Kristi Raik: From Attraction to the Europeanisation – Moldova’s Slow Movement Towards the EU

16. May 2014

Since 2009, Moldova has been the strongest case of the EU’s model power in the neighbourhood. The EU has increasingly penetrated Moldovan domestic politics and policy-making, practicing external governance through growing linkages and assistance and targeted use of conditionality. However, Moldova has yet to prove its ability to implement large-scale reforms, for example in the justice sector, which have been slowed down by the presidential election stalemate and infighting within the ruling coalition. The EU faces a complex task to simultaneously manage the high expectations of Moldovans, be more demanding and critical towards the government’s reform efforts, and maintain its power of attraction. Moldova is likely to stay on the European integration course, but in the coming months and years, the EU-Moldova relationship will be tested by further domestic turbulence in Moldova and slow progress in responding to the expectations of the other side in both Brussels and Chisinau. As Moldova may be heading towards another early parliamentary election and/or change of coalition, the EU should not prejudge any outcome, but maintain a high level of support, work for further Europeanisation of the whole political landscape and, if a new government were to emerge, push it to continue with reforms. Eastern Partnership Review No 2, 2011,  From Attraction to the Europeanisation – Moldova’s Slow Movement Towards the EU (.pdf)