Less than half of OECD countries prohibit anonymous donations for political funding

English Section / 9 aprilie

Less than half of OECD countries prohibit anonymous donations for political funding

Versiunea în limba română

Less than half of the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) prohibit anonymous donations for political financing, according to the data published in the report Anti-corruption and integrity - Perspectives 2024, published by the OECD, reports statista.com.

According to the report, the problem with foreign donations is that they can "unduly influence candidates and political parties and lead to the overrepresentation of the interests of foreign actors in public institutions, rather than the domestic public interest." For this reason, the OECD recommends the transparency and traceability of funds intended for the political sector.

The source mentions that donations from publicly owned or state-owned companies can "blur the line between public and private, and distort governance framework agreements between state-owned and state-owned companies", including leading to "improper misappropriation of public funds " and generates the idea that donations are made in exchange for political support. In addition, according to the cited source, based on anonymous donations, donors can circumvent the rules.

Bans on contributions to political parties from foreign countries or companies are common to most OECD countries. Only Greece, Australia, Denmark and Sweden do not have this rule. Meanwhile, Switzerland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia, Denmark and Sweden stand out for not banning financing from publicly held companies.

Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu: "For Romania, joining the OECD is the country's main project"

The Prime Minister of Romania, Marcel Ciolacu, had a meeting last month with the Secretary General of the OECD, Mathias Cormann, and hosted, at the Victoria Palace, the launch event of the Economic Study 2024 for Romania, developed by the OECD. The Romanian official declared at that time, according to gov.ro: "For Romania, joining the OECD is the country's main project, which we treat with full responsibility and commitment. This status will mean a better life for every Romanian, but also more investments, increased visibility of our country on the international economic map and a more efficient administration. We have a government program focused on the economic and social modernization of the country. We want the development of the infrastructure, the increase of productivity and competitiveness, jobs, high-performance health and education systems, as well as the promotion of green energy, and I am glad to note that these objectives are correlated with the recommendations from the economic study".

The Prime Minister reaffirmed the Government's commitment to the implementation of the recommendations from the OECD economic study, all the more so since they have a very close connection with the reforms undertaken through the PNRR, specifying: "The implementation of the PNRR will significantly contribute to the progress towards Romania's accession to the OECD . I wish we all reach this historical milestone for Romania. In 2026, the OECD will publish a new economic study for our country and I want this to be the year of our joining the organization".

Less than half of OECD countries prohibit anonymous donations for political funding

For his part, the Secretary General of the OECD, Mathias Cormann, stated: "Romania's reforms are at a good pace, you are on the right track to align yourself with the living standards of the other OECD member countries. We support you in your efforts and we are happy to continue the collaboration with the Government of Romania, both now and in the future to support you in obtaining the best results for your people".

The Economic Study for Romania 2024 includes a macroeconomic analysis of structural policies, as well as a special chapter dedicated to the decarbonization of the economy.

The OECD forecasts an increase in Romania's real GDP by 3.1% in 2024 and by 3.3% next year, and notes the constant growth of activity, despite the energy crisis. The new initiatives implemented for the elimination of tax loopholes, the strengthening of law enforcement and the healthy indicators of the banking sector are appreciated.

In the social field, the study mentions signs of relaxation on the labor market and the fact that increasing pensions will strengthen household incomes.

This chapter also includes a series of OECD recommendations, including the continuation of budget deficit reduction, budget consolidation, the establishment of a medium-term fiscal consolidation plan to guarantee the sustainability of public finances and the continuation of efforts to modernize fiscal administration. The continuation of the rapid and efficient implementation of EU funds to stimulate productivity and increase living standards is another recommendation of the Organization.

In terms of improving the business environment, the economic study points to ongoing reforms that support investment (including by simplifying procedures and establishing a new Investment and Development Bank that helps small businesses obtain loans) and contribute to strengthening the corporate governance of state-owned enterprises .

The OECD recommends, among other things, the continued implementation of new regulations aimed at strengthening corporate governance, ensuring strong governance and regular evaluation of the Investment and Development Bank, further supporting DNA by addressing staff shortages, as well as promoting market efficiency, education financial and inclusion to stimulate investments and open more economic opportunities.

As far as the social sector is concerned, the contribution of European funds to the improvement of educational facilities and the support of policies to reduce the risks of early school leaving is noted. The increase in the retirement age for women, in accordance with the new Pension Law, is expected to contribute to increasing the employment rate for women.

The OECD recommends continuing to strengthen the social protection system and directing resources to teacher training, supporting schools and investing in IT equipment for schools. It is also highlighted the importance of support for female employment and capitalizing on Romania's human capital potential, as well as ensuring better access to childcare and educational services.

The decarbonization of Romania's economy is a substantial chapter of the economic report. The document notes the improvement of the disaster risk management capacity and the fact that the planned investments will strengthen resilience to natural disasters, such as floods.

It is also pointed out that the structural change of the last three decades has led to the significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and a significant part of electricity comes from renewable and nuclear sources (60% in 2022). And in this chapter, the OECD makes a series of recommendations, such as prioritizing the development of the institutional framework for the effective implementation of climate policy, the modernization of electricity networks, investments in integrated urban mobility systems, centered on public transport and alternative modes of transport, ensuring effective support for renovating housing, with the aim of improving energy efficiency, improving disaster risk management capacity and integrating climate-related risks into planning and investment strategies.

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