The Republic of Moldova already benefits from the obtained EU candidate status as it can apply to some of the programs to which only the EU member states have access. The Head of the EU Delegation in Chisinau, Janis Mazeiks, spoke about the opportunities and limitations on Moldova’s road to the European Union in an online meeting involving representatives of Moldovan media outlets and communicators, IPN reports.
The ambassador noted that the opportunities come together with responsibilities. “There was sometimes this tendency to blame the EU for asking when there was something difficult to be done. For example, it’s true that the EU asked to raise the quality standards for poultry for this to be exported to the European market. But this means that the population of the Republic of Moldova can also consume it safely,” stated the diplomat.
After being granted the EU candidate status, the Republic of Moldova switched over from the period of aspirations to the technical aspects. “The more the country advances on the path of accession, the more things become more technical. Each time I’m asked about a referendum on accession to the EU, I always support this approach, but all the technical aspects need to be solved. The officials realize that they need to communicate in English. From year to year, it will become an internal policy of yours. I think this aspect should also be taken into account,” stated Janis Mazeiks.
The EU ambassador noted that Moldova made important steps, such as the reduction of energy and goods export dependence on the Russian Federation. “You no longer depend on the Russian gas. If there is yet dependence on Russia, it is only in people’s minds,” he said.
The Republic of Moldova is affected by the war in Ukraine, but it important to advance on the road to the EU. “In October, the progress report will be published and for the first time you will be able to see the EU’s assessment of different aspects. The assessment will be carried out in October and will then become a gradual process conducted periodically. I believe a thing that Moldova does not lack is the ambition and it seems important to me to see a strong commitment on the part of the Government and the President on the path of accession. We sometimes try to calm down the interlocutors from Moldova so that they are not so ambitious. For us, it is important not only for things to be done. They should be done very well. Time should pass to see the impact. On some of the aspects, there will be no second chance. For example, the justice sector reform cannot be done once in two-three years,” said the diplomat.
As to the limitations on the path to accession, the EU ambassador said most of the limitations are internal in character. “I would urge the country not to try and do things too fast. We speak not about a short-term plan, but about a long run. This process will go beyond the mandate of a government or a parliament and the important role of the citizens appears here. This is not a process that should involve only a party. There should be popular support and an impetus should be also given to the population. If the citizens clearly state that they see the future in the EU, this thing will be reflected by the political parties. The process depends on the European Commission and this is the only foreign factor, but it is also in the hands of the member states. The opening of negotiations with the member states is the next step. There is now strong support inside the member states. It is important for this positive attitude to be preserved the next years or this could be one of the limitations,” concluded Janis Mazeiks.
The seminar titled “Republic of Moldova, European Union candidate state” was organized by the Romanian Center for European Policies. The event forms part of the project “Explaining Moldova’s candidate status: providing a monitoring and public debate platform for the pre-accession assistance” that is financed by the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation of the German Marshall Foundation.