Moldova-eu Action Plan Approved by European Commission
Thursday, the European Commission approved the Moldova-European Union Action Plan determining strategic cooperation directions between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union for next 3 years.
The European Commission has approved analogous documents for another 6 nations presenting interest to the EU policy named "Enlarged Europe - New Neighbors".
It is expected that the EU Council for Foreign Policy will approve these Plans on December 13, after which the timing and procedure of the documents' enactment will be determined.
One of the Action Plan's chief objectives is the EU support to Moldova in resolving the Transnistrian problem. The document also envisages acceleration of cooperation through ensuring for Moldova an access to the EU market. For this, Moldova will be provided with asymmetrical trade preferences that will open the European market to Moldovan goods.
The European Commission has proposed the first Action Plan for Moldova within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).
The Action Plan, which has been developed in close consultations with Moldova throughout 2004, is a political document laying out the strategic objectives of cooperation between Moldova and the EU. It is tailor-made to reflect Moldova's political and economic situation. Moldova is invited to enter into intensified political, security, economic and cultural relations with the EU, enhanced cross border co-operation and shared responsibility in conflict prevention and conflict resolution.
One of the key objectives of the Action Plan will be to further support a viable solution to the Transnistria conflict. The EU Member States are now invited to approve the Action Plan, after which it will be put to the Moldova-EU Partnership- and Cooperation Council for endorsement.
"My aim is to create a ring of friends around the borders of our enlarged EU" said Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and the European Neighbourhood Policy. "We have worked with our neighbours to devise tailor- made plans that meet the needs and reflect the requests of each partner. Our offer - greater cooperation, more financial assistance, and a chance to benefit from a closer relationship with Europe, - will bring real benefits to both sides. The Action Plan provides a comprehensive and sophisticated response to the clear and uncompromising European choice made by Moldova. We are also engaged in finding a solution for the opening of a Commission delegation in Chisinau. This will be an additional concrete response to Moldova's wish to come closer to the EU".
The Moldovan Action Plan is one of seven adopted by the European Commission today. The other partner countries for which Action Plans have been adopted are Jordan, Ukraine, Tunisia, Morocco, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The Action Plans reflect the EU's determination not to allow new dividing lines to develop around the enlarged Union, but rather to export the stability and prosperity that the EU enjoys. The Plans will:
* offer assistance in bringing legislation or regulations in line with the EU to increase access to the EU internal market
* offer participation in a number of EU programmes including education and research, environment
* step up co-operation on border management, migration, trafficking in human beings, organised crime, money laundering and financial and economic crimes
* improve links with the EU in the fields of energy, transport, environment and information technology.
* increase dialogue and co-operation on counter-terrorism, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as efforts to resolve regional conflict.
In Moldova's case in particular, the Action Plan commits both sides to sustained efforts to find a settlement of the Transnistria conflict, respecting the territorial integrity of Moldova. The EU, in close consultation with the OSCE, will support Moldova in strengthening its control over its entire border and customs territory, including the section in Transnistria.
Furthermore, the EU will for instance support the implementation of Moldova's new "Economic Growth - Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper" in coordination with the International Financial Institutions. Implementation of the Action Plan may furthermore lead to the EU granting Moldova better access for its exports through autonomous trade preferences, if improvements are made to Moldova's certification of the origin of its products.
Moldova, on the other hand, has committed itself to improving the management of migration flows, and to stepping up its action in fighting organized crime, corruption, trafficking in human beings, money laundering, and terrorism. Moldova has also undertaken to sign and ratify important conventions in this area, and to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The implementation of the ENP will be supported by increased financial assistance. Under existing budget lines TACIS and MEDA the ENP partners receive €8.5 billion 2000-2006. The Commission has proposed to nearly double this amount for the period 2007-2013 with an allocation under the new European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument of just under €15 billion. /INFOTAG/ www.azi.md