Fri, 20 Sep 2019

The European Union says Moldova has 'moved resolutely" to implement key reforms to reinforce democracy and the rule of law since a change of government in June.

The Association Implementation Report on Moldova, published on September 12, shows that 'while reforms in the economic and banking sector advanced during 2018, the fundamental structural reforms of the judicial system, the fight against corruption, the prosecution of the 2014 banking fraud and ensuring media plurality were lagging behind,' the European Commission said in a statement.

'We expect the authorities to deliver on the commitments made and to implement the ambitious EU-Moldova Agreement, to the benefit of our citizens,' EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini added.

Moldovan Prime Minister Maia Sandu of the pro-Western Now Platform took office in June after months of political deadlock that followed inconclusive parliamentary elections in February.

In 2018, the EU decided to suspend and reduce financial support amid concerns about a 'backsliding in the rule of law and democracy situation' in one of Europe's poorest countries.

But the commission in July resumed budget support assistance and signed three crucial financing agreements worth nearly 55 million euros ($60 million) after the new government 'took significant steps, in particular on the electoral framework, in the fight against corruption and in the de-politicization of state institutions.'

The commissioner for European neighborhood policy and enlargement negotiations, Johannes Hahn, said the EU was 'ready to further step up our financial support and advice in response to the government's robust reform agenda.'

The report on the implementation of the commitments under the EU-Moldova Association Agreement over the past year was prepared by the European Commission.

It will feed into the annual EU-Moldova Association Council, taking place in Brussels on September 30.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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