Democracy at Stake: A Discussion on Moldova's Upcoming Parliamentary Election
To RSVP or if you have any questions, please contact Kirsten Fowler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Katie Fox, Deputy Director for Eurasia, National Democratic Institute
- Stephen Nix, Regional Director for Eurasia, International Republican Institute
- Nadine Gogu, Executive Director, Independent Journalism Center (livestreamed from Chisinau)
- Pavel Postica, Director for Democracy Programs, Promo-Lex (livestreamed from Chisinau)
- Valeriu Pasa, Project Manager, WatchDog.MD (livestreamed from Chisinau)
- Jonathan D. Katz, Senior Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
The Moldovan parliamentary election, to be held on February 24, 2019, is just over two months away and the country is at a serious crossroads with international partners recalculating their engagement with Moldova and the current government. Moldova’s future hangs in the balance and there is growing concerns in Washington and Brussels about the Moldovan government’s commitment to democracy, rule of law, and its future in Europe and Euro-Atlantic institutions. Despite these internal challenges to further European Union (EU) integration, there is strong Moldovan support for their future in the EU. This sentiment is even stronger with younger Moldovans, who support EU integration but are frustrated and are leaving Moldova given the slow pace of reforms, including combating corruption, and the lack of economic opportunity in the country. Will a new parliament and government in Chisinau in 2019 work with Moldovans, including civil society and the private sector, to create a democratic market-oriented Moldova?
There are other factors, including external actors like Russia, impacting Moldova’s future and the upcoming election. Moldova has been a consistent target of Russian aggression. A new Moldovan parliament and government in 2019, depending on who will be creating the new governing coalition, may look to reestablish economic, political and other cooperation with Russia. Moldova’s president has been clear about his interest in improving Moldova’s relationship with the Kremlin.
Moldova’s largest trading partners, the EU, and the U.S. are taking note of the changes in Moldova and the lack of progress on key reforms. As detailed in a recent European Court of Human Rights' report, Moldova’s ineffective legal system and lack of support for civil society reveal the tenuous state of Moldova’s democracy. Recently, the EU suspended macro-financial and assistance funding to Moldova based on rule of law and democratic backsliding concerns.
The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) invites you to participate in a timely roundtable to discuss Moldova's upcoming 2019 parliamentary election, its future in Europe and relations with the West. Speakers in Moldova and the U.S. will focus on internal and external challenges in Moldova, including its relationships with the U.S, EU, and Russia. How does Moldova get back on track in 2019 and create conditions that ensure its political and economic future is tied and integrated with Europe, its most important trading partner? What role are Moldovan citizens, government, and civil society playing in ensuring that the 2019 elections are free, fair and transparent? Finally, what is the future of U.S., EU, and international partners' engagement with Chisinau based on Moldova’s commitment to democracy, anti-corruption reforms, and the upcoming election outcome?