Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, year IV, issue 82, 1-15 October 2006
Activity of Public Institutions
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Activity of Public Institutions
The Parliament of Moldova restarted its plenary sittings on October 5. The speaker has highlighted a number of immediate tasks of the Parliament at the opening of the autumn plenary session, including:
- examining primordial documents: the budget law, the law on mandatory health insurance funds, the law on state social insurance budget for 2007, the new law on insurance, the law on mediation in civic litigations, etc.;
- establishing the relevant mechanism for implementation of anti-corruption survey of draft legislative acts;
- fulfilling the recommendations of the Council of Europe on consolidation of local self-governance; modifying the Parliament's Regulation, the law on political parties, the law on freedom of expression;
- implementing the EU-Moldova Action Plan;
- formatting the process of adjustment of legislation to the acquis communautaire through a real implementation of this process by Government;
- revising the contents of the legislative programme in a move to make it a priority;
- making an inventory of the national legal framework, analysing the political and socio-economic impact of the adopted laws;
- continuing and deepening the cooperation in nongovernmental sector (business community, academic environment, associative sector), etc.
Vitalia Pavlicenco and Anatol Taranu have been excluded from the parliamentary faction representing the "Our Moldova" Alliance (AMN) and posts in parliamentary structures, international delegations, accordingly to proportional assignment of functions in the Parliament.
1.2. Legislative acts
Law annulling debts of agricultural producers who work fields over the Ribnita-Tiraspol route toward the state social insurance budget, calculated for 2005. The law annuls the debts of farmers who work fields over the Ribnita-Tiraspol route for mandatory state social insurance contributions, calculated for 2005, while the annulled amount is calculated from the state budget. Failed revenues account for over 121,000 lei and they will be compensated from the state budget through transfers to the social insurance budget.
Law on completion of law on healthcare. The parliamentary majority banned the activity of private health institutions in territory of public medical-sanitary facilities on July 21, 2006 after controversial debates. Representatives of the opposition said then that the provisions should be reformulated, so that to respect the rights of institutions which hold rent contracts. However, the communist majority turned down those initiatives, arguing formally its stance through the need to prevent abuses and violations, but it was supposed that this severe attitude was related to dissatisfaction of Moldovan president with debates on this issue held during a plenary sitting, asking the speaker to take measures in order to limit such talks "by adopting an organic law" (e-journal # 78, July 17-31, 2006). The chief of state did not promulgate the law adopted this way, recommending the Parliament to allow the continuation of rent contracts signed till July 21, 2006 between private and public medical-sanitary and pharmaceutical institutions until expiration of their term. The parliamentary majority was not so categorical at the October 13 sitting that re-examined this draft and voted the amendment.
Draft law on completion of some legislative acts (anti-corruption expertise). It seeks the compulsory introduction of anti-corruption survey on draft legislative and normative acts by the Centre for the Struggle Against Economic Crimes and Corruption (most of opposition lawmakers have contested this initiative).
Draft Title IX of Tax Code. It stipulates the completion with a special title on traffic taxes - taxes for owners of motor vehicles who use the roads or/and their protection areas.
Draft law on mediation in civil litigations. It seeks the regulation of the mediation institution, a modality of settlement of litigations on amicable way, with the help of a third competent person.
Draft law on modification and completion of the law on customs tariff. It stipulates higher duties for a number of agri-industrial products, especially for positions of products made in Moldova. The tariff policy is adjusted to internal needs, with the Government obtaining this right due to expiration of the five-year evaluation term since Moldova's joining to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). At the same time, some duties (for sugar imports) will be lowered at the recommendation of WTO and this fact dissatisfies domestic producers.
Draft law on completion of law on healthcare. It stipulates that graduates from medical education who get employed in rural localities accordingly to assignment benefit of following facilities in the first three years of work: free residence; a single indemnity in the amount of 30,000 (24,000) for doctors and nurses; monthly compensation of the cost of some energy resources (electricity, wood, coal). In order to benefit of these facilities, young specialists will have to sign individual labour contracts and the employee will have to return the received amounts if he tenders resignation before this term. It should be noted that similar facilities have been introduced for teachers, but this policy of the Government was inefficient and the shortage of teachers in rural localities remains high.
