The politics of deliberative
spaces in Romania. Social
movements in the context of
governance changes
The case of Rosia Montana
Natalia Cugleşan, PhD
[email protected]
Alin Nicula, PhD
[email protected]
Mihaela Herbel, PhD candidate
supported through
[email protected]
Jean Monnet Module Multilevel governance in the European Union
Investing in people!
Ph.D. scholarship, Project co-financed by the SECTORAL OPERATIONAL PROGRAM FOR HUMAN
Priority Axis 1. "Education and training in support for growth and development of a knowledge based
Key area of intervention 1.5: Doctoral and post-doctoral programs in support of research.
Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
• A prior version of this paper was delivered at Multilevel governance in the wider Europe: taking
‘governance’ seriously, Centre for European Law and
Governance, Law School, Cardiff University, 7 and 8
July 2011
• This research constitutes the core of Mihaela
Herbel’s project for the Robert Bosch Junior
Fellowship at the Institute for Human Sciences in
Vienna (November 2011-April 2012)
Presentation outline
• Objectives of the research
• Section 1: deliberative spaces in Romania in the context of governance
• Section 2: civil society actors and their involvement in the Rosia Montana
• Conclusions
• Future research directions
Section 1: decentralization process in Romania, civil society and
environmental policy
The Economic and Social Council. The set-up of
a deliberative space?
• Set up in 1997 by the law no.109/1997 as a national
autonomous public institution
• Modified and completed through the law 491/2001
andLaw 58/2003 ;
• In the constitution of 2003 is mentioned as a
consultative body of the Government and the
• Reorganised by the law 62/2011(the law of social
The Economic and Social Council. The set-up of a
deliberative space?
Promotion of social justice
Equal membership: government, trade unions and employers
Corporatist formula even if Romania is not a corporatist state
Civil society organisations were not represented within the ESC until 2011
No similiarities with the Economic and Social Council at EU level
After 2007, the number of representatives was rised at 45 in order to
appoint Romania’s representatives within the Economic and Social Council
• Not a true consultative body as long as the government is represented
within the ESC and it should take decisions based on the Council’s
• this was solved only through the Law 62/2011
The Law 62/2011: How much
deliberation it ads?
• Membership:
No more representatives of the government,
The government still retains control over the
ESC as it appoints the civil society
The trade unions and the employer’s
organisations apppoint their own
The Economic and Social Council –
structure and competences
• 9 sectoral comitees
• The legislative proposals in the Parliament are
also submitted and analyzed by these
• The Committee on Agriculture, Rural
Development and Environment has not
offered yet any public position on Rosia
Section 2: civil society actors and their involvement in the Rosia
Montana case
Objectives of the research
1.To contribute to the quite reduced body of
literature concerning governance and civil
society Eastern Europe after 1989, with a
research focus on Romania
2.To explore within a single case the relationship
between political contestation and political
deliberation in Romanian system of
How are we fulfilling our
• Through looking at the case of the Rosia
Montana mining project and the activity of
the civil society in this case
• We looked at their activities for the past
decade (2000-2011), trying to find a pattern of
strategic (inter)action
• we look specifically to “unpack” the framing of
the Rosia Montana case by the civil society
through a discourse analysis
Methodology (I)
• This is an early-stage research
• The purpose is to map the case
• We map the case through grounded theory
(Anselm and Strauss, The discovery of
grounded theory, 1967)
Methodology (II)
Grounded theory
From the sociology of illness
Abductive paradigm
No literature reviews, no talking
Ethnography, story-telling and narration
Grounded theory and our research
• Rosia Montana is discussed in many disciplinary fields, from
environmental studies to sociology
• The case has not been discussed yet in the disciplinary
perspective of political science with a focus on civil society
participation in decision making process
• The case has not been discussed in the wider context of
Europeanization in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989
• The case has not been discussed in the context of civil
society’s means of collective action
• Our research explores the similarities between the means of
collective action of civil society organizations before and after
Grounded theory application.
What did we do?
• Sources: press, online, tapes of consultations
in Rosia Montana (summer 2006)
• We looked at these sources and identified a
critical period of ten years (2001-2011) – key
moment 2007 (Romania’s accession to the EU)
• We compared the messages of civil society
organizations, the mining company and the
state authorities with a focus on the civil
Grounded theory application.
What did we do?
