Moldova front-runner of Eastern Partnership, Van Rompuy tells Prime Minister Leanca

The EU is committed to initialing the Association Agreement with the Republic of Moldova at the Vilnius summit later this month, and is ready to prepare for its signature by the autumn of 2014, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuytold Moldova’s Prime Minister Iurie Leanca during their meeting in Brussels on 15 November.

Moldova is “an Eastern Partnership front-runner,” he said after the meeting, stressing that “the current political stability in Chisinau offers a new opportunity to advance indispensable reforms and focus on concrete deliverables for the Moldovan population.”  The future Association Agreement will benefit all, Van Rompuy stressed, bringing about “stronger human rights protection, guarantees for minorities, closer and more people-to-people contacts, more economic growth and more jobs.”

As regards visas, the European Council President reiterated the EU’s “commitment to the shared objective of visa-free travel in due course, now that Moldova has fulfilled all the benchmarks of the visa liberalisation action plan.”

Van Rompuy and Lancea also discussed Moldova’s challenges and the need to address the root causes of previous political instability so that the country could implement properly the Association Agreement after its signature next year. They agreed that judicial reform, the fight against corruption and improvement of the business climate were of the essence.

Van Rompuy concluded by re-affirming the Union’s firm support to a peaceful settlement of the Transnistrian conflict based on a special status for “Transnistria” in a re-united Moldova, and calling on the Prime Minister “to take forward the constructive spirit of his recent meetings with the leadership of Transnistria, to work together to defuse undue tensions on the ground and deliver tangible results to the people.”


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