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Adrienne Warren

Moldova, Russia and the EU: On The Edge of Chaos Or Stability?

Stefan Füle, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, visited Moldova this week. Füle’s visit was regarded by many as a signal that the embers of Moldova’s European Union hopes have not been extinguished by the collapse of the pro-European government in March. On the contrary, Füle emphasised the process which leads to democracy saying, “Only through politics committed to genuine reform and deep democracy, come concrete benefits to citizens. Democracy is a constant work in progress and often an uphill struggle. You all have prime responsibility in safeguarding it.”

Europe Day, Moldova. author:jef.europe. source: Flickr

Europe Day, Moldova. author:jef.europe. source: Flickr

Commissioner Füle was in Chisinau for two days, and met with Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti who updated him about the latest political developments. In light of the recent difficulties faced by the country, Füle highlighted the need for strong democratic institutions, which serve the interests of the people, saying:

“Recent events in Moldova also make me reflect on the pitfalls political processes can face: it is essential that politics is for people; it has to be accountable and inclusive, and has to strengthen democratic institutions, not undermine them…The Moldovan citizens deserve the benefits of reforms and the benefits of our continuing support which is not going to be limited to personalities and politics but policies of reforms strengthening the democracy and the rule of law complemented with concrete assistance where most needed.”

Stefan Füle stressed that the EU will continue to support Moldova’s territorial integrity and assist in strengthening democracy:

“I have come here as a friend of Moldova and there are many friends like me in the European Union all of us committed to continued support of Moldova’s path – to ensure its territorial integrity, to build deep and sustainable democracy and promote prosperity for all.”

Füle’s comments about territorial integrity were particularly apt in light of Moldova’s Victory Day celebration which some argued was glorifying Russia, as writer Petru Bogatu angrily elaborated:

“The orgies indulged in by the Russians on the occasion of ‘Victory Day’ are proof that, 22 years after our declaration of independence, we have plumbed new depths in shiftless politics. With regard to European standards, the behaviour of our leaders can best be described as ‘anything goes’.”

Bogatu went on, saying Russia “has reconquered Moldova without tanks or artillery.”

Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti recently appointed Deputy Prime Minister Iurie Leancă, of the Liberal Democrat Party (PLDM) to lead the government , after Vlad Filat was forced to step down in March following a vote of no confidence. The decision to appoint Leancă was approved last week.

Some analysts are far less optimistic than Füle, opining that the true chaos of Moldova’s internal situation is all too often dismissed. An argument encapsulated in a recent article by Vladimir Socor of the Jamestown Foundation, who explained:

“The myth of Moldova as “the success story” in the European Union’s neighborhood, has clearly expired. Moldova’s institutions and rule of law have foundered in the chaos of its party system and rule by coalition—in this case, the internally conflicted Alliance for European Integration (AEI).”

Socor’s concerns are not whether Moldova’s EU hopes can be salvaged, as he puts it, “From a European policy perspective, Moldova’s technical and diplomatic work toward association, trade and visa-liberalization agreements with the EU can still be retrieved from the party-political chaos.” Rather Socor worries for the stabilisation of Moldova’s internal political structure, as he explains:

“More than two decades into independent statehood, Moldova has failed to develop a viable party system, let alone a viable model of coalition government. The existing party system and the rule by coalition have exacerbated dysfunctionality and corruption. Some building blocks for stabilization exist, but any advance from chaos toward stability would necessitate that consideration be given to introducing changes to the political system.”

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Read also: Historic Pride march in Moldova should be ‘first of many’

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Sources: The Jamestown Foundation,, presseurop

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Graduated in International Relations and Russian. Resident of Estonia, but a citizen of the world. Most interested in contributing to the progress and education of mankind--as the primary tool of achieving global unity.

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