Everything starts with respect…
The President of the National Authority for Consumer Protection talks open about himself and his plans in an exclusive interview for Casino Life & Business Magazine
Who is Marius Alexandru Dunca?
Marius Alexandru Dunca is a young man,33 years old, who wishes to contribute at the construction of a Romanian society of which we will be all proud. I learned at an early age that in life we can not succeed without school, work , a little luck, but especially without strong moral values. Education , the school and the many projects that I was involved in led me to understand that seriousness, involvement , respect and knowledge are fundamental elements of success. The people I met along the time , the experience of seniors who have influenced my life made me to learn the patience , good organization and motivation to continue regardless of the obstacles encountered. Besides this , the family , which I think is the basic pillar of any society, and faith in God led me to believe in the opportunities that life offers me and watch the future with confidence .
Why did you choose politics? What do you think you can bring new in Romanian politics?
Around the age of 25 I was a young spectator who criticized the system without getting involved in changing it. However, being PhD student ( teaching assistant) I felt the need to involve, the desire to make a difference and do something good for society, that’s why I choosed politics. I believe that with my involvement and the support of my organization we, the youth, we can prove that pragmatism that characterizes us and the innovation ideas and approaches are keys to impregnate the dynamism that is very much needed today Romania. We are well-intentioned youth whose sole purpose is to give back Romania to Romanians, to give dignity to grandparents and fathers, to give young people hope and trust in the name of building a stable society, with sustainable and harmonious development prospects.
You are the President of the National Authority for Consumer Protection and Secretary of State. How do you see the current situation in this field in Romania?
I have to admit that it is an area where we have a lot to build, we need innovative approaches in harmony with Community policies. Consumer protection is a challenging field, it is necessary to address a long-term strategy to enforce the fundamental rights of consumers by all involved. Each of us is primarily consumer, which has the same rights as any other European citizen – this is the principle which I want to implement in the conscience of every Romanian, because only when this concept is fully understood we can talk about all the rights of consumers in Romania.
What should be improved and how the authorities intend to do so?
I believe that it all starts with respect, even in terms of consumer protection. When operators (which in turn are primarily consumers) will learn to respect their peers, which, moreover, they are customers, we believe we are on the right track. Through information, education and counseling I am confident that we will improve this area and we will meet our goal to prevent before combat. In my term as President of the National Authority for Consumer Protection I propose to initiate many projects of education, information and advice, and to open the institution to civil society and to communicate with their stakeholders. I want to maintain and improve good cooperation with all state institutions and non-governmental organizations with the sole aim to meet the consumer needs.
There are many of those involved in the gambling who complain about the vulnerability of the system? How do you debate this issue?
There are vulnerabilities in the entire system in Romania, be it in terms of legislative, administrative, economic or political. Since 2013, in gaming, powers of control were taken over by the National Gambling by Decision no. 644/2013, but our scope of expertise covers a wide range of market and the consumers economic interests we want to be observed in all areas. NACP has to advise operators to comply with the law and provide quality services and products in accordance with the law. I believe that through good communication between operators in the field with the competent authorities and the full, fair and accurate consumer information can avoid many unpleasant situations.
How you manage to help resolve problems reported in the field of gambling?
National Authority for Consumer Protection permanently collaborates with all state institutions and aims at solving the problems of the market in compliance with legal and legislative initiatives to regulate the various areas so as to suit the current market requirements. I am confident that we can solve the problems of the gambling if all stakeholders should be open to dialogue, would understand the need for transparency and information and put consumers’ interests above all.
How do you keep in touch with those involved in the gambling, either operators or players?
NACP is permanently available to consumers and meets each application by requiring compliance with the law, as well as numerous campaigns to inform and educate consumers. Every time we reply promptly to each request, coming either from operators or from consumers and tried that, together, to find the best solution so that consumers’ economic interests are not affected in any way.
Which do you think is the biggest success of the institution you represent?
The greatest success of the NACP, lately, we can say that is the increasing of consumer awareness. I noticed that lately, the number of complaints alleging, that the complaints have a real basis and that in general, consumers are more aware of the services and products they purchase and come to us, promptly, when their rights are violated . We can say that the Romanians, as consumers, have reached maturity to make rational choices based on careful analysis of the value of the goods or services purchased.
Which do you think are legislative gaps Romania legislation in this area in general? But to the gambling?
Since 2007, when Romania integrated in the European Union, and especially in recent years, legislation in Romania began to be harmonized with the EU’s. So the Romanian legislation legislative gaps begin to be reduced and in a few years we will have legislation in accordance with European law. We are working hard on the harmonization and assure you that all these efforts will lead to uniform legislation guaranteeing equal rights for every consumer in the Community. Regarding the gambling I can say that a complete and tailored to each required legislation is quite difficult to build because the gambling permanently develops and brings with it many challenges. But we see an increasingly large legal interest in the field, which shows that the authorities are interested in the developing the gaming industry in accordance with national and international laws.
Has the gambling sector more problems or not?
I do not think we should necessarily call them problems. As mentioned earlier, the gambling is now a field full of challenges, challenges that drives us, the state authorities, to pay more attention to not turn these challenges into trouble.
How do you see the future of this industry in Romania from a legal perspective?
The gaming industry has, at this point, a matter of perception in the general public because it is associated with practices more or less “orthodox”. But I am convinced that with the opening, which you manifest, for communication and for proper regulation, the gaming industry will be perceived as normality. From a legal perspective, I think the gaming industry is on the good track and that the state institutions make every effort to strengthen the legal framework correctly and adapt it to the market.
Which is the frequency of meetings that you have with gaming operators to better understand and solve the problems they face and to help those asking you?
NACP respond to all requests from consumers or operators and, frequently, depending on the particular circumstances we organize meetings for consultation with stakeholders. Personally, I am NACP President from February 2014 and have already participated at an event aimed on gaming sector issues. I can assure you that I will pay special attention to this sector of the market and I am willing to consult with each operator to avoid breaches of consumer rights.
How does a typical day in the life of Marius Alexandru Dunca look like?
It is difficult to answer, I can not say that I have a daily routine because both professionally and politically situations change in no time. Generally, Monday through Friday, on normal working schedule I allocate all the time to solve situations that arise at the institution and after that I work politics and its implications (I am PSD Braşov general secretary and president of the TSD National Council). And besides, I am trying to have time for your personal life – family, sports.
Do you have time for family?
We must always find time for family. Family is the only resource unfailing love, understanding, acceptance, confidence and motivation – for all these I am trying as much as possible, not to neglect my loved ones.
Do you like to play? You were in the casinos? If so, can you share with us a pleasant memory from there?
Every man wishes that, once in his life, to enter and play the casino. Unfortunately, even though I wish I do not have time to play or to go to casinos. The gaming industry is a fascinating industry and is an interesting way of leisure. I appreciate that there is interest that this area should be properly legislated and to gain the market position and importance deserved.
In March took place the IIIrd Romanian edition of Gambling Conference, a project initiated by our magazine, Casino Life & Business Magazine , where NACP was invited, and you had a presentation. Why did you participate at an event where all the cream of the gaming industry in Romania came?
It is an honor for me that I participated at the third edition of the Romanian Conference of Gambling. I accepted your invitation to this event because I believe it is extremely important to know each other, to identify the problems faced by this segment of the market and identify the levers necessary to ensure that consumers’ fundamental rights are respected in this field. It is essential that everyone involved in gambling, both consumers and operators, understand the importance of consumer education, transparency and fairness operators in the field, as well as harmonization of legislation so as not to harm any of the parties.
What do you think should be improved in the relation: representatives of the gambling industry – the authorities?
From my point of view things are moving in the right direction in the relation gambling industry – authorities. I appreciate that there is interest in strengthening dialogue and Romanian gambling industry in accordance with the law, I appreciate that there is interest for the fundamental rights of the consumer. We must admit that there are some voids, but I am confident that we can identify solutions for every situation when there is interest and openness from each party.
What you say to our readers, Casino Life & Business Magazine?
I assure your readers, as well as all the consumers, that the National Authority for Consumer Protection continuously monitors your rights. In conclusion, I can say that I bet with confidence on the quality of the journal Casino Life & Business Magazine.