Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, year V, issue 105, October 16–31, 2007
Activity of Public Institutions
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Activity of Public Institutions
The Parliament has given green light to a proposal by the chief of state to appoint
Artur Resetnicov as director of the Information and Security Service for a 5-year term. Previously, Resetnicov was presidential advisor for legal affairs.
1.2. Legal acts
Law on state registration of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs. It regulates the procedure of state registration of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs, the keeping of state registers of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs, and establishes the legal status of the state registration body and registrar.
Draft law on draft state budget law for 2008. The document backed by the major parliamentary faction alone establishes a series of macroeconomic indicators for next year, in particular, a 9.3 percent inflation rate; a 12.2 lei/1 dollar exchange rate; estimated revenues worth 14,658,000,000 lei, expenses worth 4,881,000,000, a 0.5 percent GDP deficit. It forecasts a 6 percent rise of the Gross Domestic Product, up to 56.8 billion lei. The medium salary on economy shall grow by approximately 23 percent. Approximately 1.2 billion lei is foreseen for the implementation of the budgetary pay law; salaries of teachers and doctors, allocations for social programmes shall grow. Opposition parliamentary factions have sought higher revenues, allocations for local public administration and a larger reserve fund for agriculture.
Draft law on vegetal regnum. The document approved in the first reading aims to contribute to healthcare, protection and well-being of animals, obliging individuals and legal entities holding animals to respect legal requirements and sanitary-veterinary norms. The document also stipulates the creation of a central supervision authority called the Sanitary Veterinary and Food Security Agency on basis of the State Veterinary Inspectorate and district/municipal sanitary-veterinary services.
Draft law on modification and completion of certain legal acts (status of foreigners).
The document adopted in the first reading regulates the documentation of beneficiaries of humanitarian aid in Moldova (who hold identity and travel cards).
1.3. Parliamentary control. Statements
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration (MFAEI) reported a considerable rise of the number of Moldovan youths participating in the international Work and Travel programme (approximately 44,000 visas for 2007) and leave for the United States. MFAEI, the Moldovan Embassy in Washington and the U.S. Department of State have established a mechanism to operatively study the complaints of Moldovan students participating in this programme, as they signal violation of their rights by employers or intermediary companies.
Answering a question regarding the legality of a clause from an agreement signed between Soroca representatives of two political parties, in which members of the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova pledge to contribute to issuance of a licence for the Granite and Stone Quarry in Soroca, the Ministry of Justice said that a conclusion regarding an eventual legal responsibility of the persons who signed this agreement is impossible. At the same time, the deputy minister of justice did not gainsay the supposition that this issue will be treated as a "political corruption" element.
Parliamentarian Valentina Cusnir has asked the Government to report on completion of the special fund from the change of destination of farm land in 2006–07, used to work the new fields (amounts, fields, legal acts, sources).
Democratic parliamentarian Valentina Buliga has asked the Government to report on sentencing of Moldova by ECHR, causes and future measures to stop such losses.
Lawmakers Valentina Stratan and Igor Klipii have demanded explanations why investigations on a traffic accident involving the presidential car are delayed and demanded competent authorities to file criminal charges against persons who cleaned up the traces of this accident and violated the effective legislation.
Deputy Vladimir Filat has asked the Government Apparatus to present a complete list of special number plates issued until now and of users of these transports.
Christian Democratic Deputy Vlad Cubreacov has asked the prime minister to report on fulfilment of Moldova’s commitments towards the Council of Europe, in particular concerning the religious freedom (Cubreacov invoked the blocking of the process of registration of religious denominations and their components).
Our Moldova Deputy
Alexandru Lipcan has asked the Government to report on legal status of fields located between the barbed wire and the state border on the Proute River and perspectives to change the boundaries of administrative territorial units in order to transmit them these fields.
Our Moldova Deputy
Gheorghe Susarenco has asked the Government to report on non-execution of executory titles worth over one million lei by the Ministry of Education and Youth. He also blamed Minister Victor Tvircun for the illegal dismissal of more than ten headmasters to whom law courts have awarded victory but the judgments are unexecuted so far.
Communist Deputy Vladimir Panfilov has asked the Prosecutor-General’s Office to ensure the security of parliamentarian Ion Neagu and former legislator Sergiu Burca, as their lives are threatened in connection with some statements regarding the disappearance of Christian Democratic parliamentarian Vlad Cubreacov in 2002.
