The Republic of Moldova is very close to becoming a politically and institutionally failed state that will be ignored by its main foreign partners. According to Victor Chirila, executive director of the Foreign Policy Association, the only chance to avoid this collapse is to form a pro-European Government consisting of non-discredited persons and to have an appropriate reaction to the last European Parliament officials’ attempts to contribute to overcoming the political crisis in Moldova.
IPN: Is the flying visit paid by the highest-rank MEPs Jacek Protasiewicz and Libor Roucek to Chisinau, after the very recent and very special visit by European Commissioner Stefan Fule, a sign of great hope or of great despair for Moldova’s European course?
Victor Chirila: It is rather a sign that our partners from the EU are very concerned about the political developments in Moldova, which threaten to ruin our European aspirations. I do not exclude that this visit may be the last serious attempt of the EU to help us come out of the current political crisis so that we finish the negotiations on the Association Agreement as soon as possible and obtain the endorsement of the EU member states in order to initial the agreement at the Eastern Partnership Summit of Vilnius.
IPN: I recently read a pamphlet of yours titled “Success Story was bid farewell”. Did “the marvel child of the Eastern Partnership, the spoiled student of Europe – Moldova” lose all chances?
Victor Chirila: Unfortunately, the “marvel child of the Eastern Partnership” no longer exists and the blame is borne by the three components of the former Alliance for European Integration, which didn’t succeed in managing a political crisis generated by the tragic hunting incident in the Domneasca Forest. Moreover, by their irresponsible actions, they swelled it to the extent to which it undermined the credibility and functionality of the main state institutions: the Constitutional Court, the Presidential Office, Parliament, the Government, and the whole legal system. After five months of political anarchy, Moldova is very close to becoming a politically and institutionally failed state that will be ignored by its main foreign partners. Currently, the former allies of the AEI can avoid the disaster and restore people’s confidence only by immediately forming a pro-European Government that would include personalities who weren’t discredited by the current political scandal, with firm political support and a convincing reform agenda.
IPN: What is better for reanimating Moldova’s European course: to form a parliamentary majority with the same players and the danger of a similar prospect or early legislative elections?
Victor Chirila: Personally, I’m in favor of a parliamentary majority with the same players not because they are perfect, but because there are now no better players who could continue the reforms dictated by our European course. As most of the citizens, I’m aware of their imperfection and vanity. But I think that it’s better to move on, slowly but surely, like a tortoise, than to stop and “stare like an ox at the new gate’. Pardon the expression, but this is how things stand regretfully.
IPN: What are the internal reasons that led to the discrediting of Moldova’s European course?
Victor Chirila: My opinion, which can be subjective, is that the main causes that led to the discrediting of everything that was achieved in the relations with the EU during the past four years are the lack of responsibility towards the promises made to people, hypocrisy, vanity, and nothingness of the politicians, the lack of political fair play and, especially, the distancing from the ordinary people’s needs with the slogan “we were elected by the people, we know what we do, we do well and responsibly.”
IPN: What influence had the foreign factor? I mean the rumored ‘Moscow’s hand’ and the assertions that if Brussels hadn’t announced at the beginning of this year that Moldova would not be able to sign the wanted documents in Vilnius, the political crisis in Chisinau wouldn’t have occurred.
Victor Chirila: In this case, I consider that not ‘Moscow’s hand’ is to blame for what has happened during the past five months in our country, but rather the irresponsibility of our politicians who have lately behaved like provincial officials, not like wise and rational statesmen thinking about the state interests. Such an irresponsible behavior can be easily manipulated and exploited from outside, especially by Moscow. The visit paid by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dimtry Rogozin to Chisinau on May 9, the Eurasian conferences in Comrat and Balti, the more often challenges orchestrated by Tiraspol, the significant rise in the number of nongovernmental organizations promoting Eurasian integration, which appeared like mushrooms after rain (according to unofficial reports, about 40 such NGOs had been registered over the last three yeas) confirm our suppositions in this sense.
IPN: What is the real scenario for ensuring the continuity of the European integration process? What the political class, society and the development partners can and should do for this to happen?
Victor Chirila: The creation of a politically stable pro-European Government that would make the people trust that things in the country can improve, even if slowly, is now the only real way, which is simultaneously the most difficult, for continuing the country’s European integration agenda. Theoretically, it’s an impossible mission. But, as they say’ practice beats grammar’. Our development partners can help us only if we help ourselves. Consequently, we can only hope that the Moldovan’s ‘ultimate’ mind will return to our politicians who say firmly and loudly that they are Europeans. Parole, Parole, Parole, the people are tired of such statements. They want deeds that would confirm this.
Valeriu Vasilica, IPN