The accelerated phase of the implementation of the Economic Recovery Plan for the Republic of Moldova, which includes road and bridge building, electrification and gasification projects, environmental protection, digitization and other projects, has started, Deputy Prime Minister Nicu Popescu, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, stated in a news conference held jointly with Michael Siebert, Managing d Director within the European External Action Service, and Katarína Mathernová, European Commission Deputy Director-General for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, who are in Moldova on a working visit, IPN reports.
Before their meeting with the press, the three officials discussed the main aspects of the cooperation between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union, the €600 million Economic Recovery Plan drafted by the European Commission for the Republic Moldova, the Association Agenda and the preparations for the Eastern Partnership Summit of December.
Nicu Popescu said that in a move to stimulate the implementation of the ambitious plans, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova will pay a visit to Brussels. Also, the Moldova-EU Association Council will have a meeting and this will be followed by a ministerial meeting of the Eastern Partnership in December, the EaP Summit in Brussels. The implementation of the Economic Recovery Plan will be synchronized with authorities’ actions aimed at building the rule of law and at fighting corruption.
“So far, the Eastern Partnership has been successful and brought concrete benefits to the citizens,” said the minister, reiterating the idea stated in the meeting with his Czech counterpart – “that the free trade area with the EU enabled the economy to survive in very difficult periods”, while the improvement of the business community by fighting corruption and remedying of the justice sector are aimed at attracting a flow of investments to the country.
Michael Siebert, Managing Director for Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia, Regional Cooperation and OSCE of the European External Action Service, congratulated on the installation in Chisinau of a government that received a powerful mandate for reforms, democracy, rule of law. The key reason for the EU delegation’s in Moldova is to transmit the EU’s firm support, while the second reason is related to the €600 million in financial support.
The European official said that Moldova is an important partner of the EU. There is a wide area that is to be explored. The director mentioned the inclusion of the six EaP states and the coming closer of such advanced states as Moldova to the desiderata of the EaP.
In another development, Michael Siebert referred to his discussion with Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Culminschi and stated the EU’s support for Moldova within the “5+2” format. He pleaded for holding a meeting in this format under the Swedish OSCE Chairpersonship and expressed support for the “Berlin Plus Package” and for the confidence building measures in the dialogue between the two banks of the Nistru.
For her part, Deputy Director-General for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Katarína Mathernová said the Economic Recovery Plan for the Republic of Moldova is being implemented already as the European Commission’s Directorate of which she forms part approved a grant of about €36 million intended for fighting COVID-19 and for doing the police reform in Moldova. “In fact, the plan covers a multitude of areas: digital transformation, improvement of infrastructure, energy efficiency, support for small and medium-sized enterprises, education activities, which will embrace a large number of people and business entities,” stated the official.