Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, year V, issue 107, November 17–30, 2007
Activity of Public Institutions
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Activity of Public Institutions
- Sergiu Furdui was appointed deputy chairman of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) Criminal College for a four-year term;
- Ion Arhiliuc was appointed SCJ judge.
1.2. Legal acts
State budget law for 2008. The parliamentary majority has voted the document in spite of protests of the opposition, with the latter blocking the stall and the presidium of the Parliament. The Our Moldova Alliance (OMA) faction demanded the living broadcasting of the plenary sitting, saying that the budget law is used for the interests of the ruling party while proposals by the opposition are unjustifiably turned down in a secret regime. Lawmakers representing the Democratic Party of Moldova and the Party of Social Democracy left the sitting hall as a sign of protests, saying that the budget expenses favour the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM). PCRM representatives noted that they have given green light to certain initiatives of some commissions, but the proposals seeking expenses in the amount of about 2.6 billion lei and possibilities to increase them have been studied in the context of general revenues and expenditures that the Parliament had adopted in the first and second readings.
Law on modification and completion of some legal acts (publishing in the state register of legal acts). It obliges the legal information centre to publish official acts on the website and preserve these documents. Also, it regulates the publishing of rectifications and changes in official acts on the website.
Law on modification and completion of some legal acts (advertising of judgments). The law is adopted to execute the action plan on implementation of the Preliminary Country Plan of the Republic of Moldova within the U.S. Millennium Challenge Account, in order to ensure the respect and advertising of judgments and rulings. It stipulates the publishing of final decisions on websites of law courts, reports on examination of cases and honouring of this commitment by every judge. The law will enter into force after the elaboration of additional regulations, opening of websites, allocation of necessary funds and materials.
Law on modification and completion of certain legal acts (declaration of incomes and estate by judges). It obliges judges to declare their incomes and estate and their declarations will be published; it aims to enhance the transparency of the Superior Council of Magistracy and regulates related aspects.
Law on modification and completion of the law on petitioning. It regulates the online petitioning procedure accordingly to the law on electronic document and digital signature.
Draft law on rectification of the 2007 state budget. The document adopted in the first reading increases the incomes by 919.9 million lei and expenses by 1,126,000,000 lei, while the budgetary deficit accounts for 207 million lei. The changes are linked to additional incomes and revenues expected until the end of this year, which will be particularly collected from income taxes, taxes on commodities and services, VAT, etc. More than 436 million lei of the additional revenues will be allocated for salaries and pensions, about 132 million lei for road repairing, 92 million lei will be spent to increase the statutory capital of the railway enterprise of Moldova CFM (in connection with the construction of the Cahul-Giurgiulesti railway), about 65 million lei will be allocated to remedy the consequences of the 2007 summer drought.
1.3. Parliamentary control. Statements
PCRM Deputy Anatolie Zagorodnii has asked the Intelligence and Security Service to report if the journalist of the Moldova Suverana newspaper, Mihai Contiu, has told the truth when he said that Romanian intelligence services had imposed him to spy upon persons from the entourage of Moldovan president and politicians, artists.
Parliamentarian Valentina Cusnir has demanded the Government to report the credits that it has taken from 2001 to present and changes made in the central public administration apparatus after April 2005.
Social Liberal Deputy Igor Klipii has asked the prime minister to report relations between Moldova and the European Union, perspective to sign an EU association agreement and reasons of non-execution of some provisions of the EU-Moldova Action Plan. In another interpellation, Klipii asked the minister of education and youth to provide ample information regarding trials lost by the ministry and non-execution of final judgments by minister. He noted that this minister is "a leader in not executing judgments" and this problem often fuels ECHR sentences."
Democratic Deputy Dumitru Diacov has appealed to the Central Electoral Commission and Prosecutor-General’s Office to investigate how bags with ballot papers from the Hancesti district elections are preserved, as there are speculations that one has access to them and could influence the recounting of the votes.
The OMA faction has released a statement concerning the draft state social insurance budget law for 2008. It fears that the budget has a declarative "social orientation" while the discriminatory trend of extorting revenues on shoulders of workers continues.
2.1. Appointments. Reshuffles
- Ion Ciobanu was appointed deputy minister of education and youth.
- Violeta Ivanov was assigned deputy minister of environment and natural resources.
- Nicolae Alexei was relieved from the office of State Environmental Inspectorate head.
Concerning the implementation of the state programme on building the real estate cadastre. Although many actions have been taken, the Government found out that the programme on introduction of the new real estate estimation system aimed to tax the real estate accordingly to the market value is slowly implemented. Insufficient cooperation between territorial cadastral offices and local public administrations delayed the real estate evaluation process. The Government instructed the Ministry of Local Public Administration to take actions in order to urge local authorities to issue the lists of real estate owners, while the Agency of Land Relations and Cadastre must finalise the evaluations, study all appeals regarding correctness of housing evaluation by December 15, 2007.
Decision on national commission for the monitoring of the weapon and disarmament control. The commission is created to execute international acts on combat of terrorism, control on weapons and munitions, with this measure being part of the EU-Moldova Action Plan.
Decision on creation and implementation of the automatic information system called single licensing register. The Licensing Chamber will be the beneficiary and the Ministry of Information Development, while subordinated structures will be in charge with executing the register. The finances needed to build and implement the system will be allocated from the fund for the building of information society Electronic Moldova.
Decision on building the national museum Capriana Monastic Complex, a branch of the National Museum of Archaeology and History of Moldova. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism will approve the regulation of the museum, while the Ministry of Finance will fund the opening and work of the museum from general revenues of the 2008 state budget.
Decisions approving some draft laws:
- Concerning the public function and status of public functionary;
- Concerning popular guards;
- Extending the safeguard measures on Moldovan sugar imports for a four-year term. They are extended because the situation of the sugar processing industry has partly improved.
Decisions approving concepts, strategies, plans:
- The national consumer protection strategy for 2008–2012;
- The concept on integrated automatic migration and asylum information system;
- The action plan on implementation of the Law# 96-XVI from April 13, 2007 on public procurements.
Decisions on allocation of funds:
- The Government Apparatus is allocated 697,000 lei from the reserve fund "to purchase a vehicle";
- The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry is allocated 40 million lei raised on the special humanitarian aid account to remedy the consequences of the drought. The allocations will be used to purchase Diesel oil for subsidising the farm land processing expenditures;
- More than 3.6 million lei is allocated to district councils to execute decisions by law courts and compensate the value of property of rehabilitated persons.
2.3. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Implementation of the "state nomenclature of drugs"
The prime minister has convoked a sitting and learned that the drug sale monitoring software was installed in about 500 pharmacies and branches until now, or approximately 80 percent of all pharmacies. Agency officials noted that the implementation of this system has essentially improved the record of quality of medications sold to population and reduced the fiscal evasion in this sector. Also, the drug registrations rose by 23.5 percent and pharmacies which implemented the record system have increased nearly three-fold the collections to the budget compared with 2005. Competent ministries will ensure the integration of the software within one month, while the Drug Agency jointly with the Ministry of Information Development will update the drug classifier and will improve the software installation mechanism, ensuring the installation of software in all pharmacies by the end of this year.
- Svetlana Caitaz, judge of the Supreme Court of Justice, was awarded the Civil Merit medal;
- Gheorghe Rusnac was appointed Moldovan ambassador to Italy.
3.2. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Functioning of the Competition Agency
The chief of state has attended a broadened sitting of the Administrative Council of the National Agency for the Protection of Competition, which made the totals of activity of this institution for nine months after being created. Vladimir Voronin noted that Moldova is implementing European standards in all fields of society life, including economy, and the country cannot be an EU member without competitive commodities and services. According to Voronin, the Moldovan economy may become competitive including with the condition to develop the competition on domestic market and the real competition must become an efficient macroeconomic mechanism, really influence the inflation and employment. The president noted that the state leadership, Government have combated the sabotage of clans and they finally created a structure to develop the competition and improve the control on respect for the rules of the game on the commodity and service market, but the agency must not become a police body.
Supreme Security Council sitting
Vladimir Voronin has chaired a sitting of the Supreme Security Council, which studied issues related to information security of Moldova and measures to ensure it. According to the chief of state, the process of building the information society implies certain risks for information security and national security of the country. On this occasion, it was noted that the information security in Moldova is insufficiently ensured:
- The adoption of the state information security concept is delayed;
- A methodological and practical coordination of systems of public administration authorities is absent;
- Databases of public authorities are not adjusted to effective requirements and they are not interconnected;
- Public administration bodies insufficiently use information technologies;
- Information technologies are not used enough;
- Electronic communication systems, legal and normative databases, websites of authorities are episodically and secondarily visited.
