Strong support for the European path of Moldova – By Luliu WINKLER, MEP

Some years have passed since the Republic of Moldova decided to choose the way of democracy and European market economy, and to build a society based on the respect of the fundamental human rights and the European values. In its efforts, the pro-European Government in Chi’inãu is relaying on Brussels, for support in its attempt to reach the goals of democratization and reform. In the same time, the European Union, through its institutions and policies, has started to tailor more and more substantial and concrete solutions to support the European aspiration of the Republic of Moldova.

The European Parliament (EP) is a strong supporter of the European path chosen by the Republic of Moldova. A large majority of the MEPs provide constant support to decisions regarding economic cooperation and trade facilitation instruments used to back at least some of the tough reform decisions which the Government in Chi’inãu has to take with the clear purpose of democratization and liberalization of their economic policies.

In the past four years, confident in the European destiny of our Moldavian partners, as a member of the International Trade Committee (INTA), being also appointed coordinator of the Monitoring Group for the Republic of Moldova on behalf of INTA, I worked or contributed to several decisions meant to support this country.

Three years ago, the report which I coordinated, on the macro-financial assistance for Moldova passed successfully the vote in the EP and as a consequence the Republic of Moldova received 90 million euro, a grant which helped the pro-European government to face a harsh economic and political situation. After one year, I was very satisfied by the fact that a large majority of the members of the EP voted my report about increasing the duty-free tariff quotas of wine imported to the EU from the Republic of Moldova.

Certainly, the European path of Moldova is paved with a lot of obstacles, and its authoritarian neighbor from the East does not hesitate to raise new impediments whenever the occasion appears. This September, only two months to go before the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, where Moldova will sign the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) Agreement with the EU, the Kremlin announced (again) a ban on the imports of Moldovan wines. It is here to underline the fact that the sales to Russia, the main market for Moldova´s exports, produced for the Moldavian economy a significant income, of around €100 million last year. In the same time, Moscow warned that pro-European policies in Chi’inãu could result in further retaliation, possibly involving cuts in Russian gas deliveries, on which Moldova relies heavily. In fact, Moscow is unhappy with Moldova’s drive to conclude political association and free trade deals with the EU in November, at the Vilnius summit, instead of maintaining and even expanding its traditional ties with the Russian Federation. This sensitive balance is well understood in Brussels. That´s why, the European Commission swiftly proposed the full liberalization of wine imports from Moldova. This decision represents a good example of how the EU should support its partners through increased export performance, provided the will and concrete actions for substantial improvements and continuous reform-mindedness of our counterparts. As a rapporteur of the EP designated to coordinate the report on the full liberalization the import of wine from Moldova to the EU, I strongly hope that as soon as possible, a large majority of MEPs will vote in favor of this decision in the INTA Committee and also in the plenary session of the EP.

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