The Steering Committee of the Joint Program between the Council of Europe and the European Union, entitled “Democracy Support Program in Moldova”, met for the first time in Chisinau on Thursday.
During the meeting, the Joint Programme work plan until June 2011 was discussed and unanimously adopted.
The Steering Committee meeting started with welcome speeches made by Birute Abraitiene – Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe in Moldova, Dirk Lorenz – Political Officer of the European Union Delegation to Moldova, and Valeriu Gheorghiu – Director of the European Integration Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration.
They underlined the importance of a new Joint Programme as it contributes to the issues of common interest for Moldova and its people, for the Council of Europe and the European Union such as consolidation of the rule of law, strengthening of human rights protection mechanisms, pluralist democracy and political modernization in Moldova as the country is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its accession to the Council of Europe.
The “Democracy Support Program in Moldova” mainly addresses the major shortcomings that caused a total breakdown of human rights protection mechanisms in April 2009. It was designed in close consultation with the European Union Delegation in Chisinau and the Moldovan authorities, and closely followed recommendations outlined in the CE Human Rights Commissioner’s report of his visit last year.
The Program responds to the authorities’ needs in reforming and streamlining human rights protection mechanisms, strengthening political dialogue and developing a pluralist mass media. It will apply European standards in the activity of the judiciary system, the prosecution service, the police, the ombudsman institution, the media and the Parliament of Moldova. Technical advice will also be provided to support the national process of establishing the facts in relation to the post-electoral events of April 2009.
The Program has seven main components, each of them having specific objectives: Legislative assessment; Ensuring accountability for human rights violations; Safeguarding pre-trial guarantees; Support to the Ombudsman institution; Support to the development of a pluralist media; Support to the administrative and political procedures of the Parliament; Support to establishment of facts and reconciliation efforts.
With a total budget of 4 million euros, the project will run until July 2011.