“We must be all realistic as concerns the European integration. I urge the Moldovans not to hurry up, but to continue the negotiations in a correct manner as it took Spain many years too to join the EU,” Spanish Ambassador to Moldova, based in Bucharest, Pascual Estanislao de Grandes said in the public debates held on the occasion of Europe Days in Chisinau, Info-Prim Neo reports.
“Moldova is a European state and this atmosphere can be felt here. Since 2009, when I was named ambassador, I have witnessed the changes taking place in this country,” said Pascual Estanislao de Grandes. He stressed that the then political instability became stability now as the head of state was elected and the objectives for the future were set. “Results are also achieved in the Transnistrian conflict settlement talks in the 5+2 format and within the Eastern Partnership, but we urge you not to hurry up in the integration process. Spain made several attempts before it succeeded in joining the EU.”
Hungarian Ambassador in Chisinau Gyorgy Varga said that Moldova has enjoyed a facilitated visa regime with the EU since 2008. “Then, the Common Visa Issuing Center in Chisinau issued annually at most 4,000 visas, while last year this figure rose to over 20,000 and the visa refusal rate decreased considerably. This shows that Moldova made progress in the negotiations on obtaining a liberalized visa regime with the EU,” stated the diplomat.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Natalia Gherman, who is Moldova’s chief negotiator at the talks on the Association Agreement with the EU, believes in the European future of Moldova because the Moldovans share the European values. “The European integration for Moldova is the most viable and realistic project and the results achieved until now make me think that the European integration is an achievable objective,” she stated, assuring that Moldova will not be disadvantaged and will not have to cede something to the detriment of its people in exchange for visa-free and free trade regimes with the EU.
Mayor General of Chisinau municipality Dorin Chirtoaca said that the Moldovans had been under occupation for many years and now cannot decide what they want and cannot choose a path by themselves. “There is yet only one choice – either the European Union or the Eurasian Union. The Eurasian Union will probably offer us cheaper gas and electricity for a certain period, while the European Union means development, progress and a safe and prosperous future,” he stated, adding that the ruling alliance is limp and clumsy, but has definite objectives of integrating the country into the EU.
According to Democratic MP Igor Corman, despite the discussions on the integration into the Eurasian Union, Moldova has no other alternative than the EU and the main problem in this respect is the fact that the ordinary people do not feel the effects of the European integration process in the daily life, through decent pensions and salaries. At the same time, the authorities do their utmost to make progress in this direction, but the EU member states should also show understanding and political will.