Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, year IV, issue 83, 16-31 October 2006
Activity of Public Institutions
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Activity of Public Institutions
1.1. Appointments. Immunities
Eight out of 9 members of the electronic media watchdog CCA were appointed on October 20. They are:
- Gheorghe Gorincioi, proposed by Federation of Unions of Employees of Public Services;
- Corneliu Mihalache, proposed by Moldovan League of Professional Journalists;
- Ludmila Vasilache, proposed by Moldovan Forum of Women's Organisations;
- Ruslan Plesca, proposed by European Institute of Politics in Moldova;
- Valeriu Soltan, proposed by Moldovan Confederation of Free Unions;
- Valeriu Frumusachi, proposed by Foundation for Support of Democracy and Parliamentarism;
- Constatin Rotaru, proposed by Council of Union of Teachers "Viitorul";
- Vlad Turcanu, proposed by Moldovan League for the Protection of Human Rights.
The candidacy of Carmelia Albu, recommended by the Council of Unions of Broadcasting Employees, was also selected but it was not voted because she was absent at the parliamentary sitting. Lawmakers representing the Communist Party of Moldova (PCRM) and the Christian Democratic People's Party (PPCD) voted the proposed candidacies, while other parliamentary factions and groups rejected the way the competent parliamentary commission have selected the candidates. Under Broadcasting Code, CCA is in charge with selection of candidates for the Board of Observers of the national broadcasting institution (TeleRadio-Moldova Company).
A request of the Prosecutor-General's Office seeking the withdrawal of immunity from Deputy Vasile Colta was read at the October 26 sitting. The lawmaker, who was recently excluded from the "Our Moldova" Alliance (AMN) faction, is accused of having hurt minors (administrative contravention) and having attempted to smuggle cigarettes (penal case).
1.2. Legislative acts
Law on modification and completion of some legislative acts. The Parliament has examined a package of legislative acts aimed to optimise the justice, which Moldovan president turned down. Lawmakers agreed to create a department of judicial administration as part of the Ministry of Justice, not of the Superior Council of Magistracy.
State budget law for 2007. The legislature has passed the document in two readings, with revenues being estimated at 12,088.5 million lei, expenses at 12,161.4 million lei and deficit at 72.9 million lei. Opposition lawmakers criticised the provisions of this document for lack of priorities, spending of resources for unclear goals, superficial estimation of real incomes.
Law on improvement of economic-financial condition of the state-owned enterprise Moldtranselectro and annulment of some sanctions. It stops the calculation of sanctions for late payments and fines, annuls sanctions for late payments and fines of the state-owned enterprise Moldtranselectro, penalties and interests afferent to credits obtained under additional agreements signed with the Ministry of Finance.
Draft law on modification of the law on introduction and withdrawal of currency from Moldova by individuals. It seeks the permit to receive objects and jewels made of precious metals and stones worth not more than 200 euros and not for commercial production activities via the international postage services, without paying the import rights.
Draft law on completion and modification of legislative acts (on reparation of damage produced by illicit actions of law enforcements). It aims to improve the Law # 1545-XIII from February 25, 1998 regarding the mode of reparation of damage produced by illicit actions of penal investigators, of prosecutors and judges and the Code of Penal Procedure, in a move to clarify cases, mode and conditions of patrimonial responsibility of the state for the damage produced by illicit actions in penal and administrative trials. The Government recommended that the non-pecuniary damage be estimated accordingly to some limits established a priori, but lawmakers do not support this provision. An innovation of this draft is to oblige prosecutors to formally apologise victims on behalf of the state.
1.3. Parliamentary control. Statements
Questions and interpellations
The agency for land relations and cadastre has answered an interpellation by AMN Deputy Valeriu Cosarciuc regarding the compensation of citizens for expropriation of their fields in the process of demarcation of the Moldova-Ukraine border. According to unveiled information, a compensation mechanism was not elaborated, calculation criteria were not established, while the problem remains unsolved so far. Deputy Cosarciuc warned that under Article 46 (2) of Constitution nobody can be expropriated but for a cause of public utility, with a fair and preliminary compensation, and the Government violates the Supreme Law in this situation.
AMN Deputy Ion Plesca has reiterated his previous interpellation seeking information about cases lost by Moldova at the European Court of Human Rights, compensation of damages and measures against guilty persons, accessibility and publication of the ECHR judgments in the official gazette Monitorul Oficial.
Democratic Deputy Vlad Filat has asked the TeleRadio-Moldova Company to report on authors, sources of financing, expenses for a broadcast praising the ad-interim mayor-general of Chisinau.
The domestic security service SIS has answered an interpellation by Deputy Vitalia Pavlicenco, saying that it does not hold any case on this person.
Deputy Gheorghe Susarenco has asked the Prosecutor-General's Office to verify if indications by prime minister regarding the maintenance of discipline in executive-controlled institutions and preliminary coordination of participation of authorities in any public manifestations in Moldova and outside comply with the labour legislation.
Social Liberal Deputy Igor Klipii has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration to report the causes that halt Ilie Ilascu to regain the Moldovan citizenship.
Communist Deputy Larisa Zimin has asked the TeleRadio-Moldova to consider the possibility of airing a synthesis programme about Parliament's activity instead of broadcasting live the plenary sittings. Zimin based her proposal on wishes of citizens who fail to watch the debates held in working days.
Social Liberal Deputy Igor Klipii has read a statement accusing the governance of mimicking the anti-corruption fight and transferring the emphasis of this struggle from "big corruption" to certain less influent fields of social life.
Christian Democratic Deputy Georghe Susarenco has critically analysed the legislative activity of the Parliament, saying that the initiatives of opposition are not considered and supported, with the parliamentary majority promoting only own interests.
2.1. Appointments. Reshuffles
The executive has appointed Viorel Melnic as Deputy Minister of Economy and Commerce. Earlier, Melnic has headed the directorate for management of customs regimes and procedures in the Customs Service.
Simion Carp was appointed Deputy Interior Minister, chief of carabineer troops. Carp headed the State Guard Directorate before appointment.
The executive has given green light to an initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration that recalls Mihail Laur from the post of Moldovan Ambassador to Ukraine and proposes successor Sergiu Stati, chairman of the parliamentary commission for foreign policy and European integration.
Decision approving a limit of medium monthly salary on economy forecasted for 2007. The limit of the medium salary forecasted for next year is estimated at 2,015 lei (152 dollars).
Decision on creation of the Ministry of Social Protection, Family and Child. The ministry will be created to improve the situation in the field of social protection and for reformation of the system of protection of family and child. The Parliament is due to examine this draft law.
Decision on voluntary contribution of Moldova to support of activity of the Survey Centre of the Council of Europe for Local Administration Reform. The Government has decided to allocate 500 euros as voluntary contribution, while the Ministry of Finance will report on use of these sources and present justificatory documents.
Decision modifying the governmental decision approving age categories of depositors of the Savings Bank for payment of indexed amount in 2006. It establishes the indexation of deposits of persons born before and inclusively 1940 who have applied for indexation by November 1, 2006.
Decisions on allocation of finances:
- the MoldovaVin Agency received 550,000 lei from the reserve fund to organise promotional manifestations during the Wine Festival in Bucharest (October 21-22);
- the Ministry of Finance was obliged to allocate following amounts from and in limits of basic expenses foreseen in the 2006 state budget for refinancing of capital investments, with redistribution of allocations unused for beneficiaries and objectives this year, with further inclusion of these objectives in the annex 3 of the 2006 state budget law: 5,881,700 lei to the Government's Apparatus for reconstruction of a building in 23 Nicolae Iorga street and 4,904,500 lei for reconstruction of a canteen in a building in 154 Stefan cel Mare avenue; 1,500,000 lei to the Ministry of Health and Social Protection for reconstruction of the 14th and 15th floors of the Republican Clinic Hospital; 950,000 lei to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry for participation in construction or purchase of dwelling place;
- the state-owned enterprise Air Moldova will receive 93 million lei to purchase airships.
