Public Debate: Romania as a model for Moldova to follow on its Eurointegration path

Press Release
on the organization of the debate
“Romania as a model for Moldova to follow on its Eurointegration path”, the 30th installment of the “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” Series; Public debates series held by the news agency IPN in its conference room with the support of the German Foundation “Hanns Seidel”

The we found the subject discussed in the 30th debate to be interesting, topical as well as extremely helpful in light of our Project objectives and especially considering the importance of the processes related to the upcoming signing of Moldova's Association Agreement with the European Union. We discussed the subject also having in mind the legislative elections later this year, which are thought to hold the key to the irreversibility of Moldova's European integration course, as well as the regional crisis in Ukraine, which is also related to the neighboring country's European aspirations.

These are deep, complicated, systemically and in a way unprecedented issues in Moldova's recent history and these processes are marked by a search for answers to crucial questions, by clashes of opinions, of arguments and views. It is thus absolutely natural to look at similar or at least proximate experience to better understand what we need to do now and in the future with our European integration path. The most proximate experience is obviously the Romanian one, in so many ways, including in space, in time, in terms of linguistic and historical heritage and mentality similarities. So in this debate we decided to discuss the need and possibility of making use of the Romanian experience, and the degree to which this has already been done, on the path towards European integration. Achieved results were also to be discussed.

The speakers in the debate agreed that Romania can be a model for Moldova in the European integration process because the two states have many things in common, but the experience of which Moldova can make use should be adjusted to the specific features of Moldovan society and the internal climate.

Romanian Ambassador in Chisinau Marius Lazurca said that his country has European integration experience that is rather fresh for being shared with Moldova. “There were periods of more intense work done in concert and less favorable periods. I now have the chance to see that the relations are very intense and the pro-European policies of the successive governments of Moldova had important openness towards Romania. This should surprise no one. It would be hard to imagine a pro-European geopoliticla option with certain reserve towards Romania.

“We have to do a lot of work together, but in Romania nobody regrets the Soviet Union and this is an element that makes us different. In Romania there is no nostalgia for the Soviet past. The Soviet Union has a negative image and if Romania wants to promote and already promotes a development model in Moldova, it must take this distinction into account. What is different is that a very acute anti-communism feeling appeared in Romania after the Revolution of 1989. Naming someone communist in Romania is a very serious offense. If we do not understand from the very beginning that there is a great difference, we risk having false expectations or misunderstandings on both banks of the Prut,” said Marius Lazurca.

In the same connection, executive director of the Association for Participatory Democracy ADEPT Igor Botan said that Moldova is able to learn and assess models, especially the Romanian model of European integration. “Moldova does not have alternatives to implementing successful European integration models, especially because Romanian is an official language of the EU. Also, Moldova will have to cover the same stages as Romania, but the contexts are different,” said the expert.

According to him, in 2005, by the unanimous adoption by Parliament of the documents on the European integration and the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, Moldova was close to having a pro-European convention of the whole political class, similar to the Snagov Agreement that was signed by the political class of Romania. But in 2009, the Communist Party distanced itself from the European course after it lost 15% of the people’s votes in elections, while 53% of the people said that they are nostalgic for the Soviet Union in a public survey.

Igor Botan said that Romania can be an example for Moldova as regards the stages covered in the European integration process, but we should not forget about the contexts in which Romania became part of the EU. Moldova should be supported by Romania in this process and should solve its internal problems very carefully so as not to destabilize the internal situation.

Executive director of the Comrat Youth Center “Piligrim-Demo” Mihail Sirkeli said that Moldova can learn many positive things from Romania as regards the national minorities and their integration into society. Romania’s role in the European integration process is important for Moldova, but is perceived negatively by the residents of Gagauzia, who have pronounced nostalgia for the Soviet Union and do not want Romania to play a visible role in the rapprochement between Moldova and the EU.

According to Mihail Sirkeli, the Russian side furnishes the people in Gagauzia with stereotypes and representatives of civil society of Moldova and Romania should visit the region more often and should talk to the people there so as to dispel the stereotypes and prejudice.

The Agency published 7 news stories on the debate (see the English version of on 02.06.14, “ Romania can be a model for Moldova in European integration process, IPN debate” -; on 03.06.14, “ Marius Lazurca: Pro-European option cannot exist with political reserve towards Romania” -; “ Moldova’s integration into EU can be ensured by social pact, Romanian ambassador” -; “Europe will show its back if Moldova abandons European course, opinion” -; “Eradication of corruption, political will and mental revolution are needed, Marius Lazurca” -; on 04.06.14: „Political class uses general public to promote its political message, opinion” -; “Marius Lazurca: Moldova must find own method of dialogue with national minorities” -”.

Valeriu Vasilica, director of IPN

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