Autumn - winter legislative session
6 October 2004
On September 23, the fall-winter session of the Parliament started. In her inauguration speech Speaker Eugenia Ostapciuc made several key points, namely "continuing economic and social reforms", "pursuing European integration, not to the detriment of cooperation with CIS", etc. Speaker also called deputies to work constructively, to honour their obligations in front of their people, not to "get involved in the electoral campaign yet", and not seek to gain political dividends in the last days of their mandate.
However, the first session of the legislature dispelled any hopes that the conflicts within the Parliament would be easily settled. It took two hours to decide on the Parliament agenda for the first two weeks of its activity. Opposition started the debates by suggesting special parliamentary committees to be formed to examine the conflict around Teleradio-Moldova and Moldovan Latin script schools in Transdnistria.
Still, practically all the deputies agreed to address the issue of schools in Transdnistrian region by issuing a joint declaration. It reads that Parliament of the Republic of Moldova is deeply concerned about Tiraspol's actions thwarting educational process in the schools studying according to Republic of Moldova curricula. Parliament called Council of Europe, Parliaments of the EU and CIS countries and international organisations to take a stance in view of settling the problem. Moreover, Parliament addressed Parliaments of guarantor countries - Russian Federation and Ukraine - to actively take part in the settlement of that problem.
Besides political issues, deputies also examined a number of laws some of which shall be considered in greater detail.
I. Law on the Modification of the Fiscal Code
ADEPT Comment: The law provides that assets included in the privatisation program, where the state holds more than one quarter of the registered capital shall be sold by the Privatization Department, as is the procedure for the privatization of public patrimony. Currently, the law provides that Privatization Department only deals with the sale of assets arrested from the enterprises included in the privatization program.
II. Law on the Modification of the Code of Civil Procedure
ADEPT Comment: The law was amended so that during the hearing of a cause the presiding chair would be allowed to limit the time allotted to the parties, if the latter digress from the subject and their arguments are not relevant to the recourse.
III. Law on Interpreting the Code of Penal Procedure
ADEPT Comment: It was important to pass the law as a number of cases were registered when the Code was not duly enforced. The law includes several provisions explaining the provisions of the Code.
IV. Law on Ratification of the Free Trade Agreement between Republic of Moldova and Bulgaria
ADEPT Comment: The document ratified on the eve of official visit of Bulgarian President to Moldova, stems from WTO requirements. The goal of the Agreement is to: promote bilateral trade and boost economic relations; ensure level playing field for the trade between the two countries; abolish tariff and other barriers; set the framework for bilateral cooperation in various fields. With this, Moldova has concluded ratifying Free Trade Agreements with the countries members of the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe.
The Agreement would also serve national interests: creating business opportunities for entrepreneurs in both countries; abolishing all taxes on import, export; ensure stable and predictable legal framework for bilateral trade; applying preferential origin country rule; guaranteeing free transit; protecting copyright as provided in the agreement; regulating and introducing anti-dumping, compensation and safeguarding measures in line with WTO requirements; applying WTO litigation procedures, etc.
A joint commission shall be established to enforce and oversee the enforcement of Free Trade Agreements as part of the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe.
V. Draft law on amending the law on walnut
ADEPT Comment: The draft law passed by the Parliament in the first reading includes new provisions on:
- Managing walnut plantations in public property by entrepreneurs, subordinated to central administration in the field and local government;
- Ways of completing walnut development fund - 1% of the exported walnut, related products or wood, as indicated in the customs declaration and confirmed by the invoice.
- Spending the fund as follows:
- Preserving and developing walnut genetic fund - 10%;
- Growing seedling in greenhouses - 50%;
- Walnut plantations upkeep - 35%;
- Promoting walnut culture (legal acts, educational materials, disseminating best practices and know how) - 5%.
- Cutting walnut plantations.