Public debate: European integration during the pandemic: new opportunities or stagnation?

Press Release
on the organization of the debate “Why did conditions for receiving EU macro-financial assistance become an apple of discord?”. Public debates series
“Overcoming stereotypes of European integration by communicationheld by the news agency IPN in its conference room with the support of the German Foundation “Hanns Seidel”


Held on 1 June 2020, Debate No.2 brought together: Alexei Tulbure, Oral History Institute Moldova director, Ilia Kiselev, journalist and political commentator, Ștefan Gligor, jurist, IPN project’s standing expert.

“Moldova risks missing the chance of receiving macro-financial assistance from the European Union”, said project’s standing expert, jurist Ștefan Gligor. He noted that there are primarily no disagreements on most of the points of the agreement on the provision of assistance between Moldova and the EU. “The EU understands that to do the reform of the Superior Council of Magistracy, the Constitution needs to be amended and thus does not ask something impossible from us”, mentioned Ștefan Gligor.

“But there are yet moments that can become problematic, especially the Prime Minister’s and the Government’s position on the law concerning nongovernmental organizations,” stated Ștefan Gligor. “If the President and the Prime Minister do not abandon the aggressive rhetoric and continue to attack this bill for the reason that it safeguards the interests of particular organizations, including charity foundations, which openly carry out political activities, we could fail to get assistance from the EU. The President and the Premier should clarify things: do they promote the country’s interests or the own interests?”, said the expert.

According to Ștefan Gligor, there are now preconditions for obtaining the EU macro-financial assistance. “The co-president of the Association Committee announced his intention to ask for the extension of the period during which the Moldovan side must comply. The request was made, but no response came yet,” noted the expert.

Journalist and political commentator Ilia Kiselev said he is sure that the EU will extend the time limit. “This is suitable for the European Union. It wants Moldova to adopt the law on NGOs and will thus accept to extend the deadline for meeting the conditions and will disburse the money,” he stated.

“Judging by the statements made by the Prime Minister and the President, the condition concerning the law on NGOs will most probably not be fulfilled. The Premier pronounced against, while the President said that he will not promulgate this law if it passes Parliament with the PDM’s consent, in breach of the coalition agreement signed with the Socialists. This will lead to the dismemberment of the coalition and everything will end with snap elections,” said the journalist.

Ilia Kiselev noes not rule out the possibility that Moldova’s relations with the EU will worsen and a small pause can be possibly taken, but a definitive rupture will be avoided. “A lot will depend on the results of the snap parliamentary elections, on the results achieved by the political parties and on how the new Parliament will look like,” he opined. 

Oral History Institute Moldova director Alexei Tulbure believes that Moldova will yet get macro-financial assistance from the EU, but this will be provided not to the Chicu Government, but to the executive that will be formed after the snap parliamentary elections.

“The current tendency of developments is not good. It poses the danger of isolation, but any kind of isolation causes damage,” he noted. “Our President is a practically isolated politician. If the Government also gets this status in particular regions of the world, this will not lead to something good. It does not go only to prestige or how the state is perceived. It goes to very concrete things, including money. If money does not come from the EU, it will not come from other programs either”, said the expert.

He noted the EU offers support only to the partners that obey particular rules and this essential matter hasn’t been understood by many rulers in Moldova during many years. “They do not realize that particular technical changes can be made, like, for example, the adoption of a strategy or law, but if you simultaneously change the electoral system contrary to the recommendations of the Venice Commission, this is against the agreement and money will not come,” explained Alexei Tulbure.

The public debate “Why did conditions for receiving EU macro-financial assistance become an apple of discord?” was staged in the framework of the project “Overcoming stereotypes of European integration by communication” that is implemented by IPN with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

The Agency published 7 news stories on the debate (see the English version of on 01.06.20, Why did conditions for receiving EU macro-financial assistance become apple of discord? IPN debate - Tulbure: Moldovan authorities do not understand essential matter in relations with EU -; Ilia Kiselev: Normal dialogue with EU cannot be kept at any cost -; Ștefan Gligor: EU requirements affect undeclared agenda of Moldovan establishment -; Ilia Kiselev: Law on NGOs frees NGOs from state control -; Ștefan Gligor: Debates on law on NGOs have a political undertone -; Alexei Tulbere: There is no clear definition for NGOs founded by parties -

IPN promoted the debate before and after the event, in particular the ensuing news stories, using all the available channels, including social networks. Confirmatory materials of deliverables, as well as a media coverage dossier are attached.


Valeriu Vasilica, director of IPN

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