MOLDOVA:  CHANGE OF POWER AND DEMOCRATIC REFORMS –EU INTEGRATION? Igor Munteanu Institute for Development and Social Initi...
Presentation topics: <ul><li>Short brief on Moldovan political and ethnic identities (Moldovans/Romanians) </li></ul><ul><...
R.Moldova: a ‘border-land’ identity <ul><li>Size: 13,199 square miles (33,845 square kilometers).  </li></ul><ul><li>Popul...
Birth-signs for Moldova’s transition <ul><li>Common features with other transitions: </li></ul><ul><li>Painful adaptation ...
Transnistrian situation: facts and figures <ul><li>About 40% of Moldova’s industry was concentrated in the region of Trans...
Moldova: in a larger geopolitical context
Ion Beschieru ,  Expert Juridic  IDIS “Viitorul”  Short brief on Moldovan political and ethnic identities (Moldovans/Roman...
<ul><li>Walachian Principalities (1600) </li></ul><ul><li>Romanian Kingdom (1920) </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic a...
Nation – building – legacies and memories <ul><li>1812 – Bessarabia is annexed to Russian Empire, as a result of the Russi...
Pre-War Moldova, War and after II World War <ul><li>Between 1918 and 1940, Bessarabia was a part of the Romanian Kingdom, ...
Moldova as a Soviet republic and Independent State <ul><li>Brutal installation of the Soviet Administration  led to the an...
Ion Beschieru ,  Expert Juridic  IDIS “Viitorul”  Political identity of Moldova and its titular group (Moldovans/Romanians...
Post Soviet state – building – a challenging experience <ul><li>1989 – 1990 – rise of informal movements, Popular Front of...
Largest minority groups in Moldova, 1989 and 2004 census figures <ul><li>July 1994 – Constitution of the Republic of Moldo...
Ion Beschieru ,  Expert Juridic  IDIS “Viitorul”  Political dynamics: pro-Western orientation versus pro-Soviet nostalgia ...
Who is who in Moldovan politics? <ul><li>Political parties in Moldova can be divided in 5ategories:  </li></ul><ul><li>1. ...
Ideological poisoning of political parties   2001   Communist Party  Democratic Party  Rebirth Party  Christian Democrats ...
Identity Marker :  Pro-Moldovan identity versus Pro-Romanian  identity   Average Score   PCRM  PDM  PAMN  PSL  PPCD  1,6  ...
How many parties are needed in Moldova?
Preference towards one party-system according to the age, studies, residential area
Confidence in politicians (BOP, ipp) “ Moldova’s current domestic and  foreign policy developments” 2001 2005 2006 2007 20...
Playing the party politics in Moldova <ul><li>I dentity  disputes  have e xhausted  most of the  social energies  during p...
Divided between East and West <ul><li>In february 2001, Communists won elections by advocating a close accession to Russia...
Communist leaders: between imitation  and adaptation to the external environment <ul><li>In 2004, circumstances related to...
2009 Elections as a test and a crossroad for Moldova <ul><li>F or  the  opposition,  2009  elections were just a tool to e...
In the radar of a turmoiled  elections :  the  2009  test <ul><li>Communist Party (CPMR) appeared too strong to lose elect...
Torny elections challenging the ‘stability’ of the state <ul><li>In April 5, 2009, collected 60 mandates, against 41 by th...
What resulted from the 2009 dual-elections <ul><li>High visibility in Europe: this allowed Moldova’s Government start nego...
Ion Beschieru ,  Expert Juridic  IDIS “Viitorul”
Ion Beschieru ,  Expert Juridic  IDIS “Viitorul”  Political dynamics: pro-Western orientation versus pro-Soviet nostalgia ...
<ul><li>Public attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>9 4 %   heard about EU </li></ul><ul><li>7 8%   know what is EU </li></ul><ul><...
EU Plans and Policies towards neighborhood <ul><li>1994 – EU concluded with Moldova its first CPA (Partnership and Coopera...
Moldova’s path of approaching EU
Moldova’s strategy towards EU <ul><li>Late start, but smart moves. If other EU’s neighbouring states approach visa free ta...
Ion Beschieru ,  Expert Juridic  IDIS “Viitorul”
Ion Beschieru ,  Expert Juridic  IDIS “Viitorul”
Challenges ahead for Moldova <ul><li>2010 – new elections. Previous failed attempt to  elect a new  President is making Al...
” It’s so good that you hold free elections now. But why so often?”
 
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  • It covers 13,199 square miles (33,845 square kilometers).
  • MOLDOVA:  CHANGE OF POWER AND DEMOCRATIC REFORMS –EU INTEGRATION?

