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Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, III year, no. 49, April 4-17, 2005
Activity of Public Institutions
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Activity of Public Institutions
1.1. Parliamentary administration
As we had presumed in the precedent issue of the e-journal "Democracy and Governing in Moldova", the candidacy of the leader of a parliamentary party which was more cooperating at presidential election was proposed and accepted for the post of second deputy speaker. The second deputy speaker is Iurie Rosca, leader of the Christian Democratic People's Party (PPCD), who was voted by 77 parliamentarians representing the Party of Moldova Communists (PCRM), Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM), Social Liberal Party (PSL), and evidently, the Christian Democratic faction.
Iurie Rosca said in a speech on this occasion that his election as deputy speaker allows him to plenarily participate in the legislative process, to promote and fulfil the key tasks of the ten proposals that the Christian Democrats had submitted to the chief of state.
Asked to comment on election of Iurie Rosca as deputy speaker, Serafim Urechean, leader of the Our Moldova Alliance (AMN), said that the AMN faction should normally hold this post because it is the largest opposition faction in the Parliament, and this confirms one more time the existence of a governing coalition between Democrats, Christian Democrats, Social Liberals and the Communist parliamentary majority, since the AMN did not get this office.
1.2. Legislative documents
Lawmakers adopted the law on amendment of the law on government, after President Voronin had unveiled the executive reformation concept in the Parliament . Under the new amendments, the new cabinet will comprise 15 ministries and 13 institutions. The law adopted by Parliament does not establish the hierarchy of these structures, but available reports say that it would correspond to the following scheme: ministry - national bureau (centre/ chamber) - service - agency. The list of ministries and other governmental institutions is published in the next paragraph.
The law on live broadcast of plenary sittings of the parliament by television is another important document adopted by legislature. The main argues in favour of this law are based on experience of European countries and need to ensure the information of wide public. It was highlighted that "the price is not important" for accomplishment of these goals, no matter how high it is.
It is worth to underline that parliamentarians did not indicate any financial sources to cover these amendments, nor they established any date for implementation of these amendments. As a result, if the law is published, its accurate implementation could be demanded immediately after its appearance in Monitorul Oficial.
The Parliament had urgently ratified several international documents in connection with the April 21-22 GUUAM summit in Chisinau:
- Yalta Chart of GUUAM. The chart is the key juridical document on constitution of the organisation, named on basis of first letters of founding states: Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Moldova.
The initiative to create this association of states was launched in the mid-1990s. Later, the GUUAM leaders signed three political declarations - on October 10, 1997 in Strasbourg, on April 24, 1999 in Washington, and on September 6, 2000 in New York, so that GUUAM became a regional initiative aimed to promote the cooperation on European and regional security matters, in particular, within the OSCE.
Moldova joined this initiative to implement concrete projects on facilitation of trade and development of Euro-Asian transportation networks, as well as border security, struggle against terrorism, organised crime, and illegal trafficking in drugs and human beings. The United States and European Union provide political and financial assistance for cooperation within GUUAM.
According to the GUUAM Chart, this organisation has an open nature, being created in compliance with universally recognised international law norms and principles and key cooperation sectors: economy, science, technologies and environment, infrastructure of transports, energy, telecommunications, investments and finances, humanitarian sector, culture, education, mass media, tourism, and youth exchange.
The annual meeting of chiefs of state is the supreme body of GUUAM, while the member states hold the rotating chairmanship in this organisation in alphabetic order. The meetings of chiefs of state pass decisions on creation of specialized bodies of GUUAM; coordination of stances regarding current issues of common interest of international life.
The session of foreign ministers which takes place, as a rule, twice a year is the executive body of GUUAM. The sessions of foreign ministers examine problems related to implementation of agreements within GUUAM and draft proposals on development and continued deepening of GUUAM cooperation for examination at meetings of chiefs of state.
The Committee of National Coordinators (CNC), which comprises national coordinators named by foreign ministers and by one on behalf of every member state, is the task force of GUUAM. CNC coordinates the activity between GUUAM-member states, prepares the meetings of chiefs of state and sessions of foreign ministers. CNC holds sittings every quarter, while the member states host them in consecutive order.
- GUUAM agreement on creation of free trade zone. The agreement aims to create a free trade zone to cover most of commercial exchanges between Moldova and GUUAM-member states. The objectives of this agreement comprise among others:
- promotion of mutual trade through expansion, development of economic relations, improvement of living standards and work conditions, enhanced productivity and financial stability;
- insurance of conditions for a loyal commercial competition between sides;
- participation in elimination of tariff and non-tariff obstacles on way of trade, harmonious development, and trade expansion in region;
- creation of premises needed for development of juridical framework, multilateral cooperation and collaboration in different sectors;
- abolition of all customs duties for importation, exportation, and others with similar effects;
- creation of a predictable and stable juridical framework on development of multilateral commercial-economic relations;
- guaranteeing of free transit;
- protection of intellectual property rights;
- regulation of introduction and implementation of compensating anti-dumping and safeguard measures in line with the World Trade Organisation requirements;
- strict delimitation of terms and cases for use of commercial protection techniques, as well as the mechanism for their use;
- no indirect taxes and fees will be in effect for goods exported from customs territory of a signatory side to customs territory of another party.
- Agreement on creation of the GUUAM Information Office. The GUUAM Information Office will be the secretariat and information centre of GUUAM. The office aims at information support of the GUUAM National Coordinators, state and nongovernmental structures of member countries for accomplishment of an economic, political, cultural-humanitarian cooperation.
The spending estimate for the GUUAM Information Office in 2004 was established in the amount of 90,610 dollars. Thus, every member pays 18,122 dollars (of which 8,240 dollars is the initial sum paid once in three years, and 9,882 dollars is the permanent amount paid every year).
Creation and adequate functioning of the Information Office would allow a deeper cooperation between member states for accomplishment and implementation of the GUUAM trade and transportation facilitation project.
2.1. Appointment of candidacy of prime minister
President Vladimir Voronin notified the parliament on April 8 over his decree on appointment of Vasile Tarlev as prime minister of Moldova. Under the decree, the prime minister was instructed to introduce the members of the new cabinet of ministers and to present the governing programme to the parliament for approval within 15 days. Appointment of Vasile Tarlev to the prime minister post for the second time, which surprised many observers after the chief of state had earlier highlighted the need to give new valences to Moldova's European integration process through promotion of new persons to state high ranking offices, outlines the stake of President Voronin on insurance of a continuity, no matter if slow, of a number of activities started by the Tarlev cabinet in 2001-2005.
In idiomatic terms, President Voronin thought that "a bird in hand is worth two in the bush", more than that the precedent Tarlev cabinet had ensured a minimum macroeconomic stability in country and improved some economic indicators, and the premier did not raise any problems regarding implementation of different projects, including "palace" scenarios staged by presidential team. President Voronin did not accidentally hint during a TV programme that the repeated appointment of Vasile Tarlev as prime minister is due to the fact that the latter is an obedient executor.
2.2. Structure of Government
The new cabinet of ministers will comprise 15 ministries, in line with amendments to the law on executive:
- Economics and Trade Ministry;;
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration;
- Ministry of Interior Affairs;
- Defence Ministry;
- Finance Ministry;
- Ministry of Transportation and Road Management;
- Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources;
- Justice Ministry;
- Ministry of Information Development;
- Reintegration Ministry;
- Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure;
- Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry;
- Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport;
- Ministry of Health and Social Protection;
- Ministry of Culture and Tourism;
Also, the cabinet will comprise another 13 bodies:
- Centre for the Struggle Against Economic Crimes and Corruption;
- Licence Chamber;
- Standardization and Metrology Service;
- Customs Service;
- Border Guard Service;
- National Bureau for Statistics;
- National Bureau for Migration;
- Bureau of Inter-Ethnic Relations;
- Moldova-Vin Agri-Industrial Agency;
- Moldsilva Agency for Forestry;
- Agency for Land Relations and Cadastre;
- Agency for Regional Development;
- Agency for Material Resources, Public Acquisitions and Aid.
Comparing this structure of executive with the one indicated by Moldovan president to lawmakers on April 8, we can observe some differences since the chief of state proposed maximum 17 ministries instead of the 16 ministries and 14 departments in the Tarlev-I cabinet. It was presumed that departments would disappear as central administrative institutions and ministries would take over their tasks.
In the context, it is worth to outline that President Voronin had proposed at the end of his mandate, with a couple of days before the 2005 parliamentary elections, to create the ministry of local public administration, and it was expected that the new cabinet of ministers comprise this ministry.
The public opinion does not know so far why this idea was not accomplished. Also, the solution to the three key problems identified by chief of state, which should be solved through creation of the ministry of local public administration is unknown: integration of efforts of central and local power bodies into a "single centre for coordination of planned transformations," aimed at general modernisation of the country; implementation of the ample project "Moldovan Village" and elimination of the "full lack of coordination" in activity of local public authorities which fulfil the same tasks as the governmental administration, Justice Ministry and Parliament, and many other structures, and this provokes confusions."
The fate of the domestic security service SIS is also unknown, since it is not part of any category of named governmental institutions. The state authorities had unlikely given up the services of this institutions.
3.1. Investment of Moldovan president in office
Vladimir Voronin was invested as president of Moldova after the Constitutional Court had validated the results of presidential elections.
"The events the past days represent a kind of prologue of an absolutely new stage in history of our country. The election of the chief of state served for the first time as s sort of unique occasion for union and consolidation of different political forces," President Voronin said. He noted that this is a result of mobilization of political forces for accomplishment of the European integration objective of Moldova.
"Three tasks" were named among priorities of his new mandate:
- insurance of unbiased and incorruptible courts, competent and modern mass media, all the modern mechanisms of expression of will;
- accomplishment of a "great post-industrial jump", so that the economic development be based first of all on resources such as science and top technologies;
- creation of a modern system of social guarantees.
Also, President Voronin highlighted the need to reintegrate the state, expressing conviction that this goal will be fulfilled with the support of foreign partners of Moldova.
3.2. Reformation of Government. 7/7 tasks
The chief of state expressed his vision regarding the reformation of executive at the April 8 parliamentary sitting. Vladimir Voronin established seven strategic tasks for activity of the cabinet of ministers in 2005-2009:
- implementation of the Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper;
- implementation of the European Union's Action Plan for Moldova;
- implementation of the medium-term spending programme;
- implementation of the "Moldovan Village" National Programme;
- implementation of the national society information programme;
- elaboration and implementation of a sustainable human development programme (education reform, development of table sport and culture, continuation of science reform);
- elaboration and implementation of a programme on economic liberalisation, debureaucracy and deregulation, including reduction of corruption rate in police bodies.
In addition, Vladimir Voronin indicated seven permanent tasks:
- territorial reintegration of the country;
- maintenance of internal political stability and external political balance;
- maintenance of social orientation of all the state programmes and projects, all practical actions;
- implementation of the national programme on studying of official language by maintaining and developing in parallel the ethni-cultural and linguistic diversity;
- creation of a modern and competitive mass media, which would comply with democratic standards and state interests;
- creation of a new generation of electors attached to basic values of Moldovan state (freedom, opening, dynamism, fast economic growth, poly-ethnic and bilingualism).
It is hard to say whether the same number of strategic and permanent tasks for the new executive is an accident. However, it is sure that figure "7" will be a reference point of "luck or bad luck" of the Tarlev-II cabinet after four years.
It is worth to mention that the implementation of the 2004-2008 national human rights plan, national strategy on prevention and combat of corruption, and action plan on its accomplishment, documents approved by the precedent legislature has a distinct place in any of these categories of tasks. The E.U. Action Plan for Moldova highlights the need to implement these two documents, and the plan was named in the list of strategic tasks, and this could be an explanation why they are not part of the list of tasks of the Tarlev-II cabinet. However, distinct, strategic or permanent tasks should be drafted in connection with these plans, since the two documents envisage complex sectors and serious deficiencies in these sectors.
