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Moldova Constitutional Court green-lights draft law setting Romanian as official language, Dodon asks for referendum

On October 31st, the Constitutional Court of Moldova qualified as constitutional the legislative initiative of 34 MPs to replace the Moldovan language in the Constitution with Romanian.

According to the judges of the Court, the current decision is a technical one and completes its decision from 5 December 2013 that established the superiority of the Declaration of Independence over the later-adopted Constitution. The president of the Court, Tudor Panțîru, made it clear the draft law can be sent to the Parliament for a vote.

One of the authors of the draft, Liberal-Democrat Tudor Deliu, is sure that the 13th Article of the Constitution needs to be changed with respect to the widely-known fact that Romanian is the only correct name of the language spoken in the Republic of Moldova:

“We believe that those who represent the people will vote for this project. We need 68 votes”, declared Deliu in response to questions about the unwillingness of many MPs to adopt Romanian as the official language.

Not surprisingly, President Igor Dodon criticized the decision of the Constitutional Court, claiming that the majority of Moldovan people believe they speak Moldovan and that Moldovan language has been “officialized for centuries” on the territory of Moldova.

“And if anyone, wherever they are, has doubts in this regard, we can organize a referendum to ask the citizens the name of the language they prefer: Romanian or Moldovan”, declared Dodon, accusing the right-wing politicians and some members of the Constitutional Court of being “mercenaries” for the “Unionist project of erasing the Moldovan identity”.

Dodon says that the decision of the Court would be analyzed from the juridical point of view after the change of the government, after the next Parliamentary elections.

In a Facebook post, the Vice-President of the Parliament, Iurie Leancă, stressed out that the opinion of the President does not matter in topics that do not need to be politicized and transformed in “political dividends”. In addition, Leancă asked Dodon in Russian to “drink tea and not move (keep calm- Moldova.org)”- a phrase which the president used towards a journalist to dodge his questions.

The draft law on changing the name of the official language in the Constitution was initiated by the Liberal-Democrats, Liberals and the MPs of the European People’s Party. The Democrats showed formal support for the initiative, while the Socialists strongly oppose it.

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

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2018 World Press Freedom Index: Moldova down to position 81

2 May 2018- Reporters without Borders (RSF) published their 2018 index of freedom of the press around the world.

The ranking of 2018 places Moldova on the 81st place, 1 position down compared to 2017 (80) with a score of 30,41 (-0,40).

RSF did not change its position on the media ownership and polarization in Moldova:

Moldova’s media are diversified but extremely polarized, like the country itself, which is characterized by chronic instability and the excessive influence of its oligarchs. The editorial line of the leading media outlets correlates closely with the political and business interests of their owners. Journalistic independence and media ownership transparency are major challenges. As media outlets battle with each other in a climate exacerbated by the Ukrainian crisis, the broadcasting regulatory authority’s lack of independence and excesses in the “fight against propaganda” continue to be a source of concern.

Romania was ranked 44th with 23,65 points, Ukraine 101st with 31,16 points, while Russia 148th with 49,96 points.

According to RSF, the freest media can be found in Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Finland. The countries with the worst media freedom ranking are Eritrea, North Korea, and Turkmenistan.

The RSF underlines in its 2018 World Press Freedom Index that the global situation of the press is worsening, especially in Europe:

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The entry procedure on the left bank of the Nistru River will be simplified

The leader of the self-proclaimed Transnistria, Vadim Krasnoselski, signed an order establishing simplified control procedures at the entrance to the region. The decision comes in the context of winter holidays. The simplified procedures will be valid for the period December 30 – January 15, IPN reports on the regional press.

Krasnoselski also wanted to temporarily open additional ways of crossing the means of transport with passengers through the following points: Valea Adâncă-Zagnitkov, Ploti-Krutîe, Vinogradnoe-Novîi Butorî, Gruşca-Nemirovka, Krasnî Oktiabri-Vetrujeni, Raşcov-Vadul -Rascov, Ţîbulevka-Ţehanovka, Teia-Calfa.

Passengers, citizens of Ukraine and of the Republic of Moldova, will present the identity document or the document confirming the residence visa in one of the neighboring localities. Also, at all checkpoints, a simplified regime of goods verification will be applied during this period, except for those that are forbidden in the Transnistrian region.

Source: IPN

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Important

Chișinău and Tiraspol sign protocols to solve issues of Latin script schools, telecommunication, diploma recognition and land ownership

On November 25th, the political negotiators of the Republic of Moldova and the separatist Transnistrian administration met in Bender to discuss technical issues ahead of the upcoming 5+2 negotiations in Vienna.

Accompanied by 5+2 mediators and observers, Reintegration Minister George Balan and the so-called “foreign minister” Vitalyi Ignatiev signed 4 protocols elaborated at the expert groups level. The protocols focus on 4 key issues:

  • Recognition of diplomas issued by education institutions in the Transnistrian region– the parties agreed to Chișinău accepting (apostillation) a neutral diploma issued in Transnistria;
  • Elimination of barriers in the telecommunication domain- establishing a direct connection of fixed and the mobile telephone network, as well as internet, after the negotiations between operators on both banks of Nistru river;
  • Elimination of barriers to the functioning of Romanian language (Latin script) schools in Transnistria- setting minimal rent and utility prices for the buildings rented out to these schools, setting 10 years as the minimal rent period for the buildings, providing the adjacent lands in use to the schools, providing conditions for free movement of teachers and pupils of these schools, but also the needed materials for their functioning;
  • Allowing farmers to use their lands across Tiraspol-Camenca road in Dubăsari district- applying the “2006 Mechanism” of distributing the lands to those persons owning them initially, stopping the use of lands by Transnistrian firms or persons (2014 distribution), stopping the penal cases against the latter by Chișinău.

Solutions to these problems are expected to be delivered by the joint expert groups.

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