The Moldovan citizens must understand that the liberalized visa regime with the EU is first of all an accomplishment. The Moldovans are ready to fully benefit from the free movement in the EU, but must realize the obligations implied by this freedom. The issues were discussed in the public debate “How much additional freedom can free movement in Europe bring to Moldovans and what can they do with it?”, organized by IPN Agency.
The leader of the Liberal Democratic Party Vlad Filat said effort was made to get this fundamental right. “Before obtaining the visa-free regime, we had other stages, such as the small-scale border traffic and facilitation of the visa issuing process. It is a great achievement, a victory and a proof that Moldova enjoys the EU’s trust,” he stated.
The politician added that Moldova didn’t receive a present as it fulfilled all the conditions for benefitting from this regime. “On the one hand, it is the right to free movement. But there are also obligations. We will be able to stay in the EU for 90 days during half a year. If these rules are violated, there will be imposed penalties, including bans on travelling to the EU for a period of up to five years. We must look upon this freedom in the context of the other freedoms that the country will obtain in the relationship with the EU, including the free trade following the signing and ratification of the Association Agreement,” said the leader of the PLDM.
Head of the Resource Center “Dialog-Pro” Lilia Snegureac said the obtaining of the visa-free regime is a very great step that the Moldovans are already prepared to take. “There are certain risks for the people who will not comply with the rules. But the greatest risk is stopping at half way. The EU needs a state with people with equal rights in its composition and Moldova must do what it has to at the same pace. We do not have time to work long. We must move fast so that the people see the benefits,” she stated. “It is important that the people who will be able to see at least once what the EU is and what the rule of law is, will become less Euro-skeptic.”
The permanent expert of the IPN’s project Igor Botan, who is the executive director of the Association for Participatory Democracy ADEPT, said he has the feeling that the joy at the obtained success is overshadowed by certain things. “We are privileged to travel without visas in the EU. We are 4 million people, together with the Transnistrians. This privilege is an accomplishment, not a present. It is the result of an effort. Those who offered us this privilege are pragmatic and very calculated,” stated Igor Botan.
He added that the EU is the most exigent partner of Moldova and, if this regime was provided, it means that the country enjoys confidence.
The public debate “How much additional freedom can free movement in Europe bring to Moldovans and what can they do with it?” is the 28th of the series “Development of political culture by public debates”. IPN has staged these debates for the third year with the support of Hanns Seidel Foundation and in cooperation with Radio Moldova.