Parliament reaffirms its commitment to Moldova’s EU membership

  • EU accession negotiations with Moldova must start by the end of 2023, following the fulfilment of the nine steps identified by the European Commission
  • Fugitive oligarchs must be extradited to Moldova
  • The EU must continue to support Moldova in achieving energy independence

In a resolution adopted on Wednesday, MEPs say EU membership for Moldova would be a geostrategic investment in a united and strong Europe.

 Moldova remains exposed to Russian pressure and energy blackmail, economic upheaval due to the war in neighbouring Ukraine as well as Kremlin-backed attempts to destabilise the country’s pro-European government. Parliament welcomes the leadership of Moldovan President Maia Sandu and the country’s authorities in addressing these serious challenges.

MEPs also reaffirm their support for Moldova’s prospective EU membership, following the country’s application in 2022, while recognising the Moldovan government’s progress in terms of reforms and level of alignment with the EU’s body of laws. They call for accession talks to begin by the end of 2023, if Moldova fulfils the nine steps identified by the European Commission needed for the opening of negotiations.

In the meantime, Parliament calls on the Moldovan government to continue resolutely with its reform agenda on democracy and the rule of law, advance work towards the full implementation of the country’s EU Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, tackle organised and serious international and transnational crime, and push ahead with efforts to increase the country’s energy security.

Sanction those seeking to destabilise Moldova

On attempts to destabilise Moldova, the resolution calls on the EU and its member states to immediately sanction those involved. MEPs call on the European Union to sanction fugitive Moldovan oligarchs Ilan Șor and Vladimir Plahotniuc, and where appropriate their businesses and political organisations, as well as for both men to be extradited to Moldova to stand trial.

Parliament also wants the EU to broaden the scope of its sanctions regime to include as punishable offense acts of corruption that undermine a country’s security, stability, constitutional and democratic institutions.

Support Moldova’s efforts to achieve energy independence

Finally, the resolution condemns Russia’s continued energy blackmail of Moldova and expresses its support for Chișinău’s efforts to increase its energy security by diversifying supply sources, reducing consumption, and purchasing energy in the European market, as well as developing interconnectivity infrastructure. MEPs also call on the EU to continue supporting Moldova on achieving energy independence.

For all the details, the full text will be available here. (19.04.2023)

The text was adopted by 555 votes in favour, 49 against with 26 abstentions.