Making a short commentary of the chief of state's vision on government reformation, it is worth to mention that the president wants this process be held in two stages. According to the president, maximum 17 ministries must replace the 16 ministries and 14 departments within the first stage, while the staffs of the future executive will lose 70 percent of bureaucracy by November 14. Reduction of staffs must be followed by a rise of salaries of public functionaries up to 400-1,500 dollars, Voronin said, and strict selection of qualified specialists for new personnel units on basis of a contest.
- Prices of petrol and Diesel oil could grow again. Importers of oil products in Moldova could increase soon the prices of petrol and Diesel oil by 10-15 percent, if prices of fuels at international exchanges grow in continuation.
The cost of importation rose from 502 to 545 dollars for one ton, in the case of petrol, and from 516 to 563 dollars for one ton of Diesel oil.
A crude oil price at the world's major commodities markets rose very rapidly, especially since the Goldman Sachs Bank had predicted a price over 100 dollars.
On the other hand, many analysts estimated that the forecast of Goldman Sachs is overestimated. In New York NYMEX price closed at a new record, 57.28 dollars, and in London the "black gold" price rose by two dollars in just one day, till 56.50 dollars.
On March 21, the petrol price in Moldova rose by about 7 percent and the Diesel oil price by 14 percent as response to introduction of higher prices of crude oil at international exchanges. Last year fuel prices in the ex-Soviet state rose by more than 30 percent.
- Andrey Kokoshin, chairman of the Russian State Duma's Committee for the Commonwealth of Independent States, told journalists in Moscow that the tariff for natural gas supplied to Moldova could grow by 25-30 percent.
Some estimates show that the gas tariff could grow by 25-30 percent and even more, if the world prices of energy resources remain at a high level. "The economic relations between Moldova and Russia cannot remain out of the influence of Chisinau's policy on Transnistria."
Even more, he underlined that the announcement of Gazprom about eventual introduction of higher tariffs fits the recent statement of the Russian government that the Russia-Moldova economic relations will depend on Chisinau's policy.
On the other hand, Moldova-Gaz manager Ghennadi Abaskin estimated that there are no economic reasons to increase the natural gas tariffs. "Moldova is not a subject of the European energy market and therefore no European tariffs can be introduced," said Abaskin, adding that Moldova pays for the entire current consumption of natural gas.
At present, Moldova imports natural gas from the Russian concern Gazprom in exchange for 80 dollars per 1,000 cubic metres, as well as from the daughter company of the Russian concern, Gazexport, which establishes the gas tariff every quarter. Thus, Gazexport exported gas to Moldova for 69 dollars per 1,000 cubic metres but the tariff rose up to 71 dollars on April 1, 2005. Moldova-Gaz signed contracts on acquisition of 3,150 billion cubic metres of gases from Russian companies Gazexport and Gazprom in 2005, by about half from each of them.
2. Banks and insurance
- The National Bank of Moldova (BNM) has approved new regulations on functioning of bank cards in order to adjust the normative base on activity of commercial banks and their clients within card payment systems to practices and norms of the European Union (E.U.). The central bank ordered the commercial banks to comply with the new regulation and to adjust the software programmes used for drafting of the statistic report on activity in the card payment systems till June 30.
Operations worth 2,874,064,000 lei (231.82 million dollars) were carried out in Moldova via cards of Moldovan banks last year. The most of operations were related to cash withdrawals - 2,857,035,000 lei or 95.4 percent of the total, while the others were cash-free payments.
Overall, 340,275 cards were in circulation in late 2004, including 327,917 of international payment systems (VISA, EuroPay, MasterCard etc.). Banks issues 134,998 cards in 2004, including 3,315 local cards and 131,683 international cards. Twelve commercial banks issue cards in Moldova at present, including 11 cards of the system MasterCard International, six of the Visa International system, two of the local system MoldCardSystem, and one of Unicard system.
- Insurance companies in Moldova raised insurance premiums worth 378.9 million lei (over 30 million dollars) last year, by over 89.4 million lei more than in 2003, and paid 101.5 million lei in damages, up by 26 million lei.
