The European Union is ready and wants to help Moldova, but a question remains, is the country able to efficiently use the potential of this partnership? The issue was developed by the participants in IPN’s public debate “European integration during the pandemic: new opportunities or stagnation?”.
“A lot depends on how we understand the notion of “European integration”, said Sergey Manastîrlî, director of the Center for Analyses, Research and Forecasts “Balkan Centre”. “Many in Moldova consider that this is nothing else but adherence to the European funds and frontiers. The Europeans yet understand this phrase in a different way - modification of the standards and methods. They are ready to support such integration. The statement on the results of the first ten years of implementation of the Eastern Partnership program contains a chapter centering on the economic support intended for the EaP countries and the special program for developing the small and medium-sized businesses, education, technologies and others”.
“But the situation in our country and the current atmosphere do not project rapid results in Moldova and this is not the Europeans’ blame,” stated the expert. According to him, we cannot accuse the Europeans of the fact that we elect the rulers we elect, like those who stole the US$ 1 billion, those who involved the Europeans in electoral processes in our country, those who hid behind geopolitical slogans for the sake of votes in elections”. “This does not dependent on Brussels. This is exclusively our problem. The Europeans can do nothing with this. Some of the European officials took part in our processes with pleasure, but we see what this led to,” stated Serghei Manastîrlî.
Alexandr Stahurskii, of the Center for Strategic Studies and Reforms, noted the absence of authorities’ responsibility to society is the main problem in Moldova’s development. “Instead of solving the pressing issues, we put the problem this way: let’s be friends against someone and, besides this friendship, give us money too. By such an approach, the reforms cannot be successful,” stated the expert.
Editor-in-chief of the economic publication “Logos-press” Dmitry Kalak is sure that only a critical look at the partnership with the EU can help us correct the situation. “This will help us realize what we should implement and promote and what we should renounce in order to minimize the side effects. It will then become clear that many of the successes of the Eastern Partnership could have been achieved without this program, while the slogans of European integration at any cost would have had fewer negative consequences,” stated the journalist.
The public debate “European integration during the pandemic: new opportunities or stagnation?” was staged in the framework of the project “Overcoming stereotypes of European integration by communication” that is implemented by IPN with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation.