Conference held in Chisinau to mark tenth anniversary of launch of Eastern Partnership

The Republic of Moldova benefited from a series of benefits during the ten-year membership in the Easter Partnership (EaP). The citizens got the right to travel visa-free in the EU member states, while the economic relations with the European countries extended. However, during the ten years Moldova didn’t fully benefit from the opportunities provided by the EaP, said participants in a conference entitled “Eastern Partnerships on the Tenth Anniversary – Together, More Powerful” that was staged in Chisinau on April 24, IPN reports.

The event was staged by the Embassy of Romania in Moldova, the Delegation of the European Union in Chisinau and the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.

Attending the event, secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania Dan Neculăescu said in the ten-year period Moldova constantly developed its political and economic ties with the EU, while the Association Agreement represented a modernization instrument. The development of the Moldova-EU cooperation relations generated opportunities for strengthening cooperation between Romania and Moldova. Moldova’s image was affected by the banking fraud of 2014. The Moldovan authorizes should make effort to restore credibility and the constructive dynamics of the relationship with the EU.

Secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova Daniela Morari noted that initially Moldova was skeptical about the EaP, but in time realized the added value of this policy. Five years ago, Moldova obtained a visa-free regime with the EU and it will be soon five years since Moldova started to implement the Association Agreement with the EU. The homework hasn’t been yet fully done and a lot of effort is yet to be made to implement the Agreement.

According to Marcin Przydacz, secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, the EaP was a successful policy. He noted he visited Chisinau ten years ago and now saw how many results were achieved in the period, how not only the city, but the whole country changed. However, there is yet great potential to transform Moldova. The key to successful partnerships resides in the implementation of reforms in all the spheres, from the political sector to the meeting of democratic standards, the fight against corruption, etc.

EU Ambassador in Chisinau Peter Michalko said that during these ten years Moldova witnessed a dynamic development of the relations with the EU. When the EaP was launched, the objectives were dreams rather than something that can be achieved. Not many could anticipate that Moldova would obtain a visa-free regime. Effort should be now made for the people to feel the effects of this process, to enjoy democratic institutions, correct justice and transparent press. In the period, the EU supported Moldova to develop its energy sector, to modernize its infrastructure, agriculture, education, healthcare, rural areas, etc.

According to Petru Macovei, facilitator of the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, it’s time to speak about the chances missed by Moldova in the period. The country experienced many changes. But many good things were only imitated and weren’t properly done. Many laws were adopted, but weren’t implemented and this is the big problem faced by Moldova during the past few years. From a success story, Moldova turned into a big deception.

The Eastern Partnership is a joint policy initiative which aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union and six ex-Soviet states, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

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