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The Dialogue was held in an open and constructive atmosphere. Following up on developments since the last Dialogue in June 2017, discussions covered a wide range of issues, including: the electoral framework; pluralism of the media and reforms in the audio-visual field; human rights in the justice system; and the fight against ill-treatment and torture. These subjects were discussed in depth, also covering actions needed in order to address the main pending challenges.
The Republic of Moldova also updated the EU on the latest developments on the rights of the child, the protection of vulnerable groups, including anti-discrimination and the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, as well as on the fight against gender-based violence and freedom of religion and belief. The EU presented the main developments of its own human rights policy and provided the Republic of Moldova with references to international best practice and standards. During the meeting, the EU and the Republic of Moldova also referred to the human rights-related actions that are part of their bilateral Association Agenda 2017-19, thus providing concrete guidance for work in this area. One such EU-financed project is helping the Republic of Moldova to proceed with the preparation of reforms in the audio-visual field, thus contributing to enhanced freedom of expression. Support being provided to the Moldovan police on improving detention conditions was also mentioned. The EU informed about a possible future programme aiming to support the fight against gender-based discrimination and gender-based violence. Good cooperation to date between the EU and the Republic of Moldova in international fora was also discussed.
In line with its policy of consulting civil society ahead of meetings on human rights, the European Union met representatives of Moldovan and international Civil Society Organisations prior to the Dialogue. Civil Society representatives were also invited to the Dialogue and attended as observers. The Dialogue was chaired by Mr Dirk Schübel, Head of Division in the European External Action Service for bilateral relations with the Eastern Partnership countries. The Moldovan delegation was led by Mr Nicolae Eṣanu, State Secretary from the Minister of Justice.
The next Human Rights Dialogue between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova is scheduled to take place in Chisinau in 2019.