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Moldova holds no longer a leading position in the Eastern Partnership

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The Republic of Moldova is no longer a leader among the member states of the Eastern Partnership. A group of experts from Chișinău analyzed the situation in Moldova, by comparing it with previous years and with other countries included in the Eastern Partnership – Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus, as IPN reports.

According to the experts, the biggest issues are related to the independence of judiciary system, independence of media and human rights.

The coordinator of the team of experts Elena Prohnitski, the member of the Association for Participatory Democracy ADEPT, declared that this year Moldova leads in none of the areas.

“Why is the difference so big compared with the previous year? Two explanations can be provided. The first explanation is that the situation in the Republic of Moldova worsened in such areas as the freedom of the media, independence of the judiciary, etc. Another explanation is that the situation in other countries developed faster than in our country.” Elena Prohnitski stated.

However, Moldova is not far from other countries that are part of the Eastern Partnership and the discrepancy is mainly due to the adoption of particular laws. The biggest discrepancy is in the business sector. A better situation is registered in Georgia, that became a leader, while Ukraine and Moldova, which both signed Association Agreements and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements, rank fourth and fifth. Even if Moldova benefits from a Free Trade Agreement, the situation here is worse than in Azerbaijan and Armenia, according to IPN.

The report is based on a questionnaire that is filled out by national experts. An analysis of the situation in the country is provided additionally as an investigation of the developments in the political, social and economic spheres during the assessed year.

The Eastern Partnership is a joint policy initiative which aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union, its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova  and Ukraine.

Jurnalistă that speaks English very well. De aia Maria are grijă că prietenii noștri străini să nu piardă nicio informație valoroasă despre actualitatea din Moldova.

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The EU and WHO delivered COVID-19 critical supplies to support healthcare institutions from Moldova

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A shipment of critical medical supplies (1.5 million pieces of personal protective equipment) was delivered to Chisinau to help frontline healthcare workers in the Republic of Moldova. The supplies were funded by the European Union and procured by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and included 1 210 000 medical masks, 348 000 N95 respirators, 16 200 goggles, and 36 000 protective gowns, according to a press release published on the page of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova.

This is one of the biggest humanitarian aids offered to healthcare system employees from Moldova. Peter Michalko, Ambassador of the EU to the Republic of Moldova, and WHO Representative in the Republic of Moldova, Igor Pokanevych, handed over the equipment to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection at an event today, where ambassadors of other EU member states were present as well.

The donation of medical supplier is part of a larger assistance package to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country. The entire assistance includes also 330 000 gloves, 356 oxygen concentrators, 41 patients monitors, 40 ventilators, 215 pulse oximeters, 1500 kits for laboratory tests, and 12 000 kits for samples collection in the total amount of 2.8 million euro, as it is stated in the same press release.

“In these difficult times, the European Union stands by the Republic of Moldova. The “Solidarity for Health” initiative is a concrete example on how the EU supports the Moldovan healthcare system to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We trust that the supply of medical devices and personal equipment will be of benefit to both frontline healthcare workers, as well as to all Moldovan citizens,” highlighted Peter Michalko.

“The delivery of this protective equipment, made possible thanks to the generous contribution of the European Union, will go far in reducing the risk healthcare workers in our country face in their daily work and help protect them, patients and vulnerable people from this virus,” added Igor Pokanevych, WHO Representative and Head of the WHO Country Office in the Republic of Moldova

 “We express our gratitude for the medical equipment offered by the European Union and the WHO – strategic partners in the fight against COVID-19 infection. It will be distributed to all medical institutions in the country, to protect frontline heroes,” said Minister Viorica Dumbrăveanu.

The donation of the personal protective equipment, as well as medical and laboratory devices is part of the EU’s response program to the outbreak of COVID-19. On March 27, the EU announced an assistance package worth 30 million euro to help prevent, detect and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in several countries of eastern Europe, including Moldova. Initially, the funds are supposed to be used to meet immediate emergency needs, such as procuring essential supplies and training for healthcare workers. In the longer term, the assistance will go towards strengthening the country’s capacity to respond to public health emergencies, informed the EU Delegation to the Republic of Moldova representatives.

Photo: Mika Baumeister| Unsplash

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The state of Public Health Emergency was again prolonged in Moldova

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The National Extraordinary Public Health Commission (NEPHC) decided, on July 10, that the state of Public Health Emergency must be prolonged again until July 31, taking into consideration the large numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases that continue to be recorded in the Republic of Moldova.

As the the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection (MHLSP) informed, previously imposed restrictions still remain in place.

For example, restrictions regarding keeping social distance, hand hygiene rules, wearing masks in public transport, commercial spaces and closed public spaces, are maintained.  Also, there are restrictions, such as groups of maximum 3 people in public spaces, meetings with the participation of maximum 50 people with a strict evidence of their identity, restricted access to public spaces of people aged 63 and over, no private events, as well as nightclubs, educational, cultural, sport centres, rest camps, treatment institutions, cinemas, concert halls, theatres remain closed.

As of the NEPHC decision no. 20 of July 10, the access of foreign citizens and stateless persons is still forbidden on the territory of Moldova, with the following exceptions:

  • family members of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova;
  • persons holding a long-stay visa, a residence permit or a document equivalent to a residence permit issued by the authorities;
  • persons being on business trips, proved by a visa, residence permit or other equivalent document;
  • members of diplomatic missions and consular posts accredited in Republic of Moldova, of international organisations / missions, as well as members of their families or personnel who provide humanitarian aid;
  • passengers in transit, including those who are repatriated;
  • people travelling for health and humanitarian reasons (with the presentation of confirmatory documents);
  • cross-border workers;
  • drivers and service personnel, performing transportation of goods, crews and service personnel of aircraft, ships and trains.

Persons who enter the Republic of Moldova during this period have to fill in an epidemiological form, as well as a declaration on their own responsibility to comply with the self-isolation regime of 14 days in determined places.

Exception to the self-isolation provisions is established for the following categories of persons (if they do not show clinical signs of respiratory infection or fever):

  • drivers and service personnel, performing transportation of the goods, crews and service personnel of aircraft, ships and trains;
  • persons travelling for health or humanitarian reasons;
  • pupils and students, enrolled in abroad educational units, which have to take tests or exams;
  • persons being on business trips, proved by a visa, residence permit or other equivalent document;
  • cross-border workers;
  • members of diplomatic missions and consular posts accredited in Republic of Moldova, of international organisations / missions, as well as members of their families or personnel who provide humanitarian aid;
  • people in transit.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant social, economic and psychological impact on the population of the Republic of Moldova. According to a sociological study, conducted by the company Intelligent Data, the main negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are related to the lack of communication (33.8%), restricted travelling (33.6%), but also reduced incomes (23%).

At the same time, respondents also mentioned some positive effects of the pandemic, such as spending more time in the family (45.7%), savings due to reduced consumption (17.3%) and more time for hobbies (14.8%).

The MHLSP reported lately 19 208 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including 12 667 cases of people who recovered and 641 cases of death.

The evolution of daily new cases in Moldova| Source: MHLSP

Photo: Inquam Photos| Octav Ganea

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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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