PM Ponta meets Mexican President at OGP Summit: Mexican and Romanian governments voice will to strengthen political dialogue, friendship relations

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta, currently on a visit to Mexico, where he is participating in the Open Government Partnership Global Summit (OGP), has met on Thursday with the Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, EFE reports.

According to a statement sent by the Mexican presidency, the meeting took place at the National Palace in Ciudad de Mexico, the seat of the government, and had the objective to reaffirm the commitment of the Mexican and Romanian governments to strengthen friendship relations, political dialogue, trade and cooperation for the benefit of the Mexican and Romanian societies.

President Pena Nieto expressed to the Romanian PM the full availability of his government for the celebration of the 80th anniversary from the establishment of diplomatic relations between Romania and Mexico. Moreover, the Mexican head of state praised the activities initiated by the embassies of the two countries to mark this event which “highlights the cultural richness of the two nations and stimulates the development of relations” between them.

In his turn, Ponta proposed the start of negotiations for updating the bilateral legal framework and the deepening of the strategic relation between the two countries. Ponta assured that his visit to Mexico will contribute to the initiation of a more active stage in bilateral relations and voiced his appreciation to the Mexican president and government for the initiated reforms.

The two high officials committed to intensifying the analysis and information exchange on the bilateral agreements still under negotiation, namely the agreement on tourism and that on extradition, and appreciated the dynamism of cooperation between the two countries, especially in the fields of education and culture, the Mexican presidency stated. Moreover, Pena Nieto and Ponta highlighted the increase in trade and tackled topics such as the availability of opportunities such as commerce in the automotive, energy and information technology sectors.

Ponta addresses Open Partnership Global Summit: Transparency is always the right choice for a government

Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Wednesday told the Open Government Partnership Global Summit that transparency is, in any circumstance, the right choice for a government and that people are ready to forgive the rulers’ mistakes as long as they show transparency and the intention to govern well.

“When I took over office four years ago, I was a young politician. Now I am no longer young, but I am much more experienced. (…) I have learned four important lessons. The first is that transparency is always, in any circumstance, the right choice for a government. The natural trend (…) of organisations and even of politicians is to be as secretive as possible, to hide something and this always leads to failure. People expect transparency from us. They are ready to forgive our mistakes if we prove transparency, if we prove that we have nothing to hide, that we only want to govern better and learn from our mistakes,” Ponta said.

A second lesson the PM spoke of is that good governance models can be taken as an example from one country to another.

“Even if the countries and the political systems are so different, there are experiences and methods that can be learned from another country. I am certain that the good methods of a good government, here in Mexico, or in any other country, can be implemented in Romania and we can share with you our positive or negative experiences to learn from them,” Ponta said.

The third lesson, Ponta emphasized, is that the new technology probably brings about a radical change in governance. “Many of the 20 million Romanian citizens prefer to access the website of an institution from their smartphones or computers instead of personally going there, they waste less money and time doing so, so I believe that investing in new technologies and implementing them in governance, in adopting decisions and measures, will radically improve the government’s performance,” the Premier said.

“In what concerns the fourth lesson, I don’t believe the public sector has all the answers, on the contrary, sometime cooperation, learning from other experiences and sharing your own experience with NGOs, the civil society, private institutions, is the wisest decision for a government that wants to improve governance. I have shared with you some of my experience, I wish the Open Government Partnership to attain its ambitious goals and I want you all to govern better for the people that expect better governance from us,” the Head of the Romanian Government added.

The Romanian Premier also pointed out that Mexico is a strategic partner when it comes to promoting development and good governance in the world, this being after all the key to success for all countries. He thanked for the support given to elect Romania as member of OGP’s Board of Directors.

“In the end, I believe what we jointly have to do is very easy: the world is changing, governments have to change too because the expectations are higher by the day, the people voting us, the people that benefit from governance have to notice changes. It is our duty to bring about changes, otherwise we will fall behind and lose opportunities,” Victor Ponta added.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta participated Wednesday through Thursday at the Open Government Partnership Global Summit in Mexico, at the invitation of Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, who is also the head of the Mexican Government.

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