Igor Boțan: EU is ready to offer assistance, but wants reciprocity

Expert Igor Boțan said the European Union is ready to offer assistance to Moldova because it wants to protect its borders and wants credible partners close to its borders. When it comes with support, the EU wants reciprocity from the Moldovan authorities. The conditionality elements imposed by the European partners derive from here. The opinions were stated in the public debate “About the quality of the EU-RM relationship through the angle of the six, old and new conditions” that was staged by IPN News Agency.

IPN Project’s standing expert Igor Boțan said that during ten years the EU pumped almost €2 billion. “Everyone remembers the launch of the big justice sector reform in May 2011. The reform commission was headed by the then Speaker of Parliament Marian Lupu, while its deputy chairman was Vladimir Plahotniuc. In January 2018, the minister of justice appeared before the people and said that the justice sector reform failed. It happened after the EU pumped about €60 million in this reform,” he stated.

The expert also reminded of the fact that in November 2017, after the signing of the memorandum on the provision of €100 million in macro-financial assistance, the EU announced that it decided to suspend the support for the justice sector reform. “The EU, after pumping so much money and considering that it has reliable partners in the Republic of Moldova, had to say that things stagnate. The billion was stolen, the justice sector reform reached deadlock. What should be done next? The EU, as usual, had a strategy, a new explanation for the authorities and the people. We must meet three major conditions – to have functional institutions, to have a friendly business climate and to have independent justice. Does the European Union or we need these things?” asked Igor Boțan.

According to him, the EU says that at a new stage, it is ready to help us become a credible partner. But the authorities should turn Moldova into a platform where people from everyone would want to come and invest. “The EU would not always offer grants and pump money. It offers support at the beginning and the state should develop and become attractive to investors. The country will not become attractive to investors as long as justice is not independent. The conditionality elements derive from here,” stated the expert.

He noted that the years pass and intelligent and well-trained people with initiative leave the country because they do not see prospects here. Those who remain always get stuck in this dialogue with the partners from the EU, which not only once showed that they are open and sincerely want to offer assistance in solving problems in Moldova. That’s why the old conditionality elements mingle with the new ones.

The debate “About the quality of the EU-RM relationship through the angle of the six, old and new conditions” was the 147th installment of the debates project “Developing political culture through public debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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