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Activity of the Parliament on June 6-10, 2005
13 June 2005
The public opinion focussed on external political developments, especially on outcome of the recent meeting between presidents of Ukraine and Moldova, as well as on tour of Moldovan president to Brussels and Strasbourg. The Moldovan president sought the assistance of international organisations for settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, while meeting with European high ranking officials, addressing them a joint letter on behalf of Ukrainian and Moldovan authorities. As a result of meetings and agreements with Ukraine's president, the June 10 sitting of the Parliament focussed on Transnistrian settlement and recent evolutions in this area. Thus, representatives of parliamentary factions enjoyed possibility to comment on evolution of situation and unanimously adopted a declaration on Ukrainian initiative regarding the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict. On the other hand, parliamentarians voted two appeals on democratisation and demilitarisation of the Transnistrian region.
In the context of political events, lawmakers paid less attention to draft legislative documents on settlement, examining and adopting, however, several important drafts.
Also, lawmakers exchanged replies regarding the conduct of electoral campaign for early local elections in the Chisinau municipality, which resulted with an appeal demanding to describe speeches of a parliamentarian who bids for the Chisinau mayor post as electoral advertising. Taking into account the live broadcasting of plenary sittings by national radio and television channels, this problem seems to be interesting and the election legislation does not contain enough regulations and raises many questions.
I. Resolution of the Parliament on Ukrainian Plan on Settlement of the Transnistrian Conflict
Commentary by ADEPT: The Parliament adopted the following documents through its decision:
1. Declaration on Ukraine's initiative regarding the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict
The Parliament described the peaceful and democratic settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, restoration of Moldova's territorial integrity, and accomplishment of unity of people as a cogent priority of internal development of the country. Thus, the initiative of Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko to back Moldova's reintegration aspirations was saluted and Ukraine's offer was highly appreciated. Parliamentarians noted that Ukraine's proposal contains a new and efficient approach of the issue - settlement through democratisation.
However, lawmakers indicated the lack of some clear principles in Ukraine's proposal, especially regarding the withdrawal of Russian troops; demilitarisation and democratisation of the breakaway region; introduction of a transparent and legal control on the Transnistrian segment of the Moldovan-Ukrainian state border.
The Parliament found that some aspects of the plan may harm Moldova's sovereignty, including the idea of participation of the Transnistrian region in promotion of Moldova's foreign policy, creation of a so-called conciliation committee.
2. Appeal on criteria of democratisation of the Transnistrian region
This appeal is based on principles of the March 24, 2005 Declaration of Moldova's Parliament on political partnership for accomplishment of European integration principles.
The appeal describes the existence of a separatist and authoritarian regime in the Transnistrian region of Moldova as intolerable in a modern Europe, the "frozen conflict" is a hotbed of regional instability, while the lack of a control of central bodies of state administration of Moldova on a part of its territory and on a segment of the state border is incompatible with the European option of the country. Also, it notes that organisation of free and democratic elections in the Transnistrian region is impossible without respect for norms of Moldova's Constitutions and international democratic standards, in absence of political pluralism and freedom of expression, repression of any manifestation of attitude which is different of the one imposed by force.
The Parliament established that to uproot the abuses mentioned above a wide and complex process of democratisation of the region, with a control of the international community is needed, and it would include the following measures:
- abolition of the State Security Ministry, political police which suppress any manifestation of freedom and eliminate the political opponents of the acting separatist regime;
- reformation of the so-called judiciary power in the Transnistrian region;
- release of political prisoners who are illegally detained in prisons in the Transnistrian region;
- elimination of obstacles on way of free activity of Moldova's political parties in the Transnistrian region;
- elimination of obstacles on way of free activity of national and local mass media institutions in the Transnistrian region;
- elimination of obstacles on way of free activity of nongovernmental organisations and development of civil society in the region;
- conduct of elections in Moldova's Transnistrian region under the exclusive aegis of an International Election Commission under the OSCE mandate, with a wide representation of member countries, without resulting with recognition of this entity;
- exertion of the right to participate in electoral process in the region only on basis of confirmation of Moldovan citizenship.
The guaranteeing of rights of Moldovan citizens from this region to free expression of will is impossible without an insurance beforehand of these conditions, as well as the creation of representative bodies in the Transnistrian region is impossible.
3. Appeal on principles and conditions for demiltarisation of the Transnistrian region
The document describes the military factor of the Transnistrian problem as a defiance of national and regional security, requiring an immediate solution, with the Parliament seeking the assistance of the OSCE, the European Union, Council of Europe, the United States, the Russian Federation, and Romania to eliminate the threats of the military factor of the Transnistrian conflict on way of demilitarisation of the region.
