Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

„No more” privileged position for the Russian language in Moldova

ianuarie 22, 2021

On 21 January 2021, the Constitutional Court (here available in Russian) issued a landmark decision that turned down the law on the languages’ functioning, adopted in a rush the Socialists Party and promulgated by the outgoing pro-Russian president Igor Dodon. As a consequence, Russian may lose its privileged role among other minority languages.

Some international media, especially the Russian ones, misinterpreted the Court’s decision insinuating that the Russian language usage will not have the status of inter-ethnic language anymore. That’s not precisely what the Moldovan Constitutional Court concluded.

This commentary explains what has happened and what exactly has decided the Constitutional Court:

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Criza politică din Moldova și 3 „noduri” de interese contradictorii

ianuarie 20, 2021

Moldova este aproape de finele lunii ianuarie cu un guvern în funcție slab din punct de vedere instituțional și politic. Pe de o parte, competențele guvernului vechi sunt limitate, iar, pe de alta, Parlamentul nu îl susține și trebuie să îl înlocuiască cu unul nou.

Președintele Maia Sandu a evitat să îngrijoreze partenerii europeni cu privire la criza politică în care se adâncește țara, în timpul recentei deplasări la Bruxelles. De aceea, percepția în exterior pare distorsionată, deoarece, președintele poate influența procesele politice, dar nu are o poziție dominantă în determinarea lor.

Despre direcția în care se mișcă țara se știa după anunțul lui Ion Chicu despre demisionara din funcție de premier. Astfel, țara a intrat într-o perioadă de tranziție spre un alt guvern sau un nou parlament. Forțele politice din țara, dar și președinția, s-au concentrat pe propriile calcule politice.

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My 2020: 56 articles, reports, policy briefs

decembrie 31, 2020

I decided to wrap-up my activity in 2020 and realized that there are many achievements that I want to share with you. The interviews, webinars, and comments for regional and international media are not included. So, 2020 was a more prolific year compared to 2019. See the complete list below:

My 10 most popular articles in 2020

decembrie 31, 2020

Here are the 10 most popular analytical articles that I published in 2020 for IPN and/or Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung:

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

noiembrie 12, 2017


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

iulie 27, 2017

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. (mai mult…)

Venice Commission, mixed-member electoral system and European assistance

iulie 20, 2017

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. (mai mult…)

European values versus traditional values and geopolitical subtext in Moldova

iunie 29, 2017

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. (mai mult…)

How did Moldova become a ”captured state”?

iunie 9, 2017

Closer to the end of 2014, the expression “state capture” became a kind of country brand for Moldova. The extra-parliamentary opposition regularly used this phrase to describe the defective governance and infiltration of obscure interests into the government. The foreign development partners, with very small exceptions, used more veiled formulas when they spoke about “state capture” in Moldova so as to avoid a direct confrontation with the Moldovan authorities, which would have led to the imminent short-circuiting of the dialogue. Consequently, these used the “powerful politicization of institutions” as an equivalent.

The idea of state capture was assimilated by the public opinion much easier amid the crisis in the banking system unveiled at the end 2014. This way the phrase became a very popular jargon in national journalism. Other criminal activities committed in the period of the so-called pro-European governments (2009-2016), alongside the thefts in the banking system, also started to be associated with the phenomenon of “state capture”.

Habitually, state capture in Moldova is attributed to the leader of the Democratic Party (PDM), controversial businessman Vladimir Plahotniuc. Accusing him of complicity in state capture, the opponents call him “puppeteer”. Namely for this reason, the protests mounted by the pro-European and pro-Russian opposition (RFI, October 2015) in 2015-2016 featured primarily Vladimir Plahotniuc. Ex-Premier Vlad Filat referred to the implications of the “puppeteer” in his last speech in Parliament, before his arrest in October 2015. (mai mult…)

Association Agreement with EU and paradoxes of President Dodon

martie 4, 2017

The results of President Igor Dodon’s visit to Brussels (February 6-7, 2017) are rather modest in terms of statements and reactions with substance on the part of European officials. The Europeans showed themselves to be rather reserved in relation to the President of Moldova Igor Dodon. Not even after several days of the visit did the European institutions – European Council, European Commission, European External Action Service or the European Parliament – publish press releases dedicated to Igor Dodon on their websites.

Lacking emotional content, the meetings of Igor Dodon with European officials showed the latter’s real attitude to the President of Moldova. On the one hand, the Europeans are aware of the real weight of Igor Dodon in the decision-making process in Chisinau, where he has limited powers. On the other hand, the EU gave Igor Dodon a reciprocity-based welcome as it is practically impossible for Brussels to welcome him warmly after he made hostile statements about the EU in his meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin in January 2017. In general, Brussels is used to being criticized, but rejects the criticism that goes against the reality, especially the one that derives from the anti-European Russian propaganda.
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