Expert in electoral systems Igor Boțan said the European Union is for the Republic of Moldova the most important political-economic partner and the main commercial partner. Moldova has an Association Agreement with the EU, which is mandatory for both sides. Such events as the European Parliament elections are very important for Moldova and its people. In the public debate “2019 European Parliament elections: impact for Moldova” that is the 110th installment of the series “Developing political culture through public debates” staged by IPN News Agency and Radio Moldova, Igor Boțan, who is the IPN project’s standing expert, said the Moldovans who have Romanian nationality, which is also European nationality, should take part in the European Parliament elections.
Igor Boțan said the citizens of the Republic of Moldova who regained Romanian nationality are citizens of the European Union and have the right and are encouraged to take part in the elections to the European Parliament. According to him, the citizens of the Republic of Moldova can somehow influence the results of these elections by taking part in them on behalf of Romania.
“The citizens of the Republic of Moldova should be powerfully motivated to take part in these elections. We know very well the way in which the European Union launched its strategies starting with 2002, when the European neighborhood idea was presented. We understood very well the EU’s goal in relation to such countries as the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, the Russian Federation and North Caucasus from the European envoys and high-ranking European officials. We were clearly told that the European Union, as a developing organism, on the eve of the enlargement needed the so-called “belt of friends” along the EU’s borders, from Murmansk to the Black Sea and from the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea to Casablanca. So, we know very well the place reserved by the European Union to the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and other Eastern Partnership counties, from the neighborhood, for a particular perspective,” noted Igor Boțan.
The expert considers that the citizens, especially after the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU, definitely want Moldova to come closer to the EU. “Regrettably, it is not the case, on the one hand, owing to the domestic problems faced by the Republic of Moldova and, on the other hand, owing to the problems faced by the European Union. In such circumstances, the inertia of the electoral behavior of the European citizens is great – the traditional parties will most probably win a majority in the European Parliament. ALDE will join the duo that existed in 2014-2019 or at least opinion polls say so,” he stated.
“This is encouraging for us as we underhand that the policies of the European Union, in general, and those concerning the Eastern Partnership, in particular, will have a high continuance degree. And this is very important for the Republic of Moldova. So, the policies formulated by the government of the Republic of Moldova should take this into consideration. There won’t be dramatic changes in this regard.”
According to Igor Boțan, the Republic of Moldova can influence the elections in Romania through the voters with Romanian nationality and the citizens who will be invited to this elections should realize this. It is very important to understand that the EU offered Moldova what it had to offer. “The European Union worked based on well-defined documents and the Republic of Moldova could receive assistance from the EU at all levels so as to come closer to the European community. There are no aspects, in any field, that would not be regulated by the Association Agreement whose provisions should be implemented because the country can have new prospects only this way,” stated the expert, adding Moldova can ensure the rapprochement with the EU by implementing the Agreement with the EU and bilateral projects with Romania.
“We should look at these elections not only as at elections in a neighboring country of the EU, in Romania for the simple reason that about one third of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova also have Romanian nationality and are thus citizens of the European Union and have the right to take part in these elections. This is very important. So, the citizens of the Republic of Moldova by their vote can even influence the representation of Romanians in the European Parliament. We all know that Romania will hold 32 seats of MEPs. A number of 23 parties and seven independent candidates will run in these elections on behalf of Romania,” said the expert, noting there are many election contestants who can be voted by the Moldovans citizens.
According to hum, it is important to understand how they vote in these elections. “The elections to the European Parliament are held under the proportional representation system and the national parliaments decide if the system is fully applied by the principle “one country – one constituency” or the countries can be divided into electoral constituencies with a number of mandates. The citizens from the diaspora or from outside Romania should know that they will vote closed party lists as there is only one single-member constituency and the election threshold introduced in 2018 was set at 5% for Romania. Another important thing that should not be overlooked is that the Republic of Moldova is associated with the EU and the EP elections involve the Republic of Moldova as well,” stated Igor Boțan, adding the adoption of the budget and the election of the president of the EU are among the European Parliament’s prerogatives.
The debate “2019 European Parliament elections: impact for Moldova”, which is the 110th installment, forms part of the series of public debates held by IPN News Agency Radio Moldova in the framework of the project “Developing political culture through public debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.