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Parliamentary elections – the determining factor for the future of relations between Moldova and European Union

The relations between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union have gone through several stages in the last years, being far from having a linear evolution. The return to the normality of dialogue between the parties in 2016 did not last long because, since the summer of 2017, with the change of the electoral binom by the Socialist Party of Moldova and Democratic Party of Moldova, to the detriment of the recommendations of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and OSCE / ODIHR, relations between Chisinau and Brussels began to deteriorate again, writes political analyst Ion Tăbârță.



The European Union, through its positions and following negotiations with the central authorities, signaled its main objections to the situation in the Republic of Moldova.

Thus, by the end of 2017, the EU published a list of 28 conditionalities for the government in Chişinău in order to provide macro-financial assistance. In addition to the economic and financial criteria, the document contains conditionalities and a political one.

The political analyst mentions that in 2018 the Moldovan-EU dialogue became even more complicated. Assessing the state of relations between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union, 2018 can be divided into two parts.

In the first half of the year, the Republic of Moldova has tried to maintain a dialogue with the EU in the light of technical discussions, abstracted from the subject of changing the electoral system.

In the second half, after the invalidation of elections in Chisinau, the dialogue between the Republic of Moldova and the EU was predominantly focused on the field of politics, being influenced by the degradation of Moldovan democracy. These problems prevailed on the progress and commercial gains achieved by Chisinau following the implementation of DCFTA.

On February 26, 2018, the EU Council, in its conclusions, made a radiograph of the situation in the Republic of Moldova. Thus, the Council points to all the existing issues – from the chronic ones, such as the fight against corruption and the lack of reforms in the judiciary, to more recent ones, such as changing the electoral system.

On 5 April 2018, the European Commission published the joint report of the European Commission and the European External Action Service.

The main conclusions of the report highlight that the Republic of Moldova has managed to stabilize its economic situation and, with the constant but conditional support of the EU and other international partners, has made progress in certain areas, including the consolidation of the free trade area.

However, more efforts are needed, in particular, to combat high-level corruption, a deep reform of the judiciary, recovery of funds diverted by bank fraud and the deportation of justice to those responsible for the crime.

On May 3, 2018, the EU-Moldova Association Council reviewed progress as a result of the implementation of the Association Agreement.

Besides Moldova’s success in certain areas, in particular, the implementation of the provisions related to the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, the main failures are highlighted – the problems of justice, high-level corruption, and so on. This is why the EU has signaled the existence of regress in areas such as the electoral system, the media and civil society.

On the issue of EU macro-financial assistance, European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said that the Republic of Moldova would still need to fulfill two conditions.

The first is the full functionality of the National Integrity Authority, and the second is the adoption of an additional budget for the functioning of anti-corruption institutions.

In the second half of 2018, the political dialogue between the Republic of Moldova and the EU entered a complicated phase after the invalidation of the June elections in Chisinau.

MEPs adopted a resolution on 5 July to suspend the macro-financial assistance for the Republic of Moldova due to the failure to comply with the political preconditions stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova from the end of 2017.

Head of European diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, declared that the suspension of the assistance was related to how the Moldovan justice system violated the popular will expressed by vote, abusively interpreting the electoral law, and the invalidation of the elections in Chisinau was not a good sign for the upcoming elections Parliament.

The Government of the Republic of Moldova reacted to the European Parliament’s resolution in a press release on 7 July in which it considered the resolution to be incorrect and politicized.

Regarding the invalidation of elections in Chisinau, the Moldovan authorities explained that they can not allow interference in the act of justice, accusing the European Union of the fact that the current state of justice in the Republic of Moldova is also the result of the activity of the European officials who assisted the reform of the Moldovan judicial system.

The European Union reconfirmed its tough stance towards the Republic of Moldova through a new European Parliament resolution issued on 14 November 2018.

The resolution lists the regressions registered by the Republic of Moldova, such as changes in electoral legislation, the invalidation of general local elections in Chisinau, the lack of transparency in the bank fraud case, and changes in the fiscal field, etc.

It also once again specifies that the EU will only release the macro-financial assistance after the parliamentary elections if they are conducted in accordance with the democratic criteria characteristic of an electoral process.

At the end of 2018, the EU officially announced that it was reducing its financial support due to the deterioration of the rule of law and democracy in the Republic of Moldova, expecting the Moldovan authorities to take urgent and immediate action to remedy the situation.

Under these circumstances, the nature of the Moldovan-EU dialogue in 2019, but also its near future and medium-term future, will very much depend on how the Moldovan authorities will organize the next parliamentary elections.

“Will these elections be organized in a credible, inclusive and transparent manner or not? It will all depend on the way in which the parliamentary elections will be organized and the state of Moldova’s dialogue with the European Union, which will carefully monitor the electoral and post-electoral process in the Republic of Moldova,” notes Ion Tăbârţă.