• We tried to explain the civil society’s discourse
and means of collective action through
looking at several social movements that
outburst in Romania in the same time frame
(Save Vama Veche, Save Danube Delta)
• As we found all these movements followed a
cultural heritage narrative, we tried to
understand why
• So we looked to the social movements during
the communist rule and we understood
Rosia Montana –some facts
• The largest gold mine in Europe (if the project
is going to start)
• Main reason of contestation on environmental
grounds – using cyanide as a method of
• Other reasons for contestation: the cultural
heritage issue at Rosia Montana – the ancient
roman mine
Actors involved full time 2000-2011
Rosia Montana Gold
Corporation or Gabriel
The Romanian state –
central and local level
Civil society organizations
-Australian/ Canadian
mining company
-Contested ownership
-Has leased the area for 25
years from the Romanian
-20% participation in the
mining project –publicprivate partnership
-contest the mining project
-champion the including of
the ancient roman mine on
WORLD list as a mean of
stopping the project
Actors involved – sequentially
• Friends of the Earth – NGO global coalition
they lobbied against an agency of the World
Bank investing in the project -2007
• Hungary –has overtly expressed it’s opposition
towards the project : in case of an ecological
disaster it would be heavily affected
• Greenpeace – they included for some time the
Rosia Montana issue on their European
Intermezzo: the history and politics
of Hungary’s opposition
1. History
• 2000- Baia Mare- the cyanides lake at the “Aurul” Company
broke down
• This affected the entire basin of the Tisza river and got even to
the Danube
2. Politics:
• The Hungarian MPs in the European Parliament have lobbied
against the cyanide usage in mining in the EU – from 2006
• Some Romanian MPs in the EP curiously sustain mining with
Values and beliefs of the actors
The company and the state
Civil society
Sustainable growth perspective– use
cyanides if you ensure protecting
Sustainable development perspective–
do not use cyanides at all, close off the
Campaign for
job creation,
corporate social responsibility
Campaign mainly for
the inclusion of the cultural heritage
site at Rosia Montana on the UNESCO list
of protected sites
A puzzling finding
• The Civil society organizations prefer the
cultural heritage narrative over the ecological
narrative even if
the ecological narrative could mobilize
more support at European level, as the
EU has a strong environmental policy
and a very weak cultural heritage policy
Spaces for political contestation
International level (UNESCO) –
cultural heritage narrative
European level (the environmental
policy) – corresponds to the
ecological narrative
Some possible explanations:
• the modes of collective action revolve around mobilizing
support at national level through:
Music festivals
Graffiti protests
Bearing a cultural and social message rather than an
environmental one
• These modes are not workable mechanisms if you want to
count as civil society actor in the European environmental
• But still, these means of collective action are consecrated in
Romania since the communist rule, when cultural narrative
was the only way of performing political contestation
1. The environmental civil society in Romania uses cultural
means of political contestation
2. These means are similar with the ones used by the social
movements during the communist rule
3. Civil society organizations in Romania involved in the Rosia
Montana issue are caught in a prisoner's dilemma:
• In order to produce political mobilization at the
international level, an ecological/environmental message
would be more suitable
• In order to construct political mobilization in the domestic
context, a cultural heritage narrative seems to be more
Future research directions
• We used grounded theory in order to map the
main directions within the case study
• But how do we develop our research in the
disciplinary field of political science?
Which brings us to…
Possible theoretical frameworks:
Multi-level governance (Marks and Hooghe)
Multilevel governance. A type
Type 1
Type 2
Exclusive exercise of authority over the
territorial levels
Specialized, multiple and independent
authorities, territorially overleaped
excludes authority overleap
More authorities
a limited number of administrative levels
over which authority is dispersed
More administrative levels
a cvasi-permanent architecture of MLG
A more flexible architecture
Why multi-level governance does
not explain our case?
• MLG explains the insertion of non-state actors
into a certain political field
• MLG contains assumptions regarding the
consultation and negotiation process
• But if the consultation process is monopolized
by the state, MLG does not provide us with
explicative tools in order to infer the behavior
of civil society actors
Institutional Analysis and Development
framework (Ostrom)
Clusters of variables
Biophysical, community and institutionak c characteristics within
the IAD
Action arena in IAD
Patterns of interaction in IAD
Seeing the Rosia Montana case
through the lens of the IAD
1. Rules in use – look at constitutional factors of the
• The rules-in-use could offer an explanation regarding
the patterns of interaction in the Rosia Montana case
• The civil society uses certain means of collective
action (cultural) as because these are the means
used traditionally by the civil society in Romania or
• It is used with being ignored or instrumentalised by
the state
Seeing the Rosia Montana case
through the lens of the IAD
2. Action arena – looks at the incentives of the
• The civil society uses certain means of
collective action as doing so it can construct
more political mobilization at domestic level,
as well as because it has better chance to
increase it’s visibility/impact
• These variables are going to be explored
within our field research, based on in-depth
Suggestions and questions time
Thank you for your

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