European Political Community Summit: stakes for Moldova

The Republic of Moldova for a day will become the decisional center of Europe. Almost 50 leaders of European countries and high-ranking officials of the EU will come together in Bulboaca and will discuss ways of ensuring peace, security, development and connectivity in Europe. The main stakes of this historic summit for the Republic of Moldova and the preparations for this event were discussed by experts invited to the videoconference titled “European Political Community Summit: stakes and implications for the Republic of Moldova”, which was staged by the Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE), IPN reports.

According to Stela Leucă, secretary of state of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, two important conversation topics were agreed – security, and energy resilience and connectivity. The participants will separate into several working groups and discussions will be then held in a meeting of all the leaders. The event comes to show Moldova’s adherence to the democratic European values.

IPRE vice director Mihai Mogîldea said the format of the summit offers the possibility of having bilateral meetings. This can help Moldova raise the priorities of the country. The subjects to which attention should be devoted include the assistance in security and defense, increase of the EU’s and member states’ support for the defense sector. The army needs to be equipped. The airspace must be protected and hybrid threats must be countered. The promotion the progress and priorities of Moldova on the path of European integration is definitely the top priority.

Doctor of political sciences Dorina Baltag, researcher of the London Institute for Diplomacy and International Governance, said that it is important for this community to go beyond a simple “photographic opportunity”. It is important that the results of the summit are concrete and reach the citizens. The fact that Moldova was allowed to become the first non-EU country hosting the summit shows that the partners trust us and the country needs to show its adherence to the common values and interests of the European community. Moldova at this moment is presented in a key position, with a window of opportunity and potential to respond appropriately.

Stas Madan, director of the Business Environment and SMEs Program of the Independent Think Tank “Expert-Grup”, said that besides the foreign policy advantages, the potential economic benefits should not be neglected. One of the two themes of the summit centers on energy security and connectivity. In the context of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the Moldovan producers suffer a lot namely because of connectivity aspects given that they incur now much larger transport and logistics costs. Moldova’s economic relations can be described by such key indicators as foreign trade, foreign direct investments, remittances, and foreign assistance. The data for 2022 show that over 80% of Moldova’s exports went to the EU. Different interests of Moldova can be addressed on the summit’s bilateral agenda.

George Saghin, specialist in foreign affairs and international relations, said that such an event in Moldova opens up the foreign investment component. From diplomatic viewpoint, solutions can be identified to issues that now do not have any solution, like the Transnistrian conflict and administrative challenges.

Dionis Cenușă, director of the European Integration Program of “Expert-Grup”, said that the Council of Europe today is no longer what it was because Russia was excluded from the organization. Many other regional organizations from which Russia and Belarus were excluded together or separately are no longer relevant. In this negative context for the regional and intra-regional context, the European Political Community is a positive tendency where the EU takes over as a major regional player that can bring together synergies and the governments to the table. In this connection, Ukraine stands to gain. The idea of holding the event in Chisinau is not only a geopolitical present for a particular government in Moldova, but is also a symbolical, political gesture for Ukraine.

A number of 47 heads of state and government (27 EU members and 20 non-EU members) and also the Presidents of the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament were invited to the June 1 European Political Community Summit in Moldova..

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