To: Mining Watch
To the attention of: Mr. Dan Mercea – President
Dear Mr. Mercea,
We were surprised to receive the request of the entity you represent, a request that seeks rather to label and insinuate than to answer some questions that might otherwise be legitimate. We would be extremely pleased to receive a proposal / request for collaboration or cooperation in finding good solutions to all the problems that need to be solved in this country.
The surprise comes also from the fact that Transparency International Romania has been a constant public policy promoter for transparency and integrity, whose efforts have materialized in numerous laws currently active and whose value for society has never been disputed. TI-Romania has been involved in campaigns and advocacy efforts only in areas related to the promotion of transparency, integrity, good governance and public administration, the judicious allocation and use of public resources, professional ethics in public administration, the protection of procedural rights and the prevention, combating and sanctioning corruption. The list of draft legal acts for which TI-Romania carried out advocacy campaigns is available on the website of the organization in the Policies and Studies section of the Advocacy subsection.
And this time, Transparency International Romania made a number of proposals, from the perspective of its own institutional mission, as an alternative to the Government's legislative proposal for the Roşia Montana Project, which our organization fought at that time.
However, these alternative proposals were considered in the second version of the law, being the only proposals for drafting, amending and re-orienting the draft normative act submitted. Unfortunately, however, this amendment also introduced amendments that violated the normative act for the interests of some companies, and Parliament rightly rejected the whole project.
Regarding the current proposal, which is to be submitted to Parliament, we have been consulted on whether we maintain our proposals to be included in this form, which we have confirmed and strengthened. We encourage non-governmental organizations that disagree with the legislative solution to make proposals in their areas of competence and institutional mission (possibly trans-thematic coalitions) than boycott the legitimate efforts of organizations that have legitimately represented their institutional mission.
Concerning the ambiguities that you insinuate in the body of the request, we make the following points: With regard to the mine project, TI-Romania has drafted a number of amendments aimed at increasing the transparency and consultation of the communities in connection with the projects in the mining industry and which have been submitted to parliamentary groups since the Senate's second reading of the law, without these amendments interfering in any way with the area of competence of other stakeholders with expertise in the field of environmental protection, cultural heritage, human rights. TI-Romania received an answer to the proposed amendment, the form of the transparency chapter on which the discussions were built being known to the general public on Parliament's website. We do not know what the Commission's correspondence with others NGOs was. In the discussions after the law was rejected in December, we insisted on maintaining the transparency provisions, along with the amendments, suggestions and criticisms on second version of the law, in order to be integrated into the law-making situation.
TI-Romania was not in the advisory procedure, preliminary approval, or any other procedure your question relates to, but we have had consultations in which we have reservations about the amendments that we publish on our website.
TI-Romania is not the initiator of that normative act and in this aspect does not initiate consultations. A nongovernmental organization can promote its own proposals on the public agenda. That is why TI-Romania, aware of the impact of transparency and the obligation to consult local communities on any mining projects, proposed these amendments in the field of transparency and consultation. When developing these amendments, TI-Romania has used international know-how as well as a range of public policies in the field, proposed and promoted by Transparency International. We are attaching to you all the standards and policies promoted by Transparency International that are relevant to the importance of transparency in mining projects that we have used to make amendments to the field of transparency and public consultation and which we have also sent to law-makers To be considered in support of our amendments.
We reiterate that Transparency International Romania does not manage the parliamentary procedure for adoption of the law, but from our point of view, it is to be expected in the next period to have a consultation in the specialized committees so that the law will incorporate as many constructive and coherent amendments as possible Removes the potential risks of economic, environmental, integrity and transparency, cultural heritage and human rights malfunctioning, thus leveraging the expertise of organizations in these areas. Regarding the collaborations and financing obtained by TI-Romania, their list is available on the organization's website for many years in the spirit of transparency, which we recommend to all non-governmental organizations in Romania.
In fact, we note that TI-Romania did not have any collaborations with mining companies or with lobbying organizations of mining companies, nor did it benefit from donations, scholarships, or any other benefits from such structures. With regard to relations with the Embassy of Canada, which you have identified transparently on our website, they existed during the pre-accession period (2003-2005) within the project "Campaign for IT Principles in the Business Environment" from the funds for the sector As well as within the framework of the partnership between the Canadian Embassy - American Cultural Center - TI-Romania for organizing and running the Conference "Integrity in Public Spending: How Does Romania Manage Public Funds in the Context of the Current Financial Crisis?" On 21 September 2009. Both Financing Were specific to the NGO sector open by project contests or through financing proposals, events, conferences, exchanges of experience, etc. Relations with the Canadian Embassy and the American Cultural Center have nothing to do with the influence of any kind of policies promoted by IT-Romania. Thus, regarding your aggressive and impartial allegations in the first paragraph, as well as the other insinuations along the submitted document, we suggest that you keep in mind such comments about TI-Romania in any form of communication and use an approach Pro-active to solve the issues you are militating for.
In the spirit of dialogue and transparency in the non-governmental sector, please let us know the list of members, donors, and affiliates of your members with any structures that have positioned themselves pro-cause in the Roșia Montana conflict.
We conclude by asking you to encourage dialogue and the critical-constructive approach of the non-governmental sector through attitudes and actions, and not to denigrate, through radicalism and aggression, contempt for the non-governmental sector and its ability to advocate the environment.