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Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, year VII, issue 135, 17–31 March 2009
Activity of Public Institutions
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Activity of Public Institutions
Decision on building the Cultural-Natural Reservation Orheiul Vechi. The Public Institution called Cultural-Natural Reservation Orheiul Vechi is built to protect, preserve and save present and future generation of the ensemble of historical-cultural and natural-landscape monuments carrying an exceptional value which make the respective complex. As well, the Regulation of institution, the Plan on borders and protection areas were approved. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is due to submit to examination the development strategy of the Cultural-Natural Reservation Orheiul Vechi. More than 350,000 lei will go to working out the urban plan, arranging the area and remunerating the staff and about one million lei will be necessary to prepare the facilities for the inclusion into the List of UNESCO Heritage.
Decision concerning some chess development measures. Under the decision, promoting the chess is a priority direction of developing the sport in Moldova, while the Ministry of Education and Youth will include a chess training modulus into the curricula on Physical Education subject and will educate chess trainers in specialized institutions. The Sport Agency jointly with the National Chess Federation will work out and present a draft national chess development program.
Decision concerning the approval of the land cadastre accordingly to situation on January 1, 2009. Overall surface counts for 3,384,560 hectares, including 228.3 hectares of irrigated fields and 69,200 hectares of drained fields. The surfaces coincide exactly with those from the land cadastre approved last year.
Decision concerning the transmission of a real estate. A building located in the Chisinau downtown and an adjacent plot are transmitted to the administration of the Chamber of Auditors as headquarters of this institution.
Decisions approving some regulations:
- Concerning the establishing of the risks and facilities under subsidised insurance in agriculture in 2009;
- Concerning the reimbursement of individual mandatory state social insurance contributions transferred additionally to the state social insurance budget.
Decisions approving some plans, programs, policy documents:
- The 2009 program on using new lands and increasing soil fertility;
- The draft Parliament decision approving the judiciary funding concept.
Decisions concerning the reorganization and dissolution of some enterprises:
- The state-owned enterprise Moldaeroservice is reorganized through merger with the state-owned air company Agroavia;
- SC Moldvinipoteca is dissolved.
1.3. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Press conference by prime minister
Previous and current accomplishments have been reiterated at a conference which totalised the Government’s activity:
- The GDP growth for 2008 was about 7.2 percent, but it will not be reached in 2009 (it is estimated at 3 percent only);
- An inflation rate of about 7.3 percent was maintained;
- Reduction or partial tax exemption;
- The start of the largest investment project in Moldova, the building of the Ungheni power plant;
- The rise of wages and indexation of pensions starting April 1, 2009;
- The successful implementation of the EU-Moldova Action Plan and preparations for a new, association agreement (but negotiations did not start yet);
- The signing of agreements on social protection of Moldovan nationals from Spain and Portugal, etc.
Zinaida Greceanii called upon people to participate in the parliamentary elections on April 5, saying that they have a vital importance for our country’s future.
The prime minister has participated in the annual sitting of the Moldcop Board of Directors, delivering a speech on increasing trend of economic indicators of the Central Union of Consumer Cooperatives and efficient management of this structure. Moldcoop has more than 2,900 markets and shops nationwide and the Government traditionally says that it relies much on this structure in developing the domestic trade system. Zinaida Greceanii asked the Moldcop Executive Board to raise proposals and participate actively in building civilised domestic trade functioning mechanisms.
