Alegerile parlamentare din 2021 în Republica Moldova -

European Integration — A Strategic Objective?

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August 7, 2003
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On 31 July 2003, The Parliament held the closing meeting of the 2003 spring-summer session, which heard reports by President Voronin, Prime Minister Tarlev and Speaker Ostapciuc. The speech of President Voronin was called by the official press as a programmatic one that fixed new benchmarks for the fulfilment of Moldova’s major objective — integration into the European Union. The official press also expressed bewilderment at the fact that the proposals that the president made in his speech have not been debated or commented upon. Indeed, the speech of the president and his proposals are of positive significance and deserve special attention. Thus, Voronin determined the intermediary task for Moldova to become EU associate by 2007. Achieving this task requires an understanding between all Moldova’s political forces and coherence of action.

However, due to the permanent conflict with the majority faction, both opposition factions, that of the People’s Christian Democratic Party and that of the Social Democratic Alliance, boycotted the closing meeting of the Parliament to which the president delivered his speech. Anyway, this fact cannot underestimate an eventual co-operation between the ruling party and the opposition towards achieving the objective set by the president, because in both opposition factions’ political programmes European integration features as Moldova’s strategic objective. On the other hand, the absence of the opposition factions from the parliament room was a symbolic one if one observes that the last plenary meeting of the parliament was not different from a gathering of the ruling party. It is this very fact that makes things especially significant.

The thing is that one month ago, during the last plenary meeting of the ruling party, Vladimir Voronin, in his capacity of Chair of the Communist Party, addressed literally the same audience. In his speech back then, Voronin said that “the parliamentary activity is just another, subordinated part of the overall activity of the party. This is the way things should be. This is the right way. If this rule is breached, the chaos and lack of responsibility will be inevitable, lading to apolitism and self-destruction”.

This statement by President Voronin should be a very confusing one for the members of the ruling Communist Party who are also members of parliament. The appeal of the Head of State Voronin to take efforts to integrate Moldova into the EU are in flagrant contradiction with the appeal of the Chair of the Communist Party Voronin. The thing is that the political manifesto of the party, adopted in April 2001, soon after the communists’ absolute victory in the 2001 elections, clearly provides for Moldova’s integration into the Russia-Belarus Union and the foundation of a federation of the former Soviet republics.

Moreover, in his last speech to the Parliament, President Voronin stressed that “if we think of ourselves as politicians, if we are ready to be accountable to our people for every word we say, then, I believe it is time to proceed to concrete actions”. We would like to remind that as chairman of the party, at the plenary meeting of the party in May last year, which, as we have seen, was to subordinate the parliamentary activity of the majority faction, Voronin stated that it would be necessary to change the manifesto and modernise the party. To date, none of this has been done.

Nonetheless, President Voronin proposed in his last speech new changes, which he called revolutionary and intended to modernise Moldova. In this sense, he asked himself and his party colleagues weather there was an alternative to Moldova’s integration into the EU: “Now that the global processes of integration have transcended the borders of the European Union, can our country stay hostage to some indigenous particularisms, can we claim a historic path different from the one that all modern states pursue? Let us not make illusions! There is no alternative!”. Here it is worth remembering that the sole peculiarity of Moldova is that the party that rules it had the ambition, two years ago, to include in its political programme the strategic objective of building communism. Moreover, during the party congress that approved the said programme, one insisted on the conviction that Moldova would become the epicentre of the rebirth of the international communist movement. Now that we know that there is no alternative to integration into the EU, and the party decisions have priority and must be applied by the institutions of the state, then, to make actions coherent, it would be logical to change the programme of the party so that it, just like the programmes of the opposition parties, provides expressly for the strategic objective of European integration. When such a change is made, appeals such as the one to co-operation between the ruling party and the opposition will be much more credible.

If one tries to assess the degree to which actions match words, as the president has urged us to, then we would notice that at the recent plenary meeting of the ruling party, in a solemn atmosphere, the doctrine of “vertical axis of power” has been launched. One knows that authoritarian regimes tend to embrace this sort of doctrine. None of the EU Member States or future EU members is concerned with enforcing this doctrine. How, then, can the ruling party inspire credibility when it calls for implementing the EU democratic standards if the consequences of the “vertical axis of power” doctrine are the undermining of the independence of the judicial system and of the integrity of the electoral process, as has been shown in the OSCE Election Observation reports? Similarly, how can the Communist Party be credible if still disputes the victory of its ally from the Centre Left Union, the Party of Socialists, in the mayor elections in two Gagauz localities?

Speaking of the remarkable economic and social achievements, which should bring us closer to the EU, the representatives of the ruling party do avoid to explain why, for the third consecutive year, Moldova’s indicator of human development is shrinking, bringing us further apart from the EU. The reason may be that while speaking of the need to implement the economic standards of the EU, the ruling party continues to harass foreign investors and undermine the autonomous activity of agencies that regulate the energy price policy. It is well known that all this has a negative impact on our relations with the international financial bodies as well as the EU donor states. But, at a closer look, one notes that things are the way they are because the political programme of the Communist Party says so, and, as the last plenary meeting of the party has shown, it has priority.

Thus, it is obvious that before proposing to the society new objectives the leaders of the ruling party should understand one simple thing — they should bring their own political programme in line with the objectives set forth by the president in his last speech.

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