The current Moldovan authorities dwell in an evident EU’s disgrace.
Due to European forces last year mobilization and integration, the European Union could fully feel and expand its political presence in the Republic of Moldova. The oligarch Plahotniuc’s overthrow and power shifting to the ACUM block, devoted to European ideals, has brought back to life the faith and hope for and European future in Moldova and had an impetus on Moldovan-European relations, cooled a little down since the “success history” failure.
That is why, the ulterior political events and here’s the Maia Sandu resignation first to be mentioned, together with power shifting to the socialists have affected the Europeans more than expected. The international partners dug in their heels and preferred having a minimal contact with the current Moldova government. At present, quite frustrated by the loss of situation control over Moldova, the European Union continues to play in contrast using all the civilized and diplomatic ways to underline its differential approach towards Maia Sandu and current government systems of Moldova. It is obvious, that governed by Igor Dodon and the socialists Moldova is not to receive Europe’s financial or political support. Even visit paying ceased. This fact got into the former Minister of Foreign and European Integration’s attention Nicu Popescu who criticized the MFAEI activity that lead to certain Europe removal.
All the socialists’ attempts to “break the ice” and take the pressure off the European partners relations (even assurances that the main Moldovan priorities are the relation with the EU and the Association Agreement) could not be successful. Enough to recall the euro deputies and certain officials’ December statements insisting on a tough monitoring of the Association Agreement fulfilling together with real progress hardwiring to the reforms implementation.
The growing dependence of the Moldovan economy on European markets and macro-financial assistance over the years has effectively motivated the Chicu government to create at least a formal basis to restore funding. For this, the Cabinet of Socialists needs to prove, at a minimum, the presence of progress on issues of reforming justice. However, it is not particularly possible with all the desire of the Moldovan authorities to speed up the process.
From one side the special European Council expert group on reforming justice in Moldova persuades it from slapdash actions. Its representatives openly warned Ion Chicu that it’s unacceptable to hasten only to fit in time and send the documents for consideration to the March meeting of the Venice Commission. Thus, the draft on judges’ assessment is likely to be taken to expertize only in June. From the other side the existent high attention to the current topic becomes even stronger due to electoral pressure and interparty fight. Despite the Parliament Chairperson Zinaida Grecanii statements on justice reform that “it is not the topic we got to try and receive political dividends”, almost every representative of the Moldovan establishment tries to play namely this card.
Thus PAS accused the “Dodon government” of “total justice reform discretization and of the attempt to submit justice to political interests.” As Maia Sandu “It gives the possibility to use this mechanism against those judges who do not meet the authorities’ political expectations”. The minister of Justice Fadei Nagacevschi had discussions with her within media. He was surprised when criticized, as according to him “the accusations as to judges’ assessment mechanism, which is currently considered as an instrument to get control over justice – are unreasonable”. Nagachevschi explains that the development partners assume to monitor the whole process and that the assessment commission is to contain international and national experts from the monitoring commission who do not deal with political system. Along with, the head of Ministry of Justice retorts Maia Sandu stating that “the former government presumed a more politicalized approach to judges’ assessment”.
Nevertheless, it is impossible to get the relationship with the EU back on the track by means of political ping-pong in the social nets, especially having the current situation within justice. Obviously the EU is to continue boycotting the official Moldovan government even if they have to keep the lid on the so desired macro financial assistance this year up till the end of electoral processes. Actually, there are present all the required for reasons for that – Moldova has not injected the justice reform and has not agreed on cooperation continuation with the IMF. According to the EU Ambassador to Moldova Peter Mikhalko namely these are the common conditions providing the next tranche.
The EU does not want to lose population’s trust, especially in the context of pro-European parties’ electorate expanding, that is why, different project meant for citizens are to continue, as to Ambassador Mikhalko’s statements. Such a policy gives population a clear understanding that if socialists stay for too long ruling than there’ll certainly be no macro finance support and probably other supporting programs get cut.
It is likely that the Chicu government is morally prepared for a new European financial freezing. At least the prime minister stated Chisinau’s readiness to money refuse from EU and IMF, allegedly, if the latter impose conditions that “contradict national interests”. Such a formulation, probably hints to the government “defense line” in case the western partners’ money supply does not occur. The excuses do not matter – since they prove unhelpful for the population.
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