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Moldova: Overview of corruption

Moldova is a country with a long history of state capture, and which has recently emerged from a tumultuous political period. The new government that won the 2021 parliamentary elections campaigned on an anti-corruption platform and has a strong mandate to implement reform measures. Indeed, the resounding victory of Maia Sandu’s Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) has been interpreted as reflecting a widespread popular consensus against entrenched oligarchic networks. Anti-corruption measures are direly needed to reverse systemic patterns of state capture and strengthen the integrity of the judiciary. While the government introduced a raft of legislative proposals amending legislation relevant to anti-corruption efforts shortly after coming to office, the manner in which these amendments were rushed through has been criticised. Moreover, some observers have suggested these changes were primarily intended to replace individuals in key positions, and a tussle over the Office of Prosecutor General is ongoing. Ultimately, despite some progress in improving technical compliance with recommendations from the Group of States against Corruption and other bodies, much remains to be done to overcome the legacy of state capture still visible in many organs of state.

18 January 2022
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Moldova: Overview of corruption

Main points

  • The victory of the PAS party has been interpreted as a positive development that brings new momentum to anti-corruption efforts in the country.
  • Nonetheless, systemic forms of state capture linger on and addressing entrenched corrupt networks will not be straightforward.
  • The independence and integrity of key oversight institutions and the judiciary has long been compromised by political interference, and observers are watching carefully to see how the new government responds to setbacks in its reform agenda.
  • The manner in which proposed amendments to relevant anti-corruption legislation were made has been criticised as not allowing sufficient time for consultation, and in certain cases seemingly targeted at removing specific individuals from their posts.

Cite this publication

Jenkins, M.; Merkle, O.; (2022) Moldova: Overview of corruption. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Helpdesk Answer 2022:1)

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About the authors

Matt Jenkins is a Research and Knowledge Manager at Transparency International, where he runs the Anti-Corruption Helpdesk, an on-demand bespoke research service for civil society activists and development practitioners. Jenkins specialises in anti-corruption evaluations and evidence reviews, he has produced studies for the OECD and the GIZ, and has worked at the European Commission and think tanks in Berlin and Hyderabad.

Ortrun Merkle


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This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)