“After the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius a good time has come for Moldova to set a realistic European agenda,” MFA Undersecretary of State Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz underscored during her two-day (9-10 December) visit to Moldova. The deputy minister held talks on Poland-Moldova development cooperation and the host country’s relations with the EU.
“Europe doesn’t want to lose Moldova, so the association process should be political rather than purely bureaucratic,” noted Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz. Talking to Moldova’s Deputy Foreign Ministers Valeriu Chiveri and Iulian Groza, the deputy chief of Poland’s diplomacy acknowledged Chisinau’s efforts to initial the association agreement, including the free trade agreement, with the EU during the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius. She also expressed her hope that the Moldovan side will continue to move closer to reaching EU standards. She emphasized that these efforts could soon lead to the signing of the association agreement and the establishing of a visa-free travel regime between the EU and Moldova.
Deputy Minister Pełczyńska-Nałęcz also met with Minster of Regional Development and Construction Marcel Raducan. The talks focused on Poland’s engagement in implementing Moldova’s regional development policy and covered further assistance for the Information Centre for Local Authorities in Moldova. The Polish side undertook to continue funding the centre, which will now be possible thanks to the signing of an annex to the Memorandum of Understanding governing the centre’s work. Following the signing, a meeting of the centre’s steering committee was convened with the participation of officials from Moldova’s Ministry of Regional Development and Construction, as well as representatives of USAID, the Polish MFA and Solidarity Fund PL. The partners underlined that the project, which has been implemented with support from different donors, can be held up as a model for others to follow. Thanking for the existing cooperation, the Moldovan side declared that the centre would carry on its work after 2015.
On 10 December Deputy Minister Pełczyńska-Nałęcz visited the village of Bravicieni in central Moldova, a place that has benefited from Polish aid projects. Carried out by the East Foundation, the Konstanty Ostrogski Foundation and the NAREW Podlasie Region Environmental Station, the projects promoted entrepreneurship, cooperatives and farmers’ production groups in rural areas. Under these measures, grants were awarded to 34 innovative forms of farming and providing services. In addition, four pilot groups were set up, bringing together 21 agricultural producers. The projects also helped train 39 agricultural consultants.
The deputy chief of Polish diplomacy also attended the inauguration of the exhibition “Poland’s Development Cooperation in Moldova.” The event is a showcase of measures to benefit Moldova, which Poland put in place in 2009-2013 as part of development cooperation with Moldovan partners. The country is one of key geographic areas of Polish support. Poland-Moldova cooperation focuses on three fields: agriculture and rural development; regional development and strengthening public administration and local government; and public security and border management. In 2013 Poland allocated PLN 6.43 million to development cooperation projects addressed to Moldova.