Moldova is no longer a leader among Eastern Partnership countries

29.03.2019

The Republic of Moldova is no longer a leader among the member states of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). Backlashing was witnessed in such areas as independence of the judiciary, freedom of the media and human rights, said a group of experts from Chisinau who analyzed a number of areas to get a picture of the situation in Moldova compared with the other EaP countries – Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus, IPN reports.

Coordinator of the team of experts Elena Prohnitski, of the Association for Participatory Democracy ADEPT, said this year Moldova is no longer a leader by the Eastern Partnership Index compared with last year. It leads in none of the areas. On the contrary, it ranks second, third or even last, depending on area.

“Why is the difference so big compared with the previous year? Two explanations can be provided. The first explanation is that the situation in the Republic of Moldova worsened in such areas as the freedom of the media, independence of the judiciary, etc. Another explanation is that the situation in the other countries developed faster than in our country. The index contains quantitative indicators, including those that show to what extent the regulatory framework evolved, how much it was adjusted to the European legislation. There are indicators we all know, such as Doing Business, Freedom of the Media, which are measured by renowned international organizations,” Elena Prohnitski stated in an interview for Radio Free Europe.

In many areas, Moldova is not far from other countries and the discrepancy is mainly due to the adoption of a particular law. The discrepancy is rather wide in the business climate sector. The situation is better in Georgia, which is a leader, while Ukraine and Moldova, which both signed Association Agreements and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements, rank fourth and fifth, which is almost last. Even if Moldova benefits from a Free Trade Agreement, the situation here is worse than in Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Backlashing was seen in such areas as independence of the judiciary, freedom of the media and the observance of human rights. “So, the situation concerning profound and sustainable democracy worsened,” noted Elena Prohnitski.

The report is based on a questionnaire that is filled out by national experts. The answers to the questions are either closed or open, but an analysis of the situation in the country is provided additionally as an investigation of the developments in the political, social and economic spheres during the assessed year.