Before answering this great question, I will tell you a story of young man from Moldova… my story, of course just a small piece of it, I’m still keeping the best part for my diary.
I was born on December 26, 1991, which means that my country is almost 3 months older than me. Often my parents are calling me the child of democracy, even if I like the way it sounds, democracy was last word spread in actions of those who ruled the country where I was born. My motherland became an older sister for me because of our close birth dates, sounds weird but I always felt that I am doing more for my sister than she does for me. Childhood, teen period and adult life were equally shaped with the destiny of this country. The funniest thing is that this story is not just about me, it’s about the whole generation of a new born nation which reborn on the ashes of Red Empire.
Ironically or just unluckily, but in my life and the life of my older sister many events happened: a war, territorial division, economic collapse, social inequality, many unfinished reforms and all on the music of corruption, corruption and once again – corruption, yes, it’s not an illogical repetition of words it’s national disease stored carefully in our mentality.
And now, I will come closer to the question which you raised: “Does Moldova need European Union?” But again, I will hesitate answering and reverse the whole statement: “Does European Union need Moldova?”, and while answering, I will speak on one of 4 languages which I claim to speak fluent – sarcasm. Let’s outline quick facts about my older sister Moldova:
- It’s poorest country of Europe;
- Has 2.500 Russian troops on board in uncontrolled region of Transnistria, plus as bonus
22.000+ tons of ammunition stored there;
- No major natural resources available here;
- Corruption on all levels of public administration;
- Poor justice system;
- Human rights related issues;
and the list can continue, but because I love my sister so much, I would rather prefer to stop here and continue my story. The answer which I was looking above is definitely: yes, European Union needs Moldova, not as member state or as another satellite country dreaming to find heaven inside the Union, but as equal partner on the Eastern border, with prosperous society and stable economy with which member states can cooperate and deal on the basis of mutual respect and benefits and why not, at some point to invite Moldova to EU in a long term perspective.
Of course you are asking yourself, what is my main argument for this statement or maybe you think I’m another young Moldovan being highly motivated by the European dream of my country or just an YES-men. My reasoning is actually based on pragmatic approach on Moldova-EU relation and first point is the fact that EU created The Eastern Partnership, a mechanism under the European Neighborhood Policy, which united under the cooperation umbrella: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, or so called – European collection of former Soviet Union, in order to foster a deeper dialogue with EU in such areas as: democracy and good governance, strengthen energy security, promote sector reform and environment protection, encourage people to people contacts, support economic and social development and offer additional funding for projects to reduce socio-economic imbalances and increase stability.
EaP shows how great is the interest of the Union for all 6 countries and Moldova specifically; and now I’m ready to answer the very first question – “Does Moldova need European Union?”, and I must shout out loud the answer: YES! Because our interest is to assure that:
- We can have a louder international voice. Cooperating with EU, instantly 27 voices are listening to our problems and supporting our position on key issues, as Russian troop’s evacuation from our territory. Working as a TEAM (Together Everybody Achieves More), we can have greater involvement in the European and worldwide agenda;
- Free movement of citizens, which can assure freedom to travel, study or work inside EU member states, in the condition when more than 800,000 Moldovan citizens are already gone in Europe and they are eager to import European standards back home, at least their voting preferences are showing that;
- Access to single market, by making it easier and cheaper to do business with EU countries and raise the standards of Moldovan goods. Plus paying less for tax and attracting EU business in Moldova;
- Attracting money for development projects, to raise the quality of energy sector, infrastructure and social programs;
Do all those points make sense for you? At least for me, they do, and as a conclusion I might
say that developing sincere and friendly relationship with a Union of 27 nations which comprehends 400 million people is the wisest action to be done by the politicians from Moldova.
The only valuable resource of my country – are the people, especially the young one. In this terms, we are the generation of democracy, the generation of dreamers, since our wings where not cut yet by the atrocity of the history and I consider us as being worthy for such outcome. Europe is not anymore about how different are you and me, is about what similarities we can built in order to share the same values and principles of unity and cohesion.
1. “Why I could emigrate from my country”
2. “Twenty facts about Moldova” http://triptomoldova.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/20-facts-about-moldova/
3. “Eastern Partnership (EaP)” http://eeas.europa.eu/eastern/index_en.htm
4. “Why is Moldova poor and economically volatile” http://foundation.moldova.org/publications/eng/78/