Social cohesion in the Republic of Moldova, which is analyzed by the Center “Partnership for Development” (CPD), in 2021 didn’t witness significant variations compared with last year. The analysis points to stagnation in the implementation of public policy measures and initiatives that can contribute to accelerating the ensuring of stronger social cohesion between members of society and between decision makers and the citizens. Cohesion this year stands at 0.34, up only 0.01 on last year, IPN reports.
Cohesive society ensures the wellbeing of each member, the fight against exclusion and marginalization. It creates a feeling of affiliation and trust and officers all its members equal opportunities of social mobility. The Social Cohesion Index is measured on a scale of 0 to 1, where zero means social exclusion, while 1 means perfect social cohesion.
The data for determining the level of social cohesion is obtained based on opinion polls. The CPD analysis includes the assessment of a set of variables that reflects the citizens’ perception of the level of vertical interaction (between authorities/institutions and citizens) and of horizontal interaction (between members of the same community). The index is calculated based on average values for four constituent dimensions: legitimacy, acceptance, participation and affiliation.
The national changes at the decision-making level that occur in Moldova, such as snap parliamentary elections and voting in of a new Government, have a positive effect on the accruing of the population’s trust and level of satisfaction with democracy in the country. In 2018, less than 13% of the citizens were satisfied with the decision-making activities, but in 2021 the figure rose to over 35%. The same tendency is seen in the case of legitimacy of justice: this year about 30% of the population trusts this process, as opposed to only 14.3% in 2018. Nevertheless, a significant part of the population does not have full trust in the social contract and the socially vulnerable categories (retired persons, persons with low incomes, persons with disabilities, the Roma) form part of this group. This way, Moldova has to cover more than half of the way to manage to really satisfy the needs of each member of this society.
The social cohesion analysis shows that the citizens became less solidary with categories that are more often subject to marginalization. Despite the efforts assumed at national level to ensure inclusion, the population’s predisposition to be tolerant towards more vulnerable categories in 2021 diminished. The level of acceptance decreased from 0.71 to 0.68 compared with last year. The prejudice and stereotypes significantly influence the predisposition to build social relations with minority groups. The study reveals that 40% of the citizens in 2021 would not accept to be neighbors with a person of Roma ethnicity, while 57% – with persons living with HIV/AIDS. As social cohesion refers to the society’s capacity to ensure the wellbeing of all its members, minimizing the disparities and avoiding polarization, as long as policies and programs designed to significantly diminish inequalities between different categories of people are not implemented, social cohesion is at risk.
The analysis “Social Cohesion in the Republic of Moldova” was carried out by the Center “Partnership for Development” in the framework of the project “Joint Equal Opportunity Initiative” that is implemented by East Europe Foundation in cooperation with CPD with funds from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).