European Council President Charles Michel will visit the Republic of Moldova today to meet with President Maia Sandu. During today’s
European Council President Charles Michel will visit the Republic of Moldova today to meet with President Maia Sandu.
During today’s meeting, both presidents will discuss trade, the fight against COVID-19, and the future of the Eastern Partnership—a policy initiative to increase cooperation between the EU and its eastern neighbors including Moldova. The EU and Moldova have enjoyed increasingly close relations over the past ten years. Bilateral trade agreements have allowed stronger political association and economic integration between the EU and Moldova. Further, EU aid has helped strengthen democratic reforms in Moldova.
Moldovan leaders now hope the country will join the EU as a permanent member. The main obstacle to accession is the territorial dispute over Transnistria, a self-proclaimed state within Moldova. Operating under a ceasefire agreement that ended a 1992 war prompted by the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moldova and Transnistria continue to negotiate border disputes and Transnistria’s political status.
Sandu, who was recently elected to office, is unlikely to make radical changes to the Moldovan-Transnistrian relationship. Instead, Sandu’s negotiations with Transnistrian leadership will likely lead to small agreements that maintain a stable status quo. This, coupled with the fact that Sandu is unlikely to receive support for pro-EU reform policies from opposition parties, indicates that Moldovan accession to the EU is still far off.
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