Moldova wants to be the Eastern Partnership’s poster child

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV.COM Ltd.

Civic messaging and commercial advertising, Chisinau city center. [Steffen Emrich/Flickr]

Brussels should continue to focus on Eastern Partnership countries which help deliver results, both in terms of internal policies and geopolitics, writes Andrian Candu.

Andrian Candu is Speaker of the Moldovan Parliament.

These are tragic days when Europe mourns its dead and takes care of its wounded. Whether we are talking about Paris, Brussels or Istanbul, the horror deepens into our souls, our airports, our metros, our streets. We all feel that more has to be done for European security. At the same time, we should not allow terrorists to set our agenda and make us move away from our priorities, our lives, our plans and aspirations.

In a complicated international environment, one should return to the basics that ensured Europe‘s magic and continued success story: working side by side, pooling resources together, unity in diversity that insures innovation, stability, economic growth. As regards security, Europe is safe when its neighbourhood is safe and, at this chapter, it‘s main attraction point -and the main incentive for foreign reforms- remains, undoubtedly, enlargement. Of course, any enlargement track depends both on EU’s readiness and a specific country‘s progress, but Europe should not forget it‘s important not to lose one‘s external sex-appeal.

While there is enlargement fatigue in EU states, Brussels should continue to focus on expectations management in Europe‘s Eastern Partnership countries  which help deliver results, both in terms of internal policies and geopolitics. Moldova may be smaller as compared to its neighbours, like Romania and Ukraine, but it is a key geopolitical gateway to its region and its EU path should be managed accordingly. The current government in Chisinau is keen to push reforms after a different governmental coalition proved its failure by internal infighting in 2015. 2016 brings a renewed push for reforms and an aligned desire of the parliamentary majority to deliver on promises and thereby renew citizen and foreign partners‘confidence.

Speaking of renewal, renewed IMF and Brussels relations constitute our fast-track priorities, in order to help stabilize the economy and accelerate our speed on the EU track. We will leave facts and actions be our best business card, like is the case for reforms in the judicial sector, to enhance the anti-corruption fight. The banking fraud inquiry is under way, with results to follow, just as part of the money to be recovered in the months to come. Government and Parliament are also working together to pass, in an accelerated manner, all relevant reforms for state modernization.

Our country and our citizens deserve better and they shall be better: the governmental majority was reset, it is focused on clear objectives and not political egos, as was previously the case. This majority means business, from all points of view, including attracting more foreign investments. We welcome investors, from Europe and around the world, to participate to Moldova renewal project: this is the moment to come in, when the country is getting back in shape and aims to once again become the Eastern Partnerships’ poster child. We can all turn 2016 into a virtuous circle, reminding us all of 2014 and not 2015.

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