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EU-Moldova Parliamentary Cooperation Committee Meeting

Brussels, November 30, 2004

Dr.Laima Andrikiene, MEP (EPP-ED, Lithuania)

EU assistance to Moldova is provided through different channels.

  1. Technical assistance. The priorities of the programme are rule of law, human rights, economic and social development and health issues. TACIS for Moldova is implemented through a number of instruments: 1) National Action Programme (AP); 2) Small Projects Programme (SPP); 3) TACIS Regional Programme; 4) Cross-border Cooperation Programme (CBC) launched in 1996.Over the period of 1991-2003, the TACIS programme provided 98.1 million EURO for Moldova.
  2. Macro-economic assistance. Moldova has also benefited from balance of payment loans. During 1991-2003 this form of EU assistance to Moldova amounted to 102.0 million EURO.
  3. Humanitarian assistance. These measures are to help in tackling the social consequences of poverty. The actions concentrate on the supply of vaccines, medicines and food for children and the elderly. From 1999 to 2003 the total amount of assistance through this channel is 5.5 million EURO.
  4. Food Security Programme. The aim of the programme is to promote long-term food security and poverty reduction in Moldova (from 2000 to 2003 - 15.9 million EURO).

The overall amount of assistance provided by the EU to Moldova during the period from 1991 to 2003 is 253.3 million EURO. EU assistance has been growing from 1 million EURO in 1991, 36 million EURO in 1992 to 54.1 million EURO in 2002/2003.

For 2005/2006 for TACIS National Indicative programme alone we have foreseen an increase in budget to 42 million EURO plus 10 million EURO under two Neighbourhood programmes (PHARE-TACIS programme with Romania and CADSES programme). In addition to this there are 10 plus 15 million EURO foreseen for Moldova through two other programmes (Macro-financial assistance and Food security programme). There is no doubt that the EU assistance to Moldova will be growing in 2005/2006: the total amount of EU assistance to Moldova in 2005 will reach the level of 77 million EURO.

Should the EU assistance to Moldova increase more rapidly and remarkably?

Yes, if Moldova proves it is eligible for another quality of assistance, for instance, PHARE programmes, pre-accession support programmes. Also Moldova has to prove that the assistance absorption capacity of the country is sufficient.

EU concerns are clear:

  1. Business climate in Moldova (administration takes arbitrary measures; companies are subject to a number of inspections; corruption);
  2. Media situation in the country;
  3. Economic situation, foreign debt, relations with the IMF (the IMP programme for Moldova has expired, there is no agreement with the IMF as the track record of Moldova is bad, the government does not fulfil its promises to the IMF);
  4. Transdniestria  - a zone of potential conflict?

On the other hand, speaking about EU budget (Year 2004) we have to remember that 7.1 billion EURO goes for external actions and that represents only 6.4 per cent of the total EU budget (111.3 billion EURO).

We have 675 million or 6,5 per cent allocated for the Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, including Kosovo) and 535 million EURO or 5.1 per cent for countries in Eastern and Central Asia. And 62 million (0.6 per cent) only goes for Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).

So I would not agree that in this context the EU assistance to Moldova should be increased at the expense of other headings and lines of the EU budget except the situation if Moldova becomes eligible for the instruments of pre-accession assistance.

Whether the current events in Ukraine might influence EU assistance to Moldova?

My answer is YES. The outcome of the events in Ukraine would have almost direct influence to Moldova. If democratic forces will win in Ukraine, EU assistance to Ukraine will increase remarkably. And Moldova would benefit from this also as a neighbouring country etc.