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Općenita zabrinutost izražena uoči značajnog trgovinskog sporazuma EU-a s Moldavijom

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bg-2Šef vijeća EU Herman Van Rompuy potvrdio je da će se potpisivanje pakta o pridruživanju i slobodnoj trgovini s Moldavijom održati 27. lipnja u Bruxellesu.

Dok blok napreduje s dubljim vezama s istočnoeuropskim državama uprkos Rusiji, nedavno je najavljeno i da moldavski građani više neće trebati vize za putovanje u EU.

But this and other recent developments, such as Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca saying on Tuesday (20 May) that the country aims to join the EU by 2019, has merely served to reopen debate about the country’s suitability for closer ties with the EU.

As part of its response to the Ukraine crisis, the EU has said it will accelerate the partnerships with states like Moldova but, lest it be forgotten, Ukraine’s quest for EU ties triggered the current crisis in relations with Moscow.

Hoće li se isto dogoditi s Moldavijom?

Jasno je da su EU i Rusija uvučeni u ukrajinski konop protiv Moldavije.

Russia insists that Moldova’s EU rapprochement will jeopardize the future of Transnistria, a breakaway territory located on the border between Moldova and Ukraine.

Oglas

Jedan poljski europarlamentarac desnog centra rekao je za Reporter EU: “Some might argue that there is a contradiction in the EU’s approach. After all, one of EU’s top demands for Moldova is that it still has to ´intensify  the fight´ against corruption at all levels.”

Zapravo, postoje razne zabrinutosti oko Moldavije, koje uključuju i činjenicu da je ona i dalje jedan od glavnih igrača u industriji seksualne trgovine.

Moldova’s National Bureau of Statistics estimates 25,000 Moldovans, including men, women and children, were trafficked abroad in 2008.

Prema Međunarodnoj organizaciji za migracije, većina žrtava su žene i djevojke kojima se trguje u svrhu seksualnog i radnog iskorištavanja.

U međuvremenu, nedavno izvješće Europske komisije kaže da zemlje oko južnog i istočnog ruba EU, uključujući Moldaviju, bilježe porast nestabilnosti, autoritarnosti i korupcije.

EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fuele noted the EU spent €2.6 billion on “neighbourhood policy” states last year and has earmarked €15.4 billion for 2014 to 2020

Tu spadaju Moldavija, bivša sovjetska republika koja je bila dio Rumunjske prije nego što je Sovjetski Savez pripojen tijekom Drugog svjetskog rata.

Ruski jezik, koji nema izlaz na more između Rumunjske i Ukrajine, široko se govori u Moldaviji i ima etničko rusko stanovništvo.

Zapravo, Moldavija, iako je miljenica dužnosnika EU-a, ima najniži dohodak po glavi stanovnika od bilo koje zemlje Istočnog partnerstva.

EU je Moldaviji dodijelila 526 milijuna eura između 2007. i 2013. godine, ali njezin bruto nacionalni dohodak od 2,250 američkih dolara, unatoč povećanju četverostrukog porasta od 2002. godine, samo je četvrtina dohotka susjedne Rumunjske.

According to the Program for International Student Assessment, Moldova remains at the bottom of European rankings in terms of quality of education and Moldova’s Institute of Strategic Research and Reforms predicts that, if the trade deal with the EU is signed, Chisinau will have to implement over 300 directives in three to four years.

Mnogi preispituju njegovu sposobnost da poduzme takav zadatak.

Further, the importance of keeping both export directions open is underlined by the fact that while 50% of Moldova’s trade goes to the EU, 50% goes to CIS countries.

While Chisenau, for some, is seen as the champion of the EU’s Eastern association process for now, things could heat up this year with a victory for the Communist opposition in November’s election likely to delay its EU integration.

Last May, concern was voiced at EU level when Moldova’s parliament gave itself powers to sack Constitutional Court judges and change election rules, moves Brussels said would harm the country’s bid for closer ties with the EU.

The laws were part of “a worrying new pattern of decision-making in Moldova … where the institutions of the state have been used in the interest of a few,” EU officials said.

Any assessment of Moldova´s suitability for signing an Association Agreement should also take account of what is happening “on the ground” on this issue.

Currently, there are divisions in Moldovan society over which is the best way to go – signing the deal or not. In asking if Moldovan society supportive of the agreement it is worth recalling that an overwhelming majority of voters in a 2 February referendum held in the autonomous Moldovan region of Gagauzia voted for integration with a Russia-led customs union.

The chairwoman of Gagauzia’s election commission, Valentina Lisnic later said that 98.4 percent of voters had chosen closer relations with the CIS Customs Union.

U zasebnom pitanju, 97.2% bilo je protiv bliže integracije u EU.

