In Chișinău, seven members of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Security and Defense Sub-Committee of the European Parliament, led by Urmas Paet (Renew Europe, Estonia) and Nathalie Loiseau (Renew Europe, France), met Moldova’s top political leaders, including President Maia Sandu, Speaker of Parliament Igor Grosu, Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița, and Minister of Defense Anatolie Nosatîi.
During their visit, which took place from 31 March to 2 April, MEPs hailed the generosity of the Moldovan people for hosting a large number of Ukrainian refugees. They called on the EU to continue to step up its efforts to help Moldova provide shelter and assistance to the large number of refugees fleeing Russian aggression.
The delegation expressed the solidarity of the European Parliament with the people and authorities of Moldova in the context of the deterioration of the security situation in Eastern Europe. The European Parliament is visibly active in the region through its parliamentary diplomacy, including the visit of the President of the Parliament, Roberta Metsola, to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
Enhanced cooperation to fight cyber threats and counter disinformation
In their exchanges, the deputies mentioned several possible repercussions of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on neighboring countries such as Moldova. They also discussed various other related risks currently facing the country, particularly in the areas of energy and cybersecurity, and underlined the need for the EU to help Moldova strengthen its security arrangements. energy and its resilience to hybrid threats, in particular cyberattacks and disinformation.
Regarding Moldova’s recent formal application for EU membership, MEPs expressed their support for the pro-European government and the reform path it has chosen to bring the country closer to EU.
MEPs discussed with the Moldovan Parliament the follow-up to the Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions and announced the visit of the European Parliament’s Democracy Support Group. The objective will be to assess possible enhanced measures to support parliamentary democracy, in particular in the areas of information security, the fight against cyberattacks and disinformation and the strengthening of overall capacities and resilience. of the Moldovan Parliament.
Besides Chișinău, the delegation went to Palanca, a border village with Ukraine and a reception center for Ukrainians fleeing Russian aggression. At the border, MEPs were briefed by Moldovan border authorities on the humanitarian situation of refugees in the region and border management practices, and had an exchange of views with representatives of the European Union Mission to border assistance between Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) and the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR.
“The consequences of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine are strongly felt in Moldova, and the country is a very important host of Ukrainian war refugees. As such, Moldova enjoys the full support of the European Union, both politically and economically,” said Urmas Paet.
“The EU must stand in solidarity with Moldova in these difficult times. Both when it comes to helping refugees in the country and building its resilience against cyberattacks and Russian disinformation attacks, the EU must support Moldova,” said Nathalie Loiseau.
All audio and video documents of the delegation’s visit will be available here.
In addition to the co-chairs, the delegation will be composed of the following MEPs: Siegfried Mureșan (EPP, Romania), Evin Incir (S&D, Sweden), Dragoș Tudorache (Renew Europe, Romania), Susanna Ceccardi (ID, Italy) and Anna Fotyga (ECR , Poland).
On Thursday 24 March, Parliament agreed to grant Moldova 150 million euros in macro-financial aid to cover part of its external financing needs. During the same plenary session, MEPs also gave their consent for Frontex to provide operational support to the country, including on its borders with Ukraine.