European Peace Facility: EU adopts assistance measure in support of Moldovan Armed Forces

Published in World
Monday, 04 July 2022 10:43

On 30 June, the Council of the European Union adopted an assistance measure under the European Peace Facility worth €40 million for the benefit of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Moldova.

This measure will strengthen the capacities of the Moldovan Armed Forces’ logistics, mobility, command and control, cyber-defence, unmanned aerial reconnaissance and tactical communications units by providing relevant non-lethal equipment, supplies and services, including equipment-related training.

The new disbursement will complement the €7 million assistance measure adopted in December 2021 which strengthens the capacities of the Military Medical Service and the Engineering Battalion of the Armed Forces.

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Press release

European Council: Ukraine and Moldova granted EU candidate status

Published in Politics
Friday, 24 June 2022 10:38

On 23 June, EU leaders meeting in the European Council agreed to grant Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status.

A historic moment. Today marks a crucial step on your path towards the EU,” wrote European Council President Charles Michel on Twitter. “Congratulations to Zelenskyy and Maia Sandu and the people of Ukraine and Moldova. Our future is together.” 

At the same time, the Council decided to recognise the European perspective of Georgia,  and, according to Michel, “is ready to grant candidate status once the outstanding priorities are addressed”.

The decision follows the Opinions issued by the European Commission on all three EU accession applications on 17 June.

I am very pleased with the Leaders’ endorsement of our Opinions,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the press conference following the Council. “Of course, the countries all have homework to do before moving to the next stage of the accession process. But I am convinced that they will all move as swiftly as possible and work as hard as possible to implement the necessary reforms.” She added that the changes needed for the EU accession would primarily benefit the states’ democracies, economies and citizens.

This decision strengthens us all. It strengthens Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, in the face of Russian imperialism and it strengthens the European Union, because it shows once again to the world that we are united and strong in the face of external threats, said  Ursula von der Leyen.

In their Conclusions adopted on 23 June, EU leaders said:

  • The European Council recognises the European perspective of Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia. The future of these countries and their citizens lies within the European Union.
  • The European Council has decided to grant the status of candidate country to Ukraine and to the Republic of Moldova.
  • The Commission is invited to report to the Council on the fulfilment of the conditions specified in the Commission’s opinions on the respective membership applications as part of its regular enlargement package. The Council will decide on further steps once all these conditions are fully met.
  • The European Council is ready to grant the status of candidate country to Georgia once the priorities specified in the Commission’s opinion on Georgia’s membership application have been addressed.
  • The progress of each country towards the European Union will depend on its own merit in meeting the Copenhagen criteria, taking into consideration the EU’s capacity to absorb new members.

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Press release

European Council Conclusions

European Commission recommends to grant Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status, Georgia receives perspective to become EU member

Published in Politics
Monday, 20 June 2022 12:24

Today, the European Commission presented its Opinions on the applications for EU membership submitted by Ukraine, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova as invited by the Council. The European Commission recommended to grant Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status, while it recommended that Georgia be given the perspective to become a member of the EU, and that candidate status should be granted once a number of priorities have been addressed.

The Opinions are based on the Commission’s assessment in light of the three sets of criteria to join the EU agreed by the European Council: political criteria, economic criteria, and the ability of the country to assume the obligations of EU membership (EU acquis). According to a press release from the European Commission, the Opinions also take into account Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia’s efforts in implementing their obligations under the Association Agreements (AA), including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTA), which cover significant parts of the EU acquis.

Ukraine

The European Commission has found that Ukraine overall is well advanced in reaching the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities, and has continued its strong macro-economic record, demonstrating a noteworthy resilience with macroeconomic and financial stability, while needing to continue ambitious structural economic reforms. The country has gradually approximated to substantial elements of the EU acquis in many areas.

Read opinion in full

Moldova  

The European Commission concludes that the country has a solid foundation in place to reach the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities; macroeconomic policies have been reasonably sound and progress has been made in strengthening the financial sector and business environment but key economic reforms remain to be undertaken. The country has established a solid basis for further alignment with the EU acquis.

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Georgia

The European Commission assesses that Georgia has a foundation in place to reach the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities, even if recent developments have undermined the country’s progress; it has achieved a good degree of macroeconomic stability and has a sound record of economic policy and a favourable business environment, but further reforms are needed to improve the functioning of its market economy; overall, Georgia has established a solid basis for further alignment with the EU acquis.

Read opinion in full

Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective.” President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen told a press conference announcing the Opinions. “We want them to live with us in the European Union.” 

She added: “Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia share the strong and legitimate aspiration of joining the European Union. Today, we are sending them a clear signal of support in their aspirations, even as they face challenging circumstances.”

“Indeed, this is a historic day for the people of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. We are confirming that they belong, in due time, in the European Union. The next steps are now in the hands of our Member States,” Ursula von der Leyen said.

Based on the European Commission’s Opinions, the EU Member States will now have to decide unanimously on the next steps.

The applications for EU membership by Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova in light of the Commission’s Opinions will be discussed by Heads of State and Government at the European Council next week, on 23 and 24 June. 

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Press release

Memo on Ukraine: European Commission – Questions and answers

Memo on Moldova: European Commission – Questions and answers

Memo on Georgia: European Commission – Questions and answers

Teimuraz Janjalia has held a meeting with State Secretaries of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova

Published in Politics
Friday, 14 January 2022 13:38

On 13 January 2022, an online-meeting was held between the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Teimuraz Janjalia and the State Secretaries of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova, Ruslan Bolbocean and Vladimir Cuc.

The bilateral and multilateral relations between Georgia and Moldova, as well as prospects of their future development were discussed at the meeting. The parties underlined the importance of the 30th anniversary of our diplomatic relations in 2022, in light of which various events will take place in the two countries.
Both sides expressed readiness to intensify bilateral political dialogue, including the exchange of the high and the highest-level visits.
It was underlined that despite the pandemic, the positive trend of our trade-economic relations has been maintained. The parties outlined the significance of further deepening the existing cooperation in this domain, including in the field of tourism.

Particular emphasis was made on the direction of the European integration, including the existing successful interaction in frames of the Eastern Partnership, Associated Trio, and the sides stressed importance of strengthening sectoral cooperation and joint projects in this framework. Likewise, the parties underlined significance of one of our shared priority topics – connectivity, and in this respect, full utilization of the Black Sea resources was highly regarded by the colleagues.

Taking into account our common aspirations and interests, both sides underlined importance of intensification of the visits and high-level meetings with our partners in the format of the Associated Trio, through promoting existing, as well as new formats of dialogue.
At the end of the meeting, the parties agreed to maintain active interaction and promote the mutually beneficial future cooperation.

The Foreign Ministers of the Associated Trio have met with the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for an Economy

Published in World
Friday, 25 June 2021 14:25

The Foreign Minister of the Associated Trio – Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine met with the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for an Economy, Valdis Dombrovskis.

During the meeting the parties discussed the significance of the establishment of the Associated Trio and its future goals, namely in terms of European Integration and coordinating in terms of common goals, by developing cooperation with the EU, including in terms of establishing sectoral dialogue on economic and trade issues.

MFA Georgia

Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have established the "Associated Trio"

Published in Politics
Thursday, 20 May 2021 11:57
Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have established the "Associated Trio". David Zalkaliani, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, publishes information about this on his Facebook page. "The common goal of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine is to unite and become a full member of the European Union /EU/," - the minister said.
The appropriate memorandum was signed in Kiev during a meeting of foreign ministers of said three states.
The final goal of the Associated Trio is accession into the EU.

Angela Merkel to address PACE Spring session

Published in World
Thursday, 15 April 2021 11:09

Strasbourg, 15.04.2021 – On the occasion of the German Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth will participate in the spring session of PACE (19-22 April 2021) which will take place in a hybrid format, allowing members to participate remotely or attend in person in Strasbourg.

The President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, and the Secretary General of the organisation, Marija Pejčinović Burić, will also address PACE.

At this session, the Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, will present her 2020 annual report and the Assembly will award its Václav Havel Human Rights Prize.

There have been requests for urgent debates on "The arrest and detention of Alexei Navalny in January 2021" and on "The functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey".

Topics on the agenda include a debate on the Assembly's vision of the Council of Europe's strategic priorities and a joint debate on human rights violations and the need for electoral reform in Belarus.

The OECD's work on taxing the digital economy with the participation of its Secretary General Ángel Gurría, discrimination against persons dealing with chronic and long-term illnesses, post-monitoring dialogue with Montenegro, the preservation of national minorities and a European policy on diasporas will also be discussed.

The Assembly will decide its final agenda on the opening day of the session.

Georgia and Moldova to join multi-country workshop on animal welfare during sea transportation

Published in Society
Wednesday, 05 June 2019 10:50

On 11 June, Chief Veterinary Officers and experts from the Republic of Moldova and Georgia will join their counterparts from some of the EU’s other Neighbourhood countries at a seminar in Bucharest, Romania, to discuss animal welfare during transportation by sea.

This multi-country workshop aims to identify good practices and facilitate exchanges of experience between experts in the field of animal welfare during transportation by sea of live animals from the EU to third countries.

The workshop is being organised by the European Commission’s Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument (TAIEX), in cooperation with the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority in Romania.

According to TAIEX, the communication of standards on animal welfare during transportation are relevant to international trade and cooperation with partners across the world, who play a significant role in promoting and implementing them. Such standards are included in the provisions of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

In 2004, the EU adopted a regulation through which harmonised rules were set for animal welfare during transport in and between the Member States. Moreover, in 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that, for the transportation of animals involving a long journey starting from EU territory and continuing outside of it, the organiser of the transport from the EU is responsible for the welfare of animals for the entire journey, up to the final point in the third country.

Journalists from the Eastern Partners countries discover Moldova’s experience in transition to green energy

Published in Society
Friday, 01 June 2018 16:27

Twelve journalists from Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan visited the Republic of Moldova on 21-24 may to learn about the results of the Energy and Biomass Project, funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme. The visit took place in the framework of the EU4Energy Initiative.

The journalists visited a kindergarten in the town of Nisporeni, where 270 children have hot water thanks to solar panels installed with the help of the Energy and Biomass Project. During winter, the entire surface of the kindergarten is heated with green energy produced in the Republic of Moldova.

To heat its rooms, the kindergarten, together with the city hall, buys pellets produced in Moldova, meaning the money it spends on energy remains in the country.

Another stop on the tour was the briquette production line in the city of Balti. Ludmila Abramciuc and Ivan Damaschin are beneficiaries of the Energy and Biomass Project grant programme, thanks to which they were able to buy, and repay in instalments, the necessary equipment for biofuel production.

The journalists also attended a lesson on renewable energy at a school in Chiscareni village, Sangerei district. Together with the students of “Nicolae Casso” school, they answered questions on the green energy sector, as well as making a parabolic solar collector. Professor Nicolae Spanu guided the team through this.

The school in Chiscareni village is also the first public institution in the Republic of Moldova to have switched to biomass heating. In 2005, thanks to a project funded by the World Bank, a biomass power plant using straw bales was installed at the school. To this day, the institution continues to benefit from clean energy.

Meanwhile, the community has connected other public institutions to green energy. The kindergarten in the village has electricity produced by photovoltaic panels and hot water from solar collectors. Next winter, the city hall will replace its stoves with a biomass heating system, installed with the help of European funds through the Energy and Biomass Project.

The EU-funded and UNDP-implemented Energy and Biomass Project in Moldova is part of the EU4Energy Initiative and aims to contribute to the reliable, competitive and sustainable production of energy from biomass, which is the most viable and available source of renewable energy in the Republic of Moldova.

EU4Energy covers all EU support to improve energy supply, security and connectivity, as well as to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewables in the Eastern Partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine). It does this by financing projects and programmes that help to reform energy markets and to reduce national energy dependence and consumption. Over the long term, this makes energy supply more reliable, transparent and affordable, thus reducing energy poverty and energy bills for both citizens and the private sector.

Euro Parliament members agree on deeper EU ties with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova

Published in World
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 16:39

The European Parliament proposes new ways to intensify EU relations with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova ahead of the Eastern Partnership Summit on 24 November, the official website of the European Parliament reports. 

Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova are working hard to forge closer links with the EU, in spite of strong resistance from Russia. They already benefit from visa-free travel to the EU as well as increased commercial opportunities thanks to free-trade agreements.

A new Parliament report is now calling to deepen this collaboration further and find new ways to support the countries on the EU’s eastern borders. The own-initiative report has already been adopted by the foreign affairs committee and will be voted on by all MEPs during the November plenary session in Strasbourg. The main focus is on Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, three countries which have recently achieved major progress in the cooperation with the EU.

Topping the list of recommendations is the establishment of a trust fund for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. The trust fund is a development tool for quick and flexible EU response to crisis and post-crisis situations. It would pool resources from public and private donors for investment in projects aiming to improve socioeconomic structures.

The committee also recommends increased support for economic reforms and upgrading the current partnership as a way of rewarding progress on EU-related reforms by partner countries. This upgrade could provide access to the EU's customs or energy union, for example.

Lithuanian EPP member Laima Andrikienė, one of the authors of the Parliament report, said: “The creation of an Eastern Partnership Plus model for associated countries with the possibility of a future membership in the customs, energy and digital union is crucial."

These measures add to the structures and projects for cooperation and development in the region already in place by the EU. The proposal emphasises the need to maintain pressure on Russia to resolve the territorial conflicts involving these countries. This is particularly relevant at the moment as the EU sanction towards Russia will reevaluated in January 2018.

The Eastern Partnership is a framework for collaboration between the EU and eastern neighbours Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus. Since the launch in 2009, the political context has changed dramatically, according to Andrikienė.

“The changes are due to the military aggression of Russia against Ukraine in 2014, the annexation of Crimea and continuing occupation of Eastern Ukraine by Russian proxies, as well as Kremlin-steered frozen conflicts which remain unresolved in Moldova and Georgia," the MEP said.

She added that despite “Russian meddling” Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, three of the partner countries, now have association agreements with the EU and free trade agreements through the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.

German S&D member Knut Fleckenstein, one of the other authors of the report, said the partnership was about much more than just signing agreements: “The objective is to build trust and promote cooperation between all partners in order to achieve concrete benefits for the people, such as respect for fundamental freedoms, better living standards and prospects for the future, facilitation of people-to-people contacts.”

To boost the progress of these countries, the proposal by the foreign affairs committee will be put forward to the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Services for consideration at the upcoming Eastern Partnership summit on 24 November.

“We have to ensure that the outcomes of the summit are concrete and dedicated to the long-term investments and well-being of people in the countries concerned. EU support for economic reforms are of very high importance to the citizens," said Andrikienė.

Her colleague Fleckenstein added: “A successful Eastern Partnership must reduce socio-economic disparities and corruption, better connect the participating countries in the areas of transport, infrastructure and energy, allow for visa-free travel for short-term stays and increase opportunities for educational exchanges and people-to-people contacts,’’ – the European Parliament says. 

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