chapter  5
17 Pages

Constructing Agency: Civil Society and Gender Identity in Moldova

Moldova, the poorest country in Europe, sits on the eastern fl ank of the European Union, balancing itself carefully between the West and Russia. With a breakaway republic within the East, an autonomous region in the South, intractable ethnic tensions and the Communist Party’s hold on government, Moldova’s fate remains unclear. While the EU has expressed little interest in expanding its relationship with Moldova beyond a European Neighborhood relationship and Moldova has declared itself offi cially “neutral” (thus it does not seek NATO membership), Moldova has sought a closer relationship with the EU and the US through a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and an ENP Action Plan with the EU as well as participating in the Partnership for Peace with NATO. The interest these two hegemons share in this small troubled state lies in the security risk presented by Moldova’s position between the EU and Ukraine, Russia’s foothold in the state and Moldova’s role as one of the largest origination points of human traffi cking.