    1. 1. MOLDOVA:  CHANGE OF POWER AND DEMOCRATIC REFORMS –EU INTEGRATION? Igor Munteanu Institute for Development and Social Initiatives ( IDIS ) “Viitorul” “ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    2. 2. Presentation topics: <ul><li>Short brief on Moldovan political and ethnic identities (Moldovans/Romanians) </li></ul><ul><li>Political identity of Moldova and its titular group 20 twenty years after independence; </li></ul><ul><li>Political dynamics: pro-Western orientation versus pro-Soviet nostalgia </li></ul><ul><li>Who is who in the current Moldovan politics: introducing key players in domestic and foreign policy-making; </li></ul><ul><li>Moldova's EU prospects: </li></ul><ul><li>How are they perceived from Chisinau; how are they perceived from Brussels and by the EU member states; </li></ul><ul><li>How are they perceived by regional players like Romania, Ukraine, and Russia </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and f oreign policy developments”
    3. 3. R.Moldova: a ‘border-land’ identity <ul><li>Size: 13,199 square miles (33,845 square kilometers). </li></ul><ul><li>Population: 4.3 mln in 1989, 3,6 mln in 2004 plus 550.000 in Transnistria </li></ul><ul><li>Ethno-political profile: 76% - Moldovans/Romanians, other major ethnic groups (Ukrainians - 8.2%, Russians – 5,1%, Gagauz – 4,0%, Bulgarians – 2,1%, Others – Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Germans). </li></ul><ul><li>Official language – Moldova, identical to Romanian language. Russian is a ‘language of inter-ehnic communication (1989), while other regional languages can be officially recognized. </li></ul><ul><li>Largest share of population live in the rural areas (54%), in Chisinau (capital) – around 1 mln of inhabitants. </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    4. 4. Birth-signs for Moldova’s transition <ul><li>Common features with other transitions: </li></ul><ul><li>Painful adaptation to the market economy, corrupted elites, ambiguous state and national identities, as well as painful adaptation to the regional developments. </li></ul><ul><li>Ambiguous identity conflicts (Moldovan versus Romanian identity versus Soviet), coupled with other conflicts: territorial (Transnistria), ideological (prevalence of leftist-minded parties, led by former frontline-party leaders (Snegur, Lucinschi, Voronin). </li></ul><ul><li>Over-personalisation of the political life and exceptional role of Presidents. </li></ul><ul><li>Individual features of the Moldova’s model:   </li></ul><ul><li>It did not restored, but reinvented its independent statute, losing extremely valuable time in identity disputes. Moldova was unique lately, 2000, when it decides to be a parliamentary regime. In spite of frequent changes of the incumbent ruling parties, these changes were brought by elections and not by brutal coup d’etat ( 1990, 1994, 1998, 2001 and 2009) , which adjourned some scholars to call it ‘a pluralist by default country ’ (Lucan Way) </li></ul><ul><li>In-built pluralistic environment gave it the allure of ‘weak and vulnerable’, if compared with the stable tough less pluralist states: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, or Ukraine , but also served as a great asset in making parties to work and interact at the state level. </li></ul><ul><li>All presidents lost their power via elections, and not via coup d’états, or abrupt succumbing. First President M.Snergur lost its mandate to the head of the legislature, Petru Lucinschi, in 1996, who lost his position, in turn, to the leader of Communists , earlier a minority in the Parliament (1998-2001). </li></ul><ul><li>Constitutional reform of 2000 changed the way of electing President, but completely overlooked its major competencies, creating a hybrid sort of political regime. </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    5. 5. Transnistrian situation: facts and figures <ul><li>About 40% of Moldova’s industry was concentrated in the region of Transnistria. The largest plants were taken over by Russian capital. </li></ul><ul><li>Over 2,2 billion USD were accumulated as debts of Transnistria, as a result of indirect subsidies and financial misdoings of Tiraspol, which are seen as ‘Moldova's debts to Russian Gazprom’. </li></ul><ul><li>Transnistrian army: 18.000 gunmen; equipped with tanks, aircraft, reactive missiles, other conventional weapons from the Russian military arsenal of 14 th Army </li></ul><ul><li>70% of the ‘PMR’ officials are acting KGB and GRU staff, which have never lived in the region before they were appointed in their current positions over 15.000 of refugees which did not returned their homes after 1992 conflict; </li></ul><ul><li>U nsettled Transnistrian conflict undermines the viability of Moldova as a fully-fledged state , increase ethnic tensions, and hamper public consensus. </li></ul><ul><li>July 2004 census – region population is estimated at 558,000. The urban to rural populations breakup is 68% to 32%. Ethnic groups in the region are almost equal: 34% - Moldovans, 28% - Ukrainians, and 26% - Russians. Minority groups also include Bulgarians, Jews and Poles. Most Russians reside in the cities while many Ukrainians and Moldovans live in villages. </li></ul><ul><li>There are six Latin script-based secondary schools, which follow the Moldovan ministry of education-approved curriculum. In urban areas dominated by cable TV Moldovan and Romanian programs are never part of the package. </li></ul>
    6. 6. Moldova: in a larger geopolitical context
    7. 7. Ion Beschieru , Expert Juridic IDIS “Viitorul” Short brief on Moldovan political and ethnic identities (Moldovans/Romanians) “ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    8. 8. <ul><li>Walachian Principalities (1600) </li></ul><ul><li>Romanian Kingdom (1920) </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments” .