According to preliminary data of the State Inspectorate for Supervision of Insurance and Non-State Funds of Pensions (ISSAFNP), the following companies paid the highest damages: QBE Asito SA 43.18 million lei, Afes-M 8.93 million lei, Moldova-Astrovaz SRL 7.52 million lei, Moldcargo SRL 7.37 million lei, Carat 6.17 million lei, Artas 4.11 million lei, Donaris-Group SA 4.03 million lei, and Moldasig 3.72 million lei.
Most of money - 123.7 million lei - was raised from civil responsibility insurance of owners of motor transport and Green Card policies. Another 112.8 million lei was raised from optional insurance of goods, while 102.4 million lei was paid for insurance of estate of enterprises.
The total statutory capital of insurance societies rose by 50.8 million lei in 2004 up to 168.5 million lei, while reserves and insurance funds grew by 20 million lei up to 146.6 million lei.
Forty-five companies function on the insurance market in Moldova, of which only 33 hold a social capital in the amount of two million stipulated by legislation.
- The Ukrainian Supreme Rada [parliament] will ratify the new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Moldova, signed in Chisinau on November 13, 2003, which the Moldovan legislature ratified on February 12, 2004.
According to members of the Ukrainian executive, the new agreement will allow the creation of a free trade zone between Ukraine and Moldova under the existing requirements of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The agreement calls for a "no-exception" regime of trade between the two ex-Soviet countries, under the WTO rules and practices. Under the document, the sides committed themselves to protect their markets, compensate losses and apply anti-dumping and safeguard measures in line with WTO rules. The agreement would take effect at the time Ukraine became a WTO member.
The first free trade agreement between Moldova and Ukraine was signed on August 29, 1995. Official statistics show that Ukraine is the second largest trade partner of Moldova. Last year's trade turnover between them rose to more than half a billion dollars. On the other hand, Ukrainian exports created in Moldova the largest trade deficit last year compared with another 80 countries - 371.7 million dollars. Moldova exported goods and services worth 64.7 million dollars to Ukraine, while imports absorbed 436.4 million dollars.
- Members of the Uniagroprotect Republican Union of Associations of Agricultural Producers sold agricultural products worth two billion lei (160 million dollars) in 2004, by 700 million lei more than in 2003.
Farmers contracted credits and benefited from unreimbursable financing in the amount of 120 million lei last year, compared with 84 million lei in 2003. Also, the 17 agricultural enterprises affiliated to associations sold products worth 42.2 million lei and invested 640 million lei.
Uniagroprotect was founded in 2001 as a nongovernmental and non-profit nongovernmental organisation to assist private agricultural producers. At present, the union includes 15 associations of agricultural producers, who brings together 2,240 members and administrate 50 percent of agricultural fields in Moldova.
4. Moldova and the world
- The European Union (E.U.) will release a 9.2-million-euro unreimbursable assistance to Moldova for insurance of the food security within the Food Security Programme.
David Johnson, coordinator of the Food Security Programme, said that this is the first project drafted on basis of the Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (EGPRSP) and the E.U. Action Plan for Moldova. The financial assistance will be distributed for promotion of concrete reforms in three key directions: public finances, social protection and agriculture.
According to forecasts of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding the development of global economy, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), including Moldova, will register an economic growth in 2005-2006 below the levels reached in the past two years. Azerbaijan will be the only exception, as it will post a 21.6 percent growth in 2005 and 38.3 percent in 2006, the IMF forecasts.
Forecasts show that Moldova will post a five-percent growth in 2005 and four percent in 2006. Armenia will register 9.5 percent and 14.2 percent, Tajikistan 8.0 percent and 7.0 percent, Georgia 6.0 percent and 5.0 percent, Kazakhstan 8.0 percent and 7.7 percent, Ukraine 7.0 percent and 4.0 percent, the Russian Federation 6.0 percent and 5.5 percent. A "relatively favourable" situation will be recorded in this region, the IMF report said.
Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a subdivision of the London-based The Economist forecasts a five-percent growth for Moldova in 2005 and 2006, and an inflation rate of 12.5 percent this year and 10 percent in 2006.
