12 may

Pirkka Tapiola: You will decide if you want to be hostage of past

Identity and interethnic problems and the transformations experienced by Moldovan society within the European integration process were discussed in the last meeting of the Press Club organized by the Independent Journalism Center.

EU Ambassador to Moldova Pirkka Tapiola said that an identity crisis is closely connected with the interethnic problems, while the identity groups that clash between them form the body of the confused population.

"You will decide if you want to be hostage of the past or to build a future and it’s clear that this future can be conceived in the EU," said Pirkka Tapiola. In this respect, he reminded of the role of the propaganda that exists to diversify society and to weaken it. That’s why it is important that the mass media play the role of forming objective public opinion that is not influenced by external forces coming from the ex-Soviet area.

The ambassador said the tensions can be overcome by forming an identity at the level of political nation, a common state integrity idea that won’t be based on emotions only. Pirkka Tapiola admitted that the integration into the European area is a difficult process, but it will bring many benefits, as in the case of Slovakia.

For his part, Slovakian Ambassador to Moldova Robert Kirnag said the European integration process in Moldova is similar to the one that took place in Slovakia. "In 1998, the Slovaks realized that they will lose a lot if they do not unite for the European integration," he stated.

Robert Kirnag added that as an EU member state, the country must realize what the EU expects from it. Internal consensus and, simultaneously, external consensus are needed for reaching such national unity. The Slovaks are proud of who they are. The ambassador invited the Moldovans to be generous with themselves and to give up such dishonest practices as bribery. This will motivate them to fight for their principles and identity in the European area.

Asked why many Slovaks apply for Hungarian nationality at a time when both of the countries form part of the EU, Robert Kirnag explained that there is a linguistic mixture in Slovakia that does not cause problems, if only the politicians do not exacerbate these problems.

As to the election campaign that will take place in Moldova this year, the diplomat said it is very hard to influence someone by propaganda if they are well-informed. He warned that the debates on the nationalist subjects are dangerous and can be won only by those who are nationalists.

In connection with the future elections, Pirkka Tapiola underlined the importance of the legislation on party financing. He noted that the parties will thus have to explain the origin of their financial resources and to ensure greater transparency for their voters. click