European Commission Recommends Initiating Talks with Moldova on EU Accession
The European Commission recommends commencing negotiations with Moldova for EU membership due to the country's substantial progress in Eurointegration reforms. This is stated in a report published on the European Commission's website.
The document specifically notes that Moldova has continued reforms aimed at strengthening democracy and the rule of law, despite numerous challenges related to Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine. The country has made significant strides in electoral legislation and in implementing the remaining recommendations provided by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Venice Commission.
Electoral legislation has been comprehensively amended to address discrepancies, and a new Electoral Code was adopted in December 2022. Further amendments to the Electoral Code were passed in October 2023, allowing for the possibility of disqualifying members of political parties deemed unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court from running for elected positions. These changes still require consultations with the Venice Commission to ensure compliance with European standards. Additionally, Moldova has reformed public administration and achieved a certain level of judicial reform, progress in combating corruption, and organized crime.
The European Commission emphasizes that Moldova needs to ensure transparency in the funding of political parties, accountability in financing, and the influence of third parties on elections. Moldova is also urged to enhance transparency in parliamentary work, including involving civil councils and increasing the engagement of opposition parties and deputies.
"Distrust and sometimes insufficient transparency have led to a low level of opposition involvement in the legislative process. Further efforts are needed to increase transparency through the planning of oversight measures and public hearings, timely publication of the parliamentary work schedule, and enhancing parliamentarians' accountability," the report states.
It is worth noting that the European Commission has also recommended initiating accession negotiations with Ukraine. According to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Ukraine has completed 90% of the necessary steps for further integration into the European Union. Furthermore, the European Commission has approved granting Georgia candidate status for EU membership, provided that Tbilisi undertakes a series of steps, including aligning its foreign policy with the EU and combating corruption.