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EU to disburse 25 mln euro to support Moldova's rule of law, rural development reforms

EU to disburse 25 mln euro to support Moldova's rule of law, rural development reforms EU-Moldova

CHISINAU (Moldova), October 31 (SeeNews) - The European Commission said on Thursday it has approved the disbursement of 25 million euro ($28 million) to help Moldova's new government deliver key reforms in policing, the fight against corruption and money laundering, agriculture and rural development. 

This amount corresponds to budget support disbursements under two programmes - Support to Police reform in the Republic of Moldova and  ENPARD Moldova – Support to Agriculture and Rural Development, the Commission said in a statement.

With EU support, the Moldovan police has been able to further modernize and professionalize its structures, as overall women participation in the police force increased to 17.6%, compared to 14 % in 2014. Five pilot community policing projects were successfully implemented in all 5 police sectors and the Moldovan police has strengthened the rapid-reaction capacities of its intervention teams to emergency calls, significantly reducing the intervention time. 

Also, a new anti-corruption unit was established within the police force, which has been very active in conducting training throughout the country to actively promote and implement the principles of zero tolerance to corruption,the Commission said.

In the rural development area,  Moldova has enhanced the competitiveness of its agri-food sector by supporting farm investment, the creation of producer groups and helping agri-food establishments trade with the EU. EU support also helped agricultural producers to comply with international and EU quality standards on food safety.

"Today's assistance package – the fourth since July – demonstrates the EU's strong and continued commitment to the reform path of Moldova. It should be seen as recognition of the sustained efforts made by the Moldovan government to address problems within vital areas such as justice and the rule of law for the benefit of the Moldovan people," Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said.

This new payment follows two budget support payments made in July (14.54 million euro) and on October 18 (14.35 million euro) and a first installment of Macro-Financial Assistance of 30 million euro.

The Commission resumed its budget support to Moldova in July, following a nearly two-year period during which such payments had been put on hold due to a deterioration of the rule of law situation in the country.

Following the change of government in June, the Moldovan authorities have engaged in a significant and substantial structural reform process, which has allowed the EU to resume its budget support and macro-financial assistance to the Republic of Moldova, the Commission noted.

($=0.8957 euro)