Easter and the EU
Wednesday night, President Voronin called for general amnesty for those arrested during last week's protests, and that further arrests stop."I call on the competent authorities to provide a general amnesty and call for a stop of all forms of investigations against the street protesters. The recidivists and those from the clandestine world, who made trouble taking advantage of the complicated political situation, must remain in prison." All this in the spirit of the upcoming Orthodox Easter. Yet stronger than Easter might have been the delayed response of European officials to the situation in Moldova. Czech Prime Minister is set to visit Moldova next week, the first high level meeting since the start of the riots. CE Secretary General has also reacted, and delegated Jean-Louis Laurens, the Director General for Democracy and Political Affairs of the Council of Europe, to travel to Chisinau immediately and report on the situation in the country.
A few days ago, Javier Solana has also spoken about deployment of a fact finding mission to Moldova. It is heartening that the EU is finally reacting to the numerous reports on torture and maltreatment of the arrested protesters, many of whom under 18 years of age. It is crucial that the high level visitors and fact finding missions meet with and listen to all sides. This would take care of the short term solution to the Moldovan crisis. Yet the ongoing recounting of votes and the checking of the voters' lists, and all complaints about this processes, just like older complaints about an unfree and unfair electoral campaign, are there to remind of the deeper roots of the problem. A problem that Moldova should solve on its own, many would say. Yet it is also a problem the EU has to consider when discussing its future relation with the country, including a possible Association Agreement. Between Easter and Ascension, however, Voronin and the European Heads of State (including Romanian President Basescu) will have to sit around the same table to discuss EU's newest program for the Black Sea region, Eastern Partnership, and its four platforms, of which Democracy and Good Governance is one.
The views expressed in GMF publications and commentary are the views of the author alone.