Public Debate: Political Culture in the context of a polarization of political choices in Moldova

Press Release
on the organization of the debate „
Political Culture in the context of a polarization of political choices in Moldova. Pro-European option: change as a chance and remedies against fear of change”, the 34th installment of the “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” Series, held by the news agency IPN in its conference room with the support of the German Foundation “Hanns Seidel”


The 34th debate was aimed at discussing the state of spirit in Moldovan society, related to the European option of the Republic of Moldova in its development course. To be achieved, this option needs at least two essential preconditions: the Republic of Moldova to want to integrate into the European Union, and the EU Member States to want to accept the Republic of Moldova as an associate country or as a member country. The participants were asked to assess the will and capacity to bring the two sides closer as well as the reasons that slow down the rapprochement and the solutions for accelerating it.

One of the conclusions reached by the participants was that the European Union is the natural option for the development and modernization of Moldova and of the other countries of the region as well. Even if some of the social categories, including the national minorities, oppose such an option, a national consensus about this course can and should be reached by mutual respect within society and by transparency in doing reforms. Such statements were made in the public debate entitled

”One of the reasons why the European idea wash’s one that would divide is that rationally the governments of different orientations, cultures and ideologies repeatedly took steps towards the EU. We didn’t impose this option on Moldova or Ukraine. The countries themselves asked to come closer to the EU as large segments of the population and the elites saw in this an instrument for modernization,” said the Head of the EU Delegation to Moldova Pirkka Tapiola. According to him, the pluralism of opinions and options within society is normal and should not be a reason for conflicts as, in the end, everyone shares the same ambitions. “What people want in society? To live better, to have clear rules, a level playing field, a better justice system, a better fight against corruption… The more the quality of this goes up, the easier it will be to bring together these two entities,” stated Pirkka Tapiola.

The project’s permanent expert Igor Botan, director of the Association for Participatory Democracy (ADEPT), said that the USSR itself signed an economic agreement with the EU and afterward, the states that appeared as a result of the fall of the USSR, signed themselves separate agreements. In Moldova’s case, all the governments, starting from the agrarians and ending with the pro-European coalition, took smaller or bigger steps towards the EU. “We have four political governments that ruled the country and each of them took by a step in a certain direction called the European integration,” stated Igor Botan. He expressed his confidence that regardless of the exact composition of the government coalition, the road to the EU will be continued. However, some of the parties in the election campaign will make effort to use the pro-Russian voters or Euro-skeptics to promote the pro-Customs Union option.

Anatol Taranu, director of the Institute for Political Analysis and Consultancy “Politicon”, wondered why almost half of Moldova’s population shares another option than the European one, if this is the natural one. According to him, on the one hand, the problem results from the attitude of some of the national minorities. “A part of our population formed part of the old dominant imperial nation, with certain privileges and advantages. Not everyone is ready to give up these privileges and advantages, most of which are already imaginary,” he stated. The second category of Euro-skeptics consists of social groups with a low general or political culture, less informed about the EU. “The only solution is for the government and civil society organizations to make effort to integrate the national minorities into society. As important is the effort to culturalize the masses without which the European idea cannot win ground in Moldova.”

The Agency published 7 news stories on the debate (see the English version of on 16.10.14, „European Union is Moldova’s natural option, IPN debate” -; on 17.10.14, „Moldova must form itself as a civic nation, IPN debate” -; „Corrupt elites undermine Moldova’s European course, IPN debate” -; “ Political culture of Moldovans suffers because of historical inheritance, Anatol Taranu” -; on 18.10.14, „EU will continue to support Moldova regardless of who governs it, Pirkka Tapiola” -; “Even Russia wants free trade with EU, Igor Botan” -; on 20.10.14,“ Customs Union is only electoral trick, not a real government option, Igor Botan” -

Valeriu Vasilica, director of IPN

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