A one-year Targeted Co-operation Programme for Moldova was adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 3 July 2002. The programme is coming to an end and this document aims at giving a first overview of this co-operation with Moldova. It is produced following the GR-EDS meeting on 6 May 2003, at which time it was decided to resume the discussion on Moldova in the light of a new Secretariat document that assesses the situation.
Following strains between government and opposition in Moldova in early 2002, the Council of Europe increased its level of support to the country and the Secretary General took several important initiatives. On 4 February 2002 the Secretary General made a request for information to the Moldovan authorities under article 52 of the European Convention on Human Rights. On 16 April 2002 the leaders of the three main parliamentary parties met in Strasbourg, at the initiative of the Secretary General. A further meeting of these political leaders took place on the occasion of the spring plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly, which on 24 April 2002 adopted Recommendation 1554 (2002) on the functioning of democratic institutions in Moldova. These contacts between the Moldovan political leaders led to the establishment of the Round Table discussions.
Furthermore, a number of Secretariat missions to Moldova were carried out in the spring of 2002, including a mission led by the Deputy Secretary General in April. At their 794th meeting the Committee of Ministers decided on the establishment of an extensive compatibility exercise between Council of Europe norms and Moldovan legislation and practice (30 April 2002, item 2.1; see appendix 1). This decision specifically referred to the fact that Council of Europe expert opinions be made accessible to all concerned, in particular the parliamentary opposition. The decision also included a request for regular information from the Moldovan authorities on follow-up given to Council of Europe expertise. The decision did not entail any end date, it was meant to establish a longer-term process of, in particular, legislative harmonisation. The wide scope of the exercise was soon underlined by the long list of laws that the Moldovan authorities wished to submit for examination (appendix 2).
Based on this decision, the Secretariat submitted a draft targeted co-operation programme for examination by the GR-EDS at its meeting of 24 May 2002. At their 797th meeting (29 May 2002, item 2.1a), the Ministers' Deputies “gave their agreement in principle for the targeted programme of co-operation with Moldova as described in document GR-EDS (2002) 25, and instructed the Secretary General to prepare a detailed programme following the visit to Moldova in June 2002.”
On 17-19 June a Secretariat Delegation visited Moldova to discuss the detailed content, modalities of implementation and calendar of such a targeted co-operation programme with the competent authorities. This visit was combined with a meeting of the Steering Committee for the running European Commission/Council of Europe Joint Programme for Moldova (an account of the Secretariat visit and its conclusions is reproduced in document DSP (2002) 9).
Based on these discussions in Chisinau, the Secretariat revised the programme proposal, for consideration by the GR-EDS at its meeting on 28 June 2002. On 3 July the programme was adopted by the Committee of Ministers (reproduced in document GR-EDS (2002) 25 rev).
There are five main strands in the TCP:
1. Pluralist democracy
2. Human Rights
3. Rule of Law
4. Social cohesion
This document consists of a first summary and subsequent information by respective programme strand.
2. First conclusions
The Targeted Co-operation Programme included a number of different measures, however, the emphasis of the programme has clearly been on the compatibility of Moldovan legislation with European norms, in accordance with the decision of the Ministers' Deputies on 30 April 2002. So far, Council of Europe expert comments on 33 laws or draft laws have been transmitted to the Moldovan authorities. Three more expert analyses are still underway and several expert meetings are foreseen (details are available in appendix 3).
Council of Europe expertise has been used to improve several central pieces of legislation, for instance the new law on local self-government which formed the basis for the May-June 2003 local elections. The Law on the Ministry of Justice has been modified, following Council of Europe expertise, and has passed a first parliamentary reading. There are other examples from the Targeted Co-operation Programme that seem more inconclusive as at the time of writing. Following strong interest on the side of the Committee of Ministers, as well as on the side of the Parliamentary Assembly, modifications to the Law on RadioTele Moldova were made in March 2003. However, the question of the concrete implementation of the new law on the transformation of the state television into an independent public service station is of paramount importance. The Council of Europe will continue to follow this issue closely.
The legislation on the organisation of the judiciary is another issue that will need continued attention. The law was passed by the Parliament in May 2003; it does not take into account essential comments by the Council of Europe's experts to safeguard judicial independence and needs further reform. In particular, the legislation in force still allows the President of the Republic not to follow the proposal of the High Council of the Judiciary as regards appointment or confirmation of judges. However, the Moldovan authorities have committed themselves to pursue co-operation in order to further reform the legislation on the judicial system taking into account the comments of CoE's experts (confirmed in a letter of 25 May 2003 by the Minister of Justice, Vasile Dolghieru, to the Secretary General). New draft laws are due to be submitted to the Secretariat for further expertise.
