Anatol Țăranu: Moldova lacks national identity

"Moldova has no national identity. A national identity is barely taking shape. It has been erased. After the war, the historical ties were severed. This once again speaks in favour of the need to seriously examine the issue of reintegrating into the historical and national space and reconnecting with the national spirit". This opinion was voiced by Anatol Țăranu, doctor of history and signer of the Declaration of Independence, during a public debate titled "Independence-30: A subjective view on the state of the nation", held by the IPN news agency.

According to Anatol Țăranu, the state institutions of Moldova are considered weak, unsatisfactory and unable to guarantee prosperity and well-being to its citizens. Thirty years after independence, the country's history speaks in rather reserved terms about the achievements of this state and about the people who live in it.

Anatol Țăranu referred to the example of other former Soviet republics that set out on the road to independence, along with Moldova, from exactly the same starting line (the Baltic republics), which have travelled a different path from that of Moldova and achieved far more in terms of guaranteeing rights and welfare to its citizens. This raises the question, "How can this enormous difference between former Soviet republics that began from the same starting point but achieved different results be explained?" Anatol Țăranu doesn't think that there are unambiguous answers to this question. However, one of the answers is obvious. According to him, unlike the Baltic republics, where the concept of "nation" is well-established and has distinct elements, there's no such thing in Moldova.

The national identity in the Baltic republics gave consistency to state-building, whereas in Moldova, this national identity is diffuse, and, in Anatol Țăranu's opinion, has played tricks on us. In his opinion, national identity in a developing state is in fact the glue that makes a community act coherently and be able to achieve common goals through joint effort. The lack of this glue means that the nation, the community striving for a major common goal, is not able to achieve this goal. This is Moldova's problem.

Anatol Țăranu said that the vote in Parliament in favour of the Declaration of Independence was largely due to a synergy that was not generated inside Parliament, rather came from outside - the Great National Assembly, which symbolized the will of the people. Inside Moldova, there was no unambiguous approach to what independence means. Independence was voted after certain conditions were externally created.

For Moldova to exist, a responsible political elite is a minimum requirement, said the doctor of history. These are the people who directly run state institutions, while the state is an extremely valuable and effective instrument. In all European countries where nation states have emerged, national identity has been strengthened by state policies geared towards this goal. This is also true for Moldova, which is a young state and whose national identity is still in its infancy.

Anatol Țăranu prepared a message for the political elite. "The political elite should not promote policies that are divorced from realities, historical or of other nature. Attempting to use the potential of state institutions to implant, including in people's minds, things that are foreign to them and do not correspond to the natural course of history are doomed to failure. Practically all problems that the citizens are facing stem from this imperfect political elite, which is not even a political elite in the true sense of the word, said Anatol Țăranu.

The public debate titled "Independence-30: A subjective view on the state of the nation" was held by the IPN News Agency within the project "Development of political culture in public debates", supported by the German foundation Hanns Seidel.

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