    9. 9. Nation – building – legacies and memories <ul><li>1812 – Bessarabia is annexed to Russian Empire, as a result of the Russian-Turkish War leading to a defeat of the Otomans. But, instead of ‘liberating’ the province within the borders of the Moldovan Principality, joining Russian Army against Otomans, Russia decides to take out Bessarabia as a conquered province ( Organic Regulation ). </li></ul><ul><li>1859 – Wallachia (Muntenia) and Moldova elected a Prince (Domnitor), Cuza Voda, who is replaced in 1866 by Prince Karl, belonging to Hohenzolern Sigmarinen dinasty. </li></ul><ul><li>1917-1918 – creation of the Popular Democratic Republic (in Bessarabia), after dismissal of the Russian Empire and Bolshevik revolution. But, in less than 4 months, its Regional Assembly (Sfatul Tarii) called for reunification with Romania. </li></ul><ul><li>Since Soviets never recognized this unification act, they have created in 1924 a RASSM, seen as a ‘springboard for expansion into Romania on Western bank of Soviet Ukraine. </li></ul><ul><li>In this tiny RASSM, Soviets planned to invent a separate nation and a new language (Pavel Chior, Commissioner for enlightment of MASSR) – called rom.language spoiled by French influence, using local dialects as a basis for a proletariat language. </li></ul><ul><li>But, Party indications also ruled in 1926 use of Latin script, to irradiate Soviet ideas in Bessarabia, which is suspended in 1938. A resolution of CEC MASSR blamed latinization drive as an ill-conceived detour (‘Enemies have carried out a hostile policy on the front of national-cultural construction, polluted Moldovan language with Romanian salon-bourjeois words and terms, and set Latin alphabet, unintelligible to the people’). </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    10. 10. Pre-War Moldova, War and after II World War <ul><li>Between 1918 and 1940, Bessarabia was a part of the Romanian Kingdom, with a provisional administration, installed therein ‘to maintain peace in a land, targeted by Bolshevik plots and incursions’. It preserved some regional differences, but integrated well in Romania. </li></ul><ul><li>Soviets have not recognized the unification of Bessarabia, and called this as an expansion. </li></ul><ul><li>In June 26, 1940, USSR – issued an Ultimatum claiming cession of Bessarabia and Bukovina , in 24 hours. No reference to class-based identity, or Moldovan nation, but that the region (Bessarabia) is populated by an ‘overwhelming majority of Ukrainians’, which was by all accounts a mystification of facts. But, King Carol accepts to cede Bessarabia. Earlier, In August 1939, Germany declared its ‘lack of political interest to the fate of Bessarabia’, i.e. acknowledging USSR claims on region. Soviet troops have replaced Romanian Administration, setting up ‘RSSM,’ (August 2, 1940) – 6 counties of Bessarabia, remainder of MASSR, while Hotin, Akkerman and Ismail incorporated in Ukr. It has 2,4 mln, out of which 68,8% Moldovan, but still a concern for Soviet policymakers. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1941, Romania joins Germany in the war against USSR to recuperate its ‘historical lands and people’. Disputed decision of Antonescu to fight beyond Dnestr – “Although the fight for the reconquest and liberation of Bessarabia and Bucovina is legitimated by the entire soul of the nation (C.Bratianu), Romanian people will never consent to the continuation of the struggle beyound our national borders’. </li></ul><ul><li>Late august 1944, royal coup against Antonescu, and switched sides, although too late, both Bessarabia and N.Bukovina were under Soviet occupation and the peace treaty (Feb1947) set up the Soviet-Rom border along Prut river. Quickly after 1945, Soviets launched repressions against those who were suspected of being rich or that they collaborated with Romanian and Germans. Over 350.000 of killed and deported civilians, reported outside of the war casualties. </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    11. 11. Moldova as a Soviet republic and Independent State <ul><li>Brutal installation of the Soviet Administration led to the annihilation of the intellectuals, as a social class, being accused of collaboration with previous rule. Only 2 out of 74 Members of the CC of CP SSRM were Moldovan ethnics, recruited from Transnistria, in 1945. </li></ul><ul><li>Considerable demographic changes: Jewish and German populations almost disappeared, Bessarabian population decreased to a half, as a result of the atrocities of the war, post war deportations and emigration after 1960. </li></ul><ul><li>MSSR became less Moldovan , with increased Slavic component, Russians almost doubled from 6,7 to 14%, bringing dominance in party membership, industries, but also in church. By 1970, 16,5% of Moldovans were in ethnically mixed marriages' – highest rate in USSR amongst non-Slav groups </li></ul><ul><li>By 1989, Moldovans were the 3 rd most russified nationality in USSR, after Ukraine and Belarus, only 89,3% of Moldovans called Moldovan their native tongue, and only 11,2% of Russians knew Moldovan as a second language. </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    12. 