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Agreements between Romania and Moldova: mixed border teams, military training and no more roaming

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Representatives of the Government of Bucharest and those of the Government of Chisinau have signed several cooperation agreements today. In addition to those related to tourism, education, health, domestic affairs, economic cooperation, diaspora relations, etc., the Moldovan and Romanian dignitaries also signed:

1. Agreement on the elimination of roaming charges.

2 Statement of intent between the Ministry of National Defense in Romania and the Ministry of Defense of Moldova on the creation of an intensified training framework for the establishment of a joint unit between the Romanian Armed Forces and the Moldovan Army.

3. Protocol on the establishment and activities of joint patrol teams at the common state border.

A Cooperation Protocol was signed between the Ministry of Culture and National Identity in Romania and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research in Chisinau. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration in Chisinau signed a Memorandum on cooperating in the field of assistance and consular protection for persons with dual citizenship.

The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Bucharest signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Diaspora Bureau of Chisinau within the State Chancellery. A Memorandum on the Promotion of Entrepreneurship and Economic and Corporate Co-operation was signed between the Ministry of Business, Commerce and Entrepreneurship and the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure.

The parties also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on promoting third-party business cooperation. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection in Chisinau signed with the Ministry of Health in Bucharest an Action Plan for health and medical sciences for the period 2019-2020.

Also, the Financing Contract “Developments of the national transport system in the northeastern part of Romania in order to improve the natural gas supply of the area, as well as to ensure the transport capacities to the Republic of Moldova” was signed. Another protocol provides for interinstitutional cooperation between the Agency for Rural Investment Financing in Romania and the Agency for Intervention and Payment for Agriculture in Moldova.

Moreover, Pavel Filip says that there is a tendency for the parties to assume the desideratum of the Union, while it would, in fact, have to happen through the interconnection of the infrastructure, not strong statements.

“We have the same blood and we have to try, through concrete infrastructure projects, to build blood networks, that the two capitals beat at the same pace,” Filip said.

Through the projects provided for in the new cooperation agreements, Filip declared that a possibility is examined of crossing the railways of Moldova to gauge similar to those in Romania. In the future, this will provide the opportunity to put on the line and a fast interstate racing train.

Justice

Study: Public confidence in the Moldovan justice

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The majority of citizens of the Republic of Moldova believe that the judiciary is politically influenced and that their wealth, profession or political affiliation counts when going to court. This is a conclusion drawn by the Legal Resources Centre from Moldova (LRCM) in a recent study where statistical data from several sources was analysed.

The general trend evolution from 2008 to 2019 shows that the public confidence in justice has continuously decreased since 2010. It is interesting to observe that trust in justice increased around elections and change of governments (2009 and 2019), while it decreased considerably after elections. The minimum share of people who said they trusted the Moldovan justice was registered as a consequence of the political crises from 2015-2016 and the billion theft from the banking system, which was publicly revealed in 2014.

Source: LRCM

According to the LRCM study, six years after the start of judicial reforms in 2011, trust in justice became lower than at the beginning, suggesting that the reforms did not have the expected result.

The 2019 data displayed a situation where about half of the surveyed citizens believed that the judiciary from Moldova treats litigants equally, regardless of gender and age. At the same time, only about a third of respondents believed that judiciary treats people equally regardless of position, political affiliation or wealth.

60% of respondents were not sure that judges could do them justice.

Another survey conducted by the LCRM in 2018, implying lawyers’ perception of independence, efficiency and responsibility of the judiciary from Moldova, revealed that only 29% of lawyers considered that the law applies equally to all litigants. Only 17% of lawyers regarded judges as being independent and 35% of them believed that judges’ decisions were fair and adopted without outside influence.

When asked where the influence on judiciary is exercised from, lawyers from Moldova said that judges’ decisions are mostly influenced by politicians (90.7%), prosecutors (83.9%), other judges (68.2%) and the Superior Council of Magistracy (65.1%).

The Republic of Moldova demonstrated a medium adherence to the rule of law, according to the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index 2020 report. The index exhibits a portrait of the rule of law in 126 countries by providing scores and rankings based on eight factors: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice.

Countries’ scores and rankings are derived from more than 120 000 household surveys and 3 800 expert surveys in the analysed countries and jurisdictions, this index being the world’s most comprehensive data set of its kind, measuring countries’ adherence to the rule of law from the perspective of ordinary people and their experiences.

In 2020, the Republic of Moldova has reached an overall score of 0.5 for the Rule of Law Index, recording an improvement of 2.2% as compared to  2019. The score is calculated on a scale from 0 (the minimum score) to 1 (the maximum score). Therefore, Moldova globally ranked 82 out of 126 countries (it ranked 83 in 2019).

