President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday that Romania’s National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) has made great progress, becoming a model at the European level for a provider of expertise and best practices in the fight against corruption, although its journey was not free of obstacles, setbacks or specific failures that have to be assessed objectively, according to Agerpres.
„With inherently timid beginnings and marked by status clarifications, organisational difficulties or sometimes difficulties related to the lack of political will to secure the operation of this institution, the National Anti-Corruption Directorate has made great progress, becoming a model at European level for a provider of expertise and best practices in the fight against corruption. However, DNA’s journey was not without obstacles, setbacks or even occasional failures. They must be assessed honestly, objectively, because that is the only way to learn from the lessons of the past, always keeping in mind the objective of a constant improvements of activity, in the service of society and the common good,” Iohannis told a „20 years of fight against corruption” event organised by DNA in Bucharest.
He added that a society in which corruption is rigorously fought against, which has checks and balance mechanisms, in which the responsibility of decision-makers towards citizens is real or in which the feeling that no one is above the law is widespread, represents a strong and stable society.
„The fight against corruption is synonymous with the fight for the better society we want. It should not be the exclusive prerogative of an institution, but a joint commitment of all decision-makers. In this joint effort, the action of your institution is crucial for the modernisation of the state and for the prevention and removal of behaviours that risk slowing down or even blocking its development,” said Iohannis.
He added that by its results through the sustained effort of the prosecutors and the entire DNA staff, the institution has become a landmark in the region and in Europe.
„The reports of the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism have always highlighted the gradual progress achieved in the field, but also the shortcomings or the objectives whose fulfillment stalled. I am convinced that without the decisive contribution of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate in combatting high-level corruption and systemic corruption, Romanian society would have looked completely different today. Romania is now a pole of stability in the region and a strategic partner for our partners inside NATO and the European Union.”
Iohannis said that the establishment of the National Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, which later became the DNA, represented „a first signal of Romania taking up the fight against corruption at the highest level and in the long term.”
„During all these years, our country has changed radically, by developing its institutional capacity, by increasing the level of transparency and integrity in the public sector and by the economic and democratic transformation it has experienced. Mentalities have also changed, and the Romanian society no longer tolerates the lack of fairness in public life,” said Iohannis.