Moldova has an European perspective Speech of Dr. Gerd Müller, MP Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development at the 3rd EU-Moldova Forum

   June 19, 2014, Balti, Republic of Moldova

   Political messages

  • Europe is a community of values ​​and a project of peace, open to all peoples of the continent and not directed against any country.
  • The Republic of Moldova has a European perspective.
  • Germany is ready to support Moldova in the necessary internal political reforms and in laying out confidence-building measures.

   Dear Mr. Prime Minister Iurie Leanca, Dear Mr. Parliament Speaker Igor Corman, Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
   it gives me particular pleasure to speak today at the third EU-Moldova

   Forum here in Balti [pronounced: bəlt͡sʲ].

The EU makes it clear with this event that it feels itself closely connected with the Republic of Moldova, especially in difficult times.

And I thank you very much, dear Prime Minister, for the clear commitment of the Moldovan Government to Europe that you are also expressing by means of your personal participation.

I. Europe as a Community of Values

The First World War broke out in Europe a hundred years ago. Historians still say that the continent tumbled into that war – among other reasons – for the lack of intergovernmental mechanisms and institutions that could have prevented it.

Because of uncontrolled power politics, national egoism, aspirations to become great powers and craving for recognition, the peoples of Europe were alienated so much from each other that they spoke in Germany of “hereditary enmity” against France.

Almost 17 million people, both soldiers and civilians, died in the four years of suffering. Only two decades later that “primal catastrophe" of the 20th century was followed by unimaginable horrors of the Second World War. Then the continent was divided into two hostile opposing blocks. Eastern Europe got under the influence of Communist dictatorship.

The response to that experience was an entirely new European architecture of peace. Particularly in view of the current political developments here in Moldova but also in the neighboring Ukraine, it is important to make clear: peace is the goal of the European integration process.

Jean-Claude Juncker summarized this a few years ago in the German Bundestag as follows:

“Those who doubt Europe and those who despair of Europe should visit military cemeteries. There is no other place where one could get a better, more touching and more powerful feeling for what Europeans can bring about for the worst if they work against each other.”

Europe is first and foremost an extraordinary project of peace. We want to prove now how many good things European cooperation can bring about.

Starting from their joint cultural heritage and united by the conviction that values ​​such as freedom, rule of law and social justice are the basic prerequisites for peace on the continent, the people of Western Europe have overcome old enmities and separating frontiers and joined together.

However, this joining together remained incomplete as long as the people of Central and Eastern Europe did not have the freedom to walk along together the road of European integration.

II. Moldova has a European perspective

Dear Mr. Prime Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Moldova has always been a part of European history. And especially in these days I would like to make it clear that Moldova is also a part of Europe’s future.

Within the framework of the Eastern Partnership we have brought the process of convergence to a good start. Now we must set together the future goals and achieve them step by step. The association agreement between Moldova and the European Union, which is expected to be signed next week, shall build a very good basis for that.

I want to state it clearly once more here: European integration is not directed against anyone. It is not about zones of influence, all the more so about hegemonic aspirations. Quite the contrary, it’s about peace, prosperity and justice for all peoples of the continent.

Those who still think in Europe today in categories of spheres of interest, zones of influence or political blocs, have not understood the idea of ​​Europe.

European integration is not an “either-or” decision. We are not making the countries that decide to walk along this road choose either for or against Russia.

Furthermore, it must be made clear that the citizens of every country may decide freely whether they want to walk along the road of European integration.

The Republic of Moldova has chosen this road for itself. I am aware that it also entails numerous challenges and difficulties.

All the more I was glad that you, Mr. Prime Minister Leanca, have clearly stated during your visit to the German Chancellor Merkel: “Moldova will stay firm in its choice for Europe.” Thank you for this clear commitment to the European idea.

You have already achieved a lot through great efforts. The EU has recognized that, not least by means of granting Moldova as the first country in the Eastern Partnership visa-free access to the Schengen area this year.

III. Germany supports Moldova on its way to Europe

The future way of Europe and Moldova to each other depends primarily on whether the Moldovan government shall continue to advance so devotedly in the necessary processes of reform and modernization.

Sustainable economic structures are the basis for a successful cooperation. The trust required for that can only be achieved provided that corruption shall be combated effectively in the future and legal security is ensured.

The tensions at the national level must be reduced and trust must be created, for example, by continuing the proven dialogue formats such as the 5+2 talks.

Those are major challenges. I can assure you, Mr. Prime Minister Leanca, that Germany is on your side.

My ministry assumes in this connection a very important role: Together with our Moldovan partners we want to modernize the infrastructure and bring Moldova to European standards. Then Moldova shall also be able to establish itself in the European market.

We work together to improve the state structures in Moldova and to make them more efficient. This is an essential contribution to the further rapprochement of Moldova to the EU.

Let me explain this using two examples:

  • The German Development Cooperation advises our Moldovan friends in matters of modernizing its range of communal services and organizing them more efficiently. Planning and implementation processes are being improved and thus the local administration is strengthened significantly. The matter concerns water supply, waste management, energy supply, and also, for example, the hospital of Orhei, which I shall visit tonight. There one can see that our joint efforts bring very concrete benefits: the gas consumption in the hospital has been reduced by over 20% due to the replacement of doors and windows. This money is now available for a better patient care.
  • Another example is our joint project to improve food safety and animal health in Moldova. That way we shall increase the quality of food, of which the people live in Moldova. And at the same time we shall open up new export opportunities and thus make Moldova fit for the European market.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

with such projects, we make a very practical contribution to improving the daily lives of people. And at the same time we create structures that support Moldova on its European road.

Following this event I shall sign along with Mr. Prime Minister Leanca the minutes of our joint government negotiations. This year alone, Germany shall provide Moldova anew ca. € 15 million for joint projects.

I am very confident that the country is on the right track, provided that it persists in its reform efforts. We are convinced by the efforts of your government and we will continue to actively support you.

Published by the Foreign Policy of Association (APE), Moldova
01 July 2014

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