In an opinion shared on euobserver.com, Vlad Plahotniuc declared that European Union is supporting and encouraging countries from Eastern Partnership that showed real progress, by deepening partnership and offering more support. Unfortunately, it is still not enough to prove to our citizens that the path chosen in 2013 is one worth all the hassle, as only a clear message from EU will allow them to have a glimpse of the whole picture.
"I welcome calls by MEPs at their Strasbourg plenary this month for the creation of an 'Eastern Partnership Plus' format.
This concept provides that partners that register substantial progress in reforms, could be offered possibilities for deeper EU integration.
Provided this initiative wins the support of EU member states and institutions, it may become a key driver for change in the region, encouraging further reforms and bring us closer to the union. I welcome the opportunity to work together with the European leaders and institutions and to transform this comprehensive agenda into reality.
The EU has already taken a step towards a deeper partnership at the Riga EaP Summit in 2015, where European leaders set out four priority areas for engagement and reform: economic development, good governance, connectivity, and people-to-people contacts.
By supporting tailored reform programs around these four pillars and offering the leading EaP countries a differentiated platform to continue on their European path, the EU will send a clear signal that leadership and ambition will be recognized and encouraged.
In a time of major European and regional transformations, a strong message for our citizens will only confirm that, irrespective of the challenges, it is worth pursuing the path we have formally embraced in 2013.
Focus should also be put on projects providing concrete benefits for citizens and businesses such as reducing roaming tariffs, digitalising public services and the economy, improving transport links on the basis of TEN-T networks, supporting small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SME), as well as creating new opportunities and more academic mobility for youth.
The past three years have also seen a considerable reconfiguration of the security landscape in the EaP region."