2.3. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Execution of the "Moldovan Village" Programme
The Government has established in a protocol decision on execution of the national programme Moldovan Village (2005-2015) that central and local public administration authorities have taken concrete actions to resolve socio-economic problems in rural sector. As much as 204 million lei was allocated from the state budget in January-August 2006 to finance capital investments and they were executed about 56 percent. The central administrative authorities and local public administration authorities are asked to focus on: development of agriculture; facilitation of access of rural entrepreneurs to finances; enhanced role of consumption cooperation; modernisation of rural localities; stimulation of investments in rural sector; implementation of mechanisms of economic stimulation of enterprises working in rural tourism sector, etc.
Sitting of the Commission for European Integration
The prime minister has chaired a sitting of the National Commission for European Integration, which heard a report regarding the evolution of relations between Moldova and the European Union and implementation of the Moldova-EU Action Plan. The examination of the stage of elaboration of the National Justice Reform Strategy and adjustment of national legislation to the acquis communautaire was a distinct chapter. Vasile Tarlev outlined the priorities of implementation of the Action Plan: finalisation and approval of the judiciary reform strategy; delimitation of competences between the Centre for the Struggle Against Economic Crimes and Corruption, the Prosecutor-General's Office and the Interior Ministry, in line with recommendations of the Council of Europe and EU; elaboration by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce of a concrete action plan on improvement of investment climate and creation of better conditions to attract investments; taking actions needed to obtain Autonomous Trade Preferences for Moldova. Taking part in the sitting was Cezare de Montis, head of the European Commission Delegation to Moldova.
Concerns with situation in tobacco sector
Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev has chaired a working sitting on situation in tobacco sector, which examined problems faced by tobacco growers and processors and development prospects of this sector. The premier described the activity of bodies in charge with development of this sector as unsatisfactory and warned the minister of agriculture and food industry over the need of taking urgent, pragmatic and efficient actions to recover the maximum production capacities. The director of the Agri-Industrial Agency Moldova-Tutun was reprimanded. Tarlev instructed decision makers to work out an efficient mechanism to support the development of tobacco industry, which would increase the tobacco fields, volumes of processed tobacco and would give an impulse to exports.
Modernisation of hospitals
The prime minister convoked a sitting on October 28 concerning the implementation of pilot projects on renovation and endowment of three district hospitals in Glodeni, Calarasi and Ceadir-Lunga. Vasile Tarlev criticised the execution of tasks established at last sitting on this issue and underlined that the hospitals must open in complex while repairs must not affect the quality of medical services provided to patients. The estimated total cost of repairs of the three health institutions is about 170 million lei.
Premier Tarlev has chaired a working sitting and raised dissatisfaction with delayed renovation of the block # 4 of the Emergency Clinic Hospital in Chisinau. The prime minister ordered the Agency for Construction and Territorial Development to analyse the situation jointly with competent bodies and to raise proposals on reconstruction of the block, while the Ministry of Finance was told to identify the finances needed for repairs. Tarlev recommended the Chisinau City Hall to contribute to financing of these works because this construction serves the residents of the capital, too.
Moldovan president has signed two decrees on recalling Mihail Laur from the post of Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova in Ukraine and on appointment in this post of Sergiu Stati.
3.2. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Meeting with representative of the U.S. Department of State
The chief of state has received the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state, David Kramer, and discussed the results of recent Odessa consultations. Kramer said that the strong and unanimous support of mediators - Ukraine, Russia, the OSCE - and observers - the European Union and the United States - for the idea that the conflict must be settled with respect for principle of territorial integrity of Moldova in the Transnistrian settlement process. President Vladimir Voronin highly appreciated this diplomatic success, outlining the importance of a single stance of mediators and observers on possibility of settlement of the Transnistrian conflict by working out a fair status for this region on basis of principle of territorial integrity of Moldova only.
Regional development in Moldova
A presidency-held sitting has discussed the economic and social development of the country in light of territorial development. The minister of local public administration reported the positive experience of European countries in the field and first actions taken to create a legislative and institutional framework needed to apply regional development tools (draft law on regional development). The Moldovan president highlighted the importance of establishing the development regions on basis of unity of conditions and active participation of local public bodies in the process of establishing joint projects. Participants in the sitting supported the examined draft law, which will be finalised and delivered to the Parliament for debates.
