Nicu Popescu: We Will Find out in December if We Start Negotiations on EU Accession

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December will show whether the Republic of Moldova will start negotiations on joining the EU. Until then, our country is working to implement the nine recommendations of the European Commission. According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Nicu Popescu, there is progress in bringing Moldova to EU standards. The statements were made on May 11 on the air of Cutia Neagra on TV8. “Our goal is to be ready to join by the end of 2030. If another country is already late with these procedures for a month or three, it does not always depend on us. The goal for this year is very clear – a recommendation to start EU accession negotiations at the end of this year. The Republic of Moldova, the ruling team are very well fulfilling the recommendations of the European Commission to start accession negotiations, Nicu Popescu said. The Deputy Prime Minister listed some specific actions that prove that the Republic of Moldova successfully fulfills the criteria for joining the EU. “There are two levels. One concerns the legislative framework for the implementation of these nine recommendations. An action plan for deoligarization has now been published, and several laws have been adopted to implement these nine recommendations. The capacity of several institutions has been strengthened so that they have the necessary people with the necessary experience who will transform the legislation according to European criteria. We did some work at this bureaucratic level. At the same time, our daily life has certain realities that are not strategies, documents, laws, but realities that indicate clear progress in aligning our country with EU standards and implementing these nine recommendations. Progress is expected in the reform of the justice system, improvement of its functioning, fight against corruption and de-oligarchization. And we are very clear that the return of the airport from Ilan Sor is a clear measure of de-oligarization, which proves that we are making progress not only in legislative but also in real terms. The conviction of Sor is another example of de-oligarization, plus progress in punishing people involved in corruption and destabilization of the country. Recently, the organization Reporters Without Borders, which compiles global press freedom rankings, put the Republic of Moldova 28th country in the global press freedom index. Last year we were in the 40th place, and 2 years ago we took the 89th place. Thus, the Republic of Moldova is the state with the best record of press freedom among all states seeking to join the EU, and this is better than in some countries. We are ranked 16th in the global Gender Equity Balance Index. We have both civil and international indicators, according to which the Republic of Moldova is doing very well with the implementation of democracy and press freedom criteria, and we discuss these things, we report them, we explain them,” the head of Moldovan diplomacy stressed. According to Nicu Popescu, the Republic of Moldova sent in April a report to the EU “where we explain our contribution and progress. In June we will send an update of our contribution, we will also explain in July, August, September.” In October, the European Commission will publish a report in order to decided based on it whether to recommend starting negotiations with the Republic of Moldova. In December, the Council of Europe will make a final decision whether the Republic of Moldova will start negotiations on joining the EU. On April 19, the plenary session of the European Parliament voted for a resolution requiring the start of negotiations on the accession of the Republic of Moldova to the European Union by the end of 2023, after the implementation of the nine recommendations set out by the European Commission. On June 23, 2022, the Council of Europe granted the Republic of Moldova the status of an EU candidate.