SRI Director Eduard Hellvig made statements on national security laws: "Security is well represented in too many areas of our society today."

SRI Director Eduard Hellvig made statements on Friday regarding the package of laws on national security, following criticism, both in the political environment and from civil society, that he will comment on their content after they are assumed in the legislative process. , which will include public consultation.

He argues that “information structures must be at the service of citizens throughout their business, respecting the country’s laws, rights and civil liberties.” At the same time, Eduard Hellvig explained that these laws are not a recent goal, noting that SRI has constantly called for legal instruments to enable them to be more effective in combating the threats facing Romania.

We present in full the statement of the director of SRI, Eduard Hellvig:

For over two weeks, the public space has been discussing a package of laws on national security and how they could influence democracy in Romania. It is normal for society to be concerned with the subject of these laws. However, the debate is focused only on the SRI, which is safe to say.

Given the legitimate desire of society to consolidate democracy and to reject regulations that may evoke the harmful spectrum of totalitarian periods, it is necessary to make a few clarifications. This statement can show the vision of today’s SRI that I share when it comes to the role of intelligence services in a democratic society.

The information structures must be at the service of the citizens through everything they undertake, respecting the laws of the country, the rights and the civil liberties.

In a democracy, balance is needed! On the one hand, respect for civil rights and freedoms, and on the other hand, the strengthening of state institutions in the face of unprecedented threats, such as those we face today.

I will comment on the content of the laws only after they have been adopted in the legislative process, which will include public consultation. and in which the SRI has only an advisory role.

I repeat what I have said many times in recent years about the need to modernize current laws.

Updating these laws is not a recent goal, but one that has been missed for the past 30 years. The only existing laws are those adopted in the early 1990s, and their form constantly allows for vague interpretations.

SRI has constantly called for legal instruments to enable us to be more effective in combating the threats facing Romania.

At the same time, adapting legislation must take into account Romania’s landmarks today – we are a democratic society, part of the Western family, a member of the EU and NATO, and democratic principles must always prevail. We have Western models that can inspire us, and I believe that any attempt to return to communist-type regulations must be rejected from the outset.

It is a totally wrong idea that in 2022, the Romanian intelligence services could return to the model of the former Securitate, because that model was one that belonged to the totalitarian communist regime, a regime universally recognized as criminal, imposed by a foreign power and totally the opposite of a society that wants freedom, prosperity and security.

And here I have to clarify what I mean by Security and Securism.

Security was more than a repressive institution. She became, through the discretionary power she exercised during the communist years, a creator of mentalities, a behavioral corrector, an absolute judge, and an administrator with a coercive role of conscience.

Security laboratories were hastily abandoned in December 1989, but the viruses developed in them had already penetrated deep into our society.

One such virus, and the most dangerous in my opinion, is security. Security is the idea of ​​using the traumas of communist society to create, very cleverly, a totalitarian reflection. It is that idea that behind everything, there is an obscure and necessarily malicious interest, that there are enemies inside Romania, enemies that we have to fight. Security is the process of intent without evidence, the manipulation of the truth and the maintenance of an artificial conflict between parts of society, between society and state institutions, between individuals and society. The Securitate is digging into the foundations of any democratization process, it wants to keep us in place and in conflict with each other. Security has the ability to present itself as a drug, when in reality it is the virus itself.

Despite its name and origins, security is not the exclusive prerogative of the professional category that created it.

Paranoia, conspiracy theories, association judgment, creating false fears, widespread suspicion that starts from the premise of guilt, manipulation – are its basic components. Today, security is well represented in too many environments in our society.

I want to be able to consolidate together, state institutions, the political class and the civil society, so that Romania can recover from security and finally leave behind the practices of the former Securitate. We need to learn about security and security in history textbooks, not want to repeat their practices.

All SRI activity in recent years has focused on moving away from the communist past, modernizing the institution in a democratic spirit, and bringing it closer to the performance standards of its Euro-Atlantic partners. I am the first director of the SRI to publicly condemn the Security as a whole.

I leave the results of the last years of the institution I lead to talk about the democratic spirit that governs the activity of SRI. In recent years, everything we have initiated has been to modernize and increase efficiency, while maintaining the balance between freedom and the need for security.

The same spirit, of balance, should dominate the new legislation, in my opinion.

In 2016, one year after taking office, I said something that I still support today: I believe that beyond the other provisions, the law should stipulate that the position of Director of such an information structure should be limited to a maximum of two terms. , because too much power can harm democracy. I still believe this and I would like such a provision to be introduced in the new legislation adopted by Parliament.

I am the Director in whose mandate the Romanian Intelligence Service handed over almost all the files to the former Securitate that the Service had not previously handed over (I say almost because CNSAS stopped receiving all the files due to lack of space).

I mention that this handover concerns files that had previously been kept for reasons of national security, the personnel files of former security officers and last but not least the file and computer records of the former political police, a tool that will greatly improve citizens’ access to communist documents. and to improve the work of researchers during this period.

Perhaps it would be useful in this context to point out that the SRI is the only institution holding the archives of the former Securitate that has thus fulfilled its legal and moral duty to society so far. I also constantly avoided reacting, even when there were multiple, incorrect political attacks against the institution and my staff.

During my tenure, the Service has undergone extensive territorial reform, and today, as a result, we are a more flexible, more efficient, more respected institution in the country and abroad.

I supported the inclusion, at the National Academy of Intelligence, of courses on totalitarianism so that the new generations of officers could be prepared in a democratic spirit. We have audited and reformed the entire doctoral school so that today we have transparent and academically respected mechanisms in the process of awarding the doctorate.

The number of young people who want to join the SRI has increased in recent years, and our structure is a reliable partner in NATO and the EU, where we provide a significant amount of information in the context of the Russian Federation’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

In the early 1990’s, as a young graduate, I went to public protests to demand the application of lustration and for moral reform in society. And I still believe that all these processes should have been started and completed in the 1990s, because many of the current problems have their roots in the turbulent times since then.

I repeat what I have said in recent years – I personally understand very well what it means to abuse a state with an undemocratic instinct against its citizens, and that is why, as long as I am in public office, I will fight to prevent such abuses. repeat. Thank you!

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