Posted tagged ‘European Integration’

Three scenarios concerning fate of EU macro-financial assistance for Moldova

Iunie 14, 2017

We are witnessing a unique situation in the EU-Moldova dialogue, when representatives of the European Parliament impose themselves more visibly than other European institutions in relation to the political situation in Chisinau. At the initial stage, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and the European People’s Party committed themselves to persuade other European institutions of the necessity of halting the European assistance if the Democratic Party ruling in Moldova does not abandons the idea of introducing the uninominal voting system. But the political stratagems in Chisinau ramified continuously and this made the MEPs to look for more efficient solutions to constrain the ruling party, which constantly invents new ways of avoiding the European conditionality. In such circumstances, the European Parliament intends to postpone for a month, until June, the approval of the decision about the €100 million in macro-financial assistance (Free Europe, May 2017), intended for Moldova for 2017-2018.

(mai mult…)

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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…)

Hidden concerns of EU and adaptability of government

Aprilie 24, 2017

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. (mai mult…)

Moldova forced to combine CIS and Eurasian Union with European integration

Aprilie 17, 2017

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. (mai mult…)

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

Aprilie 13, 2017

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. (mai mult…)

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

Aprilie 5, 2017

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 (mai mult…)

Pro-European sympathies and role of pro-EU opposition

Martie 30, 2017

The presidential elections of 2016 resulted in the victory of the pro-Russian candidate Igor Dodon and in the substantial political advancing of Maia Sandu, who is associated with the supporters of the European integration. So, this managed to attract a large part of votes, being only 68,000 votes away from the victory. Since then, Maia Sandu has tried to remain politically active, especially by postings on social networking sites. As a result, her visibility and the visibility of her party (“Action and Solidarity” (PAS) after the elections remained concentrated on the online environment rather than on field work. A similar behavior can be seen at another party considered pro-European – the Political Party “Platform Dignity and Truth” and its leader Andrei Nastase, who preferred to only appear on the media outlets close to the party (JurnalTV trust).

At the beginning of March, both Maia Sandu and Andrei Nastase started to show signs of political reinvigoration, in particular by their common pro-sovereignty and pro-territorial integrity approach in connection with the commemoration of the victims of the 1992 Nistru war (PAS, March 3). Meanwhile, Igor Dodon managed to become one of the most popular political leaders, considerably outstripping Maia Sandu, when last November they both had real chances of winning the presidential elections. (mai mult…)


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