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07.02.2009 Info Prim-Neo 544
Moldovas internal agenda of reform should be the number one priority for the country, thinks Markus Meckel, currently a member of the Bundestag and the last foreign minister of the German Democratic Republic.
- Only by wiping out poverty, strengthening the economy, and consolidating respect for the fundamental rights and liberties, can Moldova increase its credibility internationally. No one can do more for Moldova than Moldova itself", said Meckel while being a guest speaker at a roundtable meeting organized by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Social Initiative and Development Institute IDIS Viitorul.
He added that the elections in Moldova will be deciding for the countrys future. Therefore, the level of participation of the citizens in elections will be crucial. At the same time, he underlined the importance of the equal access for the political parties to the public media, without which the elections cannot be considered free and fair, even if the polls are held correctly from technical viewpoint. Another highlight of his speech was the importance of decentralization and the need to improve the process of decision-making at local level, the importance of promoting the principle of subsidiarity and local autonomy, which should be a top concern for Moldova in its endeavors to develop democracy.
Speaking about the Transnistrian issue, Meckel pointed out that the democratization of the society and the improvement of the living standards in Moldova would the right way to settle the issue. According to him, only the confidence of the inhabitants of the Transnistrian region that the Republic of Moldova is an - indispensable element" will allow the settlement of the conflict. At the same time, this unsettled issue should not be an excuse for Moldova for failing to implement proper structural reforms. The Republic of Moldova needs courage, new political ideas and new politicians in government, believes Meckel.
The German Bundestag member considers the alienation of Moldovas immediate neighbors from their natural role of its advocates before the European Union to be incorrect. The tension in the relations with the neighbors can have serious consequences, and even if these disputes can bring certain tactical benefits to some politicians, the overall impact on the country will be negative.
Markus Meckel was the last foreign minister of East Germany after the free elections in 1990, and since the collapse of the Berlin Wall he has been a Social-Democrat member of the Bundestag. He is the deputy foreign policy spokesman of the SPD parliamentary group. He is also a theologian and a pastor.
Markus Meckel is at his third visit to Moldova.