Our Moldova Deputy Gheorghe Susarenco has protested in connection with breaches committed by Parliament’s leadership during plenary sittings, since it obstructs the opposition and gives priority to representatives of the Communist majority to address.
Deputy Vitalia Pavlicenco has read a statement concerning the anti-Romania hysteria of the communist regime, raising a deep concern of the National Liberal Party with actions of Moldovan authorities.
The Our Moldova Alliance (OMA) faction has said that the debates on the draft state budget law for 2008 should be preceded by several conditions, in particular, a preliminary in-depth study and discussion; live broadcasting on public radio and TV channels; the presence of all district and municipality heads in the Parliament in order to take an attitude.
Three unaffiliated lawmakers, members of the Social Liberal Party, joined the parliamentary faction of the Democratic Party of Moldova. At the same time, it was reiterated the idea to build a political centre in future through the merger of these parties and joining of other parties with similar doctrines.
Decision awarding facilities to young doctors and pharmacists. Young doctors and pharmacists who will accept to work in rural areas of Moldova will enjoy facilities the first three years after graduation, in particular, a monthly rent compensation (up to 0.5 percent of the minimum official salary on country) or free housing from local public administration; doctors and pharmacists who graduate from higher education will get a single indemnity worth 30,000 lei (nurses will be paid 24,000 lei), paid proportionally after each year of work; a monthly compensation of the cost of 30 KW of electricity, one cubic metre of wood and one ton of coal.
Decision approving the action plan on execution of the Parliament Decision approving the report on execution of the 2006 state budget and public funds. These parliamentary decisions oblige the executive to take organisational, legal, methodological and disciplinary measures in order to improve the quality of financial management and to target the budgetary-fiscal policy at implementing the state social-economic policies; to consolidate efforts of all budget executors in order to ensure a good management of budgetary funds; to ensure the institutionalisation of control on volumes and quality of budget-funded works; to regulate relations between budgets of administrative territorial units of first and second levels and to extend the participation of public authorities in implementing budgetary policies. Also, the Government must ensure the execution of recommendations by the Chamber of Auditors; optimise the expenses and ensure the integrity of public patrimony; efficiently manage the public debt and orient the budgetary-fiscal policy to the economic development objective.
Decisions approving certain draft laws:
- Concerning the ratification of the facilitated visa issuance agreement between the Republic of Moldova and the European Community and the agreement between the Republic of Moldova and the European Community concerning readmission of illegal migrants. At the same time, it was decided to start negotiations concerning draft intergovernmental agreements on readmission of illegal migrants with 28 states, including the Russian Federation and nine CIS members, Turkey, the United Kingdom and North Ireland, etc. So far, Moldova has signed bilateral agreements on readmission of illegal migrants with the Swiss Federal Council, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Romania;
- Concerning modification and completion of certain legal acts (on implementation of the POS AT system for payments via credit cards);
- Concerning National Insurance Guarantee Fund;
- Concerning measures for social protection of population in connection with dearer electricity;
- Concerning protection of inventions.
Decisions on allocation of funds. Following amounts will be allocated from the reserve fund of the Government:
- 2 million lei to the Interior Ministry "to demolish buildings in the 17 Decebal Boulevard of the Chisinau municipality";
- 350,000 lei to the Government Apparatus to renovate a building in the 200 Stefan Cel Sfant Avenue of the Chisinau municipality, and 311,300 lei to work out project and estimate documentation regarding arrangement of afferent plots of a building in the 154 Stefan Cel Sfant Avenue of the Chisinau municipality;
- 83,300 lei to the Construction and Territorial Development Agency to organise and hold a sitting of the interstate building cooperation council of CIS member states;
- 639,000 lei to organise the Madame Butterfly competition;
- 720,000 lei "to finish the reorganisation of the State Enterprise Chisinau Circus;
- 101,100 lei to the Constitutional Court "to purchase furniture".
2.2. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Support for mortgage building
The Government has plans to continue assisting the National Housing Service in order to give an impulse to the mortgage social housing building. The prime minister appreciated the work of this service and of the Construction and Territorial Development Agency, at a broadened sitting with the participation of representatives of enterprises and managers acting on the mortgage market, but noted that the two institutions have to use reserves in order to develop this sector. The executive will take measures to give social residences to socially vulnerable people who lack purchase power and the National Housing Service was told to table an efficient action plan within one month, so that to give an impulse to the mortgage social housing building. At the same time, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce was instructed to elaborate a price formation mechanism for building materials, as "there are big problems in this area and prices of many building materials are artificially increased."
A new social protection strategy
The Collegial Council of the Ministry of Social Protection, Family and Child has approved a draft national strategy on building an integrated social service system and the Government is due to study it. The document implies a complex concept of state policy on social protection of people in need, which will include the neediest population in social assistance programmes. The system is based on priority targeting of social services at the poorest people who will be chosen on basis of individual needs.
Elaboration of National Development Plan
The prime minister has chaired a sitting which heard a report on actions taken to work out the draft National Development Plan (NDP) strategy, as well as actions needed to finalise the NDP Action Plan. Officials in charge with this plan reported that 25 public debates with the participation of approximately 1,500 representatives of NGOs, civil society, academia, national and international experts, etc., have been organised to work out the draft NDP strategy. The draft strategy is being finished and published at www.pnd.md for the public and the NDP action plan is being finalised.
Meeting with Gagauz lawmakers
Vasile Tarlev has met a group of members of the People’s Assembly of the Administrative Territorial Unit Gagauzia and discussed future actions aimed to impel the social-economic development of the region. Representatives of the Administrative Territorial Unit Gagauzia sought financial assistance to implement new infrastructure projects, help children learn the Moldovan language, hold cultural actions. The prime minister promised that the Government will give green light to the call of lawmakers and will provide methodical and financial assistance, including for learning of Moldovan, Gagauz languages, and others. Observers note that the Gagauzia governor could easier and more operatively notify the prime minister regarding the problems of the region, as he is a member of the Government, but this functionary represents the opposition and central authorities prefer to marginalise him, discussing mainly with Gagauz supporters of the ruling party.
The chief of state has signed a decree on creation of the State Commission for Strategic Analysis of the Defence in the Republic of Moldova to accomplish the objectives of the National Programme on Implementation of the Moldova-NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP).
Under a presidential decree, the National Council for Awarding of the State Prize was created and presidential adviser Mihail Platon was appointed chief state advisor, secretary of the Council for Awarding of the State Prize.
The president has also awarded high state medals, in particular:
- The "Order of the Republic" to Parliament member Eugenia Ostapciuc, chairwoman of the parliamentary faction of the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova, former chairwoman of the Parliament;
- The "Stefan the Grate" Order to Ion Ursu, director of the Information and Security Service of Moldova, as his service is over (he was transferred to a diplomatic post);
- "Honour Order" to Petru Griciuc, presidential advisor for agro-industrial complex and public administration affairs;
- "Civic Merit" Medal to Lidia Russu, senior advisor for the Ministry of Justice;
- "Honoured Man" title to Mihai Poalelungi, deputy chairman of the Supreme Court of Justice.
3.2. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Interest for territorial development
Vladimir Voronin has visited the districts of Ungheni and Rezina (Rezina will hold new elections in November to elect a district council, as it was earlier impossible to create one).
The chief of state has convoked a special sitting and ordered an action plan on social-economic development of the Basarabeasca district, in particular to stipulate the supply of the district centre with drinkable water; the capital renovation of the residual water cleaning station; the renovation of social-cultural and medical-sanitary institutions, the modernisation of infrastructure of localities, the intensification of economic activities.
The president has convoked a sitting on the Transnistrian settlement and signalled the need of building mechanisms to protect the property rights of farmers from the Transnistrian region on farm land, in compliance with national legislation and international norms.
Shortcomings of control activity
Vladimir Voronin has convoked a sitting on abusive, groundless and inefficient controls by inspection bodies on economic agents. Following indications by the chief of state, the Government has immediately decided the same day to cut by 10 percent the personnel of the Prosecutor-General’s Office, the Centre for the Struggle Against Economic Crimes and Corruption, the Interior Ministry, the State Tax Inspectorate, the Construction and Territorial Development Agency, the Standardisation and Metrology Service, the State Ecological Inspectorate.
Voronin has told a new sitting on activity of control bodies that many abuses and violations committed by inspectors demonstrate the inefficiency of the existing system including 61 inspection structures, and noted that the number of subdivisions and employees is exaggerated and produces doublings of posts and corruption. The Government was told to work out and implement a legislative and institutional action plan in order to urgently reorganise the inspection system. In addition, it was proposed to introduce a permanent monitoring on activity of control and supervision bodies.
