Interview with Peter Michalko: If reforms are not done, EU financing will be suspended or even annulled

Publicate Noiembrie 12, 2017 de dioniscenusa
Categorii: UE şi RM, Uncategorized

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Interview with the Head of the EU Delegation to Moldova Peter Michalko conducted by political pundit Dionis Cenusa for IPN News Agency.

– Your Excellency, how do you assess the quality of governance in the Republic of Moldova at the start of your mandate?

– For the EU, the assessment of governance in the Republic of Moldova is a complex process that involves multiple foreign experts through our programs and the programs of other international organizations. The assessment carried out by the OCDE/SIGMA with EU support in May 2016 reveals deficiencies both in the strategic framework for defining, implementing and coordinating the public policies and in the policies in the fields of finance, public administration and the offer of services for citizens.

Since 2016, the Republic of Moldova has made progress in adopting new laws and strategies in the areas of integrity, anticorruption, public administration reform and others. Surely, the authorities of the Republic of Moldova should now focus on the implementation of reforms and problematic aspects appear generally here. The EU monitors attentively the developments in this field, our budget support being subject to conditionality such as, for example progress in the area of management of public finances. What we want from the implementation of the EU – Moldova Association Agreement is efficient, transparent government that encourages meritocracy, limits political interference, has a constant dialogue with civil society and meets the people’s needs.

Which are the top three priorities of your mandate?

– The three priorities of my mandate are: 1) to obtain substantial progress in implementing the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the Republic of Moldova (DCFTA); 2) a constant, open dialog aimed at achieving results both with the public authorities, political factors and with civil society, the business community and other partners; 3) efficient communication with the citizens of the Republic of Moldova on what the European Union is and how it can contribute to the democratic development of the Republic of Moldova. As to the third objective, I intend to make use of the direct communication with the citizens as much as possible and hope that during my mandate I will visit as many of the communities in the Republic of Moldova as possible.

 

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Stimulation of reforms in Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine: new conditionality vs European perspective

Publicate Septembrie 15, 2017 de dioniscenusa
Categorii: UE şi RM

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The reform agenda is a complicated process for the governments associated with corrupt practices, which also shows a “metathesiophobia” (fear of changes) in relation to reforms. Consequently, the real reforms are seen in countries with such governments as something inconvenient that should be delayed, simulated, measured or even obstructed.

Though they form the intimate circle of the European integration within the Eastern Partnership, the current political classes in Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia are powerfully affected by the fear of changes produced by profound and irreversible reforms. This reform-phobia is determined by the essence of the dominant political class whose driving force results mainly from the informal relations built on the flow of immediate or long-term revenues and the competition for obtaining these.So, the presence of oligarchs in the political systems of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia is a decisive factor that powerfully diminishes the fluidity, quality and impact of reforms (Expert-Grup, June 2017).

In an attempt to protect their image of “useful oligarchs” (IPN, October 2016), the oligarchic groups that fully or partially control the decision-making processes in these countries tend to look friendly towards reforms. Their tolerance of reforms ends yet there where the personal interests that form the pillars of oligarchic pyramids start.Starting with 2009 until now, the European integration process has deeper penetrated Eastern Europe through theEastern Partnership. Since then, the visa liberalization action plans initiated in Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia were the mechanism that most powerfully encouraged sector reforms. Read the rest of this post »

Interview with Pirkka Tapiola: “The first challenge is to be a diplomat in the Republic of Moldova”

Publicate August 23, 2017 de dioniscenusa
Categorii: UE şi RM

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Interview with His Excellency Mr. Pirkka Tapiola, EU Ambassador to Chisinau, conducted by political analyst and contributor to IPN News Agency Dionis Cenușa, and published on 11 July 2017.

– Mr. Tapiola you have had a huge experience dealing with your mandate of the chief of the EU Delegation therefore all my questions will be related to your experience and work as diplomat in Moldova. So my first question would be about the biggest three challenges that you have faced during your mandate?

