Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, year VI, issue 115, April 1–15, 2008
Activity of Public Institutions
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Activity of Public Institutions
1.1. Appointments. Dismissals
Under parliamentary decisions:
- Vitalie Tabunscic was appointed member of the electronic media watchdog CCA for a 6-year term;
- Tudor Tataru was nominated member of the Board of Observers of national public broadcasting company TeleRadio-Moldova for a 4-year term;
- Mihai Poalelungi was relieved from the posts of judge and deputy chairman of the Supreme Court of Justice and chairman of the civil and administrative college of SCJ under his own demand (as he was nominated judge to the ECHR).
1.2. Legal acts
Law on completion of the law concerning declaration and control of incomes and estate of dignitaries. Under completions, within ten days after the deadline for presentation of declarations, the central control commission shall deliver copies of declarations by judges to the Superior Council of Magistracy in order to publish them on its website.
Note by ADEPT: by completing this law, the Parliament has partly approached the transparency issue, avoiding a compulsory publication of all declarations by first-ranking dignitaries on website, though such an initiative was raised long ago and experts said that transparency in this area is an efficient method to prevent and combat corruption at a high level.
Law banning the dual citizenship. A certain circle of holders of dual citizenship will be restricted from running public offices, in particular, members of the Parliament, the chief of state, members of the Government, judges, security officers, local elected officials, functionaries provided access to state secrets, other public functionaries. Persons willing to run these offices will have to confirm their renunciation or an ongoing procedure needed to renounce the citizenship of another country, or withdraw their applications for a foreign citizenship. Note by ADEPT: It was earlier signalled the discriminatory power of this document and the possibility to use it with the purpose to exclude some electoral contestants, as well as to comb out public administration functionaries. The lack of clear provisions on renunciation or declaration to renounce the citizenship of another country will harden the enforcement and could allow an abusive, discretionary application of these regulations.
Law on modification and completion of the Election Code. The document brings new regulations, in particular, it raised the electoral threshold from 4 up to 6 percent; bans electoral blocs; specifies restrictions to elect and to be elected (for persons sentenced to jail terms, those with effective criminal records); explains provisions on suspension of dignitaries from their offices; inclusion into ballots by drawing, etc. Only the PCRM and CDPP factions have backed these modifications.
Law on modification of the law on migration. Under the law, the Government will establish the immigration quota in future after consultations with the Interior Ministry but only for labour purposes. This way, authorities hope to attract foreign investments and open new jobs in Moldova.
Draft law on protection of witnesses and other participants in criminal proceedings. The document regulates the ensuring of security of participants in criminal cases whose lives, body integrity, freedom or property are threatened, as they hold data that they accepted to provide or cogent evidence of grave or very crimes. The document is part of the EU-Moldova Action Plan and priorities of intensifying the fight against organised crime.
Draft law declaring the construction of the Cahul-Giurgiulesti railway as a public utility of national interest. Private assets (fields and constructions) near villages and communes of Manta, Colibasi, Brinza, Valeni, Slobozia Mare and Cislita-Prut, the district of Cahul, will be objects of expropriation for public utility cause. The Government will take all necessary measures on behalf of the state to expropriate assets located in the area of public utility works. Note by ADEPT: Opposition lawmakers did not warm this law, fearing that the planned expropriations are not "fairly compensated" in compliance with relevant constitutional norms (Article 46 (2) of Constitution), while the Government proposes derisory prices to landowners (maximum 56,000 lei per hectare). Also, they accused that the construction concerned affects the environment in the region.
1.3. Parliamentary control. Statements
The parliamentary majority has turned down initiatives by opposition factions and lawmakers:
- to create a parliamentary commission to investigate the case of Valeriu Pasat, former minister of defence;
- to invite a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration to report the signing by Moldova of a bilateral agreement on small border traffic with Romania;
- to create a parliamentary commission to investigate the seizure of a large quantity of drugs, a case involving high-ranking officials of the Interior Ministry.
The first deputy prosecutor-general has notified the Parliament that:
- a very large quantity of drugs was discovered and Interior Ministry functionaries are involved;
- circumstances of the sale of the Ghindesti-based SA Fabrica de Zahar are being developed.