Concern with patrimony
Moldova’s president has convoked a sitting on protection of state patrimony in enterprises of strategic importance, which focussed on situation of the Crop Product Enterprise Chisinau that stopped working in 2006. At present, many economic agents claim huge debts from this society, trying to seize the patrimony of this enterprise via law courts. It was decided that the invoked debts will be studied very seriously and the state will pay them if the law court confirms them, so that to definitively resolve this problem and to protect and keep the state patrimony in Crop Product Enterprise Chisinau.
Sitting of the Ministry of Social Protection Collegial Council
Addressing the sitting, the chief of state said that the decision to create the ministry was correct and it is part of the state leadership’s efforts to build a social state. Voronin emphasised that though the ministry has achieved certain progress in improving the social services for diverse categories of people, its area of concern was not reduced and the fulfilment of its objectives will be very important for society in continuation. He underlined the significance of finalising the draft national strategy on building an integrated social service system, and the need of a more active participation of beneficiaries in the social protection process, including decision-making.
1 ADEPT has plans to release soon an in-depth analysis on the draft state budget law for 2008 in order to comment this document.
1. Prices and inflation
Inflation target almost failed…
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for October was not made public so far, but it will not be lower than in September (1.6 percent) or even higher, so that the inflation could reach 11 percent. The price rise in October could definitively dash the Government’s below 10 percent inflation target. The high currency inflows, growth of consumer demand, particularly on account of bank consumer credits, as well as consequences of the last summer drought which strongly increased the prices of food products encouraged the August-September inflation expansion. In fact, the developments in the past years indicated that the inflation like the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is very sensitive to the evolution of agriculture.
The worsening of the country’s external position (advance of trade deficit and current account deficit) has also encouraged the growth of inflation. Such a conjuncture could strongly press the domestic currency later and the currency inflows will be incapable to compensate the pressures. Under these conditions, the leu will depreciate versus main reference currencies on long term, rather than appreciate, contrary to the recent statements by NBM governor. If the appreciation of domestic currency was the main weapon of the disinflation process in the precedent months, it could stop being a support factor to reach the inflation target by the end of this year.
2. Labour market
Medium salary on economy stagnating…
The medium salary on economy amounted to 2,130 lei (185 U.S. dollars) in August and September, by over 10 percent more than the average pay in 2006. The average wage in budgetary sector accounted for 1,695 lei (147 dollars) in September, which is by 149 lei more than in August, while the pay in real sector has decreased by 55 lei, down to 2,352 lei (205 dollars). All workers in agriculture sector earned the lowest salaries, notably 1,278 lei (111 dollars) on average. Of course, the appreciation of the leu versus dollar was a strong factor to increase the salaries converted into dollars.
Moldovans earn lowest salaries in Europe…
In fact, Moldova is one of countries which pay the lowest salaries in the region and the low earning is the main reason of migration. Salaries in Central Europe are five-fold higher than in Moldova and Moldovans working abroad may earn 10-fold higher salaries than at home. For example, Moldovans working in Spain earn the highest salaries in transportation, building and industry sectors, and their salaries are up to ten-fold higher than in Moldova. The medium salary in the Spanish transportation sector amounts to between 1,200 and 1,900 Euros, while Moldova pays 190 Euros on average. Of course, many illegal migrants earn these salaries and they do not enjoy medical or social insurance, but these wages reveal the economic handicap of Moldova.
For example, Spanish building employers pay between 1,000 and 1,600 Euros while those working in the Spanish industry earn between 900 and 1,300 Euros. Moldova pays approximately 209 Euros and 156 Euros in the same sectors. Moldovans working in the Spanish agriculture may earn between 800 and 1,100 Euros a month, which means at least ten-fold more than in Moldova. At the same time, one must also envisage the cost of labour force while speaking about salaries. Thus, one hour of work in the European Union (25) cost about 22 Euros on average in 2006 (more than 25 Euros in Euro land), while Moldova paid 0.8 Euros per hour, compared with 1.5 Euros in Bulgaria, 2.3 Euros in Romania, 4.8 Euros in Slovakia, 6.2 Euros in Hungary, and 6.7 Euros in the Czech Republic.
