Following the change of government in June 2019, the Republic of Moldova has moved resolutely with the implementation of key reforms to address the deterioration of democratic standards and the rule of law, in order to allow citizens to fully benefit from the EU-Moldova Association Agreement.
This stems from the Association Implementation Report the EU published today - in the context of the revised European Neighbourhood Policy - on the implementation of the commitments under the EU-Moldova Association Agreement over the past year. The report will feed into the annual EU-Moldova Association Council, taking place in Brussels on 30 September 2019.
"The new Moldovan government has started an important reform plan to reinforce democracy and the rule of law in the country. We expect the authorities to deliver on the commitments made and to implement the ambitious EU-Moldova Agreement, to the benefit of our citizens. As EU, we are ready to continue to accompany and support this work, because we value our friendship a lot”, said High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini.
Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, added: "In July 2019 we already resumed budget support payments; we also signed with the Government financing agreements on sustainable local development and rule of law that will allow for the implementation of programmes bringing tangible results to the people of Moldova. We are ready to further step up our financial support and advice in response to the Government's robust reform agenda. All these are clear signs of our appreciation of the steps already taken and an encouragement to the authorities to continue on their ambitious reform path."
Today's report - prepared by the European External Action Service and the European Commission services – shows that while reforms in the economic and banking sector advanced during 2018, the fundamental structural reforms of the judicial system, the fight against corruption, the prosecution of the 2014 banking fraud and ensuring media plurality were lagging behind.
Following the non-transparent invalidation of the mayoral elections in Chisinau in June 2018, the EU and other international actors noted a backsliding in the rule of law and democracy situation, which are key values and principles at the core of the ambitious EU- Moldova Association Agreement. In light of these developments, the EU decided in 2018 to put on hold payments on budget support and macro financial assistance as well as recalibrated and reduced further financial support.
The new Government that came to power in June 2019 committed to a strengthened and consistent implementation of the Association Agreement with its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area in full respect of its core principles. The Government adopted a number of programmes focussed on the most urgent reforms and took significant steps, in particular on the electoral framework, in the fight against corruption and in the de-politicisation of state institutions. In response, the Commission resumed budget support assistance and signed three crucial financing agreements, altogether worth close to €55 million.
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