A stronger Moldova needs a smart foreign policy

7 May 2021

In the short run Moldova’s foreign policy should be focused on (a) obtaining more vaccines for 2021 and pondering the need to place orders for vaccines for the next few years; (b) connecting Moldova to the pan-European effort to create a digital certificate that would allow vaccinated Moldovan citizens to travel freely; (c) putting together with international partners a significant economic recovery plan; (d) intensifying cooperation with law-enforcement agencies of other states to investigate Moldova-related money laundering and fraudulent money flows, trace and potentially recover stolen assets. But Moldova cannot afford itself to deal with urgencies only. Moldova needs a vision and conscious policies in many policy domains going beyond justice sector reform, on issues such as infrastructure development, environmentally friendly growth, or bringing Moldova into the digital age.

These are among the main conclusions of the policy brief prepared by Iulian Groza, Executive Director of the Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE) and Nicu Popescu, Director of the Enlarged Europe program at the Paris office of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). The brief assesses the main constrains, objectives and opportunities of Moldova’s foreign policy. The authors also come with a set of recommendations on basic principle and priorities for a smarter diplomacy to contribute to domestic transformation of the country.

The authors consider that Moldova needs to boost connectivity and strong political partnerships with its neighbouring Romania and Ukraine, cooperate closely with the EU, US and international institutions in trying to modernize the country. This also applies to the need to modernize and consolidate Moldova’s security and defence sector, not least through greater international cooperation. At the same time, it is important, when possible, to minimize friction, with other partners, including Russia. This might be difficult, not least because of Kremlin’s own foreign policy choices. Moldova should also capitalize on the added value stemming from the regional approach. This would mean that Moldova’s diplomacy should find tools and synergies in advancing economic, infrastructure and transport projects. But none of these objectives are achievable without an active foreign policy, which needs to be principled, predictable and consistent.

For more details, please consult the Policy Brief published today by IPRE here.

This policy brief was developed in the framework of the project „Policy bridges with the EU: Securing the Europeanisation process of the Republic of Moldova” implemented with the support of the Soros Foundation Moldova. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors alone.


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