Bank assets exceed 30 billion lei…
The bank assets have grown by over 32 percent in nine months of 2007 and approximately 1.44-fold compared with the similar period of 2006. Thus, the overall assets of the banking exceeded 30 billion lei (more than 2.6 billion dollars) in late September or the equivalent of 63 percent of the 2007 GDP. The assets have grown due to the rise of people’s deposits in commercial banks influenced by massive remittances (they were worth about 730 million dollars in eight months of this year), and general advance of salaries.
Foreign investments in banks’ portfolio stimulated the growth of bank assets, too…
The continuous rise of the share of foreign investments in banks’ capital has also influenced the growth of bank assets. Many experts forecast a new growth of the share of foreign investments by the end of this year. The share of foreign investments in domestic banks rose by more than 12 percent in 2006 and exceeded 62 percent of the total, this being the highest growth in the past years. However, the positive trend was preceded by a decline of the share of foreign investments in the capital of domestic banks down to 50.7 percent in 2005.
Finally, the supply of deposits in commercial banks rose by about 30 percent in January-September 2007. A comparable advance was registered for the credit portfolio of commercial banks. It has increased by more than one third in the period concerned. At the same time, deposits and credits have increased by 41 and 51 percent, compared with the similar period of 2006.
4. Foreign trade
Relations with Russia "thawing"…
Chisinau has recently hosted a meeting of the Moldovan-Russian intergovernmental commission. It focussed on commercial and energy areas. Russian and Moldovan officials said that the relations between the two countries have greatly developed. However, speaking about a revival of economic-commercial relations between Moldova and Russia is premature even after the recent resumption of wine, vegetable and meat exports to the Russian market. Unfortunately, Moldova has lost very much during the 1.5-year commercial blockage, which affected the economic system of the country, in particular, domestic producers and exporters.
However, the Russian Federation still holds an important share in the structure of Moldovan exports (more than 20 percent, the 1st place) and 20 percent of imports (the 2nd place after Ukraine), in spite of the long stagnation of commercial-economic relations. It would be possible to speak about a real revival of the Moldovan-Russian (commercial-economic) relations at the end of the year or in early 2008, when some statistics will be available. A comparative analysis could be made on their basis in order to find out a quantity revive. Finally, the present "thawing" of Moldovan-Russian relations reveals the seriousness of existing problems between the two countries.
Gas prices will grow again, up to 190 dollars per 1,000 cubic metres…
In fact, they have always topped the working agenda of bilateral relations. As regards the gas price, it was known long ago that it will grow again. It was also noticed that this will not be the last rise. Or, Moldovans will pay a price like western consumers by 2011.
Even more, Moldova will pay a higher price, given many circumstances including the normative losses in system, which are much bigger than in European countries. Finally, that means a chain price rise, as the share of energy resources in the cost of a series of domestic products is quite important.
Domestic consumers will also experience the burden of dearer gas for sure, in particular those who have gas heaters. If taking into account the fact that the gas price will fuel other prices and tariffs of utilities, in which cost the gas is dominant, the situation is not good at all apparently.
Gazprom insisting to participate in domestic gas distribution network …
Chisinau and Gazprom have signed a one-term contract in late 2006, which stipulates a 170-dollar price per 1,000 cubic metres of natural gas (and it did not increase the price up to 230 dollars like for other states), but the Russian concern demanded more freedom to implement investment projects, including on building of gas pipes. For example, this year it was worked hard to build the Drochia-Floresti gas pipe, with the participation of the Russian side.
In addition, the sides have signed then a cooperation agreement on gas sector until 2011, but unfortunately the conditions of the agreement remain secret as usually; for example, the results of the Chisinau-Moscow negotiations on gas take place behind an impenetrable curtain for the public.
Transnistrian settlement initiatives by President Voronin
President Voronin launched some additional proposals regarding the presidential initiatives on Transnistrian settlement in a new interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper on October 24. In particular, he referred to property rights in Transnistria, which is one of the most sensitive issues related to the conflict settlement. According to the president, Moldova will guarantee the property rights in Transnistria on basis of a simple property declaration, without investigating much the way one property or another was acquired. Moldova has already worked out a draft law in this respect. The draft was tabled to the Transnistria settlement mediators and observers and, the President assured, they have appreciated the approach of Chisinau regarding this issue. At the same time, the chief of state insisted that this draft law could be adopted only concomitantly with regulation of the status of the Transnistrian region, as the adoption of such a law before the final resolution of the conflict could encourage criminal structures to take arbitrary actions.
