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Democracy and governing in Moldova

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e-journal, year IX, issue 161, January 17–31, 2011

Activity of Public Institutions

Economic Policies

Transnistrian Problem

Foreign Affairs

Studies, Analyses, Comments

Activity of Public Institutions


Events of major importance

Visit of European Commissioner for Home Affairs

Prime Minister of Moldova Vlad Filat and European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom held a joint press conference on issues related to liberalization of visa regime for Moldovan citizens and the Action Plan in this regard. European Commissioner appreciated the achievements of Moldovan authorities in promoting Moldova-EU dialogue, particularly in respect of the agenda for liberalization of visa regime. Cecilia Malmstrom said that the Plan contains a number of technical requirements on ensuring with conformity documents (biometric passports), strengthening borders, combating corruption, etc. Moldovan Prime Minister said that receiving the Action Plan is an important step in the way of achieving the desired abolishment of visa regime for Moldovan citizens in order to travel freely within the community space.

Appointments. Dismissals

By means of governmental decisions a number of deputy ministers were confirmed or appointed in positions:

  • Natalia Gherman – Foreign Affairs and European Integration;
  • Octavian Calmic – Economy;
  • Victor Barbaneagra – Finance;
  • Oleg Efrim – Justice;
  • Boris Gerasim – Transportation and Road Infrastructure;
  • Loretta Handrabura – Deputy Minister of Education;
  • Sergiu Sainciuc – Labour, Social Protection and Family;
  • Anatolie Zolotcov – Regional Development and Construction;
  • Dona Scola – Information and Communication Technology;
  • Octavian Bodisteanu – Youth and Sport (instead of Nicolae Andronachi)
  • Rodion Bajureanu – Environment (instead of Corneliu Marza)
  • Viorel Gutu – Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry.

The Executive appointed the leadership of the Governmental Secretariat:

  • Victor Bodiu – Secretary General of Government;
  • Roman Cazan – Deputy Secretary General;
  • Eduard Banaruc – Deputy Secretary General.


Decisions on approving draft laws:

  • On state compensation for the damage caused by the breach of a reasonable time in the court trial of the file-cases or the enforcement of court decisions. It proposes to regulate the procedure of accomplishing the right of individuals of legal persons to obtain compensation for the infringement of the right to court proceedings within a reasonable time or to the enforcement of court decision within a reasonable time. It concerns any court proceedings: civil, administrative or criminal. Damage assessment and compensation (material, moral, costs and court expenses) shall be made taking into account only the violations committed due to reasons that cannot be attributable to the person who applied for compensation. Compensation for breach of reasonable time shall be made regardless of the guilt of court, criminal prosecution body or authority competent to enforce the court decision, which caused the breach of the reasonable time. The interested person may request the establishment of the infringement regarding the reasonable time during the trial process or within six months after the entry into force of the prosecutor’s order on stopping the prosecution or dropping from criminal prosecution or of the judicial act of disposal, during the enforcement procedure or within 6 months after the end of enforcement procedure. The draft also aims to reduce the volume of Moldovan cases in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), by establishing national mechanism on reviewing the applications for which there is already a well-established ECHR jurisprudence.
  • On amending Article 16 of the Broadcasting Code. According to the amendments, the broadcasters will be required to provide the relevant persons with the right of reply in the same programme, in the same time-frame and with the same duration, within 15 days after receiving the grounded application, and if the programme that spread this information is broadcasted more often than every 15 days, the reply shall be broadcasted in the next issue of that programme.
  • On amending and supplementing the Law on editorial activity. The draft provides for transfer of functions within the competence of National Book Chamber to the National Library, and the local authorities will have the task of extending the book distribution network.

Meetings. Decisions

Continued attention to the sphere of pharmaceuticals

Prime Minister convened a meeting attended by decision makers within th public administration and representatives of a number of pharmaceutical companies, where they discussed the implementation of Governmental Decision on the Regulation on the method of approving and registering the producer prices for medicines. According to presented information, in the National Catalogue of producer prices for medicines 3,100 drug names have been included, and price reduction exceeds 39%. Price reductions by 10 lei was found for over 64% of re-assessed pharmaceutical products, by 10 to 50 lei – for about 30%, 50–100 lei – 5.8% for over 100 lei for over 2.6%. Prime Minister Vlad Filat was dissatisfied that the National Catalogue of producer prices for medicines didn’t include all the names of drugs that are sold on the domestic market and also said that some operators on the local market have increased significantly in the last period of 2010 the imports of pharmaceutical products in order to have an argument for maintaining the prices. Ministry of Health was asked to make a comprehensive assessment of stocks of essential drugs, and CCECC – of pharmaceutical stocks. It has also been requested to assess the situation of rural pharmacies and the impact of the Governmental Decision on them. Pharmacists attending the meeting said that those who were prepared beforehand for the implementation of new regulations do not experience problems, and pharmaceutical stocks, although there do exist, are quite small. They proposed that pharmaceutical prices included in the National Catalogue should be also published in the Official Gazette, and this proposal was supported by Prime Minister. During the meeting it was agreed that every three days the Prime Minister should receive information on the situation on pharmaceutical market.

Concerns about rising prices

Vlad Filat convened a meeting to examine the situation concerning the prices for services and essential products, as well as to establish actions to ensure compliance with law and real prices. Minister of Economy presented detailed information on the development of annual consumption price index in Moldova, which in 2010 was 8.1%. According to information, these trends derive from regional and international market trends. However, regarding the pricing methodology for relevant products, developed by the National Energy Regulatory Agency, there are some reservations. At the same time, the work continues on developing solutions for the diversification of energy resources, and in the nearest future the proposals in this regard will be submitted. With reference to the prices of food and basic consumption goods, it was decided that they should be constantly monitored and analyzed within the national committees based on product categories. Prime Minister expressed his dissatisfaction with the work of tax bodies in the context of preventing and combating tax irregularities in the field. Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family was given the instruction to develop, in collaboration with other state institutions, concrete proposals on providing necessary assistance and social compensations to the country’s population in order to mitigate the consequences of higher prices for products and services.

Meeting with PCRM MPs

Prime Minister Vlad Filat met with a group of PCRM MPs, who handed a folder containing visions, proposals and suggestions of Moldovan citizens regarding the country’s further development and resolution of some problems that population is facing with. Communist MPs said they hope these requests will be considered and necessary decisions adopted, and Prime Minister mentioned that these proposals and suggestions will be properly considered. Vlad Filat also mentioned that he remains open to proposals that will be submitted to the government, including from the opposition, if they will be aiming at solving the society’s problems.

Problems in constructions

A meeting convened at the Government tackled the situation of a group of protesting citizens, who claim they would be victims of real estates scams. According to representatives of protesters, about 200 people have concluded contracts to invest in construction of residential blocks, but the construction company did not honour its commitments and is currently in the process of insolvency. According to information held by the Prime Minister, more than 2,000 citizens are in similar situation, waiting for completion of about 200 residential blocks, and the situation was generated back in 2005–2008.

Subsequently, a meeting was convened with participation of governmental representatives and law enforcement bodies, which tackled the issues concerning the situation in the housing construction industry, with particular focus on unfinished constructions. According to the information held, in the Republic of Moldova there are 246 housing blocks under construction, of which for 71 blocks the construction was stopped. In connection with various problems arising from failing to fulfil contractual obligations regarding the housing construction the CCECC registered 257 applications, and on 57 of them criminal cases were initiated, some of which are already in court. Most contracts that currently cause problems are dated back in 2003–2005 when about 3,000 licenses were issued to construction operators, many of which have proved unable to honour their contractual obligations, creating prerequisites for worsening the situation in the field. Prime Minister requested to examine the situation in terms of ensuring the law and also in economic terms, identifying effective solutions to help people who have suffered. At the same time, the law enforcement institutions and those entitled to control and investigate were instructed to thoroughly investigate the cases of law infringement in the construction industry, analyzing the overall situation and to develop proposals in order to improve the legal framework for preventing and combating irregularities in this area.

