Chisinau last week hosted the first ever joint meeting of the Parliaments of Romania and the Republic of Moldova, which ended with the adoption of a joint statement whose text starts with the enumeration of the conditions of the special relations between the two states, which are based on the “common language, history, culture, traditions, European values and aspirations”. The Presidents of the Parliaments of the Republic of Moldova and Romania Igor Grosu, Florin Cîțu and Marcel Ciolacu signed the joint statement that underlines the open and constructive character of the bilateral cooperation. The document says that Romania will continue to offer robust and constant support to the Republic of Moldova and will support the acceleration of the adoption of standards and regulations compatible with the European Union’s norms. Also, the two legislative bodies stated their strong determination to continue the close cooperation and coordination in areas of responsibility and of mutual interest.
Historic meeting ... in reduced variant...
In the current context, the bilateral relationship between the two Romanian states enjoys unprecedented openness in the past 30 years, being based on a strategic partnership for the European integration of the Republic of Moldova. The unprecedented intensification of the strategic partnership is primarily due to the existence of a pro-European and pro-reform ruling majority in the Republic of Moldova at present, which shows a lot of political will and takes concrete actions towards the acceleration of the process of transforming and modernizing Moldovan society according to the European standards.
The press described the joint meeting of the legislatures as a historic meeting. In particular retrospective terms, this description is appropriate. Even if the Parliament of Romania was represented by slightly over 60 members of the Chamber of Deputies and of the Senate out of the over 400 Romanian MPs, they yet represented all the parliamentary groups. Moldova’s Parliament was represented only by the members of the majority group of the Party of Action and Solidary, with the Communists, Socialists and Șor Party MPs ignoring this historic political event by their absence from the meeting. So, it was a joint meeting of the Parliament of Romania with only a group of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, even if this is the largest parliamentary group.
The event held in Chisinau was somehow overshadowed by the ban on entering the Republic of Moldova imposed on MP George Simion, AUR leader, which was announced by the customs authorities of the Chisinau Airport. Simion was to be part of the Romanian parliamentary delegation that was invited to the joint meeting of the Romanian and Moldovan Parliaments, even if he was declared undesirable on Moldova’s territory for a period of five years, until 2023. It is highly improbable that the Moldovan side maintained the ban for Simion without having preliminary consultations with the Romanian side. They probably took into account the unpredictable behavior of the Romanian MP Simion, his scandalous public appearances. So as to keep the sobriety of the joint Moldovan-Romanian parliamentary meeting, it was taken this less inflame decision to prevent the appearance of the AUR MP at this meeting. This is a controversial decision that does not lack political flaws.
Prudence on both banks of the river
The perception of the incomplete presence of the Moldovan Parliament at the joint meeting with the Romanian counterparts was felt in the speeches of the Moldovan MPs. The lack of MPs with a politically assumed unionist position among the PAS speakers turned the speeches given by the Moldovan lawmakers into a verbal parade of the Moldovan-state apologism with European undertones. Evidently, the reverence for the common language, culture of the people living on both sides of the Prut wasn’t absent. But the essential was absent – the fact that we are a nation, that the area of our development as an ethnic nation embraces both sides of the Prut and, in virtue of these historical circumstances, we have the right to national reunification. It is regrettable that the PAS MPs missed a unique public opportunity to detach the Republic of Moldova “from the Russian world”, which stages a military aggression in our region, by a political stance assumed at the highest parliamentary level, by declaring the affiliation of the majority ethnic group of the Moldovan state to the Romanian world or, by extension, to the European world.
In the speeches of the Romanian MPs at the joint meeting of Parliaments, reluctance to exactly define the identity problem of the Moldovan state was also felt. They spoke more about the strategic partnership between the two states so that the Republic of Moldova is connected to the European Union as swiftly as possible. The Romanian MPs spoke about the Union rather from the perspective of the European integration of the Republic of Moldova, saying that the Union of the two Romanian states will occur naturally within the European Union. Even if this careful approach to the perspective of the Union in the speeches of the Romanians MPs generated particular criticism, we should admit that the unionist initiative is the remit and preferred responsibility of the politicians of the Republic of Moldova.
Trenchant position on eventual political-military developments
In this regard, a trenchant position on the Union in the joint meeting of the Parliaments was formulated by Titus Corlățean, the Chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee of the Senate of Romania, who gave a strong impetus for the rethinking of the political strategy of the authorities and also of the civil society in Chisinau as regards the natural destiny of the two Romanian states. Titus Corlățean made really sensational statements concerning the possible political-military developments in the region and Romanian’s reactions to these challenges. Referring to dangerous military developments for the Republic of Moldova that can come from the Black Sea Region, the distinguished Romanian MP and diplomat assured Chisinau that the main support will come from over the Prut. “We are there, are prepared and feel you by our side and the decision to act in concert in case of unfavorable developments belongs to you”.
This statement was further underscored by Titus Corlățean’s affirmation about the declarations he made in the past in the presence of high-ranking European officials, about the similarity between the German reunification after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the future Romanian reunification that is waiting for it turn. We should mention here the particular synchronization of approaches made in Bucharest with those made in Chisinau, where the Committee for Unity and Welfare (CUB) in one of its statements noted: “The Romanian reunification is a process identical to the reunification of the German people after the fall of the Berlin Wall and should be treated by the EU in such terms and no one can have the right of veto against this process”.
Once in a century
The joint meeting of the Parliaments of Romania and the Republic of Moldova, which was recently held in Chisinau, showed once again the huge potential of the bilateral relations between the two Romanian states, which is yet to be realized. The geopolitical developments of the period of the Russo-Ukrainian war generate major economic and political risks, particularly in areas close to the ongoing war. But alongside risks, the war also generates unimaginable opportunities in times of peace. The Republic of Moldova can benefit from these opportunities only if it coordinates and synchronizes its actions with Romania, the behavioral model of 1918 being the most relevant one in this regard. Let’s hope that the current Moldovan political class will cope with the challenges of time and will not miss the chance of implementing the national ideal that recurs once in a century.
IPN publishes in the Op-Ed rubric opinion pieces submitted by authors not affiliated with our editorial board. The opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily coincide with the opinions of our editorial board.