In the case of the new penal procedure code, the Moldovan parliament adopted a new law without a new, planned Council of Europe expertise (an expertise was carried out in 2001). The new penal code will enter into force after the new penal procedure code (12 June 2003) and it is unclear whether a new Council of Europe expertise will be taken into account. There are other examples of unclear follow-up to TCP expertise.
In summary, noticeable progress has been made. A wealth of work has been undertaken by the Moldovan authorities, and the Council of Europe, in a short space of time. However, the harmonisation of key legislation with European norms is a complicated long-term process and the final version of several laws, let alone their implementation, cannot be assessed in this first review of the Targeted Co-operation Programme. However, there is still room for improvement in the co-operation between Moldova and the Council of Europe, especially regarding follow-up to the work undertaken within the Targeted Co-operation Programme. In order to ensure the application of European standards in Moldova, continued work is necessary, as is information on the follow-up given to Council of Europe expertise. At the earlier stages of the TCP there were lacunae in the information on follow-up to the Council of Europe expertise but since March 2003 the Moldovan authorities have provided synoptic information on the follow-up given to the expertise, in accordance with the decision of the Committee of Ministers of 30 April 2002 (tables provided in March and April, using a format similar to appendix 3 of this document). This information is much appreciated by the Secretariat. Furthermore, the role of the Special Representative of the Secretary General in Chisinau, Mr. Jörgen Grunnet, in facilitating the flow of information and implementation of the Targeted Co-operation Programme has been crucial.
3. Continued support to Moldova
The decision of the Ministers' Deputies of 30 April 2002 was open-ended as for its timeframe. The one-year Targeted Co-operation Programme acted as a first vehicle for additional support to Moldova, assisting the authorities with their ambitious plans for achieving compatibility of domestic legislation with European norms. The work needs to continue. A new Joint Programme with the European Commission is awaiting imminent conclusion. This new Joint Programme would guarantee continued support to all activity strands of the TCP and be worth a total of € 1-1.2 Million over two years.
The new Joint Programme would focus on the following main areas of interest:
1. Judiciary development
2. Human Rights training
3. Delivery of social services
4. Local government development
The Council of Europe presence in Chisinau is set to continue.
II. Information by programme strand
1. Pluralist democracy
1.1 Political dialogue
Following a reform of the Round Table format in early 2003 political dialogue meetings have been held in Chisinau on 24 March, 9 and 23 April and 18 June 2003. President Voronin himself opened the March meeting of the Round Table, underscoring the importance of the discussions. The Round Table has reached consensus on recommending reform of parliamentary procedures. The Speaker of the Moldovan Parliament accepted the recommendation, and requested assistance from an expert put at disposal by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. Another consensus reached at the Round Table concerned a recommendation for parliamentary action on amendments to the present law on the right to free assembly.
At the request of the Secretary General, an Opinion on the Electoral Code was adopted in January 2003 by the Venice Commission [CDL-AD (2003)1]. No further cooperation has been carried out since then on this issue.
1.3 Local Self-Government
Regarding local self-government, extensive work was undertaken within the TCP. A special working group on reform of the local government legislation met twice (November 2002 and March 2003) and, largely based on Council of Europe expertise, a new law on local government was adopted in March 2003. This new law formed the basis for the local government elections held in May-June 2003.
Expertise regarding the laws on local government finance and the status of locally elected representatives is underway.
2. Human Rights
2.1 The Human Rights compatibility exercise
Upon adoption of the Targeted Co-operation Programme implementation immediately started regarding activities foreseen in the field of Human Rights and in particular, those related to the legal expertise of the laws included in Appendix I of the Programme [see GR-EDS(2002)25 rev.]. Most of the texts were, however, translated and submitted to the Secretariat only during the second half of the Programme (see appendix 3).
To date, legislative expertise has been provided under the TCP on the laws and draft laws as follows:
The expertise on the law on religious denominations as amended on 12 July 2002 (see SG/Inf(2002) 30) showed that the law suffers from several shortcomings which could raise problems with regards to compatibility of the legislation with the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights. A new expertise was conducted on the new draft law on freedom of conscience and religions organisations. The experts noticed partial improvements of the guarantees to the freedom of religion, but still there are a number of substantial shortcomings in the new draft which could raise problems with regard to the ECHR: difference in the legal status of a central and local religious organisation, as well as in the status of a
religious association and a religious group (the latter does not have legal personality which substantially reduces its rights); the rules for registration of a religious organisation can still be interpreted in an abusive manner by the authorities; lack of clear provision for a judicial review in case of refusal of registration. Finally, the conditions of dissolution of a religious organisation are much more restrictive than Article 9§2 (in general because of minor violations of the legislation) and raise questions with regard to the requirement of foreseeability of the law and the principle of proportionality established in Article 9 of the ECHR.
