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Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, year VII, issue 147, 1–15 November 2009
Activity of Public Institutions
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Activity of Public Institutions
1. Appointments. Dismissals
The Parliament convened in a special sitting on November 10, 2009 to elect the President of the Republic of Moldova. Taking part in the sitting were the majority of parliamentarians inclusively those representing the PCRM, but the Communist faction has lately boycotted the election procedure. This way, the only registered candidate, Marian Lupu, got only 53 votes of the parliamentary majority members (AIE). Under legislation, repeat elections will be organized not later than 30 days after last ordinary elections, but the Parliament did not set yet the repeat elections.
Dorin Dragutanu, employee of the Audit Department of the Serbian PricewaterHouseCoopers Company, was nominated Governor of the National Bank of Moldova.
The Parliament has assigned the delegations to international parliamentarian forums which will be headed as follows:
- Parliamentarian Liliana Palihovici (PLDM), delegation to the Interparliamentary Union;
- Parliamentarian Igor Dodon (PCRM), delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization;
- Parliamentarian Mihai Sleahtitchi (PLDM), delegation to the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly;
- Parliamentarian Valentin Guznac (PCRM), delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie;
- Parliamentarian Vasili Sova (PCRM), delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly;
- Parliamentarian Veaceslav Untila (AMN), delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly;
- Iurie Muntean (PCRM), delegation to the Assembly of the Central-European Initiative;
- Oleg Reidman (PCRM), delegation to the Western European Union’s Assembly.
Members of parliamentary delegations to PACE and CIS were not confirmed yet.
2. Legislative acts
Law concerning the modification of the law on political parties. The regulations concerning the funding for political parties from the state budget, which stipulated the allocation of 0.2 percent of the state budget incomes to parliamentary parties and local public administration organs for this year, were suspended.
Note by ADEPT: The decision was motivated by the financial crisis faced by Moldova, while the parliamentary opposition, international organizations and experts in the area have earlier welcomed these regulations. According to general opinions, the budgetary funding to parties helps combating political corruption, enhance confidence of society, and improve the management of political parties, ensure their transparent activity.
3. Parliamentary control. Statements
Report by Chamber of Auditors
Chairperson of the Chamber of Auditors has presented the report concerning the management of public funds for the budgetary year 2008 in front of the Parliament, notifying lawmakers over some alarming issues such as:
- Insufficient activity of tax administration bodies (state tax service);
- Shortcomings in the VAT redemption process;
Operation of some shadow companies which seriously harmed the state budget (about 900 million lei);
Irregularities and dysfunctions related to organization and development of public procurement procedures;
Irregularities in patrimony management.
Many legislators were discontent with the quality of the report, saying that it has superficially tackled the situation in the area of management of public funds and state enterprises, did not evaluate the legality and fairness of privatization of some important state enterprises etc.
Appeal by a Special Commission
The special investigation commission to elucidate the causes and consequences of events which took place after April 5, 2009 has called upon all those who have veridical information about the developments concerned to provide it before November 27, 2009. The work of the commission will focus on collecting information, analyzing and issuing reports concerning the findings of the investigation, and will involve experts from nongovernmental and international organisations. Certain political leaders including Vladimir Filat, Vladimir Voronin, Mihai Ghimpu, Dorin Chirtoaca etc., could be heard within the investigation.
1. Appointments. Dismissals
The Government has decided to relieve from offices some deputy ministers and heads of central institutions who were in office since the last cabinet. The executive also decided to dismiss the heads of territorial offices of the Ministry of Local Public Administration, as this ministry was dissolved.
