Government and judicial system are responsible for failures in justice sector

civilThe member organizations of the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum express their profound concern and indignation about the avoidance by the current government of responsibility for the failure of the justice sector reform and the shifting of blame onto the development partners and civil society. By a statement, the NGOs call on the government and the authorities to respect the European values, to renounce the practices instituted during the last few years, which run counter to these values, and to make sure that these values are applied in the interests of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova, IPN reports.

The statement reminds that following the invalidation of the elections in Chisinau, the European Parliament on July 5 adopted a resolution by which it expressed its concern about the deterioration of the democratic standards in Moldova, calling on the European Commission to suspend any budget and macro-financial support to Moldova. On July 6, the Head of the EU Delegation to Moldova and the ambassadors of the EU member states in Chisinau met with Prime Minister Pavel Filip and Cabinet members to familiarize these with the EU’s position.

The NGOs also remind that on July 7 the Government, in a press release, provided details about the meeting that took place, noting that the resolution is incorrect towards the Government and politicized, that all commitments on EU funding have been met and the decision to postpone the funding is unjustified and represents interference in Moldova’s internal affairs. Moreover, the Prime Minister noted that if things in the justice sector go wrong, it is the liability of both the Government and the European partners and the representatives of civil society who took part in the implementation of these reforms. Also, the PM said he found out that the information disseminated by the EU Delegation in Chisinau was incomplete and asked for this approach to be revised so that the sent notes are objective.

The NGOs express their profound concern and indignation about the way in which the government reacted to the EP resolution and the EU’s position on the invalidation of the early mayoral elections in Chisinau  that was stated by resident EU ambassadors. The unprecedented vocabulary used by a high-ranking Moldovan official, who made tendentious accusations concerning the method in which the European officials are informed by the EU Delegation in Chisinau, instructing even the foreign diplomats what information they should transmit to the EU institutions, is regrettable.

The signatories note such communication practices are inadmissible and noncompliant with the spirit of the bilateral relations and the values defined in the Moldova-EU Association Agreement. This way, the good relations with a key partner in the country’s sustainable development process are in danger.

“The Premier’s tendentious insinuations that the justice sector reform failed because of the involvement of civil society point to lack of respect for a basic principle of any democracy – ensuring of transparency in decision making by engaging civil society – and also to lack of clear understanding of civil society’s role in a democratic society and of the quality of decisional transparency in Moldova,” reads the statement.

The NGOs remind that the July 7 press release of the Government’s press service notes that the executive will remain firmly committed to the European path, which is the only viable strategic direction for modernizing the country. In this regard, the government and the authorities are requested to respect these values, to renounce the practices of the last few years that run counter to these values and to make sure that these values are applied in the interests of the Moldovan citizens.

The statement was signed by the Legal Resources Center, the Institute for European Policies and Reforms, the Association of Independent Press, Transparency International Moldova, the Institute for Development and Social Initiative “Viitorul”, the MilleniuM Training and Development Institute, the Foundation for Development, the Foreign Policy Association, the Institute for Public Policy, the Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance, East-Europe Foundation, the Independent Journalism Center, the National Youth Council, the National Association of European Trainers, the International Center “La Strada” and others. The list is open to other signatories.