A direct contact among the University students from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Moldova inspired students to thought-sharing. Short essay bellow shows what the students have to say on the topic of European Integration and Reform Experience of the Visegrad countries and how it relates to Moldova’s European path.
Title: Can the Experience of Visegrad Countries be useful to Moldova’s European Integration?
Author: Petra Halkó
University: Corvinus University of Budapest, Faculty G, International Business
On 27th June 2014, three old states of the soviet block: Georgia, the Republic of Ukraine and Moldova have signed the Association Agreement (AA) and also one of its part, the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with the European Union. This pact is really important in the history of their integration in the European Union, however, raises some questions too. First of all, concerning the opinion of Russia, then the future of Georgia and Moldova, in this way the destiny of minorities and finally, the question about the necessity of the European Union’s further enlargement. Along these major points of view that show well the diversity of this topic, we can matter in hand the role of Visegrad Countries in Moldova’s European integration too.
The mentioned agreements make Moldova to choose between the alternatives of the two sides, the European Union and the Economic Union of Eurasia proposed by Russia. Naturally, Russia has a few words to say regarding this decision. From the economic point of view, the DCFTA has no significant influences on the economy of Russia, it suffers minimal losses. However, politically, this situation is more aggravating, since this area is a part of the rest of the old soviet block, where Russia has still a great influence, but the signing of the agreements decreases more, so to say, its “playground”. In contrast to Russia, Rumania is unequivocally interested in Moldova’s European integration, while in case of its success, the possibility of the future reunification of the country with Rumania appears at the same time. This idea is also encouraged in the program of politicians in Bucharest, who are taking efforts to make better the life of minorities (for example: Székely) in the country to prove their welfare and resolve the doubts.
This key-question about Moldova’s commitment to the West (European Union) or to the East (Russia) in its foreign politics is noticeably controversial inside of the country, between Georgia and Moldova too. Georgia would like to maintain its independence, so preferring the pro-Russia policy, it legislated that if Moldova renounced its sovereignty, Georgia would declare his independence immediately.
The debate about the European Union’s enlargement come to surface too. On the one hand, the economic separation of the three countries from Russia would be a financial charge to the European Union. It should assure their economic transformation, infrastructure and extra-financing to take these states in a good position on the European market. Certain number of persons think that it should rather concentrate to its further political and economic developments. On the other hand, these measures are thought to be the investigation of the organization in the aim to cooperate against the historical chops and charges of the world.
At this point, the role of Visegrad Countries come on the scene. The four old soviet states: Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia founded the Visegrad Four in 1991 that today is the most important confederation in the European Union. These countries had to go through the same phases, like the separation of the soviet block and its accompanying challenges of self-reconstruction. They have already many years of experience in the domain of political, economic and social developments that if they share with Moldova, they can contribute to the acceleration of its European integration-process. Beside this contribution, life sometimes gets rough, especially at the beginning in a new environment and these times, the experiences of the members can really come in handy for Moldova.
Each state of the Visegrad Group can show an example for all other old soviet countries with its past and results. Without any question, the activity of Visegrad Countries is not only useful, but necessary in the European integration-processes, moreover there are more and more new European countries, who look for the help of the Visegrad Four to gain their political goals together.