Appointment of deputy ministers:
- Oleg Efrim (Ombudsman) was nominated deputy minister of justice;
- Iurie Cheptanaru (head of the Department for interior affairs of UTA Gagauzia) was appointed deputy interior minister;
- Octavian Grama (businessman, PLDM member) was nominated deputy minister of health;
- Roman Cazan (former deputy director of the Government Administration) was assigned deputy state minister;
- Sergiu Sainciuc (former deputy minister of economy) was appointed deputy minister of labour, social protection and family;
- Boris Gherasim (businessman) was nominated deputy minister of transport and road infrastructure;
- Anatolie Zolotcov was assigned deputy minister of construction and regional development;
- Octavian Calmic was nominated deputy minister of economy;
- Natalia Gherman was reconfirmed in the office of deputy minister of foreign affairs and European integration;
Appointment of heads of central institutions:
- Viorel Chetraru (employee of the Interior Ministry) was appointed director of the Centre for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption;
- Elena Beleacova (businesswoman, PDM member) was nominated director-general of the Bureau for Interethnic Relations;
- Gheorghe Vdovii (businessman, AMN member) was assigned director-general of "Moldsilva" Agency;
- Vasile Pintea (former AMN deputy) was appointed director-general of the Agency of Material Reserves.
The executive has approved the members of the Board of Directors of the National Social Insurance House (CNAS), with Maria Borta continuing to run this institution.
Decision approving the composition of the governmental Commission for European integration. The prime minister will be chairman of the Commission and Iurie Leanca, minister of foreign affairs and European integration, will be deputy chairman. The Commission will meet at least once a month or more often if needed be.
Decision concerning the organization of citizen hearings. Under the decision, prime minister will receive citizens the third Monday of the current month, deputy prime ministers without portfolios on the first and second day of the current month, and state minister on the forth Monday of the current month. The results of examination of petitions and hearings will be reported to the Government every year.
Note by ADEPT: The action program of the Filat Government concerning the "Reformation of the decision-making process" includes special regulations on "the development and implementation of systems of circulation of documents and normative acts, inclusively by introducing systems of electronic record, dissemination and monitoring of documents.., improvement of the petition management process." The recently approved decision does not set new and better procedures and mechanisms, keeping in effect almost same regulations in the area since 2001 (GD No.461 of 15.06.2001).
Decision approving the draft law on reformation of the judicial system (dissolution of specialized law courts). It proposes that all trials to be studied by common law courts exclusively, while specialized courts (economic and military) would be dissolved.
Note by ADEPT: The action program of the Filat Government stipulates the dissolution of economic courts and takeover of their competences by common law courts specialized in colleges/divisions, depending on the case. Earlier, Minister of Justice argued the need of dissolving these courts with their inefficiency, loss of many applications to ECHR, and high corruption rate in these institutions.
Decision concerning the purchase of antiviral and medical appliances. For emergent reasons and given the pandemic influenza virus A (H1N1) faced by Moldova’s neighbors and with the purpose to prevent the flu spread, the proposal of the Health Ministry to emergently purchase antiviral drugs and medical appliances worth up to 31.2 million lei (from prevention fund) from a single source for the needs of the healthcare system was accepted. The 200,000 doses of Oseltamivir (antiviral drug) cost about 18 million lei, protection means and abstergents are worth 12 million lei, and transportation and storage-related expenses are estimated at about one million lei.
Note by ADEPT: Although the Government decision operates with the notion "in conditions of maximum transparency", details about existing applications, purchase procedure, economic agent which sold the drugs and their quality etc., were unavailable when the decision to allocate the funds was made.
Decisions approving regulations and staffs of some institutions. The regulations concerning organization, operation and maximum personnel of the following institutions were approved:
- State Chancellery;
- Ministry of Construction and Regional Development;
- Education Ministry;
- Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry;
- Ministry of Transport and Road Infrastructure;
- Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family;
- Health Ministry;
- Ministry of Culture.
Decision concerning the dissolution of a state enterprise. In connection with the ECHR decision on violation of property right through privatization of "Dacia" Hotel, the executive has decided to dissolve the state-run enterprise "Dacia Hotel" by applying the liquidation procedure.
Decision concerning the Curative-Sanatory and Recovery Association. Under the decision, the association and subordinated enterprises are transferred from the State Chancellery into the ownership of the Health Ministry.
Decision concerning the allocation of funds. It allocates about 1.2 million lei as compensations to victims of political repressions. The funds will be allocated to the district councils Cahul and Floresti and executive committee of Gagauzia to execute decisions of law courts concerning the recovery of estate of rehabilitated people.
