BRUSSELS -- The European Parliament has overwhelmingly passed a resolution highly critical of Moldova, saying it has become a “state captured by oligarchic interests” that exert their influence over most part of Moldova's society.
The resolution passed on November 14 voiced “grave concern about backsliding in relation to democratic standards in Moldova” and noted that core values are “being undermined by the ruling political leaders colluding with business interests and unopposed by much of the political class and the judiciary.”
The resolution also expressed concern about “signs of a further shrinking of space for the country’s civil society” and called on Moldovan authorities to “immediately halt undue or disproportionate criminal proceedings, some of which have been brought about through fabricated accusations, and selective justice against political opponents, their lawyers and/or their families.”
The European Commission earlier this year froze the first tranche of a 100 million euro macro-financial aid package for Moldova, citing worries over the democratic situation in the country.
The resolution said that any future aid disbursement “should only take place after the parliamentary elections scheduled for February 2019 and on condition that they are conducted in line with internationally recognized standards and assessed by specialized international bodies.”
Although it does not specifically call for the suspension of the 2016 Association Agreement or the 2014 visa liberalization regime, the document “recalls” that suspension clauses for both exist.
The European Parliament also passed a resolution on Georgia, which stressed that high-level corruption “remains a serious issue” for Georgia and more should be done to improve issues such as labor standards.
However, the motion voices “satisfaction that Georgia’s European agenda continues to garner cross-party consensus and the support of a majority of Georgian citizens.”
It also leaves the door open to Georgia's European aspirations by noting that “any European state may apply to become a member of the EU.”