Centrul Analitic Independent „Expert-Grup” este în căutarea unei echipe de consultanți/consultante (1 expert superior și 1 expert junior) pentru elaborarea a două studii cu privire la influența factorilor de apartenență politică privind gestionarea banilor de la bugetul public național, în corespundere cu termenii de referință anexați. Studiile sunt parte a proiectului „Informează, Abilitează, Acționează! Societatea civilă pentru o mai bună guvernanță bugetară în Moldova”.
Scopul acestora este de a realiza o cercetare privind fenomenul de clientelism politic, de a descrie formele și mecanismele sale de manifestare în Republica Moldova și de a evidenția impactul acestuia asupra eficienței și echității utilizării resurselor publice alocate APL-urilor. Rezultatele studiilor vor fi prezentate în cadrul unui eveniment public.
Livrabile: echipa de consultanți va prezenta rezultatele obținute sub forma unui studiu.
Termenele de prezentare ale livrabilelor:
- Draft-ul primului studiu - 15 martie 2021;
- Versiunea finală a studiului – 15 aprilie, 2021;
- Draft-ul celui de-al doilea studiu– 30 septembrie, 2021;
- Elaborarea draft-ului final al analizei– 20 octombrie, 2021.
Volum de lucru estimat: pentru îndeplinirea sarcinilor menționate în TdR se estimează până la 30 de zile lucrătoare pentru consultantul senior și până la 20 de zile lucrătoare pentru consultantul junior.
- CV-ul cu indicarea experienței relevante;
- Oferta financiară;
- Prezentarea unei scurte abordări privind realizarea studiilor.
Termen limită pentru depunerea ofertelor: 8 februarie, 2021, ora 11.00
Proiectul „Informează, abilitează și acționează! Societatea civilă pentru o mai bună guvernanță bugetară în Moldova” este implementat de Centrul Analitic Independent „Expert-Grup”, în calitate de partener principal, în consorțiu cu Konrad Adenauer Stiftung e.V. (KAS, Germania), Centrul pentru Studii Est-Europene (CSEE, Lituania) și Institutul pentru Politici și Reforme Europene (IPRE). Proiectul este implementat cu suportul financiar oferit de Uniunea Europeană și Konrad Adenauer Stiftung e.V.
The Republic of Moldova is extremely vulnerable to climate variability. Extreme climate events (droughts, frosts, hail, floods) have become frequent in the Republic of Moldova, this being a clear effect of the global climate change.
At the same time, the environmental management of the state at the country level has been poor. This has only contributed to the aggravation of ecological problems. Sharp climate change has already become a constraint on the country’s economic growth, the main sector to suffer from it being the agriculture.
The 2020 drought is an eloquent example of this. Also in relation to this crisis the government has not shown any vision or taken firm actions. In this context, this analysis aims at under-standing how the changing climate conditions are affecting the dynamics of agriculture and at making recommendations on ensuring the resilience of the sector. The analysis confirms the conclusions of the State of the Country Report 2020 and underlines the importance of paying an increased attention to strengthening the immunity of the Republic of Moldova to climate vulnerabilities.
HOW CLIMATIC CONDITIONS HAVE EVOLVED IN REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA
The intensification of climate change, characterized, in particular, by rising temperatures, is a global trend. In the Republic of Moldova, the records from the last two decades (1999-2019) show a clear increase in the average annual temperature by one degree Celsius. This development is characteristic for all regions of the country. Thus, in the entire country, in 2017-2019, the average annual temperature increased from 10.3 to 11.2 degrees Celsius compared to 1999-2001.
At the regional level, the following increases have been attested: from 9,2 to 10 degrees Celsius in the north of the country, from 10.8 to 11.5 degrees Celsius in the centre and from 10.9 to 12 degrees Celsius in the south. Also, the regression that describes the temperature trend over time reveals that the average temperature in the Republic of Moldova increases annually by about 0.06 degrees Celsius.
The pandemic crisis will cause this year the sharpest decline of the Moldovan economy in the last twenty years. While at the beginning of the year the macroeconomic scenario predicted an economic growth by 3.8 per cent, the data used for the last budget rectification in August indicate an economic decline by 4.5 per cent.
Moreover, the latest statements of the authorities show a revision of the expectations according to which the economy will contract by 6.5 per cent this year, an indicator close to the previous estimates of 7.5 per cent by the Expert-Grup in the State of the Country Report. The actual data for the first half of the year indicate an economic decline by 7.2 per cent, the most affected sectors being those involving the population’s interaction and mobility, but also those in the informal economy (HoReCa, household activities, art, leisure and recreation activities, transport). In the second half of the year, as a result of this year’s drought, the economic sectors with the sharpest decline will also include agriculture, the figures for the first nine months of the year already showing a decrease in the agricultural production by 25.3 per cent.
The latest forecasts of the National Bank indicate a perspective of persistent disinflationary pressure until Q3-2022 against the background of the decrease in the aggregate demand. The anti-epidemic measures, the declining external demand, the negative cumulative fiscal impulse since the beginning of the year, the real appreciation of the national currency, and the unfavourable agrometeorological conditions, which have affected the volume of agricultural production, are the main factors contributing to the reduction of aggregate demand. The return of demand will take time, taking into account the uncertainty as to the evolution of the pandemic, the change of the population’s consumption behaviour, the difficulty of the labour market conditions and the risk of the continuous migration trend of the economically active population. Under the current conditions, the central bank has pursued a monetary policy of easing the conditions by successively reducing the base rate to the historical low of 2.65 per cent, but also the rate of the minimum required reserves in national currency to 32 per cent. These measures have led to reduced financing costs and have released several billion of liquidity for the economy, which have benefited, first of all, the state, which has been financing this year its budget deficit from the domestic debt in the amount of MDL 6 billion.
The business environment, especially SMEs, has been severely affected, including due to reduced adaptability. One of the recent surveys conducted in July with the participation of over 200 enterprises shows that only 13 per cent of respondents felt a positive dynamic or had a similar level of revenues compared to the same period of 2019, the rest being on a negative trajectory, including 40 per cent of companies that reported decreased sales of over 50 per cent. The local companies have been affected by the limitations imposed during the pandemic crisis and face challenges existing for a long time in their distribution networks. These challenges include administrative and mobility constraints, unstable supply chains, limited skills in accessing new markets, the underuse of IT solutions’ potential to streamline business, bureaucracy and government regulations that hinder business processes, as well as poor operational access to financing. A study on the Covid-19 impact reveals that according to the statistics for the first months of the pandemic, the missed sales amount to MDL 86 billion, which implies lost revenues to the national public budget in the amount of MDL 17.3 billion or 27 per cent compared to its level in 2019. The developments in this period have also been accompanied by changes in the structure of entrepreneurial activities. The activities in the ICT and the IT and telecommunications equipment trade sector have excelled the best by far in terms of growth during this period, but also the food retail, which has partially occupied the HoReCa market, at the opposite pole being the businesses providing services to the population, but also the non-food trade. Postponing strategic and current investments, reducing the rental and administrative costs, reducing staff costs, reducing the operation/production, as well as the attempts to enter the online market have been the most widely applied measures by companies in their struggle for survival.
The pandemic has left vulnerable the most active category of people in the economy – the employees. As shown in one of the presentations of the MACRO 2020 Conference, the current COVID-19 crisis does not seem to have a major impact on the groups that are traditionally regarded as vulnerable - the elderly or the women in rural areas. The employees have been hit the hardest this time, and their rehabilitation and economic reconversion is essential because the longer they stay unemployed, the more their professional relevance will decrease or they will eventually find themselves forced to emigrate. These findings are also substantiated by actual data. Thus, the NBS data show that in Q2, the employed population accounted for 821,5 thou persons, being less by 8,8 per cent compared to Q2 2019 (901,1 thousand). In Q2 2020, every tenth person aged 15 and over, or over 217 thousand people, said that the epidemiological situation in the country has had a direct impact on their relationship with the labour market. Of these, the absolute majority - over 92 per cent - is employed and 7 per cent are people who have become inactive in the labour market due to the pandemic. The impact of the pandemic on the situation at work has manifested itself mainly by: interruption/cessation of activity, work from home, the transition to part-time work, reduction of working hours etc. Another research of the NBS5 on the “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the households” in Q2-2020 reveals that only a little over half of the households obtained income from work, about 1/4 obtained income from remittances, and over 90 per cent received salaries, pensions, and social benefits. At the same time, 17.0 per cent have mentioned reduction or loss of income from work, 8.3 per cent reported reduction or loss of remittances from abroad, and only 3.6 per cent reported delays in the payment of salaries, pensions, and social benefits.
The economic reality of the pandemic has increased the pressure on public finances. The data of the last budget rectification this year have shown that the state budget will lose MDL 7 billion in 2020, given that the expenditures will increase by 4.1 billion compared to the planned level, based on the natural need for the state intervention to limit the impact of the pandemic. Therefore, the initially planned level of the budget deficit of 3.6 per cent of GDP has been adjusted to 8 per cent. However, based on the latest information presented by the authorities, the latter expect an effective budget deficit of 6 per cent of GDP, which also indicates a chronic lack of capacity to absorb resources, especially related to capital investments and infrastructure projects.
On January 20, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States of America. After four years of Donald Trumps’ “America First” approach, it is expected that Biden’s administration will revitalize transatlantic relations with European allies and will work on restoration and improvement of mechanisms of global order. While for the Western liberal democracies it will mark the beginning of “going back to normal” in relations with the US, Eastern European countries also have their own hopes from the next US president.
Thus, on January 27, within the framework of the “3 DCFTAs” Project CEPS in cooperation with the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is organizing an online-webinar “From Trump to Biden in the eyes of Eastern Europe (and the European Union)”.
The webinar will hear experts from Eastern Partnership states and Russia debate the legacy of Trump’s presidency for their countries and present expectations from the Biden’s forthcoming administration in various sectors of bilateral relations ranging from the support of democracy, security cooperation, economics to fighting the pandemic and climate change. The event will be open for audience participation in Q & A session.
● Veronika Movchan, Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting, Ukraine;
● Denis Cenusa, Expert-Grup, Moldova;
● Ghia Nodia, Ilia State University, Georgia;
● Benyamin Poghosyan, Political Science Association of Armenia, Armenia;
● Shahla Ismayil, Women Association for Rational Development, Azerbaijan, Steering Committee EaP CSF;
● Andrei Yahorau, Centre for European Transformation, Belarus, EaP CSF;
● Andrey Makarychev, University of Tartu, Estonia;
● George Spencer Terry, University of Tartu, Estonia.
● Michael Emerson, Associate Senior Research Fellow, CEPS.
Date: January 27, 2021;
Time: 11:30-13:00 CET;
This event is free and open to the public.
We kindly ask you to register in English by January 26, 2021.
Please connect to the event 5 minutes prior (11:25) to allow time for technical assistance and troubleshooting. Questions to the panelists should be addressed in Q&A chat.
Video will be taken during the event. It may be processed and used by the organisers. By registering to this event, you are granting us the rights to do so.
The infographic is available in Romanian.
In 2020, the world economy, which was already affected by the economic and geopolitical tensions between the major global players, was shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has also had implications for the economic performance of the Republic of Moldova.
Thus, the latest statistics on foreign trade of Moldovan goods reveal a negative effect of the pandemic, including on the trade flows with the European Union (EU). These circumstances have fuelled discussions about the usefulness of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) and, in particular, whether this trade regime can help absorb the shock caused by the pandemic and increase the country’s exports.
In fact, the Moldovan exports to this destination are considered to be far from reaching their full potential given the opportunities offered by the DCFTA. Thus, it is appropriate to assess the current export potential of the Republic of Moldova to the EU. To meet this challenge, based on a recognized methodology, we have analysed, at the level of groups of goods, which of them have a high export potential that has not been fully utilised so far within the DCFTA.
Moldova’s foreign policy under the new President Maia Sandu slowly renews its shape. In less than a month, Sandu refreshes contacts with the country’s two neighbours – Romania and Ukraine. Her style of foreign policy is energetic and confident towards the Western and like countries. In the meantime, the approach towards Russia points to cautiousness, for the time being. To distinguish herself from her predecessor's foreign policy, the Kremlin-friendly Igor Dodon, Sandu has to offer an efficient, predictable and traceable alternative. Subsequently, drafting a foreign policy document that would limit the room for errors and improvisations, especially in Russia's relations, will be imperative. The Russian topic is highly complex and ties to security aspects around the Transnistrian conflict. Nevertheless, even in the absence of a comprehensive foreign policy document, President Sandu’s geopolitical preferences have a definite contour around European integration and strong partnerships with the two direct neighbours.
