European Union External Action

The Republic of Moldova and the EU

Relations between the European Union (EU) and the Republic of Moldova are deep and multifaceted. The Republic of Moldova participates in many EU agreements and programmes.

The two sides are deepening their relations with the EU-Moldova Association Agreement, which was signed in June 2014. The new framework is innovative and ambitious, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) and an Association Agenda aimed at furthering economic integration and political association between Moldova and the EU. The Association Agreement replaces the previous Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which had been in force since July 1998.

The EU seeks to improve democracy, the rule of law and human rights in the Republic of Moldova, including in joint programmes with the Council of Europe. The Union also supports efforts to achieve Transnistria settlement.

Other priorities for relations with the Republic of Moldova include strengthening the institutions, reforming the judiciary, improving the business climate, ensuring respect for freedom of expression, 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.

The Republic of Moldova is a priority partner country within the Eastern Partnership, the eastern dimension within the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Partnership countries and the EU commit to deepening their ties, including through free trade agreements, eventual visa liberalisation and EU-funded projects. The Eastern Partnership offers both bilateral and multilateral measures for enhanced cooperation.

Moldova benefits from a Mobility Partnership with the EU as one of the two pilot countries in the world. As detailed in the general approach, the Mobility Partnership organises cooperation in the field of migration, including areas such as legal migration, development and fighting against illegal migration. Around 40 initiatives are currently being implemented within the Mobility Partnership between the EU and Moldova.

Moldova is also a partner country within the Black Sea Synergy and is a member of the Energy Community

Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement

The EU and Moldova signed a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). This provides substantially improved access to the EU market of over 500 million consumers for Moldovan goods and services, as well as improved investment opportunities. Economic cooperation extends to numerous individual sectors.

Autonomous trade preferences provide duty-free and quota-free access for almost all Moldovan goods to the EU market. This has provided considerable support to Moldovan companies, since 50 % of Moldovan trade is with the EU. The EU is also working to ease air travel and agricultural trade with Moldova.

Financial Assistance

The EU is by far the largest donor in Moldova, supporting political and economic reform, and providing humanitarian aid. Bilateral assistance to Moldova under the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) sharply increased from €40 million in 2007 to €131 million in 2014. Moldova is the largest recipient of EU aid per capita in the European neighbourhood.

EU assistance is being used for key reforms in the justice, education, economic development and energy sectors. The EU has also funded investment in air and road infrastructure, as well as Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) projects. In addition, Moldova profits from numerous thematic programmes, mainly supporting civil society and regional programmes linked with Trans-European networks.

EU financial aid to Moldova has funded numerous and diverse projects, including:

  • improving public administration and financial management;
  • reform of the social aid system;
  • emergency aid responding to increases in heating tariffs;
  • energy production based on solar and agricultural waste, waste collection;
  • health care reform and equipment;
  • care centres for the young and old;
  • natural disaster relief;
  • rural economic activity;
  • water supply and waste water treatment infrastructure.

The EU is also supporting the implementation of confidence-building measures in the Transnistrian region of Moldova through health care and social projects.

Trade relations between the EU and the Republic of Moldova are an important factor in economic growth of the Republic of Moldova. Over the last years, bilateral trade between the European Union and Republic of Moldova has been growing very fast, thanks to the EU decision to open its market unilaterally to the Republic of Moldova in 2008, through the so called Autonomous Trade Preference.

Since 2008, the European Union (EU) has progressively become Moldova’s main trade partner for import and export, with today’s share approaching a half of Moldova's total annual foreign trade (46.4%).

This trend is set to continue with the recent conclusion of the Association Agreement (Romanian version) which includes the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the EU and Republic of Moldova. The Agreement, which has created a new and closer political and economic relationship between the EU and Republic of Moldova, is applied since 1 September 2014.

Key Facts:

  • Bilateral EU-Moldova trade grew in 2014 by 8%, largely due to the strong growth of imports from Moldova. Total trade amounted to EUR 3.5 billion or EUR 272 million more than in 2013. EU imported from Moldova goods to the value of EUR 1.16, up by an impressive 20% or EUR 197 million since 2013. The value of agricultural imports from Moldova grew even more strongly, by 31% in 2014. EU exports to Moldova remain stable, growing by a mere 3% or EUR 75 million, reaching EUR 2.35 billion in 2014.
  • The EU exports to Moldova consist mainly of machinery and equipment and mineral fuels, as well as transport equipment and chemical products. Those products constitute also the main EU imports from the Republic of Moldova, together with textile and clothing products, and animal and vegetable products, including fats and oils, as well as beverages.

For a more comprehensive overview on the content and practical implications of the DCFTA, of its impact on everyday life in the Republic of Moldova and on the opportunities the agreement can bring to the Moldovan private sector, please consult the section on the DCFTA.

More on EU-Moldova trade relations

Recent EU statistics on EU-Moldova trade

The European Union's Trade policy

Export Helpdesk

Information on rules and proofs of origin  [52 KB]

DCFTA - Argumentaire

EU - Moldova Association Ageement

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