A follow-up meeting to discuss the expertise of the draft law on freedom of conscience and religious organisations will be held on 14-15 July 2003 in Chisinau.
The expertise on the draft law on political parties and socio-political organisations (see SG/Inf(2002) 34) noted a number of shortcomings with regard to Council of Europe standards, including the Venice Commission Guidelines as adopted in December 1999. The provisions on registration, refusal of registration, suspension of political parties and cancellation of registration could be in breach of the European Convention, and in particular with rights enshrined in articles 10 and 11.
The law was passed in the Parliament of Moldova and the new law analysed by the Venice Commission.
The Venice Commission rapporteurs will visit Moldova in early July 2003 to discuss this issue with the
authorities. The new law would normally enter into force by the end of October 2003 but amendments could
still be made.
The expertise on the law on the status of members of parliament (see SG/Inf(2002)41) identified some problems with regard to the protection of parliamentarians: the revocation rules are not precise and do not provide for sufficient guarantees, parliamentary immunity should be provided both for criminal and civil issues and should be reconciled with the rights of third persons. In addition, the experts recommended amendments concerning the individual rights of the members of parliament.
The law was amended on 14 March 2003. There is no precise information available indicating whether the experts' recommendations have been taken into account.
The expertise on the law on assemblies identified some shortcomings. In order to bring this legislation into conformity with Articles 10 and 11 of the ECHR, it is recommended that the rules be reviewed regarding the conditions for authorisation of assemblies (restrictive delays, imprecise criteria of refusal, imprecise rules regarding the judicial control), the rights and responsibilities of organisers and participants.
The Moldovan authorities have stated that a new draft law is under consideration within the competent Ministries. In addition, it is suggested to organise a follow-up meeting on the Council of Europe experts' recommendations.
2.2 Human Rights Training
In accordance with the TCP, a series of training workshops for judges and prosecutors, as well as for law students and practicing lawyers, took place between October 2002 and June 2003. The main focus of the training was on the use of the European Convention on Human Rights and its requirements in particular with respect to Articles 3, 5, 6 and 10. The presence of Council of Europe experts was highly motivating; practical exercises (case studies, moot court) were organised for the better comprehension of the machinery of the ECHR and the case law and discussions were held with regard to the compatibility of the Moldovan legislation and practice with ECHR standards. It would appear that the independence of the judiciary, the role of the prosecutor, as well as some economic aspects, were still matters of crucial concern. Requests were made for the continuation of this kind of activity and for reinforcing co-operation in order to develop genuine expertise on the interpretation of the ECHR, as well as on the impact of judgments of the European Court.
It can be mentioned that a three-day conference entitled “Advocating Human Rights”, funded under the ordinary budget of the Council of Europe, is to be implemented on 9-11 September 2003.
Particular interest has been expressed with regard to the European Social Charter, as this mechanism is not well known in Moldova. Even though Moldova has not yet ratified the Protocol establishing the mechanism of collective complaints, participants at the training sessions appreciated the discussions and the case studies dedicated to this issue. In this context, future activities are proposed concerning assistance to Moldovan authorities in the establishment of national reports under the European Social Charter, the ratification of the Protocol establishing the procedure of collective complaints, as well as co-operation regarding awareness on social rights.
2.3 Police and Human Rights
The planned assessment mission took place on 19 - 25 January 2003, with two experts and two Council of Europe staff members. Large-scale human rights training is needed, preferably in conjunction with the provision of, for example, fundamental equipment for police work.
It has been agreed that a training course on domestic violence would be organised in October 2003. The purpose of this training is to support the establishment of a pilot scheme to deal with domestic violence.
Following the adoption by the Committee of Ministers of a Resolution concerning Moldova under the Framework Convention, a follow-up conference on the first results of the monitoring of the FCNM will take place on 25-26 September 2003 in Chisinau
2.5 Freedom of expression and information
The Public Service Broadcasting Law
A new law on Public Service Broadcasting was enacted in March 2003, modifying a previous law adopted in July 2002. According to the new law, the Supervisory Board it establishes will consist of 15 people, of whom two will be appointed by Parliament, two by the government and two by the President. The remaining members will be nominated by the Superior Magistrates' Council, the staff of TeleRadio Moldova, trade unions, media development organisations and representatives of cultural and minorities groups. Following the appointment of its 15 members, the Supervisory Board held its first meeting at the beginning of June.
As required by the Council of Europe expertises, the members of the Supervisory Board will no longer be confirmed by Parliament. Furthermore, under the new law, the public broadcaster is no longer under an obligation to broadcast government communiqués, with the exception of those relating to national disasters and matters of State security. The implementation of the law will be followed closely by the Council of Europe.
