Halt in EU funding versus uninominal voting system in Moldova

Publicate Iunie 3, 2017 de dioniscenusa
Categorii: UE şi RM

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The Government of Moldova is determined to introduce the uninominal voting system fully or at least partially as soon as possible and at any cost. Thus, the bill to change the electoral legislation formulated by the Democratic Party was passed in the first reading, being introduced in the agenda, approved and adopted by 52 votes during only several hours. A similar swift path was covered by the bill on the mixed-member electoral system, which includes different components of the uninominal voting system. The latter, which was proposed by the parliamentary opposition (Party of Socialists) that is affiliated to President Dodon, was passed by the votes of 74 MPs. The uninominal voting system was the maximum goal of the Democratic Party and the mixed-member system could ultimately represent the minimum goal (combination of voting based on party lists and in uninominal constituencies). Only by modifying the electoral system can the ruling party ensure a place in the equation of power and sufficient immunity for the system built around Vladimir Plahotniuc.

The vote on both of the bills was organized several days before the planned arrival of Venice Commission experts in Chisinau (May 9), putting thus the Council of Europe before an accomplished fact. At the same time, the actions of the Plahtoniuc-Dodon duo took place only two days after the critical statement of the European People’s Party (EPP) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) of May 3, 2017. The two pan-European parties warned the Moldovan authorities that any attempt to bring about such a change without the full backing of the opposition and of civil society will lead the EPP and ALDE to demand that all European funding be stopped. (EPP, May 2017). Read the rest of this post »

Moldova after three years of visa-free regime with EU and new European realities

Publicate Mai 14, 2017 de dioniscenusa
Categorii: Liberalizarea vizelor, UE şi RM

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The abolition of the visa regime for Moldovan citizens in April 2014 was one of the most palpable accomplishments of the Moldovan authorities in the European integration process. Partially, owing to this success, Moldova was considered a “success story”. But this description was practically abandoned in the light of the multiple political crises caused by corruption and very serious offenses, like those committed in the banking system.

On March 28, 2017, Georgia joined Moldova, becoming the second Eastern Partnership country for which the EU abolished the visa regime (VisaFreeEurope, March 2017). Meanwhile, Ukraine goes through the last procedural stages so that it could also benefit from visa-free travel in the Schengen Area by the end of 2017. The negotiations with Georgia and Ukraine, as well as with Turkey and Kosovo, on the liberalization of visas depended a lot on the changes made by the EU to the visa waiver suspension mechanism (Council of the EU, February 2017). Thus, the EU introduced more rigorous conditions towards the countries that benefit from visa-free travel, including Moldova. Read the rest of this post »

Can Memorandum with Eurasian Union diminish Moldova’s European agenda?

Publicate Mai 1, 2017 de dioniscenusa
Categorii: Rusia pretutindeni, UE şi RM

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Shortly after his first 100 days in office, President Igor Dodon signed a Memorandum of cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union. Symbolically or not, but the executive office of President Dodon chose to sign the document in Chisinau, in the presence of the Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Tigran Sargsyan (Presedinte.md, April 2017). The five-page Memorandum was published on the organization’s official website on April 4 already, one day after its signing in Chisinau.

The content of the Memorandum hasn’t been consulted with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, while Prime Minister Pavel Filip described it as “inopportune” and as a document that cannot bring “palpable economic and political advantages to the country”. As the representative of the government coordinated by the Democratic Party and its leader Vladimir Plahotniuc, Premier Filip expressed criticism during his visit to Brussels, which was dedicated to the third EU-Moldova Association Council meeting (Euroactiv, March 2017). Besides the Memorandum of cooperation, the Moldovan Premier also condemned President Dodon’s request to grant Moldova the observer status in the Eurasian Union. Contrary to the opinions shared by the government, President Dodon considers the Memorandum does not run counter to the Association Agreement with the EU. Read the rest of this post »

Hidden concerns of EU and adaptability of government

Publicate Aprilie 24, 2017 de dioniscenusa
Categorii: UE şi RM

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The long chain of shortcomings and the necessity for Chisinau to double efforts were at the core of the messages transmitted by the European Union in the third meeting of the EU – Moldova Association Council held in Brussels (Gov.md, March 31, 2017). Europeans’ emphases were yet offset by the Moldovan authorities that balanced out the constructive, but subtle criticism of the Europeans and the pro-reform commitments and rhetoric.