Photo: Tingey Injury Law Firm| Unsplash

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The police used excessive force against the Transnistrian war veterans protesting in the city centre of Chisinau

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On July 16, just before the start of the Parliament sitting, a few dozen veterans of the Transnistrian war took part in a protest in front of the Parliament and the Presidency of the Republic of Moldova. Their intention – to show their disapproval regarding the passivity of Moldovan authorities regarding the 37 illegally installed border checkpoints in the Security Zone. 

The former combatants decided to block the main street of the capital city, asking to be allowed in the Parliament and discuss the problem. After several hours, the police intervened using force.

As a result, nine persons were taken into authorised custody. Two of them needed medical help, being transported to the Emergency Medicine Institute.

Head of the General Inspectorate of Police, Marin Maxian, announced that a criminal case has been filed in relation to the actions during the veterans’ protest. “The persons who protested violently, who assaulted the police and showed non-subordination to the requirements of the police employees were taken to a police office where they gave testimonies,” declared the police representatives.

President Igor Dodon claimed that people who participated in the protest illegally blocked the street and that policemen acted legally. “Our police officers are very careful and do not exaggerate when compared to those of other states. The policemen are at the service of the state. They do not violate the law, they must ensure public order,” he said.

On the other hand, Amnesty International Moldova issued a statement condemning the use of force and tear gas by the police, as well as the detention of protesters. The organisation noted that the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova guarantees everyone the right to express their opinion and to freely participate in rallies, demonstrations, protests or other forms of public gatherings.

“The use of violence against protesters, their detention without any justified reason is not proportionate to the public interest in promoting the freedom of assembly. […] It is not clear why the authorities used force to a peaceful protest.”

Promo-LEX Association also blamed the aggressive policemen behaviour during the protest organised by the Transnistrian war veterans. The association concluded that the police have very easily resorted to the use of physical force and have been involved in avoidable violence“The police officers reacted violently to the intention of some protesters to set up a tent. The incident escalated into a riot, which eventually resulted in the use of physical force, tear gas and violent detention of several participants,” it is said in the statement of the association.

“We mention that any actions of protesters that are peaceful and do not endanger somebody’s life or health must be resolved only by peaceful non-violent legal methods. Promo-LEX Association condemns the disproportionate and unjustified use of physical force, tear gas and electric shock by the police. At the same time, we condemn the aggressive reactions of the protest participants.”

Photos: Jurnal.md

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Critical changes blocked in Moldovan politics – the Constitutional Court dictated the separation of powers

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On July 7, the Constitutional Court (CC) of the Republic of Moldova issued a decision, according to which, the dissolution of the Parliament in the last six months of the presidential term of office is prohibited under any circumstances, even though the president resigns during this period. Moreover, according to the same decision, holding parliamentary elections and presidential elections during the same period is prohibited. Simultaneous local elections are permitted though.

The CC took this decision after 2 members of the Parliament (MPs) submitted 2 notifications in this regard. The institution explained its decision by the fact that the separation of powers is needed, that meaning the temporal separation of the presidential and the parliamentary election campaigns.

“We are on the verge of social revolts due to the deepening poverty, as well as the injustice in the country. The Constitutional Court issued a decision that leaves no room for interpretation. From now on, a Government capable of relaunching the economy and ensuring the safety of the people of Moldova must be formed,” claimed Andrian Candu, the member of Pro Moldova (a political party formed after the separation of democrats).

The vice-president of the Dignity and Truth Platform Party, Alexandr Slusari, declared that the CC decision was predictable. “It was clear for us from the the very beginning that simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections is a wrong and strictly political path. […] If several MPs had acted in unison, without making use of a hidden agenda, the Chicu government would have long gone down in history,” he said.

Socialists consider the current Parliament as being compromised, as it ‘sunk’ into many corruption scandals and the opposition boycotted legislature’s plenary sessions for several times already. “We addressed the CC to make this clarification. We would have liked to save the citizens’ money and to hold the snap parliamentary elections on the same day as the presidential elections, on November 1,” is mentioned in a press release published on the page of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova.

“In this context, we support the idea of President Igor Dodon that, the first decree signed by the head of state after the autumn presidential elections must be about the dissolution of the current compromised Parliament and holding snap parliamentary elections,” is also declared in the press release.

The socialists’ dissatisfaction is especially reasoned by 3 failed attempts of the Parliament to meet in plenary session, during which the bills for which Chicu’s Government took responsibility before the Parliament were supposed to be communicated. Opposition MPs urged the Government to withdraw its bills from Parliament and register them for parliamentary scrutiny.

Photo: Facebook| The Parliament of the Republic of Moldova

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