Amendments to the Moldovan Law on Access to Information
In March 2003 the Parliament adopted, in the first reading, a series of amendments to the Moldovan Law on Access to Information. According to media and Human Rights NGOs from Moldova the amendments may not conform with European standards.
Law on Combating Extremism
The Law on Combating Extremism was enacted in March 2003. The law has now been promulgated by President Voronin. There have been requests to the contrary by the Moldovan Journalists' Union.
The new Penal Code
Lawyers and journalists participating in a recent seminar on libel organised by the Independent Journalism Centre passed a joint resolution requesting the removal from the new Penal Code of the provisions on criminal responsibility for defamation of officials in the press. The new Penal Code includes several Articles that might allow journalists to be jailed.
2.5.1 Legislative Expertises
An expert appraisal on a new draft Press Law, prepared by the Ministry of Justice of Moldova, was carried out in March 2003. Following the expertise, the Ministry of Justice has declared its intention to withdraw this legal initiative.
Moldovan authorities are expected to submit two new draft Laws on the Audiovisual, prepared by the Co-ordination Council of the Audiovisual (CCA) and by the Electronic Media Association (APEL), for an expert appraisal still in June 2003.
2.5.2 Transformation of the State-run 'Tele-Radio Moldova' into a public broadcasting service
A Conference on the transformation of the state run 'Tele-Radio Moldova' into a public broadcasting service took place on 26-27 June 2002.
As a complement to the work carried out concerning the revision of the Law on 'Tele-Radio Moldova' and its transformation into an independent public service organisation (see above), two training workshops for journalists from 'Tele-Radio Moldova' on the independent dissemination of information, organised in co-operation with the European Broadcasting Union, were carried out in February-March and June 2003.
2.5.3 Training of magistrates and lawyers on article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) and the jurisprudence pertinent to the European Court on Human Rights
In order to promote the application by the Moldovan courts of the Council of Europe standards concerning freedom of expression and information, a training seminar targeted to judges and prosecutors of higher jurisdiction was organised in co-operation with the IOCoE on 4-5 December 2002. Furthermore, two training seminars targeted to judges and prosecutors of the lower courts coming from the Centre – Chisinau, the North and South of Moldova were organised in co-operation with the IOCoE in Chisinau on 1-4 April 2003.
In addition, one training seminar targeted to Moldovan lawyers, organised in co-operation with the NGO “Lawyers for Human Rights”, was carried out on 20-21 May 2003.
2.5.4 Assistance to the broadcasting regulatory authority – Co-ordination Council of the Audiovisual (CCA)
In order to assist the Co-ordination Council of the Audiovisual (CCA) in the discharge of its functions, a training workshop on the working methods of broadcasting regulatory authorities, targeted to the members and personnel of the Co-ordination Council of the Audiovisual (CCA), and organised in co-operation with the CCA, took place on 3-4 June 2003.
3. Rule of Law
3.1 Constitutional reform
Following a proposal by President Voronin, a Joint Commission for the revision of the Constitution of Moldova was established. Both representatives of the Moldovan authorities and from Transnistria participate in this Commission. Since until now no agreement has been reached on the venue, this Commission has not yet met and has not yet agreed on its rules of procedure. According to the proposal from the Moldovan authorities, the Venice Commission would be involved in the work of the Commission. During the visit by a representative of the Venice Commission to Tiraspol on 14 May 2003, the Transnistrian side seemed also to accept the involvement of the Venice Commission.
3.1.1 The Constitutional Court
The Venice Commission has been seized by the Vice-Chairman of the Moldova Parliament for an Opinion on amendments to the law on the Constitutional Court. It is expected that the Venice Commission will adopt its Opinion during its next session on 5-6 July 2003. A seminar on the subject took place in Chisinau on 17-18 June 2002.
3.2.1 The criminal code
A legal expertise on the new Criminal Code has been provided [doc. PCRED/DG1/EXP (2003)7]. It would be pertinent to discuss this expertise with the Moldovan authorities. [see also item 2 Human Rights].
3.2.2 Draft Code on administrative offences
An expert appraisal of a draft code was made in June 1999 (ADACS/DAJ EXP (99) 6). On this basis two expert meetings took place in Chisinau (20-21 May 1999 and 13-14 November 2000). A new expertise has been requested by the Moldovan authorities.
3.2.3 The code on criminal procedure
An expert appraisal was prepared in August 2000 (ADACS/DAJ EXP (2000)14) and was followed by an expert meeting in Chisinau. Important points raised by the Council of Europe experts resulted in changes to the draft. The amended draft law was subject to a renewed expert appraisal in January 2001. This law has been adopted by the Parliament without a new expertise by the Council of Europe. The adopted text should be sent to the Council of Europe for an expert opinion.
