Moldova: European-styled treatment


On January 20, 2016, outraged Moldavian citizens seized the parliamentary building. The reason was the strange deputies’ manipulations, which resulted in the approval of the new government who decided to hold a series of reforms without discussions.

In the past few months, the country has been hit by corruption scandals; the current protests show that it has affected legislature.

Whilst the protesters in Kishinev fight with the police, let’s discuss some nuances that precededthe escalation.
The most outrageous fact was the news of EU funds been given to Moldova to carry out various programs falling within the local officials’ pockets. It was even mentioned by European liberals, such as Petras Auštrevičius, the MEP, who said that the corruption covers all levels, and there is no desire to deal with it,“it is clear that this tension will explode."
The representative of the European Greens, Peter Eriksson, pointed out that the situation in the country, where an agreement with the EU was signed that stole 12% of GDP, is unacceptable.

The US Ambassador to Moldova, James Pettit, and the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, Johannes Hahn, spoke about the all-consuming corruption in Moldova.

The European Commissioner Christos Stylianides practically called for a revolution –“Moldovan society wants to put an end to the capture of the state, and we can support them, but only Moldova will be able to do it.”

It seems that the calls of the European politicians were heard. Moreover, the various opposite political forces united at the civil format of the January 21st protest, using no parties’ symbols. However, will the EU intervene like it did in Ukraine in 2013-2014? Especially considering the fact that, legally, Moldova is still close to the EU. European aid became the temptation that led to the unprecedented scale of corruption, and, over time, exacerbated the political crisis.

The pro-European policy was not conducted in the interests of the majority of the population, but for geopolitical reasons: the "Eastern Partnership" project served as a springboard for extending and strengthening the EU’s zone of influence in post-Soviet countries.

Therefore, the European political establishment is now faced with a dilemma. If they recognize the protesters’ rights, they should do it “in full scale”, including the main mass interests on the Eurasian integration and close cooperation with Russia. Alternatively, they support the corrupt government and legislature, thus discrediting democratic values and competent European politics. It is likely that politicians in Brussels would prefer the latter, defending their decision. Because of the migration crisis, Brussels and Strasbourg can always refer to employment and busy schedule, forgetting about mutual obligations.

The anti-corruption laws were adopted in 2013, but their results are miserable. It can be noted that until now, Moldova had an imitation of legislative activity and reform, and the EU only pretended that everything was functioning correctly. Even the head of the Council of Europe in Moldova, Jose Luis Guerrero, said, “we cannot pretend to be conducting reforms.”

Perhaps Europe still is under the illusion that the situation in Moldova will solve itself, and an honest and charismatic leader will suddenly appear, with the current political clans following him.

However, the example of neighboring Ukraine indicates that another version of the events, bloody in nature, is possible Then, quite possibly, there will be a new source of conflict close to the borders of the EU, and the influx of refugees from Africa and the Middle East will be diversified by Moldovan citizens.

It is more complicated to treat the problem than the present political disease. When looking at what is happening in Europe, it should be admitted that, first of all, Berlin, Paris and Brussels need a doctor.