Asked if it would be better for Moldova to pursue the European path alongside Ukraine or in a new phase, Nicu Popescu said that is much more important to focus on our own dynamics.
“Experience from other waves of enlargement shows that, indeed, at certain stages, certain states are part of a single package, but later, depending on the pace of reforms, these packages are made, unmade, and remade in other configurations,” stated Deputy Prime Minister Nicu Popescu, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, in the context where Moldova and Ukraine are seen together on their path to EU accession.
“I’ll give you a few examples: in 1997, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland initiated accession negotiations, and Estonia at that stage, while Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovakia started negotiations in 1999. By 2004, Lithuania, Latvia, and Slovakia managed to join the first wave of enlargement. Another example concerns the Western Balkan states.
The European perspective and the EU accession perspective were granted 20 years ago. At that time, Croatia was in the same package with Albania and North Macedonia. Meanwhile, Croatia joined in 2013, and the other states are currently negotiating,” said Deputy Prime Minister Nicu Popescu, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, on the “Punctul pe AZi” show on TVR Moldova.
The head of diplomacy in Chisinau emphasizes that a lot depends on the speed of reforms in Moldova, Ukraine, and other states.
“Everything depends on our society’s ability, and our institutions’ ability to continue supporting pro-European forces, the necessary reforms, and, obviously, the ability of our public administration to cope with this enormous workload. I think it is much more important to focus on our own dynamics, our own reforms, to do our homework well, and, of course, to exchange experiences with other candidate states. Ultimately, we must be aware that the speed of this progress depends primarily on the speed of our reforms,” notes Nicu Popescu.
Recall that on Tuesday, the President of Moldova, Maia Sandu, had a meeting in Kyiv with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. Officials in Kyiv discussed the next steps needed in the accession process to the EU for Ukraine and Moldova.