"Moldova's Democratic European Promise" report from a discussion with President of the Republic of Moldova Maia Sandu
Moldova's Democratic European Promise
A report from a discussion with President of Moldova Maia Sandu, which took place in Vienna School of International Relations and was coorganised by the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe and Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy.
by Nina Vorgič
Maia Sandu, President of the Republic of Moldova’s talk hosted by the Vienna School of International Studies, was an opportunity to hear Ms. Sandu’s political journey and plans for the future. Sandu became the president after the 2020 elections and ceased to be a member of the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS), founded in 2015. In early 2021, the Party of Action and Solidarity won a clear majority in the Moldovan Parliament, which according to Sandu, provides a strong mandate and a promise of stability for the citizens.
Sandu reflected on the current developments, particularly the challenges from the instability of the energy sector, and stressed the importance of the fight against corruption. Moldova has come a long way since the late nineties, when more than 70 percent of the citizens were below the poverty line. However, brain drain and emigration remain a challenge for the decision-makers. Sandu stated that one of the crucial tasks is to regain citizens’ trust in their country, ensure better living standards, fight against corruption, and build institutions. Concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus is on increasing the vaccination rate and supporting small businesses.
In terms of foreign policy and external relations, Sandu expressed the importance of internal consolidation and fulfilling commitments to the citizens and the European partners. She reiterated that a realistic, active external policy based on mutual respect is necessary for a new chapter in diplomatic relations. Sandu stressed the role of the European Union as very important for Moldova. The EU provided support in difficult times, called for the accountability of the previous regime, and “encouraged citizens not to give up”. Moldova will continue to follow the European model of development, which does not exclude a good relationship and constructive dialogue with Russia.
Sandu’s approach to the conflict in Transnistria is about finding a peaceful and diplomatic solution, which will respect its territorial integrity and sovereignty, and enable the reintegration of the region, creating a functional state. Furthermore, she stressed the importance of strengthening the institutions and including all parties in finding a solution. Answering the audience’s questions, Sandu concluded that despite the strong opposition she has faced since her first steps as Minister of Education, she will continue her work on making transparent politics in the spirit of democracy, in the best interest of citizens.