On 13 June 2022, more than 30 staff members of the Moldova Parliament attended a training seminar which focused on various aspects of EU legal approximation which are connected with the implementation of the EU-Moldova Association Agreement (AA). The seminar was organised by the EU-funded project “Support for structured policy dialogue, coordination of the implementation of the Association Agreement and enhancement of the legal approximation process”. The participants included the Parliament’s General Legal Department, the Committee on Foreign Policy and European Integration, and the Information-Analytical Department, as well as other committees. In addition, several staff members of the Centre for Legal Approximation (State Chancellery) also benefited of the training session.

The first module focused on various aspects of Moldova’s AA and other EU commitments that impact legal approximation. Moldova’s obligations of EU legal approximation are stated in the AA and its Annexes. However, EU legal acts are constantly being amended or repealed and new EU legal acts are being adopted. Thus, the AA provides for dynamic approximation, that is the updating and amendment of the AA Annexes by the AA working bodies (such as the EU-Moldova Association Council).

Other sources of Moldova’s EU commitments include the EU-Moldova Association Agenda, the Energy Community Treaty, the European Common Aviation Area Agreement, the Visa Suspension Mechanism benchmarks, EU Macro-Financial Assistance and EU Budget Support agreements. The new EU-Moldova Association Agenda covering 2021-2027 is scheduled to be adopted by the end of 2022.

The second module focused on the planning and monitoring of EU legal approximation and the roles of Moldova’s national institutions, including the Parliament, in these processes. Since Moldova’s receipt of EU Candidate State status, the scope of its EU legal approximation obligations has significantly widened to include all EU legal acts and relevant case law (as the EU acquis) organised into 35 chapters, not just those EU legal acts listed in the AA. Accordingly, the Government is to prepare a national strategic planning document as to its plans for approximating the EU acquis, i.e. the National Programme to Adopt the Acquis (NPAA). Parliament has two main roles in this regard: 1) legislative role – to adopt the necessary legislation which approximates specific EU legal acts, and 2) oversight role – to scrutinize the Government’s implementation of Moldova’s EU commitments, especially the legal approximation plans.

Additionally, in order to develop the NPAA, the Government is to develop the necessary coordination mechanism of 35 working groups (one for each EU acquis chapter), similar to its mechanism for responding to the EU Questionnaire. Parliament’s legislative procedures for EU legal approximation were also reviewed, as was relevant experience of Latvia, Serbia, Ukraine and Georgia.

The third module focused on key aspect of EU legal approximation: phases of the approximation process, methods and techniques of approximating an EU legal act into national law, transposition of EU legal acts, and tools for legal approximation. In addition, the seminar emphasized the role of legal approximation as part of the national public policy planning system. Accordingly, examples from Latvia, Serbia, Ukraine and Georgia were presented.

This seminar is one of several which are being organised for the Parliament by the EU-funded project “Support for structured policy dialogue, coordination of the implementation of the Association Agreement and enhancement of the legal approximation process” which is being implemented by a consortium managed by DAI for a five-year implementation period until June 2025. This EU-funded project has prepared a series of training seminars for Parliament staff and for MPs, which have been agreed with the Parliament and included in the Parliament’s Training and Capacity-Building Plan for 2022.