22 May 1995
Doc. 7278 Revised (English only)
REPORT on the application by Moldova for membership of the Council of Europe
(Rapporteur: Lord FINSBERG, United Kingdom, European Democratic Group)
Link to the Corrigendum
Following declarations of sovereignty (23 June 1990) and independence (21 August 1991), the process of transition in the Republic of Moldova towards a framework of parliamentary democracy was confirmed by parliamentary elections held on 27 February 1994.
Intensive consultations with the Council of Europe have resulted in the adoption of a new Constitution in July 1994, of an organic law granting special legal status to Gagauzia in December 1994 and in the preparation of other important legislation. The prospect of improvement in the compatibility of Moldovan legislation with Council of Europe principles is confirmed by the two eminent jurists in their report to the Bureau of the Assembly. Prospects for the settlement of the Transnistrian question have improved. On this basis, and with the perspective of Moldova gaining full control of its territory, the Political Affairs Committee concludes that Moldova should be invited to join the Council of Europe, according to the draft opinion herewith.
I. Draft opinion
1. Moldova applied to join the Council of Europe on 20 April 1993. The Committee of Ministers asked the Parliamentary Assembly to give an opinion, in accordance with Statutory Resolution (51) 30 A.
2. Declarations of sovereignty (23 June 1990) and independence (21 August 1991) marked the start of the process of transition in the Republic of Moldova towards a framework of parliamentary democracy.
3. Following the visit of an Assembly delegation from 20 to 22 July 1992, "special guest" status was granted to the Moldovan Parliament on 5 February 1993.
4. Parliamentary elections were held on 27 February 1994. Observers of the Assembly concluded that they were held "... under the best conditions possible, despite the boycott imposed by Transnistria".
5. The process of transition to democracy has further been facilitated by intensive consultations with the Council of Europe on the preparation of a new constitution (adopted by parliament on 29 July 1994), an organic law granting special legal status to Gagauzia (adopted by parliament on 23 December 1994), as well as legislation on the organisation of the judiciary and on minorities.
6. Prospects for the settlement of the Transnistrian question have improved. In the parliamentary elections of 27 February 1994, advocates of reunification with Romania — the prospect of which had generated the secessionist movement in Transnistria — won only 7,5% of the votes. In the "consultative referendum on the future status of Moldova" of 6 March 1994, 95% of the voters (in a 75% turn-out) voted for an independent republic. With these outcomes, the Transnistrian leadership seems more ready to negotiate a settlement within the Republic's existing internationally recognised borders. In parallel with the emergence of this settlement, the Russian 14th Army should be withdrawn, on the basis of the agreement signed in Moscow on 21 October 1994 and still to be ratified by Russia.
7. A report by two eminent jurists confirming the prospect of improvement in the compatibility of Moldovan legislation and of the legal system with the principles of the Council of Europe was released by the Bureau of the Assembly on 20 October 1994. The Assembly welcomes the setting-up by the Moldovan Government of a special interministerial committee to keep this matter under political review.
8. Assembly committees and their rapporteurs have paid several visits to the country, including the region of Transnistria — most recently from 10 to 14 January 1995. Their conclusion is that membership of the Council of Europe at this juncture should strengthen the cause of democracy and the rule of law, improve the protection of human rights and freedoms and enhance political and economic stability in the region.
9. Accordingly, on the basis of
i. Moldova's participation in various Council of Europe programmes,
ii. Moldova's co-operation under several conventions and partial agreements, and
iii. the participation of a "special guest" delegation from the Moldovan Parliament in its proceedings since 5 February 1993,
the Assembly considers that Moldova, in the prospect of gaining full control of its territory, is able and willing, in the sense of Article 4 of the Statute, to fulfil the provisions for membership of the Council of Europe as set forth in Article 3: "Every Member of the Council of Europe must accept the principles of the rule of law and of the enjoyment by all persons within its jurisdiction of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and collaborate sincerely and effectively in the realisation of the aim of the Council."
10. Therefore, the Parliamentary Assembly, on the understanding that Moldova intends
a. to sign the European Convention on Human Rights at the moment of accession;
b. to ratify the European Convention on Human Rights and Protocols Nos. 1, 2, 4, 7 and 11 within a year from the time of accession (subject to a declaration, if necessary, which would exclude the responsibility of the state of Moldova for any acts committed by organs which are de facto not under its control);
c. to make every effort to sign and ratify Protocol No. 6 to the European Convention on Human Rights concerning the abolition of the death penalty as soon as possible;
d. to recognise, pending the entry into force of Protocol No. 11, the right of individual application to the European Commission and the compulsory jurisdiction of the European Court (Articles 25 and 46 of the Convention);
e. to sign and ratify within a year from the time of accession the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment;
f. to sign and ratify within a year from the time of accession the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and to conduct its policy towards minorities on the principles laid down in Assembly Recommendation 1201 (1993) on the question of an additional protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights on the rights of national minorities;
g. to study, with a view to ratification, the Council of Europe's Social Charter
and the European Charters on Local Government and on Regional or Minority Languages, and meanwhile to conduct its policy in accordance with their principles;
h. to study, with a view to ratification, and to apply the central principles of other Council of Europe conventions — notably those on extradition, on mutual assistance in criminal matters, on the transfer of sentenced persons, and on laundering, search, seizure and confiscation of proceeds from crime;
i. to sign and ratify within a year from the time of accession the General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities (and its additional protocol),
j. to seek to settle international, as well as internal, disputes by peaceful means, as an obligation incumbent on all member states of the Council of Europe;
k. to co-operate in the implementation of the Assembly's procedure on the honouring of commitments entered into at the time of accession to the Council of Europe on issues related to the Organisation's basic values and principles, as well as in monitoring processes established following the Committee of Ministers' Declaration of 10 November 1994 (95th session);
Recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
i. invite Moldova to become a member of the Council of Europe;
ii. allocate five seats to Moldova in the Parliamentary Assembly.
II. Explanatory memorandum
by Lord FINSBERG
A. Assembly procedure 1993-95 1-8
B. Considerations of history, culture, demography and economy 9-23
C. The path towards consolidation of the state of Moldova
a. Background 24-34
b. The people's verdict 35-40
c. The new constitution 41-47
d. The organic Law on the Special Legal Status of Gagauzia (Gagauz-Yeri) 48-57
D. Outstanding political issues
a. The Transnistrian issue 58-71
b. The Russian 14th Army 72-86
E. Human rights issues 87
a. Democratic reforms 88-103
b. The church conflict 104-110
F. Foreign relations 111-118
G. Conclusions 119-132
Appendix 1: Request for an opinion from the Committee of Ministers to the Assembly on the accession of Moldova to the Council of Europe (Doc. 6873)
Appendix 2: Results of the elections held in Moldova on 27 February 1994 and distribution of seats in parliament
Appendix 3: Conclusions of the eminent jurists' report on Moldova's legislation
Appendix 4: Programme of the rapporteur's visit
Appendix 5: Map of the region during various historic periods
Appendix 6: Declaration of the "Supreme Soviet" and "Government" of the Transnistrian Moldavian Republic (PMR) of 26 January 1995
Appendix 7: Statement by the Chairman of the OSCE Permanent Council (Vienna, 29 March 1995)
A. Assembly procedure 1993-95
1. The Assembly granted "special guest status" to the Moldovan Parliament on 5 February 1993, after a fact-finding visit to the country from 20 to 22 July 1992 by a delegation of the Committee on Relation with European Non-Member Countries.
2. On 20 April 1993, Moldova formally applied for membership of the Council of Europe. This request was transmitted by the Committee of Ministers to the Assembly on 16 June 1993 (Doc. 6873, see Appendix 1). On 29 June 1993, the Bureau of the Assembly referred the request to the Political Affairs Committee and, for opinion, to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights and the Committee on Relations with European Non-Member Countries.
3. The first parliamentary elections, after independence, were held on 27 February 1994 and, at the invitation of the Speaker of the Moldovan Parliament, they were observed by an ad hoc committee of the Assembly (see Addendum II to Doc. 7080). The Committee concluded that, "... the elections were held under the best conditions possible, despite the boycott imposed by Transnistria". The results of the elections and the distribution of seats in parliament are set out in Appendix 2.
4. A report on the legislation of the republic of Moldova was prepared at the request of the Bureau of the Assembly by Mr Karel Jungwiert, Chamber President of the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic and judge at the European Court of Human Rights, and Mr Marek A Nowicki, (then) Vice-President of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHFUR) and member of the European Commission of Human Rights, following a visit to the country from 28 May to 1 June 1994. The report of our eminent jurists, which was declassified by the Bureau on 20 October 1994 (AS/Bur/Moldova (1994) 2), concluded:
"Our reply to the question as to whether the national legal system meets the required standards in respect of human rights is at the moment rather hesitant or negative. However, extremely important changes will no doubt be made to Moldovan law in the very near future, even before the end of this year. Numerous statutes or codes described in our report will no longer be in force. In view of the expected improvements, we are convinced that it will not be premature to admit the Republic of Moldova to membership of the Council of Europe in the course of 1995."1
5. The Sub-Committee on Human Rights of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights held its meeting in Moldova (Chisinau and Tiraspol) from 13 to 15 October 1994.
6. In accordance with the instructions of the three committees concerned, the rapporteur, together with the rapporteurs of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights (Mr Columberg, Switzerland, EPP and Mr Jeszensky, Hungary, EDG) and of the Committee on Relations with European Non-Member Countries (Mrs Durrieu, France, SOC), visited Moldova from 10 to 14 January 1995 (see programme of the visit in Appendix 4). The Committee on Relations with European Non-Member Countries held its meeting in Moldova at the same time.
