Romanian officials talked a lot and are still talking about the (re)- association of Moldova with Romania. Following Traian Basescu’s example, who took Moldovan citizenship, former Prime Minister Victor Ponta promised in 2014 that if he became president of Romania after the fall elections, he would do everything possible to bring Romania and Moldova together on 1 December 2018.
The re-unification project is becoming increasingly popular with the ordinary people. Romanian citizens support the reunification, for instance, in 2006 only 44% agreed with the reunification project, while in 2015 the number of its supporters significantly increased. According to a survey, conducted by order of Adevarul, being asked "If European integration of the Republic of Moldova was impossible, would you agree with the association of Moldova with Romania?" 61% of respondents gave an affirmative answer. In addition, 44% of respondents mentioned that they had seen at least once the inscription "Bessarabia is Romanian land" or "Bessarabia is Romania".
"If the unification of the two (Romanian - editor’s note) states exceeds the theoretical dimension, Moldova will become part of Romania, but it will definitely lose Transnistria and Gagauzia", mentions the Russian newspaper Lenta.ru. Komsomolskaya Pravda also writes that both politicians from Bucharest and Chisinau started to speak openly and even set the goal to unite Moldova with Romania by 2018, but Moscow also announced it would intervene and use every opportunity to disrupt the plan.
But the issue of unification with Romania is far more complicated now that it was 20-25 years ago. In this respect, recall Ernest Gellner’s words (professor and researcher at the Central European University, founding member and director of the Center for the Study of Nationalism, a recognized theorist of modernity) with reference to this issue:
If a nation has two states, it naturally follows that the glorious unification of the nation would halve the number of its prime ministers, heads of states, presidents of the academies, managers of football teams and so on by an N factor. After the unification, any person, holding a position of this kind, will face an N number of possibilities to lose its position. I mean that all those Ns will be losers, even if the nation as a whole will have benefited from it. Similarly, there is no doubt that it's good to be a chief of something, senior or lower, the difference between these positions is not as pronounced as that between being a chief no matter of what scale and not being a chief anymore.
Who benefits economically?
An eventual unification of Moldova and Romania will increase the GDP by 5.5 billion euros. That is apparent from an analysis made by Ziarul Financiar (Financial Newspaper). The possible unification of Romania and Moldova would bring Romania an additional 3.7 million of inhabitants; a growth of GDP by 5.5 billion euro, the country’s surface area will reach 34,000 square kilometers - extended by 490 square kilometers.
At the same time, based on the data of 2014, Romania's exports would increase by 2.5 billion, reaching 48 billion euro, while its public debt would increase only by 1.7 billion euro against the debt of 52 billion euro that Romania had late last year. The length of railways would rise by 10% (Moldova has 1.190 km and Romania has 11.300 km), the length of roads will increase by almost 11% (81,000 km of public roads from Romania plus 8800 km of public roads in the Republic of Moldova). Agricultural area would increase by 1.7 million hectares, i.e. an additional 13% to the total agricultural area of 13 million hectares, existing in Romania.
Moldova’s GDP is almost half of that of the neighboring Romanian counties, Botosani, Iasi, Vaslui and Galati, which in 2014 had a cumulative GDP of 9.2 billion euros (42 billion Lei), although their population is only two-thirds (2.1 mil. inhabitants) of that of the Republic of Moldova.
There are counties in Romania, which alone have a higher GDP than Moldova, for example, Timis, Prahova, Constanta or Cluj, but that does not mean that Moldova can be neglected, because you cannot neglect nearly 4 million consumers and a country that has made significant progress in recent years. This was understood by foreign companies, which first came in Romania and then crossed the Prut River and moved to Moldova, writes Ziarul Financiar.
Chisinau importing anticorruption from Bucharest
Head of the National Anticorruption Directorate of Romania (NAD), Laura Codruta Kovesi, made a working visit to Chisinau last year, the invitation came from the then Moldovan Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici. The latter expressed his government's desire in a telephone conversation with his Romanian counterpart Victor Ponta. According to a press release issued by the Government, the visit was requested in the context of several anti-corruption initiatives of the Prime Minister, including boosting the reforming of law enforcement institutions.
"We are very determined to fight corruption at all levels, and Romania is a positive example for Moldova in this respect. Therefore, we believe that direct talks with the head of NAD and presenting effective practices to fight corruption in Romania will encourage our authorities to take firm actions and combat corruption in all systems", said Chiril Gaburici.
The head of NAD was part of a team of 50 experts, who carried out the assessment of the Prosecutor’s Office, National Commission for Integrity and Anti-Corruption National Centre. The European Union made repeated calls to strengthen the fight against corruption in Moldova.
In Chisinau, Laura Codruta Kovesi had meetings with the director of National Anticorruption Center Viorel Chetraru, president of National Integrity Commission Anatolie Donciu, Minister of Justice Vladimir Grosu, Minister of Internal Affairs Oleg Balan and other officials in the field.
Additionally, a team of experts, headed by ex-President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili, present adviser to Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, who has experience in implementing reforms and fighting corruption at all levels arrived in the Republic of Moldova. The experts will analyze the current situation in the country and will set precise actions to be taken to combat corruption.
What do the Americans say?
The American analyst and writer Robert D. Kaplan recently gave an interview to AGERPRES, where he talked about his new book dedicated to Romania, which is entitled "In Europe's Shadow: Two Cold Wars and the Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond", as well as about Romania's evolution from his first visit, during the communist regime, until now.
"I think the Western countries fully understand what is happening. It is very difficult to intervene in a complex internal political crisis. You can warn Russians not to take advantage, you can use diplomacy to give advice, you can provide economic aid, but, even so, you have to be very careful, because you do not want your aid to get into the wrong hands. With respect to Romania, I think it must, on the one hand, be vigilant to an increased Russian influence in Moldova, and on the other hand, it would be counterproductive, unwise on behalf of Romania to openly ask association with Moldova. I think it would not work, because if Moldova associates with Romania, Russia would have no choice but to formally annex Transnistria and it would take a more aggressive stance against Moldova. So to keep Russia away, Romania should not talk about unification with Moldova", said Kaplan. In other words, Romania should be on tiptoe before the big powers.
On 1 June 1940, when Marshal Ion Antonescu uttered his famous words: "Soldiers, I order you to cross the Prut" the great historian Nicolae Iorga was asked by the press what he thought about the movement of the Romanian army, "I want Bessarabia, but without its people!", came the prompt reply of the greatest Romanian historian.