European Parliament recommends starting accession negotiations with Moldova by yearend

European Parliament recommends starting accession negotiations with Moldova by yearend
MEPs backed the resolution on Moldova by 445 votes to 48. / European Parliament
By bne IntelliNews October 5, 2023

MEPs voted on October 5 to reaffirm their commitment to Moldova’s future EU membership and called for accession talks with the country to launch before the end of the year, the European Parliament announced.

In a resolution backed by 445 votes to 48, with 43 abstentions, MEPs said Moldova’s government demonstrated “its determination and ability” to fulfil the European Commission’s requirements and argued that Moldova’s EU membership would represent “a geostrategic investment”.

They underlined that the government in Moldova should pursue reforms not only in order to meet the accession requirements, but primarily for the tangible improvement of living standards of Moldovans.

EU accession remains a merit-based process requiring the fulfilment of membership criteria, MEPs stressed.

Following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Moldova applied for EU membership in March 2022 and was granted EU candidate status in June 2022. 

“EU-Moldova relations have intensified since then, based on a mutual commitment to strengthening their political association,” MEPs noted in the document. 

“The government of the Republic of Moldova has been pursuing an ambitious political, judicial and institutional reform process and has demonstrated its determination and ability to fulfil the nine steps identified in the Commission opinion to meet the conditions set for the opening of accession negotiations,” the document added. 

On June 22, the Commission provided the Council with an oral update on Moldova's progress, reporting that that out of the nine required steps, three had been successfully completed, and significant advancements had been made in three other areas. A more comprehensive assessment will be included in the 2023 Enlargement Package reports covering ten countries under consideration.

Also in June, the EU-Moldova Priority Action Plan was established. This plan will serve as a guide for the complete implementation of the EU-Moldova Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) and Moldova's deeper integration into the EU single market. The plan outlines jointly agreed priorities for the period 2023-2024.

The Commission also unveiled the Support Package for the Republic of Moldova, which to mitigate the effects of Russia's aggressive actions in Ukraine and bring Moldova closer to the European Union.