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Abstract: Transnistria, a sliver of land on the east bank of the river Nistru, broke away from the rest of Moldova in 1990. Although there was fighting after that, there have been no fatalities since 1992. This is not really a conflict: it is a stand-off which benefits the business interests of those who are close to ruling elites, and suits some external players.
Transnistria has little prospect of being recognised, even by Russia. Meanwhile Moldova has little hope of eventual EU membership while the Transnistrian problem remains. To escape this stalemate, Moldova and Transnistria need to find a solution. Moldova needs to show Transnistrians that a resolution will be good for them, just as the EU works with Russia to show that a solution does not harm Russia.
This study is timely in that it comes at a moment when Moldova is reaffirming its EU perspective, while elections in Transnistria may also presage some change. The problem of Transnistria is now on the borders of the EU: Transnistria is the EU's problem. A German-EU initiative in 2010 sought to address the Transnistrian issue at a strategic level, engaging the key external player, Russia.
This study brought together focus groups of ordinary people both in Transnistria and in the rest of Moldova. It is the first such study. The focus groups provide non-elite input, important when some in the elite have a personal interest in maintaining the status quo. The focus group perspectives have been reinforced by interviews with politicians and experts in Chisinau, Tiraspol and Berlin. The study is in three sections: a conflict analysis, an examination of the players, and themes from the focus groups. At the end, the report provides detailed policy and programme recommendations to the European Union.
The People’s Peacemaking Perspectives project is a joint initiative implemented by Conciliation Resources and Saferworld and financed under the European Commission’s Instrument for Stability. The project provides European Union institutions with analysis and recommendations based on the opinions and experiences of local people in a range of countries and regions affected by fragility and violent conflict.
Abstract: Damaged by shelling during the 1992 conflict, the Gura Bicului Bridge, which
spans the Dniestr river, was reconstructed in 2001 with money from the
European Union. The bridge—along the main highway between the Black Sea
and the Baltic coast—should facilitate trade and contacts between Moldova and
the break-away region of Transdniestria. But it has never been reopened: only
pedestrians and bicyclists are allowed to cross. It stands as a potent symbol of how
hard it has been, for the past twenty years, to bridge the two sides of the Dniestr.
Abstract: Black Sea region countries have diverse political systems, ranging from developed democracies
to authoritarian regimes. Communist pasts and a lack of democratic experience have stalled or
reversed democratisation processes in many cases. Flawed legal systems and a public distrust
in institutions have been paired with growing executive power in many countries. Increasing
inequality and unresolved conflicts undermine pro-democratic reforms as well. The region’s West and South, including Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and Turkey, contain relatively
stable democracies. Reforms in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova have met with only limited
success, hampered by conflicts with neighbours or separatist regions. Russia has shown substantial
re-centralisation of power with authoritarian traits. The Ukraine’s post-Orange Revolution momentum
has been lost, but democratic procedures and the culture of an open society have taken root. Elections in Greece, Turkey, Romania and the Ukraine are generally free and fair, but show serious
flaws elsewhere in the region. Outside of Greece, political parties are weak. Parliaments in the West
and South hold some power, but often show functional weaknesses, while elsewhere executives –
often with authoritarian leanings – are little restrained by legislatures or opposition parties. With
the exception of Turkey and Greece, judicial corruption or lack of independence is common. Bribery and corruption is a problem across the region. In the post-communist states, this has
undermined state legitimacy. Increasing inequality is a pressing problem throughout, also
threatening regime credibility. The economic crisis may further undermine the attraction of
Western democratic values, contributing to poverty and social unrest. Civil society is hampered by a lack of democratic tradition. Outside of Turkey and Greece, domestic
NGOs are scarce or face substantial state resistance. Ethnic minority issues and a persistent brain
drain remain problematic, but a new technocratic generation offers the promise of change.
