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Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, year VII, issue 131, 19 January – 1 February 2009
Activity of Public Institutions
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Activity of Public Institutions
1.1. Appointments. Dismissals
Iurie Carp was relieved from the office of director-general of the Agro-Industrial Agency Moldova-Vin upon his demand. The Government appointed Mr. Andrei Gurin, former head of State Inspectorate for Spirits Supervision, to succeed Mr. Carp.
Decisions approving some regulations:
- The regulation on budgetary funding for cultural programmes, projects or actions held by public associations;
- The regulation on polychlorinated biphenyls;
- The regulation on organisation of actions to protect workers at workplace and prevention of professional risks.
Decision approving the draft law on status of personnel from cabinet of public dignitaries. According to the draft, the cabinet of dignitary is a distinct interior subdivision within public authority, with own personnel. Chairperson and deputy chairpersons of the Parliament, heads of parliamentary factions, president of Moldova, prime minister, deputy prime ministers, ministers and directors-general of central administrative authorities will benefit of such structures.
Decision approving the draft law on national security strategy. The document sets ways to ensure security and will lay the ground for working out the national military strategy and other sectoral strategies on security. As part of the strategy, the Government will adjust the national security policy and identify specific segments of the national security system which shall be reformed. Actions stipulated by the strategy will aim to fulfil national security objectives as follows: ensuring and protecting independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, constitutional rule, democratic development, security of society and citizens of the country, strengthen statehood of Moldova, protect and promote national values.
Decision concerning the 2009 state order on professional training of public administration personnel. This year, 1,170 public servants and local elected officials are expected to attend training courses held by the Academy of Public Administration under the aegis of the President of Moldova. As well, initial training courses for 200 beginning public servants of public administration authorities will be organised.
Decision approving the action plan for celebrating the 650th anniversary of the Moldovan State. It includes conferences, seminars, contests, exhibitions, festivals, publications, restoration of monuments, opening of a thematic course by pre-university educational institutions etc.
Decision on reorganisation of the Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Political Sciences. It gives green light to a proposal by the Academy of Sciences of Moldova concerning the reorganisation of the Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Political Sciences into the Institute of European Integration and Political Sciences as a state-funded public institution subordinated to the Academy of Sciences of Moldova.
Order on consultation of trade unions. Under an order by prime minister, draft normative and legislative acts on economic-social matters worked out by governmental structures will be consulted by employers and trade unions.
Note by ADEPT: The Government had earlier issued similar orders, while the Law on transparency in decision-making process adopted in the late 2008 compels public authorities to take necessary actions in order to allow people, legal associations, other interested parties to participate in the decision-making process, and in these conditions, issuing a supplementary order is rather a formal action.
1.3. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Positive marks to Ministry of Justice
While attending a meeting of the collegial council of the Ministry of Justice, the prime minister has appreciated the ministry’s work in 2008, stressing in particular the adjustment of national legislation to community regulations and assuring that actually "almost all was done" in this respect. But the premier noted that obtaining theoretical results is not enough, as the enforcement of adopted norms shall become a priority. Mrs. Greceanii signalled the evolution of cases vs. Moldova in front of the ECHR, noting that their number is on the rise inclusively because of the failure to execute judicial decisions, an area with constraints for the Ministry of Justice. She indicated among basic priorities for 2009 the necessity to facilitate the access of poor people, especially from villages to notary’s services.
Criticism against CCECC
At a meeting of the collegial council of the Centre for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption, the prime minister has described its work as insufficient and urged officers of the centre to participate more actively in the anti-corruption process. Zinaida Greceanii stressed the necessity of preventing corruption, analysing and assessing risks. Combating corruption and protectionism is a priority for 2009 and the state leadership will keep monitoring the CCECC.
The Honour Order was awarded to Mr. William Emmett Ingram, commander of the North Carolina National Guard.
The Civic Merit Medal was awarded to Mrs. Lidia Gratila, prosecutor of the Prosecutor-General’s Office, and Mr. Vasile Pascari, first deputy prosecutor-general.
