The government should prove its capacity to mobilize the people who voted for the European integration to help achieve the practical agenda. If they allow the citizens to be influenced by approximate, imprecise views about how the government agenda is implemented against the background of the war in Ukraine and the pandemic, the people will lose trust and the winners’ rating will decline, eroding their electoral basis, Mihai Mogîldea, team leader of the Europeanization Program at the Institute for European Policies and Reforms, stated in a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency.
“The government should develop the general perception that the European integration process depends not only on the elected officials, but also on the whole society and we all can contribute to implementing these key reforms. This can be done by popularizing the role played by the EU in developing our country, by better communication at central and local levels... I think that the political parties, first of all the parliamentary majority, should make greater effort. If this is not done, the feeling that only the central authorities can stimulate the accession process will prevail. This is not true. We can all make an important contribution, especially when it goes to the discussion of projects, formulation of recommendations,” stated the expert.
Business associations and other relevant players can become involved in this process. There are about 4,000 active NGOs that can be engaged. “Furthermore, the people should be told about the relevance of reforms given that some of them in the medium term can generate unwanted repercussions with an impact on the electoral image, while the benefits will become evident in a longer period of time,” said Mihai Mogîldea.
He noted that the reform of the local public administration is a relevant example. Some of the local players will feel a big discomfort as a result of such a reform, but in a period it will bring advantages to the whole society. The announced university reform hasn’t been accompanied by efficient communication with the public. If the people are not explained things, they will fall prey to other narratives than those that are based on data and evidence,” stated the speaker.
He said that local elections will be held next year and the period prior to the presidential elections of 2024 and the parliamentary elections of 2025 will follow. “This means that the government has one more year during which it can assume reforms that are associated with particular costs, including in the context of elections,” said Mihai Mogîldea.
Beyond the ongoing political processes, the whole society should assume a commitment and all the local players and organizations that represent the business community, religious denominations or others should become actively involved. The local authorities should play a key role here so as to be able to demand results from the government and the narrative should be changed so that it is well coordinated at the level of all the governmental bodies.
The public debate titled “Candidate status and irreversibility of European integration rely on society’s wish: What does this depend on in current conditions?” was the 258th installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.