A representative of the Centre for the Struggle against Economic Crimes and Corruption has answered an interpellation regarding the legality of delivery of calculation equipment by Moldovan president to the Theoretical High School in the village of Magdacesti, the district of Criuleni. Accordingly to the report, the equipment was delivered in compliance with the regulation concerned, under an order by the Directorate-General of the Moldovan President Apparatus.
The Information and Security Service has assured Deputy Gheorghe Susarenco that it does not intercept telephones of parliamentarians.
Several lawmakers have recommended changing the hour of Ora Guvernului (Government’s Hour), so that to be held before plenary sittings and those invited for hearings to be able to fulfil their tasks at workplace later.
Democratic Party Deputy Valeriu Guma has asked the director of the railway company of Moldova CFM to explain the 200-percent rise of the internal cargo carriage transportation tariff for trains starting April 1.
On April 4, 2008, members of the Parliament commented on the election of the chief of state three years ago. Valentina Cusnir, Vladimir Filat and Iurie Rosca read statements in this respect.
The faction representing the Democratic Party of Moldova has released a statement signalling urgent necessary measures to improve living standards in Moldova, otherwise the country runs the risk to lose all residents and disappear from the map.
The faction of the Our Moldova Alliance accuses the parliamentary majority of having turned plenary sittings of the Parliament into working sittings of the Party of Communists, ignoring all proposals and objections of the opposition; it noted that the vote of Communist lawmakers is dictated by party discipline not by interest of citizens and country.
The faction representing the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova accuses the opposition of attempting on freedom of the media by seeking the closure of the "Rezonans" programme aired by Moldova 1 and "Povesti cu Masti" programme aired by TV channel NIT.
The faction representing the Christian Democratic People’s Party has brought new accusations against the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova, Vladimir Filat, former director of the Privatisation and State Property Management Department, former minister of state.
In his turn, LDPM chairman Vladimir Filat has accused the CDPP and its leader Iurie Rosca of taking actions to destroy the democratic opposition.
2.1. Appointments. Dismissals
- Former minister of finance Mihai Pop was appointed head of the Government Apparatus;
- Viorel Melnic, former deputy minister of economy and commerce, was nominated director-general of the Customs Service;
- Vladimir Golovatiuc, former employee of the National Bank of Moldova, was appointed chairman of the National Bureau for Statistics;
- Sergiu Puscuta, former chairman of the State Fiscal Inspectorate, was assigned director of the Centre for the Struggle against Economic Crimes and Corruption;
- Tatiana Loghin, former deputy chief of the State Fiscal Inspectorate of the Chisinau municipality, was appointed chief of the State Fiscal Inspectorate;
- Iurie Carp, former director-general of SA Aroma, was nominated director-general of the Moldova-Vin Agency;
- Ion Chicu, former deputy minister of finance, and Ruslan Focea were appointed advisors for the prime minister;
- Tudor Copaci, former executive director of the Chisinau Unit for the Implementation of the Japanese Government Grant, was appointed deputy minister of economy and commerce.
Decision approving the Government’s action plan for the 2nd quarter of 2008. The document includes chapters on elaboration of draft normative and legal regulations, analysis of work of central public administration.
Decision on day-off in May 2008. The 2nd of May will be a day-off and the 17th of May will be a working day. Under this decision, ministries, central administration authorities, managers of state enterprises and organisations will ensure the efficient working of subordinated units on May 17.
Decisions approving some draft laws:
- concerning declaration of the Marculesti Airport as a Free Economic Zone;
- concerning modification of certain regulations on entrepreneurship (empowerment of the Fiscal Inspectorate alone to hold fiscal controls, while the CSAECC is relieved of related competences);
- concerning modification and completion of certain legal acts (introduction of simplified procedures on payment of taxes which cannot be collected).
Decisions on allocation of funds:
- 16 million lei will be allocated to increase the registered capital of the state-owned enterprise Moldelectrica, with the view to build the 110-kW Vulcanesti-Reni power line and the 110/10-kW Giurgiulesti power station;
- The Ministry of Transportation and Road Management will be allocated 15 million lei to raise the registered capital of the state-owned enterprise Portul Fluvial Ungheni, in order to build the Giurgiulesti passenger port;
- The Interior Ministry will be allocated 30 million lei to construct the fire fighting and rescuing shed Giurgiulesti and ensure the technical-material endowment of the fire fighting and rescuing unit Giurgiulesti.
