During 29 years of independence, we didn’t manage to establish democratic traditions where the respect for human rights and freedoms would become incontestable values.
Wir bleiben das ärmste Land in Europa, weil wir uns berauben lassen
“We relaxed too early and made insufficient effort to fully implement the democratic reforms. That’s why in 2020 I reaffirm as a citizen that I do not perceive these 29 years as a period of success, of strengthening of the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova,” stated ombudsman Mihail Cotorobai.
According to him, the Republic of Moldova during the 29 years of independence managed to build the state with all the corresponding institutions, to become a member of the UN, the Council of Europe and many other international organizations and instruments. Among the objectives set by Moldova is the building of the democratic state with the rule of law in which the basic human rights and freedoms are respected. It made progress in achieving the European integration objective, signing an Association Agreement with the EU in 2014. Nevertheless, the independence years of the Republic of Moldova were rather a period of attempts and, regrettably, with not many accomplishments, also because the achieved objectives weren’t put to good use.
However, the ombudsman considers there are yet chances to improve things, especially when there is enough potential for doing this. But a change in attitude is needed.
“We must make the political elite more responsible and press them to act exclusively in the people’s interests and less in private interests. The most prosperous nations achieved an advanced level of freedom and well-being because their leaders respected the own people and placed human dignity above everything. A responsible administration that respects the citizens, guarantees freedoms and decent living conditions for all the people aims to do good and makes beneficial changes in favor of the people whenever it is necessary,” stated Mihail Cotorobai.
According to him, the people’s attitude to the events that happen on the country and to those who rule should be changed. The people should realize that they can obtain changes if they ensure respect for themselves. “After 29 years of independence, we remain the poorest country in Europe because we allow to be robbed, wronged and disrespected by those whom we elected to govern.”
The situation can change if the respect for the human rights and freedoms becomes an absolute priority in the Republic of Moldova and the authorities act by obeying the principles of good governance. Good governance means full respect for the human rights, ensuring of the preeminence of the law, an efficient public sector, transparency in governance, equity, sustainable development, attitudes and values that promote responsibility, solidarity and tolerance.
The ombudsman said the 29th anniversary is a sad event amid the growing number of persons infected with COVID-19 and the dramatic decline in the people’s confidence in the authorities’ capacity to efficiently manage the epidemiological crisis. “I wish our country to pass this test without many casualties. The economic and social impact is regrettably enormous. COVID-19 fully affected our life and cut from the few benefits we enjoyed given the realities in the Republic of Moldova. We should be wise and appropriately estimate the gravity of the situation and act prudently and calculatedly. This refers both to the authorities and to the citizens”.
Mihail Cotorobai voiced hope that in the post-COVID period, serious reforms will be launched in the healthcare, education and other sectors. The people will learn to be more tolerant and helpful, more responsible and will respect the mates’ right to enjoy their rights. Or the people will remain with the same frustrations on the 35th or the 40th anniversary of the declaring of independence.
Ombudsman Mihail Cotorobai is a jurist by profession. He studied law in the Russian Federation, at the State University “A. A. Jdanov”. He was a member of Moldova’s first Parliament. In 1996, he was named judge at the Constitutional Court and held this post until September 2002. The same year, he entered the bar and then continued his teaching activity at the State University of Moldova, being also an arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration and Mediation working under the National Union of Agricultural Producers’ Associations “UniAgroProtect”. In April 2015, he was confirmed as ombudsman by Parliament for a seven-year term.