Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, year VI, issue 119, June 1–15, 2008
Activity of Public Institutions
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Activity of Public Institutions
1.1. Appointments. Dismissals
Nina Cernat was nominated Deputy Chairwoman of the Supreme Court of Justice.
1.2. Legal acts
Law on social aid. The law regulates the legal framework and guarantees the right of disadvantaged families to decent living standards and equal possibilities by granting them social aid. Disadvantaged families in which all adult members correspond to one of the following criteria: have the retirement age; are disabled; are registered as job seekers; look after a child who is younger than six years old; look after a disabled person, will be provided social aid. The family will not have the right to social assistance should a member own worthy estate (measured accordingly to some indicators approved by Government). The social assistance is established as a difference between guaranteed minimum monthly earning of a family and its overall revenue (revenues raised under the shape of currency and in kind from remunerated work, all types of entrepreneurial activities, social insurance and assistance, use of farm land and plots, as well as other kinds of revenues, including property, securities and real estate owned by family).
Law on State Guard and Protection Service. The law sets the legal framework, principles of activity, duties, rights, competence and status of employees of the State Guard and Protection Service, control on their activity. It lays a special emphasis on social protection of SGPS staff.
Law on modification of Article 3 of the law on ombudsmen. Requirements for nomination of ombudsmen have been completed with the condition to enjoy an outstanding reputation.
Note by ADEPT: This amendment was adopted at the initiative of Moldovan president, but it does not specify the way the reputation may be assessed as outstanding, and this may encourage abusive interpretations. Nor it stipulates possibilities to contest untrue information or information collected via quasi-legal means which may be used to libel the candidate unaccepted by parliamentary majority.
Law on abrogation of the law concerning interpretation of provisions of some legal acts. The October 20, 2005 Law no. 245-XVI on interpretation of provisions of some legal acts was declared unconstitutional under the Constitutional Court Decision no. 20 from November 30, 2006.
Note by ADEPT: The unconstitutional law has introduced interpretations that harmed the interests of some economic agents which appealed to international law courts (International Arbitrage Court and ECHR), and the latter decided in their turn that the Parliament has abusively adopted the interpretations in order to further legislate a legal protection for abusive actions taken by the Customs Service of Moldova.
Decision concerning the Report by the Human Rights Centre on respect for human rights in the Republic of Moldova in 2007. The document reveals some shortcomings in the work of ombudsmen and signals the need to strictly respect the law on ombudsmen; examining appeals by citizens promptly and knowledgeably; exercising more efficiently the right to appeal on law courts in order to protect interests of petitioners; impelling the legal education of population; taking actions to ensure the functioning of the national anti-torture mechanism; participating more actively in actions stipulated by the National Action Plan on Human Rights. The Government is instructed to take actions in order to improve the normative and legislative framework in accordance with recommendations by the Centre Report and prevent violations of human rights.
Draft law on labour migration. The draft adopted in the first reading explains the labour migration as voluntary departure of Moldovan citizens to other countries and voluntary arrival of foreigners or stateless people to Moldova for temporary work purpose. The law will regulate the temporary work of immigrant workers, conditions of granting, renewal and revocation of the right to work and the right to temporarily stay for labour purpose, as well as requirements for temporary employment of Moldovan citizens abroad. The law will cover foreigners and stateless people who arrived in Moldova for temporary labour purpose, all individuals and legal entities, public administration authorities, Moldovans who temporarily immigrate to other countries for labour purpose.
Draft law on modification of some legal acts (concerning competence of CCECC). It limits the right of the Center for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption (CCECC) to perform fiscal controls, except for penal charges. Under amendments, the CCECC shall be deprived of the right to order the forced execution of fiscal obligations.
Draft law on legal statute of adoption. It aims to regulate legal relations on protection of rights of the child, establish the legal statute of adoption, and ensure cooperation between public administration authorities and nongovernmental organisations and international cooperation in this area.
