The German Director for Eastern Europe Andreas Peschke and the Slovakian Ambassador‑at‑Large for the Eastern Partnership Dusan Dacho went on a joint visit to the Republic of Moldova from 29 February to 2 March in order to urge government and opposition representatives to overcome efforts to be made to overcome the country’s stagnation and domestic division.
Prior to their visit, the EU foreign ministers had, at their meeting on 15 February, called on the political leadership in Moldova to resume the faltering reform process once again. Tens of thousands of people joined protests against corruption and delays to reform in the capital Chișinău.
Peschke and Dacho underscored Germany and Slovakia’s solidarity with the people of Moldova. At the same time, however, they stressed the fact that the EU’s aid to the country was contingent on clear conditions being met, including financial stability, successful negotiations with the IMF and getting to the bottom of a banking scandal that led to the “disappearance” of a billion euros, as well as reform and independence of the judiciary.
As agreed in the EU at the initiative of Foreign Minister Steinmeier and his Slovakian counterpart, Peschke and Dacho announced that future aid should be more strongly focused on specific technical support projects and that there should be greater cooperation with civil society.
Direct cooperation with the regions of Moldova will also be stepped up. Peschke and Dacho therefore also visited the autonomous Gagauzia region in southern Moldova, which is home to the Turkic Gagauz and other minorities.
In Comrat, the Gagauzian capital, they met the Bashkan (Governor) Irina Vlah and Mayor Anastasov as well as students. Germany is supporting projects to improve local self‑government in a number of regions of Moldova, including Gagauzia. Important priorities include strengthening regional autonomy and protecting minority rights.
In his speech to students at Comrat State University, Andreas Peschke said the following:
The future of your country, the future of a strong and prosperous Moldova, depends on national unity, regional diversity and being firmly anchored in Europe. All efforts to achieve this are worth it.