Serge Telle, Minister of State, surrounded by members of the Government, extended his greetings to the editors of the main, local and regional media in a ceremonial speech at the Yacht Club of Monaco. This traditional exchange allowed the Minister of State to discuss the next national elections, to take stock of the Government’s policy and to give advice for the year 2018.
At the beginning of the year 2018, it is a great pleasure for me and for the members of the Government to meet you and present you with our best wishes for you, and for your loved ones.
And they also concern the press organizations that you represent which contribute to the richness and interest in the life of our country.
The year that has just passed has been dense, complex, and difficult sometimes and without falling into pessimism, I do not believe that the year to come will be simpler.
Our world is always more complex in its spirit and its representations: The American power and the international order which it induced undergo unprecedented political erosion. States, in general, lose a large part of their power, competing with gigantic companies: the so-called GAFA. They are as powerful today as states. Facebook has two billion active users, almost one third of the world’s population. Amazon will probably employ more than one million people within three years. But these companies themselves are subject to an uncertain context: the development of blockchains could one day accelerate the decay of many institutions.
In addition to this global context, Monaco moves towards a particular political time. Particularly first, because the National Council elections will be held in February. It is an important event for the life of the country, for the functioning of our Institutions, which, needless to say, constitute the foundation of the stability and prosperity of Monaco. The Government, as it should, will continue to adopt the utmost neutrality in the debate that has already begun. In the same way, it will stick to a clear line of conduct regarding the institutional relations with the National Council and its newly elected representatives, whoever they may be. This approach is one set by the Sovereign Prince Himself in 2006. It is the search for consensus and, to do this, the step-by-step method.
It is a particular political time, too, because of the magnitude of the projects that await the Government, and to which we have already devoted much of our attention in 2017: The disorders suffered by the residents of the Jardins d’Apolline, for which we took exceptional measures. These measures were motivated by the desire to ensure the sustainability of the building in the long term and the tranquility of the residents especially. We have kept a decided stance on this file, since this disaster revealed itself in all its amplitude last June. And we will continue, in this logic without deviating.
The requirements of the digital transition: they justify unprecedented efforts. This is a priority for us for two years. This year, once again, we will devote very significant financial and human resources to this issue. All this will lead to an administrative reorganization to better meet our needs in terms of a Digital Administration and a Smart City.
The challenges of security: one of the major challenges of this world, whether it is the creation of new roles every year, or the passing of important laws that allow essential exchanges with our neighbours. In so doing, we will continue to affirm the Principality’s determination to respond to all forms of threats, including unprecedented digital threats. Negotiations with the European Union, which aim to build reports that suit us and meet our interests, while reconciling respect for our identity and our ambitions. We will continue to pursue a clear goal and will not compromise on anything.
The energy transition, finally, which mobilizes us all, under the leadership of HSH the Sovereign Prince. It is an identity issue for Monaco, and it is a necessity for our children, because it is the future of humanity. We continue to manage all these issues with transparency, with the Monegasques and with you because the perception of our actions often depend on your work of decryption, investigation, putting into perspective.
You know that your articles, your reports, can sometimes seem insufficient, distorting, frustrating to us. We can even be annoyed sometimes. But you also know that these are normal reactions, not serious ones. I want to tell you today that I believe, more than ever, in the need of the press. At a time when, like you, I know that the press is criticized everywhere, its need disputed, its function questioned, its economic model upset by the arrival of social networks. I want to say to you, how much I am convinced of the greatness of your mission and the concerns which guide you.
Know that the dissonances which I described are important to us, they push us towards analysis, introspection and reflection. They force us to question a notion that is central today for everyone: that of truth. The truth that one and all of us owe to the public, Monegasques, residents, the world.
I therefore wish you a Happy New Year 2018, hoping that it will allow us to move forward together towards accomplishing our respective missions, in the service of the Principality and the Sovereign Prince.