Plenary speech - Right to education in the Transnistrian region

Marietje Schaake, on behalf of the ALDE Group – Mr President, the conflict in Transnistria risks being forgotten, when the problems – especially when it comes to access to education – do deserve our attention. We must push the self-proclaimed authorities to work with the OSCE and to end the politicisation of education. The authorities must also cooperate more constructively with the 5+2 negotiations and the Russian Federation should implement the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights and stop violating the right to education. Russia should also withdraw its troops in order to end the climate of intimidation and fear in the region. On our side, we should focus on visa liberalisation and the association agreement as well as free trade deals. Improvements in human rights, economic modernisation and social progress will benefit the population as well as the authorities, and us. In parallel with this, we can do more to work with the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights with civil society and to facilitate access to information, education and free media. This could counterbalance the restrictions that the authorities have set in place.