Moldova’s integration into EU is an essential factor in strengthening democracy, survey

Approximately half of the Moldovans believe the integration into the EU is an essential factor in protecting and strengthening democracy, says a survey on the state of democracy in the Republic of Moldova which was conducted by Eidos Foundation in concert with the international polling company Atlas Intel. The study shows that five in ten Moldovans consider Russia is a threat to democracy, IPN reports.

According to the survey, corruption (74%), interests of local oligarchs (45%) and political polarization (23%) are perceived as the main threats to democracy in the Republic of Moldova, while the existing inspections for preventing abuses of power are considered inefficient by over 35% of the respondents

The opinions about integration into the EU and an alliance with NATO are differing. Half of those polled consider these represent support for the protection of democracy (45.8% for the EU and 45% for NATO), but there are opinions that they weaken democracy and sovereignty (29.6% for the EU and 41% for NATO).

Some 35% of those surveyed don’t think the media are independent and impartial when they cover political events and issues. When it comes to justice, 44% of the respondents believe this sector has played an important role in guaranteeing and protecting democracy, but wasn’t the main guardian, while 34% perceive justice as a threat.

The Moldovans consider democracy can be improved only by the active involvement of the citizens. 54% of the respondents consider the holding accountable of elected officials by communication channels or public demonstrations is the most important form of civil engagement, being followed by the support for a free and independent press (44%). The referendums, participatory budgeting and use of electronic voting machines are the main democratic measures adopted by other countries, which the Moldovans consider relevant for improving democracy in the Republic of Moldova.

Andrei Roman, Atlas Intel founder, said the survey results should represent a warning signal for political leaders and civil society. Even if the pro-democracy option is overwhelming both in Romania and in the Republic of Moldova, as most of the people realize the value of democracy and support the strengthening of its institutions, they perceive it as dysfunctional and that meets their needs in an improper way.

“The perceived corruption and incompetence of the political class, this model being surprisingly more pronounced in Romania than in Moldova, the worsening of performance in the educational system and erosion of impartiality and professionalism of mass media trusts are key challenges that affect the quality of democracy in both of the countries. In such circumstances, the risks related to democratic erosion are increasing as opportunist political players will inherently try to use the general disappointment of the population through populist and radical platforms that can threaten the accomplishments of the last two decades,” stated the founder of Atlas Intel.

The survey was presented on the occasion of the celebration of 33 years of the holding of free elections in Romania. “With this survey, we wanted to see where we are after these years, what support democracy enjoys in Romania and the Republic of Moldova and how solid the foundation on which it is based is,” said Cristian Movilă, president of Eidos Foundation.

The survey was carried out on a sample of 921 persons during May 3-15.

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