Parliament Activity Review December 2-6, 2002
December 9, 2002
Given that Transdnistrian problem was at issue at the OSCE Ministerial Conference, one of the Parliament's last week priorities was the President's initiative to inaugurate a new ministerial portfolio, namely Ministry of Territorial Integration.
Legal acts adopted in the final reading
I. Law on modification of the Law on Government.
ADEPT comment: Under the modifications a new position, Minister of Integration is to be established within the Government. Initially President's initiative raised a lot of controversial discussions on the grounds that the newly appointed Minister would be superior to the other Ministries as he/she would be entitled to coordinate the activities of all the ministries and departments oriented towards national integration. After long discussions, deputies excluded this controversial provision.
II. Law on State Social Insurance Budget for Year 2003.
ADEPT comment: The law sets a 29% social security tax. For notaries and lawyers the social security tax equals 3 average salaries. Other taxes have been set for:
- Plots (1.7 lei for one unit hectare);
- Legal entities' farming lease (600 lei/ per year);
- Founders of individual companies, persons working abroad based on a contract (800 Lei/ per year);
- Employers in disabled or pensioners' public associations (4.5 % of the salary fund), etc.
It is estimated that in 2003 the average wage per economy would be 820 Lei.
III. Law on Migration.
ADEPT comment: Under the law a Migration Department, a central specialized body in the field shall be set up in view of promoting and enforcing the state migration policy. In addition, the Department shall be entrusted to issue ID, to cooperate with the governmental and non-governmental institutions active in the field.
In less than two weeks the Parliament decided to inaugurate a new ministerial portfolio and to establish two Ministerial Departments on Humanitarian Aid and on Migration. Noteworthy, the Parliament established another two Departments on Legislative Expertise and on Fighting Embezzlement and Corruption, consequently the Government becomes a more bureaucratic structure. Although deputies continue to voice their discontent with regard to newly sprung structures they continue to vote for their establishment.
IV. Law on ratification of the NIS Agreement on mutual recognition of licensees for construction activity.
ADEPT comment: Member states agree to recognize the licensees issued for certain types of construction activities, by issuing a national license.
Legal acts adopted in the first reading (not final)
I. Draft law on political parties and other socio-political organizations.
ADEPT comment: On December 6 session the Parliament failed to adopt the draft law providing the increase of the minimum party members to 15,000 members, due to the lack of votes. Before the final vote, it was mentioned that several Parliament Commissions, a series of extra-parliament parties as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations objected the adoption of such an amendment.
On December 5, the Parliament voted in the first reading the draft law modifying and completing the Law on Political Parties so as to oblige parties to yearly updating data on the number of party members and party territorial organizations in half of second level administrative-territorial units. The said data are to be submitted to the Ministry of Justice. If a party fails to do so or fails to gather the number required, then the Ministry may decide to commence the party liquidation procedures. Then the Ministry would address to the Supreme Court of Justice to confirm the fact the party ceased its activity. The initiative also stirred a lot of controversial discussions, opposition claims that the initiative is another attempt of the majority faction to resort to administrative methods in view of cleansing the political spectrum.
II. Draft law on social assistance.
ADEPT comment: The draft law is aimed to identify the principles and objectives of social assistance; right to social assistance; beneficiaries of social assistance services, etc. Social assistance is based on the following principles: independence, autonomy and dignity, right to free assistance, guaranteeing access to social services, social solidarity, flexibility of the social security, social partnership and personal responsibility. The following may benefit of the social assistance:
- Children and youth affected by the environment they live in;
- Families having no possibility to raise and take care of their children;
- Single persons, low-income families;
- Disabled children;
- Families with many children;
- Single parent families;
- Disabled persons, etc.
Social assistance shall be provided in the form of allocations, in-kind, as well as social services. The draft also defines the bodies entitled to provide social services and their obligations, as well as sources of funding. A series of objections to the law were voiced, in particular related to the assessment of the beneficiaries' needs and establishing the minimum living standard.
III. Draft law on amending the legal acts regulating the Constitutional Court.
ADEPT comment: According to the amendments, upon the parity vote of the Constitutional Court judges, the disputed act shall be ruled as constitutional. Upon parity vote while the adopting Constitutional Court Resolutions or notifications the decision shall be postponed. The Parliament is trying to impose a similar procedure the Constitutional Court imposed on them earlier on, namely that the Chair' vote should not be considered decisive.
IV. Draft law on import and export of goods by the Republic of Moldova citizens.
ADEPT comment: The draft is aimed at adjusting the various laws in the field. Under the law goods worth 100 Euro may be brought into the country tax-free. It is also recommended to increase the amount of foreign currency allowed to be brought into the country from 5,000 to 10,000 USD. The law also prohibits residents to import vehicles older than 10 years. Many deputies stated that the provisions of the law are restrictive and unclear, which may lead to difficulties in enforcing the law.
V. Law on modification of Article 12 of the Law on State Regulation of the Foreign Trade.
ADEPT comment: Under the law, the Government would be deprived of the right to establish a pre-customs inspection of goods. Noteworthy, the Government has been striving to settle this issue since it was invested despite that IMF insists on it. The Government has enough legal grounds to cancel the inspection, namely the resolution of the Constitutional Court, however it doesn't have IMF approval.
VI. Draft law on amending the Law on Licensing.
ADEPT comment: Under the amendments, the licenses issued by the foreign licensing bodies shall be considered valid in the Republic of Moldova in compliance with the international agreements the country adhered to.