The discussion was structured in two thematic panels. The first revolved around updates on the government's progress in implementing the nine priorities to open EU accession negotiations. Speakers and participants discussed the latest developments since the last oral evaluation of the European Commission from June 2023 and the publication of CSO Shadow Report “Moldova EU Candidate Check” from July 2023. Before the summer, three out of nine reform steps had been achieved. The discussions concerned the recent decision by the Constitutional Court to overturn the exclusion of Shor Party members from the local elections in the autumn. The decision and the following introduction of new limitations by the government was considered to have a possible impact on the reform steps No 2. which deals with the reform of the Electoral Code.
Discussions also focused on the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) in monitoring the EU integration process and their participation in the EU accession negotiations. Participants identified the need to improve cooperation with CSO in practice, even though on paper this reform is considered to be accomplished. With regards to the preparation for potential accession negotiations, experiences from Western Balkan countries were discussed. The involvement of CSOs in the Negotiation Chapter Working Groups has been considered as crucial. Although currently not legally required, CSO can be invited on the basis of the decision of the Working group coordinator. A protocol that regulates the involvement of civil society would make the cooperation more transparent and clearer for both sides.
The experiences of Romania’s EU accession negotiations that were shared throughout the event highlighted that civil society is a crucial partner for finding suitable technical solutions as well as in supporting the communication on the accession negotiation process.
The NEXT4EU Project kicked-off its Policy Dialogue series with a first event that took place on October 5th, 2023 in Chișinău. The dialogue was opened by representatives from the EU Delegation, the German Embassy as well as all project partners. After thi successful kick-off, the dialogues will go local with an event in Cahul end of October as well as Ungheni at the end of November 2023.
Impressions from the event