3.2.4 The civil code and property legislation
A legal expertise on the civil code (doc. PCRED/DGI/EXP (2002) 51), adopted in April 2002, took place in 2002 (expert meeting in December 2002). A synthesis of the expert recommendations has been handed over to the Ministry of Justice, which has committed itself to propose changes to the existing law on this basis. The entry into force of the code has been suspended awaiting the new civil procedure code.
The law on acquisition and sale of property has been submitted for Council of Europe expertise and the process is underway.
3.2.5 Code on civil procedure
A new draft of the civil procedure code should be transmitted to the Council of Europe for expertise. [see also item 2 Human Rights].
3.2.6 Law on notaries
Legal expertise was provided in November 2002 (doc. PCRED/DGI/EXP (2002) 44). The text has been amended in accordance with the expert recommendations. Legal expertise on the new version of the text is underway.
3.2.7 The law on administrative litigation
An expert mission to Chisinau took place on 4 – 5 June 2002 to evaluate the state of administrative reform. Specific recommendations have been provided by the experts.
A law on administrative litigation was adopted in May 2000. It has been subject to expert appraisal [PCRED/DGI/EXP(2002)30 Rev]. An expert meeting to discuss the report could take place shortly.
3.2.8 Anti-corruption legislation
Moldova has signed both the Criminal and Civil Conventions against corruption (ETS 173 and 174), but has yet to ratify them. In October 2002, Moldova was evaluated within the framework of GRECO; the report, containing reform proposals, will be adopted during the course of the year.
The evaluation report for Moldova adopted by the Stability Pact Anti-Corruption Initiative (SPAI) in April 2002, contains a series of recommendations for legislative and institutional reforms, these recommendations should now be implemented, notably within the framework of the PACO programme.
The draft law on "the statement and control of the incomes and property of state officials, judges, prosecutors, public employees and other persons holding leadership positions" (DG I/Octopus (2002)8), the laws "on fighting corruption and protectionism", "on the Centre for fighting economic offences and corruption" have been subject to expert appraisal.
3.2.9 Legislation relating to the fight against organised crime (including human trafficking)
Moldova has ratified the Convention on Money Laundering, the Search For, and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime (STE 141). The report by PC-R-EV (MONEYVAL), adopted in December 2001, contains a series of recommendations to reinforce the fight against money laundering, including the process of criminalizing money laundering.
Moldova participated in a pilot project on reform of the penal legislation relating to human trafficking. A new draft law is currently being discussed in the Moldovan Parliament. This law should reinforce the pursuit of traffickers and afford greater protection and rights to the victims.
The law "on prevention and fighting of money laundering" has been subject to expert appraisal (doc. PCRED/DGI/EXP (2002) 50) and follow-up will be ensured within the framework of MONEYVAL.
3.3 The judicial system
3.3.1 Legislation on the organisation of the Judiciary and possible amendments
The legislation on the judiciary and the reform proposals have been subject to Council of Europe expertise.
An Opinion by the Venice Commission regarding the draft law amending the Constitution (doc. CDL-AD (2002) 14), and concerning in particular the judicial system, was adopted in July 2002.
Subsequently the draft amendments to the laws on the organisation of the judiciary, status of judges and the High Council of Magistrature were submitted to Council of Europe experts (doc. PCRED/DGI/EXP (2002) 47). This legislation was adopted by the Parliament on 8 May 2003, before an expert report could be discussed with the Moldovan authorities (expert meeting in Strasbourg on 19-20 May 2003) and does not take into account some essential expert comments regarding judicial independence. In a letter dated 14 May 2003, the Secretary General requested from President Voronin to take adequate measures to ensure that the expert recommendations be taken into account, which was accepted by President Voronin (letter to the Secretary General of 16 May 2003). The recommendations were discussed and handed over in writing to the Moldovan delegation during the meeting on 19-20 May and the Moldovan authorities have committed themselves to continued work (letter of 25 May 2003 by the Minister of Justice, Vasile Dolghieru, to the Secretary General). New draft laws are due to be submitted to the Secretariat for further expertise.
Furthermore, the draft law on the Ministry of Justice has been subject to an expert appraisal [doc. /DG1/EXP (2003)6] and an expert meeting was held in Chisinau on 22-23 May 2003). An expert appraisal on the commercial courts is also underway.
3.3.2 Law and regulations concerning the creation of a National School of Judges and Prosecutors
A meeting of experts took place in Strasbourg on 21 May 2002 to launch the cooperation for the Schools' status. All other texts relating to the creation and running of the school (including the governmental decision on the National Institute of Magistrates) will be subject to an examination by the Council of Europe experts and the Moldovan authorities. No new text has so far been submitted to the Council of Europe.