The Government will speed up the elaboration of the information security concept; will ensure the standardisation of special electronic databases of public authorities, and their reciprocal integration under conditions of information security. Also, the sitting welcomed the intensified development of information networks, the efficient integration and securing of databases of public authorities, the granting of methodological and practical assistance to public authorities to implement and use modern information technologies.
Implementation of regulatory reform
The Ministry of Economy and Commerce has reported the implementation of the law on revision and optimisation of the normative framework regulating the entrepreneurship (the so-called Guillotine I) and the law on basic entrepreneurship regulatory principles (Guillotine II). It noted that more than 1,000 normative acts regulating the entrepreneurship have been revised and optimised at the first stage of implementation of the regulatory reform (2004–2006), and half of them have been abrogated. More than 80 laws on entrepreneurship have been modified at the second stage of the reform to enhance the direct action of laws, prevent contradictions, annul double provisions and ensure their uniformity. The chief of state ordered the state commission in charge with regulating the entrepreneurship to continue its work and backed an idea to work out a new law on licensing, which would bring a single approach of the state policy regulating the licensing of entrepreneurship. The draft law would clearly and transparently stipulate the licensing criteria; the authority in charge with issuing licences; the categories of licence holders; the control on respect for legislation on licensing; the licensed activities. Also, the new legal act would legalise the "one-stop-shop" principle, which is not stipulated by law at present.
Speeding the elaboration of the National Development Plan
Mr. Voronin has chaired a sitting of the National Committee for the Elaboration of the National Development Plan (NDP) for 2008–2011. According to a report on elaboration of this document, the structure of the document includes the National Development Plan Strategy and the Action Plan on Implementation of NDP. The plan is based on five strategic priorities of Moldova: a) consolidation of a modern democratic state based on the supremacy of the law; b) settlement of the Transnistrian conflict and reintegration of the country; c) enhanced competitiveness of national economy; d) development of human resources, employment and promotion of social inclusion; e) regional development. The sitting underlined the opportunity of modifying the final draft by including recent presidential initiatives on strengthening of confidence between the two banks of the Dniester River. The draft NDP will be shortly delivered to the Government as a legal initiative in order to be approved.
Execution of the "Satul Moldovenesc" National Programme
A meeting convoked by chief of state has made the totals of actions stipulated by the Satul Moldovenesc (Moldovan Village) National Programme for this year and stressed new tasks aimed to optimise the accomplishment of goals.
It was noted regarding the gasification area that the objectives concerning the building of natural gas distribution networks and gasification of rural establishments have been accomplished (807 localities have been connected to gas pipes since 2002, 6 districts have been wholly connected, 7 districts were connected 60–90 percent, 6 districts 40–60 percent, and 14 administrative territorial units up to 40 percent). These achievements intensify the implementation paces of the National Gasification Programme, and the chief of state instructed competent authorities to accelerate the gasification process in villages, so that 19 districts of the country to be supplied natural gas by the end of 2008.
As regards the implementation of the drinkable water providing and sewerage programme, it was noted that the Government and local public authorities should accelerate this process. Inter-district water pipes shall be put into operation at a maximum capacity, some localities shall be connected to central water pipes, branch pipes shall be constructed, sewerage systems and residual water filtering stations shall be renovated.
Actions taken in agriculture sector aimed to consolidate farm land and implement national programmes in this area. As of January 1, 2007, 211 agricultural cooperatives were working in Moldova, and another 18 cooperatives opened in 2007. There are 177 technological and machine stations at present. As many as 123 processing enterprises have been renovated in 2005–07, with 382 procurement facilities operating in villages. Vladimir Voronin indicated the need of encouraging the opening of crop processing enterprises, recommending the Government to work out a draft law to award facilities to investors who would open modern crop processing enterprises in rural areas, accordingly to European requirements and standards. The president also stressed the need of intensifying the introduction of ecological agriculture, instructing the competent ministry to take more decisive measures in this respect.
As regards accomplishments in education sector, the number of kindergartens has increased from 1,100 up to 1,356 in the past three years, being endowed with teaching materials, artistic literature and toys. Pre-university institutions were endowed with equipment for all subjects for the first time in the past 20 years. All high schools in Moldova are connected to the Internet and have modern computer classrooms, and another 50 high schools have been endowed with educational software for 4 subjects. Voronin underlined the need of identifying sources in order to renovate kindergartens and pre-university institutions, cultural facilities and libraries in rural areas.
The territorial transportation infrastructure shall develop. Given the deficit of funds for capital repairing of local roads, it was proposed to involve the Ministry of Transportation and Road Management in renovating a road metal segment by washing away, levelling and rolling it. A decision on further actions will depend on results of this pilot project.
The results of the cooperative infrastructure development have been appreciated: 578 trade public food facilities have been modernised in 2005–07, 26 acquisition units and 179 branches completed the crop procurement network, and the service volume of consumer cooperation has increased.
The Government was instructed at the end of the sitting to study the pace of implementation of the Satul Moldovenesc National Programme including in every ministry, so that to take concrete measures and execute the document.
"Discussions with President" Broadcast
The chief of state has approached problems of interior and foreign policy during a traditional TV broadcast aired by NIT:
- He invited political opponents to comment on the new draft PCRM Programme published in a 500,000-copy circulation, in order to study it by March 1, 2008;
- Pensions will not grow in the near future because there is a big problem to collect means from farmers to the social fund – only 7 percent of collections come from farmers while 93 percent of pensions are paid to citizens from the state budget. The chief of state revealed that a one-percent rise of pensions costs about 80 million lei a year and the Government is in charge with guaranteeing and indexing pensions on time, accordingly to the law;
- The president was sceptical with the future of the major coalition in the Chisinau Municipal Council and partnership between the Democratic Party and the Social-Liberal Party, saying that no coalition in Moldova has resolved anything until now and the democrats have nothing in common with the social-liberals;
- The state budget of Moldova has grown 6.7-fold in the past seven years and it will be the equivalent to eight budgets of 2001 by the end of next year;
- He rejected the accusations of the opposition that more transfers for communist local authorities have been foreseen when the 2008 state budget law was elaborated. Voronin noted that all estimates met the norms and it would be a mistake to deprive of resources in 2008 the districts where the PCRM was short of several mandates to win. The Government was not instructed against these districts because "such moves would run counter communists";
- Invoking the example of the new district elections in Rezina, the chief of state was sure that the communists would win new elections in Chisinau;
- Opposition parties win elections by lying and bribing electors;
- It was expected that divergences in the Moldova-Romania relations would be remedied after Romania’s accession to the EU, but it is not so. For this reason, Moldovan authorities will approach these relations at the EU level, not at a bilateral level." Voronin accused Romania of voting against trade preferences for Moldova in the European Parliament and noted that Romania’s actions would synchronise with those of Tiraspol, as Romania raises the language issue, seeks the revision of the World War II results and Helsinki Treaty when the Transnistria settlement negotiations should restart.
The most controversial statement delivered during the broadcast envisaged the functioning of the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia and a recent decision by the Romanian Orthodox Church Synod to open three dioceses within the Bessarabian Metropolitan Church. According to the chief of state, Moldovan authorities could withdraw from the ECHR judgment on registration of the Bessarabian Metropolitan Church in Moldova, if the decision on opening of three new dioceses is not suspended. Voronin fears that this decision of the Romanian Patriarchate targets against the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Moldova, against Moldovan nation.
Legal experts and opposition politicians commented the president’s statements on withdrawal from the ECHR decision, describing them as biased and aberrant and warning that such actions could exclude Moldova from the Council of Europe and this would close its European integration way.
1 Statements by representatives of the Lawyers for Human Rights Organisation, lawyers to the ECHR (Press releases by Info-Prim Neo news agency; Timpul newspaper, 01.12.2007)
1. Prices and inflation
Prices still are on the rise…
Prices of a number of products continued to grow in November. In particular, prices of food products have grown. Consequences of the last summer drought fuelled much the prices of food products. The inflation of food prices could have serious impacts on Moldovan people, who spend much of their earnings on food. Moldovans consume two-fold more food products (as share in the consumer basket) than other Europeans because they are poor. The poorer one is the more food products it consumes as share in the total because the need of food is a priority and all the earning is spent on it. The November evolution of prices is expected to raise the monthly inflation rate up to about 20 percent and the cumulated rate for 11 months could reach 13 percent. The higher November inflation rate will be also linked to dearer fuels on domestic market.