Two different ways of celebrating May 9: Victory Day vs Europe Day in the time of COVID-19



Victory Day or Europe Day – one more reason of discord for Moldovan politicians and, as a consequence, for the Moldovan society, even during the pandemic crisis Moldova faces these days.

This year, the socialist government and a part of politicians who still miss the Soviet times insisted on commemorating the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945, while opposition politicians together with the EU countries’ embassy representatives sent messages of celebrating peace and unity in Europe. In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, their methods of celebration were also very different.

Europe Day was marked merely online, as Head of the Delegation of the EU to the Republic of Moldova, Peter Michalko, congratulated the citizens of the country, along with the ambassadors of Poland, Austria, Romania, Sweden, Germany, Latvia, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

Mesajul ambasadorului Michalko cu ocazia zilei Europei!

Dragi prieteni, Vă felicit cu ocazia zilei Europei! Astăzi este prilejul de a sărbători pacea și unitatea în Europa. De asemenea este o zi să ne amintim de valorile și obiectivele noastre comune, care ne fac mai Puternici Împreună. Anul acesta, din cauza pandemiei, nu putem fi împreună în spații publice pentru a sărbători această zi importantă, dar vreau ca mesajul de solidaritate din partea mea și a colegilor mei, Ambasadorii țărilor membre ale UE să ajungă la toți.#ZiuaEuropei #ÎmpreunăMaiPuternici #SolidariPentruSanatate #70AniDeclarația Schuman***Дорогие друзья, поздравляю вас с Днем Европы! Сегодня мы отмечаем день мира и единства в Европе. Этот день также напоминает нам о наших общих ценностях и целях, которые нас объединяют и делают нас сильнее. В этом году, по причине пандемии, мы не сможем собраться в общественных местах, чтобы отметить этот важный день, но я призвать каждого из вас к солидарности, от себя лично и от своих коллег, представителей государств-членов ЕС.#ДеньЕвропы #ВместеМыСильнее #СолидарныРадиЗдоровья #70ЛетДекларацииШумана

Geplaatst door European Union in the Republic of Moldova op Zaterdag 9 mei 2020

A message of gratitude for the support provided by the EU partners was also published by the Party of Action and Solidarity on social media.

Ziua Europei

Un prieten bun este acela care te apreciază atunci când faci lucrurile bine!Un prieten bun este acela care te critică atunci când greșești și te încurajează să perseverezi!Un prieten bun este acela care vine în ajutor atunci când ai nevoie!De trei decenii, Uniunea Europeană este alături de Republica Moldova şi la bine şi la greu. Peste 2 miliarde de euro au fost alocați pentru proiecte de aprovizionare cu apă potabilă, eficiență energetică, reparația drumurilor, susținerea micului business și suport pentru realizarea reformelor.Uniunea Europeană este mai mult decât o uniune economică și politică. Este un proiect care a pus capăt războaielor pe continent şi a oferit un nou model de colaborare între popoare. Pentru mulți dintre noi a devenit a doua casă.Astăzi, UE este alături de noi într-un alt război, într-o lupta cu un dușman invizibil. Este alături prin donații de echipamente și asistență financiară. Putem învinge acest dușman doar prin solidaritate, generozitate și având alături prietenii adevărați! Să-i ținem aproape și să le mulțumim de câte ori avem ocazia!Vă mulțumim că sunteți alături de noi!Mulțumim, Europa![Surse video: Delegația UE în Moldova,, Unimedia, Mold-Street, TV8, Sky News, Euronews, AFP, Associated Press, War Archives]

Geplaatst door Partidul Acțiune și Solidaritate op Zaterdag 9 mei 2020

In addition, an online concert of the Moldovan National Youth Orchestra and La La Play Voices, with the participation of 200 artists from Moldova and the European Union, as well as a series of movies broadcasts on several online platforms and TV channels were transmitted, as per the Delegation of the EU to Moldova program.

As all events were held online, the Delegation of the EU to Moldova will donate the money budgeted for the reception dedicated to Europe Day to the emergency service medical staff.  “Dear friends, this year we cannot be together at the traditional reception, organized on the occasion of Europe Day, because we respect the restrictions during the pandemic. That is why, we decided to donate the financial resources planned for this reception to those who are on the front line in the fight against COVID-19,” said Peter Michalko. According to him, the money will be used to deliver lunches to the medical staff of the National Emergency Services throughout the country.

On Victory Day, President Igor Dodon, Prime Minister Ion Chicu and Parliament Speaker Zinaida Greceanii went to the “Eternity” Memorial Complex, where they laid flowers in memory of soldiers who died in World War II. All in all, around 50 soldiers, politicians and state dignitaries attended the ceremony.

