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CHISINAU (Moldova), September 13 (SeeNews) - The European Commission said that Moldova, under its new government, has moved resolutely with the implementation of key reforms in order to address the deterioration of democratic standards and the rule of law.
The new government that came to power in June 2019 committed to a strengthened and consistent implementation of the association agreement with its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area in full respect of its core principles, the Commission said on Thursday in a press release based on findings of a report on the implementation of the EU-Moldova Association Agreement.
According to the Commission, the Maia Sandu cabinet adopted a number of programmes focused on the most urgent reforms and took significant steps, in particular on the electoral framework, in the fight against corruption and in the de-politicisation of state institutions. In response, the Commission resumed budget support assistance and signed three crucial financing agreements, altogether worth close to 55 million euro.
"The new Moldovan government has started an important reform plan to reinforce democracy and the rule of law in the country. We expect the authorities to deliver on the commitments made and to implement the ambitious EU-Moldova Agreement, to the benefit of our citizens. As EU, we are ready to continue to accompany and support this work, because we value our friendship a lot,” EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said.
Following the non-transparent invalidation of the mayoral elections in Chisinau in June 2018, the EU and other international actors warned on a backsliding in the rule of law and democracy situation, which are key values and principles at the core of the association agreement, the report noted. In light of these developments, the EU decided in 2018 to put on hold payments on budget support and macro financial assistance as well as recalibrated and reduced further financial support, the EC reminds.
"In July 2019 we already resumed budget support payments; we also signed with the Government financing agreements on sustainable local development and rule of law that will allow for the implementation of programmes bringing tangible results to the people of Moldova. We are ready to further step up our financial support and advice in response to the Government's robust reform agenda," enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn said.
In August, the Commission disbursed 15 million euro ($16.7 million) to Moldova to support the implementation of the EU-Moldova free trade agreement, to finance vocational education training and to assist the implementation of the visa liberalisation action plan.
($= 0.9007 euro)