Natalia Chitii

Natalia Chitii


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As effective vaccines may soon be approved by the US and European Union’s health authorities, it is important to stress that these can be a powerful weapon against Covid-19 only if people take them. There has always been reluctance around vaccine uptake. However, recent surveys  show that the skepticism has been on the rise in the last few months and is sufficiently high to render community immunity a challenging goal.

Differences in acceptance rates range from almost 90% (China) to less than 55% (Russia, France). With missing data from Moldova, one can only speculate about the acceptance rates. However, it is reasonable to expect that the acceptance rates would not differ much compared to Russia, which is one of the countries with the most pronounced skepticism toward vaccination. 

The high levels of reluctance to take the vaccine against Covid-19 need to be taken into account by public authorities before they launch official campaigns promoting vaccination. Promotional messages coming from public authorities may backfire. In effect, these may increase even further the number of those who refuse to take the vaccine, especially when there is low trust in messages coming from central authorities. Because vaccination is a highly controversial issue, public officials cannot use the standard regulatory tools: impose sanctions for those who don’t comply or render vaccination mandatory. These measures are likely to reduce people’s trust in central authorities and spur further opposition toward vaccination. 

It is of utmost importance for public authorities to (i) better understand the motives that drive people’s refusal to take the vaccine, and (ii) to design policies that are likely to change the specific beliefs and attitudes against the vaccine. Behavioral science can be a powerful tool to understand what’s holding someone back, what sub-populations have different concerns, and try to tackle those things. For example, when it comes to changing behaviors, one simple policy with a potentially noticeable impact is to change the default option: instead of asking people to book an appointment at a nearby clinic, public authorities could work with employers to automatically book appointments for their employees, leaving them the freedom to opt-out. Results from previous behavioral studies on the take-up of vaccines show that this measure has the potential to dramatically increase the number of people who get a vaccine. A group of researchers from Ruthers University (USA) sent a letter to 408 university employees to inform them about a campaign of vaccination against influenza. Employees were divided in two groups (without knowing that). The first group received an email indicating the date, time and place where they had to be vaccinated. In other words, their appointment their appointment had been scheduled for them, but they could cancel it any time (opt-out). The other group received an email requesting them to choose a date to be vaccinated (opt-in). The results are show a significant effect of the opt-out option: 92% of the employees in the first group kept their appointment and therefore received a vaccine, while only 50% of those in the second group made the necessary appointment in order to be vaccinated. 

Other behavioral interventions could be envisioned, depending on citizens’ motivations to refuse the vaccine. For example, knowing that a majority of citizens in one’s country are in favor of vaccination may motivate an individual to seek conformity and therefore to take it as well. The research in behavioral economics shows that one of the most powerful predictors of behavior is perceived social norms — what we think everyone else is doing. Country leaders – including the political class – often convey that in their behavior, their symbols. It is therefore important that early in the process our leaders publicly express their commitment to the science behind Covid-19 vaccines and that they be among the first ones to take it.

Public authorities could also use insights that have proved their efficiency in the context of blood donations or other civic duties, such as voting, where associations offer participants badges, stickers or bracelets so that they can signal to others that they donated their blood or that they performed their civic duty by voting. Such simple and cost-efficient tools could be used in the context of vaccination against Covid-19. The greater the number of citizens wearing badges signaling that they performed a civic duty by taking the vaccine, the greater the social pressure that may motivate others to follow through. 

These tools that are based on social norms and people’s psychology are not the silver bullet. However, given that these are not costly to implement, the returns on investment, measured in the number of saved lives, can be extremely high. Their implementation can also raise ethical issues which should be addressed ex ante by integrating ethical considerations at the design stage in order to ensure the necessary transparency and to avoid that citizens may feel manipulated.

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Centrul Analitic Independent „Expert-Grup” și Institutul pentru Politici și Reforme Europene (IPRE) anunță concurs pentru identificarea unui/unei expert/e evaluator/toare care va presta servicii de evaluare la mijloc de termen a proiectului „Informează, abilitează și acționează! Societatea civilă pentru o mai bună guvernanță bugetară în Moldova” în corespundere cu termenii de referință anexați la final.

