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The attempt to limit foreign funding of NGOs endangers the functioning of democracy in Moldova and cannot, under any circumstances, be accepted

The legislation of the Republic of Moldova on non-governmental organizations is obsolete, failing to provide sufficient protection against abuses. In spring 2016, the Minister of Justice, Mr. Vladimir CEBOTARI, accepted the proposal of several civil society organizations to improve the legislation on non-governmental organizations and established a working group to this end, composed of representatives of non-governmental organizations and the Ministry of Justice.

The group worked for more than a year and prepared a draft law intended to replace the Law on Public Associations and the Law on Foundations. This draft is in line with the best international standards and practices and may represent, if adopted, a step forward in ensuring a sustainable and independent associative sector in the Republic of Moldova. The draft was endorsed by international experts and subjected to public consultations with participation of non-commercial organizations held on 14 September 2016 by the Ministry of Justice. During its activity, the working group enjoyed independence and was not subject to undue influence by the leadership of the Ministry of Justice or any other authorities. The draft Law on non-governmental organizations is ready to be promoted for adoption.

Last week, the representatives of NGOs, members of the above-referenced working group, received from the representatives of the Ministry of Justice, part of the same group, a proposal to complete the draft with three additional articles (Articles 28-30) presented by the Minister of Justice.

The additions include “special provisions on political activity of non-governmental organizations”, which significantly limit the activity of non-governmental organizations and establish prohibitions for their direct or indirect foreign financing. These restrictions refer to organizations that contribute to development and promotion of public policies intended to influence the legislative process. At the same time, these restrictions apply to the organizations that, according to the initiative, could participate or intervene in political activities, electoral campaigns, electoral programs, support political parties, their leaders or candidates, promote them or any other actions undertaken by them, either jointly or separately, both, in elections within the meaning of the Electoral Code or matters subject to a referendum, or beyond elections. These organizations will be prohibited even from accessing the 2% mechanism.

The adjustments also aim at additional financial transparency rules for all organizations that benefit from financing outside the Republic of Moldova. They should submit to the Ministry of Justice quarterly and annual financial reports, even though such reports are submitted monthly and annually with the Tax authorities of the Republic of Moldova. Moreover, the NGOs should publish other reports confirming the origin of the organization’s funds and revenues, and of the members of its management bodies as well. Additionally, organizations will have to submit a written declaration on incomes and expenditures ratio for “political activities” to the Ministry of Justice and the Central Electoral Commission and publish it on their website.

For breach of the above requirements, the Ministry of Justice will apply sanctions to the non-governmental organization and to the members of its management bodies. Some of the provided sanctions are a financial penalty in the amount of the monthly salary fund of the organization or in the amount of the material value of which the financial organization benefited in committing the breach, whichever is greater, as well as the liquidation of the organization, based on a court decision.

On 6 July 2017, the members of the working group convened in a meeting with the Minister of Justice.  At this meeting, Mr. Cebotari mentioned that the proposed additions are designed to avoid the external influence on the policy of the Republic of Moldova, which is exercised, including by means of external financing of non-commercial organizations which are focusing on state policies or are supporting, directly or indirectly, initiatives of political parties. The Minister suggested to improve the text proposed by him. The representatives of the Ministry of Justice in the working group informed the representatives of NGOs from the working group that the final version of the daft to be promoted will be decided by the Ministry of Justice.

The signatory organizations consider that the proposals of the Minister of Justice cannot be supported in any way, because they are contrary to the international standards and are endangering the entire associative sector and democracy in the Republic of Moldova.

This initiative is contrary to the international standards, which do not allow such limitations for the NGOs activities. A recent analysis by the Venice Commission reveals that such limitations exist only in three member states of the Council of Europe – Russia, Hungary and Azerbaijan. Recently, the Venice Commission had a critical attitude on Hungarian law. The limitations proposed by Mr. Cebotari are even more restrictive than those in Hungary, a country that does not impose an absolute ban for foreign funding of NGOs. Moreover, the minister’s initiative is contrary to the very purpose for which the drafting of new legislation was initiated. The working group was created to improve and not to worsen the working environment of non-governmental organizations. If Minister’s intention was communicated from the outset, no non-commercial organization would have accepted to get involved in drafting such a draft Law. Furthermore, this initiative was announced at the latest possible moment, despite the fact that the same Minister created the working group more than a year ago.

The proposals represent an attack on non-governmental organizations that are active in promoting public policies or any other activities to develop participatory democracy. The absolute majority of Moldovan NGOs benefit from funds provided by development partners. Such measures will deprive the majority of active NGOs in the country of financing and the foreign political organizations and foundations working in the Republic of Moldova would be forced to cease their activity. Therefore, this will affect thousands of people directly benefiting from the NGOs activity and the functioning of democracy itself in the Republic of Moldova.

The proposed provisions are contrary to the Association Agreement between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union, which encourages the involvement of all relevant stakeholders, including civil society organizations, in developing policies and reforms in the Republic of Moldova. We must recall that the state of the Republic of Moldova itself benefits from continuous financial support from the development partners. Thus, restricting external financing for the non-governmental sector is at least disproportionate.

Furthermore, for 20 years the legislation of the Republic of Moldova has not provided for such prohibitions. Due to the fact that legislation had not provided for such bans, the associative sector in Moldova developed considerably over the past two decades. This confirms that the danger invoked by the Minister of Justice as an argument for promoting the initiative does not exist. The draft law elaborated by the working group already sets limits to the NGOs’ involvement in elections in line with best international practices. The proposed additions go much further, excessively limiting the activity of NGOs both during and after elections.

This initiative comes at a time when we are witnessing a regress in the environment of non-governmental organizations activity, including due to attacks against several civil society activists. Also, the statement made by the President Igor DODON on 26 May 2017 on the usefulness of promoting provisions limiting foreign funding of NGOs, similarly to Hungary, cannot be ignored. We would like to believe that this incident does not represent the policy promoted by the government regarding NGOs.

In the light of the foregoing, the signatory organizations call on:

  1. the Minister of Justice, to give up the initiative to limit financing of the activity of NGOs from outside, as well as any other initiatives aimed at limiting their activity, and to send the draft Law drafted by the working group to the Government for approval as soon as possible;
  2. the Government and Parliament to vote the draft law on non-governmental organizations drafted by the working group without introducing provisions that will limit the activity of NGOs. Any delay in promotion of this draft will be treated by us as an implicit confirmation of a policy of limiting the activity of the associative sector;
  3. diplomatic community and development partners of the Republic of Moldova to closely monitor the situation of civil society in the Republic of Moldova and the initiatives to suppress the activity of the associative sector in the Republic of Moldova, and to take all measures to ensure that the civil society organizations working environment and freedom of the press do not worsen.

Note: the draft law, with the additions proposed by the Minister of Justice (Art. 26-28) was published in the afternoon of 11 July 2017 after the above declaration was issued, and is available at: http://justice.gov.md/public/files/transparenta_in_procesul_decizional/coordonare/2017/iulie/11/2017_07_11_proiect_lege_ONG_final.pdf.

The signatory organizations:

  1. Alliance INFONET
  2. Students Alliance of Moldova
  3. Human Rights Embassy
  4. Amnesty International Moldova
  5. Association of Independent Press (API)
  6. „Piligrim-Demo” Public Association
  7. ADR „Habitat” Public Association
  8. „Pro-Trebujeni” Public Association
  9. „QNA Moldova” Public Association
  10. Helsinki Citizens Assembly of Moldova
  11. Association for Participatory Democracy (ADEPT)
  12. Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance (AGER)
  13. Foreign Policy Association (APE)
  14. Promo-Lex Association
  15. „EuroPass” Center
  16. Center Partnership for Development (CPD)
  17. Independent Analytical Center Expert-Grup
  18. Legal Assistance Center for Persons with Disabilities
  19. Women`s Law Center
  20. The Human Rights Information Centre (CIDO)
  21. The Child Rights Information Center (CIDDC)
  22. „GENDERDOC-M” Information Centre
  23. Journalistic Investigation Centre (CIJ)
  24. Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims “Memoria”
  25. Legal Resources Centre from Moldova (CRJM)
  26. International Centre “La Strada”
  27. National Law Centre „AD LEGEM”
  28. National Center for Child Abuse Prevention (CNPAC)
  29. Centre for Independent Journalism (CJI)
  30. Center For Health Policies and Studies (Centrul PAS)
  31. Balti University Legal Clinic
  32. WatchDog.MD Community
  33. National Youth Council of Moldova (CNTM)
  34. CPR-Moldova
  35. Eco-TIRAS
  36. Est Europe Foundation
  37. Freedom Moldova Foundation
  38. Soros Foundation-Moldova
  39. Institute for Public Policy (IPP)
  40. Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE)
  41. Institute for development and social initiatives “Viitorul”
  42. Ecological Movement of Moldova
  43. Transparency International Moldova (TI-Moldova)

