Press Release on the organization of the debate “Lessons learned and to be learned. Overcoming and preventing political crises: the role of politicians and society – part 2”, the 20th installment of the “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” Series, supported by the German Foundation “Hanns Seidel”

Debate 20 was a sequel to debate 19 as it followed a virtually identical agenda and was based on the same discussion structure. The subject of the lessons that should be learned by the Moldovan political class and society from the recent political crisis is very diverse and understanding them is crucial for enhancing the levels of political culture within society and, hence, for improving the chances of the country's modernization. Therefore it was decided that a practical approach to this would be to have two top-ranking speakers and two suites of experts in two separate debates. The outcome of the debates has indicated this approach was the right one. Moreover, both debates represented a high point in the implementation of the Project, as their particularities demonstrated yet again the Project's importance and the special place it has acquired within the Moldovan media space.

It's worth noting that the last two debates enjoyed perhaps the most competent and representative line-up of speakers and experts. The fact that the leaders of two major political parties accepted to speak at the debates indicates that they have become a respected and popular platform for expressing views and opinions on the most important and urgent issues affecting Moldova today. While in the Project’s initial stages there were cases when high-ranking invitees chose to delegate lower-ranking representatives or failed to show up, without notice, after accepting the invitation, after the last two debates we received calls from prime politicians who asked if they could participate in debates too. Some of them were politely reminded that they had previously treated our invitations with less attention.

In terms of the Project debates’ quality and role in society, the presence of reputed experts in these two debates is also worth remarking.

Further, in the last few debates the quality of the audience also rose considerably. Reporters, who since recently have been offered the right to ask questions in the final part of the debates, are increasingly interested in attending. Another welcome category of audience that has appeared recently are experts and even leaders of political groups, who participate in the debate outside of the line-up speaking at the table. They show interest in both the formal and informal part of the event, attending the coffee break which traditionally follows each debate. This was also true of the last two debates.

At the August 11 debate, the leader of the Democratic Party Marian Lupu suggested that the latest political crisis was caused by the level of general and political culture of the Moldovan politicians. “We can speak about institutions and their functionality, but the human factor was important. There is nothing strange in political competition, but the corporate interests often prevailed”. He stressed that Moldova’s European integration course implies a change of approaches as the political elite must increase its level of political culture. The politicians must become Europeans, while the parties must become promoters of European principles and standards.

Electoral strategist Olga Nicolenco is convinced that even if the crisis was called political and even if the politicians were the main players, it affected all the spheres of life. A crisis means regression in reforms and their promotion. “The crisis scared foreign investors away and reduced the political activism of society and the pace of creating veritable European traditions”. Olga Nicolenco added that this crisis affected her personally, but she is satisfied how it was solved. “I admit that the crisis was overcome due to the politicians. They realized the dangers and the damage that could have been caused to the country. The mass media also played a part as they showed what was done and what wasn’t done. The civil society representatives made their contribution too”.  

IMAS general manager Doru Petruti believes that everyone realized what a political crisis is. “We learned that it is very hard to implement sociological measures during a political crisis. We saw how fast opinions change and how sensitive society is. We saw how the wish to have early elections increased during several months as the people saw no other way out. There were preconditions for the configuration in Parliament to change significantly. The images of the political players were affected, with small exceptions, while parties’ scores modified considerably,” said the expert.

Igor Botan, executive director of the Association for Participatory Democracy ADEPT, considers that such political crisis as the last one enable to test the durability of the state institutions and the quality of civil society and the mass media, and society should not be afraid of such processes. “The leaders reached the conclusion that they should step aside and allow their colleagues to take their place. These new persons are competent and you are proud when you hear them speaking. The crisis was solved in an exemplary way, owing to the foreign factor and the pressure exerted by the opposition. I think that the fear for the opposition’s revenge was one of the decisive factors that led to the solving of the crisis,” stated Igor Botan.

The Agency published 6 news stories on the debate (see the English version of on 11.07.13, “Marian Lupu: Previous and current formats of government are different” -, “Excessive aversion of Moldovan politicians led to political crisis, statement” -, on 12.07.13, “ Resolution of political crisis wasn’t influenced from outside, Marian Lupu” - , “If external influence had been exerted, Moldova wouldn’t have experienced political crisis, opinion” - , “ Political crisis in Moldova was resolved in exemplary way, Igor Botan” -, on 13.07.13 “Doru Petrutsi: Government coalition faces an identity problem” -

Valeriu Vasilica, director of IPN

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