Imitation of a dialogue between authorities and civil society (or its absence) were named among the issues highlighted in the report. According to Petru Macovei, the NGOs that criticised the authorities became subjected to denigration campaigns ‘including through the media sources controlled by the politicians in power’. The government also seems to use a selective approach to certain non-governmental organisations, some of which have received state funding for important projects.
The speaker also recalled that the Competition Council did not respond to the journalists’ request to investigate the issue of an alleged cartel agreement on the advertising market reported a year ago.
The experts recommend the authorities to effectively tackle the problem of excessive concentration on the media market, as well as the formation of cartels on the advertising markets and ensure an appropriate framework for the development of a pluralistic and independent media.
The State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration (MFAEI) Daniela Morari, also present at the event, acknowledged the existence of certain drawbacks in the implementation of the Association Agreement, stating that those were mainly influenced by the electoral year. Daniela Morari said that the recommendations formulated in the report will help the competent institutions set priorities for 2019.
The year 2019 marks five years since the signing of the Association Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova.
The Shadow Report was prepared within the ‘Monitoring the Implementation of the EU-Moldova Association Agreement’ Project supported by the Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE).