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Reforms in Moldova: Moderate progress and an uncertain outlook for the future. OSW Commentary No. 100, 2013-01-22

Calus, Kamil (2013) Reforms in Moldova: Moderate progress and an uncertain outlook for the future. OSW Commentary No. 100, 2013-01-22. [Policy Paper]

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    After coming to power in September 2009, the Alliance for European Integration (AIE)1 coalition began implementing a wide-ranging programme of reforms, with a view to bringing Moldova closer to the European Union, and ultimately to ensure the country’s full membership of the EU. Today, Moldova is considered a clear leader in European integration among the members of the EU’s Eastern Partnership programme. This, however, has less to do with the concrete reforms introduced by the Moldovan government, and more to do with, on the one hand, Chișinău’s excellent public relations with Brussels, achieved through effective diplomacy; and on the other hand, the growing disillusionment with the lack of progress in other Eastern Partnership countries, particularly in Ukraine. Attempts to evaluate Moldova’s reforms have proven rather problematic. On the one hand, the ruling coalition has managed to make significant progress in the areas of civil liberties, human rights and electoral reform. The government has also successfully implemented regulations which have brought Moldova closer to signing a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the EU, and it has made headway in talks on visa liberalisation with Brussels. On the other hand, Chișinău has still not carried out the structural and economic reforms without which real change in the country will be impossible. No reforms have been introduced in the Ministry of the Interior, the Moldovan police force, or the judiciary. The AIE has also failed to decentralise governance and has had no real success in reducing corruption; its attempts to rebuild the country’s financial institutions have proved equally unsuccessful. The main reasons for this poor performance include mutual mistrust and conflicting interests among the coalition members, a shortage of financial resources, strong resistance to change by public administration staff, and significant pressure from those political and business groups whose interests could suffer as a result of the proposed reforms. It should also be noted that since the AIE took power, the international context of the reform efforts has undergone significant changes. On the one hand, the EU has been facing an economic crisis, which has had a negative impact on Moldovan exports and contributed to the worsening of the economic situation in the country; and on the other hand, Moldova has been offered membership of the Customs Union as a viable alternative to EU membership.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Other > integration theory (see also researching and writing the EU in this section)
    Countries > Moldova
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 14:01
    Number of Pages: 7
    Last Modified: 09 Dec 2014 14:01

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