The list of signatory organisations remains open

 

Chi?in?u, 3 martie 2017

Semnatarii, membri ai Platformei Na?ionale a Forumului Societ??ii Civile din Parteneriatul Estic (Platforma), constat? cu îngrijorare unele tendin?e nefaste de deteriorare a mediului de activitate al societ??ii civile ?i a respect?rii principiilor de baz? ale statului de drept în Republica Moldova. În particular, observ?m semnele unor ac?iuni sistematice de dezbinare ?i discreditare a organiza?iilor societ??ii civile, inclusiv prin contrapunerea acestora unor organiza?ii quasi-neguvernamentale. De asemenea, s-au înte?it cazurile de intimidare a presei independente din partea unor autorit??i publice.

Iat? de ce consider?m important de a comunica opiniei publice, partenerilor de dezvoltare ai Republicii Moldova ?i autorit??ilor na?ionale pozi?ia Platformei cu privire la unele din aceste tendin?e pentru a le descuraja ?i preveni deteriorarea de mai departe a situa?iei în aceste sectoare.

Tot mai des, reprezentan?ii unor institu?ii publice „taxeaz?” organiza?ii ale societ??ii civile, dar ?i reprezentan?i ai mass-media neafiliate pentru opinii critice vizavi de activitatea acestor autorit??i, fiind învinui?i nefondat de propagarea în societate a unei „imagini proaste” a institu?iilor publice respective sau de promovarea unor opinii politice p?rtinitoare. Mai mult, unele organiza?ii neguvernamentale ?i institu?ii media devin „indezirabile” pentru unele autorit??i ?i sunt exclude din dialogul acestora cu societatea civil?. Toate acestea au loc în timp ce reprezentan?ii puterii de stat legislative, executive ?i judec?tore?ti se lanseaz? la nivel oficial în diferite ini?iative declarative de deschidere ?i cooperare în raport cu societatea civil? din Republica Moldova.

 

Un alt fenomen îngrijor?tor observat în ultima perioad? este încercarea unor organiza?ii neguvernamentale de a promova o agend? pretins reprezentativ? a societ??ii civile, apelând la diferite ac?iuni ?i abord?ri netransparente, neincluzive, utilizând ?i chiar abuzând de anumite platforme sau formate consacrate ale societ??ii civile. Cel mai recent exemplu în acest sens a fost observat la 22 februarie 2017, când a avut loc evenimentul numit Forum Civic de Monitorizare a implement?rii Acordului de Asociere RM-UE. În cadrul evenimentului respectiv, organizatorii urmau s? prezinte trei rapoarte tematice de monitorizare a implement?rii Acordului de Asociere RM-UE, în domeniile mediului, justi?iei ?i energiei. CReDO (Centrul de Resurse pentru Drepturile Omului) urma s? prezinte rapoartele dedicate sectoarelor justi?iei ?i energiei, îns? cu regret raportul pe justi?ie nu a fost publicat ?i nici prezentat membrilor Platformei pân? în prezent. Nici proiectul declara?iei cu privire la reformele în justi?ie, ce urma a fi adoptat? de c?tre participan?ii la eveniment, nu a fost consultat? în prealabil cu reprezentan?ii Platformei, iar con?inutul acesteia nu men?iona mai multe probleme serioase evidente ?i existente în acest domeniu. În acest sens, membrii semnatari ai Platformei resping orice asociere a Platformei Na?ionale a Forumului Societ??ii Civile din Parteneriatul Estic cu opiniile ?i prezent?rile realizate de CReDO în cadrul evenimentului din 22 februarie.

