Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, year V, issue 97, June 1–15, 2007
Activity of Public Institutions
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Activity of Public Institutions
1.1. Legal acts
Law on mediation. The law introduces a mechanism of mediation in civil and criminal cases as an alternative of trials. The mediation means empowering a neutral person (mediator) to intermediate the communication between sides, with the purpose to reach a consensus in a conflict. The mediation is believed to be chosen for terms and costs and anti-distress protection of the person involved in trials. The document is part of the European Union-Moldova Action Plan and it should be adopted by late 2006.
Law on limited societies. It regulates the building, functioning, reorganisation and shutting up of limited societies, which are legal entities, whose registered capital is divided into social shares accordingly to constitution acts, and their bonds are guaranteed by patrimony of society. Parliamentarians gave up in the final reading the idea to increase the minimum registered capital (up to 30,000 lei) needed to build limited societies, keeping the present quota of 5,400 lei. Maximum 50 associates may create a limited society, while societies with more than 50 associates will have to turn into stock societies. The Parliament adopted the law in spite of basic regulations on limited societies stipulated by Civil Code, though it was earlier estimated that a distinct document is useless. According to press reports, there are approximately 55,000 limited societies in Moldova, this being the favourite organisational form for economic activities.
Law on zoological gardens. The law creates a framework for implementation of the March 29, 1999 European Directive 1999/22/CE concerning zoological gardens, regulating the special regime of building, administrating and closing zoos, protecting wild fauna and preserving the biodiversity, studying the wild fauna under conditions of captivity, for cognitive, cultural and scientific goals.
Law on traffic security. The document regulates the legal-social relations in traffic, establishes the tasks, duties, rights of competent authorities and motorists.
Law on modification and completion of some legal acts (mega regulator of financial market). The legislation undergoes changes concerning reorganisation of the National Commission for Securities into the National Commission of Financial Market in charge with regulating and controlling the extra-bank capital market: non-state pension insurance, insolvency, activity of investment funds, savings and loan associations, microfinance organisations, etc.
Law on rectification of the 2007 state budget. Incomes and expenses grow by 620 million lei each, of them 150 million lei is allocated for implementation of the law on remuneration of budgetary sector. A large amount worth 100 million lei is allocated to increase the registered capital of the state-owned railway company of Moldova CFA. The law was rectified to cover
15.4 million lei allocated for general local elections. The allocation of more than 32.5 million lei to the Ministry of Culture to acquire the entertainment centre Moscova, where the Eugene Ionesco Theatre will be located, under an order by Moldovan president, has raised hot debates. Under amendments, the total revenue of the state budget will account for 12.708 billion lei, while expenses will amount to 12.781 billion lei.
Draft law on conflict of interests. It is expected to regulate incompatibilities and restrictions for public functionaries, to settle conflicts of interests, to regulate the presentation of statements on conflicts of interests. Conflict of interests can be defined as a situation in which someone in a public position must make a decision or participate in making a decision or take other actions that influence or may influence the personal interests or the interests of close persons. First-ranking dignitaries, public functionaries in central administration, judges, prosecutors, councillors, diplomatic functionaries, customs officers, police, security and law enforcement bodies, officers of the Centre for the Struggle Against Economic Crimes and Corruption, the Information and Security Service, heads of public institutions, state or municipal enterprises, state-run economic agents will fall under incidence of this law.
Draft law on compensation of gas connection. The document adopted in the first reading stipulates that teachers, doctors, and artists from villages have the right to single compensations for connection to natural gas pipes. Every member of families in which both spouses are teachers, doctors or artists, are graduates from higher or secondary professional education will receive by 1,500 lei. The same amount will be paid to lonely teachers, doctors and artists, while families in which one spouse is working in theses fields will be paid 750 lei. According to accounts by the Ministry of Local Public Administration, the connection to low-pressure gas pipe would cost 2,000 lei on average. In reality, the connection to gas pipes in villages costs between 4,000 and 10,000 lei.
Draft law on scientific-technological parks and innovation incubators. Institutions created after implementation of this law will apply the findings of researches and innovations of Moldovan scientists. The law aims to encourage innovations and technological transfers and to develop the findings of scientific researches and innovations into new or better products, services, processes.