2.2. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Moldova’s president has convoked a sitting on food security matters, saying that the structure of the food sector and food consumption shall be improved. According to the president, the share of food price in the minimum consumer basket shall be lowered and, therefore, efforts will focus on these purposes both at macroeconomic level and production sectors concerned. It was noted that the output and low inflation rate allow a costs’ reduction for basic food products, and prices of basic breads will be lowered by about 20 percent on February 1, 2009.
Renovation of Republican Clinical Hospital
A Presidency-hosted sitting has discussed an initiative to open a Performance Centre on the basis of the Republican Clinical Hospital, which would improve much the technical-material basis of this medical institution, ensure endowment with modern medical equipment and providing qualified human resources, modernisation of organisational structure and diagnosis and treatment methods. This project will be implemented with the support of the Moldovan Government and donors, including the World Bank, the Council of Europe Development Bank, and the European Commission. The renovation is planned in eight rounds and medical equipment will be purchased and installed after each round. A new surgery block will be built; the overall investment is estimated at approximately 90 million Euros and works will be operated within 8.5 years. Vladimir Voronin indicated the opportunity to attract experienced foreign companies in design and building works.
Meeting on Transnistrian issue
The meeting has considered priorities of the political and social-economic agenda for 2009 relating to the Transnistrian issue and noted the success in controlling the situation. The chief of state instructed competent authorities to finalise all aspects from the Transnistria settlement agenda for this year and do their best to resume as soon as possible the Transnistrian settlement negotiations in the "5+2" format exclusively. Voronin reconfirmed positive results achieved by the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine and revealed the importance of activating the implementation process of confidence-building actions between Chisinau and Tiraspol. All representatives of Moldovan authorities participating in restoring the territorial integrity of Moldova shall pay a special attention to solving problems of concrete citizens from Transnistrian region, increasing their welfare. Vladimir Voronin demanded an action plan on social sustenance of people from Transnistria.
Commemoration of Lenin
Vladimir Voronin has participated in laying flowers at the monument of Vladimir Lenin (Ulianov), first leader of the Soviet state, on occasion of his 88th anniversary of death. The Moldovan president stated that Lenin was the first leader to build a social state and the history proved that this idea is materialised nowadays in many countries around the world, including Moldova. Mr. Voronin noted that in all post-Soviet years many had tried to blacken Lenin’s name, but nobody succeeded and will succeed because Lenin was both a genial leader and a genial organiser.
Note by ADEPT: On August 23, 1915, V.I. Lenin in stated in the newspaper "Social-Democrat" #44, that a probable creation of the United States of Europe (equivalent to the European Union nowadays?) would be possible only after reaching a temporary agreement of the capitalistic states on jointly crushing the socialism in Europe. For these reasons, V.I.Lenin reached to the conclusion on the unfortunate essence of the slogan about the United States of Europe.
Praise to police work
While attending a meeting of the Interior Ministry collegial council, the chief of state has highly appreciated police efforts to maintain the rule of law and stability by firmly combating the crime. According to the chief of state, the society welcomes actions taken by ministerial authorities and officers to modernise subdivisions and decentralised services, to strengthen and develop cooperation with citizens, public organisations, the media and other law bodies. However, there are deficiencies, violation of discipline and crimes or corruption in activity of the Interior Ministry. They reduce the efficiency of efforts by ministerial personnel; distort the attention of the country leadership and ministry from settling other problems. The chief of state indicated main tasks of the Interior Ministry for 2009: continuing the reformation and transformation of interior bodies into a modern and efficient institution; reducing the crime rate; combating violent crimes; enhancing stability in society and confidence of people that their rights are protected; promoting a positive image of the police; taking constant and insistent actions by central and local public authorities in emergency situations,etc. In the context of legislative elections, interior bodies have a special role to ensure free, legal parliamentary elections.