The OSCE, the United States, the European Union and Ukraine have backed the package of initiatives by President Voronin. According to the president, Russia, which "plays a decisive role" in this conflict, did not express so far a clear attitude towards these initiatives, though it has earlier signed a statement welcoming Moldova’s initiatives together with other mediators and observers. It seems that these initiatives have been the topic of talks between President Voronin and visiting Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gregory Karasin.
On the other hand, Tiraspol leaders deny in continuation that they have received formal Transnistria settlement initiatives from Chisinau. They claim that the new initiatives by Chisinau have been launched only in the form of media interviews so far and there is no positive change in relations with Chisinau.
Meanwhile, the Chisinau Government has made a decision on implementation of President Voronin’s initiatives aimed at strengthening the confidence and security in the Transnistria settlement context. Under the new decision, seven sectoral working groups will be created to work out action plans on implementation of the presidential initiatives and to work out and implement joint projects inclusively with the participation of representatives of the Transnistrian region within one month. The working groups will focus on elaboration and implementation of infrastructure projects; resumption of normal activity of railroads; better functioning of educational institutions; conditions for economic and commercial activity; consolidation of stability and ensuring free movement in the security zone, disarmament and demilitarisation; granting of humanitarian aid.
Europa.md has quoted Reintegration Minister Vasile Sova as saying that Tiraspol had a positive reaction towards the initiatives of Chisinau and the first draft proposals will be available within two weeks.
A more active role for European Union
While on a visit to Chisinau, European Parliament Deputy Chairman, Miguel Angel Martinez, has called for the strengthening of the EU role in the Transnistria settlement process. Moldpress news agency has quoted the European MP as saying that the present observer status of the EU in the Transnistria settlement process is ineffective and unfit for the role the EU must assume on the European continent. He expressed optimism that the future legal and political framework of EU-Moldova relations will envisage a more active role for the EU in the Transnistrian settlement process, an idea which the Chisinau authorities have supported.
It is worth noting that the proposals seeking a more active EU role in the Transnistria settlement process launched by Miguel Angel Martinez in Chisinau are also part of a recent Resolution by the European Parliament concerning violation of human rights in the Transnistrian region.
The initiatives by the European parliamentarian also resonate to some degree with the EU readiness to provide direct humanitarian aid to the Transnistrian region in order to remedy the consequences of the summer 2007 drought. EU Special Representative for Moldova, Kalman Mizsei, has expressed the EU readiness during a meeting with the Tiraspol speaker. Mizsei recommended the Transnistrian authorities to work out concrete assistance proposals and reports on consequences of the drought, on which basis the EU will consider the possibility to grant assistance to the region.
Also, Mizsei and Transnistrian parliamentarians discussed possible measures to allow people from the two banks of the Nistru River to engage in commercial activity, to enter and leave the region without problems, and to create a positive climate for the negotiation process.
1 Moldpress, October 29, 2007
2 Novy Region, October 17, 2007
3 Novy Region, October 15, 2007
8th Meeting of E.U.- Moldova Cooperation Committee
Chisinau hosted the 8th Meeting of the European Union – Moldova Cooperation Committee on October 25. Hilde Hardeman, head of unit within the DG RELEX of the European Commission, chaired the meeting on behalf of the European Commission and Valeriu Ostalep, deputy minister of foreign affairs and European integration, on behalf of Moldova.
The meeting focussed on the process of implementation of the E.U.-Moldova Action Plan (EUMAP). According to a communication by the Moldovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration (MFAEI), European officials noted that Moldova has achieved important legislative progresses and reiterated the importance of ensuring the enforcement of the adopted legal and normative acts. Thus, E.U. representatives have restated one of the conclusions of the Progress Report on Moldova released by the European Commission on December 4, 2006, and of the June 19 Luxembourg 9th Meeting of the E.U.-Moldova Cooperation Council. It means that the E.U. did not improve much so far its perception on Moldova’s capacity to effectively implement the legislative achievements.
Following progresses have been noted among others: the active political dialogue between E.U. and Moldova, Moldova’s accession to the Bologna Process; the participation in the ERASMUS-MUNDUS "External Cooperation Window" and TEMPUS III programmes, etc.
