Romania says the conditions have not been met to adopt the conclusions of the EU Foreign Affairs Council on the Republic of Moldova
Information has circulated recently in Romania and the neighbouring majority-Romanian speaking Republic of Moldova that the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels would adopt some critical conclusions on Moldova. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, quoted by Agerpres, says the document in question indicates that the events in the Republic of Moldova since last February have raised significant concerns regarding this country’s commitment to the democratic principles, the rule of law and human rights.
In this report, the EU foreign ministers said they were expecting the parliamentary elections in February 2019 to be held in keeping with international standards and called on Moldovan authorities to ensure equal chances and media access to all candidates and set up a sufficient number of polling stations in Moldova and abroad. European diplomats speaking on condition of anonymity told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, as quoted by Agerpres, that Romania blocked the adoption of this critical document.
The Foreign Ministry in Bucharest published a clarification saying that Romania will continue to support the European path of the Republic of Moldova and to promote the need for the implementation of the reforms Moldova has committed itself to before the European Union. In fact, the Romanian Foreign Ministry has reiterated, Romania, as a member of the European Union, is fully committed to promoting the Union’s common policies vis-a-vis the Republic of Moldova and contributing its own expertise and assistance to the consolidation of the process of political association and economic integration between the European Union and Moldova.
Romania’s support for the critical report of the EU foreign ministers not to be adopted comes after a decision by the European Commission at the end of November to reduce financial aid to Moldova by more than 22 million dollars per year both for 2017 and 2018, amid concerns about the rule of law and the violation of democratic norms. The Commission had also suspended a macro-financial aid programme worth 113 million dollars.
In Romania’s opinion, the European Union must promote a balanced, coherent and pragmatic policy in its neighbourhood, based on constant and substantial dialogue between the Brussels officials and the Moldovan authorities. Despite the existence of an agreement among EU member states on the relationship with the Republic of Moldova, slightly different approaches may appear when it comes to finding the most efficient way of action. As a result, Romania decided that the conditions had not been met to adopt the Foreign Affairs Council report at this moment. (Translated by C. Mateescu, edited by D. Vijeu)