On the 30th anniversary of independence of the Republic of Moldova, on 27 August, we, Nicu Popescu, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova and Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic, after meeting on 2 September in Chisinau, reaffirm our deep ties that have bound our two countries for 30 years, and our joint determination to strengthen our relationship in the years ahead.
Since Moldovan President Maia Sandu’s working visit to Paris in February 2021, and her meeting with President Emmanuel Macron, France and Moldova have worked to make tangible progress with a view to laying the foundations for this strengthened relationship which could benefit the peoples and companies of our two countries:
- We welcome the decision of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) to work in Moldova. This will bolster France’s contribution to implementing public policies and sustainable development in Moldova in three sectors: reforestation and irrigation; water conveyance and sanitation; and energy. A project identification mission will be organized by the AFD next September and feasibility studies will begin immediately. Also, Proparco, an AFD subsidiary, is preparing to grant a loan starting this year to the Moldovan institution specialized in SME microcredits.
- We reaffirm the importance of strengthening the rule of law in Moldova, and France reaffirms in this context its support for the reform agenda proposed by the new Moldovan government. Expertise France will continue to participate actively in EU action (Team Europe) in support of reform of the justice system. It will soon second a high-level French expert to the Moldovan President’s Administration. We also welcome the launch of cooperation between the French High Authority for Transparency in Public Life (HATVP) and the Moldova’s National Integrity Authority (ANI), and the visit of the Director of the French Anti-Corruption Agency to conduct a technical mission in Moldova next month. We welcome France’s commitment, in line with Moldovan NGOs, in support of freedom of the press through the implementation of Moldovan journalist training programmes, which focus on fighting disinformation.
- We hope that the procedures launched in February to further the development of bilateral relations are completed as soon as possible, particularly the signing of the double taxation agreement, initialled in February 2021, and the swift conclusion of the negotiation of a bilateral social security agreement. These agreements could deepen our economic relations and facilitate the work of French companies working to support Moldova when it comes to its development priorities and its investment needs. France also stands ready to facilitate the completion of the renovation project, by the consortium of French companies, of the rail line between Chisinau and Ungheni. Also, new French companies are preparing fresh investments in Moldova in the area of tourism and distribution.
- We reaffirm our commitment to teaching French in Moldova, an OIF member country. We would like to inject new impetus into bilingual French education in Moldova, particularly by increasing the French local presence in order to revitalize the Francophone network and support Moldovan teacher training, as well as through a policy of labelling new bilingual secondary schools and allocating grants for teacher exchange programmes.
- France and Moldova reaffirm their full solidarity in efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. We commend the European Union’s support to Moldova to help the country fight the virus, but also deal with the socio-economic consequences of this global crisis.
France reaffirms its full support for the stability of the Republic of Moldova, the consolidation the rule of law, the fight against corruption and the strengthening of its democracy, transformations which benefit European stability and are necessary in implementing the Association Agreement between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union. France remains mobilized, within Team Europe, to help complete European projects. We underline the importance of the French-Moldovan relationship in the process of moving the Republic of Moldova closer to the EU norms and practices.
France reaffirms its unwavering support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova in its internationally recognized borders and supports the efforts undertaken within the framework of the 5+2 format under the aegis of the OSCE, with a view to a comprehensive, lasting and peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Transnistria region.
France and Moldova have agreed to pursue their political exchanges ahead of the EU’s Eastern Partnership Summit to be held in December 2021 and the French Presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2022.