Civil society representatives, experts, and politicians discussed the importance of the relationship between the civil society and the political class of Moldova, at the public debate “Political culture and the civil society”, organized by Info-Prim Neo. Head of the Resource Center for Moldovan NGOs for Human Rights (CReDO) Sergiu Ostaf, president of the National Participation Council, mentioned that the role of the civil society is to moderate the maximization of Parties’ and governing politicians’ personal interest towards society’s interests. Common interest arises from two general premises which are based on European democratic values, as well as society‘s well-being and economic efficiency. The Government’s behavior should adapt to these two basic premises. “Yet we have situations when the Government takes decisions without taking into account the preferences of certain categories of individuals”, stated Ostaf. Representative of the Parents and Teachers’ Association Viorel Ciubotaru stated that politics means confrontation in any case. Thus, it should start from collective values, which would be shared by the masses and would satisfy the society’s interests. “Political culture, as any other political phenomenon, has many definitions, but culture does imply the knowledge of what a real political system is. Thus, we must find out what a political system is, not from textbooks, but from sources that are not in our immediate grasp, often camouflaged upon request by the mass media and political analysts. Political culture also implies knowing the methods of modifying the political system, which arise from the intelligence and moral values of the political segment”, stated Viorel Ciubotaru. Transparency International-Moldova director Lilia Carasciuc said that Moldova has always been someone’s province and, thus, we are provincial in everything we do, both politicians and the civil society, not only through our behavior and lifestyle, but also through the way we think. The equilibrium may be imposed by the civil society, which represents the ordinary citizens. “Provincialism has its positive side, since we are more naïve and less skeptical. Despite it we have very weak civic cohesion, and envy is a national sport. Our typical citizen cannot be sympathetic to his/her neighbor, hence the lack of civic cohesion. We must be the axis of the society, but also be the ones to constructively turn this axis”, said Lilia Carasciuc. Liberal-Democrat MP Iurie Tap specified that our governing politicians should aim at forming a strong civil society with a high level of political culture, which arises from politicians’ general culture. And the political power should be controlled by the citizens. “In fact, political power should be controlled by the citizens, because we live under the rule of Law and the citizens should control the power; because political parties risk falling into political arrogance”, Iurie Tap mentioned. Vice-president of the Democratic Action Party Corneliu Gurin stated that one cannot ignore history and general culture, but most important is the state-society and individual relationship. History shows that this relationship has been hostile in time, and the state perceived the citizens as enemies and vassals, more recently as a source of power. This attitude, however, must be changed. “Politicians must face their people, not only during elections, but in daily life as well. We lack humanism in political approaches, and the political class must build confidence, whereas the civil society is an intermediary in the process”, added Corneliu Gurin. In the opinion of Association for Participative Democracy ADEPT director Igor Botan, the relationship between Parties and the society is the former’s struggle to get to the government, because is currently the best business in Moldova. “Our society reproduces a sort of kitsch, because our society is a mimicking one. We take examples from the West and, without passing through the necessary stages, pretend to implement them. Thus, the witty ones live well; others handle it the way they can”, stated Igor Botan. The public debate “Political culture and the civil society” is the ninth of such events, part of the “Developing political culture in public debates” project, supported by the German Foundation Hanns Seidel.