Press Releases EU opens accession negotiations with Moldova

EU opens accession negotiations with Moldova

The EU today held the first Intergovernmental Conference at ministerial level to open accession negotiations with the Republic of Moldova.

This follows a decision by the European Council on 14-15 December 2023 to open accession negotiations with Moldova, and the approval by the Council of the Negotiating Framework for the negotiations with Moldova on 21 June, in accordance with the revised enlargement methodology.

The EU delegation was led by Hadja Lahbib, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Belgium, accompanied by Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi. The delegation of Moldova was led by Prime Minister Dorin Recean.

Congratulations to Moldova for passing a cardinal milestone on its EU accession path. The opening of accession negotiations only two years after the granting of candidate status is a testament to Moldova’s resoluteness to fulfilling the EU reform agenda. As we open this new chapter in our relations, it is important to continue pursuing the reform efforts diligently. The future of Moldova and its citizens lies within the European Union.

Hadja Lahbib, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Belgium

The EU reiterated its resolute condemnation of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and stated its readiness to continue to provide all the relevant support to Moldova and its people in addressing the challenges relating to the war, and to strengthen the country’s resilience, security and stability in the face of Russia’s hybrid actions.

The EU underlined that Moldova is already a close partner of the EU. Its Association Agreement with the EU, which also includes the far reaching Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, entered into force in 2016 and has been provisionally applied since 2014. It is the basis for extensive cooperation between the EU and Moldova in a broad range of areas. On 21 May 2024, Moldova signed a Security and Defence Partnership with the EU, the first of its kind with any partner country.

The EU has now invited the Commission to continue to assess the state of preparedness of Moldova for opening negotiations in specific areas and identify the issues that will most likely come up in the negotiations, starting with the fundamentals’ cluster which, in accordance with the Negotiating Framework, will be opened first.

As a future member state, Moldova will be expected to continue to adhere to the values listed in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union, namely the respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.

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