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Ilhan Kyuchyuk: The association of Moldova with the EU is a logical result of a long-term process

Илхан Кючюк от Либералния алианс (ДПС) в ЕП, който защитава проевропейската позиция в дебата. (© European Parliament - Audiovisual Unit)

The Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Ilhan Kyuchyuk, answered to the questions of “Evropa Dnevnik” regarding the Association Agreement between Moldova and the EU in relation to the game “Become a Member of the European Parliament” where the readers voted together with the MEPs “For”, “Against” or “Abstain” the ratification of the treaty.

Ilhan Kyuchyuk  is a Member of the European Parliament since May 2014 from the group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), elected by the Movement for Rights and Freedom. He is a member of the Committee of Foreign Affairs (AFET) and a Deputy Member in the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT). He also participates in the Delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries and the Arab Maghreb Union, as well in the Delegation for relations with the United States of America.

Was the Agreement signed and approved at the right moment – is there any specific message intended for Moscow by these actions?

This Agreement is part of a responsible process for cooperation which has started about ten years ago with the initiation of the EU-Moldova Action Plan. Undoubtedly, Moldova is part of the European history and culture. According to Art. 49 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, Moldova, like any other European country, has a European perspective and can apply for a membership in the Union, providing that it observes the principles of democracy, respects the fundamental freedoms, the human rights, the minority rights and guarantees the observance of the rule of law.

And here, we should look at the good practices and opportunities of Moldova.

Over the years, the country has come a long and difficult way, and today we already find very well developed and applied political and socio-economic reforms which logically have lead to the ratification of the Agreement on the part of the European Parliament.

The application of the Agreement will have an immediate economic and social effect on Moldova and its citizens. The communication with the rest of the countries will contribute to the introduction of a new model of realisation, of young people including. And as a part of the strategy for a united Europe, it will make this part of the continent also more stable. This is as well the ultimate goal of the Eastern Partnership and is in the interest of all, but unfortunately, not everybody shares this view. The European Parliament and the European leaders have repeatedly said that the process of association is not a threat to the political and economic interests of Russia, and it is really unfortunate that Kremlin does not want to accept this action as such.

What are the next steps to strengthen and ensure the partnership between the EU and Moldova?

Besides that it is the end of a ten-year-long cycle, the ratification of the Agreement is also the beginning of another one; with it we widely open the European doors for Moldova and its people, and we fully support the visa-free regime. This underlines that both Moldova and the EU should be engaged in applying the program and that the priorities set in it should receive appropriate technical and financial support.

The direction in which our partnership will develop from now on depends to a large extent on the will of the Moldovans as well, who very soon will have elections of crucial importance. The European institutions have the instruments and will carefully address the elections. We have found out that the European Parliament has appealed to the Moldovan authorities to ensure a free election process in compliance with the highest European standards. I’ll take the liberty to quote my colleague from ALDE, Petras Austrevicius, rapporteur on the Agreement: “Every government needs the trust and support of their own people. We all hope that the choice of the Moldovan citizens will be the one to result in further development of free society and market economy.”

Should the EU take further steps to ensure the security and territorial integrity in Moldova as well?

Considering the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the ongoing negotiations with Russia, we are concerned about the security in the region. The Agreement itself aims at expanding the commercial exchanges and increasing the political stability, assistance in the fight against corruption, supporting independent judiciary, strengthening media freedom and protection of all minorities, but guarantor of territorial integrity of Moldova are the people themselves. Unfortunately, twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall in Europe, there are still zones of tension and we should strive by virtue of dialogue to reduce the fear of new geopolitical dividing lines on the European continent.

And if we want the European Union to be a real global actor and to ensure the territorial integrity of its partners, we should set as a priority the application of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the EU.

What effect will have a flat “No” to Transnistria on the European integration of the country and what is its significance for the EU?

It is not a coincidence that the report addresses the necessity to guarantee that Transnistria, as an integral part of Moldova, is part of the scope and the consequences of the Agreement, and Chisinau and Tiraspol were called on to continue to be constructively engaged in order to find an effective solution to the conflict and to take specific steps to improve the life of the people in the region. Of course, the European Union can play a bigger role and we all expect the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Frederica Mogherini, to actively seek an improved process to settle this conflict, since the so-called “5+2” negotiation framework has not given particular results so far.

Тази публикация е достъпна и на следните езици: Bulgarian