Draft law on modification and completion of some legislative acts (Law on security of personal data). Amendments aim to minutely regulate aspects of nomination and dismissal of administration of the National Centre for the Security of Personal Data, establish the status and functioning of the Centre.
Note by ADEPT: Experts note that in spite of the declared goal to ensure a real independence from any public authority, the proposed mechanisms and provisions do not contribute enough to ensuring the independence and inviolability of the centre head.
1.3. Parliamentary control. Statements
The Centre for Human Rights released a report on respect for human rights in the Republic of Moldova in 2007. It generally signals the violation of the same rights: private security; quality of life; access to information; private property; access to justice, etc.
Director of Moldova-Vin Agency informed parliamentarians about situation in viticulture and winemaking industry, enterprises expected to be privatised and negotiations on spirits export held with the Russian Rospotrebnadzor Service.
By responding to a draft motion on situation in energy sector, the Ministry of Economy and Trade has reported:
- Government’s plans to build the 60-kilometre-long Balti-Ungheni gas pipe (these works will be performed by MoldTrans Gaz Company owned by Moldova-Gaz SA, which will invest about 27 million lei). In parallel with the construction of the gas pipe, the gasification process will cover 16 localities in 2008 and Moldova-Gaz will invest 324 million lei to build 1,000 kilometres of gas pipes inside more than 130 localities;
- 44 percent of Moldovan localities are provided gas and about 900 million lei is needed for the gasification of other localities;
- The Government is working out the gas pipe connection tax for people, which will not exceed 4,200 lei;
- The Republic of Moldova has got better gas providing offers than those available, but it lacks gas pipes needed for this purpose.
The communist parliamentary majority has turned down the motion and only 19 parliamentarians have voted it.
Deputy Gheorghe Susarenco has asked law enforcement bodies to provide information regarding paintings stolen from Russian museums which Moldovan president has promised to deliver to Russian authorities soon. Susarenco indicated the necessity of finishing penal investigations and limiting the abusive involvement of the chief of state in managing and keeping this evidence.
Our Moldova Alliance (OMA) Deputy Leonid Bujor has asked the Prosecutor-General’s Office to report grounds of criminal cases filed against some Moldovan youths and reality of the danger that they allegedly pose to statehood, and demanded it if calls by those youths are riskier for statehood than plans of the PCRM, which openly proposed in 2001 to include Moldova into the Russia-Belarus Union.
Deputy Gheorghe Susarenco has released a statement on situation of the Leova District Council, in which the PCRM faction and its supporters deliberately obstruct the settlement of the vacancy of a district councillor who died in early 2008.
National Liberal Party Deputy Vitalia Pavlicenco has invited legislators to find ways to study the legality of interferences by President Vladimir Voronin into prohibited areas, with the last one being the topic of press freedom, which des not have adequate conditions in Moldovan society.
The OMA faction has released a statement on respect for human rights in Moldova, which describes the situation in this area as regressive and permanently worsening.
2.1. Appointments. Dismissals
Natalia Solcan, head of the European Integration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, was proposed Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Moldova to the United Kingdom.
Nicolae Taran was nominated Deputy Director-general of the Industrial Agency Moldova-Vin.
Anatolie Turcan was relieved from the office of deputy director of the Building and Territorial Development Agency, as the institution was reorganised.
Victor Cuhal was relieved from the office of deputy Director of the Standardisation and Metrology Service on reorganisation reason.
Decision on completion of the decision concerning state coordination and regulation of prices (tariffs). The list of goods for which the state regulates the commercial addition (approved under GD no. 547 from 04.08.1995) was completed with the following commodities: pastries, cruppers and rice. This decision is a reaction to the speculative rise of prices of some foodstuffs in retailing network. The Government has established a working group to consider possibilities of combating illegal price rises.
Decision on rise of salaries for employees of the sanitary-epidemiologic service. The salary will be increased by 15 percent per year of work under major risk for health, with the maximum rise reaching 100 percent of the salary for office. The personnel in charge with preventing and combating HIV/AIDS will be paid a 10-percent rise per year, but not more than 60 percent of the salary for office. About 2.7 million lei will be needed for this purpose in 2008.