7. The rapporteur would wish to thank the Moldovan authorities for their warm hospitality and the excellent organisation of the visit. The rapporteur is also grateful to the Bulgarian acting Chargé d'Affaires in Chisinau, as well as the Hungarian Ambassador for having organised extremely useful meetings with the ambassadors of Council of Europe member states as well as with the head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova,
Mr Hahn, who has been remarkably open to the rapporteurs and supportive of the Council of Europe's involvement.
8. Discussions were held in Chisinau as well as in Tiraspol (Transnistria). The rapporteurs were able to meet everyone they wished in Chisinau. They, nevertheless, regret the fact that during their visit to Tiraspol they did not meet the Transnistrian leaders, Mr Smirnof and Mr Marakutsa, President and Speaker of the Parliament of the self-proclaimed Pridnestrovskaya Moldavskaya Respublica2 who at the last moment did not appear at the meeting while they had previously confirmed their attendance. Mr Marakutsa was ill but no reason was given for Mr Smirnov's breaking his pre-arranged appointment. The rapporteurs did meet, however, General Lebed, Commander of the 14th Russian Army stationed in Transnistria, and this turned out to be one of the most valuable and interesting meetings of the visit.
B. Considerations of history, culture, demography and economy
9. Moldova3 is a land-locked country situated between Ukraine to the north, east and south and the river Prut, which defines the Moldovan-Romanian border, in the west. With a land area of 33 700 square kilometres and a population of approximately 4,4 million, it is the second smallest but the most densely populated of the republics of the former Soviet Union. The capital is Chisinau with 700 000 habitants.
10. The total population comprises 64,5% Moldovans, 13,8% ethnic Ukrainians, 12,9% ethnic Russians, 3,5% Gagauzes (Christian Orthodox Turkish-speaking), 2% ethnic Bulgarians, 1,5% Jews, while various other national groups make up the remaining 1,8%.4 The ethnic composition appears different when one moves to the left (eastern) bank of the Dniestr (Nistru in Moldovan) river (Transnistria): on a territory of 4 000 square kilometres, out of a total of 780 000 people, the self-defined ethnic Moldovan population with 40%, while being the larger ethnic group, represents the absolute minority vis-ŕ-vis 28% of ethnic Ukrainians and 25% of ethnic Russians (approximately twice the percentage for the country as a whole). The Gagauzes are dispersed in the south of Moldova in various localities where they represent smaller or larger proportion of the population, with the city of Comrat as their cultural centre.
11. The main part of today's Moldova lies in the historical region situated between the Prut and the Dniestr rivers and the Black Sea coast and forming, together with areas of today's Romania, the ancient principality of Moldova which in 1504 came under Ottoman rule. In 1812, the territory was split into two and while the part to the west of the river Prut remained under Ottoman rule, the eastern part was ceded to the Russian empire and became a province called "Bessarabia".
12. The Moldavian Republic was proclaimed in Bessarabia on 7 February 1918 and the following year, the parliament of the new republic decided to join Romania. The USSR did not recognise Romania's right to the province and in 1924 declared a narrow strip of Ukrainian land on the left bank of the Dniestr river (Transnistria) as "Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic".
13. On 28 June 1940, following the secret Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the area of Bessarabia was annexed by Soviet troops and on 2 August, it was proclaimed — together with the previously created autonomous republic on Ukrainian territory on the left bank of Dniestr — as "Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic". At the same time, northern Bessarabia, the Black Sea coastal area and northern Bukovina were given to the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine. During the second world war, Romania reconquered Bessarabia in 1941 but lost it again to the Soviet Union in 1944. In 1947, Romania formally recognised the incorporation of Bessarabia into the Soviet Union in the Paris peace treaties.
14. During Soviet rule, the Moldavian SSR had been the subject of a systematic policy of russification aiming, inter alia, at the isolation of the country from the Romanian cultural sphere. The Cyrillic alphabet was imposed for the Moldovan (Romanian) language which, in public life, took a second place behind Russian.
15. The initial stages of emancipation from the communist rule brought about a reassertion of Romanian ethnic and cultural awareness. In the late 1980s, a Popular Front (initially called "Democratic Movement for Perestroika") begun to emerge with main goals the reintroduction of the Latin alphabet and the recognition of Romanian as official language. Since December 1989, after the overthrow of Ceausescu's dictatorship in Romania, radical elements within the Popular Front, started advocating (re-)unification with Romania. This idea was also encouraged by parts of official Romania, where the very existence of a Moldovan national identity was to a large extent denied.
16. The fear of a reunification of Moldova with Romania, in particular after the adoption, in August 1989, of a language law recognising Romanian, written in the Latin alphabet, as the state's official language, motivated protest movements in the regions with a predominantly non-Moldovan population, namely in the left-bank area (Transnistria) and in the Gagauz populated areas in the south of the country, which were against Moldovan independence efforts.
17. The parliamentary elections of March 1990 elevated the Popular Front with 40% of the mandates to the ruling political force, together with coalition partners.
18. On 23 June 1990, the parliament passed a declaration of sovereignty and on 27 August 1991, after the failed "August-Putsch" in Moscow, the Republic of Moldova declared its independence. At the same time, conflict was mounting in the Transnistrian and Gagauz regions where two republics had been respectively proclaimed following the declaration of sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova.5
19. The Republic of Moldova was recognised by the European Union countries on 31 December 1991. It became a member of the CSCE (now OSCE) on 30 January 1992 and on 2 March of the same year was admitted to the United Nations.
20. Moldova is a predominantly agricultural country whose economy has heavily suffered since independence. Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 21% in 1992 and was forecast to decline a further 16% in 1993. The conflict over the left bank of the Dniestr river has also seriously affected Moldova's economy. It is worth noting that 35% of the total national income was produced in Transnistria which also covers 30% of the country's industrial potential.
21. While little progress had been noted until mid-1993, a radical new programme of stabilisation and structural reform measures was then introduced. In October 1993 an agreement was reached for financial assistance under the International Monetary Fund's Systematic Transformation Facility and a Stand By Arrangement was approved in December, supported with balance of payments assistance by the European Union.
22. In November 1993, the Moldovan Government introduced a new currency, the "leu". The new currency has been quite stable and inflation has been remarkably reduced.
23. In Transnistria old Soviet roubles continued to be used, recently replaced by a currency called "coupon". At present the economy of Transnistria suffers a crisis with 50% inflation per month.
C. The path towards consolidation of the state of Moldova
a. The background
24. In response to Moldova's declaration of sovereignty of 23 June 1990 and under the fear of a reunification of Moldova, under the leadership of the Popular Front, with Romania, two self-proclaimed republics came to existence: the "Republic of Gagauzia", proclaimed by a congress of representatives of the Gagauz minority on 19 August 1990, and the "Transnistrian Moldavian Republic" (Pridnestrovskaya Moldavskaya Respublica, hereafter referred to as PMR), proclaimed in Tiraspol — the second largest city of Moldova — on the left bank of the Dniestr river on 2 September 1990.6
25. In the course of 1990, both self-styled entities elected their respective parliaments and presidents, Mr Topal in Gagauzia and Mr Smirnof in Transnistria. In both cases, elections were boycotted by the Moldovan population and declared invalid by the Moldovan authorities in Chisinau.
26. In the Gagauz populated areas, violent events threatened to occur in October 1990 between Gagauz separatists and armed volunteers of the Popular Front were prevented by the intervention of Soviet Interior Ministry troops.
27. In the left-bank areas, the first armed clashes between Transnistrian separatists and Moldovan police occurred in early November 1990. Paramilitary formations set up by communist leaders resulted to the creation of a fully armed and professional "Republican Guard" of the PMR in 1991.
28. On 2 September 1991, some days after the declaration of independence of the Republic of Moldova, the Supreme Soviet of the PMR voted to join the USSR. Paramilitary PMR forces started taking over public institutions. Not having used force up till then, the Moldovan police returned fire on 13 December 1991 in defending the regional government building in the city of Dubossary.
29. In March 1992, new clashes took place and led to the introduction of a state of emergency. Fighting intensified in May and on 19 June 1992 a large-scale military battle, involving the use of heavy arms, took place over the control of the city of Tighina/Bendery, located on the right side of the Dniestr but claimed by the PMR. On 21 June, the Moldovan units were forced out from Tighina/Bendery.
30. The fighting caused several hundreds of deaths and 100 000 refugees. There have been numerous allegations that the Russian 14th Army, stationed in Transnistria, directly or indirectly, supported the secessionists. It has also been alleged that the involvement of the 14th Army helped to stop the bloodshed.
31. After several international peace efforts had failed, an agreement was signed on 21 July 1992 in Moscow between the Republic of Moldova and the Russian Federation on principles of a peaceful solution of the armed conflict in the Transnistrian region providing for an immediate cease-fire and the creation of a demilitarised security zone. In a press release, the Presidents of Moldova and the Russian Federation announced a set of principles, including, inter alia, respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova, need for a special status of the Transnistrian region, as well as the right of the population of that region to decide on its own future in case of unification of Moldova with Romania.
32. A tripartite Joint Control Commission, consisting of a Moldovan, Russian and PMR delegation, as well as equally trilateral peace-keeping forces have been established to implement the cease-fire in accordance with the agreement. The cease-fire has largely been observed.
33. As a result of the 1991-92 events, the territory of Transnistria fell and remains up to present under the de facto control of the self-proclaimed authorities of the PMR although this entity has not been internationally recognised. In the Gagauz populated areas, control has always been maintained by the legitimate Moldovan authorities despite the proclamation of an autonomous republic.
34. In view of the preceding analysis, it is clear that in the years that followed the declaration of Moldova's independence, the very existence and territorial integrity of the young republic appeared exposed to a double risk: on the one hand, the risk of reunification with Romania, in view of the ruling Popular Front's positions, and, on the other hand, the risk of secession by the two self-proclaimed republics. The two aspects of the problem were, moreover, interconnected: it was precisely the fear of reunification with Romania that had generated, in the first place, the secessionist movements.
b. The people's verdict
35. The first clear positive signal in the path towards consolidation of the young state was offered by the results of the parliamentary elections of 27 February 1994.
36. As said earlier,7 the elections were conducted "under the best conditions possible", despite the boycott imposed by Transnistria. With regard to the Gagauzes, although they had initially threatened to also boycott the elections, following a visit of President Snegur to Comrat they decided not to do so and opened polling stations in the region.
37. A totally different political picture emerged following the February 1994 elections: the advocates of reunification with Romania, represented by the Popular Front, received only some 7,5% of the votes. The Agrarian Democratic Party, standing for an independent Moldova, received 43,2% of the votes and with fifty-six seats obtained the absolute majority in the newly-elected parliament. The Socialist/Unity Bloc, supported mainly by the Russian-speaking population, obtained the second position with 22% of the votes and twenty-eight seats.
38. One week after the elections, on 6 March, a "public opinion poll" (non-binding referendum) was held on the future status of Moldova. Despite the call for a boycott by the opposition, the turnout was 75% of the total population of whom more than 95% supported the continued independence of Moldova.
39. The people of Moldova showed thus that they wanted to be neither a Russian satellite nor a Romanian province. At the same time, a major obstacle was eliminated in the negotiations with the separatists from Transnistria and Gagauzia who lost their main argument, that is the likelihood of reunification of the country with Romania.
40. It is characteristic that in a declaration issued on 15 March 1994, following the outcome of the elections and the public opinion poll, the Supreme Soviet of the PMR acknowledged that "new possibilities for a political dialogue and for solving the problems accumulated in the relations between Moldova and the [PMR] have appeared" and expressed its continued readiness to renew negotiations for a solution.
c. The new constitution
41. One of the first and most challenging tasks for the newly-elected Moldovan Parliament was to elaborate and finalise a new constitution. Up until elections, the Popular Front had managed to block any progress in this respect since consensus over a new constitutional text would strengthen the independence of the new republic, a perspective that was against the Popular Front's aspirations for reunification with Romania.
42. The political forces which emerged from the 1994 elections succeeded in providing the required two-third majority and a new constitution was adopted already on 29 July 1994, in only five months after elections.8
43. According to the new constitution, the Republic of Moldova is declared to be a "sovereign, independent, unitary and indivisible state" (Article 1). The national unity of the Republic of Moldova "constitutes the foundation of the state" which is the "common and indivisible motherland of all her citizens" (Article 10). In Article 11, the "permanent neutrality" of the country and the non-admission of "any foreign military troops" on its territory are proclaimed.
44. In one of the most controversial issues, the state language, the final text opts for "Moldovan" as the state language. Previous drafts referred to the "Romanian" language. Although Moldovan is literally identical to Romanian, the final option, which has disturbed the Popular Front, symbolises the wish of Moldovan people to reinforce their independence and distinctness from Romania.
45. In general, according to the eminent lawyers' report, "irrespective of several deficiencies, the constitution in the adopted form, provides for solid legal foundation for the creation in the Republic of Moldova of a democratic state based on the rule of law, safeguarding respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms."9
46. In addition to the significance that the adoption of the new constitution had in itself for the consolidation of the Moldovan state, the Fundamental Law further contributed in this direction by offering the basis and framework for the settlement of the conflicts in Transnitria and Gagauzia. According to Article 111, entitled "Special autonomy statutes", "the places on the left bank of the Nistru river, as well as certain other places in the south of the Republic of Moldova may be granted special forms of autonomy according to special statutory provisions of organic law".
47. Within this constitutional framework, the newly-elected parliament in Chisinau had now to find a settlement for the Gagauzes and for Transnistria. The Gagauz issue being an ethnic one is clearly distinct from the problem of Transnistria, a mainly political one, complicated even further by the presence of the Russian army on the territory of Transnistria.
d. The organic Law on the Special Legal Status of Gagauzia (Gagauz-Yeri)
48. Before the end of 1994, on 23 December, the Moldovan Parliament succeeded in reaching a settlement for the Gagauzes by adopting an organic "Law on the Special Legal Status of Gagauzia (Gagauz-Yeri)".
49. Gagauz leaders were present and actively participated in the debate which was reported to have been heated. The Popular Front deputies attended but did not participate in the discussion and walked out during the vote.
50. In order to meet the Council of Europe's comments on the draft law and minimise the reactions from the Popular Front's opposition, substantial changes were introduced in the law in comparison with the draft that had been adopted at first reading in July 1994. In particular, while reference to "Gagauz people" remained, Gagauzia (Gagauz-Yeri) is proclaimed as an "administrative-territorial autonomous entity" (instead of "national-territorial autonomous entity" referred to in the draft). Draft reference to the "will of Gagauz people for self-determination" has been deleted and the "equality of all citizens living in the newly created autonomous territorial entity, irrespective of national affiliation or other characteristics" has been emphasised.
51. It is provided that in the event of change in the status of the Republic of Moldova as an independent state, the people of Gagauzia shall have the right to external self-determination. Asked by the rapporteurs, the Gagauz leaders said that the meaning of this provision is merely symbolic. They will do everything possible to preserve Moldova's independence.
52. Moreover, while in the draft a number of localities were listed as automatically included in future Gagauzia, the law provides that referenda would be held for this purpose with the following distinction: referenda would automatically be held in localities with more than 50% Gagauz population, while in other localities they would be held upon the request of one third of the eligible voters in each locality in question.
53. These referenda were held on 5 March 1995 on the basis of temporary regulations adopted by the government on 31 January 1995 and under the control of a joint referendum commission, composed of twenty-five members divided equally between representatives of the Moldovan Government and local officials from Gagauz-populated areas. A Council of Europe expert delegation observed the local referendum. The question for the referendum was as follows: "Are you in favour that your village (town) be included in the autonomous territorial entity Gagauzia (Gagauz-Yeri) of the Republic of Moldova?" Out of the thirty-four localities which cleared the 60% referendum validation barrier, twenty-nine localities voted "yes" and five localities voted "no" to become part of Gagauzia. According to the Council of Europe observers, the conditions for free expression of the will of voters were satisfied. Moreover, "the greatest hopes pinned on the referendum's outcome were that it would bring about political stability by putting an end to the duality of power, thus easing tensions and liberating the way to address economic problems and democratic reforms". 10
54. As far as elections for the Gagauz local bodies, the People's Assembly and the Head of the Gagauzia, are concerned, while it is clear that they will be held separately from the local elections in the whole of Moldova, scheduled for 16 April 1995, no date has yet been fixed.
55. The rapporteurs met the Gagauz leaders who appeared to be fully satisfied by the solution reached through the adoption of the organic law. Moldovan deputies recognised that the law suffered from technical imperfections and legal uncertainties which were, nevertheless, irrelevant in the light of the political importance of the settlement.
56. Although the Gagauzes number no more than some 153 000, they represented a highly sensitive political problem for Chisinau marked by long periods of tension and occasionally violent incidents. Therefore, reaching a most satisfactory solution in a peaceful and democratic way is seen by the rapporteur as evidence of the democratic attitude of the Moldovan leadership. This was also supported by the Gagauz leaders who urged accession of Moldova to the Council of Europe.
57. Moreover, the Gagauz settlement could serve as a precedent for solving the far more complicated problem of Transnistria. It could even serve as a model for solving similar conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and the former USSR, even the conflict in Chechnya. It is indicative in this respect that Croatia has shown an interest in the text of the law on Gagauzes in view of the situation in the occupied territories ("the Krajina").
D. Outstanding political issues
a. The Transnistrian issue11
58. Following the July 1992 agreement between Moldova and the Russian Federation,12 direct talks between Moldova and the PMR started at the beginning of 1993. While initial unofficial negotiations seemed to have lead to an understanding on the principles of mutual relations, an impasse was reached when the "Supreme Soviet" of the PMR proposed the establishment of a "Moldavian confederation" as member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, consisting of equal and independent subjects of international law. The Moldovan side, on the other hand, was ready to grant a "special constitutional and legal status to the Transnistrian regions of the republic", while restoring national unity.
59. The 1994 elections gave new impetus to the process of reaching a political settlement.13 The first positive sign was given on 28 April 1994 when President Snegur and the Transnistrian leader, Mr Smirnof, signed, in the presence of Ambassador Samuel, Head of the CSCE mission to Moldova, and Ambassador Vassev, personal representative
of President Yeltsin, a declaration containing general principles for a solution and establishing a framework for negotiations.
