In this morning's session of Parliament the AIE majority approved a new structure for the incoming Government. Here are my thoughts on the major changes:
1. DIS-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MINISTRY OF REINTEGRATION
Having a ministry doesn't necessarily mean that the problem will get solved. I'm a firm believer that the Transnistrian issue is neither complex nor resolvable at a low level. It is an issue between the US, EU and Russia and what Moldova thinks or does is relatively unimportant. In these cirumstances, the best thing Moldova can do is to make itself economically and democratically attractive to people on the left bank of the Nistru.
2. DIS-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MINISTRY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
One of the first things the Communists did on coming to power in 2001 was to establish a ministry of local government and replace the Judet / County structure with one based on smaller, soviet-style raions. These moves were decried by international agencies and opposition parties as a less efficient & less democratic structure which effectively brought local authorities under the political control of the central government. The AIE's move this morning is a welcome step back in the direction of devolution of power and empowerment of local communities. Hopefully in time they will also address the issue of units which are too small to be efficient.
3. ESTABLISHMENT OF A MINISTRY OF YOUTH, SPORT & TOURISM
Firstly, tourism doesn't belong here and would fit more naturally with the Ministry of Culture.
Secondly, why have a 'Ministry of Youth & Sport' in the first place?
(a) I understand that the AIE is indebted to the young people of Moldova for their support in the democratisation of the country, however I am unconvinced that a new bureaucracy is the right way to repay that debt.
(b) there's a degree of discrimination here - why don't we have a "Ministry for Children" or a "Ministry for the Aged"?
(c) What will the Ministry of Youth and Sport actually do that is of real value?
My preference here would be to fold this into the Ministry of Education (which also deals predominantly with young people)
4. MINISTRY OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
Under the communists, this ministry grew into an all-powerful monster which sticks its nose deeply into the lives of Moldovans though its powers to issue and control all sorts of personal information. Actually it shouldn't be a ministry at all, but a support service for other government agencies. It is the job of the Internal Affairs Ministry to issue ID cards, register marriages etc.
5. THE AGENCIES
There is a list of agencies approved which do not appear to be fully under the direction of the 16 ministries. A number of them would appear to fit naturally within a ministry, e.g.
(a) Moldsilva should become part of either the Ministry of Agriculture or the Ministry of the Environment
(b) The anti-corruption centre should go to Justice as should the ethnic relations bureau.
(c) the border guards should either be part of Internal Affairs or alternatively be managed alongside the customs service for greater efficiency.
(d) All the other agencies are essentially economic in nature and should form part of the Ministry of Economy.
The AIE have made some positive steps with their structure, however they have also left undone much that could have been put in place to simplify and reduce the cost of Government. One hopes that the structure voted this morning is seen within their ranks as interim.