Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, year VII, issue 150, 16–31 December, 2009
Activity of Public Institutions
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Activity of Public Institutions
1. Appointments. Dismissals
The Parliament appointed 6 members of the Board of Observers of the National Public Broadcasting Company "TeleRadio-Moldova":
- Viorica Cucereanu;
- Raisa Lozinschi-Hadei;
- Viorica Mesina-Prodan;
- Aurelia Peru-Balan;
- Eugen Ribca;
- Vitalie Tapes.
The legislature assigned representatives of the Superior Council of Prosecutors:
- Mihai Chirila;
- Andrei Negru;
- Andrei Smochina;
- Serghei Turcan.
Marin Molosag was nominated first deputy governor of NBM.
Victor Parlicov was appointed head of the Board of Directors of the National Agency for Energy Regulation (ANRE).
Note by ADEPT: The appointment comes after the legislation in the area was modified so that competences to nominate the ANRE administration were transferred from Government to Parliament and the number of members of the Agency Board of Directors was increased (to be noted that this law was not yet published and enforced when Pavlov was appointed).
The Parliament took notice of the resignation of Deputy Andrei Popov, elected on behalf of PDM, and declared the vacancy of this office.
The nominal composition of the Moldovan parliamentary delegations to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Moldova-EU Parliamentary Cooperation Committee was approved. The delegations do not include Vladimir Voronin and Grigore Petrenco and this fact revolted PCRM representatives.
2. Legislative acts
Key budgetary laws for 2010 were adopted definitively:
- The state budget law;
- The state social insurance budget law;
- The law on mandatory health insurance funds;
- The law for the modification and completion of some legislative acts – financial and fiscal policy for 2010.
Law on natural gas and law on electricity. The laws set the framework needed to enforce the community policies on energy and to ratify the treaty on building the Energy Community.
Laws for the accession/ratification of some intentional acts:
- The treaty on the establishing of the Energy Community;
- The framework on the founding and statute of the European Public Law Organisation;
- The convention concerning the legal information and cooperation related to the "Information Society Services";
- The common convention on the safe management of used fuel and radioactive waste;
- The memorandum concerning the legal and judicial guarantees against unlawful processing of personal data;
Law for the modification and completion of the law concerning the special social protection of some categories of population. Under the law, nominative compensations for categories of population covered by this law will not be set starting January 1, 2010, while people who were awarded the right to nominative compensations before December 31, 2009 will get them until their right will expire in accordance with legislation and regulation established by Government. The amendments are motivated by goals of the programme on economic stabilisation and recovery and programme on optimisation of the social assistance system approved in 2007. Thus, the categories of people selected to get nominative compensations will enjoy this right in continuation as long as the right is effective in accordance with the law, while new applicants will be able to apply for social assistance in line with Law # 133-XVI of June 13, 2008 concerning social assistance. About 30 million lei would be saved a year under these amendments.
Decision approving the number of employees of the Chamber of Auditors. It preserves the same number of employees – 150 persons – though it was earlier signalled the need of seriously optimising control bodies and noted that the work of the Chamber of Auditors is inefficient in terms of sanctioning of the guilty and preventing public embezzlements.
The Government appointed 3 members of the certification commission advising the Ministry of Justice:
- Corina Cepoi, director of the advanced journalism school, Independent Journalism Centre;
- Aurelia Bondari, executive director of "AGROinform" Federation;
- Elena Gritco, functionary of the Ministry of Justice.
Tudor Balitchi was nominated Director-General of the Customs Service.
Sergiu Sitnic was appointed director of the National Agency for Regulation in Electronic Communication and Information Technology (ANRCETI). Sitnic ran this office in April 2008 – August 2009, when he tendered resignation.
The executive nominated several deputy ministers, so that administrations of ministries and central institutions controlled by Government are almost built.
Decision concerning the establishing of the National Council of Participation. The council was created and its nominal composition and regulation were approved.
Note by ADEPT: The purpose of the council is to assist the Government to work out, implement and monitor policy documents, develop cooperation between executive and civil society. Such a structure was created in 2008, but it did not function, with the executive giving up cooperation in this area without any explanations.
Decision concerning the reorganisation of the state guard directorate-general of the Interior Ministry and territorial state guard services. In order to relieve functions of the Interior Ministry not related to public order and protection of human rights, the ministerial subdivision concerned turns into a state agency.
Decisions approving some regulations:
- Concerning the institutional framework and mechanism of coordination of foreign assistance provided by international organisations and donor countries to the Republic of Moldova;
- Concerning the retention of income tax from wages and other payments operated by employers for benefit of employees;
- Concerning new foodstuffs;
- Concerning the functioning of the Curative-Sanatorium and Recovery Association of the State Chancellery of the Republic of Moldova.
Decisions concerning the allocation of financial means from the reserve fund of the executive:
- More than 375,000 lei are allocated to the Curative-Sanatorium Association of the State Chancellery to purchase medical equipment and afferent services;
- More than 1.7 million lei are allocated to the Nisporeni District Council to renovate education institutions;
- About 50,000 lei are allocated to the State Guard and Protection Service to install video cameras in the Great National Assembly Square.
Decision for the modification of the Parliament Decision concerning the parliamentary investigation commission to elucidate the causes and consequences of the events that followed April 5, 2009. With the view of the necessity of studying many materials, the Parliament decided to extend the operation of the commission until April 2010.
3. Sittings. Decisions
Meeting with members of the National Confederation of Trade Unions from Moldova (CNSM)
The meeting focussed on problems faced by employees in budgetary sector and national economy and necessity of optimising the dialogue between trade unions and Government. Prime minister called for building a partnership with trade unions and welcomed the CNSM initiative to resize the tripartite dialogue format (Trade Unions, Employers, Government) with the purpose to optimise it. Speaking about increasing wages of budgetary employees, prime minister said that this will depend on state budget resources and development of national economy. As well, the premier stressed the necessity of improving the fiscal management system and reforming the pension system, actions to be coordinated with unionist partners.
Meeting with members of the National Confederation of Employers
The participants tackled a series of problems faced by representatives of the real sector of economy, inclusively the insufficient coordination between authorities in charge with drafting and promoting policies and employers in the process of elaboration and adoption of normative framework which regulates the work of enterprises, imperfect fiscal system and tariff policies, protection of domestic market and fight against illicit trade, necessity of technical regulation of products and goods, disadvantageous crediting conditions for real sector of economy. Prime minister welcomed the CNPM initiative to extend and develop cooperation between Government and Employers, stressing that it will also involve representatives of unionist organisations to ensure equilibrium in accomplishing common goals. He proposed a joint sitting with the participation of all members of his cabinet to discuss concrete problems and find solutions.
Talks with Foreign Investors Association of Moldova
Representatives of largest foreign companies in Moldova said that the situation is being improved in terms of investment conditions, but signalled some problems and bureaucratic barriers in starting up and developing business. Prime Minister Vlad Filat stressed the importance of developing an efficient partnership in the foreign investment promotion process in Moldova and noted that maintaining the zero tax on reinvested income for the next two years comes to confirm Government’s plans to facilitate the business development. The executive will focus against all negative factors faced by foreign investors in Moldova. The participants agreed at the premier’s initiative to convoke quarterly sittings and discussed existing problems, assess progresses and set goals for next period.
Statements on relations with NIT
The Government released a statement to express surprise with the way the television station NIT and certain political forces report the situation around the end of the rent contract between the Directorate General for Buildings of the Government Administration (now State Chancellery) and joint company "Noile Idei Televizate". According to the statement, allegations that the TV station NIT will become homeless once the contract is over are groundless, as NIT had privatised 1,732.2 square metres in the same building in exchange for 3,637 lei per square metre. Since the contract was not renewed, NIT should find new headquarters beforehand. The Government regrets that a common contractual relationship was turned into a political situation without any reasons and assures that it does not attempt on the right of NIT to function and will give a reasonable term to this TV station to find room.
