Recently, in one of his interviews, the Head of the EU Delegation to Moldova Peter Michalko said the relations between the EU and Moldova developed, while the implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU reached a rather high level. However, both civil society and the political opposition insist that there is no activism in implementing European modernization programs and reforms in Moldova. The real state of affairs was discussed by the participants in IPN’s public debate “Current place of European integration on Moldova’s sociopolitical agenda.”
“If we represent graphically the way in which Moldova implements the European integration agenda, we will obtain a sinusoid that will vertiginously go up and will then fall under the starting point. But now this curb is uncertain,” said jurist Ștefan Gligor, the project’s standing expert.
He sees the reasons for such a situation in the events that happened after the coming to power of the pro-European coalition in 2010. “The pro-European alliance managed to obtain and to capitalize on the sympathies and hopes of society concerning economic development and democratization. But this, instead of meeting people’s expectations, permitted extended acts of corruption that became systemic. Formally, Moldova followed the European integration path, but the EU was disappointed by the development partner. It turned out that during four years, prominent representatives of the pro-European coalition worked only for their own benefit. This led to the worsening of the relations and the freezing of funds. As a result, for the sixth year already, we have endured the consequences of the betrayal committed by the pro-European majority,” explained the expert. He is sure that as long as the representatives of this vicious system influence the decision-making process in the state, the real European integration process will remain outside the authorities’ attention.
The head of the Peoples’ Assembly of Moldova Olga Gonchearova said the European integration not as a statement, but as a real movement for implementing reforms is absent now in Moldova. “I can be contradicted and told that reforms actually started. But no! These are not reforms, but just discussions about them,” she stated.
According to her, the government does not speak about the European integration as this would be the only electoral promise delivered by Igor Dodon. “He said the Association Agreement will be terminated, while the European integration is not for us. Therefore, nothing happens,” stated Olga Goncharova.
She noted that the opposition does not support the European integration agenda. “It’s hard to say that our opposition is opposition. Its behavior looks rather like a sluggish game for opposing the power. It comes only with declarative slogans about reforms. Even Pro Moldova: the first thing it did was to say that it is for European integration, but this is just a shield to hide the goal of getting gains. Today, the Moldovan government’s concerns and the opposition’s concerns reside in the protection of the own interests,” said Olga Goncharova.
Executive director of the Piligrim-Demo Center Mikhail Sirkeli mentioned two causes for the stagnation of the European integration process in Moldova. “First of all, it is the source of legitimacy of the main personage of the power Igor Dodon. This resides in the photos of him and Vladimir Putin and in Vladimir Putin’s support. But he could also receive recommendations in domestic policy issues and also in foreign policy issues. Probably for this reason, he travels so often to Moscow,” stated the expert.
“On the other hand, we do not see a state approach in the current government: what shall we do in general with the Republic of Moldova. The reforms proposed by the EU are welcomed by Moldovan society. Regrettably, the government is not interested in them,” concluded Mikhail Sirkeli.
The public debate “Current place of European integration on Moldova’s sociopolitical agenda” forms part of the project “Overcoming of European Integration Stereotypes through Communication” that is implemented with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.