2.3. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Prime Minister Zinaida Greceanii has asked ministers, at the first sitting of the new Cabinet, to revise own action plans accordingly to the governing programme Progress and Integration. She noted that the governing programme fully complies with the National Development Programme (NDP) and it would be fair to update the action plan on implementation of NDS by following the ruling programme, in order to ensure the necessary monitoring.
Improving actions of Interior Ministry
New Interior Minister Valentin Mejinschi has presented a concept on improvement of the Interior Ministry’s activity, with the purpose to affirm the principle "police serving the society and not vice versa." The following actions are recommended for this purpose:
- Strengthening the discipline and order in the Interior Ministry;
- Consolidating skills of human resources;
- Paying a special attention to prevention and struggle of crimes;
- Bringing the police closer to interests of citizens;
- Modifying the police assessment system;
- Building a new image of the police in society by communicating sincerely and openly with citizens and civil society, and the USSR militia will become an indicator in this respect;
- Encouraging cooperation between people and the police, especially with subdivisions which are permanently in touch with people;
- Developing reforms aimed at building a community police;
- Consolidating the integrity of the Interior Ministry effective;
- Extending cooperation with other state and international institutions;
- Providing an adequate technical-material endowment.
Premier Zinaida Greceanii has had a meeting with representatives and delegations from other countries, including:
- Slovakian Foreign Minister Jan Kubis;
- The Millennium Challenge Corporation delegation led by country director Christopher Williams;
- U.S. Ambassador to Moldova Michael D. Kirby;
- Russian Ambassador to Moldova Valery Kuzimin;
- The delegation of the Swiss Executive Committee for UNICEF;
- The joint mission of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and European Investment Bank;
- David Merkel, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state;
- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vladimir Ogrizko.
Mrs. Fatma Firat Topcuoglu, Turkish ambassador to Moldova, was awarded the Civil Merit medal, as her diplomatic mission is over.
3.2. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Law concerning state secret
Moldova’s president has chaired a working sitting with the participation of officials in charge with drafting a new law on state secret, and noted that the legal framework is being updated as the existing law on state secret is out-of-date, runs counter realities in Moldova and European norms in the area. The new draft law on state secret worked out accordingly to recommendations and objections by all central public administration authorities is being finalised and it will be delivered soon to the Government in order to study it. The chief of state outlined the opportunity of studying the experience of European countries in the area of legal regulation of state secrets, so that the final draft law to take into account modern practices from European countries. He also stressed the necessity of optimising the normative framework on protection of state secret and of reducing much the number of secret documents. Also, Vladimir Voronin indicated the opportunity of reducing the number of laws and normative acts regulating the work with secret documents and information.
Youth Year Programme
The chief of state has chaired a sitting on implementation of the action programme concerning the Youth Year, which studied actions of the programme divided into five chapters: legal, normative framework, interventions at policy level; access to services and information; participation of youths; job opportunities for youths; researches and studies on youth policies, 55 actions overall. The sitting also tackled issues such as economic abilities and social support for youths; development of infrastructure of student hostels; employment of youths; rise of the number of budget-funded seats in institutions of higher education and professional institutions (by 30 percent in the first round).
Improving textbook printing system
A sitting convoked by the chief of state has discussed aspects regarding existing textbook printing system, revealing shortcomings in the process of elaboration, editing, assessment, and reassessment and reediting of textbooks. Vladimir Voronin called for a new textbook generation which would meet European norms on didactic material. He recommended the updating of the existing system by setting up a well-structured, functional mechanism based on quality of didactic instructions, fair selection of offers of textbooks. It was stressed the opportunity of improving the mechanism of assessment of manuscripts and selection of reviewers, as well as the need of a methodological framework on assessment of manuscripts and presentation of reviews by assessors.
Activity of "confidence consolidating" groups
Following his meeting with Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov in Bender, Moldovan president has convoked a sitting on activity of working groups in charge with strengthening the confidence between Chisinau and Tiraspol. It discussed diverse aspects of the mode of organisation and conduct of work of the groups, their interaction with similar structures of the Transnistrian side. The groups shall work out proposals on implementation of commercial-economic projects; infrastructure development; restoration of Moldova’s railroads; projects on healthcare and social protection of residents of the Transnistrian region; education and youth; disarmament and demilitarisation; humanitarian assistance; agriculture.