Consequences of Romania's accession to E.U.
Moldova's president has convoked decision makers of financial-economic ministries and structures and discussed eventual consequences of Romania's accession to the European Union (E.U.) on Moldova. A special attention was paid to year 2007, when Moldova expects an agreement on asymmetrical trade with the E.U., with the chief of state warning over the need of a deeper analysis of possible consequences for consumption market in Moldova.
New recommendations on capital's development
A sitting on enlargement and development of the Chisinau municipality has discussed the creation of new districts in the capital, accordingly to the priority development concept of Chisinau. Chisinau City Hall specialists recommend the creation of new districts in suburbs of the city (Budesti - 2 and Stauceni areas). The chief of state who chaired the sitting outlined the importance of establishing some clear conditions and mechanisms for distribution of fields and assessment of the price of land allocated for constructions, asking the Government to revise all legislative acts in the field and to modify them if needed be.
The presidential administration has held a sitting on development and extension of state natural reserves, with the participation of governmental factors and specialists in the field. According to available data, only 2 percent of forests in Moldova have a status of state natural reserves, which is 5-6-fold less than in other European countries. Vladimir Voronin described the elaboration and presentation within two months of initiatives on development of state natural resources as opportune, outlining that the adequate protection of areas with scientific, historical and cultural value could be united with the use of possibilities of development of entertainment areas, hunting households.
1 The mandatory live broadcast of parliamentary sittings on public radio and television channels was established by the Law # 40-XVI from 15.04.2005, being a condition of the "parliamentary political consensus". The law only may annul these provisions, accordingly to the procedure.
2 The hospital was earlier administrated by municipality but the executive decided in 2003 to create the emergency health assistance service and this institution was transferred under control of the Health Ministry, a move that developed into a conflict with local public administration and protests of medical personnel of the institution.
1. Inflation and prices
Prices not declining...
The inflation rate for January-September 2006 could exceed the 10% target forecasted by Government for this year. Although we still had low prices of agricultural products in October, they rose in general. In particular, prices of tomatoes, potatoes, sugar, dairy, etc. have grown. Tariffs of communal services did not change for the time being. But they could be revised in November and consumers could receive other invoices for maintenance than those expected.
2. Real sector
Industrial production dropped by 7% in January-September 2006…
All industrial enterprises in Moldova made production worth about 14.96 billion lei (about 900 million euros) in January-September 2006 or 93% compared with the same period of 2005 or by 7% less than in the same period of 2005. The reduction of industrial production was linked to decline of production volume of enterprises making wines, distilled alcohol drinks, cigarettes, glass and glass items, oils and fats, paper and cardboard, machines and equipment. The production volume of enterprises working in food and drink industry dropped by 21% in general.
3. Financial-bank sector
Deposits in banking system accounted for about 1 billion dollars…
The total deposits in banking system in Moldova amounted to about 13.08 billion lei (about 1 billion dollars) in early September, given the fact that total assets in the system are estimated at over 20 billion lei (1.5 billion dollars). The rise was due to higher interests on deposits in lei and foreign currency introduced by commercial banks. The average rate on deposits in lei rose by 0.63 percentage points in September, up to 12.62 percent on average, while on deposits in foreign currency grew by 0.04 percentage points, up to 5.26 percent.
Crediting rose in spite of higher interests...
The supply of credits rose by 2.9% in September, up to about 12.32 billion lei (930 million dollars) at the end of the month. The rise came in spite of higher interest rates on loans in lei and foreign currency. The average interest rate on credits in lei rose by 0.32 percentage points in September, up to 18.61%, while on credits in foreign currency grew by 0.08 percentage points, up to 11%. Loans released to private enterprises have grown by 1.7%, while those given to individuals have risen by 4.6%. At the same time, the supply of credits for state enterprises and other organisations that practice financial operations has declined by 0.3% and 2.2%.
4. Foreign trade
We have few competitive products for exportation...
