FUNDAMENTAL/For Bernard Pasquier, Union monégasque MP, the 12 July speech laid the foundations of tomorrow’s Monaco.
The 12 July speech was about ethics and transparency. Do you think we have won on both counts in the past 10 years? In what way?
We are clearly moving in the right direction. Three examples. The incentive of administrative acts, a consequence of Monaco’s accession to the Council of Europe, changed the relations between the Monegasques and the government powers and has reduced arbitrariness. This is very good news, as is the creation of the High Commission for the protection of rights, freedoms and mediation, which provides recourse for citizens who believe they are victims of an unjust decision. Finally, compliance with the OECD automatic exchange of banking information process for non-residents, and the many bilateral agreements already signed, help make our financial centre more transparent. Ultimately, this will also make it more competitive. That said, it is legitimate to ask: are we moving quickly enough in this direction?
You desire constitutional amendment, the right of budgetary amendment. Is that part of the same logic?
Of course. Monaco lives in a world that is changing faster and faster, and our economic fabric, governance and institutions need to adapt constantly. In this context, how is changing our constitution in a considered way to introduce a budget amendment law as outrageous as some would have us believe? On the contrary, the risk is doing nothing and staying frozen on past models that respond increasingly less well to our need to remain competitive and to the aspirations of the Monegasques. Because it is important that they are more involved in the life of the country through their elected representatives, and the budget amendment is a good way of achieving this. We will make proposals to that effect soon.
Which dates in this decade have impressed you most?
There have been two decisive moments for me. The first is the 12 July speech, which laid the foundations of tomorrow’s Monaco. Both an ambitious and a modest speech, without jargon, which laid down the principles of a virtuous Monaco, open to the world, in which everyone has their rights and duties. The second is, of course, the birth of Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, which filled the country with happiness. All Monegasques, children of the country, residents, or simply those people who are attached to Monaco felt incredibly proud that day.
The 2005 agreements helped Monaco gain more independence from France. Is the next step a Monegasque Minister of State?
That is the order of things, but why hurry? The new Interior Minister is Monegasque and that is already an important development. Everything in due time. The next step is to negotiate an agreement with the European Union which will allow our companies to export freely in a 600 million people market and allow us to retain our specific features. We will see later.
_Interview by Milena Radoman