1.3. Parliamentary control. Statements
The parliamentary commission for security, defence and public order will monitor the investigation in the case of a police officer who was the target of an assassination attempt after he reported that the Interior Ministry has committed some illegalities against him. According to the chairman of the parliamentary commission, the group investigating this case includes representatives of the Prosecutor-General, domestic security service SIS, while the family of the victim is protected in line with legislation.
Questions and interpretations
Communist Deputy Iurie Stoicov has asked the Prosecutor-General's Office to investigate statements of former AMN Deputy Anatolie Taranu, who said that the Electoral Bloc "Democratic Moldova" received foreign financing during the 2005 parliamentary electoral campaign, an action prohibited by electoral legislation.
Democratic Deputy Vladimir Filat has asked the Government to report the debts of Moldova for natural gas consumption that the Russian giant Gazprom had earlier ceded to a third company.
AMN Deputy Veaceslav Untila has asked the chairman of the broadcasting company "TeleRadio-Moldova" to report on inadequate coverage of activity of the opposition during the TV programme "Rezonans".
Another AMN Deputy, Ion Gutu, has asked the Government to argue the opening of the Moldovan Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, from economic-political viewpoint.
Deputy Vitalia Pavlicenco has asked the Government to explain the failure to table the draft foreign policy concept and the draft national security concept of Moldova to the Parliament, acts that should be completed by summer 2006. Pavlicenco also asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration to take attitude toward the ongoing Russian-Georgian political conflict.
Christian Democratic Deputy Vlad Cubreacov has asked the Government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, the domestic security service SIS, the service for problems of religious denominations to react to greetings and encouragement addressed by Russian Orthodox hierarchs of the Moscow patriarchate to separatist leader Igor Smirnov (after the referendum held in the region), actions that encourage the separatism and are a hostile attitude toward Moldova.
Christian Democratic Deputy Angela Arama has asked the Superior Council of Magistracy to elucidate the examination of some trials by a judge whose mandate was completed in May 2006, as the European Court for Human Rights sentenced Moldova for such actions.
The Parliament has replied to a declaration of the State Duma of the Russian Federation concerning the results of the so-called referendum in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova . Moldovan parliamentarians noted that by adopting this declaration Russian lawmakers throw doubts on territorial integrity of Moldova, while the text of the statement contradicts the basic treaty between Moldova and Russia, norms and principles of international law. The Moldovan Parliament ascertains that the declaration concerned "fully disagrees with recent statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has clearly opposed the revision of the territorial integrity principles in contemporary world." The Parliament of Moldova asks the Russian Federation's State Duma to refrain from supporting the separatism, which affects both these states and may affect Russia and may have unpredictable consequences on the entire European continent.
All parliamentary factions except for the communist majority have released statements condemning the introduction of the integrated history course in pre-university education and the textbooks elaborated for this purpose. The authorities are accused of politicising the history, misrepresenting facts and praising some controversial periods, while the political stability in the country is threatened.
The communist faction has released a counter-statement, saying that the history textbooks have been elaborated accordingly to the necessary procedures, while their contents correspond to modern requirements on history treatment and the existing faults may be eliminated. The Communist Party of Moldova considers that the talks on history teaching are deliberately politicised.
Decision approving the regulation on management of denunciation register. It obliges trade facilities and service providers to write down the claims and complaints of consumers in a register, approves the management regulation and charges the state-owned enterprise Statistica with the task to print and release these registers for pay.
Decision on reorganisation of the enterprise Radiocomunicatii. This enterprise will be reorganised into an open-type stock society for a further privatisation. The enterprise will be privatised by 2008, in line with the strategy on building of information society e-Moldova.
Decision on issuance of the third mobile telephony licence. The executive has decided to hold a contest to award the third GSM 900/1800 mobile telephony licence under conditions similar to the first two tenders: payment of an 8-million-dollar fee in two parts within two years.
