Moldovan authorities more and more frequently show that they mastered the art of making influential friends for the country they rule. This is important and necessary. The last example in this regard is the EU-Moldova Forum, held on March 29 to 31 in Chisinau. The event was organized with the participation of some specialized civic organizations in Moldova and Poland — Foreign Policy Association (EPA) of Moldova and, respectively, the Economic Forum of Poland, and the Forum’s main protagonists were the prime ministers of both countries.
The event had several dimensions, somewhat distinct. The first dimension refers to proving the attachment of Moldova for European integration process and its support by the EU, in particular by Poland, which, along with Sweden, has launched the Eastern Partnership. Since Poland will hold the EU presidency in the second half of this year, the support for the process of European integration of Moldova is an opportunity to be carried out with maximum efficiency. Expectations of Moldovan authorities in this regard have been expressed by Prime Minister Vlad Filat: “By time of Polish EU Presidency, we hope to begin negotiations to sign Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, we aim to overcome the first phase of implementing the Action Plan to liberalize the visa regime”. Prime Minister Vlad Filat Premier said that Moldovan authorities are aware that EU support for Moldova will be proportional to the capacity to implement reforms, following the formula — more support for more effort.
The reaction of Polish party was expressed by Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who said that Poland will support:
Discussions at the Forum took place within framework drawn by the two prime ministers and focused on the process of reforming the law enforcement bodies, actions to be taken to create a functional economy, market liberalization, attract investment, development of energy sector etc. The conclusions reached by the participants referred to the need to develop in Moldova an economic system based on: changing the structure of the economy; de-monopolization of economy in the sectors of air transportation and telecommunications; revolutionizing the denationalization through privatizations, public-private partnerships, concessions; improving the business climate, attracting new investments; increasing the export rate over import rate; exports not of people but of goods and services; orientation of remittances towards production and not towards consumption, etc. However, all these issues are discussed for long time in the society and even if they need to be reiterated, much more is the need of implementation capacity and coherence in actions.
Besides the consistent part of the Forum the symbolical part which started the event was also very important. Three ex-presidents — of Poland, Romania and of the Republic of Moldova — Aleksander Kwasniewski, Emil Constantinescu and Petru Lucinschi whose term of governance has coincided shared their experiences concerning the transition of their countries and the way they overcame the socialist legacy for the modernization through European integration. The conclusions were that the achievement of the goals by Poland and Romania — the accession to the European Union (EU) was due to many factors, but the main factor was the consensus of the political forces within these countries on the effort to join the EU. In particular, ex-president Constantinescu has invoked the importance of the Snagov Declaration from June 1995 whereby all political parties of Romania agreed to support the European integration in spite of multiple discrepancies among them.
For Moldovan audience of the Forum the testimonies of the ex-presidents Kwasniewski and Constantinescu were an occasion to recall that Moldova has also witnessed efforts undertaken to build a common ground of the political class concerning the European integration. It is about “The Declaration on political partnership for reaching the European integration objectives”, adopted unanimously on 24th of March 2004 at the first session of the 16th convocation of Parliament by all political forces represented in the legislative. It is just that in case of Moldova the invoked political partnership has been abusively ceased back in July 2007 and that led two years later to the political destabilization, the effects of which cannot be overcome till now.
In the context of those mentioned above, it is worthwhile stressing that leaders of key political parties, currently represented in Parliament, except for the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (PLDM) led by the Prime Minister Vlad Filat, have shone at the Forum by their absence. Resorting to various excuses, likewise, the leaders of the other two entities of the ruling Alliance for European Integration (AEI), as well as the leader of the opposition Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM), have highlighted the cohesion degree of the political class vis-à-vis the issue of European integration. As they say, in the Republic of Moldova everybody has its own European integration. By the way, this is how every Moldovan citizen is getting individually integrated into the EU. However, one may unfortunately note that the scale of an event of maximum importance for the strategically goal of the Republic of Moldova was locally diminished and being rather transformed into a PR campaign in favour of the PLDM leader Vlad Filat who was also called by the Polish Prime Minister “the positive hero of the European Union”. Anyway, the positive impact of the EU-Moldova Forum cannot be challenged even through the de facto absence of the political partnership for the European integration.