NBM "will control" inflation…
The National Bank of Moldova governor has said two weeks ago that the direct inflation targeting process will begin soon. The initiative of the central bank to officially introduce the inflation targeting is welcome in general. In addition, it is important that the monetary authority is very concerned with evolution of Moldovan inflation. However, there are many risk factors that the central bank cannot control and, therefore, the NBM is not prepared yet to introduce the direct inflation targeting. The new regime could be introduced only after a series of premises: when the annual inflation rate counts for a single figure (it is about 14 percent in Moldova); the central bank enjoys a full operational independence; the financial sector is stable and strong, in spite of the need to enhance the financial intermediation; the fiscal dominant is not a problem any longer (the public debt and the budgetary deficit are on the decline); the inflation targets for next years were agreed with the Government; the bank strengthened its inflation forecast capacity; the success of disinflation process in the past years strengthened the credibility of NBM. These premises are not accomplished here and there.
…in spite of clear risks
NBM will face major dilemmas even if it introduces the inflation targeting. They would come from dearer petrol, natural gas and energy agents in general; inflationist expectations of population; speculative market trends; massive remittances and, of course, the relation between leu and main reference currencies (USD and euro). The later, in particular the cost of NBM interventions on currency market, the cost of sterilisation of liquidity of currency excess could affect the inflation targeting process. The leu has appreciated very much versus dollar even in nominal terms (more than 12 percent this year) and versus euro in 2007, and this fact produced a major controversy regarding the impact on exports, external deficits. The export-oriented sectors are strongly affected and foreign deficits have boomed compared with last year.
2. Real sector
Moldovan industry is on a continuous decline…
The industrial production decreased by more than 9 percent in October and it registered a handicap of 0.7 percent in ten months. Thus, the very optimistic 8.5-percent growth forecast estimated by Government for 2007 is failed. According to official statistics, all industrial enterprises manufactured goods worth over 21.1 billion lei (1.8 billion dollars) in current prices. The decline of industrial production compared with January-October 2006 was linked to the reduction of wine production by 34.2 percent, sugar by 53.3 percent, distilled spirits by 31.7 percent, cigarettes by 9.5 percent. Even more, the production volume of food and drink industry has decreased by 7.6 percent. The Moldovan industry declined by approximately 7 percent last year including because of the Russian embargo on Moldovan wines.
3. Financial-banking sector
Bank assets up to 2.75 billion dollars…
The overall assets of the banking system rose by 950 million lei in October up to about 31 billion lei (2.75 billion dollars). They rose by more than 36 percent in January-October 2007 and over 1.5-fold compared with the similar period of 2006. The rise of assets of commercial banks was particularly due to the growth of the credit portfolio and deposits by population, as well as to the continuous advance of investments in banks’
capital. The supply of deposits attracted by banks rose by about 33 percent in January-September 2007. A comparable growth was registered for the credit portfolio of banks. It has increased by more than one third in the period concerned. At the same time, deposits and credits rose by 40 percent and 52 percent compared with the similar period of 2006.
Bank deposits estimated at over 1.7 billion dollars…
Bank deposits rose by more than 380 million lei in October, up to about 19.2 billion lei or over 1.7 billion dollars. They rose due to higher interest rates on credits in lei and foreign currency introduced by banks. Thus, the medium interest rate on forward deposits in lei rose by 0.6 percentage points in October, up to 15.47 percent, while the rate on deposits in foreign currency increased by 0.2 percentage points, up to 6.12 percent on average. The growth was particularly due to the rise of deposits in Moldovan lei by more than 3 percent, while deposits in foreign currency increased by one percent. The rise of deposits was also influenced by attractiveness of deposits in lei, following the continuous appreciation of Moldovan leu versus dollar and euro. This trend could be observed till the end of this year.
