Implementation of the Association Agreement

THE ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT

The Association Agreement between the Republic of Moldova, on the one hand, and the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States, on the other hand was signed on 27 June 2014 in Brussels, Belgium.

The EU-Moldova Association Agreement establishes a new legal framework of relations between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union towards a higher quality level, that of the political association and the economic integration with the EU. Thus, the Association Agreement (AA) is grounded in an innovative and ambitious approach, including the creation of a Comprehensive and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).

Association Agreement contains binding provisions, regulatory rules, and wider cooperation arrangements across all sectors of interest. Increased attention is paid to enforcing AA provisions, including by setting clear deadlines and establishing an appropriate institutional and administrative framework, thus creating the premises for effective implementation.

Pursuant to Article 456 of the Association Agreement, with effect from 1 July 2016, it shall abrogate and replace in its entirety the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Moldova, of the other part, signed at Brussels, 28 November 1994, which entered into force on 1 July 1998. The references to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which are set out in all other agreements between the parties to the Association Agreement, shall be construed as references to the Association Agreement.

Similarly, from 1 July 2016, the Association Agreement replaces the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova on the protection of geographical indications of agricultural products and foodstuffs, signed on 26 June 2012 in Brussels, which entered into force on 1 April 2013.

With regard to the territorial application of the Association Agreement, following Decision no. 1/2015 of 18 December 2015 of the Moldova-European Union Association Council, Title V (Trade and Trade-Related Aspects) of the Association Agreement, applies to the entire territory of the Republic of Moldova. According to the same Decisions, Title VII (Institutional, General and Final Provisions) applies to the entire territory of the Republic of Moldova insofar as it is applied in relation to Title V (Trade and Trade-Related Aspects) of the Agreement.

Agreement negotiation

The dialogue with the EU on the future legal framework for replacing the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, signed in 1994, was initiated in 2008.

The mandate of the Republic of Moldova for negotiation with the EU of the future Association Agreement was approved by Government Decision no. 680 of 13 November 2009. Based on the observance of all the procedures provided by the legislation in force, including the consultation of the Moldovan Parliament's Foreign Policy Committee, the negotiations on the draft Agreement between the RM and the European Union were initiated by the Decree of the Interim President of the Republic of Moldova no. 67 of 17.11.2009.

Negotiations on the Association Agreement were launched on 12 January 2010 and were provisionally concluded after 15 plenary rounds of negotiations in June 2013 and those on the Comprehensive and Comprehensive Free Trade Area between the RM and the EU as part of the Association Agreement were initiated in January 2012 and provisionally finalized after 7 rounds of negotiations in July 2013.

The initialling of the Agreement at the Vilnius Summit of the Eastern Partnership, held on 28-29 November 2013, marked formally the conclusion of negotiations on the text of the Agreement. The initialling was followed by the technical procedure for verifying legal compliance and the translation of the Agreement into all the languages ​​of the parties, and then by the approval by the EU Council for signature on 27 June 2014 in Brussels.

As a result of the negotiations with the European partners, the Preamble of the document recognizes the country's belonging to the European value and civilization space, as well as the prospect of the progressive development of the cooperation between the RM and the EU aiming at the European integration objective.

The agreement is based on the importance that the parties attach to respecting the values ​​and common principles they share, in particular democracy and the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the assurance of a functioning market economy and sustainable development.

The provisions on the creation of a Comprehensive and Comprehensive Free Trade Area between the RM and the EU constitute an important part of the Association Agreement and imply both the mutual opening of markets for trade in goods and services and the gradual takeover of European standards and norms regulating quality products and services.

Ratification and entering into force

In order to enter into force, the Agreement had to be ratified by all signatory parts (the Republic of Moldova, the European Parliament and the 28 EU Member States), according to the internal procedures of each individual entity.

The Parliament of the Republic of Moldova ratified this Agreement by Law no. 112 of July 2, 2014, promulgated by the Decree of the President no. 1237 of July 8, 2014, thus finalizing the internal ratification procedure of the Moldova-EU Association Agreement. The European Parliament ratified the Association Agreement on 13 November 2014.

Given that ratification is a lengthy process, it has been decided to apply provisionally from 1 September 2014 parts of the Agreement, in line with the EU Council Decision 2014/492 / EU. Once the Agreement was ratified by the legislative bodies of all EU states, on 1 July 2016 the Association Agreement began to be applied to the full extent.

Implementation of the Association Agreement

Essentially, the Association Agreement sums up a series of commitments that the Republic of Moldova and the European Union with the member states have undertaken to deepen and strengthen existing ties. Thus, in order to ensure the fulfillment of these commitments, the Parties agreed through the Agreement to establish an institutional mechanism for monitoring the implementation but also for taking decisions on the matters covered by the Agreement.

The National Actions Plan for implementing the Association Agreement contains key cooperation priorities in order to ensure the political association and economic integration with EU and represents the basic instrument for monitoring the European integration process. In this context, the National Plan contains the necessary measures which have to be realized by the institutions according to the Association Agreement and the Association Agenda in the indicated deadlines and based on the necessary financial resources.

The Plan is elaborated on basis of proposals from authorities and public debates organized by the MFAEI for each title/ apart field. Bearing in mind the correlation between the National Action Plan and the Association Agenda, the National Action Plan is approved for a three year timeframe.

The first National Action Plan was approved by Government on 25th of July 2014, being revised in 2015. The Plan was achieved in proportion of 73,73%.

On 26th of December, the Government approved the second National Actions Plan for Implementing the Association Agreement for the years 2017-2019, being later revised in the first half of 2018. The achievement rate of the second National Action Plan is 71,56%.