Source: Facebook| Igor Dodon

At the same time, Igor Dodon announced, on his Facebook page, his paid visits to war veterans and the participation in the burial ceremony of the remains of 45 soldiers of the Red Army.

Source: Facebook| Igor Dodon

Victory Day has been still traditionally celebrated, even though ceremonies with fewer attending people took place. “More than 500 cars and dozens of motorcycles took part, today, in the auto marathon in honour of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory,” Dodon also announced on social media.

Более 500 автомобилей и десятки мотоциклов приняли участие сегодня в автопробеге в честь 75-летия Победы в Великой Отечественной войне. Колонну, двигавшуюся по улицам столицы, приветствовали прохожие, которые 9 мая празднуют День Победы и чтут память десятков миллионов людей, погибших в той страшной войне.:::::::Peste 500 de automobile și zeci de motociclete au participat, astăzi, la marșul auto în cinstea celor 75 de ani de la Marea Victorie în Războiul pentru Apărarea Patriei. Coloana, care s-a deplasat pe străzile Capitalei, a fost salutată de trecătorii care pe 9 mai sărbătoresc Ziua Victoriei și cinstesc memoria zecilor de milioane de oameni care și-au pierdut viata în acel cumplit război.

Geplaatst door Dodon Igor op Zaterdag 9 mei 2020

Some opposition MPs were outraged by the car marathon organised in the capital city. “How can the president  organise parades in the centre of Chisinau and, at the same time, keep the citizens at home? Tens of thousands of businesses were shut down during the period when 10 cases of COVID-19 per day used to be confirmed, while during the period when there are over 120 people infected per day, parades are organised. Citizens cannot attend the funeral of their relatives and still, the president’s friends parades of  hundreds of people are held. […] How can you organise a May 9 parade while people die due to the officials’ irresponsibility? We have the most reckless government “ the MP Petru Frunze wrote on social media.

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The Russian loan agreement declared unconstitutional – escaping the trap of excessive debt or missing a chance to overcome the crisis?



The judges of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova (CC) declared the Agreement between the Government of Moldova and that of Russia, providing for a loan of 200 million euros to be allocated to the Moldovan budget, to be unconstitutional. The decision was announced yesterday, as the adopted law on the ratification of the agreement, along with 2 related Government’s decisions have gained the same status.

The bill on the ratification of the agreement was adopted shortly after the Russian Federation and the Republic of Moldova had signed a loan agreement, on April 17. It was adopted with the vote of 56 socialist and democrat members of the Moldovan Parliament.

At the same time, the exercise of the constitutionality control of some provisions was requested by several opposition MPs, after the legality and feasibility of the conditions for granting the loan have been questioned by experts and civil society.

See also: Experts: What is wrong with the credit agreement signed with the Russian Federation?

In the Opinion on the conditions of the EUR 200 million loan offered to the Republic of Moldova by Russian Federation published by the Watchdog experts, Sergiu Tofilat and Valeriu Pasa, is mentioned that the purpose of the loan was to cover Moldova’s budget deficit and to finance joint projects of the agreement parties.

The agreement included abusive provisions though, according to the published opinion. First, the agreement provided that Russian companies would be contracted for projects funded by the loan. “Currently, no public information about the nature of the projects, the benefits for Moldova, the costs and the list of Russian companies is available. Given Russian widespread disreputable precedents and Igor Dodon’s obedience to Vladimir Putin, it is probable that Dodon will promote companies controlled by Putin’s people, which will execute the projects at higher costs in order to misappropriate a part from the loan,” is mentioned in the opinion.

Moreover, the loan agreement stated that the Republic of Moldova would have to undertake to repay other loans received from Russian Federation, in addition to the 200 million euros loan. Therefore, “there is a risk that Russian companies controlled by Putin’s entourage would register companies in the Republic of Moldova in order to borrow funds from Russian banks, under the guarantee of the Russian government, while the payment obligations would be registered as Moldovan national debt to Russian Federation.”

All debts would have been repaid at an interest rate of 2% per year, plus 2% annual penalty*150% to the entire debt, including  to the interest and penalties for other loans, that is while applying a penalty to another penalty is an illegal provision that can’t be applied in Moldova.

Taking into consideration that the loan agreement didn’t provide for the jurisdiction that would litigate any loan related disputes and that other loans including private debts could be simply added up to the consolidated national debt, that could create difficulties in a potential international litigation against the Russian Federation. “If Russia claims that the Agency, as a creditor of Moldova, is a separate entity from the Russian government, the Republic of Moldova will have to prove in front of an international court that all the actions of this creditor in relation to the debt of Moldova are dictated by Kremlin,” said the Watchdog experts.

Moldova would risk to have its access blocked to foreign financing by the Russian Federation. “According to IMF rules, lending is prohibited to countries with outstanding debts to other countries.” And Moldova would have been gather an impressive foreign debt as a result of the agreement.

