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June 26, 2022

President Iohannis on International Anti-Corruption Day: Corruption weakens the state, undermines democracy and the rule of law

Corruption weakens the state, erodes the institutions and generates a setback of the society as a whole, and the scourge undermines democracy and the rule of law, President Klaus Iohannis said in a message on December 9, International Anti-Corruption Day.

“This scourge undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, supports organised crime networks, distorts markets and ultimately lowers the quality of citizens’ life. Corruption affects the most vulnerable social categories, keeps poor communities captive in a vicious circle, stifles development and reduces the ability of the state to provide the best services to those it serves. In order to stop corrupt practices in contemporary societies, complex institutional and social mechanisms to prevent and censure are required, so that the efficiency of institutions in covering the public interest and the proper functioning of the rule of law may be guaranteed.”

President Iohannis also emphasised that 30 years after the fall of communism, “Romania has made great progress with the fight against high-level corruption and in society overall, and the process is a continuous one, which entails an effort to change mindsets, consistency and a set of unwavering principles.”

“Honesty, fairness, truth, empathy are values that are increasingly more found in the Romanian society, and the reaction of the civil society when these values have been violated has been adequate. I was and remain a strong supporter of the fight against corruption. My first term as President was full of challenges, but with the support of Romanians and democratic political forces, we managed to maintain the European path of our country. Romania remained a pillar of stability and a pole of European spirit in the region, regardless of how much some politicians wanted to subordinate the state to personal or group interests,” said Iohannis.

According to the President, the long-term fight against corruption in society is directly linked to the development of a strong democratic, European culture; changes in individual behaviours, taking firm positions against corruption and injustice, demanding greater transparency of institutions, “all these are ways in which each citizen can get involved and determine a change for the better in the entire community.”

Informing young people about what corruption means, about its effects and combating this phenomenon is also an assurance to future generations that the country in which they live will be one with a high degree of intolerance to corruption, the president added.

“The results of the relevant institutions, of the professionals who have done their duty in good faith and the attachment of the Romanians to the democratic values make Romania today an example of action and determination in the fight against corruption, through which a functional state is ensured alongside highly- performing institutions and welfare for Romanians. In a normal Romania, respect for the law and fairness are the rule. I wish for these desiderata to remain alive, because on their foundation we build a better country together. Through a common effort, through zero tolerance to any corruption and by keeping the civic commitment admirable we will be able to build Romania that we all want!,” concluded Iohannis in his message.

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