The freedom of the media, fight against corruption and change in the electoral system were among the subjects discussed by students of the State University of Moldova and Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland in a public lecture given on May 30. The official referred to the challenges to democratic security and the content of the Council of Europe Plan of Action for the Republic of Moldova for 2017-2020, which was launched the same day, IPN reports.
Thorbjorn Jagland started his speech by telling the students what the Council of Europe is and about the international documents that play an important role in its work, including the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He said the international organization has always been a force of Peace and cooperation anchored in the common heritage, human rights and democracy.
“The human rights are very important, in particular for each of us, and are as important for establishing Peace in general in Europa,” stated Thorbjorn Jagland. He noted that political pluralism is important in a society and it is as important for these political movements not to struggle, but to cooperate between them so as to promote the social, not the political or personal interests.
Thorbjorn Jagland referred also to the progress made by the Republic of Moldova and also to the problems faced by it. “The Republic of Moldova has a problem with corruption, money laundering, the fact that particular rich persons are involved in politics and business and the influence of money in politics,” he stated, underlining that considerable pressure is exerted on civil society of Moldova.
“We should not stop the reforms indicated in the Plan of Action as these are essential for the future of this state.”
As regards the authorities’ intention to change the electoral system, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe said he discussed and will discuss this issue with extraparliamentary parties during his visit to Moldova and is waiting for the Venice Commission’s opinion about the bill and the subsequent actions of Parliament should depend on the Commission’s conclusions.
Asked when the Republic of Moldova could switch over to a new stage in the monitoring process given that the rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe speak about Moldova’s progress, Thorbjorn Jagland said not the Council of Europe member states decide when the monitoring can be dropped as this is needed permanently in each area.
“No one can avoid the monitoring. The monitoring of state institutions depends a lot on the progress made in doing reforms, while the elimination of corruption, which is an important issue, should not be ignored and unmonitored,” stated the official.
Thorbjorn Jagland is a Norwegian politician who is serving his second term as Secretary General of the Council of Europe. He is paying a visit to the Republic of Moldova during May 30-31, at the invitation of the Government of Moldova.