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Moldova–European Union relations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

European Union-Moldova relations
Map indicating locations of European Union and Moldova


A 2000 stamp celebrating 50 years of the Schuman Declaration
A 2000 stamp celebrating 50 years of the Schuman Declaration

Relations between the European Union (EU) and Moldova are currently shaped via the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), an EU foreign policy instrument dealing with countries bordering its member states.

Moldova has strong ties to EU member state Romania. During the interwar period the two countries were united. They share a common language, traditions and culture. The Moldovan flag is a modified version of the Romanian equivalent, with the Moldovan arms superimposed in its centre. Despite Moldovan nationalist tendencies and a sizable Russophone minority, the Romanians, whilst having no ongoing claim to Moldovan territory per se, see Moldovans as culturally and ethnically Romanian. The former period of union enables Romanian passports and concurrent EU citizenship to be routinely granted to Moldovans on the basis of descent. A proportion of Moldovans currently identify as Romanian (see below).

The level of poverty in Moldova (the country is the poorest among the potential EU members) is a stumbling block to accession. The Transnistria conflict, concerning a self-proclaimed breakaway republic backed by Russia, is also an obstacle.

Nevertheless, the EU is developing an increasingly close relationship with Moldova, going beyond cooperation, to gradual economic integration and a deepening of political cooperation.[1] The EU has opened an office in Chişinău (the Moldovan capital), and on 23 March 2005 appointed Adriaan Jacobovits de Szeged as special representative to Moldova with a focus on the resolution of the crisis in Transnistria. The European Commission opened up a new office in Moldova on 6 October 2005 headed by Cesare de Montis. In June 2021, the European Commission announced Moldova will gain 600 million euro between 2021 and 2024, to help it recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and develop as a country.[2] The major strategic priority of Moldova now is membership in European institutions.[3]


 European Union  Moldova
Population 447,206,135[4] 2,681,735
Area 4,324,782 km2 (1,669,808 sq mi)[5] 33,846 km2 (13,068 sq mi)
Population Density 115/km2 (300/sq mi) 90.5/km2 (234.4/sq mi)
Capital Brussels (de facto) Chișinău
Global Cities Paris, Rome, Berlin, Vienna, Madrid, Amsterdam, Athens, Dublin, Helsinki, Warsaw, Lisbon, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Prague, Bucharest, Nicosia, Budapest, Sofia, Zagreb Chișinău, Tiraspol, Bălți, Orhei
Government Supranational parliamentary democracy based on the European treaties[6] Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
First Leader High Authority President Jean Monnet President Mircea Snegur
Current Leader Council President Charles Michel
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
President Maia Sandu
Prime Minister Aureliu Ciocoi (acting)
Official languages 24 official languages, of which 3 considered "procedural" (English, French and German)[7] Romanian (also known as Moldovan)[8][9][10]
Main Religions 72% Christianity (48% Roman Catholicism, 12% Protestantism,
8% Eastern Orthodoxy, 4% Other Christianity),
23% non-Religious, 3% Other, 2% Islam
92% Eastern Orthodoxy,
6% Other Christians
2% Irreligion
Ethnic groups Germans (ca. 80 million), French (ca. 67 million),
Italians (ca. 60 million), Spanish (ca. 47 million), Poles (ca. 46 million),
Romanians (ca. 26 million), Dutch (ca. 13 million), Greeks (ca. 11 million),
Portuguese (ca. 11 million), and others
75.1% Moldovan,
7.0% Romanian,
6.6% Ukrainian,
4.6% Gagauz,
4.1% Russian,
1.9% Bulgarian,
0.36% Romani,
0.07% Poles,
0.89% other
GDP (nominal) $16.477 trillion, $31,801 per capita $12.037 billion, $3,398 per capita


Moldova is implementing its first three-year action plan within the framework of the ENP of the EU.[11]

The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) represents the legal framework for the Republic of Moldova–European Union relationship. The Agreement was signed on 28 November 1994 and entered into force on 1 July 1998 for the next 10 years. This arrangement provides for a basis of cooperation with the EU in the political, commercial, economic, legal, cultural and scientific areas.

The EU Moldova Action Plan is a political document laying out the strategic objectives of cooperation between Moldova and the EU.[12] It covers a timeframe of three years. Its implementation will help fulfill the provisions in the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) and will encourage and support Moldova's objective of further integration into European economic and social structures. Implementation of the Action Plan will significantly advance the approximation of Moldovan legislation, norms and standards to those of the European Union.

Moldova and the EU began negotiating an Association Agreement (AA), including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, to replace the PCA in January 2010.[13] The government of Moldova hoped to sign the AA in November 2013 at the Eastern Partnership summit,[14] and in November 2012 EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle stated that negotiations could be completed by then.[15] The AA was initialled at the summit,[16] and signed on 27 June 2014.[17] It must now be ratified by each state party to the treaty. The parliament of Moldova ratified the agreement on 2 July 2014.[18]

On 24 January 2011 Moldova officially received an "action plan" toward the establishment of a visa-free regime for short-stay travel from the EU's Internal Affairs Commissioner.[19] In November 2013, the Commission proposed that visa requirements for short-term visits be abolished for Moldovan citizens holding biometric passports,[20] with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius suggesting the change could take place in early 2014.[21] On 13 February 2014 the European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs Committee approved lifting the visa requirements,[22] and the full parliament voted in favour on 27 February 2014. The European Parliament and Council gave their final consent to visa free travel for Moldovan citizens on 3 April 2014,[23] and the change become applicable on 28 April 2014.[24][25]


President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili, President of Moldova Maia Sandu, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and President of the European Council Charles Michel during the 2021 Batumi International Conference.  In 2014, the EU signed Association Agreements with all the three states.
President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili, President of Moldova Maia Sandu, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and President of the European Council Charles Michel during the 2021 Batumi International Conference. In 2014, the EU signed Association Agreements with all the three states.

The European Parliament passed a resolution in 2014 stating that "in accordance with Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, as well as any other European country, have a European perspective and can apply for EU membership in compliance with the principles of democracy, respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights, minority rights and ensuring the rule of rights".[26]

In April 2014, whilst visiting the Moldovan-Romanian border at Sculeni, Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca stated, "We have an ambitious target but I consider that we can reach it: doing everything possible for Moldova to become a full member of the European Union when Romania will hold the presidency of the EU in 2019".[27] In July 2017, Andrian Candu, Moldova's speaker of parliament, said that the country aimed to submit an application for membership by late 2018 or 2019.[28]

Some political parties within both Moldova and Romania advocate merging the two countries. Such a scenario would incorporate the current territory of Moldova into Romania and thus into the EU, though the Transnistria conflict would still be an issue. With regard to Free Movement of Labour it could be argued that as far as individuals are concerned, Moldova is already a de facto member of the EU, since Moldovans will automatically gain a Romanian passport if they show that their ancestors were at one point Romanian (that is before the countries were split).[29][30]

The integration process, however, has been hampered by many internal issues. The unresolved issue of the breakaway republic of Transnistria is a major barrier to any progress. Also, Moldova's autonomous region of Gagauzia held two referendums on February 2, 2014 where an overwhelming majority of voters rejected integration with the EU and opted for closer ties with Russia.[31]


The Delegation of the European Union to Moldova was opened in Chişinău in October 2005, having the status of a diplomatic mission and officially represents the EU in the Republic of Moldova.

Delegations such as the one in Moldova exist all over the world. Altogether there are over 136.

The Delegation's mandate includes:

  • Promotion of the political and economic relations between the countries of accreditation and the European Union;
  • Monitoring the implementation of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreements (PCA) between the EU and Moldova;
  • Informing the public of the development of the EU and to explain and defend individual EU policies;
  • Participating in the implementation of the EU's external assistance programmes (mainly TACIS, FSP, ENP), focusing on the support of democratic development and good governance, regulatory reform and administrative capacity building, poverty reduction and economic growth.[32]

Alliance For European Integration

In August 2009, four Moldovan political parties agreed to create a governing coalition called the Alliance for European Integration. The Liberal Democratic Party, Liberal Party, Democratic Party, and Our Moldova committed themselves to achieving European integration and promoting a balanced, consistent and responsible foreign policy.[33]

Public opinion

Pro-European manifestation in Chişinău, 6 April 2014.
Pro-European manifestation in Chişinău, 6 April 2014.

On 2 February 2014, the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia held two referendums on European integration. In one, 98.4% voted in favour of joining the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia, while in the second 97.2% opposed further integration with the EU. 98.9% also supported the proposition that Gagauzia could declare independence if Moldova unified with Romania.[34] There is concern in Gagauzia that Moldova's integration with the EU could lead to such a unification with EU member Romania, which is unpopular in the autonomous region.[35]

A poll in June 2018 found that 46% preferred that Moldova join the EU versus 36% that preferred to join the Eurasian Economic Union.[36]

Date Question For Against Abstain Don't know
September 2014 - IMAS[37] EU membership 47% 35% 8% 11%
September 2014 - IMAS[37] Enter Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia 48% 35% 8% 9%
November 2014 - IMAS[38] EU membership 51% 36% 7% 7%
November 2014 - IMAS[38] Enter Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia 47% 35% 6% 12%

Euroscepticism in Moldova

Moldova has several Eurosceptic parties including the left-wing Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) (1997–present), which has 22 seats in the 101-seat parliament, the conservative Șor Party (1998–present), which has 6 seats, and the left-wing Our Party (PN) (2014–present), which has no seats.

