Igor Boțan: Democratic freedoms cannot be sacrificed for sake of relative socioeconomic achievements

In the context of the European integration process in the Republic of Moldova, there is a dilemma, namely if it is acceptable to sacrifice democratic freedoms, the democratic process and justice in the Republic of Moldova for the sake of relative socioeconomic achievements. Something like this compromises the whole European integration process, standing expert of IPN’s project Igor Boțan stated in the public debate “Year 2018: accomplishments, failures and challenges in Moldova’s European integration” that was the 99th installment of the series “Developing political culture through public debates” staged by IPN News Agency and Radio Moldova.

The expert noted the EU documents say it clearly that the situation concerning democracy in the Republic of Moldova has worsened. On the other hand, these documents note particular progress was made in the socioeconomic sector and this thing should be taken into account when discussing the accomplishments and failures. The two resolutions of the European Parliament said particular results cannot be denied. “For example, things in the banking system and in the customs system were brought in order. The amounts collected by the customs increased and these cannot be denied. On the other hand, the backsliding in democracy exists,” he stated.

The expert reminded of the statements made by ex-minister of justice Alexandru Tănase at the start of 2018. “Then, he admitted publicly that the justice sector reform in the Republic of Moldova simply failed. As to the invalidation of the mayoral elections in Chisinau, which were won in an honest electoral struggle, as the election monitoring organizations ascertained, everyone saw that corporate solidarity of the judiciary and this revealed a big problem,” said Igor Boțan, According to him, everyone saw what happened in November, when changes were made to the Election Code in a manner that cannot be accepted.

The expert said the referendum day was set based on a law that will take effect on December 30. Also, a very interesting process of suspending the President from office takes place and something like this is outrageous. “There are a number of things that should worry us.”

He noted that high-ranking European officials said the Association Agreement with the EU is based on values and Moldova, signing this document, agreed to abide by these values. “It does not seem right to me to sacrifice freedoms and values for the sake of accomplishments,” stated Igor Boțan.

He added the Association Agreement is the most important document that the Republic of Moldova ever signed and there are no areas of the public life - economic, social or of another kind - that would not be covered by this document. This thing was also said by the current leaders of the Party of Socialists. According to them, there is no alternative to Moldova’s European integration. This thesis was announced when Zinaida Grecheanyi was running and when she became Premier.

The debate “Year 2018: accomplishments, failures and challenges in Moldova’s European integration” forms part of the series of public debates staged by IPN News Agency and Radio Moldova as part of the project “Developing political culture through public debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.

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