Executive President of the Center for Legal Resources (CRJ) Georgiana Iorgulescu said on Friday that not only do public authorities no longer invite NGOs to consultations, but they are also highly critical of them, considering them as offenders.
"From a legal perspective, the relationship with the public authorities should be good, as governed by law. Factually speaking, cooperation is limping ever heavier, because we either get over-formalized, ie we call the NGOs to consultations because that's what the transparency law requires, but we don't care what they say and do not transpose any of their suggestions, or — just what happens in 2013, not only that we are not invited anywhere anymore, but we are slammed and finger-pointed as a bunch of offenders in this country, beginning with the President, the Prime Minister and parliamentary groups," Georgiana Iorgulescu said after the conference organized by CRJ.
She said that after Romania joined the EU in 2007 and monitoring by European structures was lifted, the authorities "relaxed" as concerns the observance of human rights, and in recent years the situation has worsened progressively.
"We are told that we are bought by Soros, that we are the minions of x and y, that we are eco-anarchist groups, that's how Romanian Intelligence head Mr. George Maior brands us, I mean the people rallying in University Square — the people there are citizens and NGOs, it's an amalgam out there, I guess we have grown into some kind of threat to national security, we are not called to discuss the revision of the Constitution. (...) After 23 years, the politicians from across the entire political spectrum are highly embarrassed by NGOs because they generally consider we are a pain in the neck," said Georgiana Iorgulescu.
She believes that people are taking to the streets because they have been waiting too long for the law to be applied in good faith and have now come to claim their rights in the street because they have given up hope that they will be listened to by the authorities , the mayor etc.
At a conference organized by the CRJ on the subject of cooperation between NGOs and public authorities, a selection was presented of the declarations made by politicians on various topics involving NGOs.
"NGOs are nothing else but money shredders. The NGOs in Romania are all set up with a clear and straightforward mercantile purpose. And they cover big business. (...) I am asking directly that state institutions take the matter in their hands and start controlling these NGOs," said PDL first vice-president Dorin Florea, mayor of Targu Mures, according to CRJ.
Another example is the statement of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who is also critical of NGOs, saying that they have been responsible for 20 years now for the integration of the Roma.
"The non-governmental organizations you are invoking have had the responsibility of these policies for 20 years now, the current Government for just one year. Yet in 20 years lots of money has been spent, there has been a lot of debate and, unfortunately, this all proved an inefficient system," the Premier said in July 2013, during the meeting with his French counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault.
CRJ maintains that the responsibility of integrating the Roma and minority populations falls on the public and local authorities, not on NGOs, whose task is to signal discriminations and issues arisen in the citizen — authority relationship.AGERPRES