3. Sittings. Decisions
Sitting of the extraordinary anti-epidemic Commission
The sitting discussed evolutions relating to the influenza virus A(H1N1) and underlined the need of keeping population informed, ensuring people with necessary drugs, vaccinating risky groups, ensuring the presence of doctors at border-crossing stations etc. Prime minister demanded a strict control on pharmacies in order to prevent an unjustified rise in drug prices.
Sittings of inter-ministerial strategic planning Committee
Prime Minister Vladimir Filat has chaired two sittings which discussed stipulations of the Economic Stabilization and Recovery Plan of Moldova for 2009–2011; aspects related to the agreement negotiated with the IMF Mission which seeks higher excise taxes for luxury cars, tobacco and spirits; the cost of the mandatory health insurance policy, which will be increased gradually, and by 0.1 percent only in 2010. As well, it was decided to seek a higher income tax on gambling gains, up to 18 percent; a double fee for gambling licenses; ensuring an adequate and constant inflow in the traffic fund and improving the funding system for road traffic works. The premier also demanded urgent actions to rectify the state budget law for this year and consider the state budget law for the next year.
Meeting of spokespersons
Vladimir Filat attended the meeting of spokespersons from ministries and governmental bodies, where stressed the necessity of working out a governmental communication strategy to promote a common message to the society. According to the prime minister, Government’s actions are too important "to inform citizens sporadically and even unprofessionally here and there". Filat invited journalists not to forget their duty to tackle issues consciously, as their messages make the general image of the Government, and asked participants to permanently learn to be professional in the communication area.
Preventing and combating trafficking in human beings
Prime minister has chaired the sitting of the national committee for combating trafficking in human beings, which heard reports by interior minister, minister of labour, social protection and family, education minister and prosecutor-general. According to reports, 452 related offences were recorded in the first ten months of 2009, of which 172 relating to trafficking in human beings (by 14 percent less than in the similar period of last year); trafficking in children – 36 (-7 percent); illegal migration of children – 18 (+63 percent), procurement – 130 (-3 percent); organization of illegal migration – 96 (-5 percent). Also, 266 criminal cases were delivered to law courts for examination, of them 88 related to trafficking in human beings; 19 related to trafficking in children; 10 cases of illegal migration of children; 97 cases related to procurement charges; 52 cases related to organization of illegal migration. While addressing the meeting, Prime Minister Vladimir Filat stated that preventing and combating the trafficking in human beings is a priority of the new Government of Moldova, while "wrong approaches and policies promoted until now ranked Moldova as origin country of trafficking". The premier ordered an analysis of obstacles in executing the plan on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and instructed competent bodies to enhance efficiency of the fight against trafficking in persons.
Under a presidential decree:
- The 1st ranking of state legal adviser was awarded to Mr. Valeriu Zubco, Prosecutor-General.
- The special ranking of major-general of the Information and Security Service was awarded to Gheorghe Mihai, director of the Security and Information Service.
Iurie Richicinschi was appointed head of the Supreme Security Council Service of the Moldovan President Administration and secretary of the Supreme Security Council.
The "Labour Glory" Order was awarded to Veaceslav Didac, deputy executive director of the National Institute of Justice.
The "Honour Order" was awarded to Mr. Krzysztof Suprowicz, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Poland to Moldova.
The "Labour Glory" Order was awarded to Gagauzia’s Governor Mihail Formuzal.
Moldova’s president has issued a decree on setting the national commission for the implementation of the Moldova-NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan, which will be headed by the minister of foreign affairs and European integration. Besides Government members and other dignitaries, the commission is made of civil society experts: Viorel Cibotaru, director of the NATO information and documentation centre, and Igor Munteanu, executive director of IDIS "Viitorul".
President of Moldova has given green light to a governmental initiative and issued several decrees on recalling certain ambassadors of Moldova:
- Sergiu Stati, Ambassador to Turkey;
- Victor Postolachi, Ambassador to Austria and Slovakia, Resident Representative of Moldova to the OSCE and Representative to the Vienna-based UN;
- Larisa Miculet, Ambassador to Israel and Cyprus;
- Valentin Mejinschi, Ambassador to Poland;
- Victor Gaiciuc, Ambassador to Belgium, Luxemburg and Netherlands, and Moldovan Representative to NATO;
- Mihail Camerzan, Ambassador to Portugal and Morocco.
