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Head of EU delegation to Chisinau: Moldova is not yet ready to join EU

Moldova is not ready to submit an application for the European Union membership, Pirkka Tapiola, the head of the European Union delegation to Moldova, said today, on March 30 when presenting the European Commission’s report on the activity of the Moldovan Government for 2014.

 “The Government of Moldova should demonstrate more commitment to reforms to bring the country closer to the EU. In addition, a public consensus is needed on that matter. Therefore, it is too early to speak about submitting an application the European Union membership,” Tapiola said.

He pointed at some high-profile scandals of banks that show the need for more transparent and efficient supervision in the financial and banking sector. The EU official recommended the authorities to boost the law-enforcement and judiciary reform and amend the Constitution to avoid another political crisis like in 2009 when Moldovan parliamentarians could not elect the president for several years.

Another problem of Moldova – the country signed the Association Agreement with the EU last year – is the Transnistria conflict, Tapiola said urging for more efficient efforts towards negotiations with Tiraspol to find a mutually admissible solution for common future.

Brussels stepped up criticism of the Moldovan authorities after the parliamentary elections in November 2014 when the Democratic Party and the Liberal Democratic Party failed to recreate the ruling pro-European coalition with the Liberal Party. Several European officials traveled to Chisinau to persuade them.

As a result, a minority government headed by Chiril Gaburici was formed with the support of the opposition Communist Party. In Brussels they think such alliance will impede reforms. A week after the Cabinet was formed, the EU and U.S. ambassadors provided an “Information Bulletin” to Chiril Gaburici. The document linked the financial assistance to Moldova with fulfillment of a range of measures on the key problems of the country. The local observers have already called it “the roadmap of western partners.”

Latest opinion polls revealed that the number of the people supporting the idea of Moldova’s integration into the European Union has shrunk from 70% to 45% over the last few years, while the number of those advocating for the accession to the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan has exceeded 44% and keeps growing. The un-recognized republic of Transnistria and Moldova’s autonomous region of Gagauzia also oppose integration into the European Union. Local referendums revealed that over 90% of the people living in those regions are for closer relationships with Russia and integration in the Customs Union.

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