1. Prices and inflation
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 1.1 percent in March compared with February 2008. In particular, prices of food products have grown by 1.7 percent, prices of manufactured goods by 0.7 percent, and tariffs for public services have increased by 1.1 percent. Prices of meat, fresh fruits and vegetal oil have grown the most in the period concerned, by more than 5 percent on average. Tariffs for providing services to population have increased by about 4 percent. Even more, prices of real estate transactions have grown by about 15 percent this year. The cumulated inflation rate for 2008 is 4.1 percent (March 2008, compared with December 2007). For comparison, the inflation rate in March 2007 was 2.1 percent, compared with December 2006.
Central banks should monitor real estate prices more carefully…
A recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says that central banks should monitor real estate prices more carefully. In addition, central banks should take into account prices on real estate market while making decisions on monetary policy interest. The non-performing loan crisis in the United States, which has made important banks go bankrupt, tens of thousands of people lose their jobs and thousands of persons lose their homes because they could not reimburse their credits, brought back the crediting problem on the forefront.
In Moldova for example, the central bank has raised the basic interest rate up to 16.5 percent and thus many important banks had to consider the interest rates on their credits. But a high reference interest practised by the central bank means higher interests on credits by commercial banks and this lowers the crediting level and finally reduces the demand on real estate market. The share of real estate market is different in every country, particularly depending on development level of the mortgage loan market. IMF notes that there are big crediting differences between countries, indicating in this regard the United States, which had a low interest rate which facilitated the access to mortgage credits, and France, which has a stricter credit policy.
The fall of the real estate market does not mean the decline of prices only. It may direct to bankruptcy of banks which granted property-guaranteed credits and now the estate is less worthy, cut jobs of tens of thousands of people, from real estate agents to bankers, and not the last, may affect the economic growth of a country.
2. Banking sector
Interests on deposits following inflation …
Promotions by local banks and new offers make savings more attractive, with the medium interest rate on deposits in lei reaching roughly 16 percent. The medium annual interest on savings in lei rose by more than 0.5 percent last month. After interest rates on deposits were below inflation in late 2007, now they recover the difference compared with price rises. Banks were summoned to raise afferent interests on savings after the basic interest rate has grown, the National Bank of Moldova recently increased the minimum mandatory reserves and a high inflation rate was forecasted.
Banks’ interests on deposits were on the rise in the past weeks. Some banks offer a medium annual interest rate of over 18 percent for deposits in lei from 6 months up to one year. However, higher interests on deposits did not exceed price rises so far. Many depositors realise that they do not gain anything after deducing the interest tax and inflation rate. Thus, banks’ interest rates on deposits in lei are really negative yet.
3. Foreign sector
Moldova’s overall foreign debt counts for about 77 percent of GDP…
Moldova’s overall foreign debt rose by more than 30 percent or 776.5 million dollars in 2007, up to over 3.3 billion dollars, which is approximately 77 percent of the GDP.
According to NBM accounts, the public and public guaranteed debt has grown from 876.4 million dollars in late 2006 up to 938.7 million dollars in late 2007. At the same time, the private non-guaranteed foreign debt has increased by 43.4 percent, up to over 2.36 billion dollars. NBM statistics also reveal that loans count for 48.7 percent of Moldova’s overall foreign debt in late 2007.
In 2007 the National Bank of Moldova was credited about 33.3 million dollars by IMF and reimbursed old loans worth 22.1 million dollars. At the same time, the governmental sector received 47.4 million dollars and paid loans and securities worth about 36 million dollars. According to the central bank, foreign commitments under the shape of loans and securities including related arrears rose up to over 2.25 billion dollars last year. This rise is linked to net inflows (465.14 million dollars), net interest arrears (7.15 million dollars), influence of the exchange rate of U.S. dollar compared with other currencies (65.02 million dollars), and other adjustments (10.75 million dollars).
