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Governmental monitoring of the EU-Moldova Action Plan’s implementation process

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Sergiu Buscaneanu / October 15, 2006
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The present article aims to highlight some issues regarding the governmental monitoring of the EU-Moldova Action Plan’s implementation process[1]. The article looks only to the political dimension of the governmental monitoring reports on this process. Thus, the only focus on this dimension could be seen as a limitation of the present paper. An additional focus on economic and social sections of the governmental monitoring reports would bring an important added value. However, these non-political areas fall aside the specific tasks of this paper.

For an efficient implementation of the EU-Moldova Action Plan, the Moldovan Government elaborated the National Program for the Implementation of the EU-Moldova Action Plan (Gov. of the RM, 2006a), which establishes necessary measures to be taken, responsible institutions and terms for their realization.

With the same purpose, in August 2005 four inter-ministerial commissions were established:

  1. Commission for law and security issues (Ministry of Justice — co-ordinating institution);
  2. Commission for social-economic issues (Ministry of Economy and Trade — co-ordinating institution);
  3. Commission for infrastructure issues (Ministry of Transport and Road Management — co-ordinating institution);
  4. Commission for cultural and humanitarian issues (Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport — co-ordinating institution).
According to the MFAEI, the monitoring reports on the implementation of the EU-Moldova Action Plan are realized monthly, quarterly and each half year by the Co-ordinating Ministries, while the MFAEI provides general monitoring at the governmental level. Nevertheless, by the time of writing this paper, Moldovan authorities have issued only four such monitoring reports: two in English and other two in Romanian[2]. The reports in English refer to the February/March — August/September[3] (Gov. of the RM, 2005a) and August — October 2005 (Gov. of the RM, 2005b) periods. The reports in Romanian refer to the February — December 2005 (Gov. of the RM, 2006b) and January — March 2006 (Gov. of the RM, 2006c) periods.

The reports represent an extensive and detailed work done by Moldovan authorities. However some drawbacks of this work should be noted.

They are useful resources in observing the implementation process dynamics of the Action Plan, but mainly for specialized institutions and persons with a background in public policy field. As they are very extensive and represent documents for a wide-public use, the presence of the introductory and concluding/ summarizing sections in the case of these reports would facilitate their comprehension by the wide public. With one exception (Gov. of the RM, 2005a[4]), they have neither introductory, nor concluding/ summarizing sections.

Another shortcoming of these reports is that they have an obvious self-praising character with regard to the actions undertaken by Moldovan authorities. In all these 4 reports, in their sections dedicated to the political aspects of the implementation process of the Action Plan, there are only 10 critical remarks. All 10 are mentioned in 2 of these reports. Only 3 critical notes refer to problems which are put on the responsibility of Moldovan authorities (Gov. of the RM, 2005a, 2006b), while 7 envisage problems on the responsibility of Transnistrian and Russian authorities (Gov. of the RM, 2006b). Among the criticisms which regard Moldovan authorities, 1 refers to the problems in judicial system (Gov. of the RM, 2005a, p. 9) and 2 refer to the deficiencies in the field of fight against corruption (Gov. of the RM, 2006b, p. 9).

One example which points to a degree of subjectivity of governmental monitoring process is the way in which one of the reports relates about the character of the 6th March 2005 parliamentary elections. The report mentions that “international observers from OSCE/ODIHR, CoE and EU appreciated the parliamentary elections from the 6th March as correct and democratic, in accordance with international standards, which is an important indicator of the evolution and stability of democracy and its institutions in the Republic of Moldova” (Gov. of the RM, 2005a, p. 5). In the same time, the conclusions of the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission show that: “While the 6 March 2005 parliamentary elections in the Republic of Moldova generally complied with most OSCE commitments, Council of Europe and other international standards for democratic elections, nevertheless, they fell short of some that are central to a genuinely competitive election process. In particular, campaign conditions and access to the media were not satisfactorily equitable. In this regard, the elections confirmed negative trends already noted in the 2003 local elections” (OSCE/ODIHR, 2005).

As has been shown above, no one of the reports points to the existing problems in the field of human rights protection. In the same time, one of the reports presents as an achievement(!), in its “Human rights and fundamental freedoms” section, honouring by Moldova of its financial obligations (41652.5 EURO[5]) towards 11 persons[6] who won trials against Moldovan Government at the ECHR (Gov. of the RM, 2006b, p. 14). In fact, this means that Moldovan Government had to honour these obligations as a result of human rights infringements and abuses.

Moreover, the specialized reports relate that the human rights protection in Moldova was not improved in 2005. One of such reports issued by the Centre for Human Rights of Moldova (CHRM) mentions that this institution has registered 1422 petitions in 2005 on human rights infringements, compared with a number of 1102 petitions for 2004, while in the first half of the 2006 the CHRM has already documented 968 such petitions, which exceeds the number of petitions for the similar period of the 2005.

Apart from this, some of the reports refer to actions performed in other periods than the timeframes they are covering (Gov. of the RM, 2005a: 37; 2005b: 2, 4–5). Likewise, the information these reports are providing is sometimes repeated (Gov. of the RM, 2005a: 8, 14), imprecise (Gov. of the RM, 2005a: 7) and irrelevant (Gov. of the RM, 2005a: 32, 2006b: 7).

In conclusion, it should be noted that an objective monitoring activity and a judicious further adaptation of the EU-Moldova Action Plan would substantially help Moldova to implement rigorously this document and to get closer to European standards in different policy fields. Therefore, the governmental monitoring of the implementation process of the Action Plan should be enhanced, while considering as well as conclusions of the alternative monitoring activities performed by civil society and European institutions. A further updating of the Action Plan should avoid as much as possible the ’moving target’ problem, as this could make unrealistic the achievement of the new policy targets during the last year of its implementation.


  1. For more details see: Buscaneanu, S. (2006), How far is the European Neighbourhood Policy a substantial offer for Moldova?
  2. The governmental monitoring reports on the implementation of the EU-Moldova Action Plan have been accessed on the MFAEI website in August 2006, before its re-designing.
  3. The monitoring period is not explicitly indicated.
  4. This report has introduction, but no conclusions.
  5. Cumulative estimation.
  6. In the case of arresting the public servants Constantin Becciev and Vladimir Sarban, few months before the 2005 parliamentary elections, there were suspicions of a politically motivated decision, as they were closed to one of the opposition parties — Alliance “Our Moldova”. The ECHR decisions in their cases reinforced these suspicions.
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