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Igor Dodon: Eastern Partnership Summit confirmed the illusion of European integration

On November 27th, the President of the Republic of Moldova, Igor Dodon, came up with a statement in the context of finished Eastern Partnership Summit held in Brussels last week.

According to Dodon, the Summit confirmed the “illusory character of the European integration” and that “Moldova’s case is in the last drawer of Europe’s preoccupations”. He believes that the recent events, including the Summit, revealed that Moldova is far away from the EU and that in Brussels, the essence of the current government is known.

The Moldovan President argues that the government from Chișinău uses its anti-Russian rhetoric “not only to become attractive for the West but also to create a favorable ideological background for the interior, for political and electoral considerations. Dodon qualifies this rhetoric as useless for the relations with the West and toxic for the social and economic development of Moldova because it would create ethnical and social divides within the country and harm the relations with the Eastern partners, especially the Russian Federation.

“In the last years, the citizens of the Republic of Moldova were victims of a massive manipulation campaign, whose goal was and is to prove that the integration within the European Union is not only a doable objective but also that it would be done in the close future”, declares Dodon, claiming that the European Union has enough internal problems and there are messages from Brussels that the EU doesn’t want an extension.

However, in the end, Dodon thanks the “European partners” for the support given to Moldova but asks them to recognize that Moldova must have a balanced foreign policy.

Later in the statement, he specifies that coming back to the strategic partnership with Russia is a necessity dictated by the present situation.

Pavel Filip, PM of Moldova who attended the EaP Summit, responded to President’s statement, calling it “disappointing and populist”. Filip says that during his many visits in Moscow President Dodon might see different the Eastern Partnership. The Prime-Minister ended his message by stressing that Moldova’s future is based on the “European project of modernization”, supported by the majority of citizens.

Currently studying International Relations at the University of Pécs, Hungary. Study focus: Transnistrian conflict settlement, Moldovan statehood, Moldovan democracy.

Politics

Moldova Constitutional Court greenlights introducing “European integration” as strategic objective in the Constitution

On December 11th, the Constitutional Court of Moldova greenlighted the draft law on modifying the Constitution, introducing the orientation towards “the European democratic values space” and setting the “European Integration” as the strategic objective.

The Court found that the constitutional amendment to Article 1 proposed by 36 Democrat MPs corresponds to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution in the sense that the orientation towards the European democratic space is a definitive element of the constitutional identity of the Republic of Moldova. The Constitutional Court referred to its previous decision nr.24 from 9 October 2014 when it declared that the Association Agreement with the European Union supports the rupture with the totalitarian Soviet space of values and determined the reorientation to the values of European democracy.

The Constitutional initiative also stipulates that the procedure of joining the European Union would be established by organic law by the Parliament.

The draft law can be adopted only 6 months after the announcement of the Constitutional amendment- 12 September 2017.

President Igor Dodon declared that he would do “anything possible” to not allow this Constitutional amendment get passed. Moreover, Dodon claimed the Constitutional Court would serve the interest of the government, whose amendment about the European Integration would violate the political pluralism principle.

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Politics

NATO Liaison Office inaugurated in Moldova

On 8 December, the new NATO Liaison Office in Moldova was inaugurated with the presence of the NATO Deputy Secretary-General Rose Gottemoeller, Prime-Minister Pavel Filip, and Foreign Ministry Secretary Daniela Morari.

Before the inauguration, Deputy Secretary-General Gottemoeller and PM Filip conducted a meeting with a focus on the anniversary 25 years of diplomatic relations between Moldova and the NATO, but also on the objectives set by the Individual Partnership Action Plan Moldova-NATO for 2017-2019.

In regard to the role of the office, Filip emphasized that it would help the Government with actions of public diplomacy to explain its dialogue with the Organization. On the other side, Gottemoeller assured that the Alliance respects the neutrality of Moldova and that the Liaison Office has only civilian employees:

NATO fully respects Moldova’s neutrality, independence, and sovereignty, but neutrality does not mean that we cannot be strong partners,” the NATO Deputy Secretary-General said.

In recent years, at the invitation of the Moldovan government, NATO has worked to safely dispose of landmines and hazardous chemicals, to develop advanced medical technologies, to strengthen Moldova’s defenses against cyber-attack, and to improve governance and combat corruption.

President Igor Dodon still thinks that the opening of the NATO Office was made “in a rush” and contradicts the principle of permanent neutrality of Moldova. Moreover, when meeting Secretary Gottemoeller, he suggested NATO signs a bilateral agreement with Moldova on permanently recognizing the neutrality of the latter.

Source: gov.md

The chief officer of the NATO Office in Chișinău, Kristina Baleisyte, is already in Moldova since June 2017.

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Politics

Moldova Parliament adopts law banning foreign propaganda TV shows, Dodon threatens to block it

On December 7th, the Parliament of Moldova approved in the final lecture the draft law on modifying the Audiovisual Code and adding provisions to secure the informational space. The changes were approved with the vote of 61 deputies, with the absence of the Communists’ Party MPs.

The adopted law provides the permission for TV and radio broadcasting of informative, analytical, military and political content that is produced in the countries that ratified the European Convention on Transborder Television, EU member states, US and Canada. The law also stipulates sanctions for broadcasters that violate the law: from fines to canceling broadcasting licenses in less than 30 days by a court.

Most probably, the law is directed against the Russian propaganda TV shows that are rebroadcasted in Moldova through the local franchises.

The Socialist MPs criticized the law as “anti-Constitutional”. The Liberals previously declared that the proposed measures to counteract the Russian propaganda are not sufficient and efficient.

The strongest opponent of the “anti-propaganda law”, President Igor Dodon declared on Facebook that the law not only contradicts the European norms on freedom of speech and expressionthe constitutional right of citizens to access to information but also the incapacity of the government and the Parliamentary majority. Dodon says that he would not promulgate the law under any circumstances.

What is worth noting is that the Democrat oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc owns the most-watched TV channel Prime TV, who rebroadcasts Russian “Pervyi Kanal”, probably the most popular piece of Kremlin’s propaganda machine. Some say that the “anti-propaganda” law might not hit Prime TV so hard because the rebroadcasting contract expires in the second half of 2017.

On the other hand, NTV Moldova, belonging to a Socialist MP and known for best coverage of Dodon, partially rebroadcasts NTV from Russia.

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