Best Practices in the Romania – Republic of Moldova Relationship

moldova bune practici crpe coperta noua copyPolicy Memo 47, CRPE Authors: Cristian GHINEA, Bianca TOMA

The “Best Practices in the relationship between Romania and Moldova. Models of partnership” report summarizes the lessons learned along the “Contributions to the Romania -Republic of Moldova Development Partnership” project, an attempt of the civil society in the two countries to foster the Bucharest – Chisinau institutional partnerships and to place them in a broader conceptual framework.

The “Contributions for Romania – Republic of Moldova Development Partnership” project was developed in 2012 – 2013 by the Romanian Center for European Policies (RCEP) and the Foreign Policy Association in Chisinau. Concrete proposals of the project focused on the organization of five thematic consultations concentrating on medium-term development objectives of the Republic of Moldova and the concrete ways in which Romania can come up with support (expertise, logistical, institutional, finaniciar). The consultation topics were:

(1) Bilateral energy projects with a focus on current projects and future challenges of energy security;

(2) Competition policies – transfer of Romania – Republic of Moldova best practices, given that Chisinau is negotiating an agreement on the establishment of a deep and comprehensive free trade area with the EU;

(3) Deepening of Romania-Moldova cooperation in the context of judicial reform – organizing a working visit of the newly appointed National Integrity Commission representatives at the National Agency for Integrity started an already extended cooperation (at six months since the project consultations);

(4) Regional cooperation through which areas of intervention for both Bucharest and Chisinau were identified for efficient partnerships and regional projects;

(5) The anti-discrimination policies – working visit of the Council for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Equal Opportunities(CPEDEO) representatives in Moldova to the National Council for Combating Discrimination (NCCD)Romania.

Each of the meetings of the “Contributions to the Romania -Republic of Moldova Development Partnership” has provided important information to the experts of the two countries about the needs, expectations, challenges and opportunities for collaboration.

Recommendations in each area can be found in the thematic reports of the project experts coordinated by the Romanian Center for European Policies and Foreign Policy Association. In this summary report we will only insist on cross conclusions applicable to partnerships between the two countries.

1. Agenda for Integration. Setting needs and priorities in the bilateral relationship according to documents initialed by the Republic of Moldova and the EU at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius (November 2013). The Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement will establish the reform agenda od the Republic of Moldova for the coming years, Romania has the expertise and the interest in helping this agenda. We propose that the priorities for the coming years to be set according to three criteria:

a. Is it a must on Moldova’s integration agenda?
b. Is there relevant expertise and interest in institutions / NGOs in Romania for cooperation?
c. Is there interest in institutions and NGOs in the Republic of Moldova for cooperation with their counterparts in Romania?

2. Romania must ensure clear implementation structures for all programmes. We have given enough examples of programmes whose implementation is controlled by the Romanian State and that worked – the best examples are The Romania – Ukraine – Republic of Moldova trilateral Programme and the MFA/ODA funds. At the same time we have the 100 million euro Programme that has stumbled. The difference was made by the existence / absence of an implementation unit to provide rules for writing projects by the beneficiaries, launch public calls and to arrange a predictable selection of projects.