Bucharest and Brussels, facing a return of Moldovan Communists
Moldova remains the only European country where the hammer and sickle emblem has not been definitively deposited in the history museum. Moldovan Communists have never been so close to win the mayoralty of Chisinau, the most pro-European city in Moldova.
It seems that Chirtoaca, the European alliance candidate, and Dodon, the Communist candidate, will go into a second round, but the result closely alarms the Europeans, more or less. How Brussels and Bucharest will react facing a possible return of Communists to power?
The presenting of the Republic of Moldova as a successful model of Eastern partnership was, apparently, premature. Dirk Schübel, Head of Delegation in Chisinau, warned late last month that the honeymoon between the EU and Moldova is over.
The declaration, made in full campaign for mayor of Chisinau, spoke of the pro-European Moldovan authorities indecision in continuing reforms: "If the reforms fail, we will not give any more money."
Although the official opinion of the European Parliament hallways sees AEI as the only guarantee for the Europeanisation of the Republic, the European Commission makes its pragmatic calculations as well. A communist party led by the reformist Dodon, favored in Moscow and digestible in Brussels, could become a social democracy which would be easier to invite to the European receptions. Provided they get rid of outdated Vladimir Voronin.
Last fall, the Transnistrian issue had reached the top of the German-Russian pile of files, but today the issue relapsed downward. No need to prove, it is clear that the Transnistrian problem is not an issue itself, but a token of exchange.
It will only be resolved when it is in the interests of powerful Russia and its European partners. It is not yet. Without a solution for Transnistria, Moldova\'s European integration remains a carrot for dreamers.
Lacking ideas after its EU accession, Romania has rediscovered in recent years a new historical objective: European integration of its neighbors across the Prut. There are almost no bilateral meetings between President Traian Basescu and his counterparts during which the name of the Republic of Moldova would not be pronounced.
If not him, then the others mention Moldova not, as was the case with the British Prime Minister David Cameron, who declared on Monday that he wants to see "the Western Balkan countries, Moldova and Turkey integrated into the Union."
But till that moment, Romania is not limited to words; it became the principal European donor to Moldova. Over a hundred million euros will be directed to Chisinau by 2013, the Romanian Embassy staff is consistent with other diplomatic missions and nearly 20 bilateral treaties were concluded last year.
But the return of communists to power would stop all this flow of know-how and resources from Bucharest to Chisinau. Although there are voices of the Romanian civil society who argue that Romania\'s support for the Republic of Moldova must continue, regardless of the ruling party, it is unlikely that Romanian officials will act this way.
Political conditioning of the Romanian support will come by itself. Entering into a dialogue with the Moldovan Communists would be too risky for the Romanian parties electorate (especially voted by Moldovans with dual citizenship). In addition, concerns will arise about how the Communists will use the funds coming from Romania.