Romania Report



Overall, Romania has a well-articulated WGA in terms of legislation, regulations and its institutional setup. This WGA has been in place for a long time, which has generated quite a remarkable culture of cooperation, coordination and integrated policymaking – sometimes fully formalised, sometimes rather informal, but with quite a high degree of continuity.
The main success factors have been the umbrella provided by the Supreme Council of National Defence (CSAT), the country’s NATO and EU integration processes, and the framework of a well-articulated strategic orientation with across-the-board political consensus and widespread societal support. Permanent coordination with the EU and NATO (coming from the perception that satisfactory performance within these two organisations has high added value for the country and the potential to raise Romania’s profile) have also been helpful because the internal setup has mimicked the supranational one. The intensive training programmes that have also come with EU accession have contributed to the education of personnel in the same spirit of coordination and cooperation. These skills were more recently honed in the run-up to and during Romania’s presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2019, which has allowed for the genuine, massive, collective exercise of the theoretical framework learnt during the first years of integration.
Overall, therefore, Romania’s WGA works quite well at the input level. In contrast, the output level has been less satisfactory and efficient in practice, mostly because of generally poor management, a lack of accountability and resources within the state administration, de-professionalisation, cronyism, and insufficient formalisation of institutional mechanisms (e.g. regarding auditing, monitoring, evaluation, multi-annual planning and budgeting), which results in an inadequate formal institutional memory. We can add to this political instability and irresponsibility, political short-sightedness and ‘short-termism’, a lack of high-level guidance and leadership, and reluctance to be open to civil society and other stakeholders that could offer incentives for self-regulation. This has lowered the level of ambition and placed the focus on delivery rather than on stewardship and initiative-taking.
Compared to other countries, the number and level of responsibilities that Romania has taken on is not modest for a country with recent experience in navigating the EU environment – and the degree of coordination that has been achieved is quite good.
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