60. A further step forward was made when adopting the constitution on 29 July 1994, whereby the basis for a settlement aiming at a special autonomy status was offered.14
61. Moreover, in late July 1994, expert groups were set up by the two sides in order to negotiate the basis for a constitutional settlement on the status of Transnistria. The Moldovan group is led by Mr Osmochescu, deputy Foreign Minister, and the Transnistrian side is led by Mr Litskai, "State Secretary for Foreign Affairs" of the PMR. In the meetings of the two expert groups, the OSCE Head of Mission and the personal envoy of President Yeltsin also participate as mediators. The expert groups were set up with the purpose of initially elaborating separate negotiating texts in order to establish in the future a single text upon which consensus could be achieved.
62. Some significant progress was noted in November 1994. Two leading political figures of the PMR, Mr Marakutsa, "Chairman of the Supreme Soviet" of the PMR, and Mr Litskai participated in a NGO-organised conference on "decentralisation, autonomy, federalism?" in Chisinau. The very presence of high-ranking Transnistrian leaders in the Chisinau Parliament for the first time after the 1992 hostilities was of high political and symbolic importance.
63. On the occasion of the conference, Mr Marakutsa made a most important political statement. In particular, he expressed Transnistria's readiness to accept a political settlement within the existing internationally recognised borders of Moldova. Given the earlier position of the Transnistrian leaders who insisted on a confederation composed of two essentially independent states, the acceptance of unique external borders by the Transnistrian side was a major development towards a compromise solution.
64. The reasons for this new conciliatory position by the Transnistrian side must be looked for in the economic and political isolation of the PMR. Inflation seems to be out of control and there is a shortage even of basic needs, such as bread. To the economic pressure one can probably add the signing of the agreement on the withdrawal of the 14th Russian Army from Moldova's territory. Under these circumstances, the PMR leadership seemed to have been convinced that intransigence could lead nowhere.
65. Further development was recorded at the fourth meeting of the expert groups in late November 1994 where the issues which were considered ready for expert approval were established: state symbols, division of responsibilities between regional and central police forces, emigration and immigration, collection of statistics, status of Moldova, Russian and Ukrainian language and mass media. On the other hand, the two groups agreed to isolate the issues on which political guidance was required.
66. Moreover, the so-called "summit meetings" between the two leaders, President Snegur and Mr Smirnof — accompanied by three high-ranking officials and with the participation of the two mediators, the CSCE Head of Mission and the special envoy of President Yeltsin — have lately become more and more frequent and substantial. Following the "summit meeting" of 28 April 1994, two further meetings were held in less than two months, on 21 December 1994 and on 15 February 1995. Although no breakthrough has been achieved, the "summit meetings" have confirmed the ground rules established by the 28 April declaration and maintained the momentum in the process of negotiations. In addition, several subsidiary agreements have been signed at prime-ministerial level.
67. Significant differences seem still to persist between the two sides concerning the special status for Transnistria. While the Moldovan side wants the Transnistrians to accept the idea of a single country and a single central authority offering them at the same time "generous autonomy", Transnistrian leaders demand a degree of decentralisation which is unacceptable to the Moldovan side. It has, however, been noted during the February 1995 "summit meeting" that pressure is mounting for a solution and a settlement is envisaged by the end of the year. The accelerating decline of the Transnistrian economy can again be invoked as motivating increasing interest in reaching a solution shortly.
68. The rapporteurs, as it was said earlier, did not have the opportunity to meet with the responsible Transnistrian leaders, Mr Smirnof or Mr Marakutsa, during their visit to Tiraspol. Instead they met with some leaders who appeared irrelevant and extremist. No questions were answered properly but instead we were treated to old style communist attitudes and speeches. It is noteworthy in this respect that the headquarters of the Transnistrians was graced by a very large statute of Lenin — maybe the last one kept in the former Soviet Union.
69. On the contrary, during the recent visit of the President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Mr Martínez, to Chisinau (24-25 February 1995), Mr Marakutsa, upon the initiative of Mr Lucinschi, Speaker of the Moldovan Parliament, came to Chisinau to meet President Martínez in the Moldovan Parliament, a fact of high political importance in itself. Mr Marakutsa expressed his conviction for a settlement in the very near future. He seized the opportunity to explain that the declaration of 26 January 1995 of the "Supreme Soviet" and the Government of the PMR on the occasion of the rapporteurs' visit (see Appendix 6) was issued after an emotional press conference and he seemed to be apologising for its contents as well as for not being able to meet the rapporteurs during their visit in January.
70. A further positive development is marked by the recent interest of Ukraine to play an active role in the solution of the Transnistrian issue, as was confirmed by the Ambassador of Ukraine to the United Kingdom in a discussion with the rapporteur. In particular, following the two-day visit to Chisinau of Ukrainian Foreign Minister Genadi Udovenko on 23 and 24 February 1995, Ukraine has shown an interest in contributing to security guarantees for the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict and in a wider sense during later phases of such a settlement. Contributions other than security guarantees that have been noted include co-operation in the withdrawal of the Russian 14th Army, boundary, demarcation, etc. Moreover, a delegation from Tiraspol participated in a trilateral meeting with Moldovan officials and the Ukrainian delegation to discuss settlement of the Transnistrian conflict. A commission to set up an international boundary treaty between Moldova and Ukraine has in the meantime been established.
71. As a general remark the rapporteur wishes to stress that the problem of Transnistria should not be treated as an ethnic one. It is mainly a political dispute characterised by different ideologies, values and experiences with an economic dimension. On the other hand, the wish for Transnistrian autonomy is also shared by Moldovans on the left bank who are reluctant to accept Chisinau's centralism. Several high-ranking political figures of the PMR are ethnic Moldovans. Accordingly, it seems that — although Moldovans form the largest single ethnic group in Transnistria — there are significant reasons to justify a special legal status of autonomy for the region along the lines of the status granted to the Gagauzes. The specific demands of the region would then be accommodated while preserving the territorial integrity of the country.
b. The Russian 14th Army
72. In 1992, following negotiations with the CIS command over the fate of the former Soviet forces — mainly consisting of units of the 14th Army — Moldova obtained jurisdiction over the forces on the right bank of Dniestr while the forces on the left bank were integrated in the Russian armed forces by decree.
73. The 14th Army stationed in Transnistria and operating under the orders of General Lebed, rather than numerous in personnel (approx. 5 000 soldiers), is extremely well equipped and guards important stockpiles of arms (meant for several army groups). Its role in the area has been ambiguous. Many inhabitants of Transnistria consider that the presence of the 14th Army contributes to a stable political situation in the region. On the contrary, the Republic of Moldova regards the presence of the 14th Army as an instability factor. In any case, it has been estimated with reasonable certainty that during the armed clashes of 1992 arms transfers from the 14th Army to civilians and paramilitary groups took place. It has also been established that large number of soldiers of the Transnistrian "Republican Guard" are being trained by the 14th Army and use its facilities, while a number of paramilitary units exist in parallel.
74. The principle of withdrawal having been accepted already in the agreement of July 1992 putting an end to the armed conflict, numerous rounds of negotiations took place during the following two years between Moldova and the Russian Federation.
75. Finally, on 21 October 1994, the Moldovan and Russian Prime Ministers, Mr Sangheli and Mr Chernomyrdin, formally signed in Moscow an agreement on the withdrawal of the 14th Army from Moldovan territory within three years from the coming into force of the agreement. According to the agreement, practical steps to withdraw troops will be synchronised with the political settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, reference to which was initially contested by the Moldovan side.
76. The Moldovan Prime Minister told the rapporteurs that the three-year time-table was only normal and realistic, in particular in view of the technical difficulties and the financial aspect of the problem. The problem was whether and when the Russian Duma would ratify the agreement so that the three-year time-limit would start running.
77. When the rapporteurs asked Mr Glotov, member of the Russian special guest delegation, Mr Volkov (First Deputy Director of the third department of European Co-operation, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) assured them that the Russian signatories would no doubt fulfil the obligation contained in the agreement. In a private talk with the rapporteurs, he further explained that there would be no problem for ratification of the agreement by the Duma once the whole set of documents supplementing the basic text would be signed between the two sides. The committee can see that in the answers of the Russian authorities to the questions put by the Assembly rapporteurs on Russia's accession (answer XVII, pp. 25-26) it is said that the agreement will probably be ratified by the Duma in spring 1995. During the Political Affairs Committee's meeting in London on 14 March 1995, Mr Lukin, Chairman of the Russian special guest delegation, further confirmed that the Duma could not proceed until it had the full documentation from the Russian Government. In this respect it is hoped that pressure can be put on the government by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers.
78. As far as General Lebed's position on this issue is concerned, he told the rapporteurs that he was personally ready to withdraw the army, but only under certain political, economic and technical conditions. The basic problem was who would "pay the bill" since both Moldova and Russia seemed to have great economic problems. Moreover, General Lebed stated — according to Mr Hahn, for the first time — that the soldiers and officers wanted guarantees that their family members living in Moldova would not suffer following their departure. He would, in general, favour the demilitarisation of the country as a whole.
79. General Lebed also criticised the absence of Transnistrian participation in the agreement as well as specific provisions of the agreement.
80. In particular, it was unclear what "synchronising" the withdrawal with reaching a political settlement to the issue of Transnistria meant. At this point the rapporteur notes that among the Budapest Decisions of the CSCE (now OSCE), in a reference to the relevant provision of the withdrawal agreement (in Section II under "Regional Issues"), the notion of "synchronising" is interpreted as implying that "the withdrawal of the Russian 14th Army from the territory of Moldova and the search for a political settlement of the problems of the eastern part of Moldova (Trans-Dniestr region)" are "two parallel processes which will not hamper each other". It is, however, doubtful whether this interpretation by the CSCE could be held binding for the two signatories of the agreement or for General Lebed and the Transnistrian side.
81. Moreover, according to the agreement the barracks, flats, army supplies and deposit equipments should be handed in to the "local authorities of the Republic of Moldova". On this point General Lebed characteristically said: "But who are the 'local authorities of the Republic of Moldova'? If I give them to the mayor, he is the local authority but he does not represent the Republic of Moldova, if I give them to Mr Diacov, he represents the Republic of Moldova but he is not a local authority."
82. A complicating factor was added by Mr Smirnof's Decree of 3 February 1995 not allowing the withdrawal from the territory of the PRM of the "engineering, equipment, property and other material means acquired by the Russian Federation's 14th Army". The decree is issued "taking into consideration" the agreement signed between the Governments of the Russian Federation and of the Republic of Moldova, "while the interests of the PMR were ignored" and in order to safeguard "the property of the PMR".
83. It must also be said that relations between the PMR leadership and General Lebed have become very tense. General Lebed has repeatedly accused Transnistrian leaders and, in particular, Mr Smirnof, of corruption. While Mr Smirnof's popularity is doubtful, General Lebed is a very popular figure among the Slav population since they consider him having put an end to the civil war by deploying his forces against it.
84. The rapporteur wishes to stress that the continued presence of the 14th Army in Transnistria, in addition to the complications it implies for reaching a political settlement to the conflict and for assuring the territorial integrity of Moldova, is a source for concern also for the neighbouring states of Moldova. Given the strategic importance of the country's territory, situated at the crossroads of the Slav world, the Black Sea and the Balkans, the presence of a Russian army in the area — more than 1 000 km west of Russia's borders — is viewed as internationally destabilising.
85. The rapporteur is satisfied by the signing of the 21 October 1994 withdrawal agreement and considers it as a positive sign, particularly in view of the earlier two-year-long stalemate. Nevertheless, implementation of the agreement seems to depend on early ratification by the Russian Duma and, in general, less on Chisinau and more on Moscow. Therefore, he suggests that pressure for early ratification of the agreement should be put on Russia.
86. The rapporteur is particularly concerned by the fact that on 26 March 1995, the date of local elections in Transnistria, an illegal referendum was also conducted in the region on the continuing presence of the Russian 14th Army. Following a visit of Mr Caraman, Vice-President of the PMR, to Moscow, an important group of deputies of the State Duma of the Russian Federation went to Tiraspol and observed the referendum. It is worth noting that no international organisations (the OSCE mission in Moldova included) have agreed to observe this referendum (see in Appendix 7 the statement made by the Chairman of the OSCE Permanent Council, Vienna, 29 March 1995). Moreover, no reply has been given to the appeal by the Speaker of the Moldovan Parliament, Mr Lucinschi, who on 21 March 1995 addressed a letter to the Speaker of the State Duma, Mr Rybkin, asking him to take an official stance on the matter. Although the result of the referendum has no legal value, the position of the Russian parliamentarians gives reasons for concern.
E. Human rights issues
87. The eminent jurists' report on the legislation of the Republic of Moldova (AS/Bur/Moldova (2) 1994) contains a detailed analysis of the legal issues that appeared, at the time of its drafting, to be problematic and required amendment or adoption of new legislation. The Parliament of the Republic of Moldova has, in response, produced a document with comments as well as an up-dating concerning legislation adopted since (AS/Pol (1995) 4). Since both documents are available, the rapporteur does not find it necessary to resort to a detailed analysis but simply to a short comparison of the two texts wherever necessary.
a. Democratic reforms
88. Following independence in 1991, government and parliament started working on democratic reforms, the adoption of a new constitution being their first priority. Progress was nevertheless slow. The conflicts in the Transnistrian and Gagauz regions did not allow a smooth operation of the parliament. Since parliamentarians of the two regions were still members of the parliament but in practice no longer attended sessions, the parliament could not secure the required two-third majority for the adoption of organic laws and constitution.
89. The stable parliamentary majority that emerged from the February 1994 elections accelerated the process of democratic reforms. While a new constitution was adopted on 29 July 1994, numerous laws and amendments to existing legislation have since been passed.
90. The new constitution (see also above, Section C, under (c)) contains an impressive list of fundamental rights and liberties, as well as a long list of social and economic rights,
such as the right to work, protection of the family, children, adults and disabled persons. Constitutional provisions on human rights are to be interpreted and implemented in accordance with international conventions to which Moldova is a party. It is specified that, in the event of incompatibility, international conventions shall prevail.
91. The eminent jurists have criticised Articles 54 and 55 of the constitution. Article 54 is a general clause providing for circumstances under which all human rights may be restricted, contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights' stipulations, under which only precisely termed restrictions are allowed, while certain rights are subject to no restrictions. Article 55, entitled "exercise of rights and freedoms as part of an integrated system", could allow, in the eminent jurists' view, an interpretation according to which rights and freedoms extend only to those who attend their duties properly.
92. In its comments, the Moldovan Parliament explains that these provisions must be read in the light of the principle according to which, in case of incompatibility, international treaties prevail over national law, therefore no restriction to human rights contrary to international standards is possible. The Republic of Moldova "assumes the commitment that this principle will be respected in all the laws, which will be adopted in the [implementation] of the constitution" (see AS/Pol (1995) 2, paragraph 1). Moreover, the President of the Supreme Court, upon a question on Article 55 of the constitution by the rapporteurs, expressed his conviction that the constitutional court will exclude an interpretation of this provision leading to inadequate restrictions of human rights. The rapporteur is satisfied by these explanations.
93. After the adoption of the constitution, the second text which was of vital importance for the establishment of the rule of law in the Republic of Moldova concerned the organisation of the judiciary. Since the Moldovan judicial system was based on the Soviet model, the need for extensive legislative reforms in this field was imperative.
94. On 21 July 1994, the Moldovan Parliament adopted the Framework Act ("Conception") on the Judicial Reform. The Act provides, inter alia, for the establishment of a constitutional court, the organisation of the judiciary according to a four-instance system (district courts, regional courts, appeal court, supreme court), strengthening of the independence of the judges and establishment of a Supreme Council of Justice. A law on the constitutional court has since been passed.
95. The main critique by the eminent jurists in relation to the Framework Act concerns the role of the Procuratura, which in their view is not limited to a sufficient degree. In particular, they criticise the role of the Public Prosecutor in relation to arrest and detention on remand of the accused (see Article 5 paragraph 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights). In this respect, the Moldovan Parliament refers to Article 25 of the constitution which provides for a judicial remedy against the Public Prosecutor's decision to arrest and/or detain a person on remand. This constitutional provision is already in operation. Moreover, new amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure were passed before the end of 1994 in an attempt to make the system of criminal procedure compatible with the constitution and European standards.
96. The rapporteur notes with satisfaction that a new draft law on the organisation of the judiciary and the status of judges is currently subject to Council of Europe expertise. The new draft law aims at reinforcing the independence of the judges through specific provisions regarding the structure of the courts, the nomination of judges, the functioning of the Supreme Council of Justice, disciplinary measures against judges, etc. In this regard, the rapporteur considers it essential that sufficient guarantees for independence will be included in the final text given that judges, according to the constitution and the draft law, are not appointed for a life-term but for a first five-year and then ten-year period. Only after a total of fifteen years in service can they be appointed for life.
97. The eminent jurists have criticised the exclusion of certain employees from the right to judicial review of measures taken against them by their employer, according to the Labour Code. The rapporteur is satisfied by the comments of the Moldovan Parliament that the relevant provisions of the Labour Code are no longer in force, given their contradiction with Article 20 of the constitution, which provides for unrestricted access to court by all citizens.
98. The death penalty is still in force in the Republic of Moldova. The constitution stipulates the conditions under which it may be imposed "until its final prohibition". The Moldovan Parliament regrets the failure of its attempts to repeal the capital punishment law which is, however, due to strong opposition by public opinion.
99. The eminent jurists made an extensive analysis of the language problems which, in their view, is the most important problem to be solved within the sphere of minority rights in the Republic of Moldova. The rapporteur endorses this analysis (see AS/Bur/Moldova (1994) 2, paragraphs 65-80) which seems to be shared by the Moldovan Parliament as well. He wishes nevertheless to point out that a draft law "on the rights of the persons belonging to national minorities" is currently subject to expertise by the European Commission for Democracy through Law ("Venice Commission") of the Council of Europe. The new law will hopefully meet the critiques expressed by the eminent jurists.
100. The rapporteur notes with satisfaction the adoption of a new law on the press, following intensive consultations with Council of Europe experts. Shortage of financial resources seems to be the remaining problem of the press in the Republic of Moldova.
101. With regard to freedom of movement, the rapporteur is satisfied by the abolition of the exit visa (which had been criticised by the eminent jurists).
102. As far as freedom of religion is concerned, the rapporteur notes that, in a discussion with the Chief Rabbi of Moldova, it was indicated that, whereas there was virtually no anti-Semitism in Moldova, it existed in a virulent form in Transnistria (see also below under (b)).
103. Finally, a law on privatisation has been recently passed.
b. The church conflict
104. There is at present a schism within the Orthodox Church. At the end of 1992, a small group of clerics, headed by Bishop Petru of Balti, split from the Orthodox Church of Moldova and decided to "reactivate" the former Metropolitanate of Bessarabia which existed between 1925-40 and 1941-44. They obtained for this purpose recognition by the Romanian Patriarchy and applied to the Moldovan Government for registration according to the law on worship of 1992.
