While the second half of 2020 saw Moldova backsliding in rule of law standards and reforms, the early parliamentary elections on 11 July 2021 gave a clear and strong mandate to pro-reform forces to pursue an ambitious agenda on anti-corruption, an improved justice system and fighting poverty, in line with Moldova’s commitments under the Association Agreement. This is the conclusion of a report on the Association Implementation of the EU-Republic of Moldova Association Agreement that was published by the European Union on 19 October, ahead of the 6th EU-Moldova Association Council on 28 October, IPN reports.
“We welcome the Republic of Moldova’s renewed commitment to reforms in key areas of the EU-Moldova relationship, as well as active participation in the Eastern Partnership. The two elections that took place in the reporting period considerably changed the political landscape, with a pro-reform party winning the parliamentary majority for the first time in Moldova's history. This has opened a positive perspective for further enhancing EU-Moldova relations and working together on the long-awaited reforms, regaining public trust in the judiciary and public administration system, and improving the country's business and investment climate,” said High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell.
Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, added that the EU stands by the people of Moldova. “We are committed to support the pro-reform Moldova in economic recovery and development: The Economic Recovery Plan for Moldova, which will mobilize up to EUR 600 million over the next three years, as well as the Economic and Investment Plan for the Eastern Partnership region, including the five Flagship initiatives for Moldova, will be important drivers in this respect,” stated Olivér Várhelyi.
The report, prepared by the European External Action Service and the European Commission, presents the state of play in implementation of reforms under the EU-Moldova Association Agreement since the last report on 12 September 2019. It shows that the EU and the Government of Moldova continued to work together on reforms under the EU-Moldova Association Agreement/Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), on the basis of strict conditionality. Reforms of the justice sector overall stagnated, though there was some progress with the preparation of a new Justice Strategy for 2021-2024, and the recent adoption of the Constitutional amendments strengthening the independence of the judiciary.