Roundtable discussion on Moldova's road to the European Union
26 Mar 2024 - 11:33
Bron: Clingendael

On Thursday 21 March, the Clingendael Institute hosted a roundtable discussion 'Republic of Moldova on the Road to the European Union'. Organised together with Stichting Noroc Olanda, Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE), Independent Think-tank Expert-Grup, Legal Resource Centre from Moldova (CRJM) and EaP Civil Society Forum, the event delved into reform processes in the Republic of Moldova, which in 2022 became an official candidate for EU membership. 

The event convened a diverse array of participants, including representatives from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, think-tanks, international organisations, academia, the Moldovan diaspora and, notably, Cristina Gherasimov, Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration of the Republic of Moldova (in online capacity).

EU leaders decided in December 2023 to initiate accession negotiations with Moldova. During this roundtable, experts discussed Moldova's progress in implementing the subsequent European Commission recommendations, particularly related to crucial areas like the rule of law, fundamental rights, anti-corruption measures and economic reforms. Furthermore, the discussion addressed support for Moldova's accession, both in the country itself and among Dutch society.

Whilst experts underscored Moldova's progress in certain reform areas, they also highlighted that the country continues to face a myriad of challenges, including hybrid security threats, economic challenges, and continued governance issues. EU support has been instrumental in addressing these challenges.

Looking ahead to the presidential (2024) and parliamentary (2025) elections in Moldova, experts emphasised the elections' significance for the country's future and accession process. A pro-Russian shift could undermine progress in the country where a large segment of the population remains within the 'Russian sphere'. The discussants, therefore, highlighted the importance of involving the entire Moldovan population in integration efforts. 

After the discussions, there was a lively exchange of ideas during a Q&A session, which continued during informal drinks afterwards, where Moldovan guests brought specialty wine from the country.