105. According to the preamble to its Statute, "the Metropolitanate of Bessarabia (old style) is a Local Autonomous Orthodox Church linked to the Holy Patriarchate of Romania and the rightful successor of the Metropolitanate of Bessarabia which existed before the Soviet occupation."
106. The government refused to proceed with the registration.
107. After hearing both sides of the argument, the rapporteur feels that the dispute is political, rather than religious, connected with the very existence of the state of Moldova. There is no dogmatic difference between the two churches, but a mere political-administrative one. In this respect, the rapporteur notes that the small group advocates reunification with Romania and provocatively uses the name of "Bessarabia". Moreover, they pray for the state of Romania — and not for Moldova — and the Romanian Patriarchy. They are financed by Romania and are promoted by the pro-Romanian Popular Front.
108. More specifically, the so-called "Metropolitanate of Bessarabia" (old style) cannot claim to be the successor of the former Metropolitanate of Bessarabia inter alia because of the difference in the territory upon which it pretends to have influence. At the present, there is no territorial-administrative unity called "Bessarabia". Parts of the former Bessarabia (southern and northern) are at present under the jurisdiction of Ukraine. Therefore recognition of the ecclesiastic group would imply recognition of its claims over the predecessor's patrimonial goods extending not only to the territory of the Republic of Moldova but also to that of Ukraine.
109. In this respect, the rapporteur notes that according to the preamble to the Statute of the "Metropolitanate of Bessarabia", "communities living outside the historic boundaries of Bessarabia including those in the diaspora may also join the Metropolitanate of Bessarabia. Links between the Metropolitanate and others states will be established and perpetuated in accordance with the legislation of those states."
110. For all these reasons, the rapporteur is satisfied that recognition of an ecclesiastic group with this name would be an act against the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Moldova while it could cause problems with Ukraine.
F. Foreign relations
111. From the first moment of Moldova's independence, relations with Romania have been the most sensitive ones, occasionally tense and ambiguous. Romania repeatedly claims Moldova to be a "Romanian state" and the idea of a distinct Moldovan national identity is often denied. As an example one could quote the statement of 1 August 1994, issued following the adoption of Moldova's new constitution, according to which Romania would undertake "to continue working with those political forces in Moldova who call for special relations with Romania and for national emancipation". On the other hand, despite their defeat in the last elections, the supporters, within Moldova itself, for closer relations with Romania (according to various distinctions ranging from confederation to unification) are still present in the political arena. The ruling Agrarian Democratic Party appears to be irritated by both Romania's refusal to accept the Moldovan people's verdict expressed in the parliamentary elections and the opinion poll, as well as by the opposition calls for unification with Romania.
112. Moreover, the Moldovan "special guest" delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly has alleged that the second point in the agenda of the Romanian "National Peasants Party-Christian Democratic (PNTCD)" is the reunification of "Bessarabia" with Romania.
113. During a recent visit to Moldova from 20 to 22 February 1995, the Romanian Prime Minister, Mr Vacaroiu, handed in a message to President Snegur from President Iliescu reiterating "Romania's support for the consolidation of Moldova's independence". The joint aim, in the Romanian Premier's view, was to "intensify the process of economic integration" and to "consolidate relations in the common cultural and spiritual space", while he urged for speeding up the process of drafting a basic treaty between Moldova and Romania.
114. Relations with Russia have been difficult given the large dependence of Moldova's economy on energy and raw materials imports from Russia.
115. The conflict in Transnistria has also been a source of tension with Russia. Although the Moldovan Government had previously been quite critical of Russia's role over the issue, relations have recently been improved and the Moldovan Government has expressed satisfaction with the work of Mr Vassev, President Yeltsin's special representative, in the negotiations for a political settlement to the conflict, as well as in the signing of the agreement on the withdrawal of the 14th Russian Army.
116. Improvement of the relations with Russia must also be seen in connection with the Moldovan Parliament's decision, in early April 1994, to ratify the agreement on Moldova's membership of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Economic Union, without joining the system of collective security or any military/political sector. Prior to elections, the Moldovan Parliament had failed to ratify the treaty, although President Snegur had signed the Alma-Ata Declaration in 1991, mainly due to the opposition of the Popular Front. Russia had as a reaction threatened to withdraw economic privileges from Moldova. The new parliament and government explained their decision by a need to restore the country's trading links with the former Soviet Republics, the traditional markets for its predominantly agricultural economy. More specifically, 71% and 74% of Moldova's exports and imports respectively concern CIS countries.
117. A Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA) with the European Union was signed by President Snegur in Brussels on 28 November 1994. The agreement foresees intensive political dialogue and establishes the prospect of a future free trade area, while in the meantime both sides offered each other "most-favoured nation (MFN)" treatment. In the preamble to the agreement it is stated that support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova will contribute to safeguarding peace and stability in central and eastern Europe and the European continent as a whole.
118. Moreover, on 21 October 1994, Moldova acceded to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapon state.
119. The process of transition in the Republic of Moldova towards a framework of parliamentary democracy started when the Moldovan Parliament passed a declaration of sovereignty on 23 June 1990 and of independence on 21 August 1991.
120. Yet, it has been shown that in the years that followed the declaration of Moldova's independence, the very existence and territorial integrity of the young republic was put into question in view of a double risk: on the one hand, the risk of reunification with Romania, which was advocated by the then ruling party (Popular Front) and, on the other hand, the risk of secession by two self-proclaimed republics in the Gagauz-populated areas and in Transnistria (generated, inter alia, by the fear of reunification with Romania).
121. The parliamentary elections of 27 February 1994 marked the first clear positive sign in the path towards consolidation of the young state and democracy. They were held, according to the Assembly's observers, "... under the best conditions possible, despite the boycott imposed by Transnistria". The elections elevated the Agrarian Democratic Party, standing for an independent Moldova, to the ruling political force with the absolute majority of the seats in the newly-elected parliament. At the same time, the advocates of reunification with Romania (Popular Front) won only 7,5% of the votes.
122. The "consultative referendum on the future status of Moldova" of 6 March 1994 confirmed the election results: 95% of the voters (in a 75% turn-out) voted for an independent republic. The people of Moldova thus made it clear that they wanted to be neither a Russian satellite nor a Romanian province.
123. At the same time, the outcomes of the elections and of the public opinion poll removed a major obstacle in the negotiations with the Transnistrian and Gagauz leadership, that is the prospect of reunification of Moldova with Romania.
124. Moreover, the constitution adopted on 29 July 1994 set out the basis for constitutional settlement of the disputes in the Transnistrian and Gagauz regions, providing for the possibility of granting special legal status of autonomy to these regions. Within this constitutional framework the newly-elected government and parliament in Chisinau had to negotiate a settlement. The Gagauz problem, being an ethnic one, was clearly distinct from the problem of Transnistria, a mainly political one, complicated even further by the presence of the Russian 14th Army on the territory of Transnistria.
125. In less than ten months since elections and five months since the adoption of the constitution, the Moldovan leadership succeeded in reaching a most satisfactory solution to the dispute with the Gagauzes by adopting on 23 December 1994 an organic law granting Gagauzia special legal status. The Gagauz leaders met by the rapporteur expressed their full satisfaction by this solution and urged for a prompt accession of Moldova to the Council of Europe. The rapporteur considers the settlement of the Gagauz conflict in such an efficient, peaceful and democratic way as evidence of the democratic attitude of the Moldovan leadership.
126. At the same time, prospects for the settlement of the Transnistrian question have improved. In the light of the outcomes of the elections and the "public opinion poll" and with the law on the special legal status for the Gagauzes as a model, the Transnistrian leaders seem now more ready to negotiate a settlement within the republic's existing internationally recognised borders. The accelerating decline of the Transnistrian economy is putting increasing pressure on the Transnistrian side for reaching a solution shortly.
127. In parallel with progress in the negotiations for a settlement with the Transnistrians, the Russian 14th Army should be withdrawn within three years, on the basis of an agreement signed in Moscow on 21 October 1994, and expected to be ratified by the Russian Duma. The withdrawal of the army will further facilitate the finding of a solution to the Transnistrian issue.
128. At any event, the rapporteur considers that the present situation in Transnistria should not be an obstacle for Moldova's accession to the Council of Europe. Although it is clear that the Moldovan authorities do not at present have de facto control of the territory of Transnistria, the rapporteur considers that Transnistrian leaders should not be put in a position to blackmail Moldova's accession to the Council of Europe. In particular, since the external borders of the country are no longer disputed, the conflict should be considered as an internal matter, to the solution of which Council of Europe membership could contribute positively.
129. As far as the rule of law is concerned in the Republic of Moldova, a report by two eminent jurists, prepared at the request of the Bureau, confirms the prospect of improvement in the compatibility of Moldovan legislation and of the legal system with principles of the Council of Europe. "In view of the expected improvements", the jurists expressed their conviction that "... it [would] not be premature to admit the Republic of Moldova to membership of the Council of Europe in the course of 1995".
130. Moreover, intensive consultations have taken place with the Council of Europe on the preparation of the constitution, the organic Law on the Special Legal Status for Gagauzia, as well as on the elaboration of legislation on the organisation of the judiciary and on minorities. A "priority action programme" has been established between Moldova and the Council of Europe in order to facilitate legislative and, more generally, democratic reforms in the country. A special interministerial committee has, furthermore, been set up by the Moldovan Government in order to review the compatibility of internal legislation with the Council of Europe standards under political review.
