Andreas Peschke, the Director for Eastern Europe, was in Moldova for talks from 29 to 30 September. The issues addressed included German support for reforms in Moldova, the tense situation in the country, the efforts to reach a settlement to the Transdniestria conflict and Germany’s forthcoming assumption of the OSCE Chairmanship.
Following weeks of protests in the country of 3 million people sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, the situation has reached crisis point. Up to 100,000 people have taken to the streets demanding the resignation of the government.
German Government support for reforms
The country is facing huge challenges. Resolute action against corruption and reforms of the banking and judicial sectors are urgently required to restore public confidence.
Peschke discussed the reforms needed and the support that could be provided by the German Government. In 2014, the German Government made available 14 million euros, some of which was for administrative reforms and decentralisation.
The region of Transdniestria on the eastern side of the Dniestr river has been disputed since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The region wants independence from Moldova. It is – like other parts of the country – home to various national minorities (Ukrainians, Russians, Gagauz and Bulgarians). They account for approximately one quarter of the total population.
German efforts to resolve the conflict
Efforts to resolve this regional conflict have made no progress over the past several years. Germany is due to assume the Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) next year, and is currently weighing up what steps could be taken under its auspices. This too was discussed during Peschke’s talks in the capital Chisinau and in Tiraspol, the base of the Transdniestrian leadership.
During his trip, the Director for Eastern Europe met with government representatives, the leaders of governing parties and the socialist opposition, other politicians, international representatives and the Transdniestrian leadership.