If EU leaders agree next week to consider Ukraine and Moldova candidate countries, Moldovans will finally be on the path to European integration, with the right documents, not just rhetorical statements, as before. How do the political analysts see this change?, asked Free Europe.
“It is very important for the Republic of Moldova that it managed to obtain this favorable opinion from the European Commission”, considers Mihai Mogâldea, expert at the Institute for European Policies and Reforms, adding that most likely, the Commission’s proposal to grant candidate status to Moldova will be supported at next week’s summit.
Mihai Mogâldea is of the opinion that the recommendation of the European Commission “represents a clear recognition of the fact that the Republic of Moldova largely complies with the EU accession criteria”, but also that the requirement to continue the initiated reforms indicates that in Chisinau they still have a lot to do.
“What the European Union will achieve by granting this candidate country status is to make our authorities even more accountable in the process of implementing these reforms. And we know from our previous experience that this time of pressure, of setting some indicators, has worked in the past, and it will work in the future. With these expected results will come more funds that the government needs and for that they will be ready to work. “
The expert notes that the progress of Moldova’s accession to the European Union will depend on the results obtained in several key areas, namely ensuring the independence of the judiciary, the fight against corruption, “deoligarchization”, ensuring efficient management of public finances, respect for rights and the involvement of civil society in the decision-making process.
According to Mihai Mogâldea, the status of a candidate country for accession will increase support for European integration among citizens:
“Even those who were more skeptical about the possibility of us becoming members of the European Union at some point, who did not believe that this would ever be possible, will reconsider their opinion once we obtain this status as a candidate country. It is a decision that will greatly boost social cohesion around a major goal, the European integration of our country. It is a decision that will have ramifications on a subject that has divided us many times in the past – the vector of our country’s foreign policy. “
Political analyst Valeriu Ostalep, Moldova’s deputy foreign minister in the communist government, believes that the European Commission’s proposal is being treated with excessive euphoria by the Chisinau government, given that reforms are dragging on rather than producing results for citizens.
In his opinion, neither Ukraine nor the Republic of Moldova would be prepared to obtain the status of candidates for accession:
“I understand very well that in the context of unpleasant developments, from all points of view, it is clear that the European Union has made a political decision, but this new status is given to us as a credit. The Republic of Moldova lives too much on credit. As a political signal, if it matters to anyone, I welcome it, but I would like many politicians to understand that living by European Union standards means first and foremost results and efficiency, and fewer pictures, which we have now. “
In Chisinau, the decision of the European Commission was seen by President Maia Sandu as “a huge step, compared to the point where the Republic of Moldova was in contact with the EU a year or three years ago”, stating that the commitments made by the authorities will be respected.
“We are aware that this process will be a complex one but oriented towards a clear objective – the development and modernization of the Republic of Moldova and obtaining EU membership status,” said Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu.
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