The aim of the event was to promote an informed dialogue on the EU-Moldova Association Agreement, providing information on its specific content and underlying values, as well as on its impact on the Moldovan economy and concrete benefits for citizens. About 30 participants from civil society, industry, administration and politics had the opportunity to discuss these topics with experts in an interactive and informal format. In addition, some EU support programs for the Republic of Moldova were presented and specific funding opportunities were identified. The discussion with the citizens from Ceadir-Lunga revealed a tendency towards a critical but also partly positive perception of EU support in the Autonomous Region of Gagauzia. For example, the impression arose that EU aid had only reached Gagauzia in comparison to the rest of the country.
Measures to promote the economic development of rural areas, as is the case under the LEADER program, were particularly welcomed. Some of the participants themselves had positive experiences and were able to show how the funds used had been multiplied. On the other hand, it appeared that the impact of many projects were not sufficiently monitored and that audits were not carried out. Some participants were critical of the perceived threat to their traditional (family) values and the lack of communication of the significance and content of the association agreement (even before it was signed). For example, the restriction of access to the common market was perceived as an attempt at blackmail, as access was accompanied by costly certification procedures, and that the economic benefits would not compensate for the loss of the Russian market. The fact sheets presented at the event contributed significantly to the reality check of these perceptions.