…while credits up by over 40 percent
The supply of credits released to economic agents and population has grown by more than 40 percent in 10 months of this year, up to about 19.18 billion lei (1.7 billion dollars). The rise was linked to a 2.5-percent growth of the supply of credits in Moldovan lei and a 4.6-percent advance of credits in foreign currency. Banks released credits in lei worth more than 1.32 billion lei in October. Legal entities received 71 percent of these credits. The medium interest rate on credits in lei remained at the level of 18.97 percent in October, like in September, while the medium rate on credits in foreign currency decreased by 0.8 percentage points, down to 10.8 percent.
Moldovans face most barriers to financial access, World Bank report says…
Moldova is part of the last four countries in Central and East Europe regarding the financial access among 24 states covered by the latest World Bank report on this issue. Poland faces most barriers to financial access, followed by Moldova, Bulgaria and Romania. Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia envoy the easiest financial access in the region, and they approach the rate 2. The top is based on rates from 1 to 5, with Lithuania being rated the highest mark – 4.5, and Moldova, Albania and Ukraine 0. At the same time, Romania was rated 0.5. The "Finance for All" Policy Research Report is based on data for 2006.
The report underlines the importance for emerging states to adopt the Basel II provisions, estimating this way a considerable development of financial information system. The more sophisticated the statistic researches on risk of credits are the more important advantages small borrowers enjoy due to cheaper loans, say World Bank experts. According to the research report, the entry of big international players on emerging financial-bank markets does not necessarily ensure an easier access to financial information. Many foreign banks are relatively big groups which could face difficulties in understanding some aspects of the domestic business culture. Big banks have an advantage regarding major transactions, but small domestic banks are advantaged regarding loans released to small and medium businesses, it added.
After October, November is over…
Igor Botan, 30 November 2007
It seems that the October initiatives by President Vladimir Voronin released in three interviews with two Moscow-based newspapers will have the fate of precedent proposals; that means mediators and observers will welcome them in continuation, they will fuel new debates and consultations, etc., but they will not have a significant impact
COEST EU-Moldova Troika Meeting
Brussels hosted the COEST EU-Moldova Troika Meeting on November 21–22. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Valeriu Ostalep headed the Moldovan delegation. The meeting focussed on bilateral relations between the European Union and Moldova, issues related to the work of the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine, Transnistrian conflict and internal developments in Moldova.
In Brussels, Mr. Ostalep has met Marianne Mikko, co-chairwoman of the EU-Moldova Parliamentary Cooperation Committee; Hilde Hardeman, head of unit at the European Commission’s External Relations Directorate-General; Joseph Daul, chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament (EP), and representatives of EU member states.
The meetings of the Moldovan official were part of Moldova’s effort to persuade its European partners to support its desire of succeeding to a new quality of relations with the EU. On the occasion of the COEST EU-Moldova Troika Meeting, Ostalep reiterated that the Chisinau authorities are interested to begin negotiations on a new legal document, which would allow Moldova to gradually join the EU four-freedom area.
Visa facilitation and readmission agreements
The EU Council approved on November 29, 2007 the EU-Moldova visa facilitation and readmission agreements. EP approved the agreements on November 13, while the Moldovan Parliament ratified them on November 8. The enforcement date will be published in the EU Official Journal. The agreements are expected to enter into force on January 1, 2008.
Republic of Moldova – Romania
Romanian Foreign Minister Adrian Cioroianu and Romanian Ambassador to Moldova Filip Teodorescu have reassured that Romania is interested in continuation in developing advantageous relations with Moldova and it remains the purposeful supporter of Moldova’s bids to join the EU. They reaffirmed the sincere willingness of the Romanian state to help approaching a European future for Moldova.
Cioroianu said that Moldova is the priority beneficiary of development assistance which will shortly become operational. Speaking about problems related to issuance of Romanian visas for Moldova citizens, the minister noted that some of them are linked to the blockage which occurred after Bucharest has sought more than once the enlargement of the Romanian consular network in Moldova.
As regards the possibility to recognise the Schengen visas and stay permits issued by EU member states in order to withdraw the Romania transit visas for Moldovan citizens, Cioroianu stated that a draft decision in this regard is being finalised in Brussels and it could enter into force soon. He also discussed the idea to issue Romanian visas at border crossing stations, noting that community regulations allow the issuance of such visas in emergency situations only.
