On the situation in Moldova
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On the situation in Moldova

I welcome the application of Moldova to join the European Union. Therefore I call on the EU Institutions to meet Moldova’s European aspirations and to grant the country EU candidate status swiftly, in line with Article 49 of the EU Treaty and based on Moldova’s own merit. At the same time, the EU Institutions should start integrating Moldova into the EU Single Market.

Moldova plays a key role in the security of the European Union. Highly appreciated is the close political cooperation with Moldova and its constructive role in answering the challenges stemming from the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. By welcoming over 470,000 refugees to its territory and offering them shelter, food and healthcare, Moldova and its citizens have proven, beyond any doubt, that they are acting in a European spirit. The citizens of Moldova deserve the perspective of joining the European Union.

A stable and secure Moldova means security Europe. The European Parliament support a comprehensive and peaceful settlement for the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova based on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova within its internationally-recognised borders and with a special status for the region. I call on the Russian Federation to completely and unconditionally withdraw its military forces and armaments from the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova.

The future accession of Moldova to the European Single Market would facilitate Moldovan exports to the EU and lead to additional investments in Moldova. Granting EU candidate status for Moldova and starting to integrate the country into the EU Single Market – this is what the overwhelming majority of the European Parliament voted for by adopting a Resolution on 5 May. The EU Institutions must prepare for the next phases of the EU accession process. I call on the European Commission to provide Moldova with its full assistance during this process.

The accession plan and the accession negotiations aim at aligning the standards and laws of an aspiring country with those of the EU. Entering this path will only be beneficial for Moldova and for the EU States. It is in the EU’s own interests to make sure that neighbouring countries are safe, stable, and prosperous. Also, integrating Moldova into the Single Market would bring benefits to the EU and its citizens as well: a new market for EU goods and services.

The Moldovan authorities have started to implement key reforms that are widely consulted and coordinated with international partners like the Venice Commission, notably on democracy, the rule of law and human rights. President Maia Sandu and the government are also working hard on improving living standards in Moldova. President Sandu, in her speech in the European Parliament plenary in Brussels in May 2022, made clear that there is no

intention at all for her country to be pulled into the Transnistrian conflict. The path to EU membership requires many steps to be taken by both Moldova and the European Union. This work is not done yet, but we must get to work on it now.

The EU needs success stories like Moldova and needs to be attractive for people in other regions of Europe. The accession process is and will be merit based. The process and the criteria are the same for all accessing countries. There will be no shortcuts. The authorities of Ukraine and Moldova will have to respect the meritocracy principle. There is therefore no risk of introducing double standards among the EU-aspiring countries. Granting candidate status now, at a time when the Russian war against Ukraine is affecting the security of the whole region, is an important political signal.