GERMANY’s CONTRIBUTION TO THE STABILITY PACT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES
Markus J. Broich
Since July 2002 the Institut für Europäische Politik (Institute for European Politics), Berlin, InWEnt, Cologne, and the Institute for Public Policy, Chisinau, developed the program “The European Union and Moldova: Transition processes and Strengthening the partnership”. The programme is financed within the framework of Germany’s contribution to the Stability Pact. The objective of the programme is directed to the development of human resources of the public administration, business community and universities to strengthen the transformation process of Moldova. This entails a knowledge-transfer of the following topics and concepts: Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, Stability Pact, Stabilization and Association Process, Good Governance, Institutions and Values of the European Union, Justice and Home Affairs, Common Agriculture Policy and other “neighbourhood issues”. The programme supports the transition process of Moldova by inviting international experts who speak about their experience. For example, ambassador Nikolai Todorchevski, National Coordinator of Macedonia to the Stability Pact (SP) spoke about concrete project proposals and application for the SP. We just finished the 6th workshop on the topic Governance in transition, where Dr. Aloys Altmann, former Secretary of State of the Land Schleswig-Holstein, was giving concrete examples how the transition process in Eastern Germany was organized in order to arrive at some conclusion for the situation in Moldova. The outcome of the programme will be a pool of 25 experts who took part in 40 days of intensive training. They can be used for in-house training, general measures of political education but also for concrete advisory projects. Looking at the participants of the workshops – nearly all are among us today – they are extremely well performing, multilingual and acquired expert knowledge in divers fields. In addition to that, the participants established close contacts to rich networks of European experts.
In my point of view this programme is a good investment of the German government. However, let’s come back from the above described concrete example how Germany is contributing to the SP to the overall picture. Germany took on a certain ownership of the process by initiating it and therefore, it is co-responsible for its dynamics. Several years of working the results become obvious. Next to stabilsing effects in the region, one additional feature of the evolution of the SP is that all original members of the SP are offered an EU perspective strongly advocated by the EU commission – except for Moldova which only became member of the SP on June 28 th, 2001. The evolution is not so fast as the SP recipients would like to. Nevertheless, in line with the special role Germany acquired, it is absolutely necessary to maintain the support of the Stabilization and Association Process and to facilitate its logic final – the future integration of the SP beneficiary countries in the EU. Many scholars are arguing that this list should also include Moldova. I am convinced that the final results will depend first of all of Moldova’s performance and in my point of view, there are not many sustainable arguments to prevent Moldovas integration if it is sufficaintly prepared. Coming back to the responsibility of Germany, it is necessary to say that initiating the Stability Pact requires also to take over responsibility for its consequences. In the publication of the Foreign Office of Germany it is clearly stated that the objective of Germany’s policy towards South-Eastern Europe is to organize the rapprochement of the countries into Euro-atlantic structures aiming at the integration into the EU. Furthermore, Germany as one of the decisive player in initiating the SP should be clear about the destiny and shape the working of the pact in the way that the objectives are fulfilled. In early 1999 there were two conflicting lines within the Foreign Office in Berlin. On the one hand, there were those experts who feared that a further widening of the group of candidate countries would raise expectations that simply could not be fulfilled. On the other hand, there were those advocating a serious EU perspective for the Western Balkans as the decisive and only incentive for real and lasting change. Among them was the minister Fischer himself who emphasized the historic dimension of the project. According to him, the Stability Pact was a strategic decision of high political value for
the region and for Europe as a whole. As it turned out, Fischer managed indeed to determine the direction of the Stability Pact on this crucial issue in his ministry. This farreaching message was presented from the German side on April 8 th. Some of the EU countries (France, Italy, Luxembourg) and the EU Commission did not share that view. However, the trick was to present the promise of membership without actually forcing the EU to deliver on it in the medium-term. Furthermore, the Stability Pact was a very important issue for the German government. Therefore, Chancellor Schroeder pushed through his own candidate for the position as a Special EU Coordinator. Germany intended to get a prestigious international post and be rewarded for its efforts that it had put into the Stability Pact. Well, that Germany takes the Pact seriously is shown by the financial implication for the German tax payer. Germany committed itself to invest 1,2 billion German Marks at that time in the Stability Pact. In the year 2000 alone, Germany allocated DM 300 million in funding for the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe. Cash appropriations for 2000 are provided by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Foreign Office. What is the scope of their activities? The German government is contributing to projects under all three Working Tables of the Stability Pact. Account of Germany’s support:
Working Table I The projects are, in particular, to academic and educational reconstruction, with the purpose of encouraging and supporting the process of democratization and the development of a mature civil society. An additional focal area of German assistance in this context is, among others, support for the creation of an independent and free media sector.
Working Table II As regards WTII, the focus of German projects is on infrastructure development, especially in the area of roads and transport, but also energy supply. The German government is also particularly active in the area of fostering small and medium
enterprises and business start-ups. In that context, Germany is also helping with providing basic and advanced training for skilled and managerial personnel and strengthening the banking sector. These project activities demonstrate Germany’s focus on the development of private-sector structures and the promotion of business activity and employment, which are complementary areas.
Working Table III In the context of WT III, the German government is active in fostering legal reform and fighting crime and corruption. Specially the involvement of Germany’s contribution to arms control should be mentioned (Arms control center for southeastern Europe).
Having a broader debate about the perspectives of the Stability Pact, it necessarily leads us to speak about possibilities of a future EU accession for Moldova. This thought is absolutely legitimate if we take the approach of the Pact seriously to bring stability to the region. In the founding document of the SP, the European Union commits itself to bring the south-east European countries closer to its structure with the perspective to fully integrate them. Therefore, the SP is the first step on the track to the European Union. The following step would be the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) which has to be taken before the full integration into the European Union. In this context Romano Prodi’s comment which signaled no perspective for Moldova as a future EU member is rather irritating for Moldovan public opinion. The rapproachement of Moldova to the EU is on its way and with the perspective of the SAA the initial stage on its way might be overcome. The example of the current accession countries are indicating that major efforts in terms of economic growth and political stability can be made if there is a clear conditional offer of the EU for new memberships. Even though the conditional offer is not officially outspoken it is rather obvious what the criteria are. If Moldova takes the EU approach seriously, Germany as a major power, founding member of the European Union and initiator of the Stability Pact, should play its part in facilitating the mutual way of Moldova and its western neighbors to the European Union.
The activities of the German government within the Stability Pact will be continued also after 2003. This is clearly stated on the web page of the Foreign Office. Nevertheless, it is not clear how much money will be allocated for that. However, the SP might possibly be more important in regard to its political potential. The resolution of the EP from June invited all institutions to explore the possibility to include Moldova into the SAP. At the first glance, nation states are not addressed by this note but exclusively EU institutions. However, the Council of Ministers and the European Council are the institutions which articulate national interests. Well, next to the bilateral pipeline between Germany and Moldova, Germany could follow the initiative of the EP and will find in those institutions a forum to push for Moldova’s integration into the EU and Euro-Atlantic structures.
Markus J. Broich, MSc European Politics and Policy, studied at the Government department at the London School of Economics and works currently at the Institut für Europäische Politik, Berlin