Dear President Michel,
Dear President Von der Leyen,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to address you in person today at the sixth Eastern Partnership Summit. The long-awaited summit is an opportunity for us to take stock of our progress and reassert the Republic of Moldova’s commitment to the Eastern Partnership agenda. A partnership that is based on common values, mutual interests and shared responsibility.
The Eastern Partnership has been a success for Moldova so far. It has opened borders for our citizens, strengthened and reformed our economy, built trade routes, and induced changes beneficial for our people. Thanks to the Eastern Partnership our citizens travel visa-free, our youth benefit from EU scholarships, and our goods reach the EU market.
The Eastern Partnership benefited Moldovans even when Moldovan Governments did not share European values. Here, in particular, I would like to thank the EU and its member states for the relentless and generous support received during the Covid pandemic and the gas crisis. The EU literally put together support in a matter of hours. And I am not exaggerating,
This year, Moldova went through a historic transformation. We had elections and, for the first time, people elected a truly pro-European government, which believes in EU values, and is committed to implementing reforms. Our citizens gave us a strong mandate to reform, develop and modernize Moldova, fight corruption and implement justice reform.
Our people’s expectations are high, and the stakes are even higher. We are working hard on reforms in different sectors, such as justice, energy, security, police, infrastructure, environment and attracting investment, public finance, and public administration, among others. We want to build new roads, schools, hospitals, strengthen the business climate, attract investment, create new jobs, lift the country out of poverty and increase standards of living. Actions that also match the long-term policy objectives of the EU.
But we cannot do all of this alone. Our political will and determination to change our country can be a success only if combined with the support of our EU partners. That is why, today, we will wholeheartedly endorse the Eastern Partnership joint declaration as a commitment to putting Moldova and the region on the road to recovery, reforms and resilience.
The Eastern Partnership has been a success for Moldova and, I believe, Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia's desire to go further in the dialogue with the EU is a reflection of our readiness to integrate further. Sectoral integration will deepen our cooperation and make the region more resilient to internal and external challenges.
Steps towards sectoral integration like reducing roaming prices with the EU, liberalizing access to the transport market, joining the Single Euro Payment Area or gradually integrating into the EU Internal Market will have a major positive impact on Moldova and its citizens.
But it is no secret that our ambition is to bring Moldova in the EU one day. The Eastern Partnership is an opportunity for us to strengthen and deepen our European choice and we are ready to work hard to go beyond the current framework.
Three major themes are dominating this summit’s discussion in relation to the Eastern Partnership countries: Recovery, Resilience and Reform. As we are approaching the French Presidency in the Council, I would like to add here another “R” - Rapprochement.
Rapprochement through deeper integration with the EU for those partners that are interested, ready and committed to go further. Our relationship is for the long-haul and we are ready to make it stronger and closer for the benefit of all.