trials – including some against the heads from the parties of the governing coalition – are motivated politically. In fact, in recent years, prosecutors of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) have handled cases of several civil servants, mayors, deputies, ministers and even a former prime minister and have led them to a definitive criminal conviction. The percent of convictions has increased spectacularly, reaching over 90 % in recent years. In the reports of the European Commission this legislation and its consistent application are seen as an essential element of progress in a country previously dominated by corruption at all levels of government. This efficient system would be, according to the government’s will, “restructured”.
“Who sleeps in democracy wakes up in dictatorship”
This evolution is not surprising, however, despite the current wave of havoc. The younger generation who has been protesting in the streets for nearly three months, has shown a striking disinterest in political affairs over the past two years. Participation at the December 2016 parliamentary elections was only 38%. Decisive for the victory of the social democrats, (ex) post-communists, were the elderly voters, especially those from rural areas. PSD has gained an almost absolute majority and dominated the parliament together with their coalition partner, ALDE. By doing so, the coalition has the decisional majority in both the Parliament and the government and can act almost arbitrarily.
Revolution of the civil society 2.0
The finding that “the corruption era” from the 1990s and 2000s is not fully surpassed, is a profound shock and demonstrates that being a member of the European Union cannot replace the active participation of the civil society in the political life. The people from Romania, especially the young generations, “the Millennials”, understood this lesson. They are well integrated in the global culture and should not leave unused this historic chance to modernize the country. Protesters are no longer organized only in groups on the Internet and Facebook – without which such protests would not have been possible – but increasingly in informal personal groups, citizen initiatives and civic associations.
In various cities such groups are being now formed, in which the basic foundations of the rule of law, ways of debate, protests, social networking are being propagated. The civil society of Romania currently finds itself in a full process of modernization, which benefits of these new communication techniques. The civil society, organized by these new models, will inevitably be in conflict with the old and elitist leadership style of most of the political class.
The Association, an active part of civil society
The Nova Romania Association e.V. is positioned not only as a protester, but also as an active moderator.
This Association brings together experienced people from diverse professional fields to function as an innovative “Think Tank” in the support of the dynamic development of the state and society in Romania. Various successful concepts from Germany and other European countries are subjects of discussion and interdisciplinary analysis. These concepts are – as a result of the analysis – adapted for the specific conditions in Romania and further proposed for practical implementation.
An important and constant consideration is the adoption and the following of a pro-European direction, from which some countries from the region have abstained. The Association considers that the sustainable and irreversible modernization of Romania as well as other states in the area, can only be accomplished together with a strong and citizen-oriented European Union that guarantees the rule of law and moral authority.
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