BRIEF INFORMATION AND ANALYTICAL NOTE
The second meeting of the European Political Community brought together leaders from across the continent at Mimi Castle in Bulboaca, Moldova on June 1, 2023. The focus of discussions for the Summit included three main topics: joint efforts for peace and security; energy resilience and climate action; and interconnections in Europe for a better connected and more stable continent. The Republic of Moldova for a day was the decisional center of Europe, and the idea of holding the event here was a clear representation of Moldova’s adherence to the democratic European values. The stake of the event consisted in the increased visibility enjoyed by the country, as well as the possibilities of collaboration that will be exploited following the bilateral meetings between Moldovan and foreign representatives that took place during the Summit.
The agenda of the Summit was balanced in such a way as to facilitate unique and integrated decisions and successful outcomes to common European political efforts. One of the important outcomes of the event includes the assistance package worth €1.6B announced by the President of the European Commission. As the European official stated, the initiative aims to support Moldova in its attempts to face the challenges generated by the war in Ukraine, as well as to bring the country „closer to Europe”. Thus, the assistance is focused on reducing roaming tariffs between Moldova and the EU, as well as on ensuring economic support for increasing the investments in the Republic of Moldova and for enhancing its energy security. In addition to the financial support offered by the EU, it officially launched a civilian mission in the Republic of Moldova, which will contribute to strengthening security and resistance to hybrid threats. The initiatives once again demonstrate the commitment of the international community to assisting the country in its time of need. The provision of assistance will not only aid in addressing the immediate consequences of the conflict, but will also contribute to long-term stability and recovery.
A topic that was definitely addressed during the event was the EU accession prospects of the Republic of Moldova until 2030. Although the organization of the Summit was not directly related to the European integration process, it represented an important opportunity to reiterate the development course chosen by the Moldovan society. Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, declared during the closing press conference that “Moldova’s accession to the EU is not only realizable, but is also a fact that is to be accomplished”. Asked by the journalists if he believes that Moldova’s accessing to the EU can take place until 2030, Emmanuel Macron said that it is already clear that Moldova chose the European path. Thus, the organization of an event of such scope in the Republic of Moldova is a clear signal of the fact that it is perceived as belonging to the Western world, being treated equally with the most important and influential powers of the international arena.
On the sidelines of the of the EPC Summit, a discussion platform between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan assisted by Macron, Charles Michel and Scholz was organized. The main theme of the discussion was the normalization of relations between Yerevan and Baku, and such topics as connectivity, border delimitation and the signing of a peace agreement were also addressed. This discussion represented an important step in the efforts to bring peace in Nagorno-Karabakh closer, but also an added bonus for the image of the Republic of Moldova, which hosted the main meetings aimed at peace and security in Europe.
The event also included the reiteration of security guarantees for Ukraine, Denmark and the Netherlands agreed to lead a coalition of partner nations. The Dutch Prime Minister expressed his assurance that should provide increased humanitarian, financial, and military support for Ukraine. The gathering included the British, the Polish, the Danish, the Swedish, and the Belgian counterparts. This coalition, to be called the “Ukraine’s Sky Shield”, is set to formalize its collaboration at the upcoming Rammstein Summit of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, following consultations with representatives from the United States. The initiative has already garnered support from other nations, including Portugal and the United States. The war in Ukraine and its impact on non-EU and non-NATO member states have created a pressing need to establish a creative framework that fosters discussions among all Europeans on matters affecting the continent, expressing support for Ukraine’s ongoing fight to protect freedom, democratic values, and the peaceful future of the European continent. The war in Ukraine has revealed the vulnerabilities of the European Union, particularly in critical resource dependency and trust in international relations. Clearly, there has been a comprehensive reassessment of the EU’s global positioning, visible in areas such as defense, energy, and sanctions.
The agreements at the two EPC summits in Prague and Bulboaca reinforce the emergence of a geopolitical unity, one that acknowledges the need to respond effectively to the security challenges of the modern world. An initiative such as the EPC is providing the EU with the forums to assume a greater geopolitical role, but it also represents a significant opportunity for smaller nations to affirm their committment to the European values and bring their contribution to the consolidation of peace and security in Europe. For the Republic of Moldova, the Summit not only represented another set of security and financial guarantees from the part of its western partners, but also contributed to an important increase in its international visibility and its affirmation as a European country whose voice is important for the future of Europe.