Updating of adoption policies
Moldova’s president has convoked a meeting on adoptions, with participants hearing reports on involvement of functionaries from local public administration subdivisions in illegal adoptions. According to reports, criminal institutional schemes have been built to facilitate illicit international adoptions. The chief of state noted that extremely corrupt functionaries involved in criminal adoptions and imperfect legislative-normative framework on adoptions and tacit approval of situation by competent bodies are to blame for this state of things. Vladimir Voronin demanded emergent and drastic actions to combat shortcomings, abuses and negligence in adoption-related procedures. It was recommended to institutionalise a national commission for international adoptions and a national commission for internal adoptions, to set a National Register of Adoptions. Moldova’s diplomatic missions will have to inform periodically the national commission for international adoptions, and the legislation will stipulate the mandatory participation of prosecutor in the legal child adoption. It was also decided to introduce a moratorium on international adoptions throughout normative-legislative and organisational modifications.
1. Banking sector
Central bank reducing interests…
Last month, the Board of Directors of the National Bank of Moldova (NBM) has reduced the basic interest rate by 1.5 percent, down to 12.5 percent. This is the forth reduction in the recent period. The NBM decision could lower interests on credits, but this would depend on possibility of commercial banks to modify their crediting policy. However, a reduction of only 0.5–1 percent (especially in market conditions) could have a null effect. Potential reductions of the monetary policy interest in future will particularly depend on the inflation dynamics and evolution, financial and economic conjuncture in country and, not the last, on developments outside the country (in particular, on regional markets).
On the other hand, the surprising decision of NBM means that the financial institution underrates the risk of future prices. Demands on salary rise and the investment acceleration will deepen the inflation. The inflation rate is low but it is hard to believe that maintaining the same pace of disinflation would be easy. Perhaps, the central bank is trying to achieve two antagonist objectives: reaching the inflation target and preventing a too strong appreciation of the leu. According to the economists, the reduction of basic interest will depreciate the domestic currency.
The maximum basic rate of 18.5 percent was established in May 2008, with the NBM decision being required by the rise of the annual inflation rate up to 16.9 percent. Starting September 2008, when the inflation rate has decreased much, the central bank has reduced the rate more than once, down to 12.5 percent at present. For example, the basic interest rate or the refunding rate in Ukraine was reduced down to 7 percent in December 2008, with the neighbouring country hoping to encourage this way a cheaper crediting and an economic growth. The refunding rate in Romania is 10.25 percent. The Russian Federation has increased the refunding rate from 12 up to 13 percent, in order to make the capital market more attractive and stop the capital outflow from the country.
Moldovan banking system "keeps cool"…
According to The Banker, the Republic of Moldova is ranked the 5th place in the 2009 World Financial Health Index. It says that Moldova has very low debts (736 dollars per capita, compared with 171,000 dollars per capital in the United Kingdom), but instead, Moldovan banks present a high difference of over 17 percent between capital and assets and low crediting levels.
Moldovan banks have extended their loans at only 35 percent of the GDP, compared with the United States, where loans by local banks reached 230 percent of the GDP. Moldova pays only 2.8 percent of revenues by public sector to serve the governmental debt, while Italy for example, spends about 12 percent of governmental incomes to pay interests.
The 2009 World Financial Health Index by The Banker covers 184 countries with 25 financial and economic health indicators. According to the new financial risk model of The Banker, Moldova, Chile, Bolivia and Peru runs a lower risk to be hit by the current financial crisis than the United States, the United Kingdom or Japan.
2. Labour market
Government "not keeping" promises…
According to the NBS accounts, the average monthly wage in the national economy was 2,529 lei (244 dollars) in January-December 2008. Thus, the Government did not keep the promises it had made in 2005 to increase the average salary in economy up to the equivalent of 300 dollars by early 2009. Unfortunately, it failed. Perhaps, this happened for many reasons including external, as well as because of the productive sector which did not enjoy the best situation in 2008. And this hit collections to the budget, so that salaries were not increased more than once. However, salaries have grown by about 22 percent for majority of branches in economy.
As regards purchase power…
A distinction between nominal and real salaries is required. In fact, nominal salaries have increased, rather than real wages. The real wage, which people had in their pockets and is the ratio between nominal salary and PPI, has increased by 7–8 percent only, being hit by inflation rate, effects of the economic crisis, etc. In other terms, the purchase power of population in 2008 was lower than in 2007 and far from market realities. For example, the purchase power of the average wage of 2,500 lei is twofold lower than what a citizen could afford in 2004–05. Even more, the constant appreciation of leu versus main reference currencies erodes the salaries. In addition, the appreciation of the domestic currency hit most the people receiving money from abroad after exchanging.