Strengthening ties with the neighbours – Romania and Ukraine
For any small-sized country like Moldova, which has geographical and infrastructural constraints to access international trade routes, a constructive dialogue with the neighbours is essential. The geopolitical-ideological affinities count as much. Having the neighbours – Romania and Ukraine – that either belong to or aim to join the EU is an advantage. That was of less importance for the previous president. Sandu’s office is, on the contrary, fully aware of the benefits that can come from this pro-EU neighbourhood.
Shortly after her inauguration, on 24 December 2020, Maia Sandu welcomed the Romanian President in Moldova's capital Chisinau. There was a deliberate attempt from both sides to portray a qualitative change in bilateral relations. Romania’s leadership wants to seize the momentum of the political shifts in Moldova and boost support for the pro-EU politicians. It assured Sandu’s presidency with help, including the offer of vaccine donation at an unspecified time (about 200,000 units). Romania thus improves stability at its borders and creates more grounds for enhancing its soft power. Without external support, decreasing the relevancy of voting for the pro-Russian forces is hardly manageable. As in Romania's case, the affiliation of Sandu’s party with the European People’s Party will facilitate top-level political contacts with other European leaders (and at least in the case of Germany until its 2021 federal elections).
Another immediate goal of President Sandu has been to establish direct contacts with the President of Ukraine. A few days after the Orthodox Christmas, the president, with a group of her advisers and staff, drove to Kyiv (402 km). Travelling on a low budget in two mini-buses to meet with Volodymyr Zelensky had multiple political symbolisms, even if the decision was not entirely convincing from a security point of view. However, Sandu wanted to show that saving public money during the pandemic is a priority even in her foreign policy actions. To some extent, she projected modesty, again contrasting with the former president's luxury expense style. Thus, she aims at preserving the public perception of her being "one of them (ordinary citizens)". The Sandu-Zelensky joint declaration highlighted trust and many areas of common interests. Both of them stated that they pursue EU membership for their countries. They signed a somewhat schematic memorandum that listed the ongoing bilateral cooperation on border management, transit, environment and energy, where more efficient cooperation is needed. The two leaders resolved to improve the infrastructures connecting Chisinau and Kyiv. There were no public statements on the Transnistrian conflict. The Sandu-Zelensky declaration institutes a “Presidential Council”, as a platform of bilateral contacts. The visit of Sandu was also satisfactory for Zelensky, because she confirmed Moldova’s recognition of Crimea as Ukrainian territory, questioned in the past by Igor Dodon.
Better on outside than from inside
Unlike this positive trend in the external field, the situation on the inside is bleak. The provisional government has weak competences that envisage maintaining the current state of public affairs. President Sandu has turned the acting foreign minister, Aurel Ciocoi, into the interim prime minister. The constitutional provisions require the President to appoint the prime-minister candidate after consulting the parliamentary factions (Art. 98). The consultations occurred on 28 December 2020 and many political voices demand Sandu to present the candidate. However, the law does not bind the President to a specific deadline, and President Sandu is not rushing to do that. She intends to trigger early elections as soon as possible, while appointment of a prime minister might delay that. She addressed to the Constitutional Court a question about an entirely new way of dismissing the parliament - through “self-dissolution”. The Court should decide whether the existing mechanisms can serve to dampen political instability without creating legal precedents, with unpredictable future risks. In the meantime, Sandu tries to increase the outgoing government's powers through another interpretation from the constitutional judges, notably to entitle the interim Prime Minister to fire and hire new officials and sign international agreements. With their competences thus renewed, the outgoing government seems willing to work cooperatively in tandem with Sandu.
President Sandu thus needs to buy time until the Constitutional Court deliberates whether it allows the “self-dissolution” of the parliament or not. Without a more functional government, Sandu will need to follow the game's existing rules, which may push the early elections back beyond spring 2021. Moreover, lacking a government that can sign international agreements, Sandu cannot seal effectively deals on financial support from the EU and other external partners. She would benefit considerably if the Constitutional Court supports her suggestions – on “self-dissolution” of the parliament and the renewed competences for the outgoing government – before her next foreign trip to Brussels, on 18 January. In the absence of these arrangements, Sandu will look much weaker in front of her European interlocutors, aware that Moldova is silently going through a political crisis.