Moldova ranks first on the Eastern Partnership countries' European integration index, according to the study "European integration index for Eastern Partnership countries", carried out by experts from six countries and the EU.
The study was carried out by 50 experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the EU. The report was presented by IDIS "Viitorul" and the Foundation Soros-Moldova on 21 November.
The index shows the progress in the European integration process of the Eastern Partnership countries, from the point of view of several sectors, such as the implementation of democracy (election system, human rights, independent justice, fighting corruption and decisional transparency), market economy, deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU, political dialogue and the participation of civil society.
Moldova ranks first on the top with 0.69 points, being followed by Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus.
According to the study, Moldova has got most of its points for democracy, with 0.88 points for the election process, 0.75 points for fighting corruption, 0.79 points for the quality of the public administration, 0.71 points for press freedom, 0.68 points for human rights and 0.66 points for independent justice. Experts believe it is still necessary to improve results, though Moldova ranks first on the top this year. Thus, Moldova is struggling with discrimination, political influences in the justice, high level of corruption and other issues.
"Moldova is considered to be a pioneer within the Eastern Partnership. However, this does not mean that there are no more reforms to implement. Besides praising ourselves, the index should be also perceived as a roadmap and an appraisal of our work," MP, the chairman of the parliamentary commission for economy, budget and finance, Veaceslav Ionita said.
The comparative index of the six countries' performance was for the first time published in 2011, right after the launch of the Eastern Partnership. The index is based on a questionnaire comprising 695 questions about European integration sectors.