Fight against trafficking in human beings
Deputy Prime Minister Valentin Mejinschi has chaired a sitting of the council in charge with preventing and combating crimes and corruption, which discussed issues related to prevention and struggle against trafficking in human beings and prevention of delayed terms of penal suits. The council instructed competent bodies to take actions aimed:
- To improve the mechanism of conducting and exercising criminal investigations on trafficking in human beings and provide cogent charging evidence to law courts, in order to avoid the requalification of criminal cases relating to trafficking in human beings;
- To increase cooperation with law enforcement bodies from other countries in order to prevent and combat the trafficking in human beings;
- To generalize the legal practice on punishing people for trafficking in human beings and sanctioning on these cases, and the necessity of working out recommendations on remedying shortcomings and derogations from legal regulations in the area, on the basis of findings;
- To open jointly with public institutions, civil society, the media and private sector some general projects on preventing and combating the trafficking;
- To organize and hold practical-methodological seminars with staffs of regional and territorial subdivisions, which would focus on qualitative documentation of offences, efficient use of means and forces from areas, ensuring a legal prevention and combat of the trafficking;
- To control the respect for legislation in the field by private legal entities (tourism, modeling, entertainment agencies and agencies for employment abroad), with the view to find violations relating to trafficking in human beings and punish the guilty.
The Order Gloria Muncii (Labour Glory) was awarded to:
- Serghei Latanovschi, president of the real estate exchange Lara Ltd. for prodigious work;
- Anatolie Ghilas, member of the Chamber of Auditors, for monitoring the process of renovation of the institution building;
- Piotr Codreanu, head of the Public Institution "Capitania Portului Giurgiulesti".
The Civic Merit Medal was awarded to some heads who participated in the building of the Giurgiulesti Passenger Port, some employees of public services.
Honorific titles (Artist of People, Master of Art, Emeritus Man, and Emeritus Artist) were awarded to a group of artists.
2.2. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Praising Government’s activity
The chief of state attended the governmental sitting on March 31, 2009 and said that the work of Greceanii’s team was professional and allowed the implementation of all planned projects. According to the president, the Government succeeded to handle many crisis situations and maintain stability. In particular, he stressed the rise of wages and pensions, continuation of national gasification, water providing programs, renovation of road segments, consolidation of farm land, opening of the Cahul-Giurgiulesti railway, etc. Vladimir Voronin believes that the Government has fulfilled all provisions of the Moldova-EU Action Plan. The next Government will have to do its best in order to maintain macroeconomic stability, increase the employment rate and honour all social commitments of the country. The bureaucracy shall be reduced, while the participation and real support for investment processes shall be increased.
Activity of popular guards
Moldova’s president has participated in a summing-up meeting on operation of popular guards, stressing the merit of popular guards in combating crimes and maintaining the rule of law. According to the Interior Ministry, very grave crimes and those relating to domestic relations and street offences were successfully combated due to the relationship between police bodies and popular guards. There are 1,220 popular guard teams in Moldova which have 16,000 members; in 2008 they helped hold red-handed more than 100 offenders, discover about 800 offences, hold 100 wanted persons and participated in the documentation of 15,000 offenders.
Concerns with financial-bank situation
Moldova’s president has convoked a sitting to discuss latest evolutions on monetary-currency market and execution of the state budget. According to the National Bank of Moldova (NBM) accounts, the domestic currency has maintained its stability versus main reference currencies, while the domestic banking system is very resistant, with the current liquidity indicator counting for 30.1 percent on average, compared with the minimum prudence rate of 20 percent. Currency inflows and outflows are more balanced than in 2008, so that the macroeconomic situation in terms of currency inflows is better than last year and fluctuations on currency market do not have an objective ground but are related to pressures exerted on people via the media. The chief of state stressed the importance of permanently monitoring the financial-bank evolutions with the view to maintain positive macroeconomic conditions. It was noted during talks on execution of state budget that budgetary incomes raised from internal taxes and fees are on the rise compared with 2008, positive dynamics being observed for revenues administrated by the Customs Service: the imports have increased by 3.7 percent and the exports by 4.2 percent, so that the customs collections to the state budget have grown by 5 percent. The current state budget incomes allows a rhythmical coverage of priority expenses, inclusively wages, pensions and other social indemnities, external payments.
