Traian Băsescu (born 4 November 1931) is a conservative Romanian politician who served as President of Romania from 2004 to 2014. Prior to his presidency, Băsescu served as Romanian Minister of Transport on multiple occasions between 1991 and 2000, and as Mayor of Bucharest from 2000 to 2004. Additionally, he was elected as leader of the Democratic Party (PD) in 2001. After ending his presidential term in 2015, Băsescu joined the People's Movement Party (PMP), of which he became president in 2016, subsequently resigning in 2018. He currently serves as Member of the European Parliament for Romania (since 2019).
- For the citizens of Romania, communism was a regime imposed by a political group self-designated as possessor of the truth, a totalitarian regime born through violence and ended through violence. It was a regime of oppression, which expropriated five decades of modern history from the Romanian people, which trampled law underfoot and forced citizens to live in lies and fear.
- A democracy without memory is one that finds itself in grave suffering. We must not forget, in order to avoid the errors of the past.
- Imported from the USSR, the communist ideology justified the assault against civil society, against political and economic pluralism; it justified the annihilation of the democratic parties, the destruction of the free market, extermination by assassination, deportations, forced labor, and the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of people. Behind the mask of "socialist humanism" lay concealed the most profound contempt for human beings as individuals.
- When we attempt to expose the mechanisms of the totalitarian regime, it is the case not to forget that its architects and beneficiaries demonstrated no form of scruple or remorse.
- Evoking now a period which many would wish to forget, we have spoken both of the past and of the extent to which we, people today, wish to go to the very end in the assumption of the values of liberty. These values, prior even to being those of Romania or of Europe, flow from the universal, sacred value of the human person. If we now turn to the past, we do so in order to face a future in which contempt for the individual will no longer go unpunished.
- I myself have often criticized the imperfections of our political system, the inefficiency of certain institutions. But it is not the institutions of the state that are guilty, but the manner in which we make them work, the manner in which many think they should utilize them for the achievement of their own interests.
- The lesson of the past proves that any regime that humiliates citizens cannot last and does not deserve to exist. Now, all citizens can freely demand that their inalienable rights should be respected, and the institutions of the state must work in such a way that people will no longer feel humiliated. During this period of transition, much has been said about the moral crisis of society. It relates to numerous aspects of daily life. I am certain that we shall leave behind the state of social mistrust and pessimism in which we have been submerged by the years of transition if, together, we undertake a genuine examination of the national conscience.
- I do not want to become "the President who condemned communism". I want only to be the head of a state which considers that this condemnation relates to normality, that, without this condemnation, we shall move forward with difficulty, we shall move forward while continuing to carry on our back the corpse of our own past. All that I want is for us to build the future of democracy in Romania and the national identity upon clean ground.
- It is true that, during a political debate or sports event inadequate language occurs. Beyond that, I assure you that the Romanian people have a long tradition of common sense and respect for diversity.
- We have the permanent duty to react, using all the political and institutional tools at our disposal, for combating the expression of intolerance and discrimination, in any form. We have the democratic obligation to act so that every citizen feels that he is protected by law therefore having the proof of the solidarity of his fellow citizens. Democracy is the only political regime where diversity can truly be respected, for the common benefit.
- The education has the main vocation of conveying, through moral and pedagogic instruments, a message of accountability for the lessons of the past, and knowing the history, the traditions and the culture of the ethnic groups living in our country is the first step towards a progress in good understanding and cohabitation.
- If we are complacent, we might awake all the demons that have troubled the life of Europe: racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism can spread like a fire, whenever the vigilance of governments and civil society decreases.
- We carne for we believe the decisions we are bound to take will prove that global political creation and structural transformation can be effected successfully in times of peace, and not only against the backdrop of prevailing violence; we can unite around the dividends and promises of peace, and not only in solidarity against the evil, the unjust, or the war. We came because we believe in the United Nations.
- In this global quest, we cannot overlook activities such as the illicit trafficking in human beings, arms, drugs and counterfeited goods, which can also fuel significant resources to terrorist networks and keep regional conflicts open. In many parts of the world, including in Romania's neighborhood, this is far from being a myth.
- Romania has taken for some time now the view that protection against security threats is not anymore just about taking a stand at one's own border; we have to go where these challenges originate and take them up with resolute action and sustained investments.
- Romania stands as a catalyst for cooperation in her region, and is keen to bring up this experience at the international level.
- My country's particular experience in Southeastern Europe and the wider Black Sea area reveals that meaningful cooperation between the U.N. and regional organizations is decisive both on conflict management, and in handling responses to transnational non-conventional threats.
- Our ultimate aim should be to see the day when the international community is able to deal with each and every security challenge anywhere, anytime, by better pooling together existing resources and capabilities for responding to unlawful violence.
- Six decades after the U.N. was created as a bulwark against abuse and terror, basic human rights and liberties are still baffled around the world as a not so uncommon occurrence. Many regimes still get the shivers at the mere utterance of the word "democracy".
- We leave behind a huge political investment of trust and hope on behalf of our people. It would all however have been in vain unless we will show positive political will in making these constructs come to life. We need to strengthen our common universal frame, and we all also need it to work better with regional and national levels in a consistent matrix of subsidiarity and complementarity.