Moldova Is an Important Partner of Hungary

There were two consecutive high level meetings between Hungarian and Moldovan heads of diplomacy. In March, Péter Szíjjártó had a meeting in Chișinău. In August, Tudor Ulianovschi, Moldovan Minister of Foreign Affairs, was a guest of honor at the meeting of mission leaders that took place in Budapest. This also indicates that the small Eastern European country plays an increasingly important role in the Hungarian foreign policy.

Hungary has always firmly supported the European integration of Moldova. According to the position of Chișinău, Moldova has reached the point of no return in her European integration process. They met the requirements for the conclusion of an Association Agreement with the European Union, set up a comprehensive free trade zone and signed the Visa Liberalization Treaty. As the Foreign Minister of Moldova said in Budapest: „The support of Hungary is extremely important, because we believe it is time to clearly outline Moldova's European integration, as the prospect of the integration of the Western Balkan countries has also recently been put forward. Hungary and other V4 countries represent the principle of the „more for more”. Therefore, the countries that implement more reforms for the advancement of their European integration should have more and better feedback from the European Union. That is why I am grateful for the support of the Hungarian government.”

For many years, Moldova has been mentioned as good candidate for European integration among the countries of the EU’s Eastern Partnership. The Association Agreement came into effect in 2016. Due to certain events, however, the European Parliament has accepted a report that threatens to stop this process. Therefore, the two countries are now on the same page. The struggle of Hungary could also support Moldova. The charges are similar: Brussels accuses Moldova with the destruction of the rule of law and constitutionality. However, the elections in Chișinău does not seem to be threatening in this respect. Regarding the changes in the Moldovan electoral system, the Moldovan Parliament has adopted a bill that has changed the former party list system into a mixed system. This means that half of the prospective members of the parliament will be elected in accordance with the old system, while the other half of them can be elected in individual electoral districts. The next elections is scheduled to be held in February next year. As it is a conviction in Chișinău, the new and mixed electoral system will better represent the interests of the Moldovan citizens. Furthermore, it will strengthen the position of local communities, especially in case of women and young people. What is more, the mixed electoral system is not a novelty for the European Union. In many countries, including Hungary, there is a mixed system in effect. In Chișinău, they want the decision-makers in Brussels to understand and accept that the definition of the electoral system is the country’s own decision. “We do not ignore the fact that the Venice Commission had a number of proposals before the electoral law, which we accepted in part, but not fully. The bill was adopted by the Parliament. This is a democratic, legitimate system that is successfully applied in many countries of the European Union.” - It was emphasized by Ulianovschi in the Hungarian public media.

There are also many other aspects of our relations. Just like before, Hungary continues to undertake a role in the efforts for the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict. What is more, our country is a decisive economic partner for Moldova. Richter has a ten percent stake in Moldovan pharmaceuticals market. During Péter Szíjjártó’s earlier visit in Chișinău, signed an agreement of cooperation in the field of environmental protection was signed, under which the Hungarian water industry’s technologies will be used in agriculture and water management in Moldova.

During the visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs Ulianovschi in Budapest, Péter Szíjjártó emphasized the government's position: the EU can only be competitive in the long run if it is able not only to deal with daily problems but also to make meaningful decisions on strategic issues on the horizon. In this, the Eastern Partnership is the most important area. He said that the EU faces serious challenges, as the unresolved migration crisis has created parallel societies or the appearance of ever more terrorist threats on the continent than before. “The more we are, the stronger we are.” - said the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary. He added: the number of EU member states should not decrease but increase. By contrast, 2019 will be the first year when, with the exit of the UK, the community will become smaller in size. Hungary is continuing to push the acceleration of further integration. Tightening the relations in the Eastern Partnership may be one of the important means for that.

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The GLOBS is the only magazine in Hungary that focuses on global affairs and trade. The topics cover the different aspects of social life, business and culture (especially business culture), research and development, investment opportunities, charity initiatives, and the everyday life of the diplomatic delegations.
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