The Independent Think-Tank Expert-Grup in partnership with the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) from Brussels organized the conference "The EU-Moldova Association Agreement – new opportunities and challenges", held on the 28th of November in Chișinău. The conference focused on the major topics of the reform agenda of the Republic of Moldova in the European integration process.
The event brought together leaders and policy makers, representatives of local governments and the private sector, local and foreign experts, representatives of civil society organizations and academia from Moldova, in order to review the main opportunities and challenges faced by the Republic of Moldova in its pursuit for a "European model" of development.
Considering the abusive exploitation of the geopolitical fears, witnessed in the recent electoral and post-electoral context, the European integration vector and its sustainability is a subject gaining greater importance. In this regard, the Association Agreement with the European Union requires most accessible and innovative dissemination to the public.
In this context, Expert-Grup and CEPS launched in the framework of the conference the Handbook entitled "Deepening the EU-RM relations: what, why and how?", as well as a short Guide on the respective topic.
The Handbook represents a unique reference source for a deeper and more accessible understanding of the political, economic and cooperation principles foreseen by the historically significant act of signing of the Association Agreement and the establishment of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Zone. The aspects analyzed in the Handbook found reflection in the topics discussed within the two panels of the conference (political and economic).
According to the authors of the Handbook, the political principles, the rule of law and the foreign policy should ensure the key political goal – respecting European values, the rule of law and human rights. Non-compliance would irreversibly compromise the existence of the Agreement. On the economic dimension, the adoption of EU technical standards for industrial and agri-food products is vital for ensuring the competitiveness of the Moldovan industry on the single European market as well as internationally.
The Handbook and the Guide will serve as communication and analytical support tools for further activities within the project "Understanding the Association Agreements and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs) between the EU and Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia" carried out with the financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The project is coordinated by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and implemented in partnership with the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting (IER) in Kiev, the Reformatics Policy Consulting Center in Tbilisi and the Expert-Grup Think-Tank in Chișinău.