The European Union and Moldova
After the accession of Romania, scheduled for 2007, the European Union will directly border Moldova. As a result, the EU-Moldova relations, which Brussels has rather neglected so far, will gain increased importance. The assumption behind the EU's policy is that Moldova is not going to join the Union, though theoretically, such a development is not precluded. Chisinau does indeed aspire to join the European Union. The EU is interested in Moldova chiefly because of the threat this country may pose to the security of the Union's future south-eastern outskirts. This concern about security stems from Moldova's serious instability, and especially from the existence of the separatist Transnistrian Moldovan Republic, which is involved in various illegal or semi-legal businesses and provides a stronghold to crime. This paper deals with the EU policy towards Moldova and the multiple facets of this policy, the most important of which seems to be the preclusion of Moldova's accession in the foreseeable future. It also discusses Moldova's political responses to the EU policy and the country's own initiatives. Finally, this paper also covers the legal framework of the co-operation between Brussels and Chisinau, the Community's assistance to Moldova and its implementation, the EU policy towards the conflict in Transnistria and the Union's (current and projected) role in its settlement as well as the plans for future co-operation between the two sides.