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Republica Moldova — the country of projects, concepts, strategies…

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September 3, 2003
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In his speech of August 27 on the Independence Day celebrations, President Voronin stated “Never was Moldova so close to the European processes”. The significance of the message is better grasped if compared to the previous two speeches of 2001 and 2002 entitled “I do believe in Moldova’s future” and “Independence is conditioned by the reintegration of the country”.

Interestingly enough in all his three speeches the President compared nowadays realities in the Republic of Moldova to the soviet times. In 2001 President Voronin claimed that “Republic of Moldova sovereignty should have played a destructive role within the union state”. Moreover, back then he believed that “breakdown storm took URSS nations by surprise”.

One year later, in 2002, President’s nostalgia for the soviet time was far less obvious in his speech. He stated “Each year we have some univocal feelings when celebrating Independence Day. The fate of our small country has proved to be too dramatic and the hardships we are going through too tough”.

Although still doubtful, this year President is far more optimistic. Now he believes that “It is important for us to keep in mind that in the aftermath of 1991 August Putsch this path was chosen by all the former URSS republics. Independence was a common option, which probably had no other alternative”. This points to an evolution in President’s vision towards the independence of the country. However, the key word here is “probably”. This probably leaves room for doubts and most importantly justifies the huge discrepancy between the President’s calls in the last two years to liberalize economy and democratize the society in view of European integration and Communist Party’s program, headed by the President himself, calling for “reestablishing Communist society” in line with Marxist-Leninist theory and rebuilding URSS.

Once we have reviewed the evolution in President’s perception of the independence, let us consider the tasks outlined by the President for consolidating the country’s independence. Thus back in 2001, implementing the “Republic of Moldova” project outlining the country’s reintegration was a top priority. One year later in 2002 besides reunifying the country, corruption was added to the top priorities. As for 2003, country reunification is still a priority, however from a totally different perspective. Nowadays’ message — European integration “is the most reliable tool for securing the country’s integrity”. Therefore, new priorities are defined each year, while the old ones unfortunately haven’t been accomplished.

It is worth considering what has been achieved so far in implementing the tasks outlined by the President. The goals of the “Republic of Moldova” project launched by the President in 2002 were outlined in his open letter to writer Ion Druta, i.e. edifying “Moldovan nation”. This was to become the “integrating idea” consolidating a multi-ethnic society and enabling Transdnistria’s integration to the Moldovan state. The intelligentsia was to promote this “integrating idea” among fellow citizens and young generation and make it accessible. Russian as the second state language and a revised history course were to become the cornerstone of that project. Opposition responded to those initiatives by staging protest rallies for 4 months, which ended with a Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Resolution imposing a moratorium on any revision of linguistic policy or history curricula. Things are still not clear. The most recent outcomes of the presidential initiative are: launching the concept of national policy, publishing a Moldovan-Romanian dictionary, and creation of a new Writers’ Union, which supposedly would have to contribute to the enforcement of the plan. This time again opposition reacted promptly. Its leaders have already announced that they will resume the protest rallies by the end of the month. This is the logic of “settling once and for all” extremely delicate issues concerning ethnicity, language, history etc.

As for the other objectives outlined in the President discourse, the country reintegration has slowly degenerated into federalization of the country, which bears some risks. And this for the sole reason that at least the core principles for developing a federative Constitution were not defined. Going back to fighting corruption, it wasn’t even mentioned in the President’s speech, albeit things have considerably worsened in the field. After the establishment of “vertical power”, there is probably no reason to fight corruption since all key public officers are on the same side, in the same party.

Under those conditions the governing has declared European integration as one of its strategic goals. However, there is a huge discrepancy between authorities’ pro-European messages and their daily practices, fact confirmed by OSCE final report on negative trend in the electoral process of the Republic of Moldova.

One year ago, the President regretted the time wasted in promoting reforms since the country’s independence. Indeed, Republic of Moldova has become the country of dozens of projects, concepts and strategies, a great majority of them being produced by the incumbent governing. However, none of the documents was completed in view of stability and prosperity of the country. This year only the governors adjourned three times the release of the European integration strategy. Moreover, the strategy degenerated into an eventual concept, which also wasn’t and probably will never be made public. Now it is said the European Commission should be first consulted on the concept and only then it would serve for the elaboration of the strategy as such. We are well aware how long might the “consultation and elaboration” take, that is why the only thing for citizens to do is wait for new tasks for Moldovan society to be outlined in the future messages of the President.

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