There is no longer interdependence between the European accession process and the reintegration process. The European Union’s perception of the candidate states’ aspirations to join the EU in the absence of a final solution to the conflicts on their territories has changed.
Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration Oleg Serebrian stated this after President Maia Sandu had earlier mentioned that Moldova could integrate into the European Union without the Transnistrian region. The Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration explained that the government’s priority is to include the Transnistrian region in Moldova’s legal field, IPN notes.
Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration said that the final settlement of the Transnistrian conflict is no longer a strict condition on the part of the European Union in the accession process. Oleg Serebrian claimed that European officials are now making it clear that Moldova’s European integration no longer depends on the resolution of the Transnistrian issue.
“Of course, it is preferred that the Transnistrian conflict be resolved before we become members of the European Union. The fact that Brussels is open to us and to the candidate countries, in general not putting very acutely the issue of control over the whole territory, is only to our favor. In the past, many people have constantly referred to the fact that Moldova cannot become a member of the EU because it does not control the whole territory. The old approach of the European Union was as follows. The Cyprus model was perceived in some capitals as a less good example that should not be repeated.
The war in Ukraine has changed the attitude of European countries towards the Eastern Partnership states and, in particular, the Republic of Moldova-Ukraine-Georgia trio. All these countries are facing unresolved, more serious or less open territorial conflicts. During his visit to Chisinau, Josep Borrell said that there is no interdependence between the reintegration process and the European integration process,” Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration Oleg Serebrian said in the Cabinetul din Umbră programme on JurnalTV. According to the official, the Chisinau authorities aim to bring the Transnistrian region into Moldova’s legal field by 2030, so that the territory on the left bank of the Dniester is prepared for a possible accession.
“For instance, in the sphere of customs, taxation, maybe in the banking sphere we can advance until 2030. The creation of a single customs zone would solve many economic problems. We propose to bring the Transnistrian region into the legal field of the Republic of Moldova. We have the overwhelming majority of businesses registered with the State Services Agency, because they comply with the legislation willy-nilly.
We want businesses on the left and right bank to have equal conditions,” the Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration noted. Earlier, President Maia Sandu also said that Moldova can join the European Union before the political settlement of the Transnistrian conflict. The head of state explained that the right bank of the Dniester can be integrated into the European Union first, while the left bank will do it later, when the citizens of the Transnistrian region notice the advantages of the European integration.