Accession of Moldova to the European Union

Ongoing accession process of Moldova to the EU
Current Progress
Chapters Closed
Prerequisites
European Perspective Recognized18 April 2014[1]
Association Agreement 221 July 2016
Candidate Status Granted23 June 2022
Negotiations
Membership Application3 March 2022
QuestionnaireSent
11 April 2022

Approved
12 May 2022

Returned
Application Approved
Negotiations StartTBD
Accession
Defense & Military
NATO
AccessionUnlikely
Neutrality is enshrined in Moldova's Constitution
Major Obstacles
  • Level of poverty in Moldova (the country is the poorest in Europe[citation needed])
  • Transnistria conflict
  • Autonomous region of Gagauzia
  • Geopolitical ramifications
  • Brussels Requirements:
  1. improve economic efficiency
  2. reduce corruption
  3. better enforce property rights
  4. reduce the size of state-owned enterprises
  5. improve energy efficiency
  6. improve the labor market
Economy
Adoption of Euro
Comparison
EU averageMoldova
Population16,555,8372,597,100[2] (01.01.2021, excluding Transnistria)
Area156,417 km2
60,536 mi2
33,846[3] km2
13,087 mi2
GDP$634 billion
(nominal, 2021 est.)
$742 billion
(PPP, 2021 est.)
$13.68 billion (nominal, 2021 est.)
$40.25 billion[4]
(PPP, 2021 est.)
GDP per capita $34,149
(nominal, 2021 est.)
$44,766
(PPP, 2021 est.)
$3,235.95 USD (nominal, Dec. 2020)
$15,637.24
(PPP, 2020 est.)
HDI0.8950.750[5] (2019)
Gini30.226[6] (2019)
Differences upon EU Accession
Entire EU
EU Population
EU Area
EU GDP
EU GDP per capita
HDI
Gini
New Official Languages
Average EU Member
Avg. EU Member Population
Avg. EU Member Area
Avg. EU Member GDP
Avg. EU Member GDP per capita
Initiatives, Treaties, & Programs
OthersDeep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area
1 July 2016
Travel
Schengen Visa Liberalisation8 April 2014
Accession to Schengen Area
Coat of arms of Moldova.svg

Government of Moldova
 CIS member state


Administrative divisions
flag Moldova portal
  • v
  • t
  • e

The accession of Moldova to the European Union (EU) is on the current agenda for future enlargement of the EU.

History

European perspective

The European Parliament passed a resolution in 2014 stating that "in accordance with Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, as well as any other European country, have a European perspective and can apply for EU membership in compliance with the principles of democracy, respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights, minority rights and ensuring the rule of rights".[7]

Membership application

After the outbreak of the 2022 Russian invasion in Ukraine, Maia Sandu signed on 3 March 2022 the application for EU membership, together with Igor Grosu, President of the Moldovan Parliament; and Natalia Gavrilița, Prime Minister of Moldova.[8]

Questionnaire

On 11 April 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova Nicu Popescu received a questionnaire from the European Commission (EC) following a meeting with the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi as a result of Moldova's application for candidacy.[9] The response to the first part of the questionnaire was submitted back to the EC through the Delegation of the European Union to Moldova's head Janis Mazeiks by the Prime Minister of Moldova Natalia Gavrilița on 22 April,[10] while the responses to the second part were submitted on 12 May 2022.[11]

Recommendation

On 17 June 2022, the European Commission formally recommended that the European Council grant the Republic of Moldova the perspective to become a member of the European Union and candidate status for accession, with a number of conditions for the opening of accession negotiations.

Candidacy

On 23 June 2022, Moldova received the status of candidate together with Ukraine. Both countries received candidate status under the commitment of structural reforms. Moldova's structural reforms include improving economic efficiency, reducing corruption, better enforcing property rights, reducing the size of state-owned enterprises, improving energy efficiency, and improving the labor market.

Treaties

Stabilisation and Association Agreement

The EU Association Agreement (AA) was initialed on 29 November 2013 in Brussels.[12] It was signed on 27 June 2014 and was being provisionally applied (in particular the DCFTA) starting 1 September 2014.

On 1 July 2016, the Association Agreement (AA) between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova fully came into force, following ratification by all 31 signatories.[13]

The parties committed to co-operate and converge economic policy, legislation, and regulation across a broad range of areas, including equal rights for workers, the exchange of information and staff in the area of justice, the modernisation of Moldova's energy infrastructure, and access to the European Investment Bank. The parties committed to regular summit meetings, and meetings among ministers, other officials, and experts.

The Association Agreement commits Moldova to economic, judicial and financial reforms to converge its policies and legislation to those of the European Union.

The 30 parties are Moldova, the EU and Euratom and the 27 EU members.