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The interim President issued the Decree on the appointment of some members of the Central Commission for Checking the Income and Property Statements. Into the composition of the Commission were appointed:

  • Sergiu Lipcean;
  • Alexandru Lisii;
  • Vadim Enicov.

Meetings. Decisions

Summarizing the activity of Prosecution Service

Participating at the meeting summarizing the work of Prosecution Service in 2010, the Speaker of Parliament addressed a speech in which he referred to a number of issues regarding:

  • the reform of the Prosecution Service;
  • measures aimed at ensuring the constitutional rights of citizens;
  • preventing and combating corruption among prosecutors.
Meeting with representatives of the Congress of Local Authorities in Moldova

Interim President of the Republic met with representatives of the Congress of Local Authorities in Moldova (CLAM), where they tackled the issues on increasing the local autonomy and decentralization of power. The Congress of Local Authorities in Moldova has as members over 400 local authorities of 1st and 2nd tier, being a non-political structure, which wishes to have a dialogue with the ruling alliance in order to develop an effective mechanism of cooperation between local public administration and central authorities. Marian Lupu expressed his confidence that expert-level talks will start soon, so as to apply the EU experience in local self-governance. Central authorities will get actively involved in the process of the decentralization of power, based on efficient mechanisms and consultations with local public administration, said the interim President.

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Economic Policies

Banking system

Despite the distortions on financial and banking international and regional markets, the banking system in Moldova in 2010 marked positive development trends. The capital of 1st degree, the financial indicator determining the solvency of banks and their consolidation level was about 6.76 billion lei at the end of the year, i.e. increasing by over 5% comparative to the end of 2009. This dynamics, in comparison with the decrease marked in 2009 by 2.8%, confirms the increase in the system and overcome of the crisis. The share of foreign investments in banks’ capital was 77%, i.e. by 0.6 percentage points lower compared with the end of 2009, following the capital increase at the expense of resident-shareholders’ investments. The average capital adequacy weighted on risk per system is still situated at a high level, constituting over 30% (when minimum level is 12%). Its reduction by 2 percentage points compared to the end of 2009 shows a progression of banks in making use of their potential for credit operations without jeopardizing their financial security. Total assets, an indicator showing extensive development of banking system, at the end of 2010 totalled by about 42.303 billion lei (U.S. $3.5 billion – Figure 1), i.e. having increased by about 6% compared with the end of 2009. During 2010 the quality of credit portfolio was also improved, so the unfavorable credits (doubtful and compromised) in the total of credits decreased by 3.1 p.p. since the end of 2009, constituting 13.3% at the end of the year. Return on assets (ROA) and return on equity (ROE) were 0.5% and 3% accordingly comparative to the negative values (-0.5%) and (-2.5%) marked in 2009.

Figure 1. Share of banking assets in GDP in%, 2010 estimative data

Share of banking assets in GDP in%, 2010 estimative data

Source: NBM

Internal trade

Domestic sales are growing, as also confirmed by increased consumption…

NBS data show that in 2010 commercial establishments of all types of ownership sold consumption goods to population amounting to MDL 25.1 billion (nearly $ 2 billion), registering in real terms an increase by about 9% compared to 2009. This increase was largely due to increased sales of non-food goods (by over 11%) and food products (by about 4%). The growth of retail sales was registered in case of commercial units with mixed ownership, with foreign capital (about 10%), private (over 9%) and public (a little bit over than 5%). At the same time, the sales volumes were reduced (by about 12%) in case of commercial units with mixed ownership, i.e. with public and private property. This situation determined the change of sectorial share in the total of retail sales.