 

O alt? situa?ie regretabil? în acest sens este confuzia creat? cu privire la oportunitatea promov?rii în cadrul proiectului Strategiei de Integritate ?i Anticorup?ie (SNIA) a unui Pilon VIII (invizibil) separat dedicat integrit??ii societ??ii civile ?i mass-media. Propunerea dat? a fost transmis? în adresa Centrului Na?ional Anticorup?ie la ultima etap? de consult?ri, de c?tre trei organiza?ii ale societ??ii civile care au argumentat necesitatea includerii unor astfel de prevederi în noul Proiect al SNIA. Pilonul VIII a promovat ideea conform c?reia ar exista grave preocup?ri de integritate în sectorul neguvernamental. Totodat?, autorii acestui concept „etatist” se refereau exclusiv la ONG-urile active civic, l?sând în afara aten?iei o vast? re?ea de organiza?ii confesionale ?i sindicatele. Men?ion?m c? potrivit proiectului SNIA se interzicea „afilierea politic?” a membrilor organelor de administrare a ONG-urilor. Pe de alt? parte, în opinia semnatarilor, includerea unui pilon în SNIA dedicat societ??ii civile ar fi însemnat o ”relativizare” a integrit??ii autorit??ilor publice, introducând ideea unei atribu?ii suplimentare din partea statului de a determina ce fel de ?i cât? integritate urmeaz? a fi raportat? sectorului asociativ. În context, de?i exist? o în?elegere general? în cadrul organiza?iilor societ??ii civile cu privire la importan?a respect?rii principiilor integrit??ii ?i transparen?ei, totu?i standardele de integritate trebuie subordonate unui proces intern de auto-reglementare în cadrul sectorului asociativ, pentru a nu aduce atingere principiilor constitu?ionale fundamentale cu privire la libertatea de asociere ?i libertatea de opinie. În consecin??, în rezultatul consult?rilor suplimentare, Centrul Na?ional Anticorup?ie, autorul proiectului SNIA, a renun?at la promovarea Pilonului VIII, lucru pe care îl salut?m. Totodat?, încurajam to?i actorii implica?i s? atrag? o aten?ie deosebit? ca în cadrul dezbaterilor publice la importan?a respect?rii opiniilor tuturor participa?ilor la consult?ri, în spiritul unui dialog constructiv, evitând retorici personalizate ?i acuzatoare.

 

Adi?ional, atragem aten?ia c? în ultima perioad? au fost înregistrate mai multe cazuri de intimidare direct? ?i indirect? a institu?iilor mass-media independente ?i a jurnali?tilor de investiga?ie, în condi?iile în care continu? practica vicioas? de monopolizare a mass-media prin intermediul grupurilor aflate în subordinea oligarhiilor politice. Astfel, la sfâr?itul anului 2016, jurnalista de investiga?ie Mariana Ra?? a fost chemat? la procuratur? pentru a da explica?ii în cadrul unei investiga?ii penale. Jurnalista era suspectat? c?, prin publicarea unei investiga?ii jurnalistice despre averile unui fost comisar de poli?ie, ar fi difuzat informa?ii despre via?a privat? a acestuia. De?i era clar din start c? nu a fost comis? o fapt? penal? ?i cauza trebuia respins?, procurorul a chemat jurnalista la audieri. Doar dup? ce cauza a atras aten?ia publicului, dosarul a fost clasat. Un alt caz simptomatic, este cel din 21 februarie 2017, când s?pt?mânalul de investiga?ii „Ziarul de Gard?” a semnalat apari?ia unui site-fantom? cu denumirea ziaruldegarda.com, care folosea denumirea „Ziarul de Gard?” ?i distribuia informa?ii scrise de autori anonimi sau preluate de pe alte pagini web. Portalul sem?na cu alte site-uri anonime care promoveaz? un con?inut anti-opozi?ie ?i pro-guvernare. Mai multe organiza?ii ale societ??ii civile au solicitat autorit??ilor investigarea acestui incident. Site-ul a disp?rut în scurt timp dup? declara?ie. Pe de alt? parte, în ultimele luni, tot mai multe institu?ii publice refuz? nejustificat s? ofere jurnali?tilor de investiga?ii informa?ii de interes public, invocând protec?ia datelor cu caracter personal. În februarie 2017, fiind invocat? protec?ia datelor cu caracter personal, toate hot?rârile de pe portalul instan?elor judec?tore?ti au fost anonimizate, f?când imposibil? g?sirea hot?rârilor judec?tore?ti în cauze de rezonan??. Aceste fapte reprezint? piedici serioase pentru jurnalismul de investiga?ie.

