From infrastructure development to support in the energy sector and agriculture, the European Union (EU) remains firmly committed to diverse projects in the Republic of Moldova. In an exclusive interview for the „Moldova Gândește” (Moldova Thinks) show, the EU Ambassador in Chisinau discussed the evolution of EU support and the prospects for the future.
Solidarity in Deeds and Financial Support: A Fundamental EU Principle
The Ambassador emphasized that solidarity is a fundamental principle of the European Union, manifesting itself in the support provided to the Republic of Moldova since the establishment of bilateral relations. From the Association Agreement and Free Trade Agreement to the current status as a candidate country for accession, the relationships have deepened, and financial support has increased.
“Solidarity is not just a word; it’s solidarity in deeds and, of course, in the financial support we provide. This support is for the Republic of Moldova, right from the beginning of our relationship. This support has grown as our relationship has deepened.”
Investments in All Spheres of Society
The Ambassador highlighted the EU’s presence in all spheres of Moldovan society, including infrastructure, education, health, modern lighting, and support for entrepreneurs, with a focus on women and young entrepreneurs. He also underscored the importance of supporting independent media through projects dedicated to independent journalism, even in the face of occasional resistance.
“The European Union is present in the Republic of Moldova literally in every sphere of societal activity. Starting from infrastructure, moving on to the thermal insulation of schools and kindergartens, improving sanitation conditions in Moldovan villages and towns, modern lighting, and support for independent media.”
Visibility of EU-Funded Projects
Acknowledging challenges in promoting the visibility of EU-funded projects, the Ambassador mentioned clear rules for marking them. However, he stressed the importance of visits and inaugural events to raise awareness of the EU’s involvement and counter disinformation claiming funds from other sources.
“We have some rules about how we promote and make visible the projects financed by the European Union. Wherever you see a project funded by us, or something donated by the European Union, you will see a sign saying ‘this project was built by the European Union.'”
Dispelling Disinformation and Promoting Regional Development
In the context of disinformation campaigns, the Ambassador emphasized efforts to dispel false information, especially in southern Moldova. He highlighted the importance of promoting regional development, exemplifying the town of Edinet, described as a “European town” due to the determination of the local community to attract European funds and implement projects.
“We have signals that understanding that these things are good, they take credit for them. That is also our work to debunk these fakes about the European Union because we have signals that those funds came from Russia, which is false.”
Priority Projects and the Future of the EU-Moldova Relationship
The Ambassador indicated that projects will continue in all areas, with a focus on renewable energy, security, and economic development, including agriculture. Despite the ambitious plan for EU accession by 2030, the Ambassador stressed that realism is present, and the quality of project implementation is as important as speed.
“I support this way of thinking, to have a plan to follow, but for us, it’s important to have quality over speed. In most areas, it’s not just about ticking off achievements, but to see that these are actually implemented and genuinely functioning.”
Conclusions and Future Perspectives
The EU Ambassador in Chisinau emphasized the importance of continuous support and the desire of Moldovan citizens for European integration in future presidential and parliamentary elections. With an unprecedented sum of nearly 1.2 billion euros granted in the last two years, the EU remains a key partner in transforming the Republic of Moldova into a European Union member state. The Ambassador concluded that the ambitious plan is achievable, and the EU is dedicated to providing qualitative support for achieving common goals.
“All this support is very important to make the Republic of Moldova much more European, which will ultimately lead the country to become a member state of the European Union.”