12. Ion Beschieru , Expert Juridic IDIS “Viitorul” Political identity of Moldova and its titular group (Moldovans/Romanians) twenty years after independence “ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    13. 13. Post Soviet state – building – a challenging experience <ul><li>1989 – 1990 – rise of informal movements, Popular Front of Moldova, disputing perestroika’s aims, gaining ‘sovereignty’ inside of USSR, new language laws in 1989. </li></ul><ul><li>1990-1991 – accelerated march towards independent rule, showing however regional ‘birth’ signs (Baltics, Slavic Group of 3, Moldova with possible reunification, Caucasian and Central Asian regions) </li></ul><ul><li>August 22, 1991 – military putsch in Moscow, accelerating USSR dissolution, and Declaration of Independence (27 August, 1991), but also considerable counter-strikes from the Soviet Center. In December 1991 –irredentist Transnistrian guards attack constitutional authorities, calling Russian Cossacks to protect ‘Russian lands’ in Moldova </li></ul><ul><li>On the same day when Moldova is recognized as a UN Member, Transnistrian Guards launch military provocation in Bender, backed by military support of the 14th Russian Army, deployed in Transnistria. </li></ul><ul><li>In July 1992 – Agreement on ceasefire and ‘special status’ for Transnistria, followed by deployment of peacekeepers from Russia, appointment of Lebedy as Chief-Com. </li></ul><ul><li>February 1993 – OSCE Mission established in Chisinau, Moldova </li></ul><ul><li>June 15, 1994 – Constitution of R.Moldova adopted, allowing recognition of a special statute for the eastern region (Transnistria) and Gagauz rayons (UTAG). </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    14. 14. Largest minority groups in Moldova, 1989 and 2004 census figures <ul><li>July 1994 – Constitution of the Republic of Moldova </li></ul><ul><li>March 1996 – Moldova became Member of the Council of Europe </li></ul><ul><li>July 2000 – Constitutional Reform: semi-presidential regime into a parliamentary </li></ul><ul><li>February 27, 2001 – return of CPM in power </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments” Ethnic Groups of Moldova Number of persons % share of total population 1989 2004 1989 2004 Ukrainians 600,000 283,367 13.8 8.4 Russians 562,000 198,144 13.0 5.8 Gagauz 157,500 147,661 3.5 4.4 Bulgarians 90,000 66,072 2.0 1.9 Other 121,500 44,350 2.7 1.3
    15. 15. Ion Beschieru , Expert Juridic IDIS “Viitorul” Political dynamics: pro-Western orientation versus pro-Soviet nostalgia “ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    16. 16. Who is who in Moldovan politics? <ul><li>Political parties in Moldova can be divided in 5ategories: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Chronist/Socialist: Communist Party of Moldova (CPM), Socialist Party ‚Patria-Rodina’ (SPPR), Democratic Agrarian Party (DAPM), Political Movement ‚Speranta – Nadejda’, and Social Political Republican Movement ‚Ravnopravie’. </li></ul><ul><li>2. S ocial-liberal Group: Our Moldova Alliance (OMA), Liberal Party (LPM), Liberal National Party (LNPM), Liberal Democrat Party (LDPM), European Party (EP), European Movement, Republican Popular Party (RPP), ‚New Force’, claiming a neo-liberal force . </li></ul><ul><li>3. Christian-Democrat Group : Christian-Democrat Popular Party (CDPP). </li></ul><ul><li>4. Social-Democrat Group: Social Democrat Party (SDPM), Democrat Party (DPM), Republican Party (RP), Centrist Alliance of Moldova (CAM). </li></ul><ul><li>5. Others: A special category is formed by some parties, which claim to be above doctrinal divides, sharing supra- ethnic ideologies, such as: Humanist Party (HPM), a party with a centrist orientation, Conservative Party (CoPM), sharing a conservative view, as well as Green Alliance (Green), the environmentalist movement. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    17. 17. Ideological poisoning of political parties   2001   Communist Party Democratic Party Rebirth Party Christian Democrats 1,2 4,7 6,9 9,4 ■▲▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▼▲▬▼▬▬▬▬▬▲▬▬▬▬▬▼▬▬▬▲▬■ 1 4,6 5,2 8,7 10 BEAB Social Democrats National Liberal Party (PNL)     2005 P-R-R Communist Party Democratic Party Our Moldova Party PSL Christian-Dem 1,4 3 5,3 7 8,1 8,7 ■▬▲▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▲▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▼▲▬▬▬▬▬▲▬▬▬▲▬▲▬▬▬▬▬■ 1 5 10 Social Democrats   2009   P-R-R Communist Party Democratic Party Our Moldova LibDemParty Liberals ChrDem 1,4 4 5,3 6 8,1 8,7 9.0 ■▬▲▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▲▬▬▬▼▲▬▬▬▬▲▬▬▬▬▬▬▲▬▲▬▬▼▲▬■ 1 5 10 Social Democratic Party  
