Brussels, 26 November 2009
Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner visits the Republic of Moldova to invigorate relations
Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner will pay an official visit to the Republic of Moldova (hereafter “Moldova”) from 26-27 November. During her stay she will have meetings with Acting President and Speaker of the Parliament Mihai Ghimpu, Prime Minister Vlad Filat, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Iurie Leanca, as well as presidential candidate Marian Lupu and members of the opposition and with civil society representatives. Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner will deliver a speech in the Parliament of Moldova and visit a children's village established by "Concordia" an organisation founded by Father Georg Sporschill. This is the first visit by a Commissioner since the elections in July 2009 and is an important sign of the Commission's support for Moldova on its path towards political and economic stability. In her meetings Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner will emphasise the need for Moldova to continue efforts for the effective implementation of economic and political reforms and to fully cooperate with the international financial institutions. The Commissioner will express the EU's intention to accelerate the development of the EU relationship with Moldova, making full use of the opportunities of the Eastern Partnership including the launch in January of negotiations for a new contractual agreement with Moldova to replace the current Partnership and Co operation Agreement, and the promise of continued financial assistance to help the country cope with the financial and economic crisis in the country. She will equally express the EU's continuing engagement in the Transnistrian settlement efforts.
Before her departure for Chisinau Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner underlined: “I am delighted that the new government has made closer relations with the EU central to its programme. I hope that all parties in Moldova will work now to put an end to political instability so that the country can focus on tackling its important challenges. The EU can help the Republic of Moldova build for its future, and we are ready to step up our cooperation to unleash the full potential of our relationship. Another chapter in our relations will open in January with the negotiations on a New Agreement that will replace and go further than our current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. I am certain that the agreement will bring tangible benefits to Moldovan and EU citizens"
Commenting on the Eastern Partnership, Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner stated: " It is good to see the Republic Moldova back playing an active part in the Eastern Partnership and I am delighted that the new authorities intend using all the many opportunities that this new initiative offers. In our bilateral relationship and in the multilateral activities of the Eastern Partnership the Republic of Moldova has much to gain, that will help the country move closer to the EU – and a great deal to contribute too".
The Republic of Moldova (hereafter “Moldova”) and the EU first established contractual relations in 1994 through a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) which entered into force in 1998.
This PCA sets a framework for trade liberalisation, legislative harmonisation and cooperation in a range of sectors and political dialogue. Negotiations between Moldova and the EU on a new Agreement that will replace and go beyond the PCA will start in January. This new Agreement will further strengthen EU-Moldova relations and offer many opportunities as regards political and economic integration. It will be a comprehensive agreement reflecting the existing wide range of cooperation in economic and political areas and will develop these areas further. It should also include the aim to establish a deep and comprehensive Free Trade Area with the EU when the right conditions are met.
Moldova is one of six participants in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) launched in May 2009:
Other elements of EU-Moldova relations:
After the fall of the Iron Curtain, Father Georg Sporschill SJ, an Austrian Jesuit, was sent to Romania with the goal of helping homeless children in the country. His initiative has grown into a community with more than one thousand members in 2006.
The objective of “Concordia” is to provide security and education to homeless children.
Father Sporschill has been active in Moldova since 2004. The Commissioner will visit the “City of Children” in Pirita which offers 300 places to children.