Moldova has advanced with the implementation of some reforms, but further action is still required for its citizens to reap the full benefits of the Association Agreement, according to a joint report released by the European External Action Service and the European Commission on April 5.

Moldova has reportedly managed to stabilise its economic situation and, with constant but conditional support from the European Union and other international partners, has progressed with the implementation of some reforms, including strengthening the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). Further efforts, however, are still needed in particular in order to address high level corruption, recover the misappropriated funds from the one billion dollar banking fraud and bring to justice those responsible for the fraud. A thorough reform of the judicial system is also to be addressed.

“We have a comprehensive agenda with the Republic of Moldova, working to improve our economic links, increase trade and therefore bring jobs, to strengthen democracy, human rights and support for civil society and its important role in keeping the government and the political leadership accountable,” said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini. “Some reforms have recently advanced, in business and financial areas, for example, and further progress is needed in other areas, notably the fight against corruption and reforming the judiciary. Our support to the people of Moldova is clear and we expect satisfactory reform progress by the authorities, which would bring tangible benefits for Moldovan citizens.”

As regards trade, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, noted that it has increased over the past year.

“Since the Association Agreement including the DCFTA entered into force, the EU’s share in Moldova’s exports has increased and accounts now for more than half of Moldova’s total trade,” he said. “The EU has helped to create over 1,500 jobs through support for the small businesses. This is just one of many examples showing why the EU matters to the Republic of Moldova and why our partnership is beneficial to the lives of its people. To fully reap the rewards of our Association Agreement, Moldova needs to keep on implementing further reforms, without delay.”

The report highlights numerous achievements, including examples of several projects completed in 2016-2017 with EU assistance and which directly improved citizens’ daily lives. For instance, new business incubators were established to boost economic development and create jobs, and the EU provided grants to migrants returning to Moldova for business purposes.