Decision approving the strategy on attracting investments and promoting exports. The document will be implemented in 2006-2015 and aims to attract investments, to provide competitive services on domestic and foreign markets, to enhance the exportation potential. Policies on attracting investments by improving the business climate, promoting investments in infrastructure, developing free economic zones and industrial parks will be modified.
2.2. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Preparation for winter
The specialised governmental commission has discussed the preparation of the national economy for the 2006-07 heating season. The minister of industry and infrastructure reported that electricity and heating generation enterprises have repaired and renovated more than 92 percent of their equipment. Auctions have been held for a normal functioning of budgetary institutions in the heating season and the necessary quantities of coal have been contracted. At the same time, the gasification of Moldovan localities continues, with 63 settlements being connected to natural gas pipes in 2006. More than 1.4 million lei is foreseen in the state budget for the heating system this year and only half of the planned amounts have been spent until now. Internal engineering systems are being repaired and renovated in about 87 percent of dwelling blocks. The prime minister ordered the elaboration of local programmes on preservation of energy and reasonable use of unused places.
Meeting with Anti-Corruption Alliance
The prime minister convoked the third meeting with members of the Anti-Corruption Alliance and the Centre for the Struggle Against Economic Crimes and Corruption (CCCEC) on October 7. Vasile Tarlev welcomed the joining of 16 new members to the alliance and discussed the activities held by alliance. Members of the alliance welcomed the Government's opening to civil society, but noted that local administrative authorities are not interested so far in such cooperation with civil society. Representatives of the alliance asked the Government to promote a draft law on transparency of the decision-making process worked out jointly by Government and NGOs. The prime minister sought the alliance's assistance for finalisation of the draft law on public acquisitions and monitoring of the process of implementation of this law, participation of NGOs in promoting governmental plans and strategies.
Scientific contributions for business
The prime minister has paid a working visit to the Institute of Economics, Finances and Statistics and outlined some tasks of perspective. The Government relies on support of scientific community in implementing the action programme "Modernisation of the country - welfare of people" and the prime minister invited employees of the institute to participate more actively in studying the problems of the national economy, in order to elaborate and implement efficient solutions. In particular, Vasile Tarlev highlighted the opportunity of working out a set of recommendations to encourage the participation of population in entrepreneurial activities, creation of new jobs. The administration of the institute was told to work out and to table shortly a concrete action plan aimed to make the results of activity of the institution visible.
Reduction of fees for authorisations
The Government seeks lower fees for building authorisations and urbanism certificates. A cabinet sitting has decided to reduce these fees 4-5-fold by establishing fixed taxes instead of payment of a certain percent of the estimated cost of construction. This initiative aims to promote a favourable investment climate in building sector and to prevent lower invoices when constructions are put into operation.
Responsibility for financial losses of Moldtranselectro
The Government has examined the problem of old debts of the state-owned enterprise Moldtranselectro and established the responsibility of high-ranking persons who had contributed to worsening of the financial condition of this business. CCCEC director reported that a case was filed against former Moldtranselectro manager and the representative of a legal firm involved in illicit deals with debts of Moldtranselectro.
Assessment of executive discipline
The prime minister convoked an extraordinary governmental sitting on October 13, asking cabinet members to table creative initiatives, to meet all decisions in the due time and to strictly respect the norms of discipline. Vasile Tarlev demanded ministers to demonstrate responsiblity, to take concrete and efficient actions, to mobilise their efforts for a better functioning of the executive.
Two presidential decrees on awarding and regaining of Moldovan citizenship by 8 persons and two decrees allowing 191 persons to renounce to Moldovan citizenship were published in the October 6 issue of the official gazette "Monitorul Oficial".
Moldova's president has appointed Corneliu Popovici as deputy rector of the Academy of Public Administration of the Moldovan presidency. Popovici is an author of the Integrated History textbook contested by academia and opposition political parties.
3.2. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Coordination of capital investments
Moldova's president has convoked a sitting on capital investments stipulated by the draft 2007 state budget law, with the participation of prime minister, members of the executive and presidential advisers. The priorities included the construction and reconstruction of roads, gasification and supply of localities with drinkable water, capital investments in science and innovations. Participants also indicated a two-fold decline of capital investments in state services with general destination (Apparatus of the Government, financial and control bodies, national defence bodies). Capital investments in justice will be increased (by 30 percent) and capital investments for needs of penitentiaries are expected to grow, in order to adjust prisons to European standards in the field. Basic expenses for road building will grow 4-fold, up to 198 million lei (according to some estimates, the cost of a kilometre of highway exceeds 10 million lei and at least 500 kilometres of national roads should be built in order to boost the economic activity. Vladimir Voronin noted that gasification and readjustment of educational and healthcare institutions from localities connected to natural gas and water pipes to drinkable water providing system remain the priority of 2007.
Control on implementation of regulatory reform
Vladimir Voronin has convoked a sitting on implementation of regulatory reform, which focussed on problems linked to organisation of one-stop shops, limitation of the number of technical authorisations and confirmations, stabilisation of licensing order. The chief of state outlined that the so-called "Guillotine" has found support in business environments and it was welcomed in spite of the initial scepticism. An operative and grounded implementation of the Guillotine-II is needed to settle the problems and confirm the deregulation policy.
Meetings with Russian delegates
The chief of state had a meeting with a Russian delegation headed by Minister of Education and Science Andrei Fursenko, co-chairman of the Moldovan-Russian intergovernmental commission for commercial-economic cooperation. Vladimir Voronin learned about what the Moldovan-Russian intergovernmental commission has discussed at a sitting, with the sides noting that some preliminary agreements on key issues in the field of economic activity, energy complex and agri-industrial sector were reached. Mr. Voronin was satisfied with positive results of activity of the Moldovan-Russian intergovernmental commission and the achieved consensus, outlining the importance of dialogue, consistent and coordinated actions for development and intensification of Moldovan-Russian relations in various fields.
Mr. Vorinin has met with the deputy foreign minister of the Russian Federation, Mr. Grigori Karasin, who was on a working visit to Moldova. Karasin noted that the Moldovan-Russian contacts have intensified after the August meeting between Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin and Russian President Vladimir Putin and underlined that important events for optimisation and development of Moldova-Russia cooperation have taken place in the past months: the sitting of the joint intergovernmental commission for commercial-economic cooperation, intensification of contacts at level of officials of Moldovan and Russian executives. According to a press release of the presidential press service, the Moldovan president agreed with the opinion about warming of relations between Moldova and the Russian Federation. Mr. Voronin stressed that the Transnistrian issue is the main unresolved problem in Moldovan-Russian cooperation and indicated the opportunity of examining the Transnistrian problem in a constructive and mutually acceptable manner.
A new meeting with diaspora representatives
The Moldovan president has met with the leader of the Party "Our Home - Israel", Avigdor Liberman, chairman of the parliamentary friendship league Israel-Moldova, at the 2nd congress of Moldovan-born people. Vladimir Voronin appreciated the interest for Moldova of the Moldovan-born influent political personality from Israel, Liberman, who contributes to extension and deepening of the Moldova-Israel dialogue in different fields. The chief of state expressed again hope that members of the Moldovan diaspora in Israel will support the implementation of mutually advantageous Moldovan-Israeli cooperation projects.
Central Electoral Commission of Gagauzia has registered four contestants for the position of Governor (Bashkan) of Gagauzia (Gagauz-Yeri): 1. Gheorghi Tabunshik, the present Governor; 2. Nicolai Dudoglo, the mayor of Comrat; 3. Alexandru Stoianoglo, deputy Prosecutor-General of Moldova; 4. Mihail Formuzal, the mayor of Ceadir-Lunga. Some other candidates are still collecting subscription signatures. The deadline for the submission of documents necessary for the registration of candidates is on 18 October 2006.
1. Inflation and prices
Inflation rose by 1.1% in September compared with August...
