Moldova and EU adopted the join statement at the eleventh meeting of the Moldova-EU Cooperation Council held in Brussels on December 21.
For the first time in the history of the relations between Moldova and the EU, there was signed a joint statement, which encourages Moldova’s European integration efforts and outlines the steps that must be taken to come closer to the EU.
Among the steps specified in the statement are the initiation of talks on the Association Agreement and on the creation of an extensive free trade zone. The parties expressed their readiness to launch a dialogue on the liberalization of the visa regime with EU in 2010. At the start of next year, the EU will send a mission to Moldova to assess the conditions needed to open the negotiations.
The Moldovan delegation was headed by Prime Minister Vlad Filat. After the Council’s meeting, he and the Swedish State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Frank Belfrage, whose country holds the presidency of the EU, gave a news conference.
“The statement signed today is a new start in the relations between Moldova and the EU, which will be ambitious and constructive,” Frank Belfrage said.
At the meeting, Vlad Filat said that Moldova obtained what it wanted the most: a new relation with the European Union. “Moldova and the EU in 2010 will open talks over an Association Agreement and a liberalized visa regime, which are very important for us,” he said.
Vlad Filat expressed his confidence that the Moldovan people will benefit from all European citizens’ rights in the foreseeable future.
While in Brussels, Vlad Filat signed a memorandum of understating on the provision of consultative assistance to Moldova by the EU with the Commissioner for Trade and European Neighborhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner. The EU will delegate a group of high-ranking consultants to work in Moldova’s main institutions and help the Moldovan authorities to formulate and implement sectoral policies focusing on the European integration.