Prime minister attends public manifestations:
- The General Assembly of Prosecutors from Moldova;
- The festivity for nomination of winners of the national science support competition "Scientist of 2009" organised by the Academy of Sciences of Moldova;
- Manifestations dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the law concerning the special legal status of the administrative territorial unit Gagauzia.
- The sitting of the Council of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Alexandru Luncari and Mihail Bodean were relieved from offices of deputy directors of the Information and Security Service.
The April 21, 2009 Decree by President of the Republic of Moldova concerning the establishing of the state commission for inquiring causes, circumstances and consequences of the April 7–8, 2009 events was abrogated, as the parliamentary investigation commission to elucidate the causes and consequences of the events that followed April 5, 2009 was set up.
Moldova’s interim president issued several decrees awarding state distinctions.
Note by ADEPT: During September – December 2009 interim President Mihai Ghimpu handed in more than one hundred state awards, including:
- 20 supreme awards "Order of the Republic";
- 26 awards "Labour Glory";
- 14 awards "Honour Order";
- 31 medals "Civic Merit";
- 16 honour nominations "Emeritus Man" and others.
During March 2001 – August 2009 former Moldovan president Vladimir Voronin awarded about 2,000 state distinctions, of which more than 600 orders, more than 1,050 medals and more than 320 honour nominations. Under Law # 1123 of 30.07.1992 concerning state distinctions of the Republic of Moldova, the type of accolade is chosen depending on merits of individuals and legal entities to be awarded, and they are awarded under decrees by President of Moldova, in line with the regulation approved by chief of state. The regulation concerned says that as a rule, the request on awarding shall be submitted to the higher-ranking organ or organisation by the staff of the candidate and the candidacies shall be studied by a staff meeting. State distinctions may be also awarded at the initiative of public authorities, ministries, departments, supreme organs of public organisations, artistic unions. Applications for state awards shall be coordinated with city hall or district council, central authorities, who shall agree with republican unionist committees, coordinate them with the competent permanent commission of the Parliament of Moldova and deliver them to President of the Republic of Moldova.
1. European integration
Meeting of Moldova-EU Cooperation Council
The meeting took place in Brussels on December 21 and the Moldovan delegation was led by Prime Minister Vlad Filat and Deputy Prime Minister Iurie Leanca, minister of foreign affairs and European integration. According to a communique by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, the parties reviewed some issues relating to Moldova-EU cooperation; situation related to rule of law, human rights, results of economic and sectoral cooperation etc. They discussed the Transnistrian problem as well. The sides signed a joint statement at the end of the meeting, stressing the following facts:
- The European Union recognises the European bids of Moldova;
- Moldova’s progress in respecting human rights, democratic principles and rule of law is regarded as a precondition for strengthening Moldova-EU relations. Civil society plays a special role in this context;
- The progress of EU-Moldova relations will also depend on strengthening of Moldova’s administrative capacity at all levels. A Comprehensive Institution-Building Programme will be defined and implemented for this purpose within the framework of the Eastern Partnership;
- Annual Action Plan implementation tools continue are effective as tools aimed to strengthen the domestic reform process in Moldova, as well as EU-Moldova relations;
- The new EU-Moldova agreement will be innovative and ambitious that will enhance the bilateral relations and deepen sectoral cooperation;
- A dialogue will begin in 2010 to consider conditions for visa-free travel of Moldovan citizens to the EU, as a long-term goal;
- The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) will be established when Moldova will meet relevant conditions, inclusively those indicated by the EU-Moldova Action Plan;
- Completing the demarcation of the Moldovan-Ukrainian border is important for the parties and the technical expertise of EUBAM could be used to facilitate this process;
- EU will keep helping efforts to find a long-term solution to the Transnistrian conflict in the limit of territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova.