The EU has made numerous bilateral and multilateral overtures to Black Sea countries, but has
not shown a clear regional policy. It risks appearing to prioritise a stable energy supply over
true transformation. US interest has been focused on democratisation as well as regional energy
In seeking to enhance democratic transformation, civil society groups should be given broad
practical support. Aid to states should be linked to democratic reforms, and combined with
substantial assistance for institutional and administrative capacity building. Judicial reforms and a
stronger rule of law will be critical in stabilising the region’s political and economic systems. The
EU in particular needs to develop a coherent regional policy, which must include cooperation with
Russia and Turkey.
Abstract: This research paper focuses on the European Union funding priorities in four Eastern European countries neighbouring the EU (Belarus, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine) for refugee protection, migration management and border reinforcement, which has been completed by the Eastern Europe project funded by the EU's Aeneas programme. The research was undertaken from Autumn 2007 to Spring 2008, with a final update in November 2008. The focus of the research is on EU's funding programmes in 2004-2007.
Abstract: The aims of this report are to critically assess how the
European Union has employed the instruments at its
disposal to contribute to the resolution of the conflict
in Moldova and how it can better use the European
Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) as a means of advancing
the resolution of the protracted differences between
Chisinau and Tiraspol. Specifically, this report will
seek to: offer a comprehensive assessment of the conflict
so as to contribute to strategic planning at the EU
level (Commission / Council / Member States) on
the resolution of the Transnistrian conflict; provide for an overview of existing international
responses and identify the EU’s position in
regards to other actors; critically assess how the EU utilised its policy
instruments at its disposal within the framework
of the European Neighbourhood Policy and
how the implementation of its instruments has
contributed to the resolution of the Transnistrian
conflict and; identify challenges, needs and options for future
EU involvement in conflict resolution process. The report reflects the work of the council of experts
on the ENP and conflict resolution in Moldova which
has been established in September 2006 and which
has engaged in regular meetings with governmental
officials and independent experts on various issues
related to the resolution of the Transnistrian
Abstract: Russia's military intervention in Georgia in August 2008 sent a shock wave across the post-Soviet space, particularly the republics to the west and south of Russia. In December 2008, the European Union formalized the Eastern Partnership initiative, directed at Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. In order to understand the impact of this war both of Russia's bilateral relations with these countries and on the Eastern Partnership area as a whole, this article analyzes the reactions of these former Soviet republics to the Russian offensive. Three types of response are observed: keeping distance from Russia; maintaining a balance between Moscow and the West; and finally, changing course (from rapprochment to keeping distance and vice versa) vis-a-vis the former center of the Soviet Empire.
Abstract: The joint declaration by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin, and Transnistria leader Igor Smirnov, signed in Moscow on March 18 (EDM, March 20, 25, 26), is serving Smirnov well as a negotiation-breaker. Citing points in that declaration, Smirnov is now calling openly for marginalizing or bypassing Western participants in the negotiating process, which Moscow and Tiraspol -or the latter fronting for the former- had already brought to a deadlock.
Tiraspol has drawn even more encouragement from the Moscow meeting. Interviewed in Nezavisimaya Gazeta afterward, Smirnov revealed that he (on a par with Voronin) held a 40-minute personal meeting with Medvedev in Moscow, following which he concluded: "Things are better under Medvedev than under Putin" for Transnistria. From that meeting, Smirnov has inferred that Medvedev supports not only the perpetuation of Russia's military presence in Transnistria, but turning the area into a Kaliningrad Oblast-type entity as "Transnistria-Russian region."
Based on his meeting with the Russian president, Smirnov expects the U.S. to tolerate or passively acquiesce in that Russian policy: "We are counting on the change in relations between Washington and Moscow. In one of the documents signed under Obama, the Americans virtually recognize Transnistria as a Russian zone of influence. That is to say, Russia's right to oversee what happens in former Soviet republics is recognized." Whether deliberately or inadvertently, Smirnov's words challenge Washington to deny the Medvedev-Smirnov version and set the record straight.
The U.S. has noticeably reduced the level of its interest and participation in the negotiations on the Transnistria conflict during the last year or so. Formerly represented at the level of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Washington has informally ceded to the European Union the leading role on the Western side in these negotiations.
Abstract: The paper describes and analyses the role of civil society in five conflict
cases – Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria, Western Sahara and Israel/
Palestine. It evaluates the relative effectiveness of civil society organisations (CSOs)
and assesses the potential and limits of CSO involvement in conflicts. In particular it
concentrates on civil society activities in the fields of peace training and education,
including formal and non-formal education, as well as research and media work. The
research also identifies the obstacles that local third sector is faced with, examining
experiences and lessons learned. The study then presents critical assessments of local
CSO contributions to conflict transformation and concludes with a set of suggestions
for local and mid-level civil society actors involved in these five conflict cases and
beyond. This paper is an overview study, to provide ideas and documentation to the
more detailed empirical research carried out in the context of the MICROCON Work
Package ‘Conflict in the European Neighbourhood’.
Abstract: A Survey and Analysis of Border Management and Border Apprehension Data from 20 States.
With a Special Survey on the Use of Counterfeit Documents.
Based on the contributions of the border services of 20 Central and Eastern European states, the 2006 Yearbook again provides its valuable overview and analysis of irregular migration trends in the region. Over the past ten years the annual Yearbook on Illegal Migration, Human Smuggling and Trafficking in Central and Eastern Europe has come to be regarded as an authoritative source of information on recent border trends and in particular on the phenomena of illegal migration, human smuggling and trafficking. The annual Yearbook covers the most recent trends in illegal migration and human smuggling in the region, including long-term trends in border apprehensions, shifts in source, transit and destination countries, demographic characteristics of irregular migrants, the relationship between legal and illegal border crossings, new developments in the methods of border crossings and document abuse and on removals of irregular migrants. In addition, this year’s edition for the first time features a Special Survey on the use of counterfeit documents for illegal migration purposes. This Survey is based on the contributions received from document specialists or Special Units dealing with document security in the countries under review and provides the first comprehensive overview and analysis of patterns and trends in the use of counterfeit documents for illegal migration purposes in Central and Eastern Europe.
Abstract: Armed violence data gathering systems in SEE countries vary in quality and coverage of the population. No single
country embodies best practices by itself. In existing research, because of the lack of continuous monitoring,
data has sometimes been generated by research that attempts to recover information on armed violence
retrospectively. Different methods for doing this offer differing degrees of reliability; analysis of media reports
and perceptions surveys offer an important substitute for continuously gathered data, but are unreliable for a
number of reasons. Other studies have been obliged to recover data from past records, which were not designed
for storing data specifically on armed violence. In other cases, individual institutions have conducted their own
data gathering, and have supplied useful fragments of a comprehensive picture of the problem. The conclusion of this report offers a starting point for those SEE countries that wish to develop a system through
healthcare providers to monitor armed violence. Following the approach of the WHO to injury prevention, it would
be possible to build a system in each country that would adequately monitor the level of armed violence and
identify the social determinants of the problem. If regional countries wish to harmonise their data collection
systems, a collaborative consultation involving all stakeholders (particularly those operating the system, and
those wishing to use the resulting information) would be an appropriate next step.
Abstract: The purpose of this report is to evaluate Moldova’s performance in
implementing UN Programme of Action to Prevent,Combat and Eradicate the Illicit
Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UN PoA) commitments as
they apply to international transfers of small arms and light weapons (SALW).
No analysis is made of UN PoA implementation in the breakaway Transdniestrian
region, on the grounds that it would be unreasonable to assess Moldova’s performance
with regard to territories over which the Moldovan Government does not hold
effective control.Analysis is therefore confined to that part ofMoldova over which the
recognised government wields undisputed political control.
Since independence Moldova has had virtually no SALW production capacity, yet
until recently it had a reputation both as an irresponsible exporter and as a base for the
illicit transportation of SALW.However, practice over the last few years appears to
have improved;Moldova’s engagement in any kind of imports or exports of SALW has
become relatively insignificant.
Nevertheless, it is understood that Moldova retains significant SALW stockpiles and
would welcome the opportunity to sell at least some of them on the international
market. Furthermore, current Moldovan involvement in the brokering and transportation
of SALW is unclear, and, according to various UN reports, some Moldovan
transportation companies have a history of being involved in arms transfers in breach
of UN arms embargoes.
Abstract: This bulletin contains information about Amnesty International’s main concerns in Europe and
Central Asia between July and December 2007. Not every country in the region is reported on; only
those where there were significant developments in the period covered by the bulletin, or where
Amnesty International (AI) took specific action.
A number of individual country reports have been issued on the concerns featured in this bulletin.
References to these are made under the relevant country entry. In addition, more detailed
information about particular incidents or concerns may be found in Urgent Actions and News
Service Items issued by AI.
This bulletin is published by AI every six months.
Abstract: Ce recueil contient les exemples soumis par les membres de dépenses dans le domaine des conflits de la paix et
de la sécurité. Pour chaque exemple, le Secrétariat fournit des commentaires sur l’éligibilité au titre de l’APD et
sur la façon de notifier.
Les extraits pertinents des directives de notification statistique, y compris les codes-objet (secteurs) et les
montants notifiés par les membres pour ces codes, sont aussi inclus.
La présente version revisée incorpore les clarifications apportées par plusieurs membres jusqu’au 16 août 2007.
Abstract: Alors que les chefs d'Etat et de gouvernement européens s'apprêtent à entériner,
sous présidence française, un nouveau projet ambitieux de coopération avec
les pays de la rive Sud de la Méditerranée, la mer Noire s'impose comme le
second bassin maritime fondamental pour l'Union européenne. Initiative proposée
par la Commission européenne en avril 2007, la synergie de la mer Noire
reflète l'importance stratégique que revêt pour l'Union le Sud-Est du continent
après l'adhésion de la Roumanie et de la Bulgarie. Cette synergie s'inscrit également
dans le cadre de la " Neue Ostpolitik " souhaitée par la présidence allemande
(à l'origine de l'initiative), qui entend donner une nouvelle impulsion aux
politiques européennes à l'Est.
Abstract: A report issued today [29 May 2008] by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) concludes that the Balkans have become a low-crime region after the turmoil of conflict and violence that resulted from the process of post-communist transition and the break-up of Yugoslavia. "The vicious circle of political instability leading to crime, and vice versa, that plagued the Balkans in the 1990s has been broken", said the Executive Director of UNODC Antonio Maria Costa. Yet, he warned, "the region remains vulnerable to instability caused by enduring links between business, politics and organized crime".
Abstract: Près de 90% des nouveaux diagnostics d’infection à VIH enregistrés en 2006 dans la région l’ont été dans deux pays, la Fédération de Russie (66%) et l’Ukraine (21%). La prévalence nationale du VIH chez l’adulte en Ukraine, estimée à 1,4% [0,8%–4,3%] en 2005, est plus élevée que dans n’importe quel pays d’Europe ou d’Asie centrale et le nombre annuel de diagnostics d’infection à VIH a plus que doublé depuis 2001. L’épidémie de VIH continue de croître en Fédération de Russie mais à un rythme plus lent qu’au cours de la fin des années 1990. Le nombre de diagnostics nouveaux d’infection à VIH signalés augmente aussi en Azerbaïdjan, en Géorgie, au Kazakhstan, au Kirghizistan, en Ouzbékistan (où
l’on rencontre actuellement l’épidémie la plus importante d’Asie centrale), en République de Moldova et au Tadjikistan.
Abstract: Stella Rotaru’s cell-phone number is scribbled on the wall of a women’s jail in Dubai. That’s what a former inmate told her, and Rotaru does get a lot of calls from Dubai, including some from jail. But she gets calls from many odd places—as well as faxes, e-mails, and text messages—pretty much non-stop. “I never switch off my phone,” she said. “I cannot afford to, morally.” She looked at her battered cell phone, which has pale-gold paint peeling off it, and gave a small laugh. Rotaru, who is twenty-six, works for the International Organization for Migration, a group connected to the United Nations, in Chisinau, Moldova. She is a repatriation specialist. Her main task is bringing lost Moldovans home. Nearly all her clients are victims of human trafficking, most of them women sold into prostitution abroad, and their stories pour across her desk in stark vignettes and muddled sagas of desperation, violence, betrayal, and sorrow.
Abstract: Agacés d’être perçus comme une menace, les États de la rive sud de la Méditerranée risquent d’opposer une fin de non-recevoir à la présidence française de l’Union européenne si celle-ci s’aventurait un peu trop ostensiblement sur ce terrain. Mais c’est bien de cela dont il s’agit, en partie, derrière ce vaste chantier.
Perverti et trop souvent invoqué de manière irréfléchie, le concept de sécurité reste néanmoins un objectif dont découle la réalisation concomitante des autres aspects du projet de la présidence française. L’idée de la sécurité n’existe pas sans les usages dont elle fait l’objet. Si la définition minimaliste de la
sécurité est « l’absence de menaces, ou de craintes de menaces, sur les valeurs centrales », reste à déterminer ce à quoi l’on se réfère : aux États membres, à l’Union méditerranéenne en tant que telle, aux individus qui composent les différentes populations ? Par ailleurs, à quelles menaces s’agit-il de faire
face : les menaces militaires et/ou non militaires (économiques, environnementales, pertes d’identité…) ? Bien qu’elles puissent apparaître comme le fruit d’une construction intellectuelle sans fondement concret, ces questions sont au coeur du projet d’Union de la Méditerranée comme elles
ont été le fondement des multiples initiatives de part et d’autre de la « mare
nostrum ». L’absence d’entente entre les parties prenantes sur l’étendue que doit couvrir ce volet risque de faire de l’Union méditerranéenne, au mieux une construction institutionnelle parmi d’autres, au pire un échec de plus dans cette région du monde, avec les conséquences humaines que l’on devine.
Abstract: Moldova is failing to fulfill its obligations under international human rights law to ensure individuals’ right to freedom from torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. In this report Amnesty International shows that despite measures taken by the Moldovan government to bring legislation into line with international and European standards, torture and ill-treatment in police custody remain widespread and people who are ill-treated and tortured while detained by the police do not have adequate protection or recourse to justice.
Abstract: This report on the situation for refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced
persons in Belarus, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine in 2006 has been written by
national refugee-assisting NGOs in each country. The reports have been edited but no
substantial changes have been made to their content as reported by the agencies
The report has been produced as part of the European Council on Refugees and
Exiles' Programme "The Protection of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Forced
Migrants", which is generously funded by the European Union Aeneas programme.
In each country section, NGOs cover relevant legislative changes, the refugee status
determination procedure, case law, returns, vulnerable groups and integration.
From the information provided by NGOs it is clear that 2006 was a challenging year
for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants living in Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine and
the Russian Federation. In Russia and Ukraine NGOs report restricted access to
asylum procedures, violations of the international principle of non-refoulement,
detention of asylum seekers because of a lack of documentation at different stages of
the refugee status determination procedure and increasing incidents of racism and
xenophobia. In all four countries the economic situation or effects of government
legislation mean that there are serious barriers to integration for refugees.
Abstract: As NATO has moved from being a primarily military alliance to seeking more political roles, it has become pertinent to consider its impact on democratisation. At first glance, it might seem incongruent even to deliberate on the democracy promotion relevance of an essentially military organisation. But, NATO's successive enlargements have often hinged on the
fulfilment of democratic preconditions in aspirant members, while technical assistance provided under the Partnership for Peace (PfP) and other programmes has increasingly focused on the reform of civil-military relations. Assessment is consequently warranted of whether NATO has come to play any positive role in
encouraging democratisation across different regions, or whether its impact on political liberalisation has been either marginal or even negative. This paper argues that support for democracy has increasingly infused NATO policies, but that the organisation's role in democracy promotion is circumscribed by strategic considerations; most often an indirect side effect of
other aims; and most relevant to the niche area of defence reform.
Abstract: The Transnistrian conflict continues to be one of the most important issues facing political parties
and the expert community in Moldova. Since the start of the post-communist transition period,
political parties have routinely felt the necessity to articulate their approaches to solving the
conflict. During both electoral and inter-electoral periods, the Transnistrian issue has occupied a
special position on the country's political agenda. This has required political parties to take a stance
on the issue. Similarly, the country's expert community, which includes academics, political
analysts, and media commentators, has struggled with the need to explain and interpret the conflict
to their audiences. In presenting such interpretations for the general public, they could not avoid
formulating their own positions on potential causes of and solutions to the conflict.
The authors here employ elite survey techniques as one approach to analyzing the variation
in political parties' and expert communities' attitudes towards a host of problems related to the
Transnistrian conflict. The paper provides a detailed description of the documented attitudinal
differences and similarities on various aspects of the Transnistrian conflict among key Moldovan
political parties that has been drawn from a diversified political spectrum. It also attempts to
document the differences in parties' attitudes as they change over time.
The recent origins of the party system in Moldova and rapid transformations in the domestic
and international environment in which the parties operate make the evolution of the Moldovan
party system a very dynamic process. While the paper focuses on the analysis of party positions
through the eyes of both party functionaries and members of the expert community, it compliments
this analysis through the discussion of the attitudinal disposition of experts themselves. Given the
critical role that the expert community plays in forming public opinion such discussions are a
relevant addition to the main focus of the paper.
Abstract: The South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC) was launched on 08 May 2002 in Belgrade. SEESAC is a component of the Regional Implementation Plan on Combating the Proliferations of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) formulated and adopted by the Stability Pact in November 2001(Revised in 2006), with the aims of stopping the flow and availability of SALW in the region, consolidating achievements so far and supporting the socio-economic conditions for peace and development in South Eastern and Eastern Europe. The uncontrolled proliferation and illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons (SALW) is a serious problem in South Eastern and Eastern Europe. SALW proliferation has fuelled crime and insecurity, exacerbating conflict in the region and undermining post conflict peace-building. Problems related to SALW are likely to pose a serious constraint to economic and social development in South Eastern and Eastern Europe. Established in co-operation with the UNDP and housed in their offices in Belgrade, SEESAC worked to support the Stability Pact Regional Implementation Plan for an initial period of three years; the impact of the project has led to a further four-year extension until December 2008. Political and strategic guidance and indigenous support for SEESAC is provided by a Regional Steering Group (RSG), which is composed of representatives of the governments of the states concerned, the Stability Pact, UNDP and observers from institutions such as the European Union (EU), North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and civil society. The RSG meets twice yearly and has approved the 2006 SEESAC Strategy and a revision of the SEESAC mandate. SEESAC capability is now available to all stakeholders within the CIS and Caucasus region. SEESAC is now also available to provide technical advice and project development assistance for the disposal of heavy weapons (within available resources). SEESAC operates under the guidance of The Regional Steering Group for Small Arms and Light Weapons and the UN Resident Co-ordinator in Belgrade. SEESAC liaises directly with governments and civil society, providing technical input, information exchange, co-ordination and overview of current and future efforts and fund-raising assistance for specific SALW projects. SEESAC's small team is in constant communication with all the governments involved and with the relevant international organisations, non-governmental organisations and bi-lateral donors. SEESAC's regional activities include sensitising governments and civil society on small arms issues, formulating national strategies for SALW control and incorporating small arms issues into UNDP development planning.
Abstract: The goal of this report is to examine Russia's policy towards secessionist con-
flicts in the post-Soviet space. In order to better understand Russia's policy choices in that
sphere, the report addresses three key issues: the internal Russian debate on separatism as a
security challenge in the post-Soviet space; Moscow's policies with regard to international institutions,
regimes and frameworks; and the rising security agenda of international terrorism.
Abstract: Territorial disputes are often related to the possession of natural resources such as rivers, fertile farmland, mineral or oil resources. However, these disputes can also be driven by culture, religion and ethnic nationalism. The Transnistria-Moldova conflict has its roots in geopolitical, economical and environmental motives. Transnistria is a self-declared state; it is internationally recognized as being part of Moldova, but claims independence and maintains some sovereignty with the assistance of Russia. The region has been de facto independent since 1991, when it made a unilateral declaration of independence from Moldova and successfully defeated Moldovan forces, with Russian assistance. While a ceasefire has held ever since, the Council of Europe recognizes Transnistria as a "frozen conflict" region.