For example, employees in agriculture and secondary education sectors earn a little more than needed for the minimum consumer basket, which is worth around 1,300 lei. Wages paid in agriculture sector covers 60 percent of the average in economy. According to the official statistics, the number of employees in this sector is constantly declining and it decreased by 10 percent in 9 months of 2008. This sector faces a serious personnel outflow, as its workers are seeking jobs in other areas, trying to start up small business or considering migration possibilities.
On the other hand, salaries in certain sectors of budgetary system are much higher than in other areas. In particular, the average wage in public administration sector is almost twofold higher than the salary paid to a secondary teacher or doctor, and consequences of this situation become clearer, as the education is degrading, schools are short of teachers or the latter leave for other countries.
In addition, statistical institutions should be more cautious while providing such data, given different circumstances and salaries in the country. While assessing the "medium wage"
indicator specialists should take into account the fact that its relevance is low because of the regional-economic polarisation. For example, the medium wage paid in Chisinau municipality in 2008 exceeded by 40 percent the country’s average salary and the wage in Balti by 25 percent. Disadvantaged areas in terms of salaries (and implicitly disadvantaged in general economic terms) are rayons of Telenesti, Rascani, Leova, Soldanesti and Briceni, where the wage covered less than 60 percent of the national average.
According to the National Institute of Statistics, the average wage in the Romanian budgetary sector exceeds 1,000 Romanian lei, which is the equivalent to about 400 dollars. The average wage in budgetary sector in Ukraine exceeds 300 dollars. Differences would be deeper if comparing salary quotas with those in Baltic Countries. For example, the average salary on economy in Baltic Countries exceeded 850 dollars in 2008, which is fivefold more than in Moldova. Therefore, the purchase power of an Estonian, Lithuanian or Latvian is much stronger than of a Moldovan. A simple comparison would be enough – the average wage in Moldova would be enough to buy 32 kilograms of pork (4 dollars per kilogram), compared with 170 kilograms in Estonia, where the average salary is equivalent to 680 dollars and prices are similar in general.
Consequences on budgetary employees…
Rise of consumer prices or inflation will hit the already low salaries. People earning low or average salaries will especially experience inflationist jumps this year fuelled by dearer energy agents (electricity, natural gas). As well, increasing tariffs will bring economic and psychological premises for the rise of prices of majority food products and manufactured goods.
Assessment of developments in Transnistria settlement area
On January 26, President Vladimir Voronin convoked a meeting with the participation of Reintegration Minister Vasile Sova to assess progresses in the Transnistria settlement area. By describing evolutions as positive, he stated that "the situation relating to the Transnistrian problem, particularly in the Security Zone was under control in 2008." As well, the following priorities for 2009 were established:
- Speeding up the resumption of negotiations on definitive settlement of the Transnistrian conflict under the law on basic regulations of the special status of localities from Transnistria;
- Encouraging a more active participation of the international community in the Transnistrian problem, especially in political dialogue;
- Restarting as soon as possible the Transnistria settlement negotiations in the "5+2" format exclusively, as well as consultations of mediators and observers in the "2+1" format;
- Continuing the work of EUBAM;
- Implementing social-economic projects to improve the quality of life of people from the Transnistrian region by working out an action plan with an impact on social life.
The next day, President Voronin expressed optimism with the Transnistrian settlement at a press conference. He assured that the Transnistrian issue will be a priority in talks with his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev soon.
On the other hand, the press service of Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov described the optimistic statements by Moldovan authorities as irresponsible and provocative, particularly as regards Russia’s support for the "package approach"
by Moldovan authorities. In this respect, the press service recalled a number of promises and initiatives by Moldovan authorities which were not fulfilled or were used for propaganda-making purposes.
Transnistrian settlement consultations
During January 21–27, 2009, Reintegration Minister Vasile Sova had meetings with the special representative of Ukraine for the Transnistrian settlement, Mr. Viktor Krijanovski; Mr. Remi Duflot, referent for Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus within the Directorate-General for External Relations of the European Commission; the special envoy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Mr. Valeri Nesteruskin; the head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Mr. Philip Remler. Talks focussed on the necessity:
- To restart the "5+2" negotiation process;
- To strengthen mutual confidence between Chisinau and Tiraspol;
- To work out a special legal status for Transnistria within the "5+2" format exclusively, by respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova;
- To extend the EUBAM mandate with the purpose to consolidate security at the Moldovan-Ukrainian state border;
- To demark the Transnistrian segment of the Moldova-Ukraine border, etc.
Cooperation between Moldovan, Ukrainian security services and EUBAM
On January 22, 2009, the director of the Information and Security Service (ISS) of Moldova, Mr. Artur Resetnicov, met the director-general of the Ukrainian Security Service, Mr. Valentin Nalivaychenko, and Mr. Ferenc Banfi, head of the European Union Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) to Moldova and Ukraine. The meeting focussed on further actions aimed "to reduce security-related dangers at the Moldovan-Ukrainian border and create specialised groups to combat trafficking in human beings, drugs, weapons, wide-consumption products, etc., by experts of special services from both countries and EUBAM. In particular, the parties stressed the recent successful cooperation in combating an attempt to smuggle a very large quantity of cigarettes from Ukraine to the EU market via Moldova. This operation was done in October 2008, jointly with law bodies from EU member states, with Moldova and Ukraine filing criminal cases; this success prevented the loss of about 5 million Euros in taxes in EU."
Participation of Transnistrians in parliamentary elections
Representatives of Transnistrian authorities have warned that they will not accept polling stations in Transnistrian region. As well, they promised not to obstruct holders of Moldovan citizenship to cast their ballots, but they will have to do this at special polling stations on the Moldova’s territory. At the same time, Transnistrian political commentators advise Tiraspol authorities to take short Chisinau and accept elections in the region with the purpose to influence Transnistria’s interest. That means support for a pro-Russia political force which hates the ruling party of Moldova.
In this context, a member of the Ukrainian Supreme Rada, Sergey Grinevetski, former governor of the Odessa region, has published a study in the magazine "Âåñòíèê Öåíòðà èññëåäîâàíèé þæíî-óêðàèíñêîãî ïîãðàíè÷üÿ" which also envisages an eventual massive participation of Transnistrian residents in Moldovan elections with the purpose to massively support political forces that do not warm the Transnistrian settlement, in order to obstruct the Chisinau-Tiraspol dialogue and strengthen Russia’s positions in the region. In this context, Mr. Grinevetki identifies five reasons which preclude the Transnistrian settlement:
- The existence, both in Chisinau and Tiraspol, of authoritarian regimes which leaders hate each other and preclude the dialogue between parties;
- The membership of Moldova and Transnistria to different cultural areas, having opposite integrationist aspirations;
- The strongly differentiated structures of economies and economic regulations;
- The collapse of agrarian sectors in Moldova and Transnistria, which seriously reduces the interest of cooperation, the least in the agro-food security sector;
- The destruction of the common infrastructure, which was earlier linking the two banks of the Dniester.
Official media in Transnistria looking for and finding pretexts to undermine confidence
The forthcoming parliamentary elections in Moldova set for April 5, 2009 make Moldovan authorities and their propaganda display more insistently the optimism and "successes" in settling the Transnistrian conflict, while Tiraspol authorities and their propaganda reveal failures and developments capable to split:
- After the tragic accident in January 2009, which killed a famous Moldovan poet, Grigore Vieru, many chat fans, Internet users proposed to re-name the Pushkin Street into Grigore Vieru street. This initiative was taken over by private media institutions, but representatives of main political parties in Moldova did not warm it. However, propaganda makers and official media from Transnistria concluded that discussing such an initiative has seriously hit the image of Moldova and the process of approaching the two banks was undermined, postponing perspectives to settle the conflict for a long time;
- The cases of Burgugi and Pasat, persecution of some politicians in Moldova by authorities, and the recent public involvement of the Prosecutor-General’s Office and Interior Ministry in spreading allegations about the intention of certain Moldovan parliamentarians to assassinate their colleague, when versions are being elaborated and evidence is more than vague, makes the Transnistrian media and propagandists (enemies of strengthening the confidence between Chisinau and Tiraspol) argue why proposals by Chisinau should be ignored as unworthy of any confidence;
- The hiding by Moldovan authorities of consequences of the world economic crisis on economic situation in country. In this regard, many statistics reveal that the economy of "the poorest country in Europe which is as developed as that of some African countries" is seriously deteriorating, so that the eventual reunification of Transnistria with Moldova makes no sense.
Impact of economic crisis on situation in the region
A newsletter by Transnistrian republican bank estimates that the world economic crisis has seriously hit all branches of Transnistrian economy. The metallurgical, cement and textile production, key export items have dropped by approximately 50 percent. As well, the crisis has seriously hit the engineering and electro-technical sector. Forecasts for first months of 2009 are pessimistic as well, as the industrial output is expected to continue dropping. In these circumstances, Transnistrian authorities have to keep sustaining people by subsidising expenditures for natural gas and electricity consumption. At present, people from the region pay only 1/5 of the gas cost and 1/3 of their electricity consumption, and the rest is covered from budgetary resources. This is done in spite of the fact that 60 percent of heating and electricity networks are decrepit.
Meeting of the National Commission for European Integration
The National Commission for European Integration convened in a meeting on January 27, 2009 and discussed results of the January 14, 2009 meeting of the EU-Moldova Troika of Political and Security Committee and approved two reference documents for the European integration of Moldova in 2009: the European Integration Agenda for 2009 and Priorities of EU-Moldova Relations during the Czech EU Presidency.
The agenda establishes internal actions to be taken by Moldovan authorities in 2009 with the view to implement reform objectives in accordance with the EU-Moldova Action Plan in areas described by the European Commission as problematic for Moldova: respect for human rights and freedom of the media, independence of justice, anti-corruption fight, migration and border management, improvement of investment climate, optimisation of social policies. According to the second document, Moldova will advance at external level in developing the political dialogue with EU, in order to negotiate an Association Agreement, a deep Free Trade Agreement and simplify visa issuance procedures for Moldovan citizens, as well as to develop cooperation in the area of security, justice and interior affairs.
Speaking about the beginning of the electoral campaign, commission chairman Vladimir Voronin urged commission members to regularly inform the European officials during the electoral campaign about Moldova’s developments on the European integration dimension, inclusively by meeting ambassadors from European countries and promptly react to problems signalled by European officials by releasing argumentative notes.
Note by ADEPT: The beginning of the electoral campaign will "freeze" the development of internal reforms for approximately half a year and this fact is also confirmed by the European Integration Agenda for 2009, which schedules majority of actions for the second half of 2009. In this electoral period, the European officials will keep eyes on how the 2009 parliamentary elections will be hold, the internal reforms moved to second place. That’s why the governance seeks a "rigurous" communication with European officials.
Republic of Moldova – Romania
In the second half of January Romania made an effort to normalise the diplomatic relations, as the newly-elected foreign minister of Romania, Mr. Cristian Diaconescu, visited Chisinau on January 22, 2009. By paying the first visit to a country as foreign minister, Mr. Diaconescu wanted to prove the importance to Romania of good relations with Moldova.
During the visit, Mr. Diaconescu has discussed with Moldovan Foreign Minister Andrei Stratan and was received by chief of state Vladimir Voronin. The meeting between the two foreign ministers focussed on results of bilateral cooperation between the two countries, stressing progresses in commercial-economic cooperation; Moldova’s aspirations to join the EU and Transnistrian conflict.
As well, the parties called for the finalisation of certain cross-border cooperation projects (opening of the border-crossing station Lipcani-Radauti), launching of projects on energy security, protection of environment, fortification of the Prut river banks, as well as for settling sensible issues relating to the signing of the basic and border agreements, small border traffic convention, opening of Romanian consulates in Balti and Cahul. Both ministers assured at the end of the meeting that Moldovan-Romanian relations will start to be coordinated by an European pragmatism and the sides are very close to settle sensitive issues relating to the signing of the two treaties. At the same time, Mr. Diaconescu promised that Romania will call upon Brussels, so that the EU to encourage Moldova on European integration way and grant a special status to relations with Moldova. His Moldovan fellow replied that Moldova does not need an attorney in relationship with Brussels authorities because it did not commit any violation in the latest period.
The reaction of the Moldovan foreign minister was supported by President Vladimir Voronin, who stated to Russian journalists a couple of days after the visit of the Romanian foreign minister that Moldova does not need Romania’s support to join the European Union and accused Romania of slowing down the signing of bilateral treaties.
Republic of Moldova – Italy
The Consular Service of the Italian Embassy in Chisinau opened on January 28, 2009. It is located in the 63 Vlaicu Parcalab Street.
Republic of Moldova – Council of Europe
On January 27, 2009, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) pronounced decisions on the case Cebotari and others vs. Moldova. The Court sentenced Moldova for violation of the right to a fair trial and protection of property, as the latter did not fully execute in a reasonable term the legal decision concerned. The Court obliged Moldova to guarantee the execution of the judicial decision and pay by 2,000 Euros (10,000 Euros overall) to each applicant in non-pecuniary damages.
Republic of Moldova – SEECP
On January 30, 2009, Chisinau hosted the Informal Meeting of foreign ministers of the Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP), with the participation of representatives of the European Commission, acting Czech EU Presidency and future Swedish Presidency, Secretary-General of the Regional Cooperation Council.
The meeting discussed issues relating to development of cooperation in the Southeast European area in all fields of common interest: social and economic development; infrastructure; justice and interior affairs; cooperation in security area; consolidation of human capital, joint efforts against financial and energy crises and ways to redress their effects.
Preliminary results of the Moldovan SEECP Chairmanship-in-Office for 2008 were presented at the end of the meeting. Hido Biscevic, secretary-general of the Regional Cooperation Council, said that the Moldovan SEECP Chairmanship is a success and was sure that Moldova will successfully achieve this mandate.
(According to press releases by MFAEI)
Republic of Moldova – Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
On January 30, 2009, Efim Chilari, head of the Group on coordinating the activity of presidency of the Republic of Moldova in CIS in 2009, presented in Minsk the program of Moldova’s Presidency in all CIS structures (CIS Head of Government Council, CIS Council of Heads of State, CIS Council of Foreign Ministers etc.) Before presenting the program, Efim Chilari has mentioned (citing the President Vladimir Voronin) that although Moldova does not have capacity for geopolitical influence, it could benefit from its geographical position of a bridge between the European Union and CIS.
According to its programme, Moldova plans to realize in 2009 the following priorities:
- Complete the free trade zone establishment (free movement of goods, services and labor force within CIS zone);
- Strengthen the energetic security of the CIS member states;
- Enhance the cooperation in transport policy;
- Develop the cooperation in alleviating the consequences of the world economic and financial crises;
- Boost the cooperation in food security;
- Enhance the cooperation in the youth policy, in the context of declaring 2009 as Youth Year in the CIS.
Efim Chilari noted that these priorities, and especially the economic ones, will be realized under guidance of the Strategy for Economic Development of CIS till 2020 (not available to the public yet).
Note by ADEPT: The priorities of Moldova’s Presidency in CSI are very ambitious, if to take into consideration the following factors difficult to ignore: electoral period that will draw the Government off for a half a year; lack of adequate financial means, as the existing means will be "thrown" into the electoral battle; lack of capacity and levers to influence policy on the CIS level, a fact recognized by the Moldovan officials themselves.
1 On December 3, 2008, by a presidential order was created the National Commission on ensuring the Moldova’s presidency in CIS structures.
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Universal, equal, direct, secret and free suffrage, what for?
Igor Botan, 1 February 2009
The Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) hopes to win uncompromisingly the April 5, 2009 parliamentary elections. More than half a dozen of opposition parties credited with chances to succeed the 6-percent electoral threshold or have a rating close to the threshold are dreaming the same