Specialists from Romania Train Moldova’s Negotiating Team on EU Accession

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Moldovan high officials, diplomats and civil servants are trained by former members of Romania’s negotiating team on EU accession. The training started on 13 September and will last 2 weeks, during which simulated negotiations will also take place. Former Romanian diplomat Razvan Cotovelea, one of the authors of the training programme, said the training will be practical. “It is not a theoretical discussion. Vasile Puscas (Romania’s former chief negotiator) will be here, there will be simulations, scenarios, interactive games, ways in which we will try to prepare the negotiation team,” explained Cotovelea, who is also a university lecturer. Leading experts in European affairs, international negotiations, economics and finance, public procurement and European funds will come to Chisinau from Romania. “We have a few days during which we will discuss in detail what it means to coordinate and implement the pre-accession funds: how to formulate and implement the links between the negotiating commitments and the European funds negotiations, negotiation and organizational methods, ways to prepare position papers and ways to negotiate on each side,” Razvan Cotovelea said. Official Chisinau is waiting for member states to decide later this year on whether to start accession talks with Moldova. Messages from Brussels seem optimistic. At least the leaders of European institutions explicitly claim that Moldova’s place, along with Ukraine and the Western Balkans, is in the European Union. Since Razvan Cotovelea was involved in Romania’s EU accession negotiations, he recommends that Moldova start the process with “the simplest things.” “No matter how good a speaker or a high-ranking official or a much-experienced diplomat is, he or she has to come up with some arguments and some tangible elements that will convince member states to start this or that chapter of the negotiations. Both in Romania and in the other candidate countries, we started with the simplest things,” argues Cotovelea. The training programme on European affairs is organized at the request of the Chisinau authorities. The training is organized by the Romanian Diplomatic Institute in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Romania’s International Development Cooperation Agency (RoAid).