24 january

Statements by Moldovan PM, EU Commissioners Stefan Fule, Dacian Ciolos at joint news conference in Chisinau

Prime Minister Iurie Leanca: Good Afternoon to everybody! Let me warmly greet Misters commissioners in Chisinau. Commissioner Fule and Commissioner Ciolos have been visiting us many times over these four years, and this visit is probably more important that the previous visits. On the one hand, I was talking to you about these four years, which have meant an unprecedented cooperation with the European Commission and European Union on the whole. In these four years of joint efforts, we have managed to achieve objectives of maximal importance, we succeeded in completing the negotiations on the Agreements of maximum of relevance: the Association and Free Trade ones. We managed to spectacularly advance in terms of the action plan on visas. We enforced more achievements, such as the common aviation area. Our citizens can already benefit from the latter’s privileges. On the other, this year is crucial for Moldova’s future, crucial for the European future of Moldova. On this ground, the fact that the distinguished commissioners, our good friends have found time to come to Chisinau and discuss the goals for this year is an extremely important element. This year, we are to sign the Association and Agree Trade Agreements, this year, we are to get the European Union’s final decision on visas, this year, we along with the colleagues from Brussels , as well as with the colleagues from Bucharest, are to put into operation the first element of interconnection in the energy sector. This year, we are to work on other elements concerning the interconnection in the energy field. Yet, certainly, we advance also on the interconnection regarding the transports, setting bridges, etc. We have extremely important objectives, so that I want to greet them once again. We have already started discussing on several key elements, we will continue after this conference. And I am sure that we will together discuss objectives for this year and, especially, not only when and where we will sign these two agreements, not only when we will get the visa free regime, but also how shall we do, so that when we sign the concerned Agreements and ratify them in the parliament, we are ready to fully benefit from the provisions and advantages put down in these two Accords. Thank you!

European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule: This the visit to a member state of the Eastern Partnership since the beginning of this year, which is not by accident.

The European Union’s relations with Moldova are developing with increased speed. In 2013, a string of measures were taken, which helped advance the bilateral ties: we initialled the Association Agreement, raised the quotas for the Moldovan wines and started the process of removing visas for the Moldovan citizens.

It is important that we back this dynamic and use this potential to get the advantages the citizens of this country will enjoy, relying on the efficient implemented of the reforms. The integrity and independence of the state institutions must be fully re-established and guaranteed. The constitutional, justice reform, fighting corruption and improving the business climate are essential. I highlighted the encouraging results achieved over the last four years. At the same time, there is still much to do. We continue to be committed to sign the Association Agreement, which is a model of modernisation for Moldova.

It is good that the text of the Association Agreement was translated into the Romanian and Russian languages, so that all the citizens, including those from the Transnistrian region, take knowledge of this text. I encourage you everybody to read the Agreement, to see its benefits and the opportunities of a closer cooperation with the EU.

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Ciolos: First of all, I wish you a Happy New Year, as we see each other for the first time here in Chisinau this year. As you probably remember, last year, on the occasion of my latest visit, I was speaking about a regional conference due to be organised in Chisinau. This is also the outcome of the very dynamic involvement of Moldova in this process of rapprochement and cooperation with the European Union, of the Eastern Partnership countries, and particularly in a favourite field for Moldova’s economy, it is about agriculture, rural development, food industry.

And therefore, I along with my colleague, Commissioner Stefan Fule, ruled to organise the regional ministerial conference within the Eastern Partnership on agriculture and rural development in Chisinau. At the ministerial conference, in which, besides the agriculture ministers or deputy ministers from the Eastern Partnership countries, 13 or 14 high-level representatives, ministers or state secretaries from European Union member states also participated, I was surprisingly pleased to see the great interested this conference stimulated also among the member states of the European Union.

This shows the clear-cut commitment of the European Commission to support Moldova and the Eastern Partnership countries on the European way in a very concrete sector which concerns our everybody’s daily life. It is about nourishment, yet it is about the economic aspect as well. Most Eastern Partnership countries have an important agriculture sector and most residents live in the rural region. So, it is about a field in which the European Union intervenes in a very concrete way, as this is the sole sector for which, within the Eastern Partnership, we have a specific programme on support of this field. We discussed these things today. Yet, beyond this involvement of the European Commission, I am glad to see that the EU member states not only accept to back this idea, but also want to involve quite concretely and use the experience gained in these years, some of them as former countries candidates to join the EU. To use this experience in order to help the Eastern Partnership countries, to use as quickly and as efficiently as possible the available instruments and here I refer not only to the technical assistance of the European Commission, financial assistance, but especially to the Free Trade Agreement, which is and which we see as one of the instruments to help the economic development and stimulation in a key sector, such as the agri-food field.

The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement implies access to the European market of 500 million consumers for the agricultural producers of this country. We are aware that, to have access to the market, it is necessary to comply with certain standards and norms we have in the European Union. And so we will have also the instruments to help the producers align with these standards. And today, at this Conference, we also had an important presence on behalf of the European Investment Bank, with which we will work along with the European Commission namely to achieve this economic aspect of investments, in order to use this opportunity. So, this is the reason of my presence here today first of all, and we will continue this way during the next months as well, in order to concretise these projects. click