The EU approves a new package of budget assistance to the Republic of Moldova to support rule of law and rural development reforms

moldova

Chisinau, Moldova (Nikoli Afina, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


Today, the European Commission has approved the disbursement of almost €25 million in budget support assistance to the Republic of Moldova to help the government deliver key reforms for the benefit of Moldovan citizens in the areas of policing, the fight against corruption and money laundering, agriculture and rural development.

Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations commented: “Today’s assistance package – the fourth since July – demonstrates the EU’s strong and continued commitment to the reform path of Moldova. It should be seen as recognition of the sustained efforts made by the Moldovan government to address problems within vital areas such as justice and the rule of law for the benefit of the Moldovan people. The EU stands ready to further assist this important process conditional to tangible results, especially on the much-awaited justice reform”.

This new payment follows two budget support payments made in July (€14,54 million) and on 18 October (€14,35 million), the recently announced first instalment of Macro-Financial Assistance (€30 million), the EU-Moldova Association Council, that took place on 30 September and High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini’s visit to the country  on 3 October.

To recall, the Commission resumed its budget support to the Republic of Moldova in July, following a nearly two-year period during which such payments had been put on hold due to a deterioration of the rule of law situation in the country. Following the change of government in June, the Moldovan authorities have engaged in a significant and substantial structural reform process, which has allowed the EU to resume its budget support and macro-financial assistance to the Republic of Moldova.

Since the last budget support payment, the Moldovan government has continued implementing the reform agenda in the framework of the EU-Moldova Association Agreement. In particular, the government has taken further steps in addressing the problem of corruption and lack of independence of the judiciary. In this process, Moldova has sought the opinion of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe on its draft law to reform the Supreme Court of Justice and the Prosecutor General. The Government has shown commitment to take into account these recommendations.

According to independent observers, the first round of local elections held across the country on 20 October also took place in a calm and competitive manner, allowing the Moldovan people to freely cast their votes.

The Commission services and the European External Action Service will continue to closely monitor the political situation, including in particular with regard to the upcoming second round of the local elections of 3 November. They will also continue assessing the fulfilment of the conditions ahead of any further payments to the Republic of Moldova.

 

More information on the new EU package 

This amount of €24.85 million corresponds to budget support disbursements under two programmes:

  • Support to Police reform in the Republic of Moldova: With EU support, the Moldovan police has been able to further modernise and professionalise its structures. Overall women participation in the police force increased to 17.6% (compared to 14 % in 2014). Five pilot community policing projects were successfully implemented in all 5 police sectors (Anenii Noi, Buiucani, Cahul, Comrat and Singerei). In addition, the Moldovan police has strengthened the rapid-reaction capacities of its intervention teams to emergency calls, significantly reducing the intervention time.  A new anti-corruption unit was established within the police, which has been very active in conducting training throughout the country to actively promote and implement the principles of zero tolerance to corruption.
  •  ENPARD Moldova – Support to Agriculture and Rural Development: With this EU support, Moldova has enhanced the competitiveness of its agri-food sector by supporting farm investment, the creation of producer groups and helping agri-food establishments trade with the EU. EU support also helped agricultural producers to comply with international and EU quality standards on food safety. The EU programme also supported rural development initiatives, initiated at the local level by Local Action Groups in order to revitalise rural areas.

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