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Above the Rules? (Wed Mar 2, 2005 5:29 pm)


(Please, also see the article by ARCC President Leonard Swidler concerning this issue.)

VATICAN CITY, MAR 1, 2005 (Vatican Information Service) - Made public today was the address given by Archbishop Juliusz Janusz, head of the Holy See delegation to the 14th Conference of European Ministers Responsible for Regional and Local Government. The meeting was held in Budapest, Hungary, on February 24 and 25.

In his talk given in English, Archbishop Janusz, who is also the apostolic nuncio to Hungary, affirmed that the "reason that public administration exists ... is to serve the human being at every level of a State in order to build a more free and responsible society."

"Good local and regional governance," said the archbishop, "is indeed the 'conditio sine qua non' for local and regional authorities to faithfully keep to their mission of serving the common good of the communities. This local and regional governance, in order to be good, requires a democratic
form of government," which should promote "the participation in public life of all people living within the community, without neglecting the stranger among them. ... Adequate information is, in fact, among the principal instruments of democratic participation."

Archbishop Janusz highlighted the fact that "good governance at a local and regional level implies respect for the principle of subsidiarity," which "does not exclude the necessity of solidarity;" in other words, "without overlooking the broader interests and the possible needs of less influential sectors of society."

"A good government," he concluded, "is that government in which political authorities do not forget or underestimate the moral dimension of political representation. ... Indeed, political corruption causes a growing distrust with respect to public institutions, bringing about a progressive disaffection in the citizens with regard to politics and its representatives, with a resulting weakening of institutions. At any level - national, regional, local - political power shall be put into practice as a service to the dignity and rights of the human person."

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