Moldova & the EU
EU - Moldova relations: basic facts
- The EU and Moldova started negotiations on an EU-Moldova Association Agreement in Chisinau on 12 January 2010. The new agreement will be an innovative and ambitious document going beyond the established framework of cooperation and opening a new stage in their relations, notably by enhancing political dialogue and deepening sectoral cooperation. The Association Agreement replaces the EU-Moldova Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which entered into force in July 1998 and sets at present the framework for EU-Moldova relations.
- The EU and Moldova intend to establish a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), when the relevant conditions are met and expressed their commitment to make progress in line with the agreed set of steps towards that objective.
- Moldova is a priority partner country within the Eastern Partnership.
- Moldova is a partner country within the Black Sea Synergy.
- A joint ENP Action Plan was adopted in February 2005 by the EU-Moldova Cooperation Council. This Action Plan still serves as a tool for supporting Moldova's own programme of democratic and economic reform.
- The EC assistance focuses on the reform priorities agreed in the ENP Action Plan. It increased over the years substantially and has reached about € 70 million will get to a € 100 million annually until 2013.
Moldova became member of the Energy Community providing for better energy security in the region.
How does the EU support reforms in Moldova?
The objectives are to strengthen the democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights, as well as promoting economic reform and improving living conditions.
Furthermore, the EU supports efforts to achieve a lasting resolution of the Transnistria problem. Other priorities for relations with Moldova include strengthening of institutions, reforming the judiciary, improving the business climate, ensuring respect for freedom of expression and media, improving health and social conditions and cooperating on issues such as border management, migration and the fight against trafficking, organised crime, corruption and money laundering.
Examples of how the EU is supporting the reform process in Moldova include:
- Helping to build capacity in the Moldovan public administration and supporting the strengthening of public financial management systems in line with EU best practice.
- Helping the poor segments of the Moldovan population to cope with the increases in gas prices, through the provision of budgetary support helping the government to strengthen social compensation schemes.
- Helping to restructure and upgrade the water sector that more people get access to clean drinking water.
- Through joint programmes with the Council of Europe to improve the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and respect for human rights in Moldova.
- Trade access to the European market through the generous Autonomous Trade Preferences (ATP) scheme, which means that the EU lifts trade tariffs for all Moldovan products except those clearly specified in the ATP regulation, for which only a quota is tariff-free. The EU is also providing technical support for improvements to health and phyto-sanitary systems which would allow Moldovan food products access to the EU market.
- Agreements on visa facilitation and readmission that facilitate visa procedures, whilst at the same time fight illegal migration are in force since 1 January 2008. MS agreed to strive to set up in 2010 a dialogue examining the conditions for visa-free travel of Moldovan citizens to the EU as a long-term goal, taking into account the EU Global Approach to Migration and keeping in mind that gradual steps towards full visa liberalisation would be taken provided that conditions for well-managed and secure mobility were in place.
Moldova benefits from a mobility partnership as one of the two pilot countries in the world. The mobility partnership offers a political framework for cooperation between the Union and third countries in the field of migration, and include items of relevance for both the EU and interested third countries. Three major dimensions of the Global Approach – legal migration, migration and development, and fighting against illegal migration – are joined in one, coherent policy framework. The pilot Mobility Partnership with the Republic of Moldova is the best example of such well-balanced framework.
- Through an EU Border Assistance Mission which is helping to ensure transparent management of the Moldova-Ukraine border, improving customs service, making the border more secure and increasing revenue.
- Helping to address human rights issue through a formally established human rights dialogue.