The European integration in Moldova started to weaver when the further implementation of reforms began to endanger the existence and reproduction of the corrupt political system, publicist and political commentator Yevghenny Sholari, of the electronic publication NewsMaker, stated in a public debate at IPN titled “European integration of the Republic of Moldova, myth or reality?”.
“When Moldova set off on the path of European integration, a real chance for making real changes appeared. The EU showed great openness to our country and disbursed considerable funds for supporting Moldova. But the politicians who pretended to be European did a lot to dash the existing hopes,” said the journalist.
He noted the Moldovan politicians often invoke Russia’s interference in order to hide their failures. “When discussions on very important technical reforms and standards that could really change the situation were held, everything was fine. But when they reached the justice sector reform, for example, or the fight against corruption... But namely these areas generated the biggest expectations in society,” stated Yevghenny Sholari.
He expressed his conviction that the real European integration would result in the jailing of many Moldovan politicians disseminating European slogans. The real European integration is not related to the EU, but to values and rules of the game. The political will to fight corruption and to strengthen the political institutions are key.
According to the journalist, society didn’t center on the European integration because the politicians didn’t propose the idea as such. “It was served in a sauce of political, geopolitical populism, language, history, identity as if these form part of the pro-European narrative. These bore no relation to European politics and values. As a result, a part of the population, many Russian language speakers perceived the European integration as an attack on their cultural and linguistic identify and decided that this project is against them.
Yevghenny Sholari said there should also be an internal enemy that can be accused of failure and the generalizations that all the Russian speakers are against the European integration and because of them Moldova does not develop derive from such an assumption. “These tendencies fuel each other and imbed phobias towards whole regions, such as Gagauz-Yeri and the Transnistrian region. Instead of identifying the real causes, we are looking for primitive answers and have a failed state as a result.”
The public debate “European integration of the Republic of Moldova, myth or reality?” was held by IPN News Agency as part of the project “Overcoming stereotypes of European integration by communication” that is implemented with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation.