Moldova scores 8,6 out of 10 in implementing the Visa Action Plan

Moldova scores 8,6 out of 10 for implementing the Action Plan on Visa Liberalization (1st Phase), May 2012

Authors: Crisian Ghinea, Ciprian Ciucu, Tudor Cojocariu

The Romanian Center for European Policies (CRPE) and the Foreign Policy Association (APE) Chisinau are launching the report Moldova scores 8,6 out of 10 for implementing the Action Plan on Visa Liberalization (1st Phase).

The authors have evaluated the progress made by the Republic of Moldova while implementing the National Action Plan on Visa Liberalization. The agreed Action Plan has two phases and the CRPE – APE evaluation refers to the sub-actions comprised in the first phase. From the total of 163 sub-actions, the evaluation shows that Moldova has accomplished 76% and another 10% are almost accomplished. This means that the total score rises to 86%.

The EU should take the decision concerning passing to the second phase. The authors are calling the Commission to recommend passing to the second phase on the basis of the results so far. Bringing the rewards closer (liberalizing visa regime) will increase the probability to adopt the necessary measures from both fields. The Action Plan entails complex and delicate reforms (for example, reforming coercive institutions), while existing the risk that reforms in other fields could be delayed because of postponing the transition to the second phase.

Republic of Moldova is the most advanced state from the Eastern Partnership, in which concerns the visa dialogue. Consequently, the EU should give a political sign for the region. Tensioning the EU-Ukraine relation puts Moldova in the position of the only state from the EaP in which pro-European orientation is consistent and generates internal reforms. Nevertheless, Chisinau is marked by a significant skepticism regarding the will of the EU to provide new changes. This attitude has to be stopped, as the report recommends.

The CRPE – APE comprises also the following:

– a comparison between the evolution of the Western Balkan states and Moldova concerning the visa issue (mostly regarding the non-discrimination law).

– an analysis of the way in which decisions are made in Brussels (authors show that involving the European Parliament in the co-decision procedure could be an advantage for Moldova).

The report draws the attention upon the non-corruption policies, this being a field where the EU should invest more political credibility (at least as many it has invested in the field of non-discrimination legislation).

The anti-corruption topic is rather popular in Moldova, meaning that a more in depth involvement of the EU would generate effects.

The report is available here.

The video from the launching public conference in Chisinau can be viewed here.