Situation in Moldova discussed at CoE-EU high-level meeting
The 29th Quadripartite meeting between the Council of Europe and the European Union was held in Luxembourg on Tuesday at the invitation of the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
It was attended, on the European Union side, by Ms Cecilia Malmström, Minister for European Affairs of Sweden, and Mr. Karel Kovanda, Acting Director General for External Relations in the European Commission, and on the Council of Europe side, by Mr. Samuel Zbogar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, and Mr. Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
The participants noted all political contributions to the democratic process following the elections in the Republic of Moldova. They underscored the need for constructive dialogue and a climate of responsible cooperation between all political forces in the face of the formidable challenges the country faces.
The participants agreed on the need for the Republic of Moldova to make progress in implementing reforms particularly in view of the impact of the global economic and financial crisis in the country. They stressed their readiness to help the Republic of Moldova in these efforts.
The participants welcomed the readiness of the European Union to start negotiations on a new agreement with the Republic of Moldova that will replace, and go beyond, the current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. They recalled in this context the need for the Republic of Moldova to continue to make progress in the field of respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, including freedom of expression and media freedom, and welcomed early signals from the new Moldovan government to this effect.
They welcomed joint Council of Europe-European Union efforts to implement a democracy-support assistance package initiated by the European Commission to underpin government efforts in this regard. They confirmed their intention to cooperate closely in implementing such assistance in the framework of Joint Programmes, including in the specific area of media training for non-biased pre-electoral campaign coverage.
The participants agreed that the resolution of the Transnistrian issue is possible only through peaceful means and transparent negotiations in the 5+2 format. They welcomed the efforts deployed by both organisations to contribute to confidence-building measures in the context of the Transnistrian settlement, in the areas of environment, health, education, media and civil society. They noted the launch of confidence-building projects supported by the EU in the economic and social fields.