The production and range of products have visibly declined in Moldova. Researches reveal that Moldova produced about 700 groups of goods in the 1990s, while the production sector is concentrated on three groups of products at present: spirits, textiles and kernel and sunflower. Probably this is a reason why the GSP Plus system is used 60% only. According to authorities, the European Union is ready to start drafting the package of documents needed to award the autonomous trade preferences to Moldova. Two assessment missions of the EU will inspect potential exporting enterprises in Moldova by the end of this year and in early 2007.
Trade deficit problem...
The trade deficit could grow the next two years due to larger imports for investments and consumption, while the process of stabilisation of trade balance will begin in 2009 only. The reasons of a faster acceleration of imports than of exports include the rise of foreign investments (because they involve the importation of equipment, technologies, raw materials or parts) in Moldova and the growth of demand for consumption, which cannot be covered by domestic production.
5. Labour market
Medium salary on economy will account for about 121 euros in 2007…
The Government has recently approved the limit of medium monthly salary on economy for 2007, which is expected to account for 2,015 lei (about 121 euros). However, this is rather an estimated level adopted to calculate individual welfare contributions for next year. The new level is by 18.5 percent higher than the medium monthly salary forecasted for 2006. The proposed limit of medium salary includes rises of salaries of budgetary workers after implementation of stages of the new pay system and implementation of the salary policy foreseen for the real sector of economy within the medium-term expense framework for 2007-2009.
Jobs are most important for youths…
At the same time, a research by the National Bureau for Statistics reveals that the creation of new jobs and better pay conditions are the most important measures capable to improve the situation of youths on labour market in republic. This is actually the opinion of youths, a relevant opinion in the research titled "Youths on Labour Market". The study demonstrates that most of youths - 94 percent - consider that jobs are important for them.
Persons with gymnasium diplomas are most mobile in seeking jobs…
It is interesting that only 4.9% of respondents have ever called on the National Employment Agency (ANOFM). More than half of these persons have called on agency after graduation. About 56% out of the total number of persons who called on ANOFM were from villages. As regards the education level, holders of gymnasium diplomas held the highest share (37%). It was established after a rating of economic activities that 28% of employed youths work in agriculture, 20% in trade, hotels and restaurants and 15.4% in industry.
The assignment on basis of education level outlined the fact that holders of gymnasium diplomas were most inclined to change their jobs, followed by graduates from secondary, high and professional schools. Two thirds of youths have changed their jobs because of low salaries, while each 5th person was willing another job.
State raises double benefit from Moldovans working abroad...
At the same time, data of the National Bank of Moldova show that Moldovans working abroad sent home about 530 million dollars via official channels in eight months of this year. IMF experts found out that 53% of the currency is sent to Moldova on formal ways and another 47% on informal ways, inclusively by occasional transportation or messengers. Thus, the IMF estimates transfers worth 1.1-1.2 billion dollars.
According to some estimates, 20% of Moldovans earn their living outside. They sent hundreds of millions of euros to Moldova last year, avoiding thus the economic collapse. According to international statistics on migration, migrant workers sent 165 billion dollars to their families at world level in 2005 and an amount larger than 200 billion dollars is estimated in 2006.
European Parliament resolution on Moldova (Transnistria)
The European Parliament adopted on 26 October a Resolution on Moldova (Transnistria), in which it condemns the attempts by the Transnistrian authorities to unilaterally proclaim their independence by organising a so-called referendum on independence. The resolution calls upon the Russian Federation to fulfil its commitments assumed in 1999 in Istanbul to withdraw its troops and weapons from Moldovan soil. Furthermore, the European forum states that it does not recognise the organisation or the results of the "independence referendum" of Transnistria, as it runs counter to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Moldova. In addition, the European MPs call upon the sides to return to the "5+2" negotiations format and to refrain from actions that would escalate the situation. The resolution calls upon the EU institutions to continue supporting efforts aimed at solving conflicts in the neighbourhood shared with Russia and suggests that unresolved conflicts be discussed during future EU meetings with the Russian president and Government.
At the same time, the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, declared during his recent visit to Ukraine that he regretted the fact that negotiations on Transnistria were not proceeding. Solana assured though that, according to the discussions he had had in Ukraine, the latter will not modify the customs regime currently being applied at the Moldovan-Ukrainian border and will stick to its agreements with the EU and Moldova.
