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PACE rapporteurs welcome the continuation of the reform agenda in the Republic of Moldova despite considerable economic and security challenges

“Since our last visit in October 2021, the situation in the Republic of Moldova has changed dramatically. The ongoing Russian aggression against neighbouring Ukraine has forced the country to face considerable challenges, including in the field of its national security. This is in addition to the energy crisis and the high inflation, about 30%, which already weigh heavily on the population's standard of living,” said Inese Lībiņa-Egnere (Latvia, EPP/CD) and Pierre-Alain Fridez (Switzerland, SOC), rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for the monitoring of Moldova, on their return from their fact-finding visit to Chisinau from 6 to 9 June 2022.

“The management of the refugee crisis by the Moldovan authorities as well as the resilience and solidarity shown by the population should be underscored. Addressing the needs of the 80 000 refugees residing in a country of 2,6 million and providing access to services, including education for 50,000 children, will require increased financial support and international solidarity in the coming months. In this context, our visit allowed us to examine the situation and expectations of national minorities, which have helped to preserve social cohesion in this multi-ethnic state,” they added.

“Despite the cumulative effects of national and regional constraints, the authorities are striving to continue, with great commitment and sometimes limited human resources, to implement their priority reforms in the field of justice and the fight against corruption, In this respect, the newly established Commission on the evaluation of the activity of judges and prosecutors (so-called pre-vetting commission) that we met should, within short deadlines, play a key role in strengthening the independence and integrity of the judiciary and the prosecution service; only transparent and open processes can help to restore confidence in these areas. In this context, recent high-level criminal cases, including those against former President Igor Dodon, will also need to respect all procedural safeguards and the requirements of the rule of law.

In the field of media, we welcome the recent adoption of a law on disinformation which took into account several of Council of Europe’s recommendations. While we were informed that the 2021 revision of the media legislation still raises questions, the new impetus given by the Audiovisual Council could open up new avenues to strengthen access to pluralistic and quality information. The preparation for the implementation of the Istanbul Convention – which entered into force on 1st May 2022 – is also a welcome development. Moldova's recent application to become a member of the European Union is yet another indication of the country's determination and aspiration to make a lasting commitment to a system based on human rights and European standards,” the rapporteurs concluded.