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CHISINAU (Moldova), October 10 (SeeNews) - The European Commission said on Thursday it has approved the disbursement of 30 million euro ($33.08 million) in macro-financial assistance to Moldova.
The assistance package will be composed of 10 million euro in grants and 20 million euro in loans, the EU's executive body said in a press release.
This is the first of three planned disbursements under the Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) programme for Moldova adopted in September 2017.
The programme, worth up to 100 million euro, is designed to assist Moldova in covering its external financing needs while implementing a wide-ranging and ambitious structural reform agenda.
"This disbursement is an expression of support for the implementation of key reforms to improve democratic standards and protect the rule of law in Moldova. The European Commission stands ready to continue working closely with the Moldovan authorities to help deliver on a wide-ranging and ambitious set of economic and structural reforms necessary to secure jobs, growth and investment for the benefit of the people of Moldova," Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said.
For disbursements under the MFA programmes to take place, several conditions need to be met: political preconditions related to respect of democratic mechanisms, the rule of law and human rights need to be fulfilled, and specific policy measures need to have been successfully implemented. Disbursements are also conditional on good progress with the IMF programme.
In June 2018, following an assessment that the political preconditions had not been fulfilled, the release of the first installment of the programme was put on hold. This assessment was based, in particular, on the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice on the non-transparent invalidation of election results in Chisinau. Following the change of government in June 2019, the Moldovan authorities have engaged in a significant and substantial structural reform process to strengthen the independence of the judiciary and the fight against corruption, the European Commission said.
The Commission and the European External Action Service now consider that the political preconditions for proceeding with the disbursement of the first installment of the MFA programme have been fulfilled.
In the Commission's view, Moldova has now also fulfilled the policy commitments agreed with the EU, as laid down in the Memorandum of Understanding, for the release of the first disbursement. T
The IMF also recently completed the fourth and fifth reviews of its programme with Moldova. These decisions have paved the way to a resumption of the disbursement of the assistance, the Commission noted.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is lending Moldova a further $46.1 million under the current three-year funding arrangement, the country's finance ministry said on Monday.