Launched on April 19, the Council of Europe Action Plan for the Republic of Moldova 2021-2024 is a strategic programming instrument that aims to bring the Republic of Moldova’s legislation, institutions and practice further into line with European standards in the areas of human rights, the rule of law and democracy, IPN reports.
Under this Action Plan, the Council of Europe and the Moldovan authorities have agreed to carry forward jointly, through co-operation projects, reforms initiated in the past in areas such as the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights’ case law at national level, aligning national legislation and practice concerning anti-discrimination and gender equality with European standards, strengthening the national child protection framework to combat sexual exploitation and abuse of children, enhancing the independence and accountability of the judicial system, improving electoral legislation and practice, reforming the prison system and promoting alternatives to detention, promoting gender equality, advancing the compliance of national practices with European standards in the field of media and Internet governance, enhancing data protection in the country, developing the capacity of law enforcement and other agencies to respond to corruption and money laundering and increasing dialogue and building confidence between both banks of the Nistru river.
New areas of co-operation identified in the Action Plan include legal aid, mediation and reconciliation in criminal matters, fighting drug abuse and illicit trafficking in drugs, protection of human rights in the health sector and addressing new challenges linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic impact, particularly on social rights. In addition, the Council of Europe and Moldovan authorities plan to intensify efforts to counter trafficking in human beings, prevent and combat violence against women and enhance local self-government.
The Council of Europe will continue to promote the ratification of the Istanbul Convention. The Organization will aim specifically to raise awareness of the Convention standards on gender equality and violence against women among key stakeholders and to build the capacity to implement them once the Istanbul Convention has been ratified.
Based on an analysis of the current situation and previous results, the Council of Europe will continue supporting judicial reforms aiming to increase public trust in the institutions, enhance co-operation between justice and legal stakeholders and strengthen the capacities of prosecutors, judges and judicial staff.
Also, the Council of Europe will assist the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection in promoting psychosocial rehabilitation programs and guarantees for patients in psychiatric institutions, inclining those who are treated by constraint.
This Action Plan was approved by the Committee of Ministers on November 25, 2020 and is based, to a large extent, on the most recent recommendations, resolutions and findings of the Council of Europe’s monitoring and expert advisory bodies in respect of the country. It is also a follow-up to the results achieved under the Action Plan for 2017-2020.
The overall budget of this Action Plan is estimated at €13.7 million.