 

În concluzie, constat?m spre regret c? dialogul dintre autorit??ile na?ionale ?i societatea civil? este puternic afectat de neîncredere, inconsisten?? ?i retoric? nociv?. Sunt tot mai frecvente cazurile când colaborarea cu societatea civil? este mai mult utilizat? de c?tre autorit??ile publice ca pe o fa?ad? pentru legitimizarea ac?iunilor proprii. În acest sens, sunt favorizate în interac?iunea cu autorit??ile publice acele organiza?ii care promoveaz? o pozi?ie mai comod? ?i/sau apropiat? acestora ?i deciden?ilor s?i. Consider?m important ca autorit??ile publice s? promoveze o abordare inclusiv? ?i nediscriminatorie în raport cu toate organiza?iile societ??ii civile ?i comunitatea de exper?i, inclusiv cu vocile critice sau acei reprezentan?i ai societ??ii civile care decid s? î?i exprime public preferin?ele politice.

 

 

În contextul celor men?ionate mai sus, semnatarii prezentei Declara?ii:

1. Reitereaz? c?, într-un stat de drept, societatea civil? ?i mass-media joac? un rol esen?ial în transparentizarea ?i responsabilizarea institu?iilor publice. Este deosebit de important ca în activitatea lor toate organiza?iile societ??ii civile ?i mass-media s? se conduc? de ?i s? respecte principiile transparen?ei, echidistan?ei, profesionalismului ?i eticii profesionale;

2.   Fac apel c?tre opinia public? ?i partenerii de dezvoltare s? urm?reasc? îndeaproape, s? previn? ?i s? dezaprobe toate ac?iunile care vin s? submineze libertatea de asociere, libertatea opiniei ?i a exprim?rii în Republica Moldova;

3.   Îndeamn? autorit??ile publice din Republica Moldova la un dialog deschis, nediscriminatoriu ?i onest pe marginea problemelor de interes public major, implicând reprezentan?ii tuturor organiza?iilor neguvernamentale ?i mass-mediei, indiferent de opiniile exprimate sau pozi?iile promovate.

 

Semnatarii, Membri ai Platformei Na?ionale a Forumului Societ??ii Civile din Parteneriatul Estic:

Asocia?ia pentru Democra?ie Participativ? „ADEPT”

Asociatia Femeilor Profesioniste si de Afaceri din Moldova

Asociatia Politici Externe

Asociatia Presei Independente

Asocia?ia Interna?ional? a P?str?torilor Râului Eco-TIRAS

BIOS

Business Consulting Institute

Centru Independent de Jurnalism

Centru de Resurse Juridice din Moldova

Centrul National de Mediu

IDIS Viitorul

Institutul pentru Dezvoltare Urbana

Institutul pentru Politici Publice

Institutul pentru Politici ?i Reforme Europene

Mi?carea Ecologista din Moldova

PromoLex

TERRA153

Transparency International - Moldova

Uniunea Organiza?iilor Invalizilor din Moldova

Centrul Regional al Studiilor de Mediu ECOS

Asocia?ia Femeilor pentru Protec?ia Mediului ?i Dezvoltarea Durabil? (AFPMDD)

Alian?a ONG-urilor active în domeniul Protec?iei Sociale a Copilului ?i Familiei (APSCF)

 

Lista este deschis? pentru subsemnare

 

DECLARATION ON THE DETERIORATING ENVIRONMENT FOR CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS AND MASS MEDIA IN THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA

Chisinau, 3 March 2017

The undersigned organizations, members of the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (hereinafter - Platform), express their concern about the environment for civil society organizations and the respect for the fundamental principles of the rule of law in the Republic of Moldova. In particular, we have observed systematic actions designed to divide and discredit civil society organizations, including by setting them against certain quasi-nongovernmental organizations. Moreover, we note a general climate of increased intimidation of the independent media by public authorities.

For this purpose, we consider it important to communicate to the general public, development partners and Moldovan state authorities the Platform’s position on some of the above-mentioned trends with a view toward discouraging them and preventing further deterioration of the situation in these areas.

 

We are increasingly witnessing representatives of the public authorities "penalizing" civil society organizations and non-affiliated media representatives for critical opinions expressed about the activities carried out by such authorities, and civil society organizations being unduly accused of promoting a "poor image" of public institutions or of promoting partisan political views. Moreover, some non-governmental organizations and media institutions have become "undesirable" according some authorities and are excluded from their dialogue with civil society. All these phenomena have taken place at the same time as representatives of the legislative, executive and judicial branches launch various initiatives proclaiming openness and cooperation with civil society in the Republic of Moldova.

 

Another worrying phenomenon observed lately has been attempts by some non-governmental organizations to promote agendas allegedly representative of civil society using various non-transparent and non-inclusive actions and approaches, utilizing and even abusing certain platforms and forums established by civil society. The most recent example of this took place on 22 February 2017, when a Civic Forum on Monitoring the Implementation of the Moldova-EU Association Agreement was organized. During this event the organizers were supposed to present three thematic reports on monitoring the implementation of the Moldova-EU Association Agreement in terms of the environment, justice and energy. CReDO (Resource Centre for Human Rights) was supposed to present its reports on the justice and energy sectors, but, regretfully, the report on justice has not been published or submitted to the Platform members so far. Moreover, the representatives of the Platform were not consulted in advance about the draft declaration on justice sector reform, which was proposed to the participants of the event for adoption, and its content did not cover many serious and evident problems in this area. In this context, the signatory members of the Platform reject any association of the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum with the opinions and presentations made by CReDO at the event dated 22 February 2017.

 

Another regrettable situation was the confusion created by the opportunity to promote Pillar VIII, dedicated to civil society and media integrity, as part of the draft of the National Integrity and Anticorruption Strategy (NIAS). This proposal was sent to the National Anticorruption Centre during the last stage of the consultation process by three civil society organizations, which argued for the need to include such provisions in the new draft NIAS. Pillar VIII promoted the idea that there were serious integrity concerns in the non-governmental sector. However, the authors of this “statist” concept referred exclusively to those non-governmental organizations playing an active civic role, omitting the vast networks of religious organizations and trade unions. It is worth mentioning that the draft NIAS prohibited any "political affiliation" by members of non-governmental organizations’ managing bodies. On the other hand, in the signatories’ opinion, the inclusion of a pillar dedicated to civil society in the draft NIAS would "relativize" public authorities’ integrity, introducing the idea of ??the responsibility of the state in determining what kind of and how much integrity should be found in the non-governmental sector. Thus, although there is general understanding within civil society organizations about the importance of respecting the principles of integrity and transparency, standards of integrity should be subordinated to an internal process of self-regulation within the associated sector, so as not to interfere with the fundamental constitutional principles of freedom of association and freedom of opinion. Consequently, as a result of additional consultations, the National Anticorruption Centre, the author of the draft NIAS, stopped promoting Pillar VIII, a decision that we welcome. At the same time, we encourage all stakeholders to pay special attention in public debates to the importance of respecting the opinions of all participants being consulted in the spirit of constructive dialogue, and of avoiding accusatory and personalized rhetoric.

 

Additionally, we note that several incidents of direct and indirect intimidation of independent media institutions and investigative journalists were recorded recently, in the context of the continuing harmful practice of groups under the control of political oligarchs monopolizing the media. To this end, at the end of 2016 the investigative journalist Mariana Rata was called to the prosecutor’s office to answer questions about a criminal investigation. The journalist was suspected of disseminating information about the private life of a former police commissioner by publishing a journalistic investigation about his assets. Although it was clear from the start that no criminal offence was committed and the case should be dismissed, the prosecutor asked the journalist for testimony. Only after the case drew public attention was it dismissed. Another symptomatic case is that of 21 February 2017, when the weekly investigative newspaper „Ziarul de Gard?” reported the appearance of a phantom website named ziaruldegarda.com, which used the name „Ziarul de Gard?” and disseminated information written by anonymous authors or taken from other web pages. The portal resembled other anonymous websites that promote anti-opposition and pro-government content. Several civil society organizations urged the authorities to investigate this incident. The website disappeared shortly after that statement. On the other hand, over the past few months, more public institutions have unduly refused to provide journalists with information of public interest, citing the protection of personal data. In February 2017, based on the protection of personal data, all decisions from the court system webpage were anonymised, making it impossible to find judgments in high-profile cases. These are serious obstacles to investigative journalism.

 

In conclusion, we express our disappointment that the dialogue between national authorities and civil society is strongly affected by mistrust, inconsistency and harmful rhetoric. The cases in which collaboration with civil society is used by the government as a facade for legitimizing its own actions are increasing. In this respect, in their interaction with public authorities those organizations that promote a more convenient and/or closer position to the authorities and decision makers are favoured. It is important that the public authorities promote an inclusive and non-discriminatory approach in their relationship with all civil society organizations and the community of experts, including with the ones with critical voices or civil society representatives who decide to publicly express their political preferences.

 

In light of the abovementioned, the signatories to this Declaration:

1. Reiterate that, in a state based on the rule of law, civil society and the media play a key role in making public institutions transparent and accountable. It is particularly important for all civil society organizations and the media to be guided by and to respect the principles of transparency, fairness, professionalism and professional ethics in their work;

2. Call on the general public and development partners to more closely monitor, to prevent and to disavow all actions that have the effect of undermining freedom of association, freedom of opinion and expression in the Republic of Moldova;

3. Urge the Moldovan public authorities to hold an open, non-discriminatory and honest dialogue on issues of public interest involving representatives of all non-governmental organizations and media, irrespective of their expressed opinions.

 

The undersigned organizations, members of the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum:

Association for Participatory Democracy „ADEPT”

Association of Professional and Business Women from Moldova

Foreign Policy Association

Association of Independent Press

Eco-TIRAS International Environmental Association of River Keepers

BIOS

Business Consulting Institute

Independent Journalism Center

Legal Resources Centre of Moldova

National Environmental Center

Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS) “Viitorul”

Institute for Urban Development

Institute for Public Policy

Institute for European Policies and Reforms

Ecological Movement of Moldova

Promo-LEX Association

TERRA 153

Transparency International - Moldova

Union of Organizations for the Disabled of Moldova

 

The list of signatories remains open.

 

Platforma Na?ional? a Parteneriatului Estic sus?ine jurnali?tii persecuta?i de c?tre reprezentan?ii autorit??ilor publice

Ieri, 24 ianuarie, în cadrul Conferin?ei de pres? ”Presiuni alarmante asupra jurnalitilor din Republica Moldova: de la brutalizare ?i indimidare, la procese penale.”, Platforma Na?ional? a Parteneriatului Estic prin reprezentan?ii grupului nr.1 Democra?ie, drepturile omului, bun? guvernare ?i stabilitate a reiterat sus?inerea jurnali?tilor care sunt persecuta?i de reprezentan?ii autorit??ilor publice.

Acest eveniment a fost organizat în contextul în care Marianei Ra??, jurnalist? în cadrul Centrului de Investiga?ii Jurnalistice, i s-a itentat un dosar penal, pentru o investiga?ie jurnalistic? realizat?, în care, în opinia autorit??ilor, aceasta a utilizat date cu caracter personal.

În acest context, reamintim ?i exemplele Centrului de Investigatii Jurnalistice care a ac?ionat în judecat? Pre?edin?ia pentru refuzul de a prezenta biografiile/CV-urile persoanelor care au primit distinctii de stat, sau a unei explica?ii, cu pretextul c? aceasta ar prezenta informa?ie cu un caracter personal ?i a pierdut cazul. Precum ?i, Transparency International Moldova, reprezentan?ii c?ruia au solicitat informa?ii despre cauze penale itentate în privi?a factorilor de decizie a intrepriderilor de stat în leg?tur? cu eventualele abateri în activitatea acestora, iar MAI ?i Procuratura nu au oferit date, invocând clauza datelor cu caracter personal.

 

Directorul Asocia?iei Promo-Lex ?i Facilitatorul Platformei Na?ionale a Forumului Societ??ii Civile care a fost interzis? în Transnistria ?i care a ob?inut o condamnare a Rusiei la CEDO pentru înc?lcarea dreptului la educa?ie în regiunea separatist?, atrage aten?ia c? nicio institu?ie interna?ional? nu d? prioritate respect?rii drepturilor omului în aceast? regiune.

Regimul de la Tiraspol face ce vrea cu oamenii din regiune. Ace?tia nu se pot ap?ra împotriva abuzurilor în justi?ie. ?colile române?ti sunt în continuare ?inute ostatice, iar ??ranilor le sunt confiscate propriet??ile. Totu?i, autorit??ile moldovene nu doresc s? ridice aspecte legate de drepturile omului în formatul 5+2 ?i nici problema confisc?rii propriet??ilor, mul?umindu-se s? pl?teasc? compensa?ii oamenilor care nu pot dispune de bunurile lor în Transnistria. Ion Manole, directorul executiv al Promo-Lex, a vorbit pe larg despre înc?lc?rile drepturilor omului din stânga Nistrului, într-un interviu acordat Epoch Times la Chi?in?u.

 

 
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