Following a request from the European Council, and as announced by President Ursula von der Leyen on 31 May in Chisinau, the Commission and the European External Action Service have put together a package of support for the Republic of Moldova to address the impact of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine on Moldova and to bring the country closer to the European Union.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, said: “Moldova has stood firmly in solidarity and in defence of European values. And despite the enormous consequences Russia's war of aggression is having on the country, Moldova is taking great strides to advance on its European future. With today's package, the EU shows we stand by Moldova and we will work to accelerate your European integration and reforms. Moldova's future lies in the EU”.
The support package for Moldova has five priorities, aimed at addressing the impact of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine and bringing Moldova closer to the European Union:
- Facilitating economic development and connectivity through the Priority Action Plan for trade under the DCFTA and the dedicated flagships of the Economic and Investment Plan (EIP). These focus on support to SMEs, trade, energy efficiency, human capital development as well as connectivity. Under the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes initiative, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for Transport will provide funding to projects addressing bottlenecks at key border crossing points. The priority is also aimed at addressing challenges faced by cross-border communities through strengthened Interreg programmes. Finally, building on the recent achievement to reduce roaming prices, we are working towards a long-term roaming arrangement.
- Supporting Moldova's reforms through strengthening administrative capacity, advisory services focusing on challenges arising on the enlargement path, dedicated training and support programmes as well as increasing the participation of Moldova in EU programmes like Horizon Europe, Fiscalis, Customs, LIFE and EU4Health.
- Ensuring Moldova's energy security through increasing domestic electricity production, participating in the EU common gas purchasing mechanism, boosting renewables and focusing on energy efficiency.
- Enhancing Moldova's security through targeted actions guided by the High Level Political and Security Dialogue; expanding cooperation through the newly-launched EU Partnership Mission to Moldova, the EU-Moldova Support Hub for Internal Security and Border Management, the EU Border Assistance Mission, as well as with European agencies notably Frontex, Europol, Eurojust and CEPOL; strengthening Moldova's defence sector through the European Peace Facility, and its internal security and border management through targeted investments and provision of equipment.
- Countering foreign information manipulation and interference, including disinformation, and enhancing strategic communication through providing technical support to the Moldovan government and capacity building for independent media civil society and youth to address disinformation and to communicate actively on the benefits of EU integration.
Following the Commission proposal on 20 June for a review of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which includes a proposal for a Ukraine Facility, around €600 million under the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) could be redeployed for 2024-2027 programmes to increase support for other neighbourhood countries, including Moldova.
Since the start of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, Moldova has been tackling significant challenges, including large numbers of refugees, inflation, threats to its energy supplies, violations of its airspace, as well as a multitude of hybrid actions such as disinformation and cyber-attacks. The EU has already mobilised €1.2. billion to help Moldova in facing multiple crises since the autumn of 2021.
Despite of these challenges, Moldova has shown its resilience and commitment to advance on its pro-European reform agenda reforms. In this context, the European Council invited in March the European Commission to present a support package ahead of its next meeting to continue providing all relevant support to the Republic of Moldova, including to strengthen the country's resilience, security, stability, economy and energy supply in the face of destabilising activities by external actors, as well as support on its accession path to the European Union.
On 31 May, ahead of the European Political Community summit, the Commission President advanced work on the support package for the country with two objectives: to address the impact of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine and to bring Moldova closer to the European Union.
Several key initiatives in support of Moldova have already started and are delivering results. European and Moldovan telecom operators signed a first voluntary agreement to lower data and voice roaming charges that will help connect citizens and businesses. The Economic and Investment Plan (EIP), set to mobilise up to €1.6 billion in public and private investments for flagship projects, is already delivering on projects being rolled out, worth more than €670 million, in key sectors such as supporting SMEs, energy efficiency and investments in Solidarity Lanes.
Other initiatives include Moldova's participation in the joint gas purchase platform, as well as increasing EU staff working to support Moldova's EU path.
Under the Common Foreign and Security Policy/Common Security and Defence Policy led by the High Representative, the EU-Moldova security cooperation has also considerably advanced. The EU has notably launched the EU Partnership Mission to Moldova (EUPM) and has topped up ongoing non-lethal support through the European Peace Facility.
For More Information
Factsheet: The EU and Moldova
Moldova has stood firmly in solidarity and in defence of European values. And despite the enormous consequences Russia’s war of aggression is having on the country, Moldova is taking great strides to advance on its European future. With today’s package, the EU shows we stand by Moldova and we will work to accelerate your European integration and reforms. Moldova’s future lies in the EU.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
In spite of the multiple challenges stemming from the impact of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, Moldova has proven its resilience and commitment to reforms. The European Union is determined to continue enhancing the country’s resilience, including by providing tangible support to Moldova’s security and accompanying it on its reform path. This package is a further important sign that Moldova, a strategic partner and future member of the EU, is not alone.
High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell
This package is another demonstration of the EU’s firm commitment to support its Moldovan partner in the areas that matter to the people of Moldova. The European Union will keep delivering this support in light of Russia’s war of aggression and the Moldovan leadership’s determination to advance its pro-European reform agenda. We are mobilising an ambitious set of tools, including the Economic and Investment Plan and its Flagships, budget support and Macro-Financial Assistance to deliver economic growth and jobs for the benefit of all.
Olivér Várhelyi, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement
- Publication date
- 28 June 2023
- Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations