On 16 May 2022, the EU funded project “Support for structured policy dialogue, coordination of the implementation of the Association Agreement and enhancement of the legal approximation process” organised a roundtable discussion between Members of the Parliament (MPs) of the Republic of Moldova, Parliament staff and EU experts. The workshop focused on the role of Parliament in the implementation of EU policies and EU acquis relevant to the association process. This event was organised within the framework of the support provided by the project for the coordination of the implementation of the Association Agreement.

The Republic of Moldova officially applied for membership in the European Union on 3 March 2022. This step marks a significant change in Moldova-EU relations as Moldova also has formally entered the EU accession process. This change in relations will have a significant effect on the EU requirements for Moldova and on Moldova’s approach to the European Union. Subsequently the application of the Republic of Moldova for EU membership continues to require a series of fast changes, requiring a considerable involvement of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova.

Jānis Mažeiks, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova, emphasised in his welcoming remarks, that the European Union is standing by the Republic of Moldova in its aspirations to join the European Union and reaffirmed the EU support on its European pathway.

Mihail Popșoi, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Moldova highlighted the importance of enhancing cooperation with EU partners in persuading them of the need to grant candidate country status to Moldova and the important role of the EU-Moldova Parliamentary Association Committee in this sense. He also underlined the importance of parliamentary outreach to the citizens on explaining the benefits of European Union integration.

Mr. Oliver Mader, Project Manager, further emphasised the need to streamline the national institutional and legal frameworks to accelerate Moldova’s integration with the European Union.

Mr. Primož Vehar, Project Team Leader, moderated the discussion and shared the experiences of Slovenia during its European integration process. Mr. Péter Sárdi, Director for Foreign Relations and Mr. Krisztián Kovács, Head of the EU Department, both from the Hungarian National Assembly, presented the main characteristics of EU policies and their linkage to the EU legal approximation process. The experts pointed out the importance of the Parliament to fully use the available law-making and oversight tools to scrutinize the Government’s activities in EU matters.

More specifically, the experts described the EU policy areas and related EU acquis chapters in agriculture, business environment and sustainable development areas. Moreover, the Parliament was guided on how to continue updating its legislative process and administrative framework in order to ensure that national legislation complies with the EU norms. In addition, the experts explained in thorough details the differences between the association phase and the candidate country phase of European integration as well as the further steps after the application of the Republic of Moldova for EU membership.

The roundtable discussion was organised as part of a series of events coordinated with the Parliament for 2022 and 2023 aiming at strengthening the capacities of legislature on EU-related matters.

The EU-funded project “Support for structured policy dialogue, coordination of the implementation of the Association Agreement and enhancement of the legal approximation process in the Republic of Moldova” aims at increasing the capacities of the Government of the Republic of Moldova and other key national institutions in implementing the EU-Republic of Moldova Association Agreement. The project’s work is arranged into 4 components contributing to the further enhancement of structured policy dialogue with civil society, improving policy development mechanisms for adequate budgeting of strategic documents, supporting the legal approximation process by providing technical expertise and capacity building as well as upgrading the IT systems in public administration supporting the implementation of the Association Agreement. The project is implemented by a consortium led by DAI – Human Dynamics for a five-year implementation period.