EIU experts warn that the narrow economic base, trade deficit and financial insufficiency are risky, but the significant growth of remittances of Moldovans who work abroad will partly reduce this risk. According to the EIU analysis, the payment of debts will be a problem in continuation.
The European Union does not have a concrete Transnistrian settlement plan, but is ready to make proposals that might be useful, the EU Special Representative for the Republic of Moldova Adriaan Jacobovits de Szeged told a press conference at the end of his visit to Moldova on 11-12 April. According to him, the EU will support any plan that will propose an efficient and working distribution of powers between the centre and the periphery, whatever the settlement principle, be it a federation, a common state, etc.
"This visit has given me the impression that there is a great will to solve the Transnistrian conflict. And we are ready to contribute. I will not stay here permanently, but will visit often. In addition, I will consult Moscow, Kiev, Bucharest, Washington, the OSCE and other EU countries.," Jacobovits said, quoted by the Infotag news agency.
The EU Special Representative noted the ‚crucial change' in the EU attitude towards Moldova. "The EU Neighbourhood Policy has been approved, so has the EU-Moldova Action Plan. This is an important progress. The European Commission will open an office in Chisinau," added Jacobovits, announcing his next visit to Moldova for 26 April 2005.
The EU Special Representative for Moldova was appointed by the Council of the European Union on 23 March 2005. His mandate is principally focused on the coordination of the EU contribution to the Transnistrian conflict resolution.
In the meantime, on 12 April President Voronin told a TV show on "Pro TV" that the official Chisinau is working on a draft law on the special status of the Transnistrian region within the Republic of Moldova. According to Voronin, the document will provide for extensive rights of the future autonomy - local parliament, administration, own budget, flag, anthem and other attributes. The banking system, army, customs and foreign policy will remain unique. Speaking of the announced Ukrainian settlement plan, Voronin said he was not aware of its contents, but that Moldova would accept an eventual proposal from Ukraine to solve the Transnistrian issue by the example of Crimea. Voronin denied the roomers that Moldova will withdraw from the CIS and declared that GUUAM is a ‚purely economic' initiative and is not directed against the CIS.
On the other hand, on the eve of the GUUAM Summit that will take place in Chisinau on 22 April, the Chisinau and Kiev press have published a series of articles regarding to settlement plan that the Ukrainian president is to propose at the Summit, but also on the future role that Ukraine will play in the settlement process. Thus, many Ukrainian political commentators have called upon the Ukrainian authorities to publish the plan ahead of the Summit and discuss it with independent experts both in Ukraine, and in Moldova, Romania, US, EU and OSCE States. Such an approach would be in line with the European style policy of regional leader that Kiev has assumed on the trilateral Kiev-Chisinau-Tbilisi, and would prevent a Kozak Memorandum like failure of the plan.
At the same time, Ukrainian commentators have deplored the ‚generous' reopening by the Ukrainian customs authorities of the Transnistrian segment of the Moldova-Ukraine border for the export and transit of Transnistrian goods. This customs measure was introduced immediately after the meeting that the Ukrainian and Russian president had on 19 March in Kiev, in spite of the changes operated by President Yushchenko in the leadership of the customs services and his tough critique at the activity of the customs services, invoking breaches and smuggling traffic across the Moldova-Ukrainian frontier, as well as a high level of unprofessionalism and corruption.
Thus, while the ‚orange' Ukraine is trying to assert its adherence to European values, it seems that the lower echelons of power act behind the back of President Yushchenko and continue to promote the Kuchma-style policy of Ukraine on the Transnistrian issue. At the same time, Ukrainian observers have noted, Kiev is now the decisive actor in solving the Transnistrian crisis, because only the economic isolation of the region and, in particular, the blocking of shadow activities over the border could determine the Transnistrian break away regime to compromise and give up its vanity inspired by the Kremlin. An effective input by the post-Kuchma Ukraine into the Transnistrian conflict resolution process could be an important first step towards accomplishing its European aspirations.
1. European Strategy of the Republic of Moldova
The Institute of Public Policies (IPP) unveiled on April 13 the European Strategy of the Republic of Moldova (ESRM)1. More than 30 national experts participated in drafting this document, while IPP and the Foreign Ministry of Moldova coordinated their activity.
According to IPP, the drafting of this document had started before the European Commission launched the consultations on the E.U. Action Plan for Moldova, and after elaboration of the concept on Moldova's integration in the E.U. It is worth to note in the context that the latter appeared in August 2003, after the National Commission for European Integration (NCEI) in charge with drafting and unveiling the strategy on European integration of Moldova to the parliament, as well as with drafting and approving the action plan for this strategy2, was created on November 13, 2002 through a presidential decree. Under the activity plan of the government for the first quarter of 2003, the strategy should be finished by March 14, 2003. Surprisingly, as the presidential decree required the drafting of strategy, we had been witnesses of a serendipity phenomenon - the concept on integration of Moldova in the E.U., not the strategy appeared after activity of NCEI in 2003. Thus, the IPP draft European Strategy comes to eliminate an older arrear of Moldovan authorities.
According to IPP, the structure of ESRM was drafted on basis of experience of many countries, as well as of the E.U. regulations on enlargement process. The ESRM was adjusted to the plan after consultations on the Action Plan.The European Strategy comprises the following basic fields for every sector of activity: analysis of legislative framework of Moldova; analysis of institutional framework; formulation of existing problems; formulation of short- and medium-term priorities.
ESRM will be periodically reviewed according as implementation of the E.U. Action Plan for Moldova, and this would allow its use as tool for monitoring of the process of implementation of this plan. The IPP estimated that Moldova would hold the right to seek the progress of contract bases with the E.U. in 2008, when the term of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) runs off, if it respects the three-year deadline for implementation of the Action Plan. Under these conditions, if Brussels has enough political will, it could advance the status of dialogue with Moldova by signing a new qualitative document - an agreement (on association or neighbourhood), a new action plan or a strategy. According to IPP, the new document should be based on an analysis of situation in all areas of cooperation - legislative framework and institutional framework on cooperation, problems and priorities of future cooperation, regardless of the E.U. further stance. The European Strategy plays this role. The draft ESRM was published on the website of IPP, so that the interested people enjoy the opportunity to study it.
2. The Republic of Moldova - NATO
Jean Fournet, deputy secretary-general of NATO for public diplomacy, was on an official visit to Chisinau on April 5. He had meetings with President Vladimir Voronin and Defence Minister Valeriu Plesca. The meetings focussed on the following issues: reformation of the national security system; Moldova's presence in the Partnership for Peace Programme; opening of a regional anti-trafficking centre in Chisinau to coordinate the efforts aimed to reduce the sizes of trafficking in human beings; introduction of an international monitoring on the Transnistrian segment of the Moldovan-Ukrainian border, as well as enhanced cooperation aimed to ensure regional and international security.
In the context of talks on Moldova's participation in the Partnership for Peace Programme, President Voronin expressed the readiness of the Moldovan authorities to upgrade Chisinau's participation in this programme, while the defence minister informed the NATO high ranking official about training of a team of bomb experts, military observers, and a company for participation in a peacekeeping mission. The NATO deputy secretary-general said in the context of NATO enlargement to the Proute that the adoption of an Individual Action Plan of NATO for Moldova is opportune for optimization of cooperation with Moldova.
3. Meeting of the GUUAM Committee of National Coordinators
Chisinau hosted a special meeting of the GUUAM Committee of National Coordinators early this month. Taking part in the meeting were representatives of all member states of this regional project, as well as of the U.S. Department of State. Also, representatives of the U.S., Ukrainian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Turkish, and Polish Embassies attended the meeting as observers.
According to the press service of the Moldovan Foreign Ministry, the meeting examined issues related to organisation of the April 22-scheduled GUUAM summit, implementation of projects within this dialogue frame, including the trade and transportation facilitation project.
2 Monitorul oficial, # 151-153/1196, November 14, 2002.
Studies, Analyses, Comments
The GUUAM summit
Igor Botan, 19 April 2005
Perspectives of GUUAM after upgrading leave room for many questions related to||»»»