1. Prices and inflation
Deflation likely to be recorded for all 2009…
NBS data reveal that the Consumer Price Index in October 2009 was 101.5 percent, compared with September 2009 and 98.4 percent compared with October 2009 (for information, CPI in October 2008 was 100.8 percent, compared with September 2008 and 109.8 percent compared with October 2007). Prices have decreased by 1.4 percent this year. The rise in average consumer prices by 1.5 percent was linked to the increase in prices of food products by 3 percent, manufactured goods by 0.7 percent, and tariffs for public services by 0.8 percent.
Tariffs for the following public services have been increased in the period concerned: drinking water supply and sewerage services by 6.3 percent, urban motor and electric passenger transportation by 17.2 percent, postal services for population by 17.7 percent etc. Tariffs for natural gas supply services for population increased by 3.6 percent, and others, which completed the prices rises mentioned above. Therefore, tariffs for communal household services have decreased by 0.3 percent.
2. Banking system
Central bank intervenes on monetary market…
The National Bank has decided to get involved into operations of introducing monetary liquidities by carrying out deals on open market with the purpose to encourage the crediting of domestic economy by banks. Liquidities will be released to banks via REPO state securities purchase operations for the basic NBM rate of 5 percent a year. These deals will be carried out permanently through auctions to be held weekly in accordance with a schedule. The auctions welcome all commercial banks which meet the requirements set by the National Bank of Moldova under the regulation concerning the NBM deals with state securities on open market. The schedule of monetary policy deals for November 2009 – December 2010 is available on the NBM website. If needed be, it will be completed with other kinds of open market deals, depending on evolutions of monetary and macroeconomic indicators. Liquidity supplies are expected to encourage commercial banks to fund the domestic economy for lower rates, determined by less expensive crediting resources from National Bank.
3. Foreign trade
So far, European Union absorbs 53 percent of Moldovan exports…
After Romania was the No.1 market for Moldovan products for almost two years, the standing was overturned some months ago, with Russia becoming leader in terms of Moldovan exports, and Romania ranking the 2nd place. This trend is not a reorientation of the general structure of Moldovan exports. So far, the European Union is the largest market for products made in Moldova, absorbing more than 53 percent of overall Moldovan exports in the first nine months of this year. However, statistics reveal that supplies both to the West and the East have decreased by 23 percent and 28 percent respectively.
Explanation of these evolutions or involutions…
One may say that this change in the rating would be based on premises related to the economic crisis and this would be banal, though the crisis could have also influenced the standing, but at a very little extent. The loss of weight on Romanian market is the price Moldova pays for the visa requirements which were in force for Romanian citizens until recently, and this fact hit seriously the trade exchanges between the two countries. Supplies of Moldovan goods to Romania have dropped by more than 30 percent in nine months and the share in the overall exports decreased from about 22 percent down to 20 percent. Thus, the loss in quantity cannot be estimated yet, but it is clear in percent.
Moscow likely to resume embargoes…
However, the lead of the Russian Federation is not so consistent and the turnout could change at any moment. If comparing the value of Moldovan exports to Russia (188 million dollars) and Romania (about 179 million dollars), the difference is not too important, of 9 million dollars. Eventual embargoes that Russia could introduce either to protect its market or producers, or for political reasons, could change the direction of Moldovan exports at any moment. Anyway, the Russian market will keep being important, as Moldovan products went to the East, particularly to Russia for a long period both in term of structure and quantity. Perhaps, Russian consumers were used to more products made in Moldova. But, as trend, Moldovan exports are surely oriented to the West since 2006–2007 and this is a positive factor because it reduces the risk of economic dependence in crisis times in particular.
Agriculture keeps enjoying subsidies…
The Ministry of Finance has recommended the Government to operate a budgetary rectification and increase by 210 million lei the fund for subsidizing farmers, up to more than half a billion lei. The funds will be used to redeem the Value-Added Tax. Under amendments to the state budget law for 2009, the subsidizing fund for agricultural producers will account for about 564 million lei after the rise.
