Moldova underwent an alternation of power against pronounced authoritarian trends in 2009. However, due to the failed attempt to elect a new head of state and the looming parliamentary elections, political uncertainty is set to persist in 2010.
The newly appointed government has sought to re-launch reforms and create a regional environment conducive to internal transformations. In the medium term, rampant corruption, a faulty justice system and a weak administrative capacity inherited from the previous executive are likely to hinder the government’s ability to implement reforms.
Russia holds several critical levers, which it can employ to obstruct Moldova’s European course. However, the Russian position in Moldova is gradually weakening as a result of the eu’s growing presence and China’s more active ‘soft counterbalancing’.
Although the pace of Europeanization depends on its domestic performance, Moldova will need the sustained support of the eu. Besides a more efficient application of positive conditionality, the eu has to assist Moldova in solidifying nascent pluralism and improving its long-term ability to implement the reforms.