Victor Juc, director of the Institute of Legal, Political and Sociological Research, said the European Parliament elections of 2019 are important for Moldova as well and the citizens who can vote in these should inform themselves about the electoral offer and examine parties’ lists of candidates and should support the Moldovan candidates with chances if there are such on those lists. “The Moldovan presence in the European Parliament would be beneficial to Moldova and its people,” he stated 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.
According to Victor Juc, the elections of 2019 are important for a number of reasons. “First of all, the top candidates on the list could apply for the post of President of the European Commission. Earlier, this was rather the prerogative of the European Council, which made such a recommendation. The elections are also important because, owing to migration and Euroscepticism, the positons of some of the representative populist forces of the extreme right of the political spectrum substantially strengthened their positons,” stated Victor Juc.
“I would draw a parallel with the presidential elections in Ukraine – they wouldn’t have been interesting if actor Volodymyr Zelenskyi hadn’t run in them. The 2019European Parliament elections wouldn’t have been interesting if they hadn’t been related to populism and Euroscepticism, especially because all the parties maximally use the possibilities to strengthen their positions. I would ultimately also speak about the opportunity of resetting the European Union’s activity given that the informal political leader changed - Angela Merkel conceded the place to Emmanuel Macron. The President of France for several times formulated proposals, including that letter edited in 22 languages, by which it is proposed creating new institutions, new mechanisms, including the army of the European Union. All these factors, including the problem of the UK that is to leave the EU, if they are linked, allow describing the elections to the European Parliament as more important than those of 2009, for example”.
Speaking about the popularity of the Eurosceptic populists, the director of the Institute of Legal, Political and Sociological Research said populism is a phenomenon that has grown in size owing to the enlargement of the EU as well. “I think at the upcoming elections the people will vote not for European affairs, but rather for national issues. They will treat the Emirian affairs through the national problems,” he stated, noting that the increase in the number of populists in the European Parliament will generally not have fundamental repercussions given that a struggle for leadership is fought inside this group.
“As to the continuation of the EU – Moldova relationship, the European course of the Republic of Moldova should be continued given that the political-legal relations are now regulated through the Association Agreement. The Republic of Moldova, together with the European Commission, undertook to implement the Association Agenda. The Government of Moldova carries out the national plan for implementing the Association Agreement for 2017-2019. I think no major changes in this regard will occur. Definitely, the Republic of Moldova deserves much more than the Eastern Partnership, but it seems that the EU is not ready to offer something new”.
Victor Juc expressed his optimism, noting Moldova should submit an application to get the status of member, but the EU since 2015 has faced particular problems. A worse scenario for Moldova is for the populist parties to considerably increase their presence in the European Parliament after the elections. The access to the pre-entry funds could be substantially limited and the EU-Moldova relations could be marginalized as the EU centers now on other aspects.
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.