#PDM justice minister welcomes EU support for reforms

Moldova’s Justice Minister Vladimir Cebotari (pictured) has welcomed the European Commission’s “steadfast support” for reforms aimed at ensuring his country will fulfil its EU destiny.

“Although we have made notable progress on reforms and regaining people’s trust, we know there’s still work to be done and we are committed to implementing the necessary changes to our institutions and public services,” he said. “The steadfast support of the European Commission and members of the European Parliament is extremely important and not taken for granted. We believe in our EU destiny and, together with our allies, we will ensure that the reform agenda stays on track,” he added.

Democratic Party (PDM) member Cebotari was speaking in response to a debate on Moldova in the European Parliament last week (16 May). Cebotari attended the discussion with Marian Lupu, the president of the PDM group in Moldova’s Parliament, and the country’s Ambassador to the EU, Eugen Caras.

Commissioner Christos Stylianides, speaking on behalf of High Representative Federica Mogherini and Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn, praised the “courageous efforts” by the Moldovan government to bring in reforms.

“The EU is ready to keep supporting these efforts .. which must be continuously sustained,” he said.

Addressing the MEPs, he added: “We count on your support for making Moldova a success story.”

Andi Cristea (S&D, Romania) underlined that Moldova is a “top priority” for the Parliament and that it had the support of all groups. “We must be united,” he added.

Marian-Jean Marinescu (EPP, Romania) said it was crucial that the EU maintained its financial support for the country. “Refusing aid to Moldova will only bring it closer to Russia,” he warned.

Several MEPs stressed the need for Moldova to respect the conditions linked the EU’s proposed €100 million macro-financial assistance package. The conditions include a commitment to sound public finance management and the fight against corruption.

Whilst acknowledging progress in the reform process, Rebecca Harms (Greens EFA, Germany) said more needed to be done in the implementation of judicial and administration measures. She called for the country’s President, Igor Dodon, to do more to support the reform agenda.

Commissioner Stylianides and the MEPs also referred to a proposed reform of Moldova’s electoral system, designed to increase political accountability.

The changes, backed by a strong majority of the national Parliament, envisage a 50-50 mixed system combining party lists (the existing system) with uninominal voting (a PDM initiative), familiar to voters in France and the UK.

The Moldovan Parliament is seeking the opinion of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, a body which advises on constitutional matters, before taking a final decision.

MEPs had a further opportunity to discuss the state of play regarding the reform agenda when the EU-Moldova Parliamentary Association Committee and Euronest Parliamentary Assembly met in Chisinau today (23 May).

Euronest, created in 2009, is an inter-parliamentary forum in which MEPs meets their national counterparts from Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to develop closer ties with the EU.

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Category: A Frontpage, EU, Moldova