Moldova, closer to have a visa-free travel regime with EU
The European Commission has issued the second progress report on the implementation by the Republic of Moldova of the Action Plan on Visa Liberalization. According to the report, Moldova succeeded to manage many reforms within its national legislative framework.
The Visa Dialogue between EU and Moldova was launched on June 15, 2010. The Action
Plan was presented to the Moldovan authorities by the Commission on January 24, 2011. The First Progress Report on the implementation of the Action Plan on Visa Liberalization was issued on September 16, 2011.
According to the second report, the legislative framework of Moldova is generally in place.
“A clear schedule has been provided for the complete roll-out of International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO)-compliant biometric passports, including at Moldovan consulates abroad, as well as for the complete phasing-out of non-ICAO compliant passports,” shows the report.
Concerning the border management, “most of the relevant legislation has been adopted and the remaining elements are pending approval by Parliament. The institutional framework is in place, including provisions on training and ethical codes to fight corruption. With regard to migration management, the Republic of Moldova has made very good progress on laying down a comprehensive basis for an efficient migration management system,” according to the European Commission’s report.
The document states that some improvements are still needed, despite of the fact that the drafts are adopted according with the European standards.
The 'Law on the State Border' was adopted in November 2011. It works according with the Schengen Borders Code. “Three laws are pending approval by Parliament: the draft 'Law on Border Police', the draft 'Law amending some legislative acts in order to grant the Border Guard Service competencies for prosecution and examination of administrative offences, inspection of travel documents, liability of carriers for transportation of foreigners without necessary legal documents and detection and investigation of cross-border crime, of smuggling and of trafficking in human beings' and the draft 'Law on Carriers'.”
The legislative framework and the policy package are to come into force by the middle of 2012. “The draft 'Law on Border Police', as it currently stands, provides a good basis for demilitarization and professionalization of the Border Guard Service, which will be transformed into a Border Police,” according to the report.
Another important issue regarding the legal procedures for granting residence right to foreigners was adopted on July 16, 2011. It also covers all the areas of immigration issues. At the same time, Moldova is developing an Action Plan to replace an older Plan concerning the encouragement of the return of Moldovan workers from abroad.
The report also shows that a “legislative and policy framework on combating trafficking in human beings is consolidated and advanced, in line with the international standards. The Action Plan for the period 2012-2013 should be approved soon. It should allocate the necessary human and financial resources.”
Concerning the fight against corruption, Moldova “has passed and is about to pass a considerable number of legislative amendments aimed at aligning the legislative framework with the main European and international instruments,” adds the report.
The EU-Republic of Moldova relations strengthened once new developments have been initiated between sides especially in 2009, after the fall of the Communist regime. Moldova strives to join a visa-free travel regime with the European Union, which will allow the Moldovans to freely travel within the Schengen zone for a period of 90 days during every six months.