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UPDATE Iohannis: Most important objective of my first tenure was to maintain European, democratic path of Romania

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea
Inquam Klaus Iohannis

President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday that the most important objective of his first term in office was to maintain Romania's pro-European and democratic path, while labeling the past five years at Cotroceni as years that brought major challenges, of which the most serious was "the danger that our country would leave the Western path."

The head of the state presented his report after first tenure.

"There have been five years of major challenges, the most serious of which was the danger that our country would leave the Western path. Which is precisely why the biggest gain of my tenure was that I was able to maintain the democratic and pro-European path of Romania. Despite the many political adversities, I have always kept my determination and without making compromises I pursued the strategic objectives of our country, consolidating thus the foundation on which we can built, in the years to come, a normal Romania. I received my mandate from the citizens and that's why I think a transparency exercise is necessary at this point, a report of all these directions and actions, a report I completely take responsibility for," said Iohannis.

He showed that he wanted to present this report after the presidential elections, "for this is an institutional demarche and it shouldn't be exposed to the inherent politicization specific to an electoral campaign."

The President specified he initiated consultations with the political parties since the beginning of his term in office, which materialized in the conclusion of the Agreement regarding the increase in the budget for Defence to 2 per cent of the GDP.

"This was a major decision, to make Romania a credible and strong partner of NATO, while ensuring, at the same time, the necessary financing for the modernization and endowment of the Romanian Army," he said.

In terms of foreign affairs, the head of the state said he focused on the three coordinates, which gave continuity to his mandate, namely he focused on enhancing Romania's role within NATO and the EU and on strengthening and enlarging the Strategic Partnership with the United States of America. He also brought to mind his 2017 and 2019 visits to the United States.

Further on, the President showed that, in what concerns the internal matters, his first concern was with the good functioning of the public authorities, and brought to mind the referendum on justice which he convened.

Iohannis said from the beginning of his mandate he wanted to have an extended agenda, to modernize the public institutions and regain people's trust in them, to build a solid and functional partnership between the presidential institution and the organisations of the civil society.

"In respect to the internal affairs, I used all the constitutional instruments I had to change the manner in which the state institutions functioned, to reform the electoral mechanisms, the parties and the political class as a whole. The principle I strongly believe in is that the integrity and professionalism of politicians are the key to a major change of paradigm in terms of the manner in which institutions relate to the citizen in Romania. This is one of the reason for which I got actively involved, ever since I took over, in changing the electoral legislation and the law on political parties. Moreover, I always underscored, during all the meetings that I had with the representatives of the central or local public authorities, how important is for Romania's development to have a good governance act," said the head of state.

Education and research represented a priority, the President continued.

At economic level, he said he has always asked for responsible economic policies, consistent and constant investments, healthy balances and fiscal-budgetary prudence, and when these four directions were being "threatened by wrong decisions" he acted, while observing the limits of his constitutional prerogatives, to "correct them."

In the healthcare area, he pursued the objectives he assumed under the Presidential Programme, promoting especially education for health and prevention, as well as putting citizens in the centre of the system, capitalizing on the medical staff and implementing innovations in medicine, by supporting the concept of personalized medicine.

He showed the detailed report on each field is available on the website of the Presidency, with the document having more than 800 pages.

"Since this is quite a large document, I chose to make it available for the public in an electronic format, and not as a print, because we also need to protect the environment," concluded Iohannis.

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