Figure 2. Structure of retail sales in commercial units with various forms of ownership in %, 2010

Figure 2. Structure of retail sales in commercial units with various forms of ownership in %, 2010

Source: NBS,

Significant share in the total value of retail sales comes upon municipalities Chisinau – over 58% and Balti – about 8%, TAU Gagauzia – almost 3%, followed by the districts of Cahul, Orhei, Edinet, Drochia, Ungheni and Soroca. At the same time, in 2010 officially registered units have provided the population with paid services worth MDL 14.2 billion, marking under comparable price conditions an increase of over 5% compared to 2009. Businesses operators with mixed form of ownership (public + private), joint one (with participation of foreign capital) and private increased the volumes of paid services rendered to population by more than 23%, 9% and 4%. At the same time, the public sector economic operators have marked a decrease in the volume of services provided (-0.3%).

Agricultural sector

Increase in agricultural production on the background of an extensive and rudimentary sector…

According to preliminary assessments of NBS, the global agricultural production in the households of all categories and form of ownership in 2010 was in current prices MDL 19.72 billion, marking{0{/0} an increase of about 8% compared to 2009. The growth in agricultural sector was determined both by livestock production by about 14%, as well as crop production by more than 5%. In 2010 the share of crop production in total agricultural production was 66% (in 2009 – 68%), and the one of livestock production was 34% (in 2009 – 32%). The increase of crop production in 2010 compared to previous year was due to sown areas, as well as to increase of the average harvest of major crops. For example, the average harvest per hectare of sugar beet has increased by 84%, soy – by 70%, corn – by 22%, sunflower – by 20%, wheat – by 9%, vegetables – by 4%. The increase of annual average herd of cattle and pigs in households of all categories, as well as the growth of the number of birds have generated the increased production of main livestock products and animal products in total. Situation in the profile of household category indicates that 32% of gross agricultural production comes upon agricultural enterprises, 19% – peasants’ households (farms), 49% – population’s households. The high share of population’s households in agricultural production is determined especially by important share of animal production in these households (about 80% of total livestock production in the country).


Industry also grows…

In 2010, compared to 2009, the industrial sector has increased by 7%. So the industrial enterprises of all types of ownership manufactured products worth about 27.1 billion lei in current prices. Industrial output growth was driven by an increase in the volume of production in processing industry by 8%, in the quarrying – by about 6%, in the energy sector – by 1%. Substantial increases were marked in the following business sectors: sugar production – by 2.5 times (with a share of 3.3%), tobacco products – by over 30% (with a share of 2.6%), wine manufacturing – 6% (a share of 7.5%), manufacturing dairy products – by over 9%, manufacturing distilled spirits – by 11% etc. At the same time, there was a reduction of the production volume at enterprises with the following activities: manufacturing vegetable and animal oils and fats – by about 14%; manufacturing final metal products, except for machinery and equipment production – 19%; manufacturing of rubber and plastic-metal products – by about 7%; wood processing and wood products – by more than 21%, etc.

