Laura Georgescu, elected President of the National Audiovisual Council (CNA) and first woman to hold such office in Romania if validated by the Romanian Parliament, stated, during a CNA press conference that she does not consider her husband’s employment with the Romanian National Television (TVR) as grounds for a conflict of interests case against her.
The CNA press conference was organized in order to present the four new additions to the team – Laura Georgescu, Monica Gubernat, Viorel Vasile Buda and Florin Gabrea – and the organization’s strategy. The focus shifted from the set agenda to the more controversial topic of Laura Georgescu’s being incompatible with the new position, similar to that of a Minister, due to her being married to a TVR employee.
In fact, Marius Georgescu, the soon-to-be confirmed CNA President’s spouse, works as news editor with the national television, as indicated in the Statement of assets, liabilities and net worth filed by Mrs. Georgescu with the Anti-Fraud Department within the Romanian Government.
Laura Georgescu’ s response to press inquiries on the matter ironically dismissed all suspicions of incompatibility. “Yes, I admit to the “crime” of being the wife of a news editor who works with the Public Television,” said Mrs. Georgescu. “[…] How could a news editor enter into a conflict of interests with a position assimilated to that of a Minister – but paid less than what I earned as a superior adviser with the Romanian Government for ten years -, how could it clash with the decisions of a collective body made up of 11 members and the 4 main institutions [of this country, e.n.] represented here?,” she added.
Georgescu also invoked in her defense her own training on conflicts of interests and incompatibilities and the support she received from ten other “rational” people, State institutions’ representatives.
Laura Georgescu was also asked about who had made the proposal that led to her election. Journalists raised the question of her being the winner of a contest held in a closed door meeting held on December 28. Mrs. Georgescu stood her ground with arguments having to do with her seniority in the industry.
“I was a journalist and a tv producer for ten years”, said Georgescu. “After ten years, on account of purely human reasons, namely the wish to have children, I made the passage to the central public administration. For the past ten years I have been working with the Romanian Government. I was the candidate proposed by this institution because they had known me for a decade.”
Since being founded in 1992 the CNA has had 5 other male Presidents: Titus Raveica, Sorin Moldovan, Serban Madgearu, Ralu Filip and Rasvan Popescu. The CNA is the sole Romanian authority regulating audio-visual programs, a public autonomous institution under parliamentary control. The CNA usually meets twice a week, in public meetings, and it is empowered to monitor radiobroadcasters, to apply penalties in cases of a breach of regulations and to issue audio-visual licenses.
Ioana Jelea (firstname.lastname@example.org)