Sarcinile de bază prevăd:

  • Elaborarea metodologiei de evaluare;
  • Evaluarea intermediară a nivelului de implementare al activităților și obiectivelor proiectului;
  • Elaborarea unui set de recomandări pentru asigurarea sustenabilității proiectului pe termen mediu și lung, luând în considerare constrângerile, provocările și oportunitățile identificate în procesul de evaluare.

Perioada de prestare a serviciilor va fi 11 ianuarie 2021 și se va încheia la data de 20 februarie 2021. Raportul final va fi prezentat până cel târziu la data de 20 februarie 2021.

Cerințe minime înaintate candidaților:

  •       Experiență profesională în evaluarea proiectelor similare, finanțate de instituții internaționale (cel puțin 5 ani de experiență);
  • Cunoștințe și expertiză în colectarea și analiza datelor calitative și cantitative, inclusiv realizarea interviurilor, elaborarea indicatorilor de monitorizare și utilizarea datelor pentru formularea legăturilor cauzale;
  • Înțelegerea procesului de bugetare participativă și a mecanismelor de implicare a cetățenilor;
  • Cunoașterea contextului în care autoritățile publice locale de nivel II funcționează în Republica Moldova.

Depunea dosarelor de participare

Pentru participare la concurs, candidatul/candidata va furniza prin email la  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   în română sau engleză următoarele:

Propunerea tehnică ce va conține:

  • CV-ul ofertantului/tantei, inclusiv experiența anterioară în evaluarea proiectelor similare;
  • Cronologia detaliată a activităților, indicând termenele limită pentru îndeplinirea sarcinilor și transmiterea livrabilului preconizat, în conformitate cu TdR anexați;
  • Referințe și recomandări.

Oferta financiară care va fi prezentată în MDL și va include toate impozitele, inclusiv contribuțiile angajatorului pentru plata salariilor / taxelor pentru furnizarea de servicii în Republica Moldova.

Termen limită de aplicare: 17 decembrie 2020, ora 15:00.

Pentru orice informații suplimentare ne puteți contacta la  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , tel. 79 033 684. Persoană de contact Iulia Sîrghi-Zolotco.

 Termeni de referință        Terms of reference

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

This article is available in Romanian. 


Donor: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH;

Project title: Integration of the “Moldova 2030” National Development Strategy into national policies and legislation and preparation of the National Development Plan;

Implementation period: October – December 2020;

About the project: The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) the project “Support to the Moldovan Government in the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda”. The objective is to improve the capacities and processes for implementing the 2030 Agenda.  In order to achieve the objective, the GIZ Project is implemented through a series of cross-cutting outputs, one of them aiming to improve the capacities and processes for integrating the National Development Strategy “Moldova 2030” in selected sectors at the national and regional level. 

For this purpose, GIZ contracted Expert-Grup to complete the assignment “Integration of the “Moldova 2030” National Development Strategy into national policies and legislation and preparation of the National Development Plan”.

Project objectives and main activities

Objective 1: Elaboration of a mechanism and criteria for the integration of the National Development Strategy “Moldova 2030” into national policies and legislation by including the findings and recommendations of the 2020 Voluntary National Review.


• Identifying the suitable recommendations from the Voluntary National Review presented by the Republic of Moldova to the High-Level Political Forum; 

• Elaborating the mechanism for incorporation of the priorities identified in the National Development Strategy “Moldova 2030” in the sectorial policy documents and in the planning documents of authorities; 

• Determining how the LNOB principle shall be incorporated in the proposed mechanism; 

• Ensuring the coherence between the National Development Strategy “Moldova 2030” vision, objectives and priorities with the sectorial policy documents; 

• Ensuring synergy among sectorial strategies, by avoiding overlapping and conflicting priorities; 

• Ensuring that policy documents and legislation is anchored into the budget planning framework. 

Objective 2: Elaboration of the first medium-term National Development Plan 


• Determining the structure and format of the National Development Plan; 

• By applying the mechanism and criteria for the integration of the National Development Strategy “Moldova 2030” in policy documents and legislation, drafting in a participatory manner the first National Development Plan. 

