Parliamentary Working Group on Gagauzia reflects on five years of dialogue process
Parliamentary Working Group on Gagauzia held a formal meeting on 15 December to review the results of the extremely challenging past year, and decide on the way forward for 2021. The participants also reflected on the last five years of the sustained dialogue process facilitated by CMI and supported by Sweden.
The meeting was chaired by the Speaker of the Parliament of Moldova Zinaida Greceanii who appreciated the results achieved by the Working Group and encouraged the continuation of constructive dialogue, in the national interests of Moldova. The Speaker also expressed gratitude to CMI for its role in facilitating the process and to Sweden for its continuous support.
“The elaboration of permanent mechanisms will make dialogue between the centre and the autonomy sustainable and will contribute to more effective cooperation between the authorities”, said Governor of ATU Gagauzia Irina Vlah. She expressed appreciation for the support of CMI, Sweden and other international partners, in the dialogue process, that brought their international expertise to the process, including the experience and good practices of European autonomies, which have contributed to creating a vision of Gagauzian autonomy based on its priority needs. An important milestone will be the elaboration of the mechanisms that aim to improve the centre-autonomy relations.
The Chairperson of the Gagauzia People’s Assembly Vladimir Kissa added that the Parliamentary Working Group on Gagauzia is the first permanent institutional platform in the 26-year history of Gagauz Autonomy where the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova and the Peoples Assembly of Gagauzia cooperate. “Since 2015, when the Working Group was established, we achieved many results in the economic, cultural and financial spheres”.
“Sweden has supported this dialogue process since 2015 and will continue to make efforts to ensure the sustainable functioning of this platform. This can be achieved step by step by means of centre-autonomy dialogue, their joint efforts on seeking the best solutions and development of effective and functional arrangements, which should be based on trust, professionalism and dialogue”, Ambassador of Sweden to Moldova Anna Lyberg said.
CMI Country Manager Steve Young recalled that “Since 2015, CMI has facilitated about 50 formal and informal meetings, during which the Parliamentary Working Group adopted more than 60 decisions. It is of utmost importance that this parliamentary dialogue is continuous, ensuring joint work to develop common solutions to common challenges.”
The agenda of the formal meeting of the Working Group also covered the monitoring of the implementation of the Action Plan for the Social and Economic Development of the ATU Gagauzia for 2016-2019; and measures taken by the National Institute of Justice to integrate minorities, including minorities of the ATU Gagauzia, in the field of justice and legislation in the field of culture.
The meeting was attended by international stakeholders, such as representatives of the OSCE, the Office of High Commissioner for National Minorities, the European Union Delegation, and the Council of Europe.
The dialogue between Members of Parliament and the People’s Assembly of Gagauzia has been facilitated by the CMI within the Gagauzia Dialogue project, which has been funded by Sweden since 2015. The Parliamentary Working Group on Gagauzia was created in November 2015 at the initiative of the Speaker of the Parliament to improve the functioning of Gagauz autonomy in the constitutional framework of the Republic of Moldova, based on the 1994 Law on the special status of Gagauzia. The group is composed of representatives from the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova and the People’s Assembly of Gagauzia.