On the other hand, the fund for sustaining vineyards will be reduced from 87 million lei down to 50.5 million lei. The subsidizing fund for 2010 will account for 313.5 million lei, like in 2009. Three priority areas were chosen for subsidizing: enhancing the value-added product in vegetal sector by growing fruit trees and vineyards, especially with irrigation systems; stimulating the fruit growing sector on protected field with irrigation systems; providing farmers with agricultural and irrigation equipment.
Thawing the negotiation process – impossible goal in the last three years and half
On November 6, 2009 Vienna hosted a "5+2" meeting on the Transnistrian settlement. According to the INFOTAG Agency, Deputy Minister of Reintegration Victor Osipov and his co-worker Ion Stavila represented the Moldovan delegation; Tiraspol foreign minister Vladimir Yastrebcheak represented Transnistria; the special envoy from the Russian Foreign Ministry, Valeri Nesterushkin, represented Russia; the permanent representative of the Ukrainian President in the Transnistrian settlement process, Yuri Kryzhanovsky, represented Ukraine; the high-ranking official of the U.S. Department of State, Dan Rastel, represented the United States; Special Representative Kalman Mizsei represented the European Union; the head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Philip Remler, represented the OSCE. The purpose of the meeting was to try unblocking the negotiations and develop them in the "5+2" format.
According to Deputy Minister of Reintegration Victor Osipov, an eventual resumption of the negotiation process is preceded by a dialogue on "developing social cooperation with the parties in the area of infrastructure, environment, healthcare and trade." Now the No.1 task of Chisinau "is to settle as well as possible the complexity of problems faced by population from the left side of the Dniester." As well, Osipov promised that "Moldova will consider the Moscow-backed Tiraspol’s initiative to hold permanent meetings between representatives of Moldova and Transnistria in the 1+1 format."
However, Transnistria’s representative Vladimir Yastrebcheak stressed in his turn that Chisinau’s expectations for a soon resumption of the negotiation process are groundless. He noted that the resumption of negotiations should be tackled:
- In the light of the March 18, 2009 Barvikha Declaration, which says that the dialogue should develop in the "2+1" format (Chisinau + Tiraspol + Moscow), and Chisinau should confirm that it would not seek the withdrawal of the Russian military presence from Transnistria any longer;
- Chisinau should remove any obstacles on way of Transnistrian exports, which means the requirement for Transnistrian businesses to get customs documents issued by Moldovan authorities.
Even more, Tiraspol will keep seeking the signing of a friendship and cooperation agreement by the Republic of Moldova like between two sovereign and independent states.
Constitutional conflict in Transnistria
After the Supreme Soviet of Transnistria held debates on November 18, 2009 and plans to organize on January 24, 2010 the draft constitution worked out by Igor Smirnov’s administration were turned down, the presidential press service released a statement saying the following:
- In April 2009 a group of Transnistrian lawmakers tabled the initiative to modify the constitution, so that to introduce the parliamentary regime instead of the presidential one;
- However, the presidential regime should be consolidated in order to accomplish the tasks related to the results of the September 2006 referendum on ensuring the independence of Transnistria and further annexing it to Russia;
- A special commission made of representatives of various branches of central and local administrations was created to advise the presidential leadership, and it worked from May 7 to October 16 to compile a draft constitution (an alternative to amendments tabled by the Supreme Soviet);
- Representatives of the Supreme Soviet ignored half of sittings of the special commission, which gathered more than 80 proposals to amend the draft constitution issued by the presidential administration;
- On October 26, the Supreme Soviet got a draft law seeking the conduct of a referendum to adopt the draft presidential constitution,
- The Supreme Soviet considered the bill on November 18 in an emotional and denigrating manner against administration and developers, proving a ready-made and destructive attitude towards such an important issue;
- Public organizations and a number of political parties decided yet on November 16 not to participate in the debates held by the Supreme Soviet, which were already expected to turn into a political show.
- This context, expressing gratitude to supporters, the presidential administration keeps insisting that Transnistria needs a new constitution, with a fair system of "checks and balances", which would ensure a maximum harmonisation with regulations of the Russian Federation’s Constitution.
Therefore, the statement concerned hints that should the Soviet Supreme turn down the draft of the Smirnov administration; the latter will start collecting the 15,000 signatures needed to organize a referendum. In this context, it is worth noting that immediately after the debates held by the Supreme Soviet on November 18 to make a conciliation commission with the purpose to finalize the draft constitution, Smirnov accused the parliamentary majority of the "Obnovlenie" Party of "usurping the legislative power" in the Transnistrian region. In reply, one of the "founding parents" of the separatist Tiraspol regime, Grigorii Maracutsa, former chairman of the Supreme Soviet and loyal partner of Igor Smirnov, accused Smirnov of "usurpation of power" (both of them are right in terms of Constitution of the Republic of Moldova). Smirnov argued his viewpoint, invoking the danger against Transnistrian statehood after "the decision-making process was monopolized by legislature, which is accessible to any party (i.e. "Obnovlenie" funded by "friends of the republic")." For these reasons, a bicameral legislature alone, like foreseen by the draft presidential constitution, would be capable to reduce the danger of "dictatorship of the legislative power" nothing like "installing a dictatorship of Smirnov." In addition, Smirnov made some revelations related to external funding to Transnistrian political forces (the way Vladimir Voronin has done in connection with the April 7 events in the Republic of Moldova), saying that more than two million Euros have been allegedly allocated by other countries including the Republic of Moldova to strengthen Transnistrian parties. As well, Smirnov denied allegations that Russia’s direct financial support to the Transnistrian Pension Fund would be due to the "collaboration" between "Obnovlenie" Party of former speaker Evgeni Shevchiuk and Russia’s ruling party "Yedinnaya Rossia".
Russia’s financial support to Transnistria
The Russian Federation released a new tranche worth 2.3 million dollars to Transnistria in early November to complete the Pension Fund. Russia’s support completes the medium pension in the Transnistrian region with approximately 15 dollars. This support was negotiated by the Supreme Soviet of Transnistria and is regarded as distrust with the Smirnov administration, which had earlier abused of the Russian financial assistance. According to statistics, approximately 1/3 of Transnistria’s population is made of retirees whose medium pension amounts to about 60 percent. Russia’s financial aid is cardinal for Transnistria’s survival, as the industrial production of the latter decreased by approximately 40 percent in 2009, compared with 2008, down to about 570 million dollars in January-October 2009. The metallurgical industry and building material manufacturing industry have declined the most – by more than 2/3; the food industry has dropped by about 1/5.
1. European integration
Parliament gives green light to MFAEI to begin negotiation of new political agreement with EU
The parliamentary commission for foreign policy and European integration gave green light in early November to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration to begin negotiation of a new bilateral political agreement with the European Union. NewsIn Agency quoted commission chairman Igor Corman as saying that the Chisinau authorities would like an agreement to open clear EU accession prospects. According to Igor Corman, this goal will equally depend on developments inside EU and internal evolutions in the Republic of Moldova. The negotiation team of Moldova will be led by Foreign Minister Iurie Leanca and made of deputy ministers of the ministries involved. The new agreement will be structured into four blocs: politics and security, rule of law and interior affairs, economy and sectors. Corman noted that the Republic of Moldova will be unlikely coupled with Ukraine in the EU accession process, with the EU declaring the differentiation principle as basic for relations with its Eastern neighbours.
2. Bilateral cooperation
Republic of Moldova – Romania
During November 13–14, Prime Minister Vlad Filat was on a working visit to Bucharest and met there Romanian President Traian Basescu, incumbent Premier Emil Boc, Senate Chairman Mihai Geoana, and the head of the Chamber of Deputies, Roberta Anastase, Romanian businesspersons. In Bucharest Filat signed three Moldovan-Romanian agreements: the small border traffic agreement, the agreement concerning the border crossing stations at the Moldova-Romania state border, and a protocol on amendment of the mutual investment promotion and protection agreement signed in Bucharest on August 14, 1992. While meeting Romanian officials, Prime Minister Vlad Filat was assured that after the presidential elections in Romania the latter will keep backing Moldova’s bids, and relations of the neighbouring country with the Republic of Moldova will become a priority.
