More European Integration and Reform in the Eastern Neighborhood: Is the Moldovan Parliament a Real Player?

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    • Presentation speakers
      • Natalia Colesnic, Moldova State University, Republic of Moldova


    The European integration policies in the EU Eastern neighbourhood involve the respect for political conditionality as a key instrument to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The newly emerged democracies, in particular post-soviet countries, such as the Republic of Moldova, have to undergo profound changes in their EU course, and the EU transformative power had its beneficial effects on Moldova’s domestic polices and opened up new perspectives. The ‘more for more’ merit-based principle welcomed with certain optimism by Moldova fuelled greater effort to embrace a democratic approach towards domestic reforms and institutional adjustments. As a result, EU officials claim that Moldova can be considered a success story in the Eastern Partnership. However the problem of the democratic deficit seems to be also relevant to the countries seeking closer European integration or aspiring for future EU membership. Despite the massive support by the EU structures, there were signs of popular dissatisfaction with the EU course of Moldova, which starts to be perceived as an elitist project, and provides little information on the ongoing EU-Moldova talks and the European integration affairs. The growing unrest among Moldovan public is nurtured by both the crisis faced by the EU countries, the lack of clear EU perspective, and the Ukraine crisis, since one of its triggers has been failure to sign the Association Agreement, inter alia due to that lack of feedback between people and their elected representatives, or the insufficient government-parliament communication and mutual oversight throughout the EU-Ukraine talks before Vilnius. The paper aims at exploring to what extent the democratic deficit concept is applicable in the case of Moldova, whether the Moldovan parliament is loser in the European integration issues and policy making, how effective is the legislative-executive-civil society-public at large relationship and communication on the EU-Moldova affairs.