4. Labour market
Existence minimum in Moldova is over 100 dollars …
The existence minimum in Moldova increased by 17.6 percent in 2007 compared with 2006 and was about 1,100 lei a month. According to NBS accounts, employees of all sectors of national economy except for agriculture afforded the existence minimum for people able to work. Employees in finance sector earned about four fold more than needed for the existence minimum, while salaries in transportation, communication, constructions exceeded the minimum level 2.6 fold. This difference on households is especially linked to different consumer expenditures and high self-consumption share in rural areas. The non-food basket was 44.2 percent of the existence minimum in urban areas and 34.4 percent in rural areas (this indicator is 39.3 percent on country).
People able to work get the highest value of existence minimum, notably 1,159.5 lei, in particular men – 1,227.0 lei. The existence minimum for retirees was 943.4 lei and it covered 85.5 percent of the average per population. As of January 1, 2008, the medium monthly pension accounted for 548.3 lei and covered 58.1 percent of the existence minimum for this category of people.
The maintenance of a child costs 1,002.7 lei on average a month, and this indicator depends on the age of the child, from 394.3 lei per child under 1 year old and up to 1,118.8 lei per child between 7 and 15 years old. Given the monthly indemnities of 230.7 lei paid to insured persons looking after a child below 1.5 years old and 100 lei paid to uninsured persons, these social allocations cover 58.5 and 25.4 percent of the needs of a baby under 1.
Rapid "thaw" may open up "flooding"
Igor Botan, 15 April 2008
President Vladimir Voronin and Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov met in Bender on April 11, 2008, after a pause of six years and half. That was a sensational event. Judging after conduct, Smirnov would have liked to avoid that meeting, with the recognition of Transnistria’s independence by Russia being a priority for him
Implementation of ENP in 2007. Progress report on implementation of the EU-Moldova Action Plan
On April 3, the European Commission released the Communication to the Council and European Parliament "Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2007". The communication is accompanied by other documents of the Commission such as Overall Assessment, Progress and Country Reports. The Communication on the implementation of ENP in 2007 emphasises that the ENP is becoming a reciprocally advantageous partnership for reformation and development, drawing neighbouring countries into an increasingly close relationship with the EU, but promoting a regional integration outside the EU borders. Another important conclusion of the Communication is that future operational instruments which will replace the former Action Plans (especially on Moldova, Ukraine and Israel, which expire in 2008) will be adjusted to ambitions and capacities of partner states, covering differentiated relations between the EU and its partners. However, the new instruments will keep the old format of Action Plans, but will clearly specify the objectives/actions to be taken in the same key areas (7).
But the Progress Report Moldova on implementation of the EU-Moldova Action Plan from November 2006 to December 2007 was the most expected document. According to the Report, Moldova has made progress in all areas covered by EUMAP, in particular, improvement of the institutional framework, signing of the Agreement on Autonomous Trade Preferences and Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements, close cooperation with the EU in the Transnistria settlement process and foreign policy questions, Moldova-Ukraine border management, introduction of origin certificates for exported commodities, creation of the National Agency for the Protection of Competition, etc.
According to the representative of the European Commission (EC) Delegation to Moldova, Paolo Berizzi, who has presented the Progress Report at a news conference, Moldova along with Ukraine, Morocco and Israel composes the group of states which made the greatest progress within the ENP.
However, Moldova is still behind in the areas of judicial reform, media freedom, fight against corruption, business and investment climate. According to the European official, the expiration of the Action Plan does not annul its further effective implementation, particularly regarding defaults, as long as another legal framework on EU-Moldova cooperation is unavailable. So far, in spite of insistence of Moldovan authorities to negotiate a new agreement with the EU, which would clearly stipulate Moldova’s European perspective, the EU did not propose a date but noted via its officials that the future agreement will be a continuation of the old Action Plan and it will not envisage the association.
The EC assessment satisfied Moldovan authorities and surprised independent observers who expected a bitter evaluation, given the regressed freedom of human rights and judicial system in Moldova in 2007.
First sitting of the Joint Committee on management of the Visa Facilitation Agreement
Chisinau hosted on April 11, 2008 the first sitting of the Joint Committee on management of the Visa Facilitation Agreement between Moldova and European Community. According to the Agreement, the Joint Committee is in charge with monitoring the endorsement of the document, recommending modification and completions to the Agreement and settling litigations occurring from interpretation or endorsement of the Agreement. The sitting approved procedure regulations of the Committee and discussed directory lines of implementation of the Agreement. The next sitting of the Joint Committee will take place in Brussels.