In the same period, Romanian President Traian Basescu has signed the decrees on opening of Romanian consulates in Balti and Cahul, while the Romanian Government nominated the consuls-general of Romania in Balti (Dumitru-Nicanor Teculescu) and Cahul (Gentiana Serbu), and will shortly appoint a Romanian ambassador in Chisinau. The consulates will start working by January 2010.
Republic of Moldova – Ukraine
The secretary of the Supreme Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, Raisa Bogatyreva, was on a working visit to Chisinau on November 3 and met officials there. The visit concerned may be regarded as a first step forward restoring Moldovan-Ukrainian relations and settling lots of problems delayed in the last years. During meetings with Chisinau officials the parties tackled some sensitive issues such as delimitation of the Moldovan-Ukrainian border, resolution of estate-related problems, signing of a cooperation agreement to protect the rights of minorities, circulation regime for Moldovan citizens in Ukraine. The last topic is very sensitive for Moldovan citizens, after the Ukrainian Government has included Moldova into the list of countries with "migration" risk, and Moldovans were required to hold 1,100 Euros while entering Ukraine. This decision was temporarily suspended upon a request by Vlad Filat. Deputy Prime Minister Iurie Leanca, minister of foreign affairs and European integration, said that the new Chisinau Government treats Ukraine as a strategic partner and is ready to approach bilateral problems pragmatically and efficiently. In her turn, Raisa Bogatyreva appreciated the new vision of Moldovan authorities regarding relations with Ukraine and stated that Ukraine’s eventual decision to cancel the travel restriction for Moldovan citizens will depend on evolution of political dialogue aimed to settle the problems raised by Kiev. At the same time, both officials stressed the plans of Ukraine and Moldova to reanimate GUAM.
3. Multilateral cooperation
Republic of Moldova – CEI
On November 13 Bucharest hosted the Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Member States of the Central European Initiative (CEI), with the participation of prime ministers from the 18 CEI member states. Moldovan Premier Vlad Filat addressed the meeting and presented the priorities of the new action programme of the Moldovan Government, called for a continuous support to CEI members which did not join yet the EU in achieving their European bids, and expressed support to permanently strengthening relations between CEI and EU. At the end of the meeting the participants adopted the annual report of the CEI Secretary-General and the CEI Action Plan for 2010–2012.
Republic of Moldova – NATO
A delegation of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA), led by Marc Angel (Luxembourg), Special Rapporteur on Moldova for the Committee on the Civil Dimension of Security, visited Moldova on November 2–4, 2009. The NATO parliamentarians met governmental officials, legislators, lecturers and civil society representatives, foreign diplomats, and representatives of international organisations in Chisinau and Tiraspol. The visit was organised in connection with the report by Mr. Angel "The Republic of Moldova: Internal Challenges; Prospects for Euro-Atlantic Integration", which will be discussed at the Annual NATO PA Assembly in Edinburgh, Great Britain, on November 14–17, 2009. Following are the key conclusions of the visit:
- The political situation in Chisinau: although the new Government has presented an ambitious reform agenda, the political situation is unstable as long as a chief of state is not elected;
- The unresolved conflict over Transnistria: the Government adopted a new vision on the Transnistrian settlement; but so far on short and long terms, there are many serious challenges and obstacles for the conflict resolution;
- The accession to the European Union (EU): the European integration, harmonisation of Moldovan legislation and institutions to European standards are key priorities of the new Government; immediate goals include the signing of an association agreement with EU and visa liberalisation;
- The accession to NATO and security and defence reform: many obstacles have protracted cooperation with NATO in the past; the new Government hopes to impel relations with NATO and enhance efforts to reform the security and defence sector;
- Other foreign policy priorities of the Republic of Moldova, relations with its neighbours: the delegation has also discussed priorities of the new Government in terms of relations with Russia, Romania and Ukraine.
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Neither like Deng Xiaoping, nor like Charles de Gaulle – the battle goes on!
Igor Botan, 9 November 2009
The Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) has held a mad campaign in the last two weeks to persuade supporters that there is no other way but to lock up the election of chief of state and provoke early parliamentary elections. The campaign culminated with the PCRM-held protest meeting against governing of the Alliance for European Integration (AIE)