Strategic Framework 

Legal Policy Starting Point 

When the previous government coalition was ousted by a vote of no confidence after only a few months in power, a new government alliance consisting of the Socialist Party (PSRM) and the Democratic Party (PDM) was formed in late November 2019. The parties concluded a coalition agreement in March 2020. Immediately afterwards, the government felt compelled to declare a state of emergency for an extended period in view of the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic Moldova’s situation was further aggravated by unfavourable external factors such as declining remittances from abroad. These are money transfers made by migrants to families and friends who have remained in their home country. They are an effective way for a low-income country like Moldova to increase the income of the population. Dealing with the pandemic crisis has consumed considerable resources and administrative capacities, slowing down the necessary legal and judicial reforms. The presidential elections in November 2020 required two rounds of voting and once again reflected the country’s typical geopolitical divide between pro-Russian and pro-Western tendencies. Maia Sandu, the former head of government and a pro-Western politician, emerged as the election winner.

Overall Concept 

IRZ has advised its Moldovan partner institutions on administrative law reform for more than ten years. Ongoing cooperation has focused on implementation ever since the Administrative Code with material and procedural regulations came into force in 2019. An exchange of experience on the practical application of this code was held between judges as part of an online workshop. During this event, focused discussions developed between the Vice-President of the Supreme Court, 15 judges of the Rîșcani Local Court and a representative of the Superior Council of Magistrates. In addition to various further training events, the participating experts from Germany also prepared a guide on administrative law. This was translated into Moldovan and is now used as a practical aid in the application of this area of law, which remains fairly unknown in Moldova.

Focus of Activity in 2020 

Public Law

  • Online workshop for judges on the implementation of the Administrative Code in Chișinău
  • Completion of the training guide on the Administrative Code

Projects funded by the European Union 

EU Technical Assistance Project: “Support to the police reform in the Republic of Moldova”

IRZ has been involved in implementing the project since late 2018 under the leadership of the Belgian partner B&S EUROPE. Endowed with a project budget of almost € 3.7 million and scheduled to run for 38 months, the EU project seeks to harmonise the work of the police force in Moldova in line with both international and EU standards. The project work focuses on the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the General Police Directorate as the beneficiary authorities.

The desired reform efforts aim to increase efficiency, transparency and professionalism within the police force. Specifically, this involves supporting a transparent selection and promotion process, improving basic and further training of police officers, police enforcement work, inter-agency cooperation, as well as supporting the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the General Police Directorate in public relations and awareness-raising and in internal planning and budgeting processes.

A Moldovan police delegation visited GPEC®, a trade fair for police and security authorities in Frankfurt am Main, at the beginning of the 2020 reporting year. The delegation attended meetings, workshops, symposia, training courses and testing of police equipment. This allowed the Moldovan participants to make contact with dealers and organisations and to obtain information about the latest technical advancements and equipment.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the project quickly switched many activities to an online format and by doing so was able to remain largely on schedule. By the end of the year, however, it had become evident that participants were growing tired of virtual events and the project team consequently made reasonable efforts to meet the need for physical meetings and formats as far as this was possible.

EU Twinning: “Capacity Building of the National Centre for Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Moldova”

This Twinning Project ended in January 2020 after 27 months: its purpose had been to support the National Centre for Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Moldova (NCPDP) in harmonising personal data protection in line with the EU legal framework and standards. The project was successfully implemented under the leadership of IRZ, together with the Latvian Ministry of Justice as junior partner. Besides aligning national legislation in the area of personal data protection with the EU acquis, including the General Data Protection Regulation and EU Directive 2016/680, the project aimed to assist NCPDP and other relevant institutions in the implementation of these measures and to raise awareness for data protection issues within the general public and among persons entrusted with reviewing and transmitting data. In keeping with these requirements, a new law on personal data protection was drafted and employees of NCPDP and other authorities and institutions were trained and familiarised with the EU regulations.

Although the NCPDP was impeded in its work by the COVID-19 pandemic, it continued to conduct further training activities after the end of the project, organised a number of workshops and also participated in various online seminars on personal data protection. Another objective of the project was to instil in the population a better awareness of data protection and to show the role of NCPDP in a positive light. The fact that the project’s communication measures have shown a lasting and positive impact is demonstrated not least by the increased traffic on NCPDP’s new website, which was created as part of the project, providing users with up-to-date information on data protection topics and the work of NCPDP.

Outlook

For the EU project on police reform, which will run until the end of 2021, IRZ will continue to implement its activities. IRZ will review continuation of the cooperation in close consultation with the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection.