Brussels, 26 February 2009
European Commission funds projects to support free and fair parliamentary elections in the Republic of Moldova
In the context of the legislative elections in the Republic of Moldova on 5th of April, the European Commission has allocated funds amounting to €3 million for projects to promote and monitor compliance with international standards during the electoral process. The holding of free and fair elections is one of the key commitments of the Republic of Moldova under its European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan with the European Union.
Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and the European Neighbourhood Policy, said: “I am pleased to be actively involved in these projects as they are a valuable contribution to helping the Moldovan authorities in accomplishing successful elections. This is another tangible sign of our keen interest in intensifying our relationship with the Republic of Moldova. I also want to encourage the Moldovan authorities to make all necessary efforts to strengthen the rule of law and to implement their commitments on human rights and fundamental freedoms. This is particularly relevant for the ongoing electoral process, which I trust will be conducted in full compliance with international standards.”
The Commission and the United Nations Development Programme have just signed a € 2 million grant contract to implement the "Electoral Support to the Republic of Moldova” project under the "Instrument for Stability". This project is designed to strengthen the institutional and functional capacities of the Central Electoral Commission, increase the efficiency of electoral information management, raise participation of citizens residing abroad, improve the transparency of the electoral processes by better use of the media and finally enhance electoral legislation and judicial issues.
In addition, with the support of around €0.5 million from the "European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights" (EIDHR) several civil society organisations are working to promote citizens' participation in the electoral process, encourage dialogue between the government and civil society, educate and mobilise voters to participate in monitoring activities of media and electoral candidates, and increase the capacity of the media to organise pluralistic debates with political candidates.
Furthermore, the Joint Programme "Support to free and fair elections" of the European Commission and the Council of Europe to which the Commission contributes €0.5 million, assists the country (as well as other countries in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood region) in conducting elections in line with democratic standards, in particular through improved electoral legislation and practice.