EU ready to begin €600mn Economic and Recovery Plan in Moldova after government is formed

EU ready to begin €600mn Economic and Recovery Plan in Moldova after government is formed
By Iulian Ernst in Bucharest July 14, 2021

The head of the EU Delegation in Moldova Peter Michalko assured that €600mn aid for the economic recovery of the country will be made available to the new government immediately it is formed, head of the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS), which won last Sunday’s general election, Igor Grosu announced after a meeting with Michalko.

On June 2, the European Commission announced an Economic Recovery Plan for Moldova, which will mobilise up to €600mn in macro-financial assistance (MFA), grants and investments, supported by blending and financial guarantees.

The PAS won more than half of the votes in the snap general election, giving it 63 seats in the 101-seat parliament, which will allow it to form the next government. This will make it possible for President Maia Sandu to pursue a reformist agenda. Sandu is a staunch supporter of Moldova’s integration with the EU, and her party also campaigned on an anti-corruption and reform platform. 

"Together with my colleagues, Mihai Popșoi and Sergiu Litvinenco, I had a meeting with the ambassador of the European Union in Chisinau, Peter Michalko. We discussed the results of the parliamentary elections and thanked the ambassador for the EU election observation missions, which played an important role in monitoring the election,” Grosu wrote.

Grosu also mentioned that Michalko ensured the continuity of European support for Moldovan citizens, such as the Economic Recovery Plan for Moldova, recently announced by the European Commission, but also the numerous development projects that the European Union is implementing in Moldova.

"The ambassador assured that this aid of €600mn for the economic recovery of our country will be accessible by the new government immediately after the establishment of the governing bodies of the Republic of Moldova," the PAS leader wrote.

The Economic Recovery Plan is subject to strict conditionality, the European Union made clear at the time the plan was announced in June. Investments will be made based on a ‘more-for-more' approach, with progress on structural reforms, in the field of justice and the fight against corruption notably, a prerequisite for financial assistance.

The plan builds on five pillars: public finance management and economic governance; competitive economy, trade and SMEs; infrastructure; education and employability; and, the rule of law and justice reform.  

The result of the election was welcomed by top EU officials. European Union High Representative Josep Borrell and Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi said in a joint statement that “the people of Moldova demonstrated their commitment to democracy and the rule of law”.

They added that the EU “now looks forward to working in partnership with a stable and strong government and parliament to address the challenges that the country is facing.” 

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that “Moldova is at a crossroads” and  “the EU's Economic Recovery Plan constitutes an unprecedented effort to help the country on its path to recovery and drive an ambitious reform agenda forward, in the interest of its citizens.”

MEP Siegfried Mureșan of the Romanian National Liberal Party (PNL), who heads the European Parliament’s delegation to the EU-Moldova Parliamentary Association Committee, said the plan is “the best news received by the citizens of the Republic of Moldova from the European Union since the liberalisation of the visa regime” in 2014.