President Klaus Iohannis congratulated the civil society representatives for their involvement in projects that have changed lives in the last 20 years and that have recently managed situations such as the coronavirus pandemic or the refugee crisis in Ukraine, according to Agerpres.
The president’s message was delivered on the occasion of the 20th edition of the Civil Society Gala by state adviser Catalina Galer.
„I congratulate you because, for 20 years, you have constantly promoted the efforts of the non-governmental sector, so that the initiatives with a major impact could be better known to Romanians. The concern to always find solutions to help and the involvement, the dedication and the professionalism with which you run projects that change lives,” the president said.
He also recalled the crises of recent years, „as a result of which entire communities suffered”.
„Although you have been directly affected by these difficult times, you have found the resources to move forward and continue to be of use to those in need. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes and new challenges to the associative sector. However, you quickly adapted, rethought the way you worked and acted immediately to support the vulnerable. When our society needed it the most, you managed to support the medical staff and provide the necessary assistance to the elderly and the disabled in risky situations. The projects carried out to ensure access to education for children affected by restrictions are also remarkable,” Iohannis added.
Another crisis that the president refers to is the one generated by Russia’s war against Ukraine.
„Civil society mobilized in an exemplary way and impressed the whole world with its substantial efforts to help the refugees coming from the neighbouring country. For seven months, a significant number of representatives and volunteers of the organizations have been assisting the people who crossed the border in search of safety, offering help in emergency regime, as well as medium and long-term support. I am deeply grateful for the work you have done in support of the most vulnerable and for the development and modernization of our society,” he emphasized in the message.
In his opinion, in the architecture of any democratic state, civil society opposes abuses and criticizes slippages, thus becoming the voice of those who defend values and principles.
„Romania is a strong state because it has a strong civil society! Your efforts are recognized and rewarded this evening because, regardless of the context, you fought for the rights, freedom and dignity of those around you. Civil society is the catalyst for change, having the incredible power to develop communities, to increase civic participation and involvement, as well as the degree of social cohesion, but also to hold public authorities and the private sector accountable,” Klaus Iohannis said.
Non-governmental organizations, according to the president, have a rich experience in various fields and, very often, bring novel and punctual approaches to solving some problems faced by certain groups and, thus, the contribution of civil society becomes essential in the formulation of government policies.
He added that the civil society is the closest to the local communities and understands very well the individual needs of the citizens, as well as the problems they face. At the same time, civil society organizations play an essential role in giving vulnerable groups the opportunity to develop, intervening to respond to certain particular needs, ensuring complementarity to state actions and reducing possible discrepancies in areas where government efforts are not sufficient.
„The constant goal of developing Romania requires a wider collaboration between the three sectors: governmental, non-governmental and private. In this sense, I urge the authorities and state institutions to cooperate more consistently with the associative sector. I congratulate you once again, I assure you of the entire my support and I wish you a lot of energy and work power to continue to carry out as many projects as possible for the benefit of those who need support the most!” Klaus Iohannis said.