Increased attention for state decorations during service term
Moldova’s president has awarded decorations to a group of people and said in a greeting speech that in 8 years of rule as chief of state he has attended many ceremonies on awarding state distinctions and awarding decorations to 1950 persons out of 4,350 cases was accepted. The chief of state stressed the necessity of awarding state distinctions after a period of hard and assiduous work in diverse areas, which stabilized the social-political situation and consolidated the society. The high number of persons who were awarded orders, medals and honorific distinctions in eight years is a proof of positive developments in all areas of life of society, the president assured.
First graduation from National Institute of Justice
The president of Moldova has attended a ceremony on awarding diplomas to the first graduation from the National Institute of Justice, saying that an efficient judiciary will be available only if ensuring a strong professional education and attracting persons with an irreproachable moral probity in doing the job of prosecutors and judges. Vladimir Voronin recalled that most of people’s discontentment envisages the work of the judiciary, who is also the topic of many applications submitted by Moldovan citizens to the ECHR.
1 The mortgage investment company Moldvinipoteca was opened in late 2007 to make vineyards and should have a minimum business plan for 2007–2010.
1. Labour market
Moldovans earn lower salaries…
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data, the average wage on economy accounted for 2,532 lei (173.6 Euros) in February 2009, by 1 percent less than in January, when it amounted to 2,555 lei (190 Euros). Given the depreciation of the leu versus euro, the wage in February (173.6 Euros) was by 8.6 percent lower than in January (190 Euros). Compared with February 2008, the wage in February 2009 rose by 13 percent, while the net average salary increased by 10 percent only.
The average wage in budgetary sector accounted for 2,237.3 lei (153.4 Euros) and rose by 24 percent compared with the similar period of 2008. The average wage in the real sector amounted to 2,707.8 lei (158.7 Euros) and rose by 10 percent, compared with the similar period of 2008. However, average wages as trend have decreased in majority of economic sectors, starting with the agriculture and ending with finance.
Employees in agriculture, hunting and forestry were paid the least – 1,236 lei or 84.7 Euros (compared with 1,260 lei or 93 Euros in January 2009), fishing and fish breeding – 1,659.3 lei or 113.9 Euros (compared with 1,348.7 lei or 100 Euros in January 2009), education – 1,930.6 lei or 132.4 Euros (compared with 1,766.6 lei or 130 Euros in January 2009), etc.
The highest wages, but lower than the last month were paid to employees in financial sector – 4,783.3 lei (328 Euros, compared with 5,822.8 lei or 430 Euros in January 2009), electricity, heating, gas and water providing industry – 4,442.4 lei or 304.7 Euros (compared with 4,522.1 lei or 335 Euros in January 2009), transportation and communication – 3,485.6 lei or 239 Euros (compared with 3,335.7 lei or 247 Euros in January 2009), real estate transactions – 3,247.2 lei or 222.7 Euros (compared with 3,164 lei or 234 Euros in January 2009), public administration – 3,140 lei or 215.4 Euros (compared with 3,017.6 lei or 224 Euros in January 2009).
2. Banking system
Guaranteeing rate on deposits by individuals was increased…
Under a decision by the management board of the fund for guaranteeing deposits in banking system (FGDBS) from December 22, 2008, the guaranteeing rate on deposits by individuals was increased from 4,500 lei up to 6,000 lei. The new rate will be in effect during April 1, 2009 – March 31, 2010.
The rise was operated by establishing a variation coefficient of 1,333.3 from the level set under Article 6 (1) of the law on guaranteeing deposits of individuals in the banking system – 4,500. Therefore, if the deposits of an authorized bank become unavailable, the fund guarantees the payment of 6,000 lei to each deponent, regardless of the number, size and currency of deposits.
As well, the bank’s obligation towards the deponent is calculated by summing all deposits inclusively the owed interest rate on the date when the unavailability of deposits was established. The amounts of guaranteed deposits in the banking system are raised from annual or quarterly contributions by commercial banks.
Under the law on guaranteeing deposits of individuals in banking system, the bank shall pay a single initial contribution equivalent to one percent of the deposits registered in the balance sheet of the bank and a quarterly contribution of 0.25 percent of the overall deposits guaranteed accordingly to the established level and recorded in the balance sheet of the bank at the end of every quarter. According to data published on the fund’s website, the fund for guaranteeing deposits of individuals includes about 73.7 million lei at present.
3. External position of country
Reserve currency down by about 490 million dollars this year…
According to the NBM accounts, the reserve currencies amounted to 1.18 billion dollars in late March, decreasing by about 490 million dollars (30 percent) compared with December 31, 2008, when they accounted for 1.67 billion dollars. In particular, the reserve currency of NBM declined by more than 168 million dollars in January and by about 140 million dollars in February. According to updated forecasts for 2009, the IMF says that Moldova’s reserve currency could decrease by 614 million dollars. According to a more pessimistic scenario, the country’s reserve currency could fall by 1.3 billion dollars, which means that Moldova could have no reserve currency, should remittances and exports keep dropping.
NBM representatives have earlier said that the reduction of official reserve assets in 2009 was linked to interventions on Moldova’s currency market under the shape of sales, payments on account of country’s external debt, other external payments, and reduction of the exchange rate of the currencies which make the reserves versus US dollar. In 2008, Moldova’s reserve currency increased by 338.72 million dollars (25.4 percent) up to 1,672,410,000 dollars. As for December 31, 2007, reserve currency of NBM accounted for 1,333,068,000 dollars.
Barvikha Declaration from 18 March 2009
On March 18, 2009, the city of Barvikha near Moscow hosted a meeting of Russian and Moldovan Presidents Dmitri Medvedev and Vladimir Voronin, with the participation of Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov. It ended with the signing of a joint declaration released by the Russian Foreign Ministry. It says that the "leaderships of the Republic of Moldova and Transnistria", parties of the conflict, have met in Barvikha in the presence of the Russian Federation’s President. The goal of the meeting was to strengthen efforts for settling the Transnistrian conflict through peaceful political methods only. The participants in the meeting agreed on the following clauses:
- The parties will keep direct contacts with the view to rouse the political negotiation process;
- The parties will stir up the efforts of expert groups aimed to consolidate the confidence-building measures in the social-economic and humanitarian areas;
- The parties confirm the importance of "permanent consultations on political issues within the Transnistria settlement negotiation process" ("5+2" format) and will make conditions to resume the works in this format as soon as possible, wished for the first half of 2009. The parties call upon all participants in the "5+2" format to contribute to making favourable conditions in this regard;
- The parties note the stabilizing role of the acting peacekeeping mission from the region and regards as grounded its transformation into a peace guaranteeing operation under the OSCE aegis after the Transnistrian settlement;
- The parties express gratitude to the Russian Federation for its mediation efforts aimed at a plenary Transnistrian settlement.
Transnistrian leader about meaning of the Barvikha Declaration
On March 23, 2009, Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov disclosed the ins and outs of the Barvikha Declaration, in an interview with the Moscow-based newspaper "Nezavisimaia Gazeta". According to Smirnov, Russia’s positions in the Transnistrian region have consolidated and this will facilitate the integration of the region into Russia. The Transnistrian problem will be shortly discussed within the Russian Security Council. In this regard, Smirnov also revealed some facts about the signing and contents of the Barvikha Declaration. In particular, he said that:
- Voronin expressed an increased interest for the Transnistrian problem from electoral reasons, while strengthening the Russian factor in the region is important for Transnistria. Even more, Russia gave 40,000 tons of crude oil to Moldova with regard to the signing of the Declaration and President Dmitri Medvedev instructed the Government to find possibilities to release a 200-million-dollar credit to the Transnistrian region;
- Point 1 of the Declaration says that Transnistria negotiates with Moldova, not with the European Union and United States, which have a single purpose – to eliminate Russia from the region, but this is impossible because 135,000 Transnistrians are already Russian citizens;
- Point 4 of the Declaration says very clear that there is no way to pull out the Russian military from the region any longer. The current peacekeeping mission will be transformed only after the conflict resolution. The status quo towards the Russian military presence will be maintained in the event the conflict is unsettled;
- Moldova will never reunify since Transnistria has other ideals. There is no way to reunify the two banks of the Dniester but to normalize the relations between two neighboring states;
- Moldova and Transnistria must be treated as equal parties like it happens since 1994, when the negotiations started. In this respect, Tiraspol has elaborated a system of guarantees which the equal parties Moldova and Transnistria will delegate to the guarantors Russia and Ukraine to ensure the honoring of agreements including previous treaties;
- Ukraine should not revolt itself because Russia has a more active conduct in the Transnistrian settlement process, it shall be active, too. Statements by EU representative Kalman Mizsei that the EU will not recognise agreements reached in the "2+1" format are inopportune. In general, "who is he for Transnistria? Nobody, a nonentity."
- Transnistria negotiates with Moldova only, negotiations guaranteed by Russia, nobody else. Russia guarantees the life of people from the region. She has assumed all social expenses. The Transnistrian banking system is maintained by Russia’s. The 200 million dollars which Transnistria is due to receive from Russia will be used as circulating financial resources, so that enterprises from the region, mainly owned by Russia, will be able to operate and pay salaries;
- Transnistria’s future is beside Russia, Transnistria will be a Russian region;
- Relations with Medvedev are better than were with Putin. Resetting Russia-US relations envisages the recognition of Transnistria as Russia’s area of influence, which means recognition of Russia’s right to watch and influence developments in the post-Soviet area. Russian scenarios shall be taken into consideration seriously. Medvedev hinted this to Saakashvili: the one who will defy Russian interests will be punished. Russia has confirmed this in the last 18 years.
Draft "agreement concerning guarantees of Transnistrian settlement"
Following the March 18, 2009 meeting in Moscow, Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov has delivered to President Vladimir Voronin the draft "agreement concerning the system of guarantees for the Moldovan-Transnistrian settlement". According to the draft, Moldova and Transnistria are equal parties of the conflict; Russia and Ukraine are guarantors, while the OSCE is a guardian of the agreement. The draft agreement stipulates the following:
- The conflicting parties, guarantors and the OSCE call for mandatory international legal guarantees of the Transnistrian settlement;
- The conflict parties and guarantors make necessary conditions for the honouring of agreements, including previous treaties, in particular on resolution of social-economic, humanitarian problems, etc.;
- The peacekeeping mechanism introduced in 1992 will be maintained. The parties will not collect taxes from each other, except for the fees for protection of domestic market; will not revise the ownership on estates from territory of each other; will not obstruct the export of goods and transit, etc.;
- The guarantors will take necessary actions to prevent the violation of this agreement.
Transnistrian propaganda about Romanian danger
Transnistria’s mouthpiece published on March 16, on the eve of the March 18, 2009 meeting in Moscow between Presidents Medvedev and Voronin and Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov, a communication by the presidium of the coordinating council of public organisations and Transnistrian parties, which says that causes of the war in the region were not remedied yet, as ruling circles from Moldova keep promoting the policy on political, economic and ethno-cultural accession to Romania. Arguments to these facts would be:
- The promotion of the idea on the common Moldovan-Romanian history;
- The fusion of markets and economies of Moldova and Romania;
- The identity of legislation, state symbols and financial systems of Moldova and Romania;
- The replacement of the Cyrillic-script Moldovan language (and its further liquidation) with the Latin-script Romanian language;
- The lack of a basic treaty between Moldova and Romania, which means in fact the non-recognition of Moldova by Romania and territorial claims against Moldova;
- The existence of joint Moldovan-Romanian governmental and parliamentary commissions;
- The education of youths and managerial staffs of Moldova and Romania;
- The awarding of Romanian citizenship to a million of Moldovan citizens;
- The implementation of the NATO standards by the Defence Ministry of Moldova, development of cooperation with this organisation, acceptance of a NATO military contingent in country’s territory, preparations to join the alliance.
Note by ADEPT: This declaration is the most eloquent sample of "laundering brains" of citizens from Transnistria. There is no need to describe the state of Moldovan-Romanian relations in order to combat the Transnistrian propaganda, it is enough to note that prior to the April 5, 2009 parliamentary elections the Commissioner for external relations and neighborhood policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, had to send the following message via her spokesperson: "the European Commission is carefully monitoring the situation regarding the alleged entry restrictions on some Romanian citizens in the Republic of Moldova signaled after March 26… The Commission considers that legitimate trips by Romanian citizens to the Republic of Moldova shall not be obstructed." That’s how the Republic of Moldova "joins" Romania.
Analyst Vladimir Socor regarding Barvikha Declaration
Commenting the signing of the "trilateral" declaration – Medvedev, Voronin, Smirnov – in Barvikha, Gamestown Foundation analyst Vladimir Socor notes that:
- President Vladimir Voronin has signed the Declaration for electoral reasons with the purpose to be covered by Russian TV stations which control the media space in Moldova, besides President Medvedev and Patriarchate Kirill whom Moldovan citizens trust the most;
- By signing the Declaration, Voronin has yielded more than he has got, venturing unprofessionally into a trap. Voronin ceded because his former adviser Mark Tkaciuc or Minister of Reintegration Vasile Sova did not accompany him to Moscow. Nor does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs seem to have been involved in this event;
- The consequences of the signed Declaration are not irreparable, but they weakened Moldova’s positions. It will be very hard to the next chief of state to redress the situation;
- The signing of the Barvikha Declaration means the renunciation by Moldovan authorities to documents signed by Russia at the Istanbul OSCE Summit and the comeback to the vicious circle – Russia does not pull out its troops because a political solution to the conflict is unavailable, while the conflict will not be settled because of unwillingness to withdraw the troops. The declaration undermines the EU and US positions with regard to withdrawal of the Russian military presence from the region;
- By accepting the continuation of the "2+1" consultations, President Voronin has made premises for the negotiation and adoption of key decisions on Transnistrian problem in this format, so that to further present them in the "5+2" format as accomplished deeds in order to legalize them;
- Moldova’s position from perspective of the CFE Treaty and 1999 Istanbul agreements, which say that foreign troops cannot station in the territory of a country with its consent, was undermined. Even more, as regards Moldova, the Istanbul requirements called for the complete and unconditional withdrawal of the Russian military presence. The signing of the Declaration by President Voronin allows Russia and a number of western states to argue that the Republic of Moldova has given up the positions related to the withdrawal of the Russian military presence;
- The Moscow Declaration may help Russia persuade the West to ratify the CFE Treaty. The stationing of Russian troops in Moldova was a major obstacle in this respect. Germany and other NATO member states are already considering such possibilities. In this regard, Germany calls for the reinterpretation of the 1999 agreements, so that not to oblige Russia to pull out its peacekeeping forces.
Immediate consequences of the Barvikha Declaration
- Just few days after signing the Barvikha Declaration, the Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov restricted the access to the region for the ambassadors of the United States, Czech Republic which chairs the EU, and EU special representative to Moldova. By doing so, Smirnov proved clearly his attitude towards the "5+2" format after signing the Barvikha Declaration. In reply to this, President Voronin refused to meet the Transnistrian leader on March 25, 2009, as stipulated by the Declaration concerned. The Russian Federation regretted the refusal of President Voronin;
- The Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) promised to settle the conflict rapidly when it took over the rule in February 2001. But the Transnistrian problem is unsettled so far after an 8-year-old governing. Even more, the PCRM took over the governing after the Russian Federation assumed some commitments at the 1999 Istanbul OSCE Summit which cancelled some groundless yielding by Moldova in the Transnistrian conflict. After eight years of rule ended with the signing of the Barvikha Declaration, President Vladimir Voronin brought back in fact the situation to the stage of "vicious circle" faced before the Istanbul OSCE Summit – the Russian troops do not quit the country because the conflict is not settled, while the conflict is not settled because neither Russia nor the Transnistrian regime it controls want the withdrawal of Russian troops. The least, the Moldovan authorities will not be able any longer to invoke the arguments they have indicated in the past four years from stands of the UN General Assembly, OSCE, etc. This is the "electoral price" that the PCRM leader decided to pay in quality of chief of state for eulogistic images and words in the Russian media which controls the Moldovan media area.
European Council approves statement on Eastern Partnership
On March 20, 2009 the Brussels European Council adopted a statement concerning the Eastern Partnership, which is part of the Presidency Conclusions of the Brussels European Council. The statement reveals the following:
- The EU has a strong interest in developing an increasingly close relationship with its eastern partners, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, by granting the prospect of political association and economic integration into the EU;
- The Eastern Partnership will be governed by the principles of joint ownership, differentiation and conditionality. Shared values including democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights will be at its core, as well as the principles of market economy, sustainable development and good governance;
- The Partnership will provide a 600-million-euro financial support for the period to 2013; increased financial support will respect the resources available under the multiannual Financial Framework, including adequate margins;
- New association agreements with the EU, which would include consolidated and global free exchange agreements will be signed with those partners who have made sufficient progress towards the principles of market economy and democratic values and who are willing and able to comply with the resulting commitments;
- The Eastern Partnership will promote mobility of citizens of partner countries and will take gradual steps towards full visa facilitation as a long term goal for individual partner countries and on a case by case basis provided that conditions for well-managed and secure mobility are in place.
- The Eastern Partnership aims to strengthen the energy security cooperation of all participants with regard to long-term energy supply and transit including through better regulation and energy efficiency.
The statement does not say anything about granting of a clear European perspective to participating states.
The Eastern Partnership will be launched on May 7, 2009 within a summit which will be organized for this purpose.
EUBAM releases its annual report 2008
The European Union Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) released its annual report 2008 on March 26, 2009. According to the report, the European Court of Auditors, examining the effectiveness of EU support in the area of freedom, security and justice in Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus stated that the EUBAM had contributed greatly to building capacity in the Moldovan and Ukrainian border guard and customs services.
EU-Moldova COEST Troika Meeting (Working group of the EU Council for Relations with Eastern Europe and Central Asia)
On March 25, 2009 in Brussels a Moldovan delegation headed by Valeriu Ostalep, deputy minister of foreign affairs and European integration, attended the EU-Moldova COEST Troika Meeting. The meeting tackled issues related to the electoral campaign for the parliamentary elections in Moldova; latest developments in the Transnistrian settlement process; future of EU-Moldova relations and negotiation of a new Moldova-EU agreement.
While on visit, the Moldovan delegation has met Hugues Mingarelli, deputy director of DG RELEX, European Commission, and political scientists, Michael Emerson, senior researcher of the Centre for European Policy Studies, and Antonio Missiroli, study director of the European Policy Centre. (According to a MFAEI press release)
MFAEI releases the Newsletter on Moldova-EU Mobility Partnership
On March 27, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration released the first online issue of Newsletter on the Mobility Partnership Republic of Moldova – European Union.
The newsletter tells in brief the negotiations on the Moldova-EU Mobility Plan, the mechanism for monitoring the implementation, evolutions in implementing the Mobility Partnership and events scheduled for the near future.
The next issues will provide information about implementation of projects within the Action Partnership aimed:
- To strengthen relations with the Moldovan Diaspora;
- To encourage the comeback and reintegration of Moldovan migrants;
- To consolidate the institutional capacity in the area of migration management;
- To invest remittances;
- To ensure border management and security of documents;
- To ensure social protection;
- To cooperate against illegal migration and trafficking in human beings.
(According to a MFAEI press release)
Republic of Moldova – Romania
After Romania has tried in the second half of January to restore good relations with the Republic of Moldova the Moldovan-Romanian ties strained again by the end of March. This situation comes after many Romanian citizens were denied access to the Republic of Moldova without clear reasons. According to data by the Romanian Foreign Ministry, approximately 300 Romanian and Moldovan citizens were denied access to the Republic of Moldova during March 27–29, 2009. The situation raised both the discontentment of Romanian authorities and concern of the European Commission. In particular, Romanian Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu has told a press conference that "the restricted circulation of citizens in the European area reveals the lack of a real commitment (by the Republic of Moldova) in the European course supported energetically by Romania in Brussels," while a press release by the Romanian Foreign Ministry stressed that the "treatment applied on Romanian citizens is unacceptable and contrary to their status of European citizens, EU norms which the Republic of Moldova wants to join and fundamental human rights…"
At a pres conference on March 31, 2009, Moldovan Prime Minister Zinaida Grecianii denied any abuse by Moldovan authorities, saying that the actions by Moldovan border guard and customs services were perfectly legal. At the same time, the prime minister said that the holding aimed to prevent alleged destabilizing actions organized by groups of Romanian citizens on the eve of parliamentary elections in Moldova.
It is worth mentioning that the MFAEI convoked the Romanian Ambassador in Chisinau, Filip Teodorescu, on March 20, 2009 to inform him in connection with possible public electoral actions that groups of Romanian citizens would have been expected to hold in Chisinau during March 27–28. The ministry told the Romanian diplomat that the Moldovan authorities "will take all necessary measures with the view to prevent such a situation, which would jeopardize the good relations between the Republic of Moldova and Romania."
Republic of Moldova – Russia
Two events marked the Moldova-Russia relations in the second half of March. The No.1 event was the visit of Moldova’s President Vladimir Voronin to Moscow to meet there Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and sign a joint declaration with his Russian counterpart and Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov (see the chapter TRANSNISTRIAN PROBLEM). The second, less important event was the visit of Russian Minister of Economy Elvira Nabiullina to Chisinau. While on visit, the Russian minister has met Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin and officials of the Ministry of Economy and Trade (MET). The sides discussed issues relating to commercial-economic relations between Moldova and Russia and opportunities to develop and extend them. In particular, Vladimir Voronin stressed the possibility to supply Moldovan agro-food products to the Russian market, inclusively via the Giurgiulesti International Port. In her turn, Nabiullina said that Russian economic agents will keep investing and implementing new investment projects in Moldova, especially in the energy and telecommunication sectors, despite the world economic crisis. (According to MET press release)
Note by ADEPT: Some analysts consider that the visit of the Russian minister of economy was part of the "electoral" visits of foreign officials in favor of the PCRM. However, cannot be ignored the version that this visit could aim to find investment opportunities in domestic energy and telecommunication sectors and/or establish conditions for providing a Russian financial assistance to Moldova when Chisinau will experience repercussions of the world financial and economic crisis.
Republic of Moldova – Council of Europe
On March 31, 2009, the European Court of Human Rights pronounced decisions on the cases Hyde Park and others vs. Moldova (no. 1), (no.2), and (no.3). It indicated the violation of freedom of meetings and association in all three cases and granted 9,000 Euros to applicants for all cases in non-pecuniary damages and 3,000 Euros in costs and expenses. (Source: www.echr.coe.int, www.lhr.md)
1 www.mae.ro, 29.03.2009
2 www.mae.ro, 27.03.2009
3 Info-Prim Neo
4 www.mfa.md, 20.03.2009
Studies, Analyses, Comments
International ratings, external deficits, exchange rate…
Iurie Gotisan, 31 March 2009
The Economist Intelligence Unit, part of the well-known British magazine The Economist, has recently published a report on vulnerability of countries of the world to consequences of the world economic crisis. The report ranks the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Bosnia-Herzegovina as most politically unstable countries and therefore, very vulnerable to economic developments
Eastern Partnership – opportunity or barrier for European integration of Moldova?
Oleg Cristal, 31 March 2009
During the March 20, 2009 session of the European Council, EU heads of state and government approved the Polish-Swedish European Commission’s initiative on the Eastern Partnership. Besides EU member states the Eastern Partnership covers six eastern neighboring countries: Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia