2017.07.03 Administrație publică Victor Ursu Print version

On Thursday, June 29, 2017, the main findings and research methodology of the State of Local Democracy were presented. The report represents a complex analytical product that addresses the democratic functioning of political institutions from a citizens' perspective. The publication was based on a comprehensive assessment methodology developed by IDEA International (Sweden) and the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS), which measures citizens' satisfaction with public services and goods delivered by public authorities (security, welfare, access to health, education), as well as the way citizens believe that the fundamental rights are protected. At the same time, the purpose of the research was to assess the extent to which local and regional (sub-national) authorities have the ability and competence to deliberate and manage autonomously the interests of the communities they represent, being separate and distinct from the central level.

The evaluation methodology is inspired by classical studies of democracy, such as Gabriel Almond and Verba, Robert Putnam, Robert Dahl, and Lijphart. Conclusions of the State of Local Democracy (SDL) reveal that the Republic of Moldova has a well-articulated legislative and normative framework for the functioning of local authorities in its political forms prescribed by the Constitution, but its functioning is compromised by the chronic shortage of budgetary resources present at the disposal of local authorities, the administrative and financial capacities are mediocre, and the low participation of citizens is degrading from the interdepartmental decision-making process at the local level. There is less regional press, fewer political and administrative consultations, and the lack of citizens' involvement obstructs the efficiency of local authorities.

Only 1% of the population confirms that they have been consulted on the local budget, and 85% have never attended any local authority meeting (hearings, debates, consultative meetings or other actions). Only 10-15% of the municipalities in the Republic of Moldova have sufficient resources to cover their maintenance costs, and most of the LPAs are dependent on the transfers of the central budget. Excessive fragmentation of the territory (32 districts and 898 LPAs) can serve as an incentive for a re-calibration policy of the territorial-administrative organization, but solutions should not be applied blindly. Only 1/3 of the population considers that they have a fair trial in the Republic of Moldova, most of them claiming access to and functioning of justice is recorded in Chisinau (77%) and North Zone (70%), while justice is considered much more just in Gagauzia and in the South. 90% of the population claim they have never been part of a political party and 81% say politicians do not listen to the opinion of the citizens. Only 26% of respondents say they are interested in politics and 70% do not care about politics and do not consider it necessary to participate actively. More than 40% of the poor live in rural areas, making poverty a typical rural phenomenon (19% of the poor live in the villages, compared with 5% of the poorest quintile living in the towns). The state needs to adopt national programs to support the rural environment, helping rural communities to adjust their basic infrastructure to minimum living standards and social needs.


The State of Local Democracy report inaugurates a socio-statistical product, designed to benchmark citizens' satisfaction at the local level. Thus, the overall perception of the population surveyed is estimated at a score of 0.45 on a scale of 0 to 1, ie less than half of the respondents have assessed Moldovan democracy satisfactorily at the local level. The benchmark indicators of the Local Demographic Index are based on 8 measurable indicators. According to the Index, the highest rate is attributed to the population of solidarity, which would mean assuming a high degree of "loyalty of the respondents towards their locality, and the locality transfers loyalty to the state and society." The next score that attracts high values ​​in respondents' answers is related to legality - by 0.52. The lowest scores are attributed to participation - 0.17, which confirms the extremely low interest of the population to check the functioning of local authorities, thus influencing the accountability score by 0,28 and transparency of 0.33.

The scores assessed by the Local Democracy Status report are replicable, meaning that any public or private association can use this analytical grid to diagnose how the mechanism of dialogue and representation of local governments work with their communities.

 "It is the first time we launch such a complex analytical project of local democracy assessment and it is a pride that this product was developed within a partnership between IDIS and IDEA. The IDIS is not a novice in the area of ​​local and regional development research, and those present at this conference know exactly what this is. However, the lack of effective democracy in the Republic of Moldova requires us to re-build methodologically the tools for evaluation, promotion, and supervision of performance in the exercise of local powers. The perceptions of the public matter a lot in the legitimate functioning of power. They cannot be substituted by technocratic or import assessments. They are the quintessence of the existence of a democratic regime in which they have to overcome the public good, competence, meritocracy, and justice; these are the purposes our research on the State of Local Democracy in the Republic of Moldova has pursued, "explained IDIS Viitorul director Igor Munteanu.

“Democracy is solid through its institutional foundations, participation, and citizenship. This type of comprehensive report on the institutions of local democracy is applied for the first time in the Republic of Moldova on the basis of a number of conceptual pillars: citizenship, justice and equal rights, democratic representation and institutions at local level, citizens' initiatives and participation, defining in a simple formula how the classical instruments of participatory democracy look like from a citizen perspective. The IDEA model is particularly suited to assessing the quality and practices of citizenship at local and sub-national (regional) levels, measuring citizens' attachment to levers through which a political regime operates: representation, transparency, democratic accountability and other issues”, said Nana Kalandadze, IDEA Programs Coordinator.

The report "State of Local Democracy in Moldova" was published thanks to the Swiss Cooperation Office (SDC) and IDEA International (Institute for Democracy and Election Assistance) to influence the quality of the policies and priorities chosen The Republic of Moldova in the field of local development, justice reforms and the rule of law as well as regional policies.

For more details contact the Public Relations Coordinator IDIS Viitorul, Victor URSU at or by phone 069 017 396.

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