01.02.2011 MEP Zdanoka's speech on reforms and development in Moldova (21.10.2010)
Mr President, we welcome the progress made by the Republic of Moldova and hope that the forthcoming electoral process can further consolidate the democratic institutions and ensure respect for the rule of law and of human rights in Moldova.
We know that there is broad support for Moldova’s future EU membership – not NATO membership – within Moldovan society. In spite of their different political platforms, all parties represented in the Moldovan Parliament declare that they are for European cooperation and integration as well. But, taking into account my own country of Latvia’s experience of EU membership, I have tried to explain during my conversations with Moldovan politicians that EU membership cannot be an end in itself. It is very important to step up efforts to implement deep and consistent economic and judicial reforms, notably through the fight against corruption.
Moldovan society is multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic; moreover, essential differences exist in relation to the assessment of historical events. It is therefore quite dangerous to create additional dividing lines within Moldovan society. In my opinion, a recent decree establishing 28 June as Soviet Occupation Day, which triggered a negative reaction on the part of a large number of Moldovan residents, did not consolidate society but had just the opposite effect.
Moldovan society also varies according to the nationality held by its residents. The large proportion of residents having dual citizenship creates additional differences in respect of rights as well, and so we have to make every effort to abolish these differences and to provide a visa-free regime for all Moldovans.