20 june

Moldova's european choise has no alternative - experts

Chisinau, June 19, 2014 (Infotag). The Republic of Moldova’s European choice has no alternative. Such general opinion, with only insignificant deviations, was shared by a majority of the experts, who took part in the roundtable conference, “The Association Agreement with the European Union: Advantages for Moldova and the Price to be Paid for Them”, which was organized in the news agency Infotag on Thursday.

James Jatras, Deputy Director of the American Institute in Ukraine, said that one can feel in Moldova a sharp disagreement with the European choice doctrine shown by a part of the population, on the one side, and an ardent support of the doctrine by its adherents, on the other side.

Jatras said, the same situation was in Ukraine at the end of 2013, when the official Kiev was supposed to sign the Association Agreement. The actions by then-President Yanukovitch led to a situation of confrontation in the society, which developed into a manifestation of separatism and eventually – to a conflict.

“To avoid possible negative scenarios in Moldova, we have initiated a public debate on the positive and negative sides of the European vector of the development of your state”, James Jatras, who believes that such way is the best variant for Moldova to achieve prosperity and consolidate democratic institutions.

MP Oleg Reidman of the opposition Communist faction remarked that the European path is not accepted synonymously by the whole Moldovan society. In this connection, he indicated a number of negative moments revealed by Moldovan opposition’s economists in this one-thousand-page-thick Agreement.

“We think that the chief mistake of the Association Agreement is that it has united two different documents – a political and economic one. This is not the happiest combination. We believe that the economic part of the Association Agreement [namely the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA)], oriented to Moldovan economy modernization, is quite acceptable. But the political part is dictating to the Moldovan government to move in the security channel indicated by Brussels. Moldova’s constitutional neutrality is thus becoming an empty phrase. This is a block-type demand i.e. the one coercing the republic to take the side of a foreign military alliance”, said Oleg Reidman.

He regards as unacceptable yet another provision in the Agreement concerning the creation, besides the Government of Moldova, of yet supranational structures – an Association Council, Association Committees, which he believes will not promote the consolidation of efforts aimed at efficient governance of the country.

The prominent economist called the DCFTA, an essential-most component of the Association Agreement, “a threat to Moldova’s weak economy”.

“European officials are telling us, ‘We are giving quotas for your goods’. But our goods will be chosen not by officials but by rank and file Europeans in shops. Accordingly, the Communist Party leadership believes that goods should be realized at that market where they are bought. So far, however, such market is definitely not in Europe”, said the former presidential economic adviser.

Oleg Reidman is convinced that the Association Agreement is adding extra difficulties to the country reintegration process because Transnistria categorically rejects Moldova’s European development vector.

“The Moldovan Communist Party believes that Moldova needs cooperation with the European Union, but not formal cooperation. The Association Agreement in its present-day shape is unacceptable for Moldova”, said Reidman.

Moldova’s former Ambassador to Germany Alexandru Burian said that in the days left to the Agreement signing, certain forces in Moldova are splitting up the public opinion, including by means of carrying out “primitive opinion polls and media attacks”.

“A greater part of the Moldovan population stands for the European way of development and, at the same time, for preserving close interaction with the East. I think that upon signing the Association Agreement, we should immediately embark on negotiations on our association with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAES). Moldova needs survival in its native territory, but this will be possible only if the republic becomes a buffer zone between the United States and the Russian Federation, becomes kind of a ‘southern Finland’, which would be attracting investments and creating jobs”, said the diplomat.

In the opinion of political scientist Nicolae Tveatcov of the Moldovan Academy of Sciences, nobody has ever cast doubt on the fact that Moldovans are Europeans – primordially, but the stubborn imposing of a choice between the East and the West upon Moldovans is only splitting and polarizing the society, which is indeed inadmissible.

Nicolae Tveatcov regards as totally unacceptable the fact that European commissars, presidents and foreign ministers, who have virtually flooded the republic last 2-3 months, would talk exclusively of Euro-integration and the Agreement, but would not notice other very important things – for instance how the Moldovan authorities encourage corruption, plundering of Budget means and foreign donors’ money, and the like.

Director of the www.ava.md informational-analytical portal, Chisinau political scientist Vitaly Andrievsky called the current variant of the Association Agreement “not ideal a document”.

“But currently Moldova has been in a position of a 10-year-old school pupil being invited to become a student of a prestigious Western university. The child thinks, such invitation comes only once in a whole live, so why not trying? What if all works well?” said Vitaly Andrievsky.

He believes that the European Union is not just a market – it is a set of life quality standards and of management norms.