Odessa consultations held to unblock "5+2" talks
The Odessa 17-18 October consultations of the mediators and observers with the Moldovan and Transnistrian sides ended without an agreement being reached on resuming the "5+2" talks. According to participants in consultations, the reason for this has been the lack of agreement among participants regarding the so-called "transition protocol", a document proposed by the Transnistrian side and meant to grant Transnistria the right to conduct independent foreign economic activity for a definite period.
The Moldovan side is fiercely opposed to signing the proposed protocol in a bid to preserve control of economic activity at the Moldovan-Ukrainian border. Moldovan Reintegration Minister, Vasile Sova, stated that "it is not necessary to sign any "transition protocols", as there is no point in changing something that works well". Sova gave assurances that next year Transnistrian economic agents will be able to conduct import-export operations on the basis of the temporary registration certificates issued by the Moldovan Registration Chamber, whose validity could be extended.
On the other hand, Transnistrian authorities have conditioned their return to the negotiations table by the signature of the "transition protocol". The Russian Federation has supported from the start the signature of the protocol, and after the conclusion of the Odessa talks, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a communique which states that the signature of the "transition protocol" will allow for the normalisation of the situation around Transnistria and the resumption of the political dialogue between the two parties.
It is worth noting that according to some statements by the Russian representative at the negotiations, Russian Foreign Ministry Ambassador with Special Missions, Valeri Nesteruskin, the mediators and observers did not reach an agreement regarding the method in which they could bring the Moldovan and Transnistrian sides back to the negotiations table.
In spite of this, the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Louis O'Neil, showed happy with the fact that the negotiations took place and said that these have been "an important step towards the future resumption of the negotiations process".
The results of the Odessa talks featured among the subjects discussed by the Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin with Deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Iuri Zubakov. The latter arrived in Chisinau on 25 October afternoon, and travelled to Tiraspol on the next day, where he met with the Transnistrian leadership. According to the electronic publication Novyi Region, in Tiraspol Zubakov called upon the Transnistrian side to return to the negotiations table, but said that it was necessary first to identify a "compromise solution" on the issue of the "transition protocol". In his turn, Valeri Nesteruskin said that "the fate of the negotiations hangs totally on the signature of the "transition protocol", but that Russia does not feel so far that Moldova is ready to reach a compromise on the matter.
At the same time, in Tiraspol, the Russian high level officials said that the provisions of the Russian-Transnistrian cooperation agreements are being implemented fully, and about 38 cooperation protocols have been signed to date in various fields.
GUAM will intensify cooperation in settling "frozen conflicts"
GUAM Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Chisinau on 15 October agreed on the consolidation of forces of GUAM states in view of settling "frozen conflicts" in these states. The final resolution of the forum mentions that the sides stressed the need for intensifying inter-parliamentary cooperation in relation to settling conflicts in the GUAM states and preserving the territorial integrity and sovereignty thereof.
At the same time, the final resolution recommends the setting up of peacekeeping forces within GUAM and requesting a mandate for peacekeeping operations from the UN and OSCE.
In his speech, Moldovan Speaker Marian Lupu pleaded for the modification of the current peacekeeping mechanism in Transnistria. "Today there is a totally different situation than back in early 1990s. The current format is outdated and needs to be changed," Speaker Lupu said.
The Chairwoman of the Georgian Parliament, Nino Burdjanadze, stated in her turn that the presence of Russian peacekeepers in the conflict areas in Georgia "does not contribute to solving current problems". "Russia cannot and does not want to play a positive role in solving conflicts in Abhasia and South Osetia," the Georgian Speaker further stated.
Republic of Moldova - Council of Europe
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has examined the ECHR judgment on Andrei Ivantoc and Tudor Petrov-Popa. Delegates of the Council of Europe resumed debates on execution of the ECHR judgment on October 25, with the Finnish delegation reiterating concerns on behalf of the E.U. Presidency over non-settlement of this case and urging the states concerned to take all the measures needed for the immediate release of Andrei Ivantoc and Tudor Petrov-Popa. The continuation of the arbitrary and illegal detention of the two applicants is a violation of Article 46 of the European Convention on Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, while the non-execution of this judgment by the Russian Federation deteriorates the image of this country within the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, as well as the credibility of the entire human rights protection system. The E.U. statement was joined by Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Macedonia, Turkey, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Ukraine and Georgia. The Moldovan delegation supported the E.U. intervention and outlined that talks on this issue must focus on obligation of all CoE member states to respect the ECHR judgments that envisage them.