Gagauzia Governor Mihail Formuzal does not hide his personal preferences, saying: “I think that for the next 10 years it is in our interest to be in the customs union. I think that would enable us to modernize our economy, secure reliable markets for our goods.”

Hrant Kostanyan, head of EU foreign policy at CEPS (Centre for European Policy Studies), said: “Moldova has to engage in serious reforms adopting and implementing big part of the EU legislation as envisioned in the agreement. This is indeed challenging for Moldova since comprehensive domestic reforms require significant costs and political will.The implementation has to be carried out by Moldovan government.”

Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s deputy PM and special envoy on Transniestria, agrees, saying that if the  EU signs the deal next month he “will insist on revising economic relations with Moldova”, which is 100 percent dependent on Russian gas.

Moldavija bi, kako kaže, trebala održati izbore prije nego što bilo što potpiše, s proruskom oporbom, Komunističkom partijom, koja je visoko glasala prije zakazanog glasanja u studenom.

With Ukraine being torn apart, Willy Fautre, of Brussels-based Human Rights Without Frontiers, predicts, “Moldova will certainly be the next battlefield. The EU neighbourhood policy has totally failed in the case of Ukraine and there is no chance of better success with Moldova.”

Some EU government ministers are sympathetic to Russia’s concerns.

Austria’s foreign minister Sebastian Kurze said if the EU signs deal with Moldova  it should also offer a “long-term” free-trade perspective to Russia “so these countries are not torn between the EU and a Eurasian customs union.”

Kurz je rekao da nije proživio hladni rat i da ne želi novi.

“It makes no sense to pretend Russia doesn’t exist and that these countries don’t have economic relations with Russia … We don’t need a confrontation between the EU and Russia,” he said.

Elzbieta Kaca, istraživačica u Pism-u, think tank-u sa sjedištem u Varšavi, kaže da pomoć EU-a za reforme u zemljama Istočnog partnerstva poput Moldavije do sada nije donijela opipljive rezultate.

Već sedam godina EU vrši izravne transfere u državne proračune svojih istočnih partnera (minus Bjelorusija) kako bi podržao reforme u bilo čemu, od energetike i pravde do sanitacije vode.

Za ovu takozvanu proračunsku potporu bilo je predviđeno ukupno oko 1.2 milijarde eura, 60 posto bilateralne pomoći, a Moldavija je među onima koji su primili najviše iznose.

She asks, “What happened with this aid, given the different attitudes of eastern governments to EU-style reforms, let alone their problems with corruption and inefficient public administration? ”

Odgovor velikog istraživačkog projekta provedenog na Poljskom institutu za međunarodne poslove (Pism) jest da se prečesto ništa nije dogodilo. U slučajevima Moldavije i Gruzije, Bruxelles je uspio otpustiti oko polovice obećanih sredstava; ali zbog dugotrajnih postupaka, većina operacija još nije finalizirana.

Where the EU did manage to spend money Kaca says it brought “very slim” results. The recipient administrations were at ease drafting strategies, but implementation lagged behind.

Gernot Erler, Germany’s new chief of relations with Russia and the eastern neighbourhood, warned that if countries like Moldova enter a “deep free trade agreement” with the EU, Moscow fears that these markets will be flooded with cheap Western products, which would undermine Russian exports.

“I can understand this concern. I don’t know what the solution will look like, but it seems possible and this is currently being assessed by experts,” he noted.

Further comment comes from UK Foreign Minister William Hague who said recently that he wants Moldova “to make more progress on reform and in the fight against corruption”. UK Independence Party MEP Roger Helmer said: “I should have thought that the EU had done enough damage in the Ukraine, and would avoid prodding the Russian Bear again for a little while. If Moldova is anything like Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia, then it would not be ready for EU membership.”

A joint statement following the meeting on 15 May between the European Commission and the Moldovan government reiterated the need to “fight corruption, including high-level one, reform the justice sector and improve the business and investment climate.”

Commission spokesman Peter Stano told this website, “We are stressing that the association agreement is not a choice between Moscow and Brussels, it is a choice for more stable, more prosperous future. Closer cooperation brings benefits for all and previous examples have shown that the agreement contributes to job creation, increase of GDP, investment and better choice and lower prices for consumers. It is exactly with the AA/DCFTA we think Moldova will head into a future where its modernised economy will be able to sustain the country without outside dependency. And it is not at Russia’s expense because Russia can benefit from this too.”

Even so, Georg Zachmann, from the leading Brussels-based Bruegel think tank, cautions: “In economic terms, signing the DCFTA between the EU and Moldova might have a short-term cost for Moldova in case Russia will use its economic leverage, for example, cutting remittances, gas exports and imports from Moldova.”

Another respected commentator, Michael Emerson, of the Centre for European Policy Studies, declared: “Is Moldova ready for EU membership? Of course not.”

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