    18. 18. Identity Marker : Pro-Moldovan identity versus Pro-Romanian identity   Average Score   PCRM PDM PAMN PSL PPCD 1,6 5,3 7,4 9,2 9,7 ■▬▼▲▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▲▬▬▼▬▬▬▲▬▬▬▬▬▲▬▲▬■ 1 1,3 6,1 10 P-R-R PSDM   Foreign Policy Orientation: East versus West Marker 2001   PCRM PDM PRCM PPCD 1,2 5,7 6,6 9,6 ■▲▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▼▬▬▬▲▬▬▲▬▼▬▬▬▼▬▬▬▬▲▬■ 1 4,6 7 8,3 10 BEAB PSDM PNL   2005   PCRM PDM PPCD 3,2 5,9 8,9 ■▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▲▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▼▬▬▬▼▲▬▬▬▬▼▬▬▬▬▲▼▬▬▬■ 1 4,6 5,6 7,2 9,1 10 P-R-R PAMN PSDM PSL   Interviewed experts: 1 – inconsistency, 10 – consistency
    19. 19. How many parties are needed in Moldova?
    20. 20. Preference towards one party-system according to the age, studies, residential area
    21. 21. Confidence in politicians (BOP, ipp) “ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments” 2001 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 V.VORONIN 70% 47 44 43 41 37,5 17,4 MARIAN LUPU - 33 31,4 28,7 40,1 37,6 11,4 DORIN CHIRTOACA - - 14,1 29 34,6 27,8 4,2 VLAD FILAT - - - 8,8 12,7 22,5 15,9 MIHAI GHIMPU - - - 8,9 9,9 15,8 3,4 IURIE ROSCA 16 15 15,4 8,1 8,3 8,9 1,2 SERAFIM URECHEAN 43 28 21 24,9 18,8 16,9 0,7
    22. 22. Playing the party politics in Moldova <ul><li>I dentity disputes have e xhausted most of the social energies during post- soviet transition (1991-2000) . F irst, it separated itself from the USSR through a nationalist, tough moderate ‚pattern’ of national reviving, propelled by a desire to assimilate the pro-western model of democratic governance, and second, it attempted to balance the original national-state model by adjusting it with a bureaucratic governance taking its legitimacy from the former party and administrative nomenclature of the soviet regime. </li></ul><ul><li>High volatility of political landscape: Since 1991, Moldova changed 11 cabinets (showing a highly unstable political regime, in terms of executive mandate and early end-up of executive , but this can also show a highly pluralistic environment, in terms of political mobilization and creativity of actors. This can explain the ‘failed authoritarianism’ of the ruling parties , at least until 2008, whereas some of the authors state this can be also the effect of the ‘external democratizing pressure’, very much important particularly among the weak states with small, aid-dependent economics (Georgia, Moldova, Armenia). </li></ul><ul><li>Populist leaders still enjoy the highest scores in public surveys, and this in turn, lessen the importance of political parties. Usually, voters disdain the role of political parties since they have limited trust in politicians, as such, which goes hand in hand with a genuine distance from political process. Only 2% of respondents claim they have a party affiliation, while 55% claimed in 2005 that one party is enough for the country. </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    23. 23. Divided between East and West <ul><li>In february 2001, Communists won elections by advocating a close accession to Russia – Belarus Union, deploring the failure of the Soviet state, and criticizing previous ruling parties for the capitalist orientation, nationalist rhetoric and Transnistrian conflict. </li></ul><ul><li>This red-line was intended to convince Russia they can trust Communists, as allies. But, soon, Voronin was shoked to see that Moscow see no reason to change the status quo of Transnistria, treating its leaders as legitimate leaders, and failing to reward Voronin for his zelous pro-Russian orientation. </li></ul><ul><li>To test his alleged loyalty, Moscow prposes a deal on Transnistria, known later as ‘Kozak Memorandum’, which stipulated in fact a ‘deconstruction’ of Moldova, and creation of a new state, made up of 2 or 3 subjects of a federal state: Moldova and Transnistria, and perhaps Gagauzia, keeping Russian troops for another 40 years, as guarantors of peace, after the federal state will be fully errected. </li></ul><ul><li>Voronin was nearly ready to sign it by mid of 2003, but found that public protests could definitely shaken the domestic stability, and categorical opposition of the West. </li></ul><ul><li>in the mid of the street protests, PACE monitoring reports, leaders of Communists changed their earlier slogans, and declared EU course as a strategic priority, </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    24. 