EU needs Eastern Partnership and signatory countries need EU, European official

The European Union needs the Eastern Partnership and the Eastern Partnership countries need the EU. The statement was made by Christian Danielsson, the Director-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, at public discussions held in Chișinău on September 17.

In his speech, Christian Danielsson sid that the Eastern Partnership is the key to strengthening the relationship between the European Union and the partner countries of Eastern Europe, which allows for joint problem solving and sharing of common values. According to the European official, during the 10 years since the Eastern Partnership was established, trade between the EU and the six signatory countries increased by 70%. “We facilitated over 80,000 academic and youth exchanges, oriented towards studies or teaching activities. Thousands of young people from partner countries, including the Republic of Moldova, have been involved in EU-funded activities”, said the director.

The European official explained that the EU is also working on strengthening connectivity with partner countries. “By 2030, the rehabilitation of over 8000 kilometers of roads and railways is planned for this region”, said the European official.

Civil society support is another aspect of the partnership between the EU and the countries of Eastern Europe. “We want to promote social innovation through civil society. A vibrant civil society is of crucial importance for quality public services, for accountability and for monitoring of government actions”, said Christian Danielsson.

According to the European official, Moldova is working to strengthen the rule of law through reforms promoted by the government. “We need transparency, we need clear rules. In the coming years we need political will in order to promote these reforms”, said Christian Danielsson.

The European official mentioned that in 2020, in Zagreb, an important summit will be held, where the future of the Eastern Partnership will be decided.

In turn, Olesea Stamate, the Minister of Justice, said that, after a decade of cooperation, it is time for an evaluation of the relations between the Republic of Moldova and the EU. “Over the course of the last few years, our cooperation has focused on 20 specific objectives in four areas: economy, good governance, connectivity and human contacts”.

Olesea Stamate claimed that Moldova has good results in the areas of economy, connectivity and human contacts. “In the sphere of good governance, especially in the area of justice and the fight against corruption, we have a lot of work to do. These areas require maximum involvement in order to generate change”, said Olesea Stamati.

According to the minister of justice, in regard to the envisaged reforms, efforts will be focused on actions that will contribute to the reset of the justice system. “We are trying to identify the options that will contribute to efficiency and will clean the justice system from within, where possible. If not, outside intervention will be required”, explained Olesea Stamate.

The minister of justice added that good governance and independent justice are the key elements in the Eastern Partnership.