The electorate’s European integration aspirations depend on the quality of communication of the ruling parties with the citizens. In 2005, 75% of the Moldovans were for the European integration of the Republic of Moldova, as a poll showed. This way, it was necessary for the Party of Communists that was ruling then to change the course of things. But there were also opposite effects. After the ‘billion theft’, when the Alliance for European Integration was in power, the number of citizens who were for European integration decreased to 40%. This shows how much the communication with the voters matters, expert Igor Boțan stated in a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency.
According to the standing expert of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates”, the European integration of Moldova is a legal and legitimate process. “For example, the current position of the Party of Communists of the parliamentary opposition, which was announced in the election campaign, is that the Constitution should be supplemented so that it stipulates the European course of the Republic of Moldova as an incontestable one. There are also other political forces that plead for the European integration of the Republic of Moldova. In 2019-2021, Prime Minister Ion Chicu in his statements insisted on the European course of the Republic of Moldova. In time, no one tried to change the name of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration,” stated the expert.
“The last polls show that most of the Moldovans plead for the European integration of the Republic of Moldova. Over the past ten years, 80-90% of the Moldovans who are abroad have voted for the pro-European parties. In general, between 2/3 and 3/4 of the Moldovan citizens plead for the European integration of the Republic of Moldova,” stated Igor Boțan.
He noted that the EU has a flexible attitude to the ruling parties. In 2006-2009, the Communist government was interested in attracting money from the European Union in budget support. The success story followed and there was the forum of March 24, 2010, when the Republic of Moldova received US$ 2 billion, half of which was grant funding, while the other half represented loans.
“On June 25, 2008, the then Communist government set the goal of obtaining the EU candidate status. The Republic of Moldova obtained this status in 2022, but with another government. The current government should promote its electoral platform as the electoral promises of the PAS government coincide with the conditions that the EU imposed on the Republic of Moldova for the country to become a member state of the European Union. There is EU support, but the parliamentary opposition should be engaged into serious discussions about the European integration,” stated Igor Boțan.
According to the expert, Moldova society is ready for Moldova to become an EU member state, but it should witness a coherent, appropriate narrative on the part of the government first of all. “I think the government has enough capacities to become involved in such a dialogue with the citizens. We, those who take part in such debates, should come with arguments to substantiate well that the European integration of the Republic of Moldova is absolutely legitimate and it has a story already and this story is over 25 years old,” said Igor Boțan.
The public debate titled “Candidate status and irreversibility of European integration rely on society’s wish: What does this depend on in current conditions?” was the 258th installment of the project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.