The issue of Pridnestrovie (Transnistria) was the main theme of the political dialogue at the meeting of the EU-Moldova Cooperation Council held today in Brussels. The EU delegation was headed by the President of the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council, Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, and the Moldovan delegation by Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin.
At the start of the meeting, the Slovenian Foreign Minister welcomed the measures to enhance mutual trust proposed by President Voronin. "It is an important step," commented Dr Rupel, assessing the measure as a response to the effective interests of Transnistria. The level of openness demonstrated by Russia in this context was also a favourable sign.
Dr Rupel also emphasised the positive developments in relations between the European Union and Moldova: among the objectives achieved, he mentioned the entry into force of agreements on the simplification of visa procedures; Moldova had also been granted trade preferences.
In addition, the Slovenian Foreign Minister pointed out that Moldova had made great progress in its reforms and that the European Union was consequently willing to think about a new agreement with Moldova, provided, however, that Moldova continued to make efforts to pursue reform. Dr Rupel also welcomed Moldova’s progress in the area of democracy, rule of law and human rights, but stressed that additional efforts are needed to implement these reforms. It is important that Moldova conducts its parliamentary elections in 2009 in line with international standards; on this point, Dr Rupel expressed concern at the latest amendments to the electoral law, which increased the electoral threshold to 6%. He specifically pointed out the urgent need to step up the fight against corruption and the importance of implementing the Telecommunications Act in a manner that ensures pluralism in the media. The Slovenian Foreign Minister also reminded his counterparts of the importance of enforcing human rights.