Project results: 

1. Handbook for central public authorities on the integration of the National Development Strategy “Moldova 2030” into national policies and legislation, by considering the findings and recommendations from the 2020 Voluntary National Review. 

2. Mid-term National Development Plan developed in accordance with the Government Decision no. 386 from 17.06.2020 on planning, elaboration, approval, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of public policy documents. 

On December 16, within the framework of the “3 DCFTAs” Project CEPS is organizing an online-webinar “COVID-19 in Eastern Europe: economic and political consequences”. 

This our already second webinar will review the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Eastern Europe, in comparison with trends in most of Western Europe where the second summer wave of infections exceeded the first wave in the spring, but now has passed its peak with rapidly declining new infections. By contrast, among the countries of Eastern Europe, Ukraine and Moldova, as also Russia, are witnessing a long, continuing acceleration of the pandemic, which is manifestly out of control. Azerbaijan, Belarus and Armenia have been experiencing second waves, with the peak passed only in Armenia. Finally, Georgia, which avoided the first wave entirely, now sees an explosive acceleration of infections.

The webinar will hear experts from the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia debate these dramatic developments for their epidemiological, economic and political consequences, with the event open for audience participation in Q & A.


●      Veronika Movchan, Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting, Ukraine

●      Denis Cenusa, Expert-Grup, Moldova

●      Tamara Kovziridze, Reformatics, 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.


Michael Emerson, Associate Senior Research Fellow, CEPS

Date: December 16, 2020;

Time: 11:30-13:00 CET;

Platform: ZOOM.


This event is free and open to the public.

We kindly ask you to register in English by December 15, 2020.

The number of online participants is limited. However, the live stream of the event will be available on the Facebook pages of “3 DCFTAs” Project.

Webinar Instructions:

Please connect to the event 5 minutes prior (11:25) to allow time for technical assistance and troubleshooting. Questions to the panellists 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.

By registering to this event, you agree with the Terms & Conditions of CEPS Data Privacy Policy.

We are delighted to announce the winners of the fifth Youth Essay Prize competition, open to citizens of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine under the age of 30 years, with no lower age limit. The essays written in English, not exceeding 3,000 words, should concern a topic either of broad European relevance, or the European aspirations of the author's country. 

Our congratulations and € 500 Prizes go to:

- Anastasiia Agarkova, Ukraine, age 13, 'Visa-free regime: a diplomatic gesture or a fateful decision?'

- Nichita Frunză, Moldova, age 19, 'Agriculture: a RM-EU Association Agreement priority in desperate need of change'

- Varvara Kabarhina, Ukraine, age 20, 'The Culture of Memory of the Second World War: The Common Denominator of Ukraine and Europe'

- Shalva Dekanozishvili, Georgia, age 24, 'Tracking Georgia’s Occupational Safety Progress Post-Association Agreement: The Good, the Bad and the Uncertain'

With Merit awards also to:

 - Tamar Tkemaladze, Georgia, age 22, 'Uncovering Traces of the Association Agreement: Alongside My Route'

Serhii Lashyn, Ukraine, age 22, 'Of Carrots and Sticks: Sustainable Development in EU-Ukraine Association Agreement'

There will be another competition in 2021.

It may be of interest to competitors to know how the jury works to decide the prize winners. The jury has four members, one each from Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the European Union. Four criteria are assessed for each essay: i/ Relevance and interest, ii/ Analytical and drafting quality, iii/ Originality, and iv/ Age factor. All these criteria are marked on a rising scale of 1 to 5. The age factor is to adjust for the factor that one cannot reasonably grade the school boy or girl on exactly the same scale as the post-doctoral graduate and young professional. For this purpose five age categories are used, with the youngest winning 5 points and the oldest (under 30) 1 point.  On this occasion there were 57 valid submissions, which in a first round were reduced to a shorter list of 20, and then subject to closer scrutiny. The scores of the four jury members were aggregated to be the basis for the decisions. While there were no quotas by country, gender, or age constraining the decisions of the jury, it is good to see a fair balance of these factors in the actual results.

It has to be said that the jury's task was not easy, since many of the 20 short-listed essays were close to the prize-winning scores.

It is planned soon to organise an open Zoom webinar, with short presentations by the prize and merit winners, with Q and A and debate, and with all the 20 short-listed competitors invited to participate. 

Prețul vieții confortabile în secolul XXI este dauna pe care activitatea umană o aduce mediului. Impactul oamenilor și al agenților economici asupra mediului devine, cu fiecare an, tot mai simțitor și imposibil de ignorat, iar multe dintre țările dezvoltate au pus această problemă în lista priorităților naționale. 


„Moldova se confruntă cu o dublă problemă de dezvoltare. Pe de o parte, avem o economie slabă, cu un nivel insuficient de industrializare. Pe de altă parte, există presiuni majore asupra mediului, cauzate de managementul ineficient al resurselor naturale și a mediului în general. În acest context, se impune o nouă abordare asupra problemelor de mediu, acestea trebuie să devină o prioritate reală pentru guvernare, și să nu fie tratate separat sau în contradicție cu obiectivele economice”, a declarat Adrian Lupușor, director executiv al Centrului Analitic Independent „Expert-Grup”. 

Deși Republica Moldova se confruntă cu probleme ecologice majore, investițiile pe care le face statul în prezent pentru protecția mediului sunt totuși insuficiente. Este una dintre concluziile la care au ajuns autorii și autoarele studiilor: „Costul de reglementare: Cum calculăm taxa de eliberare a actelor permisive în domeniul mediului? și „Aplicarea instrumentelor fiscal-bugetare în soluționarea problemelor de mediu”, lansate astăzi, 8 decembrie, în cadrul unui eveniment public.

Studiile au fost elaborate de către Centrul Analitic Independent „Expert-Grup”, Centrul de Consultanță și Informații de Mediu Aarhus „EcoContact” și Centrul Național de Mediu, cu suportul financiar al Suediei. 

Virginia Bilici, reprezentantă a Ambasadei Suediei în Republica Moldova: „Aceste două studii combină expertiza din domeniul protecției mediului și cea economică. Intenția noastră, prin susținerea acestor studii, a fost să susținem eforturile Ministerului Agriculturii, Dezvoltării Regionale și Mediului, a Agenției de Mediu și a altor actori guvernamentali în asigurarea unei bune guvernanțe de mediu”. 

Autorii studiilor sesizează faptul că autoritățile Republicii Moldova trebuie să facă din problemele de mediu o prioritate: „Republica Moldova nu este o țară mare, am putea să o traversăm într-o singură zi, dar în aceeași zi noi am putea să găsim atât de multe probleme de mediu care nu au fost rezolvate până acum și care au fost neglijate din cauza faptului că guvernarea de mediu niciodată nu a fost o politică prioritară pentru statul nostru. Prin intermediul acestor studii am vrut să demonstrăm cât de multe acumulări și plăți de mediu noi facem în fiecare an, dar cât de puține probleme rezolvăm”, a menționat Ina Coșeru, președinta Centrului Național de Mediu. 

Iuliana Catarangiu, directoare adjunctă a Centrul Național de Mediu: „Atunci când definitivăm prioritățile statului, trebuie să pornim de la premisa că fără aer și fără apă nimeni dintre noi nu ar exista astăzi. Fără măsuri de redresare a situației și de prevenire a poluării noi, în mare parte, mergem pe autodistrugere. Din acest motiv, atunci când statul își revizuiește domeniile de intervenție, trebuie să țină cont de acest lucru”. 

„Concluzia la care am ajuns noi este că în Republica Moldova încasările din taxele de mediu nu contribuie semnificativ la rezolvarea problemelor de mediu. Pe de altă parte, cheltuielile de mediu sunt repartizate disproporționat. Un exemplu ar fi că se fac investiții foarte puține în stațiile epurare sau faptul că în anumiți ani practic nu avem cheltuieli pentru biodiversitate”, a declarat Alexandru Fală, director de program „Expert-Grup”.

