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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the right to education in the Transnistrian regio

4.2.2014 - (2014/2552(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure

Helmut Scholz, Patrick Le Hyaric, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Alda Sousa on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

Procedura : 2014/2552(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the right to education in the Transnistrian regio


The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the Association Agreement initialled by the EU and Moldova on 29 November 2013 on the occasion of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius,

–       having regard to the report on Human Rights in the Transnistrian Region of the Republic of Moldova by the Senior expert Thomas Hammarberg of 14 February 2013 who visited the country on behalf of the UN Human rights Commissioner

–       having regard to Rule 122 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the European Union and the Republic of Moldova initialled the Association Agreement in November 2013;

B.  whereas the Transnistrian region, is an integral part of the Republic of Moldova

C.  whereas Article 13 of the Constitution of Moldova state : "(1) The national language of the Republic of Moldova is Moldovan, and its writing is based on the Latin alphabet. (2) The Moldovan State acknowledges and protects the right to preserve, develop and use the Russian language and other languages spoken within the national territory of the country."

D.  whereas the Moldovan Cyrillic alphabet which was introduced in the early 1020s, in an effort to standardise the languages of the multinational Soviet Union is the official and only accepted alphabet in the Transnistrian Region of Moldova; whereas there are two types of schools Cyrillic script schools and in Latin script ones;

E.  whereas Latin scrip schools face different type of serious problem with the Transnistrian authorities; whereas the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) of 19 October 2012 in the case of Catan and others against Moldova and Russia indicated that there has been a violation of Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms by the Russian Federation;

F.  whereas Moldova is the poorest country in Europe with an average monthly gross salary of $300; whereas despite some improvements, over 20% of its population still lives below poverty line; whereas 65% of all children live in villages, where services and schools are fewer and poverty much more common than in the cities; whereas the employment opportunities in the country are scarce and approximately 0.5 million of Moldovans from all regions have emigrated, often leaving children behind with relatives;

G.  whereas despite the on-going negotiations within the 5+2 format tensions between the partners concerned have been growing;

a.  whereas Moldova has established new migration points at the river Dniester which separates the country; whereas the Transnistrian authorities intend to fortify its checkpoints along the administrative line with Moldova in 2014whereas authorities of the Transnistrian region have been limiting the OSCE'S mission access to the region; whereas militarisation of the region in continuing;

b.  whereas the Romanian President stated on 6 January 2014 that Romania should declare in 2014 that Moldova is Romanian territory, following comments he made in December 2013 that the country's third national project should be unification of the two countries;

c.  whereas Romanian is grating Romanian citizenship to Moldovan people and has facilitated the procedures in 2013 neglecting the OSCE condemnation of the practice of mass granting of citizenship to minority groups by country of origin.

d.  whereas the Gaugazian local authorities have organised a referendum, on European integration or accession to the Customs Union: whereas Moldovan courts have declared the referendum illegal;

H.  whereas there are serious deficiencies concerning the freedom of media in the Republic of Moldova: whereas in January three TV channels were excluded for the cable networks: whereas OSCE criticized these actions saying that the unilateral decision to stop retransmission of these Three channels can curb media freedom and limit media pluralism in Moldova: whereas this is a dangerous trend in particular in an election year:

1.  Expresses serious concern at the growing tensions and problems within Moldova; urgently calls on all sides concerned to refrain from any action which could undermine the efforts to find a political solutions to the existing problems, in particular a sustainable political solution for the Transnistrian problem, in accordance with the principle of the territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova;


2.  Calls on Romania and other neighbouring countries of Moldova to exercise restraint, to respect Moldova's sovereignty and not to interfere in the internal affairs of Moldova; calls on Romania to ratify the boarder agreement with Moldavia which was signed in 2010 and to stop the practice of granting citizenship to Moldovan citizens;


3.  Calls on the EU not to interfere into the internal debate in Moldova on association with third countries, but to support any initiative to inform and consult the population and to arrive at the widest political consensus on this question, including by a referendum;


4.  Calls on the EU to support on-going negotiations within the 5+2 format with a view to achieve a comprehensive, just and viable resolution of the Transdniestrian conflict exclusively through negotiations, on the basis of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova with a special status for Transdniestria that fully guarantees the human, political, economic and social rights of its population; underline the need to achieve tangible progress in the negotiations on all three baskets of the agreed agenda for the negotiation process: socio-economic issues, general legal and humanitarian issues and human rights, and a comprehensive settlement, including institutional, political and security issues; call upon the sides to intensify their efforts with regard to confidence- and security-building measures and to refrain from unilateral actions that could lead to deterioration of the security situation in the region;


5.  Welcomes that the UN human rights expert was able to visit the Transnistrian region of Moldova and notes the problems he raised in his report, but also its optimistic assessment of the development of the human rights situation in the region; calls on the de facto authorities to implement his recommendations;


6.  Expresses concern that the children in the Transnistrian region get the basic school education in two different types of schools; fears that this deepens the division of the country and creates unequal chances for the children:

7.  Notes with concern that Latin script schools faced numerous problems and calls on the de facto authorities of the Transnistrian region to fully guarantee the right to education and the cessation of any form of pressure directed towards institutions which are teaching in Latin script; notes that the problem is under monitoring and discussion with the UN and within the framework of the 5+2 talk; urgently calls for solutions in the interest of the rights of those directly concerned;

8.  Deplores the poor public debate on the consequences of association of Moldova with the EU; takes the view that issues that have such a deep impact for the future development of a country should be subject to referenda;

9.  Urges the Moldovan Government to ensure that the forthcoming parliamentary elections are held in full compliance with international standards, and reminds that the pre-election campaign must provide equal opportunities to all political forces, including the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova;


10.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the Member States, the Government and Parliament of Moldova, the Government and Parliament of Russia and the OSCE.