Moldova at risk of losing EU liquidity due to delayed reform

The European Union flag flies in front of the seat of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France on July 2, 2019. Photo: EPA / Patrick Seeger

Moldova risks losing 30 million euros out of 100 million euros in macro-financial aid from the European Union if its parliament does not pass a law on the NGO sector seen as a condition for the release of the EU. silver.

The so-called NGO law is part of a set of conditions set by Brussels obliging Moldova to implement reforms in accordance with the association agreement it signed with the EU in June 2014.

Parliament was due to meet on Friday to pass the law, after a 14-day quarantine break imposed by the COVID-19 outbreak between two MPs from the ruling majority, including the Socialist Party, PSRM, and the Democratic Party, PD .

“These conditional questions were expected to be adopted last week. As it stands, the tranche will most likely be missed, ”European Parliament rapporteur for Moldova Dragos Tudorache told TVR Moldova on Tuesday.

Pro-Russian President Igor Dodon and Prime Minister Ion Chicu said on Monday that they disagreed with the law’s current provisions, especially those on funding for NGOs from abroad. They said the law in its current form cannot be passed and needs to be revised.

“Moldova as a state must have control over internal activities like any self-respecting state, so I hope the parliament will vote taking into account the amendments approved by the Commission last week,” Chicu said. He accused members of the opposition who wanted to promote the law of trying to destroy the state.

On Thursday, however, Dodon softened his rhetoric and said he could enact the law if Parliament passed various amendments suggested by him and the Socialist Party, particularly on Article 6 of the bill.

“In some European countries, it is expressly stated that if NGOs get involved in politics, they must publicly declare where they derive their income,” Dodon said, citing the examples of Hungary and Poland.

However, while criticizing NGOs that obtain funding from abroad, Dodon has avoided making public the financial sources of two foundations that support his political activities and those of the Socialist Party, insisting that their money comes “from” businessmen who want to remain anonymous ”.

“From the heart” is directed by his wife, Galina Dodon, while the second, “I love Moldova”, is directed by his old friend and socialist deputy Corneliu Furculita.

The lack of transparency of the two foundations, active during the election campaigns, drew strong criticism from Moldovan opposition groups.

Under Article 6 of the bill, NGOs will not be able to fund or provide free services to candidates for elections or to conduct election campaigns for candidates.

However, non-profit organizations made up of parties and socio-political organizations may be able to provide free services to parties and socio-political organizations in order to strengthen their organizational capacities.

Dodon and Chicu fear that this could benefit poorer pro-European opposition parties, which could then receive funds from abroad and build their capacity.

The vice-president of the pro-European Action and Solidarity Party, Sergiu Litvinenco, said his party was not interested in setting up an association or a foundation after the law came into force.

A Socialist MP, Vasile Bolea, proposed Wednesday that the law enter into force on January 1, 2021, which would allow after the presidential elections scheduled for November in Dodon to seek a new mandate.

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