Decision introducing the professional day of journalist. The Day of Journalist will be celebrated on June 12, on the birthday of late journalist Constantin Chirosco. This initiative came from a group of 28 Moldovan journalists who have sent a request in this regard to Moldovan president.
Decisions approving draft legislative acts:
- On declaration of public utility of the works of national interest performed to build the Free International Airport Giurgiulesti;
- Concerning modification and completion of the Law on Government, law on civil aviation and law on aeronautical security (establishing of the State Transport Administration by reorganising the Ministry of Transport and Road Industry and State Civil Aviation Administration);
- Concerning modification and completion of the State Budget Law for 2008 (it raises revenues by 340.6 million lei and expenses by 124 million lei, with the budgetary deficit being thus reduced by 124 million lei, down to 99.7 million lei);
- Concerning modification and completion of some legislative acts (budgetary-fiscal policy for 2009);
- Draft parliamentary decision on completion of the state register of monuments (it covers monuments built in the Soviet times).
2.3. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Strategy on social inclusion of disabled people
The draft strategy calls for the harmonisation of the social protection system for disabled people in order to ensure their social inclusion and respect for their rights and fundamental freedoms. The number of disabled people is on the continuous rise in Moldova, counting for over 170,000 persons (by 28,000 people more than in 2007). Representatives of associations of invalids from Moldova have demanded the council to discuss at next sittings possibilities of removing obstacles to social integration of invalids, help them get employed, etc.
Meeting of donors
Prime Minister Zinaida Greceanii has attended a meeting of donors which focussed on emergency assistance to remedy the drought-related crisis in Moldova. Greceanii said in an address that extreme weather effects from 2007 have demonstrated one more time that the agriculture is the weakest and riskiest sector of national economy. According to the premier, the negative weather last year has imposed more efficient and unordinary long-term actions aimed to permanently develop the agro-food sector and ensure the food security of the country.
Permanent cooperation with Foreign Investors Association (FIA)
A meeting between the prime minister and FIA members has discussed prospects of cooperation between business community and Government aimed to improve investment climate in Moldova. Investors said that the dialogue between central public administration and business community has advanced much in the past years and thus many problems have been resolved. Investors raised a set of recommendations aimed to reduce the inflation rate and maintain the macroeconomic stability. FIA representatives discussed the opportunity of developing the legal framework in order to boost Moldova’s attractiveness in implementing public-private partnership projects. The premier noted that the Ministry of Economy and Trade has conducted an in-depth assessment of recommendations and objectives from the "White Book" of investors and it will shortly propose its visions aimed at ensuring a new quality growth in the area. Foreign investors were encouraged to work out a new issue of the "White Book" in order to assess the economic condition and establish visions regarding cooperation opportunities.
Under a presidential decree, Ilie Telescu was nominated presidential advisor for humanitarian programmes. Telescu ran the TeleRadio-Moldova Company until 2007.
The Honour Order was awarded to:
- Iuri Tiscenco, editor-in-chief of "Nezavisimaya Moldova" newspaper;
- Outgoing U.S Ambassador to Moldova Michael D. Kirby.
Mihail Rusu, chairman of the Floresti district, was awarded the Order of the Republic.
3.2. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Reorganisation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry
The Moldovan president has chaired a sitting on reorganisation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI) and subordinated institutions. The chief of state considers that the necessity of reorganising the ministry is part of efforts to meet EU standards and this will entrust the MAFI to draft policies and normative-legislative framework on agro-industrial complex, to negotiate, coordinate, supervise and administrate adjacent sectors by following the example of similar EU ministries. According to initiatives raised at the sitting, the following institutions shall be established: the General Agricultural Inspectorate with 140 employees; the Phytosanitary Agency with 300 employees; the Sanitary-Veterinary Agency for Safe Animal Products with 2,263 employees. Following the reorganisation of agricultural institutions, their number of employees will be reduced by 588 persons. The sitting studied the problem of holding tenders to purchase goods for agriculture, stressing the necessity of optimising the organisation of acquisitions with the view to boost their transparency and efficiency, ensuring an equal access and conditions to all participants in tenders.