131. During his recent visit to Chisinau the rapporteur has noted that there is a general consensus among the different political parties and ethnic groups in favour of accession of the country to the Council of Europe as soon as possible.
132. In the light of all these considerations, the rapporteur concludes that membership of the Council of Europe should strengthen the cause of democracy and the rule of law, improve the protection of human rights and freedoms and enhance political and economic stability. On this basis and in the prospect of Moldova's gaining full control of its territory, the rapporteur proposes that the Assembly adopt a favourable opinion on Moldova's request for membership of the Council of Europe.
18 June 1993
Request for an opinion
from the Committee of Ministers to the Assembly
on the accession of Moldova to the Council of Europe
Resolution (93) 29
(adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 16 June 1993
at the 496th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)
The Committee of Ministers,
Recalling its decision, expressed at its 8th Session in May 1951, to consult the Parliamentary Assembly before inviting a state to become a member or associate member of the Council of Europe in conformity with the provisions of the Statute;
Considering that the Government of the Republic of Moldova, in its letter of 20 April 1993 addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, expressed the wish to be invited to become a member of the Council of Europe and declared its readiness to respect the principles stated in Article 3 of the Statute;
Having noted with satisfaction the interest shown by the Republic of Moldova in acceding to the Organisation,
Invites the Parliamentary Assembly to express its opinion on the matter and brings the following considerations to the attention of the Assembly at this stage:
First of all, the Committee of Ministers wishes to inform the Assembly that there is consensus among its members in favour of the Republic of Moldova's joining the Organisation as soon as the conditions laid down in the Statute, that is implementation of the principles of pluralist parliamentary democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law, have been satisfied. This implies that the legislative and judicial systems of the country would have to conform to the principles of the Rule of Law.
In his letter dated 20 April 1993, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Moldova indicated that Moldova would be prepared, like any other member state, to become Party to the European Convention on Human Rights. The Committee of Ministers took note with satisfaction of this intention and expects of the Government of Moldova that it will express its intention to recognise the right of individual petition and the compulsory jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights. The Republic of Moldova would thus have to give practical effect to the obligations under the Convention throughout the whole of its territory at the various levels of the administration.
The Committee of Ministers accordingly affirms its willingness to deepen its dialogue with the Moldovan authorities and intensify the support provided through its co-operation and assistance programmes, with a view to facilitating and accelerating Moldova's transition to democracy, and enabling it to join the Council of Europe as soon as possible.
Results of the elections held in Moldova on 27 February 1994 and
distribution of seats in parliament
No. 1 Democratic Agrarian Party 43,18% (56 seats)
No. 2 Socialist Party 22% (28 seats)
No. 3 Bloc of Intellectuals 9,21% (11 seats)
No. 4 Popular Front 7,53% ( 9 seats)
The remaining parties failed to achieve the 4% minimum. Their results were as follows:
No. 5 Social Democratic Party 3,66%
No. 6 Women's Association 2,83%
No. 7 Democratic Worker's Party 2,77%
No. 8 Reform Party 2,36%
No. 9 Democratic Party 1,32%
No. 10 Association of the Victims of
the Totalitarian Regime 0,94%
No. 11 Republican Party 0,93%
No. 12 National Christian Party 0,33%
No. 13 Green Alliance 0,12%
There was a turnout of 79,3%.
Conclusions of the eminent jurists' report on Moldova's legislation
"The Republic of Moldova is going through a transitional phase and many constitutional provisions have yet to be fully applied.
A number of codes and laws predating the proclamation of independence continue to be applicable after expurgation or adjustment to current circumstances.
Privatisation, rehabilitation of individuals and the establishment of a free market call for a thoroughgoing revision of the Civil Code, the Labour Code and the Commercial Code.
In our opinion, the situation is a very difficult one for the advocates of reform. Most of the country's population is labouring under the burden of lawlessness and a lack of democratic spirit and tradition.
We were able to observe the obviously precarious state of physical resources in a country which is only just beginning to establish the rule of law. There is still a long way to go before that goal is achieved and the transition to more comfortable circumstances cannot be effected in a few years.
The Republic of Moldova proclaims its readiness to recognise the principle of the rule of law and the fundamental idea that everyone placed under its jurisdiction must enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Recognition of these principles does not automatically mean that the rule of law will immediately apply to everyone living in the country. There is frequently a discrepancy between written undertakings and their practical application.
Nevertheless, we are convinced that the Republic of Moldova is undergoing a sea change in its history which cannot be reversed. There is no doubt that the parliament and the government are anxious to adapt the country's political and legal system to the standards of the European democracies as quickly as possible.
We have attempted in this report to analyse the different questions and problems requiring detailed study, especially by the competent Moldovan authorities.
We are of the opinion that only effective aid (including material assistance) from the member states of the Council of Europe can enable the Republic of Moldova to complete the steps taken to bring its legislation and, in particular, its system for the administration of justice into line with the provisions of the ECHR and the case-law of the European Court and the European Commission of Human Rights.
Our reply to the question as to whether the national legal system meets the required standards in respect of human rights is at the moment rather hesitant or negative. However, extremely important changes will no doubt be made to Moldovan law in the very near future, even before the end of this year. Numerous statutes or codes described in our report will no longer be in force. In view of the expected improvements, we are convinced that it will not be premature to admit the Republic of Moldova to membership of the Council of Europe in the course of 1995."
Programme of the rapporteur's visit to Moldova
(11 to 14 January 1995)
Tuesday 10 January 1995
4.35 p.m. Arrival in Chisinau
7.00 p.m. Meeting with Ambassadors of Council of Europe member states and the Head of the OSCE Mission:
Mr Branimir Radev, Acting Chargé d'Affaires of Bulgaria
Mr Johannes Giffels, Acting Chargé d'Affaires of Germany
Mr Jószef Nagy, Ambassador of Hungary
Mr Sarp Tevfik Tanin, Acting Chargé d'Affaires of Turkey
Mr Philipp Hahn, Head of the OSCE Mission
Mr Leon Waschansky, OSCE Mission
Mr Stefan Esterman, OSCE Mission
Wednesday 11 January 1995 (Chisinau)
8.45 a.m. Mr P. Barbalat, President of the Supreme Court
Mr N. Timofti, President of the penal chamber of the Supreme Court
Mr V. Pascari, President of the civil chamber of the Supreme Court
10.00 a.m. Representatives of the government:
Mr A. Sangheli, Prime Minister
Mr M. Popov, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mr V. Sturza, Minister of Justice
Mr P. Gaugas, Minister of Education
11.00 a.m. Representatives of the different currents of opinion in parliament:
Mr D. Diacov, Democratic Agrarian Party
Mr G. Bratunov, Democratic Agrarian Party
Mr V. Senic, Socialist Party
Mr V. Nedelciuc, Bloc of Intellectuals
Mr I. Rosca, Popular Front
2.30 p.m. Representatives of national communities:
Mr S. Mislitchi, "Ukrainian Union of Moldova"
Mr E. Ohrimenco, "Russian Cultural Centre"
Mr S. Jeleapov, "Bulgarian Community of Moldova"
Mr S. Shoinet, "Society for the Jewish Culture in Moldova"
Mr C. Sirf, President of the Gagaouz national cultural society "Friendship"
Mr V. Dzerjitki, "Belorussian Community of Moldova"
Mr V. Kazimirovici, "Polish Union of Moldova"
4.00 p.m. Mr P. Hahn, Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova
5.00 p.m. Representatives of the Chisinau municipal authorities:
Mr A. Turcanu, Deputy Mayor
Mr A. Mocreac, Head of the Education Department
Mr V. Curitenco, Head of the City Administration
6.15 p.m. Mr Postovan, Public Prosecutor
Mr Hadirca, President of the Bar
Mr Casian, Vice-President of the Bar
7.00 p.m. Dinner hosted by the special guest delegation of Moldova to the Parliamentary Assembly
Thursday 12 January 1995 (Tiraspol)
8.30 a.m. Departure for Tiraspol (Transnistria)
10.00 a.m. Mr Karaman, Vice-President of the "Pridnestrovskaya Moldavskaya Respublica"15
Mrs Volkova, Vice-Speaker of the Supreme Soviet of the PMR1
11.00 a.m. Chairmen of Supreme Soviet committees of the PMR1:
Mr Jakovlev, Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee
Mr Zahir, Chairman of the Social Committee
Mr Levintski, Chairman of the Employment Committee
Mr Manoilov, Chairman of the Audit Committee
12 noon Representatives of the Government of the PMR1:
Mr Siniov, Deputy Head of Government
Mr Chiba, First Vice-Prime Minister
Mr Natahin, Minister of Economy
Mrs Vedernikova, Minister of Education
Mr Rileakov, Head of the City Administration of Tiraspol
Mr Zenovici, Head of the City Administration of Bender
General Kitzac, Commander of the Transnistrian Army
2.30 p.m. General A. Lebed, Commander of the Russian 14th Army
4.00 p.m. Representatives of national and religious communities,
political organisations and the media
6.00 p.m. Press conference
6.30 p.m. Return to Chisinau
Friday 13 January 1995 (Chisinau)
7.00 a.m. Departure of Mr Columberg
9.00 a.m. Mr Petru Lucinschi, Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova
10.00 a.m. Representatives of religious communities:
Archbishop Vladimir, Orthodox Church of Moldova
Monsignor Cosa, Roman Catholic Church
Bishop Popovici, Union of Christian Evangelist-Baptist Church
Bishop Pavlovsci, Christian Union of Evangelical Faith
President Gorbuli, Union of the Seventh Day Adventists
Rabbi Abelische, Senior Rabbi of Chisinau and Moldova
11.00 a.m. Representatives of NGOs:
Mr S. Uritu, President of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights
Mr P. Gorbunenco, President of the Helsinki Citizens Assembly
Mr P. Esanu, President of the Alliance for Peace
Mrs L. Scalnii, President of Women Association of Moldova
Mr A. Renita, President of Ecologic Movement of Moldova
Mr I. Apostol, Vice-President of the "21st Century" Foundation
Mr E. Moldovanu, President of Children and Women Association
2.30 p.m. Mr Mircea Snegur, President of the Republic of Moldova
3.30 p.m. Meeting of Lord Finsberg with representatives of the press:
Mr Tinire, "Youth of Moldova"
Mr Dumbraveanu, "Curierul de Seara"
Mr Saharneanu, "President of the Union of Journalists of Moldova
Mr Erusevschi, Vice-Director of the television news department
Mr Mihail, Chief Editor of the "Saptamina" journal
Mr Botnaru, independent press agency "Basa-Press"
Mr Vsilica, International Radio Moldova
Mr Hropotinschi, "Moldova Souverana"
3.45 p.m.- Visit of Mrs Durrieu and Mr Jeszensky to
6.00 p.m. "special regime" prison colony 29/15 in Cricova
4.30 p.m. Press conference (Lord Finsberg)
Saturday 14 January 1995
10.00 a.m. Gagauze representatives:
Mr Kendigelyan, Speaker of the Gagauze Parliament
Mrs Marounevich, member of the Gagauze Parliament
11.00 a.m. Departure
Map of the region during various historic periods
Declaration of the "Supreme Soviet" and "Government" of
the Transnistrian Moldavian Republic (PMR) of 26 January 1995
On 12 January 1995 a delegation of the Council of Europe led by Mr D. Atkinson visited the Moldavian Republic of Pridnestrovye.
