OPEN governance, transparency and democracy should be issues for all countries of Europe, the US and other nations across the world, said outgoing Prime Minister Iveta Radičová at a two-day international conference From Crisis to Open Government where problems faced by young democracies such as Slovakia were discussed. There was a particular focus on lobbying and people’s perception of it, as well as how to make the work of governments more open to citizens, the TASR newswire reported.
The prime minister spoke about lobbying during her speech and stated that it is often regarded as a form of corruption even when spoken about positively. But Radičová said that even if countries deal with lobbying through regulations and laws they will discover that not even the best legal rules are sufficient.
“On one hand we have a lot of resourceful and capable citizens and institutions and on the other hand there is a difference between legality and legitimacy,” she stated, as quoted by TASR. “Even when an approach is legal under the law it does not automatically mean that it is legitimate and that it meets ethical and moral criteria.”
Radičová’s speech also praised the steps made by the European Commission in the areas of e-government and citizens’ access to public information, saying these are prerequisites for open governance and effective public oversight of governmental institutions.