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Weekly meetings of the National Commission for European Integration — an early assessment

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Margareta Mamaliga / September 30, 2007
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At the 13 September meeting of the National Commission for European Integration (NCEI) Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev reiterated the irreversible nature of Moldova’s European integration objective and demanded the full implementation of the provisions of the European Union — Moldova Action Plan (AP) by 17 November 2007. The prime minister requested all public authorities involved in the implementation of the AP to prepare activity reports, as per their work plans, and to present them to the NCEI, which is to meet on a weekly basis. The reports are to identify the deficiencies and problems encountered and suggest ways to overcome them. Thus, although the EU-Moldova AP is to expire officially at the end of February 2008, the 17 November 2007 deadline set by the Moldova “internally” seems to be a final and non-negotiable one, and the top leaders of the public authorities that will fail observing it will be held to “personal account”.

Several weeks on since the said meeting, one may note that the NCEI has held its weekly meetings regularly, and a number of public authorities have presented activity reports within them. As promised, Prime Minister Tarlev also had a meeting with the EU Member States Ambassadors accredited to Moldova to discuss the honouring of obligations assumed by Moldova with the AP. Moreover, reports on implementation of relevant PA provisions by a series of public institutions have been posted on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration (MFAEI), a development civil society organisations monitoring the implementation of the AP have long requested and expected.

It is worth noting that the assessments presented by the Moldovan authorities within these meetings and reports have been predominantly positive. At the NCEI of 28 September Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev even said that most of the AP provisions have been fulfilled, and what we need to improve now is the quality of reporting and of cooperation with European experts[1].

After this marathon of weekly NCEI meetings, and in light of the latest developments in the EU-Moldova relations, one could draw some conclusions regarding the efficiency and timeliness of this unprecedented enthusiasm displayed by the Moldovan authorities:

To conclude, we salute the attempt by the Moldovan authorities to speed up the process of implementation of the EU-Moldova AP and to monitor closely, by sector, the progress achieved and problems registered. Unfortunately this effort comes much too late and is deployed in a form that reminds of the practice already established in Moldovan authorities’ approaches to Brussels, i.e. that of turning a blind eye on problematic areas and setting unrealistic objectives and deadlines. This may serve some political goals at home, but will not look as serious and well-thought intentions of actually meeting our commitments towards our European partners. The latter gave us a number of occasions for self-reflection and critical analysis of our own performance, the European Commission’s progress report of 4 December 2007 being probably the best such occasion[4]. It seems, though, that we’ve missed on these opportunities that would have given us more time for making some meaningful and feasible improvements. Now, a few months before the official end of the EU-Moldova AP and the publication of the EC final report on its implementation, we can only impress Brussels with more coherence and more realism in our actions, as well as in our discourse.

  1. Moldpress, 28 September 2007.
  2. See the website of the MFAEI. The 21 reports by public authorities a) do not have a clear or a single structure, b) cover varying periods, c) with small exceptions, do not mention current risks and problems, and d) rarely suggest ways to overcome them. Thus, the use of these reports as monitoring instruments is rather limited, they can only serve some general information purposes.
  3. According to the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2007 Moldova registered the 2.8 score, four points less than in 2006, when Moldova scored 3.2.
  4. Although the report adopted a generally positive tone, it also takes note of a series of problematic areas in Moldova’s performance within the AP, such as deficient application of reform strategies, limitations in the freedom of the media, widespread corruption and Government interference in business, etc.
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