The inflation rate rose by 1.1% in September compared with August. The growth affected all groups of commodities and services included in the Consumer Price Index such as food products, manufactured goods and services granted to population. The cumulated inflation rate for January-September 2006 was 9.1%.
Prices of some food products, especially vegetables (which is rather a paradox for autumn), fowl and dairy have grown in the period concerned. Prices of fuels, including coal, furniture, drugs and building materials have risen among manufactured goods. Tariffs for carriage of passengers by taxi, hotel services, house repair, travel services have also grown.
According to the CIS Committee for Statistics, the annual Moldovan inflation is the highest one in CIS - 11.9%. Following Moldova in this rating is Tajikistan, which reported 10.4% inflation, Russia 9.9%, Azerbaijan 6.9%, Belarus 7.2%, Georgia 8.7%, Kazakhstan 8.7%, Kyrgyzstan 5.8%, Ukraine 8.2%. Inflation on CIS was 9.4%.
2. Labour market
About 309,000 persons formally left for abroad...
According to formal statistics, about 309,000 persons capable to work were declared as working or seeking jobs abroad in the first half of this year. This number represents more than 20% of the total of active population. Two thirds of those declared departed are men. Each second of three men who left for abroad is from village. Other sources indicate a much higher number of Moldovans working or seeking jobs abroad. According to a study on migration and remittances conducted by the International Organisation for Migration in October-November 2004, about 571,000 Moldovans were working abroad or nearly 40 percent of the population capable to work.
Exodus of population leads to ageing of population, depopulation of country…
Bad economic conditions in Moldova have encouraged a massive departure of labour force to western countries. The failure to pay higher salaries to people in order to make them stay home led to a very massive exodus. Many people leave for West Europe because salaries there are very high compared with what they earn at home. In spite of many actions to stop the illegal exodus of labour force, it was not stopped and the number of those who come back home is very low. If current trends on labour market continue, how will Moldova's population look like in 2050? We may be in a situation when an employee would "carry" 9 retirees, children and students. Pensions, allocations, health and education would be paid from his salary. IMF estimates show that net remittances of Moldovans working abroad will formally amount to 1.1 million dollars this year and to over 1.3 billion dollars in 2008, which represents more than 30% of GDP.
3. Foreign trade
Trade deficit is strongly growing…
Trade deficit registered a record of nearly one billion dollars (997.5 million dollars!) in January-September 2006, by about 36% more than in the similar period of 2005. According to our forecasts, the deficit of trade balance for January-September 2006 could be about 1.1 billion dollars. Imports in July were 3-fold worthier than exports, while the highest growth of over 40% was recorded for imports of mineral products (petroleum, gas, etc.). Although exports rose by about 22% in August, this rise was not enough to improve the situation in the field. The decline of exports per total in that period was conditioned by a 20.7% decline of deliveries to CIS, especially to the Russian Federation - by about 15%.
Balance of payments with Russia declined due to reduction of exports…
Moldova's balance of payments with the Russian Federation has declined down to 88.5 million dollars. However, the balance of payments continues to favour Moldova, but it has dramatically declined, especially in the 2nd quarter of this year, notably from 105.5 million dollars in 2005 down to about 50 million dollars this year, after Russia has restricted the importation of Moldovan wines in March 2006. On the other hand, imports from Russia were over two-fold worthier, including after prices of Russian gas imported by Moldova have risen two-fold, up to 160 dollars per 1,000 cubic metres.
4. Public finances
State budget revenues rose by more than 17%...
About 7.6 billion lei (451.7 million dollars) was raised to the state budget in incomes in January-September 2006, which is by 17.6% more than in the similar period of 2005. Also, 7.001 billion lei was spent from the state budget in the period concerned, by 24.2% more than in January-September 2005. As much as 25.5 million dollars was spent for foreign loans credited by Moldova, of which 16.7 million dollars in principal payments and 13.5 million dollars in interest on foreign loans.
