807th meeting – 11 September 2002
T R A N S L A T I O N
Letter from Ms Lydie Polfer to Mr V. Voronin, President of the Republic of Moldova
Luxembourg, 9 September 2002
I thank you for your reply to my letter of 3 July 2002 in which I informed you of concern in the Committee of Ministers regarding the honouring by the Republic of Moldova of its commitments towards the Council of Europe, and of the Committee’s readiness to help your country in its progress towards democratic reform.
I took good note of your reply dated 26 August 2002, listing a series of measures Moldova is taking to follow up the points raised in my letter, and I note with satisfaction your country’s determination to continue on the road to full compliance with the commitments entered into.
The execution of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia called for individual measures to remedy the consequences of the violations of the applicants’ rights and for general measures to avoid similar violations in the future. The Committee of Ministers has taken note with satisfaction of the registration on 30 July 2002 of the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia, which now has legal status and should thus be able to assert its property rights. As for the general measures taken by the Moldovan authorities, the Committee has noted that the recent amendments to the law on religious denominations raise serious problems in respect of the European Convention on Human Rights which should be remedied with a view to executing the judgment.
I should also like to draw your attention to the expert reports concerning the conformity of Moldova’s law on religious denominations with the European Convention on Human Rights, which highlight serious shortcomings. The Committee of Ministers has taken note that following the expert reports the Moldovan authorities have set
about preparing a new law which they will submit to the Council of Europe for expert appraisal.
In his letter dated 1 August the Secretary General drew attention to the problems raised by the new law of the Republic of Moldova on the national public service broadcasting institution “Teleradio Moldova” – particularly Articles 4, 6 and 13 – in respect of the Council of Europe’s standards and more particularly Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Committee of Ministers would like the Moldovan authorities to take into consideration the concerns expressed by the Secretary General on this occasion.
Finally, the Committee of Ministers takes note of the decision of the Moldovan authorities to prepare an action plan to implement Recommendation 110 of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe concerning local and regional democracy, and would like to be informed of its content, with a view to examining the possibilities of co-operation with our Organisation. This subject nevertheless remains a source of concern and I would like to insist that any proposed reforms to the laws on territorial organisation and local administration be submitted to the Council of Europe for expert appraisal at the earliest possible stage.
In this general context, the political crisis in autonomous Gagauzia, which has resulted in a weakening of the rule of law – particularly on the part of the authorities in Chisinau – is a source of concern for the Committee of Ministers. I am confident that you will use your authority to guarantee free and fair elections of the Bashkan under international observation, including observers from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe.
I know I can count on your co-operation and your desire to see democratic reform in your country progress, and I am confident that you will respond swiftly and positively to these concerns of the Committee of Ministers.
Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe