The Role Of Europe Plays

in Europe
By 22 February 2002, the government appeared to back down, but the protests did not end. On 26 February, the Education Minister cancelled the compulsory study of Russian in primary schools and delayed the introduction of a new history course, but he was immediately released from his post. By the middle of March, the European Parliament was involved, issuing a "Joint Motion for a Resolution," calling on the government "not to take any decision that may endanger the social and political stability of the country," and "to abide by basic democratic rules and MBT Shoes On Sale procedures, to guarantee respect for fundamental human rights and the rule of law." The same resolution "underlines the urgent need for active participation by the EU in the stabilization of social and health care ..." and calls on several other European institutions and organizations, including the Council of Europe, Technical Aid to the Commonwealth of Independent States (TACIS), and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), to promote democracy, civil society, and conflict resolution.

Yet the Communist-led government continued to seek the support of the European Community. In April 2002, with the protests continuing, the government called on the Council of Europe to send observers to monitor the situation. The government described the country as under siege: "the demonstrators carry flags of foreign countries, chant anti-Moldovan and anti-state slogans, creating an impression that these actions are masterminded and financed from outside," and insisted that the protests threatened to destabilize not only Moldova, but the entire Balkan region. Throughout April, the Council of Europe increasingly became a mediator between the Communist-led government and the PPCD which claimed to represent the protestors. The European Parliament issued further resolutions calling on Moldova's government to respect human rights and to reverse a number of abuses of MBT Chapa power leveled against the opposition. On other issues, however, Europe supported the government's position. None of the protestors seemed to notice, for example, that the textbook the History of Moldova, whose introduction they were opposing, had been developed under the direction and recommendations of the Council of Europe (Anderson 2005, 2007). Indeed, the Council of Europe, OSCE, TACIS, and other organizations had a long history of supporting the government's efforts to increase minority rights against ethno-national demands advanced by the opposition.

Thus prior to 2005, 'Europe' played an important role in Moldova's internal politics. 'Europe' appeared as a symbol for political ideals such as democracy and national determination; it also appeared as a symbol for minority rights. Both the Communist-led government and its opposition(s) could and did claim 'Europe' as its supporter. Prior to 2005, however, the Communist government limited its use of 'Europe' to formal appeals for European support, while the opposition symbolically associated itself with Europe to gain political legitimacy and appealed to Europe for support against the Communists. In 2005, the democrats thus felt that the Communists had 'stolen' Europe, and were using it to manipulate Moldovans' political loyalties.

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The Role Of Europe Plays

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This article was published on 2010/10/10