Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Can Moldova stay on the road to Europe?

Moldova is considered a success story of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership (EaP) initiative. In the four years since a pro-European coalition came to power in 2009, Moldova has become more pluralist and has experienced robust economic growth. The government has introduced reforms and has deepened Moldova’s relations with the EU, completing a visa-free action plan and initialling an Association Agreement (AA) with provisions for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). At the start of 2014, Moldova is one step away from progressing into a more complex, more rewarding phase of relations with the EU. Implementing the association agenda will spur economic growth and will multiply linkages with Moldova’s biggest trading partner, the EU. However, Moldova’s progress down the European path promises to be one of the main focuses for intrigue in the region in 2014. Armenia and Ukraine have caved in to Russia’s coercive diplomacy, which means that the vitality of the EU’s eastern neighbourhood policy hinges more than ever on Moldova’s success. Russia’s diplomatic victories in its own “near abroad” will likely encourage it to increase its pressure on Moldova. And Moldova’s fragile governing pro-European coalition faces domestic challenges ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for November 2014.

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