Moldova: Stalemate — looking for the way out

Natalia Stercul, Foreign Policy Association of Moldova (Chisinau)

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The way out of the Moldovan domestic politics’ impasse, formed after the parliamentary elections, has not yet been found. The stalemate affects both the economics and the country’s foreign policy.

Domestic Policy

Search For Compromise and despair

The main domestic agenda focus of the Republic of Moldova is still set on finding a way out of the current impasse, formed as a result of the February elections held according to a mixed electoral system. The compromise solution to create the parliamentary majority has not been reached yet.

The ACUM bloc took a rather tough position and consistently adheres to it. The bloc put forward a number of specific demands enabling the advancement of the legislative initiatives to deoligarchize the state.  These demands include filling the Chairman of the Parliament and the Head of the Government posts, as well as leading some ministries work.

Of course, the socialists (PSRM) cannot accept such offer. At the same time, everyone understands the need to resume the work of the highest legislative body. Otherwise, the risk of the Parliament dissolving and early elections is one of the most likely scenarios. It is obvious to everyone that even if ACUM bloc and the PSRM reach an agreement, this cooperation will be temporary due to its incapacity.

The Democratic Party and the Party of Socialists symbiosis will not lead to any changes as well, since the democrats will form a minority government and with the “MPs-defectors votes will again have all the levels of government in their hands.

The stalemate situation is unlikely to change as a result of the early elections, which, according to the decision of the Constitutional Court, would also be held under a mixed electoral system. Thus, the destabilization of the state, political struggle, blackmail and manipulation, deep socio-economic crisis will remain unchanged components of the Moldovan domestic policy.


Economic growth stagnation

The economic crisis was shaped by the lack of a unified approach, the synergy of the fiscal, economic, monetary, and commercial policies. This leads to the stagnation of the economic development. According to the International Monetary Fund estimation, the economic growth in the Republic of Moldova for 2019 is forecasted at 3.5%. This is one of the lowest economic growth rates for a group of the CIS member countries. At the same time, the experts of the Fund expect the growth to return to 3.8% level in 2020 and grow to 4% in 2021. And this forecast is not optimistic.

Taking into account all the urgency and depth of the situation, the need to change the existing state of affairs becomes obvious. However, the focus is made not on changing the outdated approaches to the economic policy, but on attracting some foreign investments, partly due to the tax incentives for those investing in the strategic sectors of the Republic of Moldova.

Foreign Policy

EU waiting for Moldova to fulfill its obligations

The instability of the domestic situation influences the foreign policy as well. Cooling down in relations with the EU against the background of the domestic situation created some concerns, including the abolition of the visa-free regime with the EU. In particular, the EU Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova P. Michalko noted it as an issue for the future government to deal with.

“Our expectations and openness are the continuation of the existing relationships. We are waiting for the fulfillment of the commitments as soon as possible, so that we can continue our support and help for changing the Republic of Moldova for the better. This also applies to the area of the ​​visa liberalization“.

The Eastern Partnership, where the Republic of Moldova is one of the participants, turned 10 years old, and despite the numerous achievements of this project, today there is an increasing need to restore the confidence of the European partners and the constructive dynamics in relations with the EU. This is the only chance and guarantee of the future success of Moldova.