you're reading...
International Relations, PUBLICATIONS

The Vilnius Summit – what’s in for Moldova?

In the run-up to the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Summit in Vilnius, the expectations of the six partner countries are rather diverse. For some (Azerbaijan, Armenia and Belarus) this summit will have little impact, whereas for others (Ukraine and Georgia) it could represent an epochal step on their road to deeper political and economic integration with the EU. Moldova is definitely also part of the latter group. However, stumbling blocks may still hinder the planned initialisation of the Association Agreement (AA) between the EU and Moldova which includes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).

Moving closer to Europe

The road towards the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius

© kerdazz / Fotolia

Unlike Georgia and Ukraine, Moldova has been relatively far from the spotlight in recent months. It had repeatedly been commended as the success story of the EaP, until this image was tarnished by the political crisis of early 2013 that made the pro-European government collapse. The subsequent formation of a new government under former Foreign and European Integration Minister Iurie Leancă averted early elections and thus prevented a slowdown of EU-Moldova AA negotiations. Despite persistent internal turbulences these were completed last June. In addition, the EU’s Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP) for Moldova has also moved forward, and on 15 November the European Commission issued recommendations on lifting visa restrictions on the country. However, before the visa free regime can enter into force, it will have to be approved by EU Member States and by the European Parliament.

Factors of insecurity

A number of determinants, both domestic and external, may still compromise Moldova’s smooth integration with the EU. Internally, Moldova suffers from political instability caused by tensions in the governing coalition and growing euroscepticism backed by the Communist Party. Moreover, the Russian-funded breakaway region of Transnistria is reluctant to follow Moldova’s European path.

On a larger scale, Russia is perceived as the largest threat to Moldova’s EU approximation. From a Russian perspective Moldova’s Europeanisation narrows Moscow’s sphere of influence in a strategic area bordering the EU. In the months preceding the Vilnius Summit, Russia has already expressed its hostility vis-à-vis the agreement with the EU by putting a ban on Moldovan wine. Closer to the summit Russia is scaling up its pressure by threatening to limit natural gas supplies and to hinder a settlement of the Transnistrian conflict.

The EU’s stance

Besides confirming its commitment to initialling the AA in Vilnius and signing it in autumn 2014, the EU has condemned external pressure on Moldova and promised to remove quotas on Moldovan wine. Political instability remains an issue of concern for the EU and institutional reforms will be needed in order to tackle it.

Just a few days ahead of the Vilnius Summit, Moldova still faces both internal and external pressures. The question is whether the outcome of the summit will help to appease these tensions or, on the contrary, lead to further exacerbation.

Further reading:

The Republic of Moldova in the Eastern Partnership: from »Poster Child« to »Problem Child«? / Rinnert D., Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, August 2013

Prospect for an upgrade in trade relations with Eastern Partnership countries, Library Briefing, October 2013

Discussion

5 thoughts on “The Vilnius Summit – what’s in for Moldova?

  1. I have read a few just right stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting.
    I wonder how a lot effort you place to create this sort of magnificent informative web site.

    Like

    Posted by arma 3 steam key generator download | March 27, 2014, 10:08

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: EU integration – no going back for Moldova? | Library of the European Parliament - December 13, 2013

  2. Pingback: Fancy Moldovan wine? – The Week | Library of the European Parliament - November 29, 2013

  3. Pingback: Bloggingportal.eu » Blog Archive » The week in Bloggingportal: Cinnamon rolls and independence - November 28, 2013

  4. Pingback: Looking East: the EU’s Eastern Partnership Summit in focus | Library of the European Parliament - November 26, 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Download the EPRS App

EPRS App on Google Play
EPRS App on App Store
What Europe Does For You
EU Legislation in Progress
Topical Digests
EPRS Podcasts

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,202 other followers

Disclaimer and Copyright statement

The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy.

For a comprehensive description of our cookie and data protection policies, please visit Terms and Conditions page.

Copyright © European Union, 2014-2019. All rights reserved.

%d bloggers like this: