The Romanian government’s multi-year bet on Vladimir Plahotniuc in Moldova collapsed when his personal power succumbed to internal and external challenges. Warning signs had pointed the way to this outcome, but Bucharest responded each time by doubling down on its political investment in Plahotniuc. The lessons-learned process will, at a minimum, reveal the pitfalls to be avoided as Romania rebuilds its relationship with Moldova (see Part One in EDM, July 10).
The next six months will be tricky for the European Union, with Brexit, parliamentary elections, and the next budget. Is Romania up to the task of EU presidency during this time?