The 2015 ENP package "Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2014" consists of a joint Communication and a set of country specific and regional reports. The report on the Republic of Moldova underlines key developments and reform efforts in 2014 and makes recommendations for the year to come.
2014 has been a period of general political stability for the Republic of Moldova. The government continued to steadily work on the country´s European Agenda. On 27 June 2014 the Association Agreement including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (AA/DCFTA) was signed and its provisional application began on 1 September 2014. On 28 April 2014 the visa-free regime took effect and around 360,000 persons travelled visa-free to the EU in 2014.
The parliamentary elections held on 30 November 2014 offered voters a wide choice of political alternatives, although the de-registration of one contestant a few days before the elections and participation of one political party despite a court decision to de-register this party raised questions.
The Republic of Moldova advanced on human rights issues and fundamental freedoms. Media enjoyed a good level of freedom in regional comparison, despite questions over concentration and transparency of media ownership.
The government implemented legislation on the judiciary reform fulfilling notable benchmarks laid down in the Justice Sector Reform Strategy 2011-2016. Nonetheless, the reform of the Public Prosecutor´s office stalled and corruption remained a major issue.
Supported by the OSCE, the Republic of Moldova attempted to re-define the relationship between the Gagauz Autonomous Region and the central authorities. Little progress was reached. Minimal progress was reached towards a resolution of the Transnistrian conflict.
The Republic of Moldova´s economy faced a difficult situation in 2014 with the crisis in Ukraine and numerous trade embargoes by the Russian Federation impeding on trade with these two major trade partners. Nevertheless, Moldovan exports to the EU increased following the implementation of the DCFTA in September.
Reforms were decided to make the economy comply with the DCFTA, for example in the field of free movement of goods and with regard to technical regulations, customs, sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards.The investment climate remained difficult. The gas interconnector to Romania was inaugurated in August.
The country is confronted with serious problems in the financial sector that pose a risk to stable economic development. The National Bank placed three major commercial banks under special administration representing about 30% of the total banking assets.
On the basis of the Country Progress Report, several actions are recommended to the Republic of Moldova for the coming year, amongst others:
- intensifying the fight against corruption as well as focussing on corruption prevention;
- continuing to vigorously advance reforms in the justice and law enforcement systems;
- taking steps to improve corporate governance and oversight in the financial sector, by, inter alia, strengthening shareholder transparency and the supervisory powers of the national bank in the banking sector;
- preventing the resurgence of institutional deadlocks by revising its constitution; this process should be conducted in an inclusive manner and in consultation with the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe;
- continuing to engage pro-actively with the Transnistrian side in view of promoting a mutually acceptable vision for a common future, and to enable Transnistria-based economic operators to enjoy the full benefits of the AA/DCFTA.
Please find the whole list of recommendations in the Country Progress Report here:
For further information:
I. EU financial support:
In 2014, EU funding through the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) amounted to €131 million to support implementation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, public finance reform, agriculture and rural development. Part of the funding (€30 million) for the Republic of Moldova was granted from the ENI umbrella programme, the incentive-based mechanism that rewards progress in building deep and sustainable democracy.
A total of up to €410 million will be available for Moldova in the years 2014-2017 to support reforms in key areas, such as public administration reform, agriculture and rural development, police reform and border management. Complementary support for the modernisation of public institutions and for civil society can be provided outside the priority sectors. Total figures are indicative: final allocations will depend on the country's needs and commitment to reforms.
In addition to ENI, in 2014 Moldova also benefitted from other EU support such as the thematic programme for Civil Society and Local Authorities (€1.25 million).
Further information on financial cooperation can be found in Section IV of the Statistical Annex and on the following websites of the European Commission:
II. Further sources of information:
- Joint Communication on the implementation of the ENP in 2014
- Progress report for the Republic of Moldova with the full list of recommendations
- EU-Republic of Moldova Association Agenda
- The European Neighbourhood Policy in general:
b.) European Commission
- Website of Ms Federica Mogherini, HR/VP
- Website of Mr Johannes Hahn, Member of the European Commission for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations