Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Reforms and developments in the Republic of Moldova

Delivered in Plenary - 21st October 2010

Mr President

No one is disputing that Moldova has a long way to go before it achieves its ultimate goal of joining the European Union, which is a goal that my group, the ECR, supports. It remains one of Europe’s poorest countries, despite being in the WTO, and, as such, is vulnerable to organised crime, human trafficking and corruption. Moldova remains hamstrung by the ongoing frozen conflict with the Russian-speaking and politically Russian- dominated breakaway region of Transnistria.

However, since the Communists were ousted from power 15 months ago, Moldova has begun to make substantial progress. The parties in the Alliance for European Integration, the current ruling coalition, have shown an impressive capacity to work together to accelerate Moldova’s integration with the European Union. For its part, the Union should maintain pressure on the Moldovan Government for further progress in economic reforms and, in particular, improving the rule of law and good governance.

But we should also reward and engage more with Chisinau. The visa issue has been mentioned, but I would also like to raise the issue of Euronest, which offers opportunities for EU and Moldovan politicians alike to debate common interests. Sadly, Euronest – which was something which appeared in my report in the previous parliament – remains paralysed because of the dispute over Belarus representation, as our Parliament does not recognise its parliament, which was not democratically elected.

I hope that one day all clearly European countries in the Eastern Partnership, namely Moldova, Ukraine and a future democratic Belarus, will become EU candidates.