European Parliament approves €150m in assistance to Moldova

The European Parliament agreed to provide Moldova with €150 million in macro-financial aid to cover a part of the financing gap worth 1.2% of the GDP. The reform-oriented government can access funding if it meets certain conditions, IPN reports, quoting a press release of the European Parliament.

MEPs endorsed the Commission’s proposal to give the government assistance to stabilize the country’s economic situation by 558 votes to 20, with 10 abstentions. The €120 million in loans and €30 million in grants will be paid out in three installments until 2024; the first tranche is planned for this summer.

For the money to be disbursed, Moldova must show good progress in implementing a macroeconomic program set up by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It also has to put in place additional policy measures to be co-signed with the EU to, among other issues, recover assets lost after bank fraud in 2014, reform public finance management, justice sector, public procurement and improve labor sector rights.

The European Parliament also adopted the legally binding agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova on border management cooperation between Moldovan border guards and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), which will deploy teams in the territory of Moldova to work hand in hand with Moldovan border guards in the performance of their work.

Rapporteur Markéta Gregorová said that even though Moldova has already taken some measures to combat corruption, organized crime, and illicit financial flows, there is still scope for further reforms, notably in democratic institutions, decentralization, setting up public administration and depoliticizing public anti-corruption institutions. “Currently, Moldova is feeling the impact of the war next door, which has raised energy prices and brought additional costs. As a result, the present macro-financial assistance is no longer sufficient to cover the financing gap. I therefore welcome the Commission’s efforts to find other ways to support Moldova in stabilizing its economy,” stated the rapporteur.

Moldova is covered by the European Neighborhood Policy and thus is eligible for macro-financial assistance. Since 2010, the EU has provided €190 million through this type of assistance to Moldova.

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