Igor Boţan: Vote on “European integration” was a matter of political opportunity

The attempt to introduce the ‘European integration’ phrase in the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova was a matter of political opportunity, the standing expert of IPN’s project Igor Boțan stated in the public debate “European integration in the Constitution and in life” that was the 95th installment of the series “Developing political culture by public debates” that are staged by IPN News Agency and Radio Moldova.

Ion Boţan reminded that the constitutional amendment proposal was examined by the Constitutional Court and this approved of it. In the debates held in Parliament on October 19, the promoters of the bill made it clear that  the modification attempt was symbolic. “However, during the debates I followed in Parliament I understood from the speeches of the promoters of the bill, the MPs of the Democratic Party, that it is a symbolical thing, but symbolical and with repercussions for eventual cases when political forces of another orientation come to power so that they are unable to ignore these clauses inserted in the Constitution. So, we reach the conclusion that it was a political opportunity – to introduce this amendment in the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, enshrining the Europeans development course of the county at constitutional level, or not,” he stated.

The expert noted that in the debates held in Parliament it was announced that 67 votes were needed to amend the Constitution and this is curious as 67 is smaller than 2/3 of 101 MPs, which means 67.3 votes, and 68 votes were needed. “The Constitution says that the constitutional laws are adopted by 2/3 of the votes of MPs. This is a situation with an impact for the future. The Constitutional Court or someone else should tell us by what minimum number of votes the Constitution is amended,” stated the expert.

In the debate, Igor Boţan noted that the Party of Socialists is against the insertion of the given phrase in the Constitution, but some of the representatives of the administration of this party were earlier members of the Party of Communists and in 2005 voted the declaration on the European integration of the Republic of Moldova as an irreversible course. The same thing was confirmed in 2009, before the early parliamentary elections. He does not agree with the Socialists’ assertion that the European integration is the ideology of a particular party.

According to the expert, the documents issued by the EU in relation to Moldova have shown that the European commitments are not respected. “The citizens will say: why should we insert the European integration in the Constitution if things that are contrary to the European spirit actually take place? That’s why I say that it is a matter of opportunity,” stated Igor Boţan.

He also said the failure to introduce the European integration in the Constitution will have effects and these will influence the political struggle before the elections. The representatives of political parties will adjust their messages to the October 19 vote held in Parliament.

According to Igor Boţan, the EU has never advised Moldova to insert such a clause in the Constitution. “There is the Association Agreement that says everything. And the EU’s reaction to the failed vote was appropriate – we should speak less about the EU and should properly implement the provisions of the Association Agreement,” he stated.

The debate “European integration in the Constitution and in life” forms part of the series of public debates held by IPN News Agency and Radio Moldova as part of the project “Developing political culture by public debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.

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