Moldova, officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked nation in Eastern Europe located between Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991 as part of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. On 29 July 1994, the new constitution of Moldova was adopted. A strip of Moldova's internationally recognized territory on the east bank of the river Dniester has been under the de facto control of the breakaway government of Transnistria since 1990.
The nation is a parliamentary republic with a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government. Moldova is a member state of the United Nations, Council of Europe, WTO, OSCE, GUAM, CIS, BSEC and other international organizations. Moldova currently aspires to join the European Union, and has implemented the first three-year Action Plan within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).
Moldova is a unitary parliamentary representative democratic republic. The 1994 Constitution of Moldova sets the framework for the government of the country. A parliamentary majority of at least two thirds is required to amend the Constitution of Moldova, which cannot be revised in time of war or national emergency. Amendments to the Constitution affecting the state's sovereignty, independence, or unity can only be made after a majority of voters support the proposal in a referendum. Furthermore, no revision can be made to limit the fundamental rights of people enumerated in the Constitution.
The country's central legislative body is the unicameral Moldovan Parliament (Parlament), which has 101 seats, and whose members are elected by popular vote on party lists every four years.
The head of state is the President of Moldova, who is elected by the Moldovan Parliament, requiring the support of three fifths of the deputies (at least 61 votes). The president of Moldova has been elected by the parliament since 2001, a change designed to decrease executive authority in favor of the legislature. The president appoints a prime minister who functions as the head of government, and who in turn assembles a cabinet, both subject to parliamentary approval.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the relative weight of the service sector in the economy of Moldova started to grow and began to dominate the GDP (now about 75%), as a result of decrease in industry and agriculture. The main economic indicators contracted dramatically.
As of 2009, Moldova has been described by the European Parliament as the poorest country in Europe in terms of GDP.
Moldova imports all of its supplies of petroleum, coal, and natural gas, largely from Russia. Moldova is a partner country of the EU INOGATE energy programme, which has four key topics: enhancing energy security, convergence of member state energy markets on the basis of EU internal energy market principles, supporting sustainable energy development, and attracting investment for energy projects of common and regional interest.
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