I am currently in Bucharest, Romania for the Ro New Media Conference - a great and very well organized event around the usual subjects - internet society, social media, mobile economy et al. My presentation was about "Why Facebook isn't a Kids Birthday party". But I had to hurry a bit, because the speaker, who followed me, had a tight schedule: it was Victor Ponta - the Romanian Prime minister!
When I saw his name in the program, my first thought was: Oh well, another politician, who is using a "cool" Internet conference as a nice photo op, while knowing nothing about what is actually talked about there. Boy, was I wrong!
Mr. Ponta was introduced as an avid blogger (who does have a real(!) blog on Wordpress.com) and started his speech with a clear statement against ACTA, giving the reasons, why his government will not ratify it! Wow! He then went on and introduced his new "vPonta" iOS App, which launched today. With this app, he wants to establish a direct line between the Romanian citizens and their prime minister! Wow again!!
To be perfectly honest, I don't know anything about Viktor Ponta as a politician and have no idea how "direct" this line really will be. But what a contrast to most German politicians and their stance on ACTA or "direct lines"...!?
Two weeks ago in Berlin, Europe's biggest internet conference - the re:publica 2012 - wasn't important enough for even the Berlin mayor, Klaus Wowereit, to show up and say a few clueless words. For a similar conference in Romania the prime minister comes on stage, makes an intelligent policy statement and introduces a real, existing "government 2.0" app. What a contrast indeed.
Could Germany also get politicians like that - please?