3.3.3 Draft law on the execution of judicial decisions
A draft was reviewed in February 2001 (doc. PCRED/DGI/EXP (2001) 3) and was followed-up by an expert meeting in Strasbourg 19-20 December 2001. The draft law on judicial clerks has also been subject to expert appraisal (doc. PCRED/DGI/EXP (2002) 49) in December 2002. The co-operation has also continued, on the basis of these reports, in an expert meeting in Chisinau 3-4 June 2003.
3.3.4 Draft law on the status and powers of Court Clerks
A meeting of experts was organised in Strasbourg in March 2001 to prepare the draft law on the status of Court Clerks. An expert appraisal has been initiated and an expert meeting took place on 12-13 June 2003.
3.3.5 Draft legislation and/or regulation relating to the creation of a curriculum for training Court Clerks and auxiliary personnel within the National School for Magistrates
A process of expert appraisal is planned within the Council of Europe-Moldova Action Plan for judicial reform and will be carried out together with the cooperation for the development of the National School for judges and prosecutors. No new text has been submitted to the Council of Europe so far.
3.3.6 Law on Prosecutor General's Office
A round table on the reform of the Prosecutor General's Office was organised on 15-16 November in Chisinau. The law was then adopted by the Parliament, without prior appraisal by Council of Europe experts. The law has since been the subject of an expert appraisal a posteriori (doc. PCRED/DGI/EXP (2002) 45). The report will be discussed in Strasbourg on 3-4 July 2003.
3.3.7 Draft law on the organisation of the Judicial Police
A meeting of experts on the organisation of the Judicial Police took place on 11-12 June 2002. A legal appraisal is underway.
3.3.8 Draft law on the organisation of the Bar and training of lawyers
An expert appraisal of the draft amendments to the legislation in force was carried out in December 2002. The report will be discussed in Chisinau on 10-11 July 2003.
3.4 The penitentiary system
The Steering Committee for prison reforms is tracking the implementation of the existing Action Plan, targeting in particular: the overcrowding in prisons, the treatment of prisoners from a psychological and medical point of view, the treatment of long term prisoners and prisoners serving life sentences, treatment of miners, training of personnel and alternatives to imprisonment.
The complementary legislative reforms could concern the treatment of prisoners, the protection of Human Rights and a code of ethics for the penitentiary staff.
4. Social Cohesion
Preparation for the signature and ratification of the European Code of Social Security
The Council of Europe organised a seminar in Chisinau on 15-16 May 2003 in order to assist with the preparation for the signature and ratification of the European Code of Social Security. Moldovan authorities and experts from the Council of Europe prepared a zero report, in accordance with the control procedure of the Code, with a view to assess the compatibility of Moldovan social security legislation with this legal instrument. The International Labour Office, which sets up the first stage in the control procedure, was given an assessment of the report.
A legislative expertise on the Law on Education of 1995 was transmitted to the Permanent Representation on 30 May 2003. The expertise aimed at ensuring compatibility between the law and the European Convention on Human Rights. Feedback from the Moldovan authorities is now awaited.
As regards history teaching a first intensive series of seminars on curricula and standards, preparation of new history textbooks and in-service teacher training for history teachers was carried out from 23-27 September 2002. A second series of seminars was held from 19-21 February 2003 which allowed another 50 Moldovan history teachers to benefit from European best-practice in the areas of curricula, textbooks and in-service training. Two visits to Strasbourg by the Deputy Prime Minister in October 2002 and April 2003 allowed for an evaluation of the activities as well as a consolidation of the priority planning for Council of Europe support for history teaching in Moldova.
A meeting of Moldovan and European experts will take place at the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig, Germany from 26-27 June 2003 to discuss reform of history teaching in Moldova, with the help of a grant from the Swiss authorities. A discussion of the government "concept" for history teaching in Moldova as well as a third series of seminars for teachers will be carried out in October 2003 (equally with the help of a voluntary contribution from Switzerland).
In addition, Moldova continues to take part in the activities under the "Black Sea Initiative" developing a teaching pack on the history of the Black Sea.
As regards higher education a seminar on democratic governance of higher education institutions will be held in Chisinau from 16-17 October 2003. The seminar will address the on-going development of a European higher education area and the reforms which this entails in the governance and management of higher education institutions. In particular the representation and participation of all members of the higher education community in the democratic governance of the institution will be emphasised.
Language teaching also formed a part of the TCP. Following a needs assessment mission on language education in Moldova in June 2002, a seminar was held in Moldova on standard setting in language learning, teaching and assessment (21-22 November 2002) under the EC/CoE Joint Programme. A number of important Council of Europe reference texts and materials have subsequently been translated and printed in the national language, namely, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and the European Language Portfolio Guide for teachers and teacher trainers.
In the context of the project "Education Policy and Minorities" in Moldova a specific language education policy evaluation mission of experts is being carried out in June 2003. This mission will contribute its evaluation and recommendations for language education with regard to minorities to the overall report and recommendations on education policy and minorities which will be presented to the Moldovan authorities later this year. Additional support for the development of bilingual and tri-lingual education in Moldova may be undertaken in 2003.
30 APRIL 2002 DECISION BY THE MINISTERS' DEPUTIES ON ENHANCED CO-OPERATION WITH MOLDOVA
794th meeting – 30 April 2002
Current Political Questions
a. Activities for the development and consolidation of democratic stability
(CM/Del/Dec/791/2.1, CM(2002)44, CM/Monitor(2002)7, GR-EDS(2002)CB6, GR-EDS(2002)22, SG/Inf(2002)18, SG/Com(2002)793, Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1554 (2002), Parliamentary Assembly Resolution 1280 (2002), CDL(2002)40, CG (9) 6 part 2)
1. took note of the synopsis of the GR-EDS meeting held on 19 April 2002
Situation in Moldova
3. In the light of the following elements:
- Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1554 (2002) on the functioning of democratic institutions in Moldova, as well as Parliamentary Assembly Resolution 1280 (2002) on the same subject;
- the report by the Secretary General on the consultations between parliamentary leaders of Moldova, held, at his initiative, in Strasbourg on 16 April 2002 [doc. SG/Com(2002)793];
- the report of the Secretariat Information and Assistance Mission to Moldova, headed by the Deputy Secretary General [doc. SG/Inf(2002)18];
- the report by the Secretary General on the use of his powers by virtue of Article 52 of the European Convention on Human rights in respect of Moldova [doc. SG/Inf (2002)20];
- the report by Secretary General's experts on the freedom of expression and information in Moldova, undertaken in the context of the Committee of Ministers Monitoring procedure [doc. CM/Monitor(2002)7];
- the report of the Congress of Local and Regional authorities of Europe on the situation of local self-government in Moldova, to be debated at the next Session of the Congress [doc. CG (9) 6 part 2];
- the experts' analysis of the laws applied in the context of the decision to temporarily suspend the activities of a political party in Moldova;
- the consolidated opinion on the law on modification and addition in the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova by the European Commission for Democracy through Law [doc. CDL(2002) 40];
- the opinion on Moldova by the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities [doc. CM(2002)44];
i. decided to give its full support to the efforts undertaken by the Secretary General and the Parliamentary Assembly to promote democratic dialogue between the ruling party and the parliamentary opposition in Moldova, with a view to the possible holding of a political round table with the participation of all political forces in Moldova (possibly, in the presence of the Council of Europe);
ii. reiterated the availability of the Council of Europe for continued expertise, in particular through the Venice Commission and the CLRAE, with a view to overcoming the present difficulties as regards the autonomous status of Gagauzia and its future anchorage in the Constitution of Moldova;
iii. invited the Secretariat to enter into detailed discussions with the competent Moldovan authorities to prepare, within a set time-frame, an analysis of the compatibility of present and future relevant legislation in Moldova with the European Convention on Human Rights, as interpreted in the Strasbourg Court case-law and with other European norms, with particular regard to the conclusions of the various reports mentioned above; the Council of Europe analysis should be accessible to all interested parties (in particular, the parliamentary opposition) and regular information on the follow-up given to the Council of Europe expert analysis should be provided by the Moldovan authorities;
iv. welcomed the proposal to hold an early meeting of the tripartite Steering Committee of the European Commission/Council of Europe Joint Programme for Moldova to review the implementation of the programme, in particular the December 2001 Action plan for legal system reform in Moldova, putting emphasis on the development and independence of the judiciary;
v. invited the Secretariat to prepare, in co-operation with the competent Moldovan authorities, detailed proposals for the assistance which could be provided in the context of the reform of history teaching in Moldova, as well as teaching of languages;
vi. expressed their willingness to consider additional proposals based on clearly identified needs and specific requests from the Moldovan authorities;
vii. invited the Moldovan authorities to inform the Committee of Ministers on urgent steps undertaken with a view to ensuring a full execution of the European Court of Human Rights judgment in the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia case;
viii. instructed their Rapporteur Group on democratic stability (GR-EDS) to pursue examination of the situation in Moldova, in particular Secretariat proposals for the implementation of the above-mentioned decisions, including their detailed financial implications;
ix. decided to resume consideration of this issue on the basis of the conclusions of the GR-EDS examination of the situation.
Non-exhaustive list of Moldovan legislation that may be examined for its compatibility with the European Convention of Human Rights.
1. Provisions on the treatment of prisoners, detention, the right to a fair trial and the right to an effective remedy
General review of adequacy of relevant Moldovan legislation, in particular Articles 101 (1) and 193 of the Criminal Code
Criminal Sanctions Reinforcement Code (notably Articles 93 and 113)
Disciplinary rules of Armed Forces, approved by the Law n° 776-XII of 13 May 1996
Criminal Procedure Code and Civil Procedure Code (notably provisions concerning deprivation of liberty, for example, with regard to witnesses, detention on remand, performance of a psychiatric expertise)
Questions of the legal basis and procedure for the placement of mentally ill persons in psychiatric hospitals (judicial control and remedies), including Article 57 of the Criminal Code
Code on Administrative offences (notably Article 249)
Questions of the legal basis and procedure for the arrest or detention of a person in view of deportation or extradition (judicial control and remedies)
Questions of the legal basis and procedure for the reparation of moral damages in cases of unlawful deprivation of liberty.
Act on Economical Courts n° 970 of 24 July 1996
Criminal Procedure Code (notably Articles 5 and 26)
Existence and effectiveness of remedies available in the Moldovan legal system, including in relation to Article 235 of the Code of Civil Procedure and Section 33 of the Act on Political Parties and other Socio-political Organisations No. 718-XII of 17 September 1991
2. Functioning of political parties, the status of member of Parliament, etc.
Act on Political Parties and other Socio-political Organisations No. 718-XII of 17 September 1991 (notably Sections 5 para. 3 and 29)
Act on the Status of Member of Parliament No. 39-XIII of 7 April 1997 (provisions governing the lifting of immunity and removal from office)
3. Freedom of expression, to participate in demonstrations, etc.
Constitution (notably Articles 32 and 34)
Act on the Status of Member of Parliament No. 39-XIII of 7 April 1997
Press Law No. 564-XIV/1999 (notably Section 4) and new draft press law
Criminal Code (notably Article 140 § 4)
Constitution (notably Article 32)
Act on the organisation and conduct of public gatherings No. 560-XIII of 21 July 1995 (notably Section 20)
Act on the Status of Member of Parliament No. 39-XIII of 7 April 1997
Code of Administrative Procedure (notably Article 1741 § 4)
National Minorities Act (Law on the rights of persons belonging to national minorities and their associations No. 382 of 28 August 2001, notably Section 6)
Criminal Code (notably Articles 67, 224 §1, 2032 §2, and 2034, as well as inter alia, the provision on the liability for abuse of exercising the right to assembly)
Code of Administrative Offences (notably the provision on the liability for abuse of exercising the right to assembly)
Act on Children's rights (notably Section 3 § 13)
Act on Education (notably Section 56 g)
4. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
Law on cults No. 979 of 24 March 1992
Decision of the Government on the approval of the Statute of the Orthodox Church of Moldova (Metropolitan Church of Moldova)
Code of Civil Procedure (notably Article 235)
Code of Administrative Offences (notably Article 200)
Law on alternative service No 633 of 9 July 1991
5. Civil Code, Criminal Code, Administrative Code, Code of Civil Procedure and Code of Criminal Procedure
6. Implementation of judicial decisions
Legislation on the execution of judicial decisions in civil matters
Criminal Sanction Enforcement Act
7. Child protection in the context of Articles 5, 8 and Additional Protocol No. 1, Article 2
Questions of the legal basis and procedure for the arrest and detention of vagrant minors (judicial control and remedies)
Family Code (Articles 72 and 124, the taking of children into care, adoption)
Criminal Procedure Code (Article 5; the taking of children into care, p. 48)
Law on education No. 547 of 21 July 1995
Act on children's rights
8. Other legislation
Law on postal service (notably Section 32 § 1)
Family Code (Act No. 1316-XIV of 26 October 2000, notably Article 15 para. 1 (g))
Constitution (Articles 54 and 55)
Civil Code (notably Article 95)
Law on property and Law on the normative price and the sale manner of the land No 1308- XIII of 25 July 1997
Law on foreign investments No 998- XII of 1 April 1992
Legislation on the nature of state institutions
Legislation in the field of education – ECHR/Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities expertise should be included in any Council of Europe expertise in this field.
Constitution (notably Articles 10 para. 2 and 35 para. 2)
National Minorities Act (Law on the rights of persons belonging to national minorities and their associations No. 382 of 28 August 2001, notably Section 6)
Law on the functioning of languages of September 1989
Criminal Code (notably Articles 155-3, 155-5, 157, 159, 160-2 and 161-3), also in relation to the Act on Pledge (notably Sections 58-59)
APPENDIX 3 (FRENCH ONLY)
TCP LEGISLATIVE EXPERTISES
(TABLE PREPARED BY THE SECRETARIAT)
Moldova expertises programme ciblé