Media freedom in Moldova
Letter to Commissionar Füle from Gabi Zimmer, President of the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament, and Jiri Mastalka, Member of the Delegation to the EU-Moldova Parliamentary Cooperation Committe
Subject: Concerning undemocratic developments in Moldova
Strasbourg, 11th December 2012
Dear Commissionar Füle
The GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament regrets that media freedom is under severe restriction in Moldova. We understand that the only opposition TV channel, NIT, was closed by Moldovan authorities in April 2012 under the pretext of the lack of pluralism in its programming. Such a decision represents a form of censorship and inhibits media pluralism. We urge the Moldovan government to guarantee full respect for freedom of expression and freedom of the media which are basic EU values.
According to our information, the Court of Appeals has not dealt with a lawsuit taken by NIT in April so we ask the authorities to deal with it without further delay. We assume and hope that a free and fair judiciary process will be guaranteed.
The GUE/NGL also expresses its deep concern following the decision by the Moldovan parliament to ban the symbols of the Party of Communists of Moldova, the main opposition party. In many EU countries, communist parties use the hammer and sickle as their official symbols. Given the Moldovan authorities' European aspirations, we cannot agree with such a decision. We regard this as incompatible with a truly democratic society and an attempt to influence political developments ahead of future elections.
We ask the European Commission to consider these facts and to react in line with common European values and standards. The European institutions can't be indifferent to these kinds of violations of democratic rights in a country which is part of the European neighborhood policy. All political and financial support to Moldovan authorities must be conditional on the Moldovan government's respect for basic democratic rights and civil liberties.
President of the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament
Member of the Delegation to the EU-Moldova Parliamentary Cooperation Committee
Quaestors of the European parliament