1.2. Questions and Interpellations. Statements
Questions and Interpellations
Deputy Valentina Cusnir has appealed to the Prosecutor-General, Centre for the Struggle Against Economic Crimes and Corruption, Central Electoral Commission and Government to identify the involved persons and funds spent for cars of public institutions, state participating in electoral campaign to support the Party of Communists of Moldova. She told the numbering plates of these automobiles.
Democratic Deputy Vladimir Filat has asked the Government to table an ample report on implementation of the package of laws on economic liberalisation.
The Our Moldova Alliance (OMA) faction has released a statement titled "We Actively Support the Cooperation of Non-Communists" concerning cooperation of democratic forces against Communist representatives in 1st and 2nd-level elective bodies.
The parliamentary faction representing the Christian Democratic People’s Party (CDPP) has released a statement contesting the electoral campaign and results of elections in a number of localities.
Parliamentarian Gheorghe Susarenco has read a statement describing the first round of local elections in political-legal terms. Susarenco considers that the Moldovan legislature has flagrantly breached the Constitution of Moldova, the Parliament’s Regulation and the law on status of parliamentarians by suspending the spring-summer session; involving lawmakers in granting political support to some categories of persons or political parties in detriment of others; abusively using public administrative levers and resources (cars, telephones, offices, earning of salaries as lawmakers). In particular, the lawmaker indicated the conduct of speaker, who has called upon Chisinau residents to support the Communist candidate. Finally, Susarenco demanded the Chamber of Auditors to hold a control in order to estimate what deputy Chisinau mayor Veaceslav Iordan has accomplished in two months when he was interim mayor-general.
2.1. Appointments. Reshuffles
The Government has sought the recalling of Moldovan Ambassador to Italy Nicolae Dudau.
Decision concerning control on mandatory foreign civil motor responsibility insurance. The document prohibits motorists to cross the Moldovan border without mandatory foreign civil motor responsibility insurance (Green Card). The Border Guard Service will be in charge with controlling this field and banning motorists without necessary acts to cross the border.
Decision approving the regulation on restitution of value of goods by paying compensations to victims of political repressions and payment of compensation for death after political repressions. The document was published on June 8, 2006, though the Law (#186-XVI) which served as a basis for this act was adopted on June 29, 2006 and it obliges the Government to adjust its acts within 3 months. Earlier, victims of repressions and their predecessors have protested against delayed restitution of goods and reticence of authorities, with the European Court of Human Rights sentencing Moldova on these matters.
Decision approving the framework regulation on secretariat works in central and local public administrations and subordinated institutions.
Decision on Government’s diploma. The Government will award its diploma "to individuals and legal entities in various fields of activity for merits and successes."
Decision approving the regulation on implementation of fiscal amnesty. Fiscal bodies will be in charge with amnesty, while acts for amnestied tax payers will be issued "at demand". The number of amnestied tax payers and "pardoned" amounts will be reported in August.
Decisions approving some programmes, concepts, strategies:
- Strategy on water providing and sewerage services in Moldovan localities;
- Concept on automatic information system called State Register of Traffic Accidents.
Decisions approving draft laws:
- Concerning regime of weapons, munitions, explosive materials and substances;
- Draft law on libraries.
2.3. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Production of drugs
Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev has convoked decision makers in charge with development of drug industry. According to communications, competent authorities have taken a number of actions in the past three years to encourage domestic enterprises to make drugs and, therefore, the technical and financial condition of these companies (stock society Farmaco) has essentially improved. Tarlev outlined the importance of developing the drug industry in order to provide population with quality drugs for accessible prices and supported the development plan of drug industry, seeking more efficient actions to attract necessary investments.
Development of dwelling-communal sector
It was reported at a sitting convoked by prime minister that 30 residential blocks comprising about 3,000 apartments have been put into operation with the state support in municipalities of Chisinau, Balti, in Hincesti, Ungheni, Basarabeasca and Cimislia, etc. At the same time, authorities take measures to create an efficient legal-normative base for housing: draft laws on social apartments, on condominium, on mortgage, etc. Premier Tarlev noted that public authorities of all levels must create normal living conditions for citizens and urged competent bodies to finish the social and mortgage housing building programme. He raised concern with condition of very old blocks, underling the need of surveying all old blocks in Moldova, in order to issue technical passports and consolidate or destroy them.
Central Administration Reform
Premier Tarlev has chaired a sitting of the Consultative Committee for Supervision of central public administration reform, which heard a report on accomplishments of the reform in January-May 2007 and traced long-term goals and tasks. Committee members concluded on basis of the assessment report that most of actions stipulated by implementation plan of the central public administration reform strategy have been achieved. They signalled following difficulties and shortcomings: low capacity of central public authorities to work out own reorganisation/modernisation plans; lack of a directorate to analyse the coordination of sectoral policies; late finalisation of the draft law on central public administration; lack of concepts on classification of public functions and remuneration of public functionaries.
Moldova’s president has signed a decree on revocation of Defence Minister Valeriu Plesca. According to press reports, he was revoked after a person has died in a tragic incident on shooting field in Bulboaca.
3.2. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Reconstruction of some routes
Moldovan president has visited reconstruction sites on Chisinau-Leuseni, Cimislia-Comrat routes, central route of the Cricova city. He appreciated the paces of rebuilding works and the specialised modern equipment used by builders, noted the rigorous labour control on quality of building materials. Vladimir Voronin warned persons in charge with highway repairing works over the need of strictly respecting the European quality norms and standards in the field, seeking a strict control in this respect.
Trips to other countries
Informal CIS summit in Sank Petersburg
CIS leaders have exchanged opinions at the informal summit regarding a draft CIS reformation concept worked out by a joint working group. They agreed to debate and approve the new CIS development concept at the October 5–6, 2007 CIS Summit in Dushanbe. Also, they decided to signal a priority problem every year and identify consensus solution to this problem, with migration being the first issue. Cooperation in this regard will be confirmed under an agreement. They indicated among other priority issues the cooperation in the field of transportation, energy, telecommunication and education. President Voronin had a bilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during the summit, attended the 11th International Economic Forum and visited the Innovation Technologies exhibition.
Formal visit to Greece
The visit agenda of Moldovan president included meetings with Greek President Karolos Papoulias, Green Speaker Anna Psarouda-Benaki and Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis. Also, he met Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis and representatives of opposition parties represented in the Greek Parliament (Socialist Party, Left Coalition of the Greek Environmental Movement and Communist Party of Greece). The visit agenda also included a meeting between President Voronin and members of Moldovan Diaspora in Greece.
US propose transforming the peacekeeping operation in Transnistria
On the eve of the Extraordinary Conference on the CFE Treaty, the US have proposed deploying a multinational peacekeeping force to Transnistria, also to include Russia, as a solution to the dispute on the illegal stationing of Russian troops and ammunition in Moldova. The US have reiterated their call for an immediate completion of the withdrawal of Russian ammunition from Transnistria, as a precondition for ratification by the US and other parties of the adapted CFE Treaty.
Daniel Fried, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, stated on the eve of the CFE Conference that Russia has not fulfilled its obligations assumed in Istanbul in 1999 with regard to its troops and ammunitions in Transnistria. Fried called for a "creative compromise" that would allow for the fulfilment of Russia’s Istanbul commitments and that would be acceptable to Russia. "Russians sometimes argue that their forces are in Transnistria, performing a legitimate and peaceful peacekeeping function. Well, if it’s a peacekeeping function, maybe we ought to consider how a modest peacekeeping function can be properly institutionalised", the high level American diplomat stated.
The Moldovan delegation to the Vienna conference reiterated in its turn the need to transform the current peacekeeping mechanism, which "has repeatedly demonstrated its incapacity to control the situation and solve current problems in the security zone". Moldova joined the US and other states parties to the CFE Treaty, and conditioned ratification of the adapted Treaty with the fulfilment by Russia of its Istanbul commitments regarding Moldova.
Deputy Head of Russian Delegation to the Vienna Conference, Mihail Ulianov, said the Kremlin was ready to examine the US proposals regarding the deployment of an international peacekeeping mechanism in Transnistria. But as the Vienna conference ended with no result having only exacerbated the division between Russia and the West on a number of issues of European security, it might happen so that Russia will change its mind. All the more so as the Transnistrian leader, Igor Smirnov, has already declared he would not allow deployment of a "foreign" peace operation in the region. And as Russia has since long claimed it could not withdraw its ammunition from Transnistria because it was hindered to do so by the Transnistrian authorities, Russian officials could again blame the intransigence of the Transnistrian leader for not agreeing to the US proposals on an international peace operation in the region.
Voronin, Putin talk Transnistrian problem
At the CIS Summit in Saint Petersburg on 10–11 June, President Voronin had a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. Press services of the two presidents published little information regarding the contents of the discussion, and only mentioned that they tackled bilateral relations and Transnistrian settlement.
Earlier international media reported about an alleged settlement plan negotiated in secret by Moldova and Russia, and which was to be signed during the Voronin-Putin meeting in Saint Petersburg. Chisinau officials have denied the existence of such a plan, as well as any intention to sign a bilateral agreement with Russia on Transnistria. However, such statements came only late after a series of questions raised by media and civil society.
It seems Western counterparts were equally concerned with the rumours of a Moldovan-Russian deal on Transnistria. Thus, on the eve of his departure to Saint Petersburg, President Voronin met with US Ambassador to Moldova, Michael D.Kirby, and the Head of the EC Delegation to Moldova, Cesare de Montis, with whom he discussed, among other things, the Transnistrian problem. On the same day, Voronin had a telephone conversation with the EU High Commissioner for CFSP, Javier Solana.
It is to be noted, that on the eve of the Saint Petersburg Summit, representatives of civil society organisations and international think tanks published an Open Letter for a European settlement of the Transnistrian conflict. The authors have expressed concern regarding the non-transparent way in which Moldovan-Russian negotiations on Transnistria are being held, outside of the "5+2" format, which fact could irrevocably compromise the European prospects of Moldova. The signatories have called Moldovan authorities to found their Transnistrian settlement efforts on the objective of European integration of Moldova, and on the principles and legislation adopted by Moldova on this issue.
In response to this open letter, the Ministry of Reintegration issued a communique in which it rejected the "accusations" against the Moldovan authorities, which "have acted in a transparent manner both towards its foreign partners and the civil society and political class of Moldova". At the same time, Ministry of Reintegration regretted the fact that a series of its partners from the civil society have forgotten about the consultations carried out regularly with the Ministry and qualified as "deliberate disinformation the publication of the open letter which puts under question mark the objectivity of signatory organisations".
The exact contents of the Saint Petersburg meeting remains a mystery, one of its announced results – the resumption of Moldovan wine exports to Russia – having more of an electoral character and, according to analysts, little immediate practical application. It seems though that discussions between the two heads of state will continue – on 15 June, for the third time in 2007, Chisinau was visited by the Deputy Secretary of the Russian Secuirty Council, Iuri Zubakov, who this time led the traditional discussions about "bilateral relations" in the context of a new Putin-Voronin meeting planned for end of June.
The last preparations for the June 19-scheduled sitting of the European Union-Moldova Cooperation Council in Luxembourg have been made in the period covered by this issue of the e-journal Governing and Democracy in Moldova. The interest for this event is on the rise, as the E.U. is expected to tell its opinion regarding the future relations with Moldova after February 2008, when the term for implementation of the E.U.-Moldova Action Plan (EUMAP) is over.
Signals coming various ways are not encouraging so far. There are speculations in certain circles that the E.U. will criticise much on June 19 the way Chisinau has accomplished the EUMAP goals until now. Given the progress in implementing the EUMAP, it is believed that the E.U. could extend the term of implementation of this plan and would accept to consider the possibility of promoting the relations with Chisinau at a new quality level only after a satisfactory accomplishment of the EUMAP goals.
Republic of Moldova – Ukraine
Moldovan Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Andrei Stratan visited Ukraine on June 7 and met there Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and his counterpart Arseny Yatsenyuk. According to the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration (MFAEI), Stratan and Yushchenko have exchanged opinions regarding bilateral relations under various aspects and evolutions of the Transnistria settlement process.
The meeting with Yatsenyuk focussed on travel regime with Ukraine. In particular, the sides discussed difficulties faced by Moldovan citizens to cross the Moldovan-Ukrainian border along with minors who do not have passports and are included in passports of parents. In this context, the Ukrainian foreign minister assured that difficulties related to border crossing will be remedied.
MFAEI of Moldova has released a communication after that meeting, confirming the maintenance of the same crossing regime at the Moldovan-Ukrainian border. It means that minors can further travel to Ukraine together with one or both parents, if they are registered in passports of their parents or if they hold nominal passports and are accompanied by their legal representatives.
Republic of Moldova – Russia
The long-discussed meeting between Moldovan and Russian Presidents Vladimir Voronin and Vladimir Putin took place on June 10. Media outlets reported before the meeting that the two presidents could sign a secretly negotiated Transnistria settlement plan, which favours Moscow in detriment of Chisinau.
Presidential press services were very laconic in reporting the talks between Voronin and Putin after the meeting. Nothing was told about the alleged plan. The public opinion was informed that Presidents Voronin and Putin have discussed the development of Moldovan-Russian cooperation on various plans, prospect of settling the Transnistrian conflict and resuming Moldovan wine exports to the Russian Federation.
Shortly after that meeting, news agencies said that Moldova will restart wine exports to Russia and this problem was solved at the Voronin-Putin meeting. Acording to Moldpres, President Putin has instructed Russian Minister of Agriculture Aleksy Gordeyev, head of the Federal Customs Service Andrei Velyaminov and Rospotrebnadzor head Gennady Onishcheko after the informal CIS summit in Sankt Petersburg to resume immediately the wine imports from Moldova. This political solution comes to solve a problem that Russian specialised services have linked to the bad quality of Moldovan wines. The "sovereign democracy" in Russia is in its own right.
Many observers are trying now to answer this question: What has Chisinau ceded? There is no absolute answer to this question, especially given the uncertainty around the return of Moldovan wines to the Russian market. It was promised after the November 2006 meeting of Moldovan and Russian presidents that Russian citizens would drink Moldovan champagne on the 2007 New Year, but it was not so. Now Moldovan exporters stay cautiously optimistic after many petty promises.
In this context, officials of Moldova-Vin Agency stated that wine exports are expected to restart soon, authorities are technically working very insistently and they cannot say now what companies or what quantities of wines will be exported.
The Russian publication Kommersant confirms the eventual return of Moldovan alcohol exports to Russia and gives a possible answer to the question above. Kommersant says that Moldovan wines will return to Russia only after Chisinau will cede some brands to the Russian state company Soyuzplodoimport, which is exclusively in charge with imports from Moldova. According to Kommersant, Belyi Aist is the first brand to be ceded.
Republic of Moldova – Council of Europe
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has sentenced Moldova in three cases in the period concerned.
The Strasbourg-based Court has established in the case Gutu vs. Moldova the violation of the right to freedom, the right to private life and effective appeal. Moldova was told to pay 5,000 Euros in non-pecuniary damages and 1,500 Euros in costs and expenses to the applicant.
In the second case
Malahov vs. Moldova, the ECHR has found out the violation of the right to a fair trial. It obliged the Moldovan Government to pay 1,800 Euros to the applicant in pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages and 600 Euros in costs and expenses.
The Court has ascertained in the third case Flux vs. Moldova the restriction of the right to freedom of expression. It obliged the Moldovan authorities to pay 260 Euros to Flux newspaper in pecuniary damages, 3,000 Euros in non-pecuniary damages and 1,200 Euros in costs and expenses.
Republic of Moldova – CIS
Sankt Petersburg hosted an informal summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on June 10. President Vladimir Voronin represented Moldova at the meeting. We recall that the summit took place a couple of days after the Yalta summit of CIS premiers attended by Moldovan Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev and the 28th plenary sitting of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly in Sankt Petersburg attended by President Voronin.
According to the presidential press service, CIS leaders heard on June 10 a report by CIS executive secretary Vladimir Rushaylo concerning the CIS reformation concept and participants exchanged opinions on this document.
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Aggregated victory of dispersed opposition
Igor Botan, 14 June 2007
Estimating the potential of preparing for participation in the 2009 parliamentary elections was one of declared collateral goals of political parties launched at the June 3, 2007 local elections. The exercise was successful, with eventual alliances and mergers of parties being based on concrete data