DECP’s outgoing country manager Jean-Marie Standaert and the incoming one, Arnout De Koster, paid a visit to the Moldova employers organization CNPM to prepare the workplan for the coming years, and to ensure also the transition of the former to the new country manager. Moldova is a former Soviet republic, independent since 1990; it is Europe’s poorest country, with a rather weak economy, and confronted with internal strife in a part of the country (Transnistria). There is some important Dutch economic presence in textile and shoe production, and , most notably a Dutch company which manages the only national port.
The DECP representatives had extensive discussions with the Chairman and the Executive Director of the confederation of Moldova Employers ( CNPM) and some leaders of important sector associations and the trade unions.
The global picture of the political and economic situation in the country is rather gloomy: political instability and uncertainty, partially due to a major bank scandal in which also politicians and oligarchs are involved, and continuing economic uncertainty in a country which is torn apart by the choice to strengthen its economic ties with Europe or rather with Russia.
The employers federation continues to play an important role in these challenging circumstances, putting mainly the emphasis on policy influence and acting as voice of business via lobbying and social dialogue , whilst giving also some attention to services for companies, mainly in the field of OSH. In all these fields, DECP has offered precious support via expertise and some small grants, which has been strongly appreciated.
Some small but important improvements in the business environment were indeed achieved, especially in the field of labour law and labour regulations, but much remains to be done. Major issue is the level of corruption and volatility – uncertainty in legislation, which hampers doing business .
It was agreed that DECP would continue its support for the federation, amongst others in strengthening its communication policy to members and outside decision- or opinion makers; also further help for the development of policy proposals in the field of dealing with skills mismatch will be provided for. Corruption also will be a theme for further capacity building and action : a regional seminar to exchange practices with other employers organisations on what employers federations might or actually already do have in place to take part in fighting corruption, is being requested by the CNPM. Real concrete ideas should emerge to define what can be done and implemented concretely; areas such as simplification of inspections, more transparency in public procurement, better governance etc. will be for sure on the agenda.