As well, the parties signed an understanding memorandum on EU advising assistance for the Moldovan Government. EU will deploy a high-ranking advice group to key institutions of Moldova to assist Moldovan authorities in implementing democratic and economic reforms needed to join the EU. According to Prime Minister Vlad Filat, the meeting concerned opened the EU over Moldova and confirmed its readiness to support Moldova in exploring new opportunities of reaching the European integration goal.
Moldova – member of European Energy Community
The accession of Moldova and Ukraine to the European Energy Community was approved during the 7th Meeting of the Energy Community Ministerial Council in Zagreb, Croatia on December 18, 2009. The accession will be effective just in the case Moldova and Ukraine will get rid of shortcomings of national legislation on natural gas and will adjust it to requirements of the acquis communautaire. According to the European Commissioner for Energy, Andris Piebalgs, the accession of Moldova and Ukraine to the Energy Community will catalyse the reforms in energy sector of these countries and will enhance their energy security.
2. Bilateral cooperation
Republic of Moldova – Romania
The end of presidential elections in Romania and nomination of a new Romanian Government gave light to the Moldova-Romania relations. Shortly after the appointment of the Boc Cabinet, Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat and Foreign Minister Iurie Leanca had telephone conversations with their Romanian counterparts, Romanian Premier Emil Boc and Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi, about current priorities of bilateral relations. On the other hand, the Moldovan Government ordered competent authorities to issue the documents needed to remove the barbed wire walls at the border with Romania and decided to open the Consulate General of Moldova in Iasi.
Republic of Moldova – Ukraine
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pyotr Poroshenko was on a flash visit to Chisinau on December 17 to meet his Moldovan counterpart Iurie Leanca and Prime Minister Vlad Filat. The agenda also included issues related to bilateral relations: demarcation of the Moldova-Ukraine border, settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, cooperation within GUAM, as well as within Eastern Partnership. The ministers summarised the Moldova-Ukraine relationship and agreed to go ahead with the demarcation of the Transnistrian section of the Moldova-Ukraine border. As well, they signed a joint letter to Mrs. Catherine Ashton, Vice President of the European Commission, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to announce the plans of the parties to establish the Euroregion "Nistru" and seek appropriate financial and technical support within the Eastern Partnership. The cooperation agreement on ensuring the right of national minorities was signed during the visit.
The process of demarcation of the Moldova-Ukraine border began on December 28, as the first border pillar was installed in the presence of official delegations from both countries and EU representatives.
Republic of Moldova – China
On December 17, Prime Minister Vlad Filat and the Chinese Ambassador to Moldova, Shi Longzhuang, signed an agreement on economic and technical cooperation between governments of the two countries. Under this agreement, the Chinese Government will provide an unredeemable grant worth 20 million Yuan (about 3 million US dollars) to Moldova as technical assistance. Areas to be covered by this grant will be established later with the Chinese side. The assistance is expected to cover spending for participation in the 2010 Shanghai world exhibition and promote Moldovan wines on Chinese market. As well, negotiations on signing the one-billion-dollar loan agreement for Moldova by China go on.
Note by ADEPT: China’s efforts to intensify relations with the new Chisinau Government match China’s current strategy on strengthening trade relations with Central and Eastern Europe. At the same time, China’s grant could be interpreted as an action preceding the signing of the one-billion-dollar loan agreement, a measure matching with China’s current strategy on diversifying reserve currencies.
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Political year 2009
Igor Botan, 30 December 2009
As a rule, tragic events reverberate with farces. In this light, developments experienced by Moldova had a reverse succession in 2009. The year began with a farce but ended with a tragic finding – former president Vladimir Voronin and adherents of the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) he leads had their "hearts broken" at the end of the year
Economy: retrospectives 2009 vs. forecasts 2010
Iurie Gotisan, 31 December 2009
The economic crisis had more or less devastating effects on Moldova in 2009 for sure. The Moldovan crisis does not have distinct particularities in general. This crisis is afferent to an economy which is quasi dependent on external factors, as the economic growth in the latest period was particularly due to earnings of Moldovan migrants working abroad, which means that the economy is mainly based on consumption