Romania, Moldova boost EU integration co-operation

06/07/2013

The two countries join forces to reform the justice system and fight financial crimes.

By Paul Ciocoiu for Southeast European Times in Bucharest -- 06/07/13

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Moldovan EU efforts receive help from Romania. [AFP]

Romania is supporting Moldova’s EU path by assisting it in financial and legal reforms, including efforts to combat tax evasion and money laundering.

The countries signed a two-year action plan last month for effective detection of financial crimes and will jointly audit customs transactions on the common border, while Moldovan specialists will benefit from Romanian experience in auditing European funds.

"Romania's court of accounts has better experience in training audit experts thanks to special training centres. The action plan envisages joint trainings in Romanian centres," Violeta Balan, spokeswoman for the Moldovan court of accounts, told SETimes.

"In the context of Moldova's aspirations to join the communitarian space, the courts of accounts of the two countries will exchange experience in checking EU funds, grants and foreign loans. Romania's experience can facilitate training and guide the Moldovan auditors," she added, and pointed out that the two institutions will exchange experience and co-operation in order to better meet international standards.

Moldovan authorities also must reform the legal system as another EU membership precondition. To this end, Romanian and Moldovan ministries of justice will set up a joint justice forum as a discussion platform on the proposal of Romania Justice Minister Robert Cazanciuc.

The forum will be held twice a year, with the first meeting planned for early 2014.

"The forum is meant to allow the development and diversification of mutual professional experiences," the Romanian Justice Ministry said in a statement to SETimes.

"This proposal is not the first step in a consolidated co-operation with the Republic of Moldova. Last year, the justice ministry implemented the project 'assistance in the field of justice for the European integration of the Republic of Moldova', aiming to consolidate the institutional capacity of the Moldovan justice ministry to better co-ordinate its internal judicial framework with EU standards and recommendations," it added.

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"Romania knows that without an effective judiciary system, one cannot be an equal partner with other European states," Cazanciuc told reporters.

"In Romania there are experiences that are appreciated all over Europe as good practices, such as the fight against corruption and organised crime. We can have good results together to prove our European partners they can rely on us in this part of Europe," he said.

During his June visit to Brussels, Moldova Prime Minister Iurie Leanca said Moldova will receive 90 million euros in EU funds to support its justice reform and implement future agreements, such as the Stabilisation Association Agreement.

Can Romanian efforts help effectively improve Moldova's path to EU membership? Let us know what you think below.

This content was commissioned for SETimes.com.
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