Budget was completed with more than 57 million lei after controls…
The state budget was completed with 57.77 million lei after taxes and sanctions applied by territorial tax inspectorates during controls held in January-August. According to official data, more than 22,000 fiscal violations were discovered after controls and additional taxes were calculated and sanctions were applied. At the same time, the tax service has transferred about 170 million lei to the budget, of which more than 30 million lei seized from pay offices of economic agents which had debts, 84.55 million lei withdrawn from their bank accounts and some 22 million lei from sale of sequestered goods.
At the initiative of the mediators on behalf of the OSCE, Russian Federation and Ukraine, on 17 - 18 October in Odessa will take place consultations regarding the resumption of the Transnistrian negotiations process. Initially, on 17 October will take place consultations of the mediators and the observers on behalf of the US and the EU, to be followed on 18 October by meetings of the mediators and observers in "5+1" format with the Moldovan Reintegration Minister, Vasile Sova, and the Transnistrian "foreign minister", Valeri Litkai, separately. According to the OSCE Mission in Moldova Press Officer, Claus Neukirch, the Odessa consultations will only tackle the possibilities of resuming the political negotiations on the Transnistrian issue.
On the eve of the Odessa meetings, a delegation of the Russian Foreign Ministry, headed by Deputy Foreign Minister, Grigori Karasin, undertook an official visit to the Republic of Moldova. The visit of the Russian delegation took place the day after the meeting in Moscow between the Moldovan Foreign Minster, Andrei Stratan, with his Russian counterpart, Serghei Lavrov, at which, according to a communique of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the two discussed "ways of launching a constructive Russian-Moldovan dialogue, which was boosted by the meeting of the presidents of the two countries in August 2006".
Karasin's visit took place on the background of this "activisation" of Moldovan-Russian relations and was mainly about the Transnistrian problem. In Chisinau, he met with Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin and the Deputy Prime Minister Zinaida Grecianii. According to Russian media, the sides showed happy with the results of the meetings, and Karasin mentioned that the current "activisation" of relations between Moscow and Chisinau opens up opportunities for resolving the issues between the two states.
In Tiraspol, the high Russian diplomat met behind closed doors with Transnistrian leader, Igor Smirnov, and members of the Transnistrian "cabinet". After the meeting, Karasin told journalists that the negotiations on Transnistria loss all point if they are not conducted between two equal sides. Karasin also told the press that he had discussed with the Transnistrian leaders a "transition protocol, without which the negotiations process may not be resumed." The protocol with ensure the Transnistrian region the rights to independent foreign trade activity and would thus fulfil the condition set forth by the Transnistrian leaders for returning to the "5+2" negotiations. The Moldovan leadership has repeatedly ruled out recalling the current customs regime for Transnistria, saying such a move would bring Transnistrian businesses back into "shadow".
Referring to the Transnistrian referendum, Karasin said its results "are a fact that may not be ignored whatever the political circumstances of Transnistria in the future are." "The referendum gave more confidence to the population and leaders of Transnistria that they are on the right path", the Russian emissary continued.
While in Transnistria, the Russian Foreign Ministry delegation met with the commandment of the Russian peacekeeping forces in Transnistria, during which Karasin stated that current discussions about the inefficiency of the Russian peacekeepers are "unfounded" and that attempts to "discredit" them have no other aim but to expulse them from Moldova and Georgia.
Russian media commented on a rather positive tone Karasin's visit to Moldova, but also the recent meeting of the two states' foreign ministers and the resumption of work of the Russian-Moldovan intergovernmental committee. These developments would mark an "unfreezing" of the Russian-Moldovan relations and would open up new opportunities for moving the Transnistrian settlement from the dead point. At the same time, the Russian media note that this "warming" of relations comes at a time of maximum confrontation between Russia and Georgia and would be intended to disrupt the alliance of the Moldovan leadership with the leadership of the "coloured revolutions" leaders in Georgia and Ukraine and to attract Moldova into its own sphere of interest. The concessions made by Moscow to Moldova - a possible resumption of Moldovan wine exports to Russia, fixing prices on Russian electricity and gas that are acceptable to Moldova etc., although of maximum economic importance for Moldova, do not herald anything good, as long as Moscow's rhetoric on the Transnistrian problem remains unchanged and as openly supporting the break away Transnistrian leaders. The statements made by Karasin in the Transnistrian region are in complete opposition to the position of the Moldovan Government on the issues touched, such as the Transnistrian referendum, the participation of the Transnistrian side in the negotiations as an "equal party", the integration of Transnistria into the economic and social spheres of Russia, the Russian peacekeepers, etc.
