Moldovan Voices for Transparency
Garbage collection and transparency of its cost is a key concern among the citizens in the town of Hincesti.
“I’m ready to pay much more if the cost is clearly explained,” a citizen stated in the public debate initiated by the EED-supported “action tank” for European political reform (IEPR).
Based on an opinion poll they have held in 12 towns across the country, the debates seek a "bottom-up" view of the political issues, as described by Eugen Ghiletchi, IEPR's economic policy moderator. One debate participant insisted "people think we're lazy, but we are good and can do something". Indeed, many voiced the need to engage young people in the country's production. Concretely, they expressed the need for vocational jobs and social activities for youth - to distract them from drinking.
"We are only passive, as political priorities are not clear to us," another explained. They would be more engaged in society, if politics were more transparent. 12 groups of volunteers are working to respond to this demand, and make politics more transparent, and to engage citizens in dialogue.
In addition to public debates, IEPR volunteers are asking citizens to express their concerns through tent interviews or "vox populi" (voices from the street), and working on info videos and panels on key services and municipal issues of concern. The most recent video explains how municipal bonds work - in just a couple of minutes.
Another small organization is also working to better inform the public - focusing on transparency of political actors - and their business interests. Mariana Kalughin and Galina Bostan from the Centre for the Analysis & Prevention of Corruption, are creating a data-base which collects information which citizens should know when going to vote for their political representatives.
Kalughin and Bostan have long been engaged in the fight against corruption in Moldova. "The laws are they," they say. The problem is the lack of 'rule of law'.
Having worked for the national centre against corruption, they were confronted with politicians and civil servants that "simply did not want to implement the law." Project coordinator Kalughin is convince that the best way to fight the "disease" of corruption is punishment. "People need to know that some one is watching them."
She also describes the domino effect:
"if you see your boss stealing, you are not motivated to be honest yourself."