24. Communist leaders: between imitation and adaptation to the external environment <ul><li>In 2004, circumstances related to ‘rose revolution’ made PCRM (Communists) to search for extraordinary measure to pre-empt a possible outburst of protests. At the end, they have reached an Agreement on a certain list of ‘common national interests’ with some opposition parties, which revealed the following scope: (1) join EU; (2) modernize the country; (3) involve the West to settle the long-protracted conflict of Transnistria. </li></ul><ul><li>Post-election changes of 2005 inspired a false hope that Communist Party can be reformed, but Voronin rebuffed such allegations saying his party remain ‘Communist’, since this would scare the voters, 30% ‘vote for the brand’. </li></ul><ul><li>But, conditionality failed down soon from the political agenda of the ruling Communists, who preferred to anchor Christian-Democrats, while ostracizing completely other political parties from ‘cohabitation’. </li></ul><ul><li>Already by 2007, Communists returned to the old practices of harassing independent media, opposition parties to the bewilderment of the Western partners that expected Moldova to act differently. </li></ul><ul><li>True, declaration of infinite love abound day and night from mass media, but there is little consistency at the practical level of policy implementation. Thus, the proponents of the ruling Communist party exploit the pro-EU stance as a way to silence their political competitors. </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    25. 25. 2009 Elections as a test and a crossroad for Moldova <ul><li>F or the opposition, 2009 elections were just a tool to end their isolation from the decision-making process , a chance to prove that other political groups still matter in the domestic politics. </li></ul><ul><li>For the ruling party, 2009 elections were seen as a postsign, since their unchanged leader, President Voronin , could not compete for a 3 rd mandate as a President of state, thus, suggesting an imminent change of the power system. </li></ul><ul><li>Elections intervened in the eve of a serious economic crisis, whose global effects and implications severely hit the small and vulnerable national economy of Moldova, setting difficult questions to be answered by the incumbent rulers </li></ul><ul><li>Full control over national mass media, sharp decrease on most indicators of democratic governance. Subservient judiciary, censorship of mass media. In 2008, Moldova was rated for the first time as a non-free-country by Freedom House, and remained a highly corrupt state (87) by Transparency-International. </li></ul><ul><li>Opposition still tolerated, but largely neutralized through a harsh and brutal propaganda, arrests of the party leaders, and judiciary trials, largely fragmented, since Election Code banned in 2008 blocs, increased threshold. </li></ul><ul><li>Moldova – champion of lost cases at EHRC, so as citizens started to call EHRC as the most relevant court of justice against abuses. Apart from one private TV, PRO-TV, which was threatened with closure in december 2008, there was no other uncontrolled TV and Radio, excepting blogs and social tools (facebook). </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    26. 26. In the radar of a turmoiled elections : the 2009 test <ul><li>Communist Party (CPMR) appeared too strong to lose elections in a process subverted by institutional advantages and administrative resources, biased and censored state media, partisan state administration and prosecution. Nevertheless, they were too weak to win elections in a fair competition. </li></ul><ul><li>E lections were marred by systematic irregularities i.e. police actions to intimidate the ruling party’s contestants, biased state mass media, full use of administrative resources. </li></ul><ul><li>On 6 th April, opposition parties claimed they found more than 20.000 of rigged signatures on the voter’s lists, hundreds of votes cast by dead persons, as well as votes cast on behalf of those who work outside of Moldova. They challenged the fairness of election process, but both CEC and CC declined their appeal validating the results, without even considering the proves submitted for verification. </li></ul><ul><li>On 7 th April, m assive actions of protest continued in Chisinau, with more than 40.000 of protestors, splitting into several competing groups, with the most radicalized crowds clashing with police and finally devastating Presidential building, associated with name of Voronin, and his personal rule. Later on, President Voronin will call their actions a ‘putch’ , launched with support of Romania, Serbia and US. </li></ul><ul><li>Communists accused the opposition for having organized the coup d’etat, and opened penal files against them, while insisting on Romanian trace. On their side, liberal parties claimed the CPRM has used the event to crush opposition, and install a dictatorship. </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    27. 