See also


  1. ^ "Moldova". European External Action Service. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  2. ^ "EU announces 'unprecedented' Moldova recovery plan". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2021-06-09.
  3. ^ "Moldova and EU" Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine on the official Moldova site
  4. ^ "Population on 1 January". Eurostat. European Commission. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Field Listing – Area". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 21, 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Frequently asked questions on languages in Europe". Retrieved 2017-06-24.
  8. ^ "Chișinău Recognizes Romanian As Official Language". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Associated Press. 5 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  9. ^ Roudik, Peter (23 December 2013). "Moldova: Romanian Recognized as the Official Language". Law Library of Congress. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  10. ^ "The text of the Declaration of Independence prevails over the text of the Constitution". Constitutional Court of Moldova. 5 December 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  11. ^ Moldova-EU Action Plan Approved by European Commission Archived 2007-12-04 at the Wayback Machine, 14 December 2004, retrieved 2 July 2007
  12. ^ "EU-Moldova Action Plan"
  13. ^ "EU - Moldova Association Agreement". European External Action Service.
  14. ^ Ciocoiu, Paul (2013-01-26). "Moldova seeks Romania's European expertise". Southeast European Times. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
  15. ^ "EU Commissioner: EU, Ukraine May Sign Association Agreement Next Year". PR Newswire. 2012-11-30. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
  16. ^ "Initialling of the EU-Republic of Moldova Association Agreement". European External Action Service. 2013-11-29. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
  17. ^ "EU forges closer ties with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova". European External Action Service. 2014-06-27. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
  18. ^ "MAEIE salută ratificarea Acordului de Asociere RM-UE de către Parlamentul Republicii Moldova". Ministry of the Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova. 2014-07-02. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  19. ^ "EU Gives Moldovans 'Action Plan' For Visa-Free Travel", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (24 January 2011)
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ "Lithuanian minister: EU, Moldova may shift to visa-free travel in early 2014", Kyiv Post.
  22. ^ "European Parliamentary Committee OKs Lifting Visa Regime". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 2014-02-13. Retrieved 2014-02-21.
  23. ^ "Commissioner Malmström on visa-free travel for Moldova". European Commission. 2014-04-03. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
  24. ^ "Commissioner Malmström on visa-free travel for the citizens of the Republic of Moldova". European Commission. 2014-04-27. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
  25. ^ "Moldovans Start Visa-Free Travel To EU". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 2014-04-28. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
  26. ^ "Georgia can apply for EU membership if it complies with democratic principles". Archived from the original on 2014-04-21. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  27. ^ "Moldova wants to join EU in 2019". The Straits Times. 2014-04-29. Retrieved 2014-05-14.
  28. ^ "Moldova Says It Would Leave CIS Only After Becoming EU Candidate". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 2018-01-25. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  29. ^ Phinnemore, David (21–23 September 2006). "Moldova: a step too far for EU enlargement?" (PDF). 3rd Pan-European Conference on EU Politics, Istanbul, Turkey. Johns Hopkins University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
  30. ^ Klussmann, Uwe (4 February 2009). "Reunification with Romania? EU Dreams in Communist Moldova". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
  31. ^ Service, RFE/RL's Moldovan (2014-02-03). "Gagauzia Voters Reject Closer EU Ties For Moldova". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  32. ^ "The Delegation's of the European Commission to Moldova Mandate" Archived 2008-10-04 at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ Rettman, Andrew (30 March 2011). "Russian decision boosts Moldova's EU entry prospects". EU Observer.
  34. ^ "Gagauzia Voters Reject Closer EU Ties For Moldova". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 2014-02-03. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  35. ^ "Concerned About EU Integration, Moldova's Gagauz Region Holds Disputed Referendum". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 2014-02-02. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  36. ^ "Public Opinion Survey: Residents of Moldova" (PDF). June 2018. Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  37. ^ a b "Cercetare IPN - Septembrie 2014" (PDF). IMAS. September 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  38. ^ a b "Cercetare IPN - Noiembrie 2014" (PDF). IMAS. November 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2015.

External links

This page was last edited on 21 November 2021, at 02:20
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