Hilde Hardeman has told a news conference after the formal meeting that the European Commission will release its second report assessing the progress in implementing the EUMAP in April 2008 and the E.U. will thus decide on its further relationship with Moldova. In turn, Valeriu Ostalep was confident regarding the progress of relations between the Parties and noted that the name of the new agreement with the E.U. is less important for Moldova, then is if this document will help Moldova to benefit from the EU four fundamental freedoms. This is greater brain wave and option than the former obsessive desire of Chisinau to sign an Association Agreement with the E.U. This demand has started irritating Brussels.
The National Commission for European Integration (NCEI) held an ordinary weekly sitting on October 25. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure reported their achievements aimed at implementing the EUMAP. The few shortcomings signalled at the NCEI sitting are related to the implementation of technical regulations and functioning of food quality testing laboratories.
Like at the precedent sittings, Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev signalled the need of amply reporting the EUMAP implementation process to European institutions.
Visit of EP vice-president to Moldova
European Parliament (EP) Vice-President Miguel Angel Martinez Martinez was on an official visit to Moldova in late October. In Chisinau he has met Moldovan dignitaries including President Vladimir Voronin and Speaker Marian Lupu. The talks focussed on many topics, from the move of Moldovan citizens in the E.U. to the Transdnistrian settlement.
The EP vice-president declared readiness to help extending the interparliamentary dialogue, so that to enhance Moldova’s visibility in Europe and to ease the inclusion of its priorities on the European agenda of talks. In this respect, the Moldovan side was interested to organise working visits of Moldovan parliamentarians to the EP.
Republic of Moldova – Romania
The Moldovan-Romanian bilateral relations have shown signs of a little relieve in the period concerned. Moldovan Speaker Marian Lupu and Romanian Ambassador to Moldova Filip Teodorescu have agreed during a meeting that the common European values and standards must be the binder of the two countries. Starting from this linking bridge, the Moldovan-Romanian relations could be further developed in a wide range of areas: economic, commercial, transborder cooperation, people-to-people contacts, etc.
However, President Voronin has a bit different opinion on these matters. He hinted during a broadcast aired by TV channel NIT that Moldova is ready to cede and negotiate with Romania only with the purpose to fructify its European aspirations.
Republic of Moldova – BSEC
The Turkish capital of Ankara hosted the 17th Meeting of the Black See Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Foreign Ministers on October 25. Eugenia Kistruga, deputy minister of foreign affairs and European integration, represented Moldova at the meeting. According to the MFAEI press service, representatives of the states participating in the meeting studied the mechanisms needed to enforce the declaration of the June 2007 Istanbul BSEC Summit and approved a BSEC statement. Turkey handed over the BSEC chairmanship to Ukraine at the end of the meeting, after running it for half a year.
Republic of Moldova – Council of Europe
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has passed a record number of judgments – 15 – vs. Moldova in the period concerned, in particular, Tara and Poiata vs. Moldova; Tiberneac Vasile vs. Moldova; Nadulisneac Ion vs. Moldova; Buianovschi vs. Moldova; Deordiev and Deordiev vs. Moldova; Vitan vs. Moldova; Tiberneac vs. Moldova; Marcu vs. Moldova; Cazacu vs. Moldova; Colibaba vs. Moldova; Flux and Samson vs. Moldova; Stici vs. Moldova; Turcan and Turcan vs. Moldova; Deliuchin vs. Moldova, and Lipatnikova and Rudic vs. Moldova. Moldova was sentenced for violation of freedom of expression, rights to protection of property, effective appeal, for torture, illegal detention and non-execution or late execution of judgments.
The ECHR has sentenced Moldova in 91 cases until now. It passed 46 judgments (50.5 percent) vs. Moldova only in 2007(!), the year that authorities declared to be the "last 100 metres" in the EUMAP implementation process.
1 Moldova will have to pay 78,710 Euros (approximately 1.3 million lei) as damages in the 15 cases.
2 The ECHR has obliged Moldova to pay approximately 1.53 million Euros (about 25.3 million lei) in damages to applicants until now.
Studies, Analyses, Comments
What does sociological profile of new local power suggest?
Igor Botan, 31 October 2007
Poor enough image of parties may be compensated by a pretty good image of local public administration bodies, of course if parties have an adequate representation in these bodies and if electors appreciate their activity