European Parliament: What Does the Evaluation Report on the EU-Moldova Association Agreement Implementation Cover
Members of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee are concerned about the slow evolution of the rule of law and the fight against corruption in Moldova, which suffers from acute political instability.
On Monday, the Foreign Affairs Committee adopted its report, evaluating the EU Association Agreement’s implementation with Moldova, with 56 votes in favor, two against, and ten abstentions. The text reaffirms the EU’s commitment to supporting Moldova’s European integration through political and economic association, and reforms supporting a sustained commitment of both the Moldovan authorities and society.
The report stresses that much more needs to be done regarding Moldova’s commitments in the EU Association Agreement, especially when it comes to ensuring the independence of state institutions, preventing oligarchic influence, stepping up the fight against large-scale corruption, promoting justice, strengthening the rule of law, improving media freedom and people’s living conditions.
Presidential elections within an acute political instability
Regarding Moldova’s presidential election scheduled for November 1, MEPs say the EU and relevant international organizations should closely monitor the country’s situation, as the election will be a “test for democracy and the rule of law.”
Against the background of what they describe as “acute political instability,” MEPs call on the Moldovan authorities to ensure that these elections are “free and fair” and to further improve the relevant electoral legislation. It is necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the right to vote, the fairness of electoral campaigns, the transparency of the legislative process, and democratic oversight, which must allow for adequate public scrutiny of the activities of government and parliament.
The Moldovan authorities must also refrain from changing the rules and regulations for political gains, “which will always end in political unrest and instability that affect the commitment to structural reforms,” is mentioned in the report.
The independence of the Constitutional Court is crucial
Following severe harassment cases and blackmail, MEPs continue to ask the Moldovan authorities to strengthen and ensure the full independence of the country’s Constitutional Court to ensure that it is not subjected to any political interference.
They strongly condemn the “enormous pressure” that the Court’s judges were recently subjected to when they declared unconstitutional a loan of 200 million euros from Russia to Moldova.
The report also expresses its concern about the slow course of the rule of law reforms in Moldova and the issues related to the serious approach to corruption, the media sectors, and highly politicized advertising.
The text also addresses the situation in the Transnistrian breakaway region and the EU macro-financial assistance, which will be available later.
The report will be put to the vote in the European Parliament later this year.