Elena Mârzac: Lack of social cohesion is one of risks to national security

The lack of social cohesion is one of the most serious risks to the national security of the Republic of Moldova. “We have a divided society and should work actively in this regard,” Elena Mârzac, executive director of the Information and Documentation Center on NATO, said in a public debate titled “Resistance to shock in Eastern Partnership – EU approach vs. NATO variant” that was staged by IPN News Agency.

She also said that the COVID-19 pandemic showed how inefficient and non-functional the systems are in the management of crisis situations, while the lack of trust between the Government, civil society and the citizens endangers further the existing vulnerabilities. “There is no inter-institutional cooperation. There is no direct message to the citizens, national narrative as to why we act this way,” she stated, noting there were no capacities for managing the crisis and assistance was thus asked from foreign organizations or partners.

In the partnership between Moldova and NATO, a big problem of Moldova resides in the inability to decide the level of involvement in this cooperation, Moldova having a separate place in the system of partnerships with NATO. Moldova should broader use the “menu” and all the programs and initiatives offered by the EU and NATO and should not only mimic particular actions when there are initiatives on the part of the two entities for developing partnerships.

The seven NATO points concerning desistence to shocks, designed after the Warsaw Summit, are essential and are the Moldovan Government’s responsibility. In the communication with NATO, Moldova is every time told that there should be the Government’s responsibility, a demand on the part of this. “In general, the relationship with NATO is based on the Government’s requests, not vice versa. Particular activities are not imposed,” stated Elena Mârzac.

She also said that the EU and NATO need these partnerships to strength resilience by exchanging experience with countries that face hybrid threats, like Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia. For their part, the partner states, including Moldova, can undertake good practices from the EU and NATO.

Civil society or particular organizations in Moldova could contribute to partnerships with governmental institutions, to helping the population realize particular risks, to developing critical thinking, etc. Civil society and educational institutions should become involved in explaining the role of each citizen and in promoting a voice independent from that of the Government.

The debate “Resistance to shock in Eastern Partnership – EU approach vs. NATO variant” was the 148th installment of the debates project “Developing political culture through public debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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