Republic of Moldova - Council of Europe
Moldovan Speaker Marian Lupu and the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Rene van der Linden, have discussed the assessment of progresses achieved by Moldova in implementing the Council of Europe accession requirements. According to Lupu, the next PACE session in February will discuss the case of Moldova. The PACE president welcomed progresses linked to activity of the Moldovan Parliament, highlighting especially the importance of adopting and implementing the laws on civil society, mass media, judicial system and penitentiary system.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is examining the second case filed by political prisoners of the Tiraspol regime Andrei Ivantoc and Tudor Petrov-Popa, members of the Ilascu Group. According to lawyer Vladislav Gribincea, the ECHR examines the case on basis of applications lodged by Andrei Ivantoc, his wife Eudochia Ivantoc, Tudor Petrov-Popa and his son Victor Petrov on June 10, 2005. The applicants sought the sentencing of the Moldovan and Russian Governments for non-execution of the July 8, 2004 ECHR judgment, but the Russian Federation has defied all these summons even in the period when it chairs the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
Republic of Moldova - European Union
The European Union has donated 350 computers and afferent hardware worth 350,000 euros to Moldovan healthcare institutions. The hardware will be used to implement modern information technologies, to shorten the time for paper fill-in, to create a database of patients, to provide access to information about modern medical treatments. The EU-funded Public Health Reform Project is implemented in Moldova by international companies specialised in medical assistance.
The Council of Interior and Justice Ministers of the European Union decided in early October to start the procedures needed for the drafting of a mandate for a visa facilitation and readmission agreement with Moldova. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, the European Commission will table the draft negotiation mandate to EU member states by early December. The decision to start negotiations on visa facilitation and readmission agreement with Moldova completes an initiative on opening of a joint centre in Chisinau to issue EU visas.
The EU Council has adopted a series of measures regarding small traffic at external borders of the community. The approved regulation introduces a small border traffic permit which will be granted for free to residents of localities near EU borders (30 kilometres from border) and will allow them to benefit of a series of facilities: border crossing points for residents of the border area only; special passages at common checkpoints. They will have to stay maximum three months. Member states will have to sign bilateral agreements with neighbouring countries in order to implement the regime. Romania will be able to sign an agreement on implementation of this regime with Moldova after all EU accession procedures are completed.
The Moldova-EU Cooperation Subcommittee on Trade and Investments has held a sitting in Brussels. It assessed the process of implementation of these chapters of the EU-Moldova Action Plan. The awarding of Autonomous Trade Preferences (ATP) was a key issue tackled by Moldova.
Republic of Moldova - Romania
Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu has said that starting January 1, 2007 the Romanian authorities will issue free and urgent visas to Moldovans without demanding more acts, while holders of service and diplomatic passports will not need visas to enter Romania. Foreign ministers of Romania and Moldova will sign soon the intergovernmental agreement between the two countries on visa regime. The Romanian premier noted that his country will assist Moldova to join the EU by surveying the negotiation process. Tariceanu delivered these statements after a meeting with Moldova Premier Vasile Tarlev, who visited Bucharest to sign the Chart of good neighbourhood relations, stability, security and cooperation in South East Europe.
According to representatives of Romanian consular authorities, the process of application for regaining of Romanian citizenship by Moldovan citizens is on the rise. According to the deputy consul of Romania in Chisinau, 300,000 recommended letters were received from Moldova in August-September, with senders willing to regain the Romanian citizenship and some of the envelopes had more than one application in them so the number could actually be somewhat higher.
Romanian Foreign Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu considers that commercial relations with Moldova will become more active after Romania joins the EU Ungureanu stated to the newspaper "Gardianul" that commercial relations with Moldova registered a record in 2006, growing visibly compared with the similar period of last year, with overall commercial exchanges exceeding 260 million dollars in the first seven months of this year, of which about 197 million dollars is Romanian export. At the same time, Romanian investments in Moldovan economy account for maximum 45 million dollars.
Republic of Moldova - Russian Federation
On October 6, the Russian State Duma adopted a declaration "On results of the September 17 referendum in Transnistria." Russian lawmakers noted that "the referendum in the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic took place in full accordance with international legal norms and legislation of the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic," while "the international community must take the results into consideration and Russia intends to build its policy on basis of opinion of the Transnistrian people."
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigori Karasin has told a meeting with separatist leader Igor Smirnov in Tiraspol that the results of the Transnistrian referendum "must be taken into account in the process of settlement of the Transnistrian conflict." Karasin reiterated that the "Transnistrian people expressed its confidence for its leadership" at the September 17 referendum.
Moldovan Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Andrei Stratan has met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow. It was noted during talks that the August meeting between Moldovan and Russian presidents gave an impulse to the dialogue between the two states, which developed through negotiations between co-chairmen of the Moldovan-Russian intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation. The Russian foreign department said that the sides tackled key problems linked to bilateral relations, paid a great attention to the political settlement of the Transnistrian conflict.
The co-chairman of the Moldovan-Russian intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation, Andrei Fursenko, said that Moldova makes concrete steps toward a better quality of wines and this increases the chances to resume the wine exports to the Russian Federation. Commenting on outcome of meetings that he had in Chisinau, Fursenko said that Moscow and Chisinau "have found coordinated versions to resolve problems related to gas and wine deliveries."
Russian Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov has said that Moscow "has no intention to annex the territories of the so-called 'frozen conflicts' but it is responsible for security of fellow citizens who live there." Ivanov considers that many residents from these areas "have never been citizens of Moldova or Georgia, but of the Soviet Union and had the possibility to choose the personal citizenship."
The Phyto-sanitary Service Rospotrebnadzor tests the juices imported from Moldova and Georgia in order to establish "the legality of their presence on Russian market" and their compliance with Russian quality standards. Moldovan producers said that an eventual ban of juice exports would not affect them because exports to the Russian market are insignificant, as they have reoriented their deliveries to western markets with much time before the "wine crisis". At the same time, Rospotrebnadzor continues to ban the sale of Moldovan spirits in Russia, extending controls on importation of production from Belarus and Ukraine, which is considered to be made from Moldovan raw material.
According to data of the National Bank of Moldova, Moldova's balance of payments with the Russian Federation dropped down to 88.4 million dollars in the first seven months of 2006, compared with 172.41 million dollars in the similar period of the precedent year. At the same time, individuals transferred more than 114 million dollars from the Russian Federation to Moldova in the second quarter of this year.
Moldova in the world
Moldova has signed the Chart of good neighbourhood relations, stability, security and cooperation in South East Europe, a document of reference for activity in the South East Europe Cooperation Process.
Moldova has substantially increased the wine deliveries to the West after the Russian Federation embargoed the Moldovan wines. According to specialists of the Agri-Industrial Agency "MoldovaVin", exports to other countries (Romania, Poland, Germany, and others) rose 3.2-fold in January-July, compared with the similar period of 2005, up to 18 million dollars. At the same time, Moldovan wine exports to some CIS members (Ukraine, Belarus) have also grown.
The British publications "Daily Star", "Daily Telegraph" and "Daily Mail" warn their readers that hundreds of thousands of migrants from Moldova have applied for Romanian citizenship in a move to obtain access to the EU labour market. The papers say in comments to reports by Bucharest authorities regarding the considerable rise of the number of Moldovans seeking the Romanian citizenship that these applicants from Europe's poorest country will flood the EU, affecting the British labour market.
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Governmental monitoring of the EU-Moldova Action Plan's implementation process
Sergiu Buscaneanu, 15 October 2006
The present article aims to highlight some issues regarding the governmental monitoring of the EU-Moldova Action Plan's implementation process