Republic of Moldova – Romania
The Moldova-Romania relations were mostly circumscribed to the small border traffic agreement between Moldova and Romania, which if signed, will allow residents in a 50-kilometre area from both sides of the common border to circulate in this area between the two countries without visas or passports, on the basis of special permits. Moldovan Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Andrei Stratan has told a news conference that Moldova received the agreement proposed by Bucharest, but noted that it will be negotiated and signed only after the negotiation and signing of the border agreement between the two countries and basic political treaty. The Romanian side has immediately reacted to this conditioning, with Romanian President Traian Basescu stating during a debate organised by Konrad Adenauer Foundation on April 15 in Bucharest that "a [border] treaty with Moldova is not a priority for Romania."
Note by ADEPT. The basic political treaty and the border treaty have been the subject of disputes between Moldova and Romania for a long time. The name of the language and different visions on national identity were the apple of discord in case of the basic political treaty. In order to remedy this impasse, Romania proposed an alternative in 2006 – the signing of the European Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. As regards the border treaty, divergences are linked to the desire of the Moldovan side to include in the agreement a reference to the 1947 Paris Treaty concerning the border set between Romania and the Union in 1940 (the June 28, 1940 Romanian-Soviet agreement), a document which the Romanian side regards as out-of-date and illegal. According to official sources, both documents are being finalised at level of expert commissions. Although the MFAEI said in 2007 that the agreements could be signed by the end of 2007, the two countries did not sign them so far and no change is expected in this regard in the near future.
Elsewhere, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration has asked Romanian authorities via Romanian Charge d’Affaires to Moldova Ionut Dicu to ensure a wider cooperation with the Moldovan Embassy in Bucharest, as it was tardily notified over cases involving Moldovan citizens. Also, the ministry notified the Romanian diplomat over inadequate conduct of Romanian border officers towards Moldovan citizens, inviting Romanian authorities to organise better the border crossing procedure for citizens of Moldova.
Republic of Moldova – Russia
Moldovan Speaker Marian Lupu met on April 3 the chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federal Assembly, Boris Grizlov. According to the parliamentary press service, the two dignitaries have tackled issues related to commercial-economic relations between Moldova and Russia and Transnistria settlement process. Also, they discussed the possibility to organise a new meeting of the Moldovan-Russian interparliamentary commission in the Moldovan capital in 2008, with an eventual visit by Boris Grizlov to Chisinau.
Note by ADEPT. Last time, high-ranking parliamentary officials from Russia visited Moldova in 2002.
At the same time, Moldova’s President Vladimir Voronin and Prime Minister Zinaida Grecianii have received Russian Ambassador to Moldova Valeri Kuzmin. They approached issues related to the perspective of resuming the Transnistria settlement negotiation process (which restarted shortly after the meeting concerned) and strengthening of partnership between the two countries in several areas. Prime Minister Grecianii stressed the importance of Russia as a strategic partner of Moldova, assuring the Russian ambassador that the new Cabinet of Ministers will take concrete actions to enlarge and deepen cooperation in all areas of mutual interest. The commission for economic cooperation between Moldova and Russia will play an important role in this process. A first action in this regard took place on April 10, when the director of the federal migration service of the Russian Federation, Konstantin Romodanovsky, invited the Moldovan Government, at a meeting with Prime Minister Zinaida Grecianii, to build a joint database on migrants, which would facilitate the legalisation of migrants in both countries and include them into social assistance programmes.
Republic of Moldova – Ukraine
The Moldovan-Ukrainian relations have been freshened up, as Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodimir Ogrizko visited Chisinau. According to the Ukrainian diplomacy, the visit aimed to study existing problems in Moldovan-Ukrainian relations (in particular, the recognition of Moldova’s patrimony in Ukraine, electricity prices, demarcation of the border between the two countries, etc.), in order to prepare a future official visit of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko to Moldova. Ogrizko noted that a schedule of meetings aimed to remedy existing problems was set after talks with Moldova officials, with the first round being set for April 21–22, 2008.