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Transnistrian Problem

Miroslav Lajcak was appointed as EU Special Representative for Moldova

On January 24, 2011 the Head of the EU Delegation in Moldova, Dirk Schuebel, announced that EU has appointed a new representative for Moldova, who will deal with Transnistrian settlement. The statement of Mr Dirk Schuebel was made public by Infotag News Agency: "Following the Lisbon Agreement, the European External Action Service was formed. Instead of Mr. Kalman Mizsei, the EU will be represented as observer in the 5+2 negotiation format by Mr. Lajcak, former Foreign Minister of Slovakia". Infotag also published the CV of Miroslav Lajcak, a Slovak citizen, Catholic, born on March 6, 1963 in Poprad (Czechoslovakia), graduated the law department of Comenius University (Bratislava), studied international law in Moscow, studied at European Centre "George Marshall" in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany). Since 1988 he works in diplomacy of Czechoslovakia and then of Slovakia. In 1991–1993 he worked at the Czechoslovak and Slovak embassies in Moscow, then he worked in the HQ of Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1994–1998 he was Ambassador to Japan. He speaks Russian, English, German, Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian. In 2001–2005 Lajcak was Ambassador of Slovakia to Yugoslavia (since 2003 Serbia and Montenegro) and concurrently Ambassador to Albania and Macedonia (with residence in Belgrade). Since December 2005 till May 2006 Lajcak was Special Envoy of EU High Representative Xavier Solana in preparing and conducting the referendum on the issue of Montenegro’s independence. Here Lajcak played an important role in ensuring, by the line of European diplomacy, Montenegro’s secession from the state of Serbia and Montenegro. On July 1, 2007 Miroslav Lajcak has served as the international community’s High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2009–2010 Lajcak was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia. In December 2010 he was appointed Managing Director for Russia, Eastern Neighbourhood and the Western Balkans in the EU’s External Action Service.

Next round of consultations on Transnistrian settlement

The next round of consultations on Transnistrian settlement in "5+2" format will be held on February 14–15, 2011 in Vienna. For three of the participants their position will be a new one. These are the new deputy Prime minister for the reintegration of the Republic of Moldova, Eugen Carpov, who will replace the former Moldovan deputy Prime minister, Victor Osipov, new special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Giedrius Cekuolis, representing the Lithuanian OSCE presidency, replacing the Kazakhstan’s representative, and the EU special Representative, former Foreign Minister of Slovakia, Miroslav Lajcak, named as participant in negotiations on behalf of the EU, replacing Kalman Mizsei. Four months from now, on 1st of October 2010, Ukraine also has appointed a new special Representative to the negotiations, Igor Harchenko, but he debuted in November 2010 in "5+2" consultations in Kiev. Russia has appointed a new special Representative in the Transnistrian settlement process, Sergey Gubarev, in May 2010. In order to prepare the Vienna meeting, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Giedrius Cekuolis, has visited Tiraspol on 19 January, where he met the Transnistrian leadership. At the meeting with the head of Tiraspol’s diplomacy, Vladimir Yastrebchak, Giedrius Cekuolis said that Lithuanian OSCE chairmanship intends to play an active role in normalizing relations between Chisinau and Tiraspol, among the immediate objectives of the Lithuanian chairmanship being the resumption of consultations in the "5+2" format on official level, strengthening Moldovan and Transnistrian expert groups’ work. Vladimir Yastrebchak reiterated Tiraspol’s position regarding the possibility of resuming the official activity in "5+2" format, which consist in the fact that any matters related to this issue requires also a thorough preparation with all international partners, with guaranteeing countries Russia and Ukraine. " In Chisinau Giedrius Cekuolis had a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Iurie Leanca, who noted that "Moldovan diplomacy will conduct an active dialogue with external partners in order to advance the settlement process and make use of major political initiatives launched in 2010". The two officials agreed on the need to unconditionally resume the official negotiations in "5+2" format. Giedrius Cekuolis pointed out that the agenda of talks between Chisinau and Tiraspol should take as priority the issues related to free movement of persons and goods between the two sides of Nistru river. In turn, the Minister Leanca confirmed the availability of Moldovan Government to further promote the confidence-building measures, designed to create a favourable atmosphere in the conflict settlement process.

Russia and Ukraine advocate the territorial integrity of Moldova, but…

Russian Ambassador to Moldova Valery Kuzmin, gave an interview on January 24, 2011 to Info-Prim Neo News Agency, where he said that his country supports the territorial integrity of Moldova and advocate the settlement of Transnistrian problem by granting Transnistria with a guaranteed status. According to Kuzmin, territorial integrity doesn’t automatically mean also the unitary character of the state, and there are models of federative states and even confederative ones. He also noted that in the settlement process the format of international involvement in the process will also change. Current joint military mission will be substituted by a civil multinational peacekeeping mission. But this aspect will occur only in the final stage of the process and it does not represent a starting premise. Ambassador Kuzmin condemned the exacerbation of phobias related to the Russian military presence in Transnistria, stressing that the deployment of U.S. military bases in Romania and Bulgaria influences much more the political instability in the region. In the same vein, on 28 January 2011, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Constantin Grishchenko said that peaceful settlement of Transnistrian problem corresponds to his country’s national interests. This position is clear, firm and balanced. The conflict shall be resolved respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova, and Transnistria will have to get a special legal status within the Republic of Moldova.

Representatives of Russia and Ukraine visited the munitions depot in Colbasna

On 26 January 2011, special representatives of Russia and Ukraine in Transnistrian conflict settlement, Sergey Gubarev and Igor Harchenko, accompanied by Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov, visited the munitions depot in Colbasna, situated on left Nistru bank. Inspectors were satisfied with the status of munitions in the warehouse, saying that "their storage does not pose any danger … although the protection surface of some of them has expired and they must be transported to special places for recycling". On the other hand, Igor Smirnov said that deployment of munitions on Transnistrian territory is a guarantee against Moldova’s aggression, because the "attitude of Chisinau towards Transnistrian citizens, who never lived in Moldova and have no plans to do so, did not improve".

Supreme Soviet of Transnistria started its activity

On 19 January 2011, in Tiraspol, the Transnistrian Supreme Soviet of 5th convocation, elected on December 12, 2010, started its activity. Anatoly Kaminsky was elected as the Chairman of Transnistrian legislative body; he is an MP from the party "Obnovlenye", which has 28 seats out of 43. The following people were elected as Deputy Chairmen of the Supreme Soviet: Mihail Burla, who also holds the position of chairman of the parliamentary committee for economic policy, budget and finance, and Sergey Ceban, who will also hold the position of chairman of the committee for health and social protection. In total, the Supreme Soviet will have seven committees:

  • on development of small and medium business and industry – Victor Guzun;
  • on state constructions, local administration, citizens’ rights and freedoms, security and defence – Galina Antyufeeva;
  • on agro-industrial complex and transport – Efim Coval;
  • on public associations, youth policy, sport and mass media – Vyacheslav Tobuh;
  • on education, science and culture – Vladimir Bodnar;
  • on external policy – Dmitry Soin;
  • on immunity, regulation and ethics of MPs – Gregory Diachenco.

In its work, the Supreme Soviet will focus on solving social problems. One of the issues is the status of Ukrainian and Moldovan languages, which are declared as official languages, but according to the chairman of the committee for education, science and culture, Vladimir Bodnar, they have this status only on paper. Bondar argues there are tremendous problems in getting the education in Moldovan languages, only Russia and Ukraine provide substantial support in this regard, and nobody provides any support from the Republic of Moldova and Romania. Despite this fact and that Moldovans know and communicate in Russian and Ukrainian, in education everyone shall be equal". Among the foreign policy priorities, the Chairman of Transnistrian legislative highlighted the efforts for the recognition of Transnistrian independence and "enhanced cooperation with the Russian State Duma committees and working groups for cooperation between Transnistrian and Russian parliamentarians".

The draft amendment to Transnistrian constitution was published

On 28 January 2011, the Supreme Soviet of Transnistria made public the draft amendment to the constitution in order to be consulted and discussed by the public. President of the Supreme Soviet, Anatoly Kaminsky, said that the draft was prepared by a constitutional commission, which since December 2009 involved the activity of representatives of the legislative, executive and judiciary institutions. The main constitutional issues that were reviewed were coordinated with representatives of the three powers, based on checks and balances principles. It was also stressed that this draft was developed under the initiative of harmonizing Transnistrian legislation with that of Russia. In this regard, it is expected that the prime Minister position will be introduced, who will coordinate the work of government (now Transnistria has a pure presidential system, the president being the chief of executive), the number of MPs, who shall work full time, shall be reduced. The draft provides for amending the procedures for appointing judges that shall be made after the Russian model – judges shall be appointed by the Supreme Soviet, upon the proposal of the President. The age census for judges shall be increased from 65 to 70 years. The procedure for appointing the leaders of local administration in towns and districts will be also amended; they shall be appointed by prime minister after consultations with the local soviets; it is assumed that this appointment mechanism will strengthen the accountability of the appointees. The draft amendment to Transnistrian Constitution will be examined in first reading on March 9, 2011, and its final adoption is planned for this autumn. Part of new constitutional provisions shall come into force this year, while those on setting the government – in 2012, after the presidential elections planned for December 2011.

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Foreign Affairs

European integration

Republic of Moldova receives the Visa Liberalization Action Plan

On 24 January 2011, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom, paying a working visit to Chisinau, handed to Moldovan Government handed the Action Plan on Visa Liberalization with the European Union. Moldova is the second country in the Eastern Partnership, after Ukraine, which receives such a document. In one of her speeches, the European official stressed that the process of visa regime liberalization is a difficult and requires costly and painful structural reforms. At the same time, Cecilia Malmstrom also mentioned that a number of EU countries are opposed to opening EU borders after they have experienced a wave of emigrants from Balkan states that have received liberalized visa regimes in 2009. As a result, the progress in liberalizing the visa regime will depend exclusively on the partner country’s achievements in implementing the conditions set out in the action plan. European Commissioner assured Moldovan partners that Commission will provide financial support as well as necessary expertise to accomplish the reform agenda.

Unlike roadmaps on visa liberalization offered to Balkan states, the action plans that were received by the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine are structured in two basic components: 1) harmonizing the legislative framework in the field of justice and home affairs to the EU norms and standards; 2) implementing the actions to meet EU requirements for establishing a visa-free travel regime in EU for Moldovan citizens. The move towards implementing the actions from the second component will be preceded by a thorough assessment of the extent and quality of implementation of the measures included in the first part of the action plan, to be made by the European Commission and the European Council. Before approving the decision on initiating the second component, the Commission will also take into account the developments on the visa-refusal rate, the number of Moldovan citizens repatriated from the EU, the number of Moldovan citizens illegally staying in the EU, etc.

Cecilia Malmstrom has avoided specifying a deadline for completion of the visa liberalization process, while Moldovan authorities have set a target to achieve the liberalized visa regime by late 2012.

A new European Union Special Representative in Moldova

Former Foreign Minister of Slovakia, Miroslav Lajcak was appointed the new EU Special Representative in Moldova, replacing Kalman Mizsei, whose mandate expired on 31st of August 2010. Miroslav Lajcak will represent the EU in negotiations on Transnistrian settlement in 5+2 format.

Bilateral cooperation

Republic of Moldova – Russia

After the Parliament voted the composition of Government and the programme of Government for the next four years, the Russian Ambassador to Moldova, Valery Kuzmin, had a number of meetings with leaders of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova, Democratic Party of Moldova and the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova. According to a press releaseRU circulated by the Russian Embassy in Chisinau, these talks focused on boosting bilateral Moldovan-Russian relations to meet new Government targets, but also those of the parliamentary opposition, establishing a strategic partnership based on pragmatic and mutually advantageous principles with the Russian Federation.

Republic of Moldova – Romania

On January 20, 2011, Romanian President Traian Basescu organized the annual meetingRO with the heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Bucharest, where he made an overview of Romania’s diplomatic activities in 2010 and outlined the Romanian foreign policy goals for 2011. Referring to the Republic of Moldova, the Romanian President praised the dynamics, broadening and deepening the Moldovan-Romanian relations that occurred in 2010. Romania in 2011 will continue the policy of solidarity and support for Moldova, in particular insisting on the European level "on the inclusion of the Republic of Moldova in the group of Balkan countries in the process of EU accession" and providing a clear perspective of European integration.