Dumitru Pîntea, director de program, „Expert-Grup”, a enumerat o serie de probleme privind eliberarea actelor permisive: - nu există o abordare unică față de actele permisive; - nu există o metodologie clară și transparentă de calculare a prețului actelor permisive; - prețul actelor permisive nu se actualizează pe parcursul mai multor ani; - mai mulți agenți economici care desfășoară activități cu impact asupra mediului nu sunt informați că trebuie să obțină acte permisive ș.a.

„E necesar să ajutăm cadrul politic, să facem anumite modificări la cadrul legislativ existent și chiar să elaborăm acte noi, pentru ca aspectele economice reflectate în aceste studii să aibă valoarea și aplicabilitatea sa în domeniul protecției mediului și viceversa”, Iordanca-Rodica Iordanov, directoare executivă, A.O. „EcoContact”.

În anul 2019, încasările din taxele de mediu la bugetul de stat au fost de 4,9 miliarde de lei sau 2,3% din PIB, iar cheltuielile statului pentru protecția mediului au fost de doar 200 de milioane de lei, ceea ce înseamnă 0,1% din PIB, fiind țara cu cele mai scăzute investiții în mediu, raportate la PIB, din Europa.

Descarcă infograficele privind taxele de mediu

Environmental taxes are one of the main tools used by the Government to promote reasonable behavior  towards the environment. In the Republic of Moldova, the potential of environmental taxes is not fully harnessed and a series of gaps in their structure erodes the capacity to change the behavior of the population and business entities and to solve the environmental issues. At the same time, the public expenditures for environmental protection do not meet the needs in the field. On one hand, they are quite low, so low that we can’t even say that this area is indeed a priority of the Government. On the other hand, very often, the distribution of resources does not comply with the commitments assumed in policy documents or the responsible authorities are not able to meet them. As a result, these gaps reduce the capacity and the efficiency of environmental policies and the results expected by the Government, citizens, businesses, and foreign partners.

This study is part of the research focused on the assessment of economic tools used to promote environmental policies. The study was conducted by a team of consultants from Independent Think-Tank Expert-Grup and the National Environment Centre based on data available for the last years. As per its terms of reference, the study aims to assess the efficiency of fiscal-budgetary tools (environmental taxes and public expenditures intended for the environment) used to implement the environmental policies and to identify the issues that prevent overcoming the challenges in the field. The paper also addresses the environmental taxes and expenditures, including from the perspective of the most urgent issues, and analyze if they can change the situation. Following this analytical exercise, a range of conclusions and recommendations are formulated, which once applied, would increase the chances to achieve the Government’s environmental objectives.

The paper is structured in three chapters, as follows:

Chapter I – assesses globally the fiscal-budgetary tools from a comparative perspective and in terms of the progress in time. The analysis was conducted concerning the practices of European countries and is focused on the following aspects:

(i) Evolution and level of environmental taxes (absolute values and shares in GDP). The environmental taxes were grouped into 4 categories: energy taxes (excises on fuels), transport taxes (transport duties), pollution taxes (payments for environment pollution), and taxes for the use of resources;

(ii) The evolution and the level of public expenditures intended for the environment (absolute values, shares in total public expenditures, and compared to GDP). The expenditures were analyzed from the perspective of budget programs and tools through which public resources are channeled towards environmental protection;

Chapter II – emphasizes the main environmental issues in the country as compared to the situation in various European countries. It focuses on how environmental issues are solved, either by applying taxes or by executing public expenditures. The following environmental issues were taken into account:

  • protection and management of water resources;
  • waste management;
  • extension of afforested areas;
  • air pollution prevention;
  • adaptation and mitigation of climate changes;
  • environment quality monitoring.

Chapter III – assesses the efficiency of the use of fiscal-budgetary tools from the perspective of solving the environmental issues and from the perspective of the use of quantitative tools. This chapter describes in detail the issues related to the application of environmental taxes and the execution of public expenditures.

Descarcă studiul Download the study

Descarcă infograficul Download the infographic

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