The ECHR has decided to urgently examine an application lodged against Moldovan government by citizen Vitalie Colibaba, who says that policemen at the Buiucani district of the Chisinau municipality have tortured him. Lawyers of the plaintiff delivered this statement at an October 30 press conference. The plaintiff noted that he has appealed to the Prosecutor-General's Office to investigate this case of torture, but his appeal was turned down and he decided to call on international justice. It should be noted that the Prosecutor-General's Office has sent a letter to the Moldovan Bar after Zafoinov had lodged an application with the ECHR and threatened to file penal cases against lawyers who lodge "groundless" applications with international organisations and so "harm the foreign image of Moldova," with representatives of the bar and human rights institutions (ombudsman) describing the intervention of the Prosecutor's Office as abusive.
The special representative of the Council of Europe secretary-general to Moldova, Vladimir Ristovski, hopes that new members of the electronic media watchdog CCA are appointed not for the interest of political parties, but of citizens and society in general. The European official has delivered this statement at a meeting with Moldovan Speaker Marian Lupu. According to Ristovski, the Council of Europe will carefully watch the implementation of the new Broadcasting Code.
Republic of Moldova - European Union
The European Parliament has passed a resolution which denounces the recent referendum in the Transnistrian region and invites the Russian Federation to support the multilateral efforts for settlement of the conflict in its neighbourhood. Russia was told to refrain from supporting the so-called referendum, to honour the Istanbul OSCE commitments on withdrawal of troops and munitions from Moldova. European parliamentarians called on sides participating in the conflict in the region to prevent a worsening of situation and to resume the negotiations. The Chisinau government was asked to take measures and to propose solutions for respect for rights of ethnic minorities and local autonomy.
The European Union has disbursed 1.2 million euros for Moldova within the Food Security Programme, a grant which will be used to develop the agriculture. The total value of the Food Security Programme for Moldova is more than 9 million euros and aims to support activities in rural sector.
The E.U. has launched two institutional consolidation tools for Moldova - Twinning Mechanism and the Technical Assistance and Information Exchange TAIEX. Cesare de Montis, ambassador of the European Commission Delegation in Moldova, has told a news conference that Twinning project aims to strengthen the public administrations, human resources and management skills needed to implement the European legislation, while the TAIEX programme provides experts in public sector with opportunities of work and cooperation with E.U. partners, with the purpose to adjust the local legislation to European norms. Moldova has become the second country in CIS after Ukraine where the Twinning operations were launched. The head of the European Commission Delegation noted that all ministries and departments in Moldova may apply for Twinning projects in their fields.
A Moldovan delegation attended the 7th meeting of the Moldova-E.U. Cooperation Committee in Brussels on October 19. It evaluated progresses achieved by Moldova in the process of implementation of the Moldova-E.U. Action Plan. Representatives of the European Commission encouraged the progresses related to adoption of a new legislative framework on justice aimed to ensure the independence and fairness of judiciary, to abolish the death penalty, to modify the Election Code in line with recommendations of the OSCE/ODIHR, to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and to cooperate with civil society. The Moldovan delegation thanked the European Commission for proposing, at a sitting of the Council of Justice and Interior Ministers on October 5-6, the elaboration of a mandate for negotiation of agreements on facilitation of visa regime and readmission with Moldova.
Romanian Foreign Minister and Ambassador Adriaan Jacobovits de Szeged, special representative of the European Union for Moldova, accompanied by General Ferenc Banfi, head of the E.U. Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine, met on October 26. They discussed support for Moldova's European path and finding of a lasting solution to the Transnistrian conflict. Romania, future member of the E.U., is ready to contribute actively to articulation and implementation of E.U. initiatives on Moldova, including on the Transnistrian conflict.
