A rather unexpected change in the government’s position on the necessity of adopting in Parliament the bills asked by the European Union for disbursing the ordinary tranche of €30 million of the macro-financial assistance was witnessed several days ago. After a long period of categorical rejection of the necessity of adopting the given laws by a component of the government coalition and by the senior state officials for the reason that they are contrary to the state interests, a press release issued in the evening of June 5 announced that all the components of the state authorities are predisposed to support and vote the given laws, with the relevant amendments. The twist and the possible effects of such a change were discussed in the public debate “Voting of EU conditions: parliamentary majority’s twist” that was staged by IPN News Agency.
Igor Boțan, the standing expert of IPN’s project, said the Republic of Moldova for the first time asked for support from the EU in 2015, following the bank fraud. “After the situation of November-December 2014, in January 2015 the community of EU ambassadors to the Republic of Moldova and other development partners issued an informative note to the Government of Moldova. After the Government led by Kiril Gaburici was invested, this document determined the further developments. The Government headed by Valeriu Streleț was later appointed and in August this filed the application for assistance to the EU, which decided to suspend the financial support for Moldova. Half a year later, the Government led by Pavel Filip reiterated the request to the EU. After approximately a year, in 2017, the EU decided to provide €100 million in macro-financial assistance in three tranches. In a forum dedicated to the Eastern Partnership that involved the then Premier Pavel Filip and the then minister of finance Octavian Armașu, there was signed a memorandum with 28 conditions that the Republic of Moldova negotiated in exchange for support.
According to the expert, very important events followed. The Filip Government worked out two roadmaps in order to persuade the development partners that they want to bring Moldova back to the path to development. Even if the Government made effort, other sensitive aspects intervened, including the annulment of the elections in Chisinau. That’s why the transfer of the tranches of the macro-financial assistance was repeatedly put off. Last year, as a result of the developments on the political arena, the first tranche was unblocked. Later, there was dismissed the Sandu Government and many of the made promises weren’t fulfilled. Meanwhile, things that weren’t covered by the memorandum of 2017 appeared and additional conditionality elements derived as a result. Prime Minister Ion Chicu referred to these later, saying Moldova should fulfill its obligations. However, the position of the Party of Socialists and Premier Chicu changed later.
According to him, a line should be drawn and those conditionality elements should be satisfied as they are rather the commitments undertaken by Moldova. “It should be clear that it does not go to conditionality elements needed by the European Union. It goes to the commitments that the Republic of Moldova undertook based on the basic document – the Association Agreement with the EU. It’s clear that the Republic of Moldova undertook those commitments based on the European values that it shares, the goal being to come closer to the EU,” stated Igor Boțan.
Democratic MP Ion Leucă said the second tranche of €30 million of the EU’s macro-financial assistance is extremely necessary during the current pandemic. His colleagues, at the meeting of the Democratic parliamentary group, said they will support unconditionally the Law on NGOs, whose adoption is among the conditionality elements. It would be incorrect if the Democratic Party, regardless of all the animosities witnessed inside the government coalition, does not support this bill as even the president of the PDM, while serving as Premier, promoted this law and negotiated it in Brussels.
The MP noted Moldova cannot do without well-grounded and well-negotiated foreign financing now. Within the government coalition, the PDM will not accept any compromise on the non-voting of this law as the Democratic MPs are determined to support it. “I think our coalition mates will ultimately show flexibility, as we did in other cases. I realize that there are fears now, before the elections, and there are many speculations as to the possible financing of political parties through nongovernmental organizations. We should not stage a show on this scenario as there are competent bodies for this in the Republic of Moldova, as in any other state, and these should make sure that the electoral legislation and the laws in generate are obeyed in the Republic of Moldova. I think it is not the case to have useless discussions, especially because time is pressing us with expected problems related to the pandemic and the economy,” stated Ion Leucă.
He also said that the law on NGOs is a litmus test that will show the state’s attitude to civil society, which is a very important sector to his mind. It is the law that defines the normative framework on the functioning of civil society. “A democracy cannot exist without civil society as politics is too important to be left in the hands of politicians only. The society’s control over the state institutions is extremely important in any democracy. This is the citizens’ control over eventual anti-democratic deviations. When the state tries to limit this right of civil society, which should have a say in public policies, it is very serious. It is a departure,” stated Virgiliu Pâslariuc. He noted that society is removed from the process of debating and adopting political decisions and this is an authoritarian reflex. All the mentioned laws set down the people’s right to have a say in public affairs, which is the essence of politics.
The debate “Voting of EU conditions: parliamentary majority’s twist” was the 138th installment of the series of debates “Developing political culture through public debates” that are supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.