Leonard Orban: From integration perspective, Moldova poses smaller problems than Ukraine

The Republic of Moldova has a historic chance to start accession negotiations and to outstrip Ukraine in the negotiation process, said the former chief negotiator for Romania’s accession to the European Union Leonard Orban. According to him, if the Republic of Moldova has political will to implement reforms, administrative capacity and will settle the Transnistrian conflict, the accession to the EU can occur in 2030, IPN reports.

The chief negotiator of Romania’s accession to the EU said the created geopolitical situation allowed the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine to obtain the EU candidate status and if the conditions put forward by the European Commission are met, the accession negotiations can start soon.

“It is a historic chance. It is a chance that should not be missed. Romania had a window of opportunity to open the accession negotiations in 2000, to complete them in December 2004 and to join the EU in 2007. The Republic of Moldova, which is a small country, from the integration perspective poses much smaller problems than Ukraine. It has an extraordinary chance. My opinion is that a decision to open accession negotiations with Moldova without Ukraine will not be taken. The start will be common, in a package, as it happened in the case of Romania and Bulgaria. But during the accession negotiations, the pace will be different. Evidently, the Republic of Moldova could integrate much faster if there is political support materialized in profound change efforts, there is administrative capacity and the Transnistrian problems will be solved. These are three conditions that, if they are fulfilled, will offer the Republic of Moldova a good chance,” Leonard Orban stated in the program “Reflection Points” on Vocea Basarabiei channel.

Representatives of the Moldovan government announced repeatedly that by 2030 the Republic of Moldova should be ready for European integration. According to the chief negotiator of Romania’s accession to the EU, the conditions related to the justice sector reform and the fight against corruption are the most important ones.

“The 2030 deadline seems extremely ambitious, but is a feasible term. The justice sector reform is crucial. It is an essential matter not only for the European Commission, which holds the negotiations, but also for the member states. In our country, the DNA worked very well. I hope this new institution, the Anticorruption Tribunal, will not be only a label and will prove its efficiency in the fight against corruptions,” said Leonard Orban.

In October, the European Commission will publish a report on the way in which the Republic of Moldova implemented the nine conditions formulated when granting the EU candidate status to the country. Based on this report, the European Council in December could open the accession negotiations.

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