Moldova: Assessment of Civil Society and Democratic Institutions
Non governmental organizations have been active in Moldova since 1989, but a civil society started its today’s formation as a result of radical reforms in economic and political areas only after the country became independent in 1991. Since that time the establishment of a transitional civil society in Moldova is under way. However, starting from 2001, when the Communist Party won the general elections, development of the nongovernmental sector has become slower. Although several positive patterns evident at the end of the nineties indicate progress in the development of Moldovan non-governmental sector, there is a number of sensitive issues (e.g., freedom of media, human rights protection) in relation to which certain regress has been observed especially in the last two years. Media market in Moldova is far from being free, and protection of human rights remains to be a problem (in all respects, situation of non-governmental sector in Transnistria is much worse than in Moldova). Finally, it needs to be emphasized that critical socio-economic situation seems to be the main threat to democracy and the rule of law in the country. This is because further significant economic decline can provide fertile ground for non-democratic political forces and extremists. Economic collapse could be a real threat to the achievements in the area of democratization and civil society development. Thus, only results of a successful economic reform process may reverse undesirable patterns and change socio-economic situation in Moldova, increase income of population, decrease poverty, guarantee stability and irreversibility of Moldovan achievements in democratization and development of civil society.