27. Torny elections challenging the ‘stability’ of the state <ul><li>In April 5, 2009, collected 60 mandates, against 41 by the opposition parties. Only one vote short, out of 101, was missing to CP to seal its pro forma victory, but opposition parties stubbornly refused to give it, thus, CP failed twice to elect a new President, which implies dissolution of the Parliament and call for early elections. </li></ul><ul><li>The new ballot organized in July 31, in a working day, attracted increased scrutiny, reduced the number of CP seats to 48,while the opposition collected 53 mandates, enough to install a new government and parliament speaker. </li></ul><ul><li>The 4 parties, LDP, LP, DP and Our Moldova formed a new ruling coalition, Alliance for European Integration. But, former opposition parties overplayed CPRM only in a wide coalition of 4 parties (DP, LDPM, LP, AMN), titled AEI, therefore, their unity is the sole guarantee against a possible return to power of the Communists, which are still credited with almost 29-30% of the voters support, against 30-33% voters that would be spread among opposition parties. </li></ul><ul><li>Considering that 32% of voters decide their preference only one week before elections, we have not yet reached a sound basis of ‚irreversible democratic’ changes, since the economic recovery of the country is still fragile, while democratic underpinning of the current government need time to consolidate. </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    28. 28. What resulted from the 2009 dual-elections <ul><li>High visibility in Europe: this allowed Moldova’s Government start negotiations of an Association Agreement with EU, i.e. visa liberalisation and deep FTA. EU stepped firmly in supporting genuine democratic forces. </li></ul><ul><li>Resuming relations with IMF and WB, launched negotiations of the new Association Agreement with EU, and normalized its relations with neighboring Ukraine and Romania. As a second pillar, AIE set EU as a key-strategic priority, giving a new impetus tot he process of approximation to the EU regulations and standards. In the first 2 months after installation, AIE received 262 mln from Millenium Challenge Corporation. </li></ul><ul><li>Another benchmark was the official decision of the EU to launch, in January 2010, talks with Moldovan Government on negotiations of an Association Agreement. </li></ul><ul><li>Also in March 25, 2010, Moldovan Government has managed to organise a large Forum of Donors, which responded thus to its Roadmap for Reforms, also called Rethink Moldova‘, which attracted over 2,6 bln usd as a pledge for 2010-2013. </li></ul><ul><li>Government launched efforts to reduce the power of oligarhic groups and relax administrative and economic regulations, formerly built on to benefit party clientelle. </li></ul><ul><li>Teleradio Moldova, formerly a loudspeaker of the regime was finally liberated from ideological toutelle, while two imporant foreign investments created fondations for two new private media: Jurnal de Chisinau and Publika News Channels. </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    29. 29. Ion Beschieru , Expert Juridic IDIS “Viitorul”
    30. 30. Ion Beschieru , Expert Juridic IDIS “Viitorul” Political dynamics: pro-Western orientation versus pro-Soviet nostalgia “ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    31. 31. <ul><li>Public attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>9 4 % heard about EU </li></ul><ul><li>7 8% know what is EU </li></ul><ul><li>61,4 % would vote in favor of joining EU in case of a referendum * </li></ul><ul><li>= However, 50,1% would like to see Russia as a strategic partner, against EU (27,3%), Romania (9,1%) and Ukraine (1,3%). </li></ul><ul><li>Bad news – constant trend </li></ul><ul><li>36,6% have a positive attitude towards USSR </li></ul><ul><li>34,1% have a negative attitude towards USSR </li></ul><ul><li>29,3% do not care much about it </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    32. 32. EU Plans and Policies towards neighborhood <ul><li>1994 – EU concluded with Moldova its first CPA (Partnership and Cooperation Agreement), which entered in force only in 1998. It envisioned cooperation in different fields and technical assistance within the TACIS project, but was just a standard offer.   </li></ul><ul><li>After 1999, Moldova attempted to get closer to EU via its participation in the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe (SPSEE), but this was limited to a formal participation. </li></ul><ul><li>In 2003, EU launched its ENP “Wider Europe – New Neighbourhood” Initiative, approved by the Council of the EU in December 2003. Challenged by the effects of the new realities on the ground, the EU attempted to ‘tailor’ its new policies to the particular regions. Four distinct instruments have insofar edited the content of the ENP since 2003: Black Sea Synergy Policy, Union for the Mediterranean, Strategic Partnership with Russia, EU strategy on Central Asia , and - most recent, presented to EU foreign ministers in May 5, 2008, the Polish – Swedish initiative on Eastern Partnership (EaP) . </li></ul><ul><li>All of these policies compete and overlap in the same time, being perceived as ‘cluster-driven’ instruments for a region, which is deeply plunged into systematic political crisis, increased polarisation, and prone to future conflicts between the governments and opposition groups. The dominant opinion was however that the ENP framework of cooperation shall be seen as an alternative to integration perspective. </li></ul><ul><li>According to surveys, 28,5% of population believes Moldova could join EU in the following 5 years, 35,4% - in the following 10-15 years, while 6,7% says never. </li></ul>“ Moldova’s current domestic and foreign policy developments”