Republic of Moldova – Ukraine

Political relations between Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova continues to stagnate after passing through a serious new attempt back in December 2010, when Ukraine unilaterally changed the pillars of Moldovan-Ukrainian border. However, it seems that economic dialogueRU is less affected by political problems. On January 28, representatives of economic ministries of both countries met in Kiev to negotiate some provisions in the draft Agreement on free trade zone in the CIS. Following negotiations, the parties agreed to reduce the number of exceptions from free trade regime. Thus, the following will be removed from the group of exceptions: ethyl spirits, cognac and vodka, which will allow VAT free export of these products in both countries. At the same time, the Ukrainian side agreed to withdraw from the group of exceptions the animal skins and ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals, preserving the export duty for ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals.

Multilateral Cooperation

Republic of Moldova – Council of Europe

On January 24–28, the ordinary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe was held in Strasbourg, whose agenda included, among other subjects, the hearings on the report on observation of the early parliamentary elections in Moldova (28 November 2010) and the report on the implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

As regards the early parliamentary elections of November 28, the Council of Europe group of observers concluded that the elections met most OSCE and Council of Europe commitments; the elections were administered in a transparent and impartial manner and a diverse field of candidates provided voters with a genuine choice. In order to increase citizens’ confidence in the democratic process in Moldova, the rapporteurs made the following recommendations for the Moldovan authorities:

  • the newly elected parliament is urged to strengthen its co-operation with the Assembly’s Monitoring Committee in order to further improve the functioning of democratic institutions in Moldova and to pursue rigorous reform;
  • the leaders of the main political forces should, without waiting the next national elections, engage in constructive and responsible dialogue on the country’s political system, in order to find the broadest agreement on possible amendments to the current constitution. The Assembly would be willing to make a contribution;
  • to fully implement the recommendations made by the Venice Commission on 4 June 2010, in close co-operation with the Venice Commission and on the basis of broad agreement among the main political parties.

The PACE report on the implementation of the EHCR judgements finds out that major systemic deficiencies which undermine the rule of law and generated numerous applications against Moldova to the ECHR, continue to exist in the Republic of Moldova. These deficiencies are related to:

  • ill-treatment by law enforcement bodies and lack of effective investigations thereof;
  • illegal detention and excessive length of detention on remand and in prison;
  • poor detention condition on remand and in prison;
  • non-enforcement of the domestic judicial decisions.

PACE urges Moldova to take prompt measures to ensure the enforcement of domestic final judgements, especially those related to social housing cases (Olaru and Others v. Moldova case), to strengthen the efforts for preventing further cases of ill-treatment in police custody and ensure the effective investigations of such abuses. Moldova has also to take supplementary measures to improve the conditions in detention facilities and filling the in procedures concerning arrest and detention on remand. It is essential to be introduced an effective domestic remedy is introduced in response to the ECHR pilot judgment of Olaru and Others v. Moldova.

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Studies, Analyses, Comments

Results of elections in Gagauzia and the post-electoral situation
Igor Botan

It’s important to compare the results of elections for the Governor of Gagauzia in order to understand the evolution of the political landscape in the autonomy, whereas in the past five years some civic movements have been established in the region in support of certain leaders and political currents, which compete with political parties on national level »»»


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Results of the first round of elections in Gagauzia
The first round of elections to the People’s Assembly of Gagauzia ended on September 9, 2012 with the election of 13 out of 35 deputies. Representatives of the three main political parties from the region were satisfied both with their results and with the way the campaign developed »»»

/Igor Botan, September 13, 2012/

Illegal visas to maintain legality
At its sitting of April 8, 2009, immediately after the verbal instruction of the outgoing Moldovan President was made public, the Government adopted Decision no. 269 on imposing visa regime with Romania »»»

/Sergiu Grosu, 15 April 2009/


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