Policy Paper: Arguing for a Hybrid Threats-focused Early Warning and Early Response System in the Republic of Moldova

As the nature of interstate aggression evolves, and new conflict technologies are developed by some states, aiming to undermine and destroy the sovereignty of other states, a fundamental review of contemporary security policy model is necessary. Territorial conquests are being replaced by aggression models that penetrate domestic political process of the target states, through bribing of politicians and officials, funding of parties, and manipulation of public opinion. These are some conclusions of the policy paper produce by Dumitru Minzarari, IPRE Associate Expert, researcher, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Florent Parmentier, Head of Policy Lab, Sciences Po. Research-associate for HEC Paris.

According to the authors, potential aggressors can become direct participants of target-state’s political process, by injecting into these domestic political processes its proxy actors or agents. Due to globalization of communication and information, states lose sovereignty over their national informational space and face foreign competition in shaping domestic public opinion. States can lose their sovereignty as a result of elections, won by foreign proxies, or due to the erosion of loyalty of its citizens and the contestation of the elected government, including through violent means. Traditional democratic rights, such as freedom of assembly, can be exploited to stage civil unrest and fire rebellions. We poorly understand these conflict technologies and cannot yet design effective countermeasures. The state may fail to deliver the most important public good to its population – public order and security.

This policy paper examines the emerging security environment in EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood and suggests ways to develop effective policy responses. This includes the building of an Early Warning and an Early Response system, in a country where new conflict technologies are practiced and polished by Russia. This would allow the EU to

i) better understand the emerging foreign aggression technologies;

ii) learn how they interact with and exploit genuine democratic processes;

iii) map the early warning signals that help distinguishing between genuine political process and their engineered version;

iv) design preventive measure that would silently diffuse the effects of these foreign aggression technologies.

Another complementary suggestion is to look into a possible European Union Advisory Mission (EUAM) in Moldova focusing on building state and societal resilience against hybrid threats, would greatly benefit Moldova’s security and pave the way for more successful democratic reforms and economic development. The EUAM, would ideally focus on strengthening state and societal resilience through conducting a Moldova-tailored security assessment, assist Moldova in developing a pilot Early Warning and Early Response System, provide support to Moldova in building and consolidating this system as part of a state-centric security improvement. The EUAM Moldova could be promoted as a mission of an advisory nature of the EU, whose goals would be to achieve the consolidation of Moldova’s resilience against hybrid threats, and the restoration of trust between state institutions and citizens.

For more details, consult below the document.

This analysis has been elaborated within the Project “Establishing Policy Bridges with the EU – IPRE (Moldova)”, implemented by the Institute for European Policies and with the support of Open Society Foundation Initiative for Europe (OSIFE).

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