Romania is training Moldovan diplomats and officials to better manage the country's European integration efforts.
By Paul Ciocoiu for Southeast European Times in Bucharest -- 26/01/13
Romania's EU accession experience is helping assist Moldova on its path. [AFP]
In an effort to streamline its efforts to join the EU, Moldova wants to learn from Romania's integration experience. A programme for diplomats and high ranking officials in Moldova, organised by Romania's Diplomatic Institute, is one of the steps being taken by Bucharest to assist the country.
Officials, diplomats and employees of several ministries and other central administration institutions graduated from the latest course, financed by the institute through development funds.
"The programme represents a concrete way through which Romania supports Moldova's institutional consolidation and expertise transfer," the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement released to SETimes.
"The latest course focused on European themes, given the ample EU approaching process Moldova is going through and to which the course attendees directly contribute to through the positions they hold in the Moldovan central administration" the statement said.
The course, which was held last month, was attended by 17 Moldovan officials.
The first three-month course within the programme framework was held in 2010 and was attended by 10 Moldovan officials, while the second was held in September 2012. In 2011, the Romanian Diplomatic Institute organised two similar courses for diplomats and officials from Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan. Two other formation programmes, in October 2009 and October 2010, were held at Ramallah, in the West Bank.
The course featured experts from Moldova's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, the State Chancellery, the ministries of economy, health, transport, regional development and communications.
"Moldova is in an advanced process of negotiation with the EU and it needs Romania's recent expertise in this regard," Iurie Renita, Moldovan ambassador to Bucharest, told SETimes.
"The attendees are all officials with responsibilities in the field of European integration, entrusted with applying the European standards in Moldova," he added. Moldova has made the most significant progress in the process of European integration.
Its current relations with the EU deploy through the Eastern Partnership -- an initiative by Poland and Sweden to bring six neighbouring countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) closer to the EU.
The pro-European ruling coalition in Chisinau hopes to sign the Association Agreement with the EU in November, when the third Eastern Partnership summit is held in Vilnius.
"As far as we are concerned, we are already looking at the relationship with … Moldova in a pre-accession logic. Our common project of strategic importance is to support Moldova's European course," Romanian Minster of Foreign Affairs Titus Corlatean said while visiting with his Moldovan counterpart Iurie Leanca last week.
Romania is now examining concrete technical measures to assist Moldova in successfully finishing the second and the last phase of the EU-Moldova Action Plan, which focuses on visa liberalisation, Corlatean said. An EU evaluation mission is expected to arrive at Chisinau in February to assess progress made in this field.