The European Commission has agreed to resume provision of Republic of Moldova budget support with the announcement of €14.54m in funding.
The Commission had halted Republic of Moldova budget support disbursements in October 2017 in light of ongoing concerns over the Moldovan government’s lack of commitment to improving the justice system and strengthening the rule of law in the country. Funding has been reinstated in recognition of the recent installation of a new Moldovan government, which has expressed its commitment to essential reforms and highlighted the elimination of corruption as an immediate priority. The Moldovan parliament’s latest legislative agenda declares its intention to implement the constitutional recommendations of the European Commission for Democracy through Law; and has instituted an investigative commission on Moldova’s 2014 bank fraud scandal.
The €14.54m pledged by the Commission to Republic of Moldova budget support will be distributed across three programmes:
- Supporting the implementation of the free trade agreement between Moldova and the EU, its largest trading partner;
- Boosting the Republic of Moldova’s Vocational Education Training Programme, which was developed with EU input and which aims to empower Moldova’s young people to develop their skills and become more employable; and
- The ‘visa liberalisation action plan support programme’, supporting the new Moldovan government in acting to address the dual concerns of visa corruption and irregular migration.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations commented: “Today’s package is a clear sign of the EU support to the Republic of Moldova and its citizens. It is also an appreciation of the steps already taken; and an encouragement to the authorities to continue on this path in particular when it comes to the strengthening of the rule of law and democracy and fight against corruption. The EU is strongly committed to supporting and accompanying the Republic of Moldova in this reform path.”