The visit of the delegation had been determined by the declaration of the Republic of Moldova about its entry into the Council of Europe. Among the delegation members were representatives of the Committee on Relations with European Non-Member Countries as well as main speakers on the issue of admittance of Moldova to the Council of Europe. During its stay in Tiraspol the Council of Europe's delegation had meetings with the leadership of the Moldavian Republic of Pridnestrovye, members of the government and the Supreme Soviet, commander of the 14th Guards Army of the Russian Federation, representatives of ethnic, cultural and religious associations, as well as representatives of parties, movements, public organisations and the press.
In connection with the declaration of the Republic of Moldova on its readiness to enter the Council of Europe, the Supreme Soviet and Government of the Moldavian Republic of Pridnestrovye hereby declare, that the putting forward of the issue of the Republic of Moldova's entry into the Council of Europe is premature and the admittance of the Republic of Moldova to the Council of Europe is impossible for several reasons.
Firstly, the inclusion of the Republic of Moldova into the United Nations Organisation's membership in 1992 not only did not stop, but encouraged the aggression by the Republic of Moldova against a part of the territory it considers as its own, which is not the case, the policy of genocide against a part, as Moldova considers, of its people.
Secondly, the Republic of Moldova does not exercise its sovereignty over the entire territory of the former Moldavian SSR and the issue of political settlement of the conflict has not found its solution yet. In fact, the Moldavian Republic of Pridnestrovye is an independent state, created as a result of an all-people referendum.
Thirdly, the present Government and Parliament of the Republic of Moldova were elected without participation of a considerable part of the population (inhabitants of the Moldavian Republic of Pridnestrovye) and therefore do not express opinions and interests of this part of the population.
Fourthly, the process of negotiations on granting a legal state status to Pridnestrovye, mediators and guarantors of which are the Russian Federation and the OSCE, has been constantly dragged out by the Republic of Moldova. Numerous attempts of economic, political and financial blockade have been undertaken including the ignoring of agreements and protocols already signed. Much time and chances have been lost to solve the existing problems.
Fifthly, there are no guarantees against and the possibility cannot be ruled out of further attempts of Moldova to resort to a forcible solution of the issue again.
The Supreme Soviet and Government of the Moldavian Republic of Pridnestrovye once again confirm their adherence to the norms of the International Law in the sphere of human rights and the right of peoples to self-determination.
The Supreme Soviet and Government of the Moldavian Republic of Pridnestrovye hereby re-confirm their two-year-old proposal on creating a demilitarised zone and bilateral disarmament and expect from the Republic of Moldova reciprocal constructive proposals in this direction.
We are convinced, that the admission of the Republic of Moldova to such an authoritative international organisation as the Council of Europe would be feasible after the above reasons have been eliminated.
Supreme Soviet Government of the
of the Moldavian Republic Moldavian Republic
of Pridnestrovye of Pridnestrovye
City of Tiraspol
26 January 1995
Statement made by the Chairman of the OSCE Permanent Council
(Vienna, 29 March 1995)
The Chairman of the Permanent Council
Deeply regrets that, despite repeated calls by the OSCE mission to Moldova, participating states and the Government of the Republic of Moldova, local elections and referendum were held on 26 March in the eastern part of Moldova;
Emphasises that any unilateral step does not contribute positively to the political process. They have a potential for further complicating the settlement negotiations and impeding efforts aimed at achieving progress in the reconciliation;
Notes that these elections and referendum are outside the framework of Moldo33van electoral legislation and run contrary to the agreement between the Russian Federation and Moldova on the withdrawal of the Russian 14th Army. Regardless of their outcome, they cannot have a bearing on the obligations undertaken in this agreement;
Welcomes in this context the assurances of the Russian Federation reconfirming Russia's determination to proceed with the early ratification and full implementation of the agreement;
Reiterates that the OSCE remains fully committed to achieving OSCE objectives reaffirmed by the heads of state or government at the Budapest Summit: bringing the political process of reconciliation to an early conclusion and, following an early entry into force of the bilateral agreement, ensuring a complete, early and orderly withdrawal of the 14th Army;
States that in order to promote these objectives, it is the intention of the Chairman-in-Office to send his personal representative to Moldova in the near future.
Reporting committee: Political Affairs Committee.
Committees for opinion: Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights and Committee on Relations with European Non-Member Countries.
Budgetary implications for the Assembly: to be examined by the Committee on the Budget and the Intergovernmental Work Programme.
Reference to committee: Doc. 6873 and Reference No. 1882 of 29 June 1993.
Draft opinion adopted by the committee on 3 April 1995 by 18 votes to 5 and 3 abstentions.
Members of the committee: Mr Kelchtermans (Chairman), Lord Finsberg (Vice-Chairman), MM. Bŕrsony (Vice-Chairman), Álvarez-Cascos, Antretter, Mrs Baarveld-Schlaman, Mr Baumel, Mrs Belohorská, MM. Bergqvist, Bernardini, Björn Bjarnason, Björck (Alternate: Hagĺrd), Bloetzer, Bokov, Büchel, Bühler, Cerqueda Pascuet, Eörsi, Fassino, Galanos (Alternate: Christodoulides), Gjellerod, Gotzev, Gricius, Güner, Mrs Halonen, MM. Hardy, Irmer (Alternate: Mrs Fischer), MM. Iwinski, Kalus, Kaspereit, Kelam, Kirsteins, La Loggia, Mrs Lentz-Cornette (Alternate: Mrs Err), MM. van der Linden, Machete, Martins, Masseret, Mimaroǧlu, Mitchell, Muehlemann, Pahor, Mrs Papandreou (Alternate: Mr Vrettos), MM. Pavlidis, Pozzo, de Puig (Alternate: Mrs Fernandez Ramiro), Radulescu Botica, Schieder, Schwimmer, Seeuws, Severin, Sir Dudley Smith (Alternate: Atkinson), Mr Špaček, Mrs Suchocka, MM. Thoresen, Vella.
N.B. The names of those members who took part in the meeting are printed in italics.
Secretaries to the committee: Mr Hartland, Mr Kleijssen and Ms Chatzivassiliou.
1 1 1. For the entire set of the conclusions of the legal experts' report see Appendix 3.
2 1 1. Reference to this entity in no way implies any recognition thereof by the rapporteur. The only state recognised by the Council of Europe is the Republic of Moldova. See also below, Section C, paragraph 24.
3 2 2. As part of the USSR, the official designation of the country was "Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic", commonly referred to as "Moldavia". On 5 June 1990, the parliament decided to change the official designation to "Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldova" and ever since it is commonly referred to as "Moldova". Since the declaration of independence, the official name is "Republic of Moldova".
4 3 3. These figures are given in accordance with the most recent census of 1989.
5 1 1. See below, Section C (a), paragraph 24.
6 1 1. Reference to these entities in no way implies any recognition thereof by the rapporteur. The only state recognised by the Council of Europe is the Republic of Moldova.
7 1 1. See above Section A, paragraph 3.
8 1 1. Several constitutional drafts had been examined by the Council of Europe, in particular the European Commission for Democracy through Law (commonly referred to as the "Venice Commission"), and the final text follows to a large extent these expert opinions.
9 2 2. As/Bur/Moldova (1994) 2, paragraph 25, p. 7.
10 1 1. See document CM/Inf (95) 7: Relations with the Republic of Moldova.
11 2 2. For the background see Section C (a).
12 3 3. See above paragraph 31.
13 1 1. See above Section C (b).
14 2 2. See above Section B (c), paragraph 46.
15 1 1. Reference to this entity in no way implies recognition thereof by the rapporteur. The only state recognised by the Council of Europe is the Republic of Moldova.