The recent deal sealed with Russia over Transnistria is an example of the EU at its best, operating as a technocratic normative actor and letting trade lead geopolitics.
To the EU’s detriment, its policy toward its Eastern neighbors is neither creating an arc of stability nor encouraging democracy.
Twenty-five years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, all of the countries of Eurasia remain in the midst of difficult transitions and face unpredictable futures.
In the last five years, Moldova has gone from success story to captured state. Any EU support for the country should be linked to the fight against corruption.
Fighting corruption in Moldova requires the government to address widespread conflicts of interest, increase transparency, and separate state functions from oligarchs’ interests.
The dramatic arrest of former prime minister Vlad Filat is probably the work of his fiercest political rival utilizing an unprecedented mistake. It will help expose Moldova’s culture of corruption but may put a halt to its integration with the EU.
A new antigovernment protest movement against rampant corruption in Moldova might finally lead to real change in a politically rotten country.
There is sobering news for the EU in two new polls from Georgia and Moldova, showing that public support for the European project is faltering.
The EU needs to realize that its neighborhood policy is a political not a technical tool, operating in a politicized environment where major conflicts take place.
EU support and membership can help post-Communist countries become modern democracies, but it is citizens who have the power to complete—or reverse—those transformations.