The Parliament of Moldova established a series of conditions needed for demilitarisation of the Transnistrian region, on basis of Article 11 of Moldova's Constitution, which prohibits the deployment of armed forces of other states in territory of Moldova as neutral state. They include among others:
- The Russian Federation will complete the withdrawal and destruction of Russian military arsenal by late 2005, as well as the pullout of Russian military forces from Moldova's territory.
- The Russian Federation and the Republic of Moldova will recognise that the military units deployed in the security zone of Moldova in line with the July 21, 1992 Moldovan-Russian Agreement had fulfilled their goals, and will be gradually reduced and entirely withdrawn from country's territory by December 31, 2006.
- The Republic of Moldova assumes the obligation to propose and accomplish the dissolution of military units in the region, destruction of weapons and military hardware, and social recovery and requalification of personnel of the so-called Transnistrian military units, within the NATO's Partnership for Peace Programme.
- Once the Russian Federation fulfills the obligations assumed at the 1999 OSCE Istanbul summit regarding the complete and transparent withdrawal of army and weapons from Moldova's territory, the Parliament of Moldova expresses readiness to ratify the Adapted Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, which is a key element of European security.
II. Law on Ecological Agriculture
Commentary by ADEPT: The law that the Parliament passed in the final reading regulates the social ties needed to obtain vegetal and animal products, through ecological agriculture and without synthesis chemical substances.
The law explains a number of notions, including:
- ecological agriculture - agriculture based on respect for principles which ensure the creation of a balanced and sustained agri-ecosystem, without use of polluting (synthesis) chemical substances;
- ecological production - agri-food products obtained, maintained and processed without synthesis chemical substances;
- genetically modified organisms - organisms obtained through techniques of artificial modification of genetic material through reproduction/recombination;
- national conformity brand of ecological agriculture - written, printed or graphic sign included in label of ecological agri-food products.
The basic principles of ecological agriculture comprise:
- achievement of sustained, diversified and balanced agricultural systems, which protect natural resources, health and life of consumers;
- integrated approach of policy and actions at national and local levels;
- rejection of any polluting technologies and restrictive regulation of use of polluting chemicals;
- implementation of modern technologies for plants, animal breeding;
- continued maintenance and improvement of natural fertility of soil;
- voluntary start and stoppage of entrepreneurial activity in this sector.
The law regulates the tasks of competent authority in ecological agriculture sector, ecological production rules, product label rules, competences of businesses working in this sector, evaluation of production conformity, importation and exportation of this production, insurance in ecological production sector.
Developers of this law consider that promotion of its principles and ecological products will increase the volume of exported production and will strengthen the reputation of domestic products on national and international markets.
III. Draft law on prevention and struggle against trafficking in human beings
Commentary by ADEPT: The draft that the Parliament passed in the first reading aims to create a legislative framework on prevention and struggle against trafficking in human beings, insurance of protection of rights and interests of victims of trafficking. The law will regulate the following:
- prevention and fight against trafficking in human beings;
- protection and assistance for victims of trafficking in human beings, with complete respect for their rights;
- cooperation between public administration authorities, public associations, and other representatives of civil society for prevention and fight against trafficking in human beings;
- cooperation with other states and competent international and regional organisations in this sector.
The draft law explains some key notions related to this sector, including:
- trafficking in human beings - recruitment, transportation, transfer, sheltering or receiving of a person by force, through kidnapping, cheating, misuse of power or situation of vulnerability, through other means of compulsion, as well as by giving or receiving money or benefits of any other nature, in order to obtain the agreement of a person who controls another person for exploitation purposes;
- trafficking in children - recruitment, transportation, transfer, sheltering or receiving of a child for exploitation purposes, though none of the means mentioned above are used for these actions;
- exploitation of a person - abuse of a person in order to obtain profit and namely:
- obligation of a person to do a work or grant some services through force, threats or other illegal compulsion means;
- taking a person in slavery;
- obligation to practice prostitution, participation in porno representations in order to produce, release and sell them;
- obligation to drawing of organs, tissues or other elements of human body for transplant;
- use of a woman as substitute mother or for reproduction purpose;
- abuse of a child for illegal adoption purpose;
- use in armed conflicts or illegal military units;
- use for criminal activities;
- obligation to practice beggary;
- sale of a person to another person, etc.
Following actions are proposed to be included among key principles of the struggle against trafficking in human beings: respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; recognition of trafficking in human beings as a violation of fundamental human rights, dignity, freedom and integrity of human rights; insurance of safety and fair attitude towards victims of trafficking in human beings; complex use of juridical, political, social-economic, and information measures; social partnership, cooperation between public administration authorities, international, nongovernmental organisations; proportionality between respect for fundamental rights of victims and penal investigation conditions; equal approach of all forms and types of national or transnational trafficking related or not to organised crime, etc.
The draft indicates the competent authorities in charge with prevention and struggle against trafficking in human beings, their tasks, measures of protection and assistance of victims of trafficking in human beings, responsibility for entities for trafficking in human beings, international cooperation in this area, etc.