The EU's position on financial assistance for Moldova contradicts the local opposition, opinion

The EU's financial support, as well as other aspects of European integration, is part of the core of the opposition's discourse in Chisinau, writes political researcher Dionis Cenușa in an analytical article for the IPN Agency.

The disbursement of the second tranche of EU macro-financial assistance was accompanied by the appreciation, tough dosed, of the European Commissioner for Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, who underlined the "reform efforts" of the government in problematic areas, such as justice reform and the fight against corruption, points out the political researcher.

These statements of the European Commissioner, together with the decision to allocate EU assistance, totally contradict the evaluations made by the representatives of PAS and those of the Platform DA (Sergiu Litvinenco and Igor Munteanu respectively), considers Dionis Cenușa.

He recalls that in mid-June, opposition representatives accused the government of incomplete fulfillment of political pre-conditions, particularly those in the field of justice.

Also, contrary to the European Commission's satisfactory assessments, the day before the EU announced the approval of the aid allocation (EUR 30 million), the main opposition leader Maia Sandu blamed the government for not obtaining the third and final tranche - of 40 EUR million, points out Dionis Cenușa.

He notes that former Prime Minister Maia Sandu stressed that the third tranche was "canceled" by the EU due to the "irresponsibility and laziness" of the government. However, the political researcher explains that, from a technical point of view, the EU did not "cancel" the third tranche, but the deadline for the financing agreement is expiring in July 2020.

The discrepancies between the EU's vision and that of the opposition from Moldova are based on at least three explanations, says Dionis Cenușa.

In line with the first hypothesis, launched by the political researcher, the EU failed to gather detailed information on the true progress of the reforms, including due to the lockdowns caused by the pandemic. This hypothesis is unlikely, as the Commission stressed out that its decision emerged from the February interim evaluations.

The second hypothesis, articulated by Dionis Cenușa, is related to the fact that the opposition has a stricter approach than the EU, and sometimes this approach also contains a dose of subjectivism.

And the last hypothesis of the political researcher is that the EU is aware of the imperfection and partial nature of certain reforms, but opts for de- (geo-) politicized and constructive decisions, supporting urgent socio-economic spending.

European money seems to be doubly important. This complements the budget with which the government is to operate. At the same time, EU assistance can have a political connotation discouraging the plans of an opposition party to end the current government's term, the political researcher concludes.

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