Ratification

Ratification history
Signatory Date Institution In favour Against AB Deposited[14] Reference
 Austria 8 July 2015 National Council Approved 28 August 2015 [15]
23 July 2015 Federal Council Approved [15]
Presidential Assent Granted
 Belgium
23 April 2015 Chamber of Representatives 102 17 18 1 February 2016 [16][17]
Royal Assent (federal law)
1 July 2015
Walloon
Parliament
(regional)
(community)
63 2 4 [18]
61 2 4 [18]
22 June 2015 German-speaking Community 16 2 1 [19]
24 June 2015 French Community 71 0 8 [20]
20 November 2015 Brussels Regional Parliament 69 3 3 [21][22]
20 November 2015
Brussels United
Assembly[23]
(FR language)
(NL language)
53 3 1 [24][25]
14 0 2 [24][25]
17 June 2015
Flemish
Parliament
(regional)
(community)
83 18 [26]
88 19 [26]
24 June 2015 COCOF Assembly 71 0 8 [27][28]
 Bulgaria 24 July 2014 National Assembly 91 0 0 9 September 2014 [29]
28 July 2014 Presidential Assent Granted [30]
 Croatia 12 December 2014 Parliament 119 0 0 24 March 2015 [31]
18 December 2014 Presidential Assent Granted [32]
 Cyprus 7 May 2015 House of Representatives Approved 18 August 2015 [33]
22 May 2015 Presidential Assent Granted [34]
 Czech Republic 18 March 2015 Senate 53 0 10 12 June 2015 [35]
9 April 2015 Chamber of Deputies 122 0 6 [35]
19 May 2015 Presidential Assent Granted [36]
 Denmark 18 December 2014 Parliament 101 8 0 18 February 2015 [37]
 Estonia 4 November 2014 Assembly 62 0 0 12 January 2015 [38][39]
13 November 2014 Presidential Assent Granted [40]
European Union European Union and EAEC 13 November 2014 European Parliament 535 94 44 19 April 2016 (EAEC)
23 May 2016 (EU)
[41]
Council of the European Union
 Finland 10 March 2015 Parliament Approved 6 May 2015 [42]
24 April 2015 Presidential Assent Granted [43]
 France 3 March 2015 Senate Approved 3 July 2015 [44]
16 April 2015 National Assembly Approved [44]
27 April 2015 Presidential Assent Granted [44]
 Germany 8 May 2015 Bundesrat Approved 22 July 2015 [45]
26 March 2015 Federal Diet Approved [46]
27 May 2015 Presidential Assent Granted [47]
 Greece 18 November 2015 Parliament Approved 6 January 2016 [48]
24 November 2015 Presidential Promulgation Granted [49]
 Hungary 25 November 2014 National Assembly 133 0 6 7 April 2015 [50]
5 December 2014 Presidential Assent Granted [50]
Republic of Ireland Ireland 27 January 2015 Dáil Éireann 58 19 0 17 April 2015 [51]
 Italy 26 November 2015 Senate 151 35 11 3 February 2016 [52]
29 July 2015 Chamber of Deputies 314 88 36 [52]
7 December 2015 Presidential Assent Granted [53]
 Latvia 14 July 2014 Parliament 79 0 0 2 October 2014 [54]
18 July 2014 Presidential Assent Granted [55]
 Lithuania 8 July 2014 Parliament 84 0 1 29 July 2014 [56]
11 July 2014 Presidential Assent Granted [57]
 Luxembourg 18 March 2015 Chamber of Deputies 55 2 0 12 May 2015 [58]
12 April 2015 Grand Ducal Promulgation Granted [59]
 Malta 21 August 2014 House of Representatives Approved 29 August 2014 [60][61][62]
 Moldova 2 July 2014 Parliament 59 4 0 23 July 2014 [63]
8 July 2014 Presidential Assent Granted [64]
 Netherlands 7 July 2015 Senate Adopted 21 September 2015 [65]
7 April 2015 House of Representatives Adopted [66]
28 July 2015 Royal Promulgation Granted [65]
 Poland 18 December 2014 Senate 79 0 0 24 March 2015 [67]
5 December 2014 House of Representatives 420 0 0 [68][69]
29 December 2014 Presidential Assent Granted [70]
 Portugal 20 March 2015 National Assembly Approved 13 May 2015 [71]
22 April 2015 Presidential Assent Granted [72]
 Romania 2 July 2014 Chamber of Deputies 284 1 1 14 July 2014 [73]
3 July 2014 Senate 122 0 0 [74]
9 July 2014 Presidential Assent Granted [75]
 Slovakia 23 September 2014 National Council 117 0 0 21 October 2014 [76]
16 October 2014 Presidential Assent Granted [77]
 Slovenia 13 May 2015 National Assembly 70 3 0 27 July 2015 [78][79]
21 May 2015 Presidential Assent Granted [80]
 Spain 27 May 2015 Senate Approved 28 July 2015 [81]
30 April 2015 Congress of Deputies 303 0 1 [82]
Royal Assent Granted
 Sweden 26 November 2014 Parliament 249 44 0 9 January 2015 [83]
 United Kingdom 9 March 2015 House of Lords Approved 8 April 2015 [84]
23 February 2015 House of Commons Approved [85]
19 March 2015 Royal Assent Order Made [86]

