#WEandEU: Discussion with Leova citizens about the opportunities offered by the Association Agreement with the EU

The Institut für Europäische Politik based in Berlin (IEP), in partnership with the Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE) and the Institute for Strategic Initiatives (IPIS) organized on March 3, in Leova, the third EU awareness workshop in the framework of the project “EU Perceptions and Reality in Moldova (WE and EU)”.

The purpose of the workshop was to provide information on the benefits of the Association Agreement and on the possibility of accessing EU funds. Also, participants in the workshop had the opportunity to interact and discuss the process of implementing donor-funded projects with former and current beneficiaries of EU funds. The event was attended by representatives of civil society, academia and representatives of local public administration.

Opening remarks were made by Iulian Groza, Executive Director at IPRE and Inna Supac, Executive Director at IPIS. Alexandru Bujorean, the mayor of Leova, spoke about the EU projects implemented in the region, but also about the initiative to rebuild the bridge over the Prut river, which would allow the city to develop and facilitate access to the EU area. Also, Dominic Maugeais, Project Coordinator at IEP, explained to the participants what are the goals and activities of the project.

In the first panel, Iulian Groza, reviewed the main results and challenges after five years of implementation of the Association Agreement between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union, the progression of the EU-Moldova dialogue, as well as the strategic priorities in the implementation of the commitments undertaken by Republic of Moldova.

In the second panel, Mihai Mogîldea, Team Leader of IPRE Europeanization Program, spoke about the main aspects of the visa free regime with the EU, about the advantages of the free movement of citizens within EU, and presented the results of the implementation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). Also, Iulian Rusu, Deputy Director at IPRE, spoke about the inter-municipal cooperation, the territorial administrative reform and the amalgamation of the local authorities, in the context of the implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU.

During the event, the infographics elaborated within the project were presented, which will be distributed on social networks.

The project “EU in Moldova: Perceptions and Reality (WE and EU)” was launched in July 2019 and will last 12 months and aims to make a substantial contribution to overcoming the social dividing lines of the EU rapprochement process in Moldova by promoting informed intra-societal dialogue on the values and norms underlying the Association Agreement and the concrete benefits of modernising Moldova in the course of the EU rapprochement process.î

The future actions include dialogues with citizens, workshops and TV debates in Ceadîr-Lunga and Edineț. The project is implemented with the support of the German Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt).