Parliament Activity Review 11-15 March, 2002
March 18, 2002
On March 15, a group of young people protested in front of the Parliament against authorities' intention to lift the parliamentary immunity of PPCD deputies. The session of the Judicial Commission of the Parliament, supposed to rule in this respect, was adjourned until the flaws pointed by PPCD deputies would be eliminated. Several problems arise with regard to the double position of Vlad Cubreacov - deputy in the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova and deputy in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. Not even the Chair of the Parliamentary Commission on Foreign Policy could elucidate the situation, as it is a very complicated one and without precedent.
There are a series of laws and resolutions of special interest, which we shall give a due consideration.
I. Law on Ratification of the Convention on money laundry, tracing and confiscation illegal income
ADEPT comment: The Convention signed in Strasbourg in 1990, provides a series of principles and procedures to be applied by the Council of Europe Member States. It is worth mentioning several of them:
- Terminology - definitions of „income derived from infractions"; of "goods and tools" employed for committing the offence; and of the "confiscation" methods, etc.
- Measures to be taken at the national level: confiscation measures; investigation and provisionary measures; special investigation techniques and jurisdiction; legal appeal; and fighting money laundry;
- International cooperation: principles of cooperation; assistance in investigation; disclosing information; enforcing provisionary measures of confiscation; actual coercion; refusing or postponing cooperation (grounds for refusal, partial or conditional acceptance of cooperative agreement); notification and observing the rights of the third parties; recognition of foreign rulings; legalization.
- 4. Request of cooperation: content, faults, concurrence of claims; obligation of motivation and information; restricted use; confidentiality, expenses, damages and interests, etc.
The major goal of the Convention is to prevent and fight the legalization of illegally obtained financial resources, namely "money laundering". Noteworthy, at the end of 2001 the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova passed the Law no. 633-XV on Preventing and Fighting Money Laundering as well as a series of amendments to the Law on Financial Institutions, aimed to stop illegal financial and economic activities. Under Article 11 of the said law, legal and control bodies of the Republic of Moldova shall cooperate with their counterparts in other countries in preventing, tracing, and investigating money laundering as well as in confiscating and transmitting illegal money based on the legislation of the Republic of Moldova, international conventions and cooperative agreements ratified by the Republic of Moldova.
By ratifying the Convention, Moldova made the first step towards ensuring international cooperation in fighting crime.
II. Parliament Resolution approving the Regulation on allotting, administering and spending funds for viniculture development
ADEPT comment: The Regulation establishes the procedure for enforcing the provisions of the Law on State Budget for 2002 pertaining to the establishment of a fund for viticulture development and its administration. The fund shall be formed by transferring 15% of the excises on alcohol products up to a 13,5 million quota.
The fund shall be administered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Processing Industry, which will also oversee the spending of funds together with the Ministry of Finance.
The funds will be used to partially compensate the expenses previously incurred by companies for planting winery. To benefit from compensations, the said companies will have to conclude trilateral contracts with decentralized bodies of the Ministry of Agriculture and with a viniculture processing venture operating on the soil where the business operates. If the winery was planted by a processing venture, than the contract should be bilateral. In addition, the regulation specifies the documents to be presented by the companies in order to receive financial aid from the viniculture development fund.
III. Law on modification and completion of the Law on Administrative Offence
ADEPT comment: A new article was added to the Code on Administrative Offence providing new administrative sanctions ranging from 10 to 100 minimal salaries for the failure to observe the legislation on sale in the market. Especially, will be sanctioned the failure to observe the provisions on quality control of the merchandise, failure to timely undergo a medical examination, allowing the sale of uncontrolled merchandise or by unauthorized persons (entrepreneurs or natural entities operating based on a license).
IV. Resolution on establishing a working group to define the Code of Labor
ADEPT comment: In 1994 a program for implementing the Concept of Judiciary and Legal Reform was approved. In this respect, later on working groups were formed to develop the draft Codes of the Republic of Moldova and submit them for Parliament examination.
The elaboration process was stopped for several years due to the lack of remuneration to the specialists involved. Later on, funds were allotted and in 1997 - 1998 several draft Codes were completed, including the Code of Labor. Although it was submitted to Parliament and was approved in the first reading in 1999, the Code hasn't been defined so far.
A series of legal and socio-political events have happened since the Code was drafted. Consequently the Code includes provisions of the international law on working relations and social security of the employees, employer - employee relations, employee - trade union relations, trade unions - employers - Government relations, etc.
The Parliament formed the working group including experts of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, University professors, experts from the two trade union federations of the Republic of Moldova, which will have to define the draft Code of Labor within two months and submit it for the Parliament examination.
V. The I and II Chapter of the Civil Code of the Republic of Moldova
ADEPT comment: Recent efforts in defining the new Civil Code could be explained by the fact that the adoption of the Code is one of the most important conditions set forth by the international financial institutions for resuming crediting Republic of Moldova.
Of course it is practically impossible to adopt an act of such a complexity on such a short notice, as the IMF is demanding, but we should bear in mind that Moldova has tried to adopt a new Civil Code for 6 years. The Parliament will strive to meet the engagements it has undertaken. Still, there is no guarantee that international organizations will resume crediting Moldova upon the adoption of the Code, that is why we might end with no credits, but with a complex law adopted in a hurry and with a lot of flaws.
VI. Law on financial-economic recovery of the "Fabrica de vin Cojusna" winery and the Law on Canceling the Historic Debts of the Carabinier Department of the Ministry of Interior to the state budget
For further details on the law please see ADEPT legislative commentary of March 4-8, 2002.