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The renewed case for good governance

It's enough to spend a few hours per day watching local, regional and global news to have a growing sense of a increasingly huge mess

By: EBR - Posted: Tuesday, April 04, 2017

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The question is how can things be back on track, both in terms of substance and perception: how can we restore trust in Good Governance and present to a global audience both a new social contract and the best practices and ways to achieve it?
The question is how can things be back on track, both in terms of substance and perception: how can we restore trust in Good Governance and present to a global audience both a new social contract and the best practices and ways to achieve it?

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by Corneliu Visoianu and Radu Magdin*
 
Then, once in a while, when reading a global welfare related article, you realise, in terms of numbers, we never had it so good, in terms of combatting global poverty, illiteracy or other world problems. But perception matters, and citizens are more and more discontent, while political and administrative stakeholders around the world seem less in touch with both public moods and a solutions-based governance. 
 
Even for politics-and-policy optimists, the challenges and strains facing leaders worldwide seem increasingly unbearable. Global leaders seem nowadays, with very few exceptions, a shadow compared to predecessors. At the same time, the latter did not face an ever-changing 24/7 agenda, and could take the privilege of longer absence from TV screens and social media. 

Nowadays, governments are under continued pressure to deliver in a context that is constantly defined as crisis. It seems that everything becomes tactical and last minute, that there is no clear vision or plan for society and that populists and extremist are winning an increasing number of fights against mainstream politicians. Examples of challenges to governance range from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe with Brussels and Washington in-between. 
 
The question is how can things be back on track, both in terms of substance and perception: how can we restore trust in Good Governance and present to a global audience both a new social contract and the best practices and ways to achieve it? We aim to find such ambitious solutions at the Good Governance Summit, a unique event to take place in Bucharest, 4-5 May. 

The location is not selected by chance: Romania, a country who has seen both the benefits of democracy and the scourge of dictatorship, both the extatic feeling of democratic elections and economic prosperity and the agony of restructuring industries in a difficult transition in the 90s. In short, a model of change for the better, and integration in two strong regional and global clubs, EU and NATO. 
 
Experts and top stakeholders from a variety of states and backgrounds will be looking into the challenges to good governance at national, regional and international level and will be debating the best way forward. We need, as the motto of the event says, to transform failing policies into successful governance. And we need to deliver fast, under the strains of the present while having a clear vision for the future.
 
The overarching mission of Strategikon, Romania's first English speaking think tank, is focusing on the means of improving and advancing good governance for the benefit of all. We believe one of the consequences of failed and failing government is the inability to provide for the governed acceptable measures of security, safety, sustenance and stability. And from the absence of these basic human necessities, instability, conflict, terror and inequality as well as famine and disease emerge with a vengeance. 

From violence and civil war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere to dramatic changes in borders established after World War II to the emergence of state populism that evoked Brexit, and the rise of inward political parties in Europe, each is in part a result of some failure in governance. There are solutions, we all need to act and we welcome you on board of our project.   
 
*Corneliu Visoianu and Radu Magdin are vicepresidents of Bucharest-based think tank Strategikon

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