The process of joining the European Union could last for 10 to 15 years in the case of the Republic of Moldova, if all the required reforms are done, said representatives of civil society. According to them, the EU offers Moldova en enormous credit of trust and the task of the authorities is to modernize the country and to unite the citizen around a national, pro-European idea. Experts consider a national referendum will be held in Moldova at the pre-accession stage to determine the citizens’ European integration aspirations, IPN reports.
According to the executive director of the independent think tank “Expert-Grup” Adrian Lupușor, the granting of the candidate status to Moldova is a historic moment and the opportunity offered to us should be used to the maximum. The main responsibility of the authorities is to reform the justice sector, to modernize the country and to increase the living standards of the people so that the European integration idea is attractive for the citizens.
“The weakness of the public institutions could derail the path of reforms, especially in the context of the upcoming electoral marathon. Local, presidential elections will follow. The reversibility of the European path has been a permanent fear of Brussels and of the Republic of Moldova, given the political volatility. We don’t know what the election outcome will be. However, according to polls, 60% of the population is in favor of the European Union. The accession process could last for 10-15 years. Currently, the list of conditions attached to the candidate status includes a series of reforms that will transform the Republic of Moldova, will modernize it. These reforms are surely supported by most of the citizens,” Alexandru Lupușor stated in the talk show “Thursday with Liliana Barbăroșie” on the public TV channel.
The large number of Euroskeptics in Moldova can be a challenge in the European integration process, said Moldova’s former ambassador to Lithuania Igor Klipii. According to him, the key task of the government is to unite society around the European integration idea.
“Our society is divided into for and against. This discrepancy in our country is wider than in the other two states, Ukraine and Georgia. The unity of society is a condition without which we cannot meet the requirements. The Republic of Moldova will need to demonstrate its accession aspirations. Without a high level of homogenization in society, national cohesion on the issue will be impossible. A national referendum will be held at a certain moment. It would be logical to hold such a referendum at the final, pre-accession stage,” stated Igor Klipii.
Ex-deputy prime minister for reintegration Alexandru Flenchea said the European integration idea was earlier discredited in Moldova by politicians who commuted illegalities under the screen of the pro-European rhetoric.
“Fifteen years ago, three thirds of the Moldovans supported the European integration. Now, the relatively low figures show the people became disappointed during a decade. In the period, they were governed by so-called pro-European politicians who won the elections with pro-European slogans and European integration programs, but didn’t do what they promised to do. Everything now depends on the politicians, on those who rule,” stated Alexandru Flenchea.
The Republic of Moldova submitted an application for EU membership on March 3, following the example of Ukraine and Georgia. European Council President Charles Michel announced the decision to grant Moldova and Ukraine the EU candidate status on June 23 at a summit in Brussels, calling it a historic moment. “Today marks a crucial step on your path towards the EU,” Michel said. “Our future is together.”
The EU candidate status granted to the Republic of Moldova entails the implementation of important reforms, such as the fight against corruption, reformation of the justice sector, de-oligarchization, fight against organized crime and money laundering, the public administration reform, including the improvement of public procurement and ensuring of greater involvement of civil society in the decision-making process.