Moldova, its frozen conflict, and the EUs sphere of influence : The8thcircle.com

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Moldova, its frozen conflict, and the EUs sphere of influence : The8thcircle.com

Mesaj Scris de Beauty la data de Dum 12 Oct 2008 - 1:09

Moldova, its frozen conflict, and the EU’s sphere of influence

With Moldova, the question is not about rewarding a dictatorial regime, but a government that has arguably (correct me if I’m wrong) done little to deserve the new negotiations. The EUobserver’s Valentina Pop writes:

Point

Estonian socialist MEP and head of the EU-Moldova delegation Marianne Mikko [yes, this is the same MEP responsible for this -ed.] warned that the approval of a negotiation mandate for the new partnership pact by 27 EU states could be an image boost for the current Communist leadership, despite its poor record on economic and judicial reform, amid rampant corruption and human trafficking problems…

Counterpoint

“The risk for the ruling party to exploit the benefits of a Commission mandate before the elections is outplayed by the positive effects of this EU signal to Moldova, which has a geopolitical significance,” Mr Missei said [the EU's top diplomat on Moldova -ed.]. A “wait and see” attitude due to the upcoming elections would be far less effective, he added.

Look, I appreciate the value of active engagement, but doesn’t it have to be at least somewhat constructive? As we have seen with the accession of Romania and Bulgaria, handing out the carrots before reforms are undertaken does not work; it removes the incentives/pressure in non-EU states to act.

A large part of this has to do with the frozen conflict in Transnistria, located in the east of Moldova. If Transnistria destabilizes on the level of South Abkhazia and some argue Moldova is the next conflict, the EU will have a war on its border for the first time since the 1990s. Maybe the EU is awakening to the fact that as the preeminent institution in Europe, it must have a foreign policy in order to prevent an outbreak of conflicts that will affect its security.

Although as I wondered here, I am skeptical of the very fact that the EU even has a sphere of influence, which is not to be confused with soft power.

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