Notes

Malta

The ratification was performed in accordance with article 4(2)(b) of the Maltese European Union Act,[60] which reads that:

"Provided that with regard to treaties and international conventions which Malta may accede to as Member State of the European Union, and treaties and international conventions which Malta is bound to ratify in its own name or on behalf of the European Community by virtue of its membership within the European Union, these shall come into force one month following their being submitted in order to be discussed by the Standing Committee on Foreign and European Affairs."[61]

As the treaty was submitted to the Standing Committee on Foreign and European Affairs on 21 July 2014,[62] the treaty came into force as part of the Maltese legislation on 21 August 2014.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The ratification was based on The European Union (Definition of Treaties) (Association Agreement) (Moldova) Order 2015, made in accordance with section 1(3) of the European Communities Act 1972, after having been approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

Application in the United Kingdom after Brexit

The agreement applied to the United Kingdom as an EU-member state until Brexit on 31 January 2020. During the transition period that followed Brexit, the agreement until 31 December 2020, the agreement still applied to the UK. The UK and Moldova announced on 8 October 2020 an agreement replacing the EU-Moldova Association Agreement between them,[87] which was provisionally applied from 1 January 2021.[88]

Free trade area

The agreement established a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the EU and Moldova, including "the removal of import duties for most goods traded between the EU and Moldova" and "broad mutual access to trade in services for both partners".[89]

Other

Programs

EU Programs

Past EU Programs

Other

Defence

Accession to NATO

The accession of Moldova to NATO remains unlikely. Article 11 of the Constitution of Moldova states: "The Republic of Moldova proclaims its permanent neutrality. The Republic of Moldova does not allow the deployment of armed forces of other states on its territory." According to NATO, "Moldova is constitutionally neutral but seeks to draw closer to Euro-Atlantic standards and institutions. NATO fully respects Moldova's constitutional neutrality."[90]

Major obstacles

  1. improve economic efficiency
  2. reduce corruption
  3. better enforce property rights
  4. reduce the size of state-owned enterprises
  5. improve energy efficiency
  6. improve the labor market

Public opinion

Domestic

A poll in June 2018 found that 46% preferred that Moldova join the EU versus 36% that preferred to join the Eurasian Economic Union.[91] A March 2022 survey condected by Magenta Consulting found that, after president Maia Sandu announced that her government had officially submitted an application for membership of the European Union, 61% of Moldovans (40% 'totally', 21% 'rather') were in favour of EU membership, up from 52% before the start of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[92]

Date Question Totally support Rather support Rather don't support Don't support at all Don't know/No answer
March 2022 – Magenta[93] EU membership 40% 21% 10% 21% 8%

In May 2022, a poll in Moldova found that 56.1% supported EU membership.[94]

EU

Negotiations

Moldova has not yet started the negotiation process.

Chapter and screening dates
Progression 0 / 35
0% complete
0 / 35
0% complete
0 / 35
0% complete
0 / 35
0% complete
Acquis chapter Screening started Screening completed Chapter opened Chapter closed
Overview 0 out of 35 0 out of 35 0 out of 35 0 out of 35
1. Free Movement of Goods
2. Freedom of Movement For Workers
3. Right of Establishment & Freedom To Provide Services
4. Free Movement of Capital
5. Public Procurement
6. Company Law
7. Intellectual Property Law
8. Competition Policy
9. Financial Services
10. Information Society & Media
11. Agriculture & Rural Development
12. Food Safety, Veterinary & Phytosanitary Policy
13. Fisheries
14. Transport Policy
15. Energy
16. Taxation
17. Economic & Monetary Policy
18. Statistics
19. Social Policy & Employment
20. Enterprise & Industrial Policy
21. Trans-European Networks
22. Regional Policy & Coordination of Structural Instruments
23. Judiciary & Fundamental Rights
24. Justice, Freedom & Security
25. Science & Research
26. Education & Culture
27. Environment & Climate Change
28. Consumer & Health Protection
29. Customs Union
30. External Relations
31. Foreign, Security & Defence Policy
32. Financial Control
33. Financial & Budgetary Provisions
34. Institutions
35. Other Issues

Economy

Developmental aid

Euro adoption

Moldova is expected to have to adopt the Euro and become a member of the Eurozone in the future when it will join the EU.

Travel

Schengen visa liberalisation

Unification of Romania and Moldova

There is some support for the unification of Moldova and Romania, which would incorporate the current territory of Moldova into Romania and thus into the EU.[95] About 44% of the Moldovans that were polled in 2021 supported such a scenario.[96]

See also

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External links

  • europa.eu foreign relations Moldova-EU
  • Delegation of the European Commission to Moldova site
  • www.mfa.md - Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova RM-EU relations page
  • EU-Moldova Negotiations: what is to be discussed, what could be achieved? document
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