E.U. representatives have posted readiness, at a sitting of the Moldova-E.U. Subcommittee II Trade and Investments in Brussels, to launch soon internal procedures needed to grant Autonomous Trade Preferences to Moldova for exportation to the E.U. Representatives of E.U. noticed progresses achieved by Moldova in implementing the E.U. recommendations on sanitary, phyto-sanitary and veterinary fields. The set of documents presented by Moldova until now to get the Autonomous Trade Preferences envisage bilateral trade exchanges between Moldova and the E.U., trade exchanges between Moldova and the Baltic republics and CIS, the system of certification of origin of Moldovan exports, including the transfer of origin-related competences from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry to the Customs Service, legal framework on certification of origin of exported commodities, mode of authorisation of exports from the Transnistrian region of Moldova, etc.
European Commissioner Benita Ferrero Waldner has said in an interview with Rosyskaya Gazeta newspaper that the E.U. did not recognise the independence of Kosovo and supports the territorial integrity of Georgia and Moldova. The E.U. will pay more attention to frozen conflicts at its border because their perpetuation harms the perspective of positive reforms in the envisaged countries.
Republic of Moldova - Romania
Foreign ministers of Moldova and Romania signed on October 20 the agreement on travel regime for citizens and the protocol on cooperation between the Foreign Ministry of Romania and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova. The first document establishes the framework for introduction of a new travel regime for Moldovan citizens in line with commitments assumed by Romania in the European integration process. The Romanian authorities are considering the possibility of opening consular offices in several localities of Moldova (the cities of Balti and Cahul), in a move to facilitate the issuance of visas for Moldovan citizens.
The Chisinau and Tirgoviste City Halls have signed a cooperation protocol, pledging to create a favourable framework for elaboration of bilateral projects on sustained development of cities, to continue and diversify the relations between the two administrations, to outline priorities and opportunities of administrative partnership. Municipal administrations will stimulate relations between cultural and artistic institutions.
The October 21-22 Moldovan wine festival in Bucharest was a success, contributing to promotion of original products on Romanian market. According to data of the MoldovaVin Agency, Moldova exported wines worth about 25 million dollars to Romania in 2006 (compared with 600,000 dollars in 2005). A specialised market of Moldovan companies opens in Bucharest and new trade networks for "Moldova" wines will be created in different regions of Romania.
Republic of Moldova - Russian Federation
First Deputy Premier Zinaida Greceanii has led a Moldovan delegation participating in a Moscow exhibition dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Greceanii had a series of meetings with Russian officials, while talks focussed on agenda of the future sitting of the Moldovan-Russian intergovernmental commission for commercial-economic cooperation. Greceanii met with Gennady Onishchenko, head of the phyto-sanitary service Rospotrebnadzor, and discussed the interdiction against Moldovan wines, agreeing to launch the activity of expert groups from the two countries. Greceanii and the deputy chairman of the Russian giant Gazprom, Alexander Ryazanov, have discussed the payment of debts of Moldova-Gaz enterprise and the perspective of signing a long-term agreement on natural gas deliveries.
Moldovan and Russian ministers of finance have signed an agreement on restructuring of foreign debt, under conditions of the Paris Club creditors.
Moldova in the world
The British mass media continues to tackle the problem of Moldovan migrants, with BBC agency and Telegraph daily estimating that Moldovan citizens ranked the 1st place in the top of illegal immigrants in Slovakia. The London government is increasingly concerned with the growing inflow of emigrants from East Europe on the British labour market, a phenomenon capable to grow after Romania and Bulgaria join the E.U. Alarmed as well as with the high number of applications from Moldovans willing to regain the Romanian citizenship, the British authorities have decided to introduce restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarians workers who will want to work in the United Kingdom.
Studies, Analyses, Comments
State budget for 2007
Iurie Gotisan, 31 October 2006
The draft law proposed by Government is built on a 4% growth of GDP, up to 46.6 billion lei or 3.5 billion dollars, a 10.5% inflation rate, an exchange rate of 14.1 lei per dollar and a 15% rise of exports and a 12% advance of imports