On November 13 the European Parliament debated the state of play of the EU’s association agreement with Moldova. The debate will be followed by a vote on the report today. The S&Ds decided not to support it and to abstain during the vote.

According to a press release, S&Ds say that “As much as we are concerned by certain developments in Moldova, we believe that the text negotiated by the conservatives is a missed opportunity to constructively encourage the necessary changes, and instead takes sides in the on-going electoral campaign in Moldova that we do not want to be a part of.”

“We need to think strategically. Moldova, together with Georgia and Ukraine, is a key country for the EU. After many years of instability, continuous changes of governments and the scandal of the disappearance of 1billion dollars from the banking system, finally Moldova has reached a certain level of stability and growth. Many problems remain, but we cannot afford to abandon the pro-European forces in such a highly polarised context. We rather call on them to unite their forces in view of the elections, in the interests of their country,” said Victor Boștinaru, S&D vice-president responsible for foreign affairs.

“The vote on this report should have been postponed, in order not to interfere with the upcoming elections. In any case, it should have constructively indicated the way ahead. Instead, the conservatives used this report to play a dangerous political game, without understanding that trying to gain popularity at the expense of the small, but extremely significant, country of Moldova, is a very risky gamble. Moldova is considered by Russia as a key battlefield; they daily conduct their propaganda and hybrid war to hijack the country. We cannot afford to serve it on a golden plate. We will continue to criticise unacceptable situations, such as the invalidation of the mayoral elections in Chisinau, but it’s not by selling Moldova to Russia that shortcomings are addressed,” he concluded.

“The S&Ds share deep concerns over the undue interference of the judicial power in the mayoral electoral process and we are clear that a lot needs to be done in the country in the fields of democracy, rule of law and the fight against corruption. We should encourage and help all political actors in Moldova to take the necessary steps to address outstanding problems and give full implementation to the Association Agreement,” added S&D spokesperson on foreign affairs, Knut Fleckenstein.

“However, some wording in the report is taking sides in the electoral campaign. We don’t want, and cannot, endorse it as we do not want to become a part of the campaign and influence negatively the European course of the country. We stand by the people of Moldova and their right for a brighter future and call on the Moldovan government and the Moldovan Parliament to learn from their recent mistakes, and make sure that the February Parliamentary elections can take place with all the necessary guarantees,” Fleckenstein said.