The pro-governmental press presented the March 31 meeting of the Association Council as a success of the government, which, according to Prime Minister Pavel Filip, stabilized the country in 2016, while in 2017 will focus on the implementation of reforms. The statements made by the European officials and the final document of the Association Council are yet more critical of the government’s performance. In other words, Europeans’ appraisals are rather reserved, but are simultaneously objective and balanced. Read the rest of this post »

Moldova forced to combine CIS and Eurasian Union with European integration

Publicate Aprilie 17, 2017 de dioniscenusa
Categorii: CSI sau Comunitatea Statelor In/dependente de Rusia, Rusia pretutindeni, UE şi RM

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Moldova’s foreign policy oscillates without pauses following President Igor Dodon’s initiatives aimed at pushing the country to the East. The geopolitical schism becomes a more conspicuous daily reality whose consequences are powerfully underestimated. The geopolitical ramifications generated by President Dodon and the Socialist opposition are exploited by the government coordinated by Democratic leader Vladimir Plahotniuc. Recent polls show yet that the geopolitical cleavages no longer offer the public support needed by the Democrats and Liberals to pass the election threshold of 6% in the 2018 legislative elections.

The President’s Eurasian inclinations (IPN, March 2017) do not affect the government’s dialogue with the European Union. The intense negotiation of the new association agenda for 2017-2019 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, March 2017), which redefines the objectives for the implementation of the provisions of the Association Agreement with the European Union, is a clear indication. This shows that the relations with Brussels depend, first of all, on the quality of reforms implemented by the government, not on the geopolitical rhetoric of President Dodon. However, the President’s attempts to bifurcate the country’s foreign policy imply considerable risks to the country’s development in the medium and long terms. Among these is the discouragement of reforms and public servants involved in their implementation, disorientation of the potential investors and the more accentuated polarization of society according to geopolitical principles. Read the rest of this post »

Pro-reform approach of EU and pro-Russian plans of President Dodon

Publicate Aprilie 13, 2017 de dioniscenusa
Categorii: UE şi RM

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The reforms done by the government led by the Democrat Party and, respectively, oligarchic politician Vladimir Plahotniuc, including the incomplete or insufficiently credible ones, cannot be ignored by the Europeans. Many of these reforms were implemented with European assistance, both with EU funds and with national funds of different EU member states. That’s why the appraisals of the done reforms that were subject to impartial assessment can be different from the real attitude to the government.

Consequently, the association implementation report is rather an objective, balanced and concise document (only 13 pages), in which the European Commission and the EU diplomatic service (European External Action Service) sum up the results after almost two years of the start of the implementation of the Association Agenda, stating the political, institutional and sector deficiencies  existing in Moldova. Evidently, some consider the document is insufficiently incisive, but the goal of the report is to assess not the government, but the way in which the reforms assumed by this are implemented. Consequently, the report could have looked more critical only if the assessment criteria agreed in 2014 had been stricter. But these were set by the EU together with the previous authorities that, besides the Democratic Party, included also other parties (PLDM, PL). A more critical report can be produced in the future if the objectives included in the future Association Agenda allow for this. These objectives are yet agreed in a bilateral format. That’s why they cannot be imposed unilaterally by the EU. Read the rest of this post »

Multi-speed EU and its neighborhood: Where is Moldova?

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

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The European Union is at a crossroads that entails the adoption of historical decisions related to the existence of the European project. The UK’s exit from the EU became imminent even if it may imply costs both for those from the EU and those from the proximity. The attempts by the anti-European populist forces and by Russia to make use of any symptom revealing the disintegration of the EU and to multiply these are also imminent. That’s why the celebration of 60 year of the signing of the Rome Treaty (of March 25, 1957) represents the best opportunity for pragmatically pondering over the EU’s future.

Thus, the current European leaders are to decide if they want more Europe, less Europe or a Europe with more speeds. Evidently, none of these options cannot and should not be imposed and forced. Anyway, each of these implies costly or even fatal political decisions and sacrifices. The current European political configuration reveals fundamental Read the rest of this post »


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