The Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Nicu Popescu, is on a working visit to Brussels. According to European Parliament member Siegfried Mureșan, the European Commission will announce today whether it recommends the start of accession negotiations for the Republic of Moldova with the European Union. Mureșan stated that in case of a positive opinion from the Commission, the European Council will have to make a final decision during the meeting scheduled for December 14-15.
Vice Prime Minister Nicu Popescu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, announced on November 8 that he is on a working visit to Brussels, as the European Commission will present the Enlargement Report of the European Union.
“For the first time, this report will include an analysis of developments in the Republic of Moldova, and we hope to obtain the recommendation to start accession negotiations. During the visit, I will have bilateral meetings with European officials to discuss the progress of our country’s accession process to the European Union and the substantial progress that our country has managed to achieve in the last year and a half,” Popescu communicated on social media.
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According to Siegfried Mureșan, the President of the Delegation to the EU-Moldova Parliamentary Association Committee, the European Commission will announce today whether it recommends the start of accession negotiations for the Republic of Moldova with the European Union.
“In case of a positive opinion from the Commission, the European Council will have to make a final decision during the meeting on December 14-15. We, the European Parliament, are united in supporting the start of accession negotiations. It is primarily in Europe’s security interests to accelerate Moldova’s European integration. Furthermore, this is a very favorable moment in the EU-Moldova relationship, one we must not miss,” mentioned Mureșan on social media.
Mureșan noted that “the pro-European leadership of the Republic of Moldova has made more progress in reform over the past two years than all previous governments combined.”
“At the same time, the European Union and its member states are more determined than ever to support the Republic of Moldova. (…) I believe that the start of accession negotiations should be the natural decision now, at the end of the year. At the same time, a possible positive decision of the European Council in December should be followed as quickly as possible by the first intergovernmental negotiation conference between the EU and Moldova. It is important for this first conference to take place early next year, before the European parliamentary elections, as in the second half of the year, the European Union will be occupied with institutional reconfiguration following the European parliamentary elections. An early intergovernmental conference can make the first significant decisions, thus advancing negotiations at a technical level in the second half of the year,” Mureșan concluded.
In June 2022, the European Union granted candidate status for accession to the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, while denying this status to Georgia, requesting more reforms from Tbilisi. To progress to the next stage, which is the start of accession negotiations, the European Commission defined nine conditionalities for Chișinău, including the fight against widespread corruption and judicial reforms. In an interim evaluation in June, the Commission found that three criteria had been met.
In October 2023, European Parliament member Siegfried Mureșan stated that the Republic of Moldova could be ready to join the European Union in a few years if it continues to implement the necessary reforms at a rapid pace.
On November 1, 2023, Politico reported, citing its own sources, that representatives of the European Commission will release a progress report on November 8 for Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova and will recommend the start of accession negotiations for the two countries.
It should be noted that if the European Commission decides to initiate negotiations for Moldova’s accession to the EU, it does not mean that the country will receive a clear timeline for achieving this. For example, the five Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia) that also have candidate country status have not managed to join the EU despite some having started negotiations more than a decade ago.