In such a way, the experts concluded that the abusive conditions of the loan agreement would have allowed for a considerable increase of the Moldovan national debt to Russian Federation, which could be used as a control instrument in Moldova’s strategic infrastructure areas, as it previously happened in the natural gas sector.

The only Moldovan citizen that could benefit from this agreement would be President Igor Dodon. “The EUR 100 million second tranche, scheduled by October 31, 2020, may lead to the re-election of Igor Dodon as president,” Watchdog representatives opinated.

Prime Minister Ion Chicu and President Igor Dodon denied all accusations and repeated the same words in front of Moldovan people:

“This agreement does not involve any financial or political risks. This agreement does not jeopardise the economic security of the country, nor does it affect other agreements.”

As a consequence of the CC decision to declare the loan agreement unconstitutional, it’s ratification was blocked along with the funds that won’t reach the Moldovan budget. “In the context of the crisis, we can get through this year without Dodon’s airports and the roads around them. We can reduce the expenses for them by the amount of the Russian loan,” suggested Former Minister of Finance, Natalia Gavrilita.

According to the World Bank projections regarding Moldova’s economic development, the unfolding economic crisis will lead to a contraction of Moldova’s economy in 2020. “If the coronavirus outbreak is largely contained by mid-2020, with a recovery thereafter, in the baseline scenario by year-end, the economy will still have to deal with a recession of 3.1 percent. […] Increased social needs and unemployment, as well as fiscal stimulus through public investment, will bring fiscal deficits above the historical average in the years to come,” is mentioned in the report.

However, a prolonged disruption of economic activities until August 2020 would cause Real GDP growth to fall by 5.2%, which would be the biggest drop since 2009. “Weaker growth will further strain public finances faced with already large financing needs at 15 percent of GDP. A higher number of returning migrants, high social spending needs and high unemployment may put additional strain on labor market conditions and create further fiscal pressures,” said the World Bank projections that were updated recently.

Photo: Feodora Chiosea | Getty Images

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One more official(s) fail: the humanitarian aid from Romania was honoured under a bridge



Romania offered the Republic of Moldova a support package in order to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The assistance in the form of medicines and protective equipment worth 3,5 million euros arrived today in Chisinau. The medical goods were transported by 20 trucks, all of them being directed to hospitals throughout the country.

According to the notice of the Romanian Embassy to the Republic of Moldova, protective materials including 200 000 pairs of gloves, 500 000 FFP2 protective masks, 25 000 suits, 5 000 glasses, 5 000 antiviral protective screens, 78 900 bottles of rubbing alcohol, as well as COVID-19 designated medicines, have been delivered to the Moldovan capital city.

Source: Facebook| Romanian Embassy to the Republic of Moldova

This aid succeeded the Romanian medical mission of 42 specialists who offered their help in the most important medical institutions of  Moldova last week.

See also: Romania sent the promised assistance to Moldova: medical staff, protective equipment and officials’ cordiality

Unprecedented was though, the reaction of the Moldovan authorities to the neighbouring country’s offered assistance, as the whole reception ceremony along with the words of “thank you” sounded under a bridge on the outskirts of the city.

The decision taken by the Government of the Republic of Moldova to not organise the ceremony in the Grand National Assembly Square was discontentedly backfired by opposition representatives and civil society.

“Thank you Romania, for your unconditional and selfless help. Thank you, for the lesson of modesty, patience and sobriety. We know you didn’t expect a bridge of flowers, but you didn’t deserve flowers under the bridge either,” said the leader of Party of Actions and Solidarity, Maia Sandu.

Source: Facebook| Romanian Embassy to the Republic of Moldova

“What we observed lately in the relations of the Moldovan authorities with its partners and, first of all, with Romania is a series of institutional abuses and madness of some dignitaries, which is beyond all limits. In the end, the aid came to people, not to a small group of arrogant officials,” is said in the message of the deputies from the first Parliament of Moldova addressed to the current Parliament, as cited by ZdG.

When asked if he knew that the Romanian authorities had requested to hold the ceremony in the city centre of Chisinau, President Igor Dodon claimed that the president is not in charge of such matters, while the mayor of Chisinau, the socialist Ion Ceban, declared that it was not the competence of the City Hall to decide where the event would take place.

Moreover, when Prime Minister Ion Chicu was booed by the civilians who participated in the ceremony to welcome the aid coming from Romania, the Ambassador of Romania to the Republic of Moldova, Daniel Ionita, asked the participants to keep the solemnity of the event.

Moldovan officials certainly acknowledge the importance and usefulness of such a support offered by a partner Government. However, the reason why they promote childish political ambitions instead of a decent and educated way of saying “thank you” is not clear yet.

Photo: Facebook| Romanian Embassy to the Republic of Moldova

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