In his turn, Filip Teodorescu said that the Consulate of the Romanian Embassy in Chisinau has renounced the online appointment system for visa applicants and now it follows the principle "the first comer is served the first." The diplomat emphasised that the Romanian Consulate will move to a larger headquarter in December 2007 and it will be able to process about 650–700 visa applications a day, and it will introduce a call centre appointment system, if the number of visa applications will be bigger than the processing capacity of the Consulate in continuation.
Speaking about trade exchanges between Romania and Moldova, the diplomat said that they are on the rise. Trade exchanges between the two countries were valued at about 600 million dollars in January-September 2007, compared with 564 million dollars in 2006. These data invalidate the hypothesis that the trade exchanges with Moldova will seriously regress after Romania’s accession to the EU.
Republic of Moldova – Russia
The Moldovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration (MFAEI) has noticed in the period concerned that accordingly to international norms, the Russian Federation can open polling stations in Moldova for the December 2 elections in the State Duma, but only within its embassy.
However, representatives of the Moscow central electoral commission have announced that 24 polling stations will open in Moldova: one in the Russian Embassy in Chisinau and another 23 in the Transnistrian region. It explained that the international law declares the places where armed forces are dislocated as locations with an extra-territorial status, and therefore, Russia can hold elections in the Transnistrian region without the consent of Moldova.
Replying to this statement, the MFAEI reiterated its attitude towards opening of polling stations in the Transnistrian region.
Republic of Moldova – CEFTA
Moldova took over the one-year CEFTA Chairmanship at the November 21 meeting of CEFTA prime ministers in Skopje, Macedonia.
Accordingly to the governmental press service, First Deputy Prime Minister Zinaida Greceanii has stated that the Moldovan CEFTA Chairmanship will organise meetings on adjustment of legislation on customs management, origin, standardisation rules, and withdrawal of barriers on way of trade, etc.
The meeting adopted a declaration of prime ministers which indicates milestones of future cooperation in the region and full implementation of the CEFTA Agreement.
Republic of Moldova – CEI
The Bulgarian capital of Sofia hosted the Central European Initiative (CEI) Summit on November 27. Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev represented Moldova at the event. Bulgaria handed over the CEI Chairmanship to Moldova during the summit. Besides the CEI Chairmanship, Moldova took over the CEFTA Chairmanship and it is due to take over the chairmanships in the South East European Cooperation Process and the RACVIAC Initiative. By running these organisations in 2008, Moldova hopes to improve its regional and European image, to demonstrate that it is a trustworthy regional partner, to strengthen its relations with the states participating in these commitments and to seize this opportunity in order to approach the EU more.
Premier Vasile Tarlev has told the summit that the Moldovan CEI Chairmanship will hold political and sectoral events, in particular, on tourism, science, transportation and energy.
According to the documents approved at the summit, the CEI fields of activity – human development, economic development and institutional development – have been reduces; the participants redefined the CEI goals, in particular the structuring of cooperation matters, revision of financial system of the opposition, coordination of activities with various regional players. Strengthening the cooperation with member states and assisting CIE members to join the EU are basic tasks of the organisation in continuation. At the summit, Ambassador Pietro Ercole Ago was appointed director of the CEI Executive Secretariat.
Republic of Moldova – OSCE
The 15th Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council took place in Madrid, Spain on November 29–30. For more details, see the "Transnistrian problem" chapter.
Republic of Moldova – Council of Europe
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has sentenced Moldova in another 5 cases in the period concerned: Popovici vs. Moldova, Ursu vs. Moldova, David vs. Moldova, Timpul Info-Magazin and Anghel vs. Moldova, and Turcan vs. Moldova. Moldova was sentenced for illegal detention of applicants, inhuman treatments, and violation of the rights to a fair trial, effective appeal and freedom of expression. Moldova will have to pay 49,300 Euros (approximately 818,400 lei) to the applicants in the 5 cases.
The ECHR has sentenced Moldova in 103 cases until now. It passed 58 judgments (51.5 percent) vs. Moldova in 2007 only.
1 Timpul, year VI, issue 212 (715), 30 November, 2007.
2 The ECHR has obliged Moldova to pay damages in the amount of 1.93 million Euros (approximately 31.8 million lei) to applicants until now.
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Party legislation: Quo Vadis and how?..
Sergiu Grosu, 30 November 2007
The "revision of legislation on political parties accordingly to European norms" is one of legal actions that the Republic of Moldova should take in line with the Resolution and Recommendations by the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (CoE)