Declaration of Civil Society Regarding the Activity Program of the Government of the Republic of Moldova
Today, 6 December 2019, the declaration of the Moldovan National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (Eap-CSF) Regarding the Activity Program of the Government of the Republic of Moldova was adopted at the General Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in Brussels.
In this declaration, the signatory organizations members of the Moldovan National Platform of the EaP-CSF express their concern that the Activity Program of the Government of the Republic of Moldova, invested in November 2019 and led by Ion CHICU, does not include a series of reforms from the agenda of the previous Government, led by Maia SANDU. In the opinion of the signatory organizations, this threatens the implementation of genuine reforms in such fields as sustainable development, judiciary, anticorruption, strengthening of the independence of legal institutions, improvement of the media situation and environmental protection. At the same time, the priority included in the Activity Program of CHICU’s Government limiting the participation of civil society organizations (CSOs) in the decision-making process, is completely against the principles of a functional democracy.
The signatory organizations express their concern that the Activity Program of CHICU’s Government, supported by the PSRM and DPM, does not secure the continuity of SANDU’s Government commitments that were supported by civil society and main development partners of the Republic of Moldova and unlocked the financial assistance of the European Union. Notably, CHICU’s Government Activity Program does not include policies of critical importance related to the judiciary, the fight against corruption, the strengthening of the independence of legal institutions, the situation of the media, protection of the environment and the free functioning of civil society organizations, which were reflected in the Action Plan for 2019 – 2020 of SANDU’s Government. These policies were also agreed with civil society and confirmed through the political agreement regarding the transitional objectives of the Government, the Presidency and the Parliament, including the factions of PSRM, the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) and the Dignity and Truth Platform Party (PPDA).
In the field of judiciary, the Government Program does not refer to the need to develop a new Strategy on judiciary. The Program does not provide for genuine measures to strengthen the independence of judges. In addition, the Program does not provide for the repeal of Article 307 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Moldova, under which numerous judges were prosecuted in a selective mode. The Program does not include objectives aimed at securing the continued implementation of Law No. 76 of 21 April 2016 on the reorganization of the courts. The references on the improvement of transparent and merit-based selection and promotion of judges are also missing.
In the field of anticorruption, the Government Program does not include any objective targeting the legal framework and practice on verifying the assets and interests of civil servants, focusing on high-ranking officials and the efficiency of the mechanisms of fight against high-level corruption and high-profile cases. There are no references regarding the improvement of the legal framework on money laundering and terrorism financing and on the application of sanctions.
As far as cooperation with civil society is concerned, the Government Program includes one action only: “Strengthen the watch-dog role of civil society organizations and prohibit their involvement in political activities”. The restriction included in the Government Program concerning the CSOs’ involvement in political activities goes against the international standards and denies the CSOs’ right to engage in public policies and to participate in debates on topics of public interest
Given the above, the signatory organizations members of the Moldovan National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, ask the Government of the Republic of Moldova to:
- Comply with the European principles of public administration and the legislation regarding regulatory acts and to ensure the transparency of decision-making in the process of developing and approving the Government Action Plan, taking into account the objectives of the EU – Republic of Moldova Association Agreement and the 2030 Global Agenda, in particular the priority actions that would target the sustainable development of the Republic of Moldova, good governance, judiciary, anti-corruption, the prevention and combating of money laundering, human rights and the functioning of civil society organizations, as well as the improvement of the media situation, as required earlier by media CSOs, and the provisions regarding environmental protection and the climate change adjustment, as required earlier by environmental CSOs;
- Continue the systemic reforms aimed at strengthening democratic institutions, democracy and the rule of law in the Republic of Moldova;
- Ensure transparent cooperation with civil society and to guarantee a favorable space for its activity, the development and involvement in the monitoring and promotion of public policies.
The members of the Moldovan National Platform of the Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership express their willingness to contribute to the achievement of these objectives and the wish to get involved at all stages of consultation in order to offer public policy proposals to all the actors involved in the decision-making process in the Republic of Moldova.
The full version of the declaration in Romanian is available here.
The full version of the declaration in English is available here.