In order to ensure a fair and quick resolution to the demarcation of the Moldova-Ukraine border, the foreign ministers of the two states have signed a letter to European Union Council Secretary-General Javier Solana and European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner, seeking technical (delegation of experts) and financial assistance from the European Union to demark the border, including the Transnistrian section. According to Moldovan Foreign Minister Andrei Stratan, the EU is due to establish the amount of money for both countries, with the overall amount foreseen for the border demarcation accounting for 18 million Euros, of which half will be allocated in the first round.
Also during the visit, the sides have signed the Moldova-Ukraine agreement on cooperation in ensuring rights of national minorities.
Republic of Moldova – Slovakia
A visit by Slovakian Foreign Minister Jan Kubis to Moldova synchronised with a Moldovan-Slovakian economic forum was the key event in relations between the two countries in the period concerned.
The Slovakian foreign minister has met Moldovan officials. The talks focussed on development of commercial-economic relations, Moldova’s European aspirations and Slovakia’s eventual joining to the Common Visa Application Centre. In particular, Mr. Kubis stressed the interest of Slovakian businessmen to invest in Moldova, especially in energy, infrastructure, agriculture. In their turn, Moldovan officials sought Slovakia’s support to get the EU mandate for negotiation of a new Moldova-EU legal agreement, which would clearly stipulate a certain European perspective of Moldova and a gradual approaching of Moldova towards European freedoms.
The sides have signed an intergovernmental agreement between Moldova and Slovakia concerning mutual investment promotion and protection. Negotiations on another important agreement for Slovakian and Moldovan investors, the agreement on avoidance of double taxation, will shortly begin.
Official website dedicated to Moldovan Chairmanships in five regional commitments
On April 3, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration launched the official website dedicated to the Moldovan Chairmanships in the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP), Central European Initiative (CEI), Multinational Advisory Group of the Centre for Security Cooperation – RACVIAC (MAG RACVIAC), South Eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN) and CEFTA in 2008 – 2009.
Republic of Moldova – Council of Europe
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) passed two decisions versus Moldova on April 8 in the cases Megadat.com SRL vs. Moldova and Gradinar vs. Moldova. It sentenced Moldova for violation of property and right to a fair trial. The Court did not order any pecuniary damages in the case Gradinar vs. Moldova, as the applicant, Galina Gradinar, did not raise any claims in this regard. As regards the Megadat.com SRL vs. Moldova case, the ECHR did not indicate any pecuniary damages and asked the applicants to claim damages and costs and expenses within three months. According to E.Musuc, manager of Megadat.com SRL, the Megadat.com SRL Company was worth between 8.4 and 14.15 million dollars when it was lifted from its licence.
Republic of Moldova – NATO
Bucharest hosted the 20th NATO Summit on April 2–4. The Moldovan delegation was led by President Vladimir Voronin. Although the Moldovan delegation was almost imperceptible at the summit, Moldova is mentioned in the final declaration of the summit, with NATO supporting the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Moldova and calling for a peaceful resolution of the Transnistrian conflict.
Republic of Moldova – CIS
The Council of the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the 30th plenary meeting of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly and the 37th sitting of the CIS Economic Council have been held in the period concerned. Moldova was represented by Speaker Marian Lupu and First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Dodon, minister of economy and commerce.
Republic of Moldova – SEECP
Moldova will take over the Chairmanship in the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) in May. According to Parliament chairman Marian Lupu, Moldova’s priorities as SEECP Chair will be the following: developing the dialogue between SEECP and EU member states, promoting the European perspective of South East European states, supporting European integration aspirations of South East European countries and granting a status of strong and consolidated regional European forum to the SEECP.
Republic of Moldova – RACVIAC
Chisinau hosted the 19th Meeting of the Multinational Advisory Group (MAG) of the Centre for Security Cooperation (RACVIAC) on April 9–11. RACVIAC is a nongovernmental structure in charge with providing specialised assistance to member states of the Stability Pact for South East Europe in the area of regional arms control verification and implementation. Moldova chairs the MAG RACVIAC in 2008.
Studies, Analyses, Comments
The Action Plan is dead. Long live the Plan!
Elena Prohnitchi, 15 April 2008
On April 3, the European Commission made public the second document analyzing the implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy by the partner countries during the period November 2006 – December 2007 (Communication to the Council and the Parliament on the ENP implementation in 2007)