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PACE: “International obligations of the Republic of Moldova and risks for its credibility abroad”

On 12 October, 2017, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) signed a written declaration entitled “International obligations of the Republic of Moldova and risks for its credibility abroad”.

The appeal is made by 31 PACE members from different Council of Europe member states and political persuasions across the continent. Of particular note among these are: Mr Paolo Corsini (Italy; SOC); Mr Pieter Omtzigt (Netherlands; EPP/CD); Ms Gisela Wurm (Austria; SOC); Mr Frank Schwabe (Germany; SOC); Ms Lotta Johnsson Fornarve (Sweden; UEL); Mr Andres Herkel (Estonia; EPP/CD); Mr Pablo Bustinduy (Spain; UEL); and Ms Doreen Massey (United Kingdom; SOC).

The lack of response from Moldovan state authorities to written declaration No. 637, has driven Members of PACE to reaffirm their concern over the deterioration of democracy and human rights in the country. MPs firmly stated, “The lack of reforms and disregard for the recommendations of the European Union are accompanied by ongoing repression of civil society activists supporting the anti-corruption protest movement in the Republic of Moldova.”

In the text of the declaration, MPs assessed the results of the Moldovan government as poor, and welcomed the European Union’s suspension of its macro-financial assistance. Political conditionality has proven to be an effective tool for evaluating Moldova’s commitments to the European path and a crucial “instrument of pressure aiming at improving the rule of law and the human rights situation in the country”. Just last week, the EU announced the withholding of the final tranche of funds worth 28 million euros earmarked for justice reforms in Moldova.

The Moldovan authorities have gone as far as to repress activists, independent judges and peaceful protesters. Following the lack of investigations into the so-called “theft of the century”, massive protests took place in Chisinau demandingthe European Union personal sanctions against corrupted officials. MPs noted, “In return, the State bodies have started a new wave of repression against activists.”

Members of PACE have raised grave concerns over the arrest of several activists andMr Alexei Alexeev, a man who was carrying sound amplification speakers and who was accused of endangering the life and health of police officers during the lawful protests of 17 September, 2017.Other human rights violations in the country were also mentioned, such as the “criminal proceedings against the exiled lawyer and human rights defender Ms Ana Ursachi and threats against philanthropist Mr Alexandru Machedon”.

Furthermore, MPs along with the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe stated their alarm at the adoption of a new electoral reform proposed by the ruling party. With regard to this, deputies declared, “We call on the Moldovan authorities to consider their international obligations and the risks for their credibility abroad. The voice of the society must be heard.”

Read the full text of the Written Declaration:

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