The New Republic Party applies for membership in the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists

În dimineața de 10 mai 2013, delegaţia Noii Republici prezentă la AECR Conference & Council Meeting a depus formal candidatura partidului pentru calitatea de membru al Alianței Conservatorilor și Reformiștilor Europeni.

Noua Republică are o primă recomandare pozitivă din partea boardului, decizia finală va veni în iulie 2013 și apoi ceremonia formală în 8 noiembrie 2013, la Bruxelles. Noua Republică este reprezentată la Reykjavik de Mihail Neamţu, Preşedinte Noua Republică, Nicolae Popa, Vicepreşedinte Noua Republică şi Ştefan Bârgăoanu, Coordonator al Departamentului de Relaţii Internaţionale.

AECR 1

Discursul susţinut de Mihail Neamţu la AECR Icelandic Conference & Council Meeting (9-12 Mai 2013, Reykjavik):

Mister Chairman,

Dear fellow conservatives,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me begin by thanking AECR and especially the Icelandic organisers for having invited a Romanian delegation at this Conference. We are proud to be here, and we are moved that in a place which mattered so much during the Cold War, we are now discovering just how close we can work together for our common values and principles: a free Europe, in which young and old democracies fight for free enterprise, free trade, freedom of conscience, and moral personal responsibility.

In my talk today, I shall provide you with a historical context, with a story, and with a proposal. The context is sad. The story is joyful. The proposal is decent.

Romania Today: Poverty, Cleptocracy, and Incompetence

Despite its great natural riches, albeit its beauty in land, rivers, and sea, despite its qualified human resources and great pool of talent, Romania today is one of the poorest country in Europe.

During the horrible years of Communism, five million Romanians from Bessarabia and Northern Bucovina have been incorporated by violence into the former USSR territory. Other millions were forced to be part of a massive plan of modernization in infrastructure (railways, bridges and dams), in energy (e.g., the oil refineries of Ploiești), in agriculture, industry or telecommunication.

In January 1990, right after the death of Nicolae Ceaușescu, Romania had zero public debt, more than 100 billion dollars in State assets and 23 million people living in freedom (and poverty). Nowadays, Romania has 50 billion euros in public debt, huge delays in building its national infrastructure building, an industry tranformed into ruins, and an aged population of only 19 million people at home. When an ordinary teacher receives only 300 euros per month, you may rightly say that the world of prosperity is, for us, still a promise.

How did we end up with this economic legacy? Why did we inherit piles of scrap iron, a sovereign nation in massive and unsustainable debt, a demographic contraction, three millions of Romanian exiles living abroad and many more owing their flats and homes to international banks, while desperately trying to make ends meet.

Mister Chairman, 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To whom do you think we owe this state of affairs?

We owe it to the post-communist party elites and their economic backers, who for almost a quarter of a century tried to undo the process of liberating free markets from State monopolies, of advancing competition in Education and Healthcare services, of reassessing the welfare State, of promoting meritocracy in the public administration, of consolidating the rule of law and of emancipating the judiciary from the undue control of the political power.  (Please note that those involved in the great theft of the post-Communist years felt especially threatened by an independent judiciary. Independent judges managed to condemn a number of politicians, including the former prime minister Adrian Năstase, who served almost a year sentence in jail).

The story

On a Saturday morning, September the 17th 2011, in a context marked by fatigue, hopelessness, and even despair, I found myself taking a shower. As you have already discovered in the great Icelandic saunas, lagoons, and pools, water has remarkable refreshing and very energizing qualities. That sunny weekend, the splashes of tube water got me to think as to how a new generation of people, born and educated after 1989, could dramatically change the political landscape of Romania. Minutes after that shower, I got inspired to write a political manifesto called: The New Republic.

In those days I was a University lecturer and a public intellectual – anything, but a politician. I therefore wrote a visionary document calling for a radical departure from old-style politics, as shaped by former nomenklatura. The manifesto was quickly circulated on the Internet, being widely commented by journalists and bloggers. Around 3000 individuals wrote me emails with questions about the emerging movement. Some offered help in cash, others in kind.

The New Republic appeared as the first political grassroots movement ever to be born in post-Communist Romania, with the help of the social media. A few weeks later, various groups of citizens, small entrepreneurs, lawyers, teachers, communication professionals, began to gather together at various public meetings across Romania.  Major cities in Transylvania, Wallachia and Moldova, held events which achieved significant attendance and media coverage.  All participants called for the birth of a new political party, based on two principal values: moral integrity and professional competence. We spelled out our political mission as an attempt to discover, to attract, to educate and to promote individuals of merit and honor into State structures.

We started it all from scratch – with no money, no logistics, no media support, but with a grand vision. The New Republic quickly evolved from an abstract idea to a living reality. In less than a month, we transformed our civic movement into a solid political project. At −10 degrees Celsius in winter, we gathered more than 30,000 signatures from 22 counties, and we did that with pride and joy. On the 29th of January 2013, the Romanian State has formally recognised our existence as a Party.

The New Republic Party emerged not as a fractionist movement, but as a brand new political phenomenon, determined to cure that widespread institutional malaise, called Statism. In any given country, you need guts and luck in order to even begin to change any political status quo. We had both the guts and the luck. And that is why we are here in Rejkjavik.

Mister President, Dear Colleagues,

We, the New Republic, surpassed the cynicism and the mistrust of older Eastern European generations who lived in a climate of generalized suspicion. We were the first to firmly advocate the constitutional framing of natural rights, private property, entrepreneurship, family values, limited government, and the Judeo-Christian values.

We, the New Republic, critiqued the illegitimate benefits given by party bosses to their clients and sponsors. There can be no rights without obligations. The State must respect its citizens, irrespective of their religious or ethnic background.

We have unmasked the remarkably similar organisational structures and the modus operandi existing in all post-Communist parties.

We, the New Republic, denounced the powerful vested interests of a political class which is controlling much of the mass-media.

We took up an anti-corruption agenda, pushing forward proposals for the lowering of taxes and for reforms in key state institutions.

In September 2012, the New Republic has asked other center-right parties to begin the process of internal reform and to accept strong integrity standards in a center-right coalition which was formed for the 2012 parliamentary elections. Alas, such ethical standards have not been fully accepted.

This may explain why the winners of the 2012 elections were the socialists, as direct descendents of the Romanian Communist Party. They are those who organised the Great Theft and who oversaw the massive process of property redistributions, which in its turn secured them enourmous economic privileges, while skillfully playing the game of Europenization. The socialists have systematically abused our constitutional arrangements (in 2007 and 2012), while opposing any attempts to bring to justice the corrupt members of their party and its clientele or to impose integrity standards in public life (its leader, the current Prime Minister Victor Ponta refused to step down, despite of the fact that it has been proven that he has plagiarized his PhD thesis).

In short, the New Republic is a challanger for all the traditional players of the Romanian party politics.

We are also critical of the federalist project enforced by Bruxelles beaurocrats, in the absence of any proper democratic consultations. We belong to a Europe of nation-states and we do not believe in magic solutions coming from outside. The whole purpose of our political project is, in fact, to emphasize the need for internal renewal in any European country.

Our patriotism makes us think with greater responsibility about the future of our nation, while it also helps us admire and learn from other civilisational models, such as the Icelandic, the British, or the American one.

Mister Chairman, Dear Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the past twelve months, our Party has already organized public events in which prominent members of your alliance have expressed their support for our political endeavors. We thank you for that. In July 2012, Mr. Daniel Hannan MEP visited Romania and met in person the leaders of the New Republic. In May 2012, I have also given a talk at New Direction Think Tank in Brussels, while in September last year, I have spoken in Oxford to Youth Organisation. In our formal and informal gatherings, we celebrated the memory of Mrs Margaret Thatcher and of the late Ronald Reagan. We feel we belong to your family, sharing the same principles of the Prague Declaration.

We already have an MP at the national level, and we do plan to have our own candidates for the European Parliament in June 2014.

In my capacity of President of the New Republic Party, I hereby express, on behalf of our entire organization, our intent to join the AECR and to formally have our membership application analyzed. Let me express my gratitude to all of you and my utmost desire that the New Republic application will be offered full attention and consideration.

Thank you very much.

Rejkjavik, May 10th, 2013

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