Young politicians from Moldova visit North Herts to learn more about our democratic processes ahead of next week’s Local Elections

Judi Billing and the Moldovans

Judi Billing and the Moldovans - Credit: Archant

A group of politicians from Eastern Europe have paid a special visit to North Herts to learn more about British democracy this week.

Young Moldovan politicians are in our region to study UK democratic structures and how we conduct local elections.

The group have travelled from Balirci-Moldeveni in Southern Moldova to have the opportunity to meet local politicians from all parties, experience some campaigning and come to the counting of votes of Thursday’s local elections.

Labour County Councillor Judi Billing met with the party today. She told the Comet: “We and had a discussion with them on how to be an effective councillor, how to find excellent candidates, local government improvement and development, and – something I know a fair bit about – being a positive and effective opposition!”

Moldova is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south. The capital city is Chisinau.

Councillor Billing left a good impression of British democracy on the visitors she welcomed – who were also big fans of North Herts.

Elena Enachi, the elected Mayor of Balirci-Moldoveni, said: “Firstly, we have been absolutely enchanted by the scenery, historic architecture and fresh air in North Hertfordshire.

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“And of course we are very impressed by the great organisation of campaigns and elections”.

Her colleague, Alexei Gafeli, the elected Mayor of Cosnita, added: “We have been also been very pleased to learn about the systems of local administration.

“It seems that here, unlike in Moldova the policies here are very well defined.”

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the former Soviet Socialist Republic declared independence and took the name Moldova. The current constitution of Moldova was adopted in 1994.

The representatives from the country with a population of around three million were praised by councillor Billing who explained: “It is always a real pleasure to work with groups of politicians from emerging democracies.

“We share experiences and improve understanding of our very different systems and we always learn loads from each other.

“In the end we are all trying to do the same thing – trying to improve services for the people we represent against a backdrop of strongly held political values.