– The first challenge I would say is to be a diplomat in the Republic of Moldova and I will explain what I mean by that. Our relationship is incredibly close and this may to be turned into three challenges. This means that we are close to what happens in this country. In addition to the political relations, we have a lot of EU money involved. A lot of our funds are there in order to enable, change and make progress. We have a DCFTA to open markets and there are success stories. So, you have of course the normal challenge on how you get all the instruments to work in a way in which it delivers on our major goals, which is to help this country to work in favour of the citizens, to grow economically, and where people feel empowered and where they have real opportunities. Read the rest of this post »

Estonian presidency of EU Council and implications for Moldova

Publicate August 5, 2017 de dioniscenusa
Categorii: UE şi RM

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Since July until the end of 2017, Estonia will be responsible for the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union (which consists of representatives of national governments). So, Estonia is the second ex-Soviet county, after Latvia in 2015, that will hold the presidency of the Council of the EU. The Estonian presidency is integrated into a broad program of actions that was thought up for 18 months and is implemented together with another two countries, Bulgaria and Austria. Consequently, the strategic priorities of the Estonian presidency will be mainly identical to those assumed by the next, Bulgarian and Austrian presidencies.

Estonia takes over the presidency from Malta, another small country that during six months promoted the position and initiatives of the EU Council without failures. Despite the fact that Malta surprised the European colleagues with early legislative elections, the Maltese presidency was marked by a number of important accomplishments, including the ensuring of unity among the member states on the negotiation of the Brexit, increase in transparency on the European natural gas market, advancement of the European fishing policies (Politico, June 2017). Read the rest of this post »

Restoration of power supplies from Transnistrian region and weakness of European factor

Publicate Iulie 27, 2017 de dioniscenusa
Categorii: UE şi RM, Uncategorized

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Supplies of electric power from the region controlled by the separatist regime to the rest of Moldova were restored on June 5, 2017, as a result of a decision taken by the state-run energy company Energocom. Thus, outside an open tender contest, Energocom negotiated and signed a contract with the Cuciurgan Power Plant (Moldavskaya GRES). The given contract, which wasn’t made public, provides that as of June 7 Energocom will purchase 70% of the necessary electricity from the Transnistrian region. The other 30% are to be bought from the Ukrainian company DTEK-Trading. According to the state-run Energocom, the producer from the Transnistrian region, which belongs to the Russian concern RAO EES, offered a price of US$ 45 per 1MWh. This is by 10% less than the electricity price negotiated with the supplier from Ukraine (US$ 50.2 per 1MWh) as a result of the open tender contest. Read the rest of this post »

Venice Commission, mixed-member electoral system and European assistance

Publicate Iulie 20, 2017 de dioniscenusa
Categorii: UE şi RM, Uncategorized

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The Venice Commission’s opinion about the Democrats’ and Socialists’ proposal to introduce the mixed-member electoral system becomes a crucial benchmark for the allotment of macro-financial assistance to Moldova by the EU.

The intervention of the EU-Council of Europe duo in the case of the mixed-member system creates at least three important precedents for Moldova and the whole European neighborhood. First of all, the European Union shows flexibility and ingeniousness by imposing for the first time political preconditions for offering macro-financial assistance. Secondly, the EU transforms the recommendations of the Council of Europe/Venice Commission into preconditions for disbursing the macro-financial assistance. Moreover, the EU maintains the political precondition among the criteria for assessing the progress throughout the assistance allotment period. Last but not least, a precedent is set as regards the real impact that the European Parliament can have on the modification of the “contractual terms” of the macro-financial assistance that the European Commission proposes to the applicant third countries. This case highlights that the European legislature also has the capacity to promote the interests of the people from the countries of its neighborhood, including Moldova. Read the rest of this post »

European values versus traditional values and geopolitical subtext in Moldova

Publicate Iunie 29, 2017 de dioniscenusa
Categorii: Rusia pretutindeni, UE şi RM, Uncategorized

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The foundations of the European Union and, respectively, the European integration processes derive from a set of European values, such as democracy, human rights, human dignity and the rule of law. These are defined in the European treaties that govern internal order in the EU, its relationship with the EU member states and its people. With the maturation of the European project, especially after the signing of the Treaty of Lisboan (December 2009), the European values started to be consolidated through the EU’s dialogue with the external world. The EU’s enlargement of 2004-2007 considerably extended the geography of the European values. The launch of the Eastern Partnership (2009) led to the stimulation of the EU’s relations with Eastern Europe, contributing to the more articulated promotion of the European values in the region. The signatories of the EU – Moldova Association Agreement, Ukraine and Georgia, went further by accepting the European values as benchmarks for the strategic development objectives. Read the rest of this post »


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