According to the President, one of the reasons for Romania’s public image seeming worse than it really is would be the Romanians’ lack of self-confidence. “We got it in our heads” that we are ruled by the IMF, by Brussels, he added.
President Traian Basescu voiced his belief that in the European Union there are countries more corrupt than Romania, countries where the justice fears touching the politicians and that it is important the country to consolidate its credibility.
‘I’m convinced, for instance, that there are countries in the EU more corrupt than Romania – and I’m saying this while assuming all responsibility and knowing what I’m talking about. However, Romania is the one said to have a justice that fears to touch the important politicians. Which means that the problem is ours, because we should look more credible in taking our actions and presenting ourselves, while explaining who we are,’ the President told yesterday at an European Forum for Public Diplomacy, quoted by Agerpres.
Traian Basescu appreciated that the problems related to the country’s image come from ourselves, also adding that it is important we convince each other that fixing some rules and meeting commitments is part of the system to help the country gain credibility: ‘We have to find those elements that identify us in the global world and in Europe. Certainly, Romanians cannot be proud of having ten nuclear aircraft and ruling over the world, they cannot be proud of having enough gas to supply the entire Europe or being the greatest nation in the world, but they can be proud instead of the things they have at home, talented people, a relatively well-educated people, people that are capable of making effort, a beautiful country, coherent governments, which put national interest above the political game of one or another political party. These are things that we can do and that can make us known as a serious nation.’
The president also specified that not only the political class is responsible for building the image of the country, but each and every Romanian, through the manner he/she behaves abroad and through the manner in which he/she understands to observe the laws, holds responsibility and contributes to that image.
The President pointed out that one reason for Romania’s public image seeming worse than it really is would be the Romanians’ lack of self-confidence. “We got it in our minds,” he added, that we are ruled by the IMF, by Brussels. “In fact, we are only aligning ourselves to the EU’s rules, to which we have acceded. We are the ones who said we wanted to be there; no one rules us, we rule ourselves in accordance with the rules we have agreed to comply with,” Basescu said. He explained that Romania’s lack of credibility is a result of these rules, which we have agreed on, not being applied: “Or maybe it is the politicians’ inability to make it clear that they cannot live alone in a global world. In a global world, both the written and unwritten rules of democratic nations must be respected.”
Basescu stated that when a “defendant”, a “criminal” (referring to Dan Voiculescu – editor’s note) yells on air at his own television channel (Antena 3), asking him to get his hands off Justice, it proves that he is propagating the idea that Justice is subordinated to one man and this is an example of self-destruction of Romania’s image. “(…) why is our perception worse than the reality? Several explanations can answer this question: firstly, we denigrate our own institutions all the time, and the people who do this are not uneducated, but persons with enormous responsibilities. You can see how upset we are that an institution like DNA or the courts investigate, trial and prosecute. Then we say: «X ordered them to investigate me!» when, in fact, no one ordered it; state institutions are just doing their job,” Basescu said further.
In a global world, nobody can control information flow, Melescanu says
In a global world, any attempt to excessively facelift domestic realties will raise question marks, so nobody any longer has the real power to control the flow of information, Director of Romania’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) Teodor Melescanu said. According to Melescanu, the fundamental elements that make public diplomacy an indispensable instrument of foreign policy today is the fact that common citizens of any country are well informed from their own media and especially because nobody has the real power to control the flow of information any longer.
‘That is why public diplomacy, unlike formal diplomacy, focuses on direct relations with citizens of other countries or the use of networks others than state networks,’ Melescanu said. He added that consular relations also got increasingly higher importance in the world’s actions, given that they are aimed directly at citizens. Melescanu mentioned that all states are aware of the importance of mass media and the Internet and try to use the media to their interest. He added that most interested in the use of public diplomacy are democratic countries, whereas authoritarian states use domestic propaganda and external disinformation more often than not. The SIE official also said public diplomacy cannot replace reality, cannot create a virtual reality, no matter how sophisticated the media used are.