    33. 33. Moldova’s path of approaching EU
    34. 34. Moldova’s strategy towards EU <ul><li>Late start, but smart moves. If other EU’s neighbouring states approach visa free talks with EU by building up barrages of criticism towards EU, accusation of a Schengen wall, discrimination, mentioning EU enlargement to the east meant introductions of visas by the new member states and heavy lobbying with EU friends to push for visa free, Moldova is trying a different approach - pre-emptive implementation, that is also showing the political will, and seems to be the key of Moldovan success that was already noticed by Commissioner for Enlargement and ENP, Stefan Fule, that said, “Amazing how much has been achieved”. </li></ul><ul><li>Creates space for maneuvering: Moldova is trying to assimilate West Balkan experience, but does not dispute the Eastern Partnership Policy, willing to get closer to EU by standards. Visa issue is the top priority of the Moldovan foreign and internal policy - in 2007, Moldova signed visa facilitation and readmission agreements. On 15 th of June, EU-Moldova visa dialogue started. </li></ul><ul><li>At this moment, Moldova uses the visa liberalization roadmaps for Balkans of 4 blocks: (1) Document Security, (2) Illegal Migration, (3) Public Order and Security, and (4) External Relations and Fundamental Rights. From 2008, the Ministry of Information Technology is already optionally issuing biometric passports and beginning with January 1, 2011, Moldova will issue only biometric passports that are fully complying with ICAO standards. In addition to this, the Integrated Border Management System is already being implemented and will be fully accomplished at the beginning of 2012. </li></ul><ul><li>Receiving the roadmap is a priority and Moldova want to persuade EC to assess the progress, because the process should become measurable and thus, the game will become fair, otherwise the reforms will not be noticed. The other part of the coin is the interest of EU to offer visa-free. Postponing this issue might be misleading for Moldovan government and especially for Moldovan citizens that might think that EU is reluctant to visa-free for Moldova. </li></ul>
    35. 35. Ion Beschieru , Expert Juridic IDIS “Viitorul”
    36. 36. Ion Beschieru , Expert Juridic IDIS “Viitorul”
    37. 37. Challenges ahead for Moldova <ul><li>2010 – new elections. Previous failed attempt to elect a new President is making Alliance for European Integration exposed and fragile, but it could also provide a great leverage of reducing the influence of the conservative-nostalgic Communists in the future Parliament. December 2009, a Sate Commission to propose amendments tot he Constitution, or adopt a new Constitution via a national referendum, which has instilled considerable concerns and voices. In February 2010, Venice Commission strongly recomended to organize elections, and avoid the use of Referendum, when there is limited consensus among political actors about the scope of reform. </li></ul><ul><li>Referendum on Presidential election shall precede 2010 Parliamentary Elections, Referendum is needed in order to resolve constitutional contradictions, avoiding a possible imbroglio, having general elecitons repeated every year, while a President, which is indirectly elected can dissolve a legitimated Parliament, of a Parliamentary system, which creates a serious dillema. </li></ul><ul><li>Upcoming elections - a battleground for conflicting interpretations of the Constitution, involving accademia, lawyers, Venice Commission, but with limited space for litigating the conflicts. </li></ul><ul><li>Communist Party exploits social unease provoked by economic crisis, mobilizing its electorate to challenge the incumbent Government. Parliament shall amend current Code of Elections, amending it with the necessary elements that earlier rose legitimated critics and observations – suspending ban on blocs, diminishing election thresholds, oversight on financial resources in campaign, etc. </li></ul>
    38. 38. ” It’s so good that you hold free elections now. But why so often?”

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