Investment, stability in the country, and economic development. Lithuanian Ambassador talks about Moldova’s EU integration

Since joining the European Union, Lithuania has undergone a significant transformation, benefiting from economic, political, and social advantages that have propelled the state on an upward trajectory. In these 20 years, the country has adopted higher social and environmental standards in line with the EU’s. Consumer protection and workers’ rights have improved, ensuring a better standard of living for all citizens. It is significant to understand that Europe is an opportunity for Moldova. It is the view of Lithuania’s ambassador to Moldova, Tadas Valionis, who gave an exclusive interview with RLIVE TV.

“And even when we were told that it was not possible, we were working on the EU accession, on the EU membership. And as soon as we started negotiations, we finished negotiations in roughly two years. So we started in 2000. We finished in 2002, and we joined in 2004. So it was a fast process. And it proved worth it because our economy and confidence started quickly growing. So the first recommendation would be to do negotiations well, to do it fast. And let me join it as soon as possible. The other recommendation would be not to expect too much from Europe. Because the European Union provides the framework in the end. So you get the stability, you get the laws, but still all the reforms, all the hard work has to be done by citizens.

So the whole thing is if Moldova wants to be a full member of the EU, it has to comply fully with the standards of the EU. And this succession process is about complying with those standards. Initial conditions to start the negotiations were put in front of Moldova a while ago. Moldova complied. Now we are starting the negotiations. In the autumn probably we will start screening process. So we will European Union together with Moldova will look at everything and all your legal basis and see what needs to be changed,” Tadas Valionis said.

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Joining the EU means access to European funds which support infrastructure, education, and rural development projects. The diplomat said investments will stimulate economic growth and improve the quality of life in Moldova.

“I’m here almost two years, it’s obvious that the socio-economic sphere needs big reforms because Europe is all the people. So it’s for people and about the people. So you need to do a lot there. You need a lot of economic reforms because people cannot prosper when economy is not prospering. So everything is linked to the economy. I mean, you would not have good medical care, social care, education if nobody would pay taxes. So you need a good business environment to be able to lift it. Of course, energy sector, Moldova in a few last years due to the war and due to the energy crisis did a lot. But still you need to do more. And a special opportunity, I think it’s in a green energy because all Europe now is changing,” he emphasized.

In the interview, the Lithuanian Ambassador said that the role of the media in building European identity is vital. The better informed citizens are about the European reality, the higher their understanding and involvement in European issues.

“So you cannot have participation of your citizens in any process of your state without proper communication. So I think it is very important. It is very important that society has an opportunity to understand what is happening. Then it has the opportunity to trust the state when it understands what is happening. And then it has the possibility to participate, voice its concerns or needs for the state and even for the EU in some cases directly. So it is very important and crucial part of the process.

So media is the one that carries on. You will have changing parliaments. You have changing presidents in this accession process. But media will carry on. So you will have to be critical in some cases. In some cases you will have to be supportive, informative. You will have to keep your standards high as well because media also has to comply with European standards. You cannot falsify the information. You have to be truthful. And then citizens would trust you. They would be able to trust media, also the country, the state and the integration process,” the Lithuanian Ambassador to Moldova concluded.

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