The European Union and the Republic of Moldova held third round of human rights dialogue in Brussels last week. The dialogue was held in a frank and constructive atmosphere, confirming Moldova’s commitment to tangible improvements in the protection of human rights, reported the European External Action Service (EEAS).
The exchange of views on the human rights situation in the Republic of Moldova focused on the fight against all forms of discrimination, the human rights situation in the Transnistrian region, the freedom of the media and the fight against impunity and ill-treatment.
The Moldovan law on ensuring equality, adopted last week by the Moldovan Parliament, was discussed in detail. The EU received reassurances that the law is intended to cover all grounds for discrimination in line with the international commitments of the Republic of Moldova, “even though some are only implicitly mentioned”.
At the same time, the Moldovan side committed to issuing guidelines on the implementation of the law, which will be monitored by the EU within the existing dialogue frameworks. The EU reiterated its attachment to the general principles and values stated in the EU Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Several other areas requiring further discussion and cooperation were identified. A follow-up expert seminar on fighting impunity will be organized in the second half of the year. The EU took note of the Republic of Moldova’s commitments to human rights under international law and the ENP Action Plan. The EU expressed its readiness to continue supporting the Republic of Moldova in deepening reforms.
The EU and the Republic of Moldova also discussed their cooperation on human rights issues within international organizations, in particular at the forthcoming June 2012 session of the UN Human Rights Council.
In keeping with the EU’s practice of incorporating the voice of society into its meetings on human rights with third countries, the EU met with representatives of Moldovan and international NGOs prior to the consultations, and invited them to attend the latter as observers.
The delegation of the Republic of Moldova was led by Vladimir Grosu, Deputy Minister of Justice, and the EU delegation – by Riina Kionka, Head of Division for Human Rights Policy Guidelines at the European External Action Service.
Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, welcomed the adoption of the law on ensuring equality. Her press secretary Maja Kocijancic said over Radio Free Europe that tolerance has a particular importance for any country with European strivings.
She admitted that, really, some changes concerning sexual orientation were introduced into the document, “but from our point of view, this does not change the very character of the law. This topic was considered also within the framework of the dialog on human rights, when it was said that all rights shall be observed, including those of sexual minorities’. In the visa facilitation plane, the adoption of this law gives a passing score for transition to a second phase”.