Note by ADEPT: The sitting did not mention why the reorganisation did not begin when the new cabinet of ministers was formed and why it was launched ad-hoc without being stipulated express by plans on implementation of the central public administration reform strategy.
Problems of journalists
Vladimir Voronin has met leaders of media outlets and discussed problems faced by newsmen in Moldova. The president promised to remove financial sanctions applied on journalists for non-pecuniary damage produced through libel and noted that any reciprocal criticism against governance and opposition is an element of democratic rules of the game, but the opposition media shall not press journalists who sincerely choose the governance. Journalists approached many issues, including journalistic deontology; access to information about state institutions, including promptness of released data and functionality of their media services, economic problems faced by printed media. They launched initiatives to establish a national professional organisation of journalists and introduce the Journalist’s Professional Day in Moldova.
The Moldovan president launched a legislative initiative after meeting journalists, proposing to limit the responsibility of media outlets in the event that final judicial decisions indicate libel, violated dignity or professional reputation. Media outlets shall dismiss the information in order to compensate the non-pecuniary damage suffered by plaintiff.
Informal CIS Summit
The agenda of the summit of CIS heads of state has included issues of common interest, of which the elaboration of the draft Economic Development Strategy of CIS till 2020; perspectives of cooperation in the area of energy, transportation and communications; social and humanitarian problem; key development directions of the Commonwealth including better CIS activity and functioning of its structures.
During the informal CIS Summit the president of Moldova has met his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev in Sankt Petersburg. They shared opinions about current stage and development prospects of Moldovan-Russian cooperation in diverse areas. Mr. Voronin promised that Moldova will return soon to Russia two paintings stolen from the "Hermitage" Museum in Sankt Petersburg and discovered by Moldovan law enforcement bodies after operative actions. Representatives of "Hermitage" and other Russian museums have stated later that no paintings had been stolen from these museums and assured that no masterpieces by Russians are preserved at "Hermitage".
1 See expertise report on corruptibility of the draft law no.1594 of 15.05.2008, www.capc.md.
1. Prices and inflation
Inflation "defeats" forecasts…
According to statistics, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 1.5 percent in May compared with April. The inflation rate was 7.4 percent in early 2008, compared with December 2007, and the annual rate was about 17 percent. For example, the inflation rate was 3.9 percent in May 2007, compared with December 2006. Prices of food products have grown by about 3 percent and of manufactured goods by 1.2 percent in the period concerned.
Tariffs of pay-for services were at the level of April 2008 in May. Higher prices were recorded for food products in the period concerned; in particular, prices of rice have increased by more than 64 percent, potatoes by 10 percent, vegetal oil by more than 4 percent, meat, canned meat by about 4 percent. Prices of fuels have grown by about 5 percent (including oils by more than 8 percent and bottled gas by over 7 percent), and drugs by more than 3 percent.
Inflationist expectations are very big in Moldova and the National Bank could continue to mark up the crediting, and the monetary policy interest could reach 20 percent. Given statistics on evolution of GDP in the 3rd trimester and the inflation rate, the central bank could increase again the monetary policy interest. The growth of inflation by the end of the year will make the real interest too restrictive.
International: prices of foodstuffs will grow by 80 percent over next 10 years…
According to a recent report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation, prices of foodstuffs will grow by about 80 percent over the next ten years due to the growth of grains crop used to make biofuel and demand for agricultural commodities. Prices of food products will grow by 20–80 percent over the next ten years, compared with 1998–2007.
This trend is also related to a fast rise of the demand for agricultural commodities and meat, as well as to the world growth of population. People will consume by 85 percent more meat in half a century and it will be by about 1/5 more expensive, and by up to 50 percent more grains which will be by approximately 60 percent dearer than in 1998–2007. Sugar is not an exception and its price will grow by about 40 percent over the next ten years, while butter, coarse grains and oilseeds will grow by 60–80 percent.
The report comes on background of a revolt linked to the lack of food products in African, Asian and Caribbean countries, as well as to dearer fuels, and it anticipated the June 3 Rome summit which discussed further actions to prevent an acute crisis in poor countries. Dearer food products will famish millions of people from economically disadvantaged areas and will fuel inflation.
The rich of the world will win…
The accelerated rise of food prices will advantage developed countries and developing states which are big exporters of grains and will seriously hit developing countries, especially poor urban areas which import food products. While American, British and Japanese people spend less than 20 percent of their earnings on food, residents of poor countries spend about 60 percent (foodstuffs cover between 35 and 40 percent of the consumer basket in Moldova Diagram 1).
Diagram 1. Moldovans spend one third of their earnings on foodstuffs (in percent)
Sources: NBS, Eurostat, Reuters
Market expects new interest rises…
Many bankers and analysts anticipate a new rise of the monetary policy interest after the central bank raised the basic interest rate from 17 up to 18.5 percent in May. Such a decision would mark up again the loans, which now are contracted for an average rate of about 20 percent in lei and over 11 percent in foreign currency. Credits will become dearer and dearer for people. The National Bank will not hesitate to raise the reference interest should the economic situation impose this; in particular, should inflationist expectations be higher than forecasts.
The rise of key interest will mean a dearer crediting but more attractive bank deposits. Besides, savings (deposits) proposed by many banks have an annual interest rate of 23 percent, which is similar to 1997–98. The signal given by NBM by raising the monetary policy interest will be experienced on market in half a year. Hence, the rise of the basic interest rate in May will be felt in the crediting cost in October-November 2008. Banks generally prefer to raise the interest rates by a percent similar to the rise of the key interest of the central bank. The Moldovan inflation continued to grow in May and analysts anticipate that NBM could modify the monetary policy interest in the next period.
3. Public finances
Interventions into budget…
The Government modified the 2008 budget law at a recent sitting by elaborating a draft law. It increased the basic incomes of the 2008 state budget by 340.6 million lei and expenses by 124 million lei. Following these rectifications, the budgetary deficit is expected to reduce by 124 million lei, down to about 100 million lei. Authorities said that this draft law is a consequence of the evolution of economy and monetary market which influence the execution of the state budget. The draft hardens the fiscal-budgetary policy to reduce inflationist effects. Expected estimates of the 2008 national public budget impose a more austere fiscal position by reducing the budgetary deficit from 0.5 percent of GDP to a balanced budget.
4. External sector
Trade deficit exceeds 1 billion dollars…
Data of the National Bureau for Statistics reveal that Moldova’s trade deficit for January-April 2008 exceeded 1.12 billion dollars. The import/export coverage rate was 32.3 percent, compared with 36.7 percent in January-April 2007 and imports exceeded over three-fold the value of exports. In particular, exports were worth over 482 million dollars and imports turned over 149 billion dollars and increased by 46 percent.
Exports to CIS have grown by over 45 percent, up to 194.5 million dollars. Moldovan supplies to the European Union have grown by about 27 percent up to 246 million dollars. Imports from the CIS have grown by more than 40 percent, up to 534 million dollars and imports from the EU by over 43 percent, up to about 664 million dollars. The trade deficit balance with the EU has increased by more than 55 percent up to 417 million dollars and with the CIS by about 38 percent up to 340 million dollars. Moldova registered the highest trade balance deficit in January-April 2008 with Ukraine (about 180 million dollars), Russia (about 133 million dollars), Romania (more than 97 million dollars), Germany (more than 88 million dollars), China (about 85 million dollars), Turkey (about 62 million dollars), Italy (about 38 million dollars), and Belarus (over 31 million dollars). The trade deficit could reach 3 billion dollars or even more by the end of this year, which would be equivalent to over 56 percent of the 2008 GDP.
Efforts to resume the negotiation process
Helsinki hosted on June 10, 2008 a working meeting of mediators and observers participating in the Transnistria settlement negotiations. The meeting held at the initiative of OSCE chairman-in-office took place in the "3+2" format, without the participation of Moldova and Transnistria. It focussed on the necessity to consolidate actions aimed at building confidence between the conflicting parties, support working groups established after the April 11, 2008 Voronin-Smirnov meeting. These actions should finally prepare a favourable climate to resume the "5+2" conflict resolution negotiations. In spite of the invoked efforts the situation is stagnating. The meeting of Presidents Voronin and Medvedyev held during the Sankt-Petersburg CIS Summit has failed to approach the resumption of the "5+2" negotiations (see the commentary). On the other hand, the Russian president has awarded the "Friendship" Order to a founder of the Transnistrian separatist regime, Grigori Maracutsa. Maracutsa was curiously awarded three days after the CIS summit for his contribution to developing friendship and interparliamentary relations within the Union for Democracy and Rights of People. This union is nothing but CIS-2 or "separatist international" made of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnsitria.
Actions to undermine confidence
In spite of efforts to strengthen confidence between the two banks of the Dniester River, the situation has rather regressed in the period concerned. Transnistrian authorities have invoked a series of problems and took actions to undermine the Chisinau-Tiraspol relations. Thus, Transnistrian leader has categorically urged Moldovan authorities to recognise Transnistria’s ownership on the railway from the left bank of the Dniester River, threatening with new conflicts and speculating that Moldova is blocking again the transit of commodities on the Transnistrian railroad. Such speculations aim to justify the step by the Tiraspol regime to declare the segment of railway from the left bank of the Dniester as property of the eastern breakaway enclave.
In this context, Transnistrian leaders accused Moldovan authorities of taking deliberate actions to block the use of a spectre of TV and radio waves by Transnistrian broadcasters. The facts invoked by Transnistrian authorities have been registered half or a year ago and Tiraspol stresses them now to discredit the so-called confidence-building actions which are being discussed starting April. By invoking norms of the international law, the Transnistrian side wanted to threaten Chisinau with replying actions.
The demarcation of the Transnistrian section of the Moldovan-Ukrainian border has become a very sensible issue between Chisinau and Tiraspol. Knowing the trilateral interest (EU-Moldova-Ukraine) to delimit the Moldovan-Ukrainian border, Transnistria is ostentatiously resisting to Moldova’s participation in the delimitation process. Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov said that should Ukraine refuse to delimit the border with the Moldovan Transnistrian Republic, Transnistrian authorities will do this unilaterally. Transnistrian observers note that Tiraspol would act this way to pose more problems to Ukraine, as the latter is supposed to be accepted in the NATO pre-accession round. Perhaps this is an exaggeration, as Transnistria’s resistance to Ukraine’s plans would be too expensive. It is much easier to explain this by desire of Transnistrian authorities to assure that the invoked segment of the border is Transnistrian-Ukrainian, not Moldovan-Ukrainian.
Launching of Mobility Partnership between Republic of Moldova and European Union
Moldovan Interior Minister Valentin Mejinschi, European Commission Vice-President Jacques Barrot, commissioner for justice and home affairs, Mrs. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Slovenian Interior Minister Dragutin Mate, Chairman-in-office of the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council, along with representatives of 14 EU member states signed the Moldova-EU Joint Declaration on the Mobility Partnership, at the meeting of the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg on June 5, 2008.
Although it is a pilot project for the time being, the mobility partnership aims to consolidate the EU-Moldova cooperation on management of illegal migration, combat and prevention of illegal migration and trafficking in human beings. Several initiatives will be implemented in this respect to consolidate Moldova’s institutional capacities in managing the labour market and migration, implementing migration policies more efficiently; facilitating the "circular migration"; intensifying bilateral cooperation on social protection and reintegration of illegal migrants; encouraging the participation of diaspora in developing Moldova by using their remittances, etc.
Mrs. Benita Ferrero-Waldner has assured the Moldovan delegation that the European Commission will provide full support to this partnership, including financial assistance.
The EU has launched mobility partnerships with two states until now – the Republic of Moldova and Cape Verde.
Republic of Moldova – Romania
Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Stratan, minister of foreign affairs and European integration, had a telephone conversation with Romanian Foreign Minister Lazar Comanescu on June 10, 2008. According to a press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, the ministers have tackled "issues of principle" linked to relations between the two countries. The conversation ended with an invitation by Moldovan foreign minister to his Romanian counterpart to pay an official visit to the Republic of Moldova on July 7, 2008.
Note by ADEPT: Although the brief and dry press release did not reveal key topics discussed by the foreign ministers, one may suppose that they included the much disputed draft small border traffic convention between Moldova and Romania and the state border treaty between Moldova and Romania.
Republic of Moldova – Turkey
Moldova-Turkey relations have intensified in the period concerned, as Chisinau hosted on June 12–13, 2008 the 5th sitting of the Moldovan-Turkish intergovernmental commission for commercial-economic cooperation and a Moldovan-Turkish business forum, as well as bilateral meetings between officials of the two countries.
The intergovernmental commission was chaired by Moldovan First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Dodon, Minister of Economy and Trade, and Turkish State Minister Kursad Tuzmen. The Commission discussed issues related to attraction of Turkish investments in Moldova and development of bilateral cooperation in the area of industry and energy, food industry, transportation, information development, culture and tourism.
While on his visit to Moldova, Mr. Tuzmen has met Moldovan president, prime minister, minister of Foreign Affairs and European integration and Gagauz governor. The talks preceded a meeting between Moldovan Speaker Marian Lupu and his Turkish counterpart Koksal Toptan, Head of the Great National Assembly of Turkey, which took place in Athens during the summit of speakers from member states of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organisation Parliamentary Assembly (BSEC/PA).
Republic of Moldova – Switzerland
Moldova’s Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Stratan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European integration, was on an official visit to Switzerland on June 5–6, 2008. During his visit Mr. Stratan has met Swiss officials, in particular, Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy Rey, Andre Bugnon, Head of the National Council, Laurent Moutinot, Head of the Canton of Geneva, etc., as well as Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva.
The talks focussed on the current stage and prospects of political and economic cooperation between Moldova and Switzerland and cooperation within international organisations (UN, OSCE and CoE).
Republic of Moldova – BSEC/PA
Athens hosted the summit of speakers from member states of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organisation Parliamentary Assembly (BSEC/PA) on June 9, 2008. Taking part in the summit was also Moldovan Speaker Marian Lupu who addressed participants and appreciated BSEC efforts to intensify bilateral and regional cooperation, and noted the insufficiently explored potential of the organisation in tackling transnational matters such as fighting against terrorism and organised crime.
According to a press release by Moldovan Parliament, participants in BSEC/PA works have called for intensified relations between BSEC/PA and EU and consideration of the opportunity to build a Parliamentary Assembly made of BSEC and EU member states. The summit adopted a declaration on the 15th anniversary of the BSEC/PA.
Moldova took over the BSEC/PA Chairmanship for a six-month term, at the 31st BSEC/PA meeting in Athens on June 11, 2008.
1 The circular migration concept allows nationals of a third country to temporarily migrate to the EU for labour, education or professional formation purpose or for altogether, with the condition to return to their origin country when the stay period is over and go back to the EU after 2–3 years on basis of a simplified admission/comeback procedure. According to the Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on circular migration and mobility partnerships between the European Union and third countries/ COM(2007) 248 final of16.05.2007.
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Significance of the Sankt-Petersburg Summit
Igor Botan, 15 June 2008
The informal CIS Summit held in Sankt-Petersburg on June 6–7, 2008 had a distinct significance. All CIS leaders have shown interest to attend the summit and this is a rarity. Grave problems between a number of CIS states and Russia could not halt the participation in the first collective meeting with the newly-elected Russian president, Dmitri Medvedyev