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 Visegrad4 Countries be useful to Moldova’s European Integration?
Author: Jairo Molina Guerrero
University: Collegium Civitas, International Relations, second year.
It is increasingly difficult to ignore the pro-European movements that are flourishing through the former Russian influenced regions on Eastern Europe. The issue has grown in importance owed to the massive international attention on the civil war in eastern Ukraine, raising questions if Moldova would follow a similar fate.
Referring to the current situation, Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, emphasized how membership prospects of Moldova should be granted due to its considerable progress towards approachment with the EU over the last four years.
To date, after two decades of independence, the Bertelsmann Stiftung Transformation Index 2012 1 pointed out Moldova as the frontrunner in terms of democratization, progress of market economy reforms and general compliance with the European core, but important problems are still to be addressed. Moldova, is still below the EU standards and has reported a little improvement in its development index 2, economic freedom 3 and the ease of doing business 4 (Rafał Sadowski, 2013), this leads us to the idea on how it could be benefited with a closer collaboration with the V4 countries.
This paper aims to analyze how the experience of the V4 group could be useful to Moldova’s European integration.
On the first section of this essay we will examine the parallelism between the V4 countries cooperation during their process of integration in the EU and Moldova, we will follow stressing why an alliance of countries, such as the V4 group, would be a powerful tool within the EU, and we will conclude reviewing the possible collaboration approaches between the Visegrád countries and Moldova to achieve their common aspirations.
Parallelism between the Visegrád countries and Moldova
It has been claimed the similarities between Moldova and the Slovakia of 1998 (Vladimir Bilcik, 2001) when a government of coalition led by Slovakian Prime Minister, Mikulas Dzurinda, undertook a body of measures designed to overcome the political deficits of the previous government.
Nič, Slobodník, & Šimečka, (2014) argue how important was the consequent comeback of Slovakia from international isolation to the so-called “Visegrád revival” on 1999, as the key to start a catch-up process with its neighbors.
The group became a common platform for Slovakia (Lukac, Samson & Duleba, 2000), especially on consulting together on technical matters and in political negotiations with western partners. This was an essential point for its run-up to the completion of EU accession negotiations (Bilcik, Bruncko & Samson, 2000) that brought them to the adhesion to the EU and NATO in 2004.
Multinational platforms as a key to the European Union integration
Taking these premises, we can observe how regional cooperation among countries which are trying to enter into another large scale community, helps national procedures to have a solid integration process strategy, avoiding a “never-been-through” case, and assisting them to be fully prepared to sustain all the required reforms put by international actors, EU in this case (Theotaq Gjikoka, 2013)
The inherent potential of regional multinational platforms, even as limited as the V4, lies in how they combine their weights of individual national positions in order to promote their interests and multiply their impact outside their group (Csaba Törő, 2011), being the leitmotif of their sustained collaboration within the European Union.
It is widely known how essential were the practices and lessons learnt, that these countries gathered through complicated democratic transition and a following European integration process, can contribute to the implementation of the complex reform agenda in Moldova (Dániel Bartha et al., 2014).
There are three tools that V4 countries can use to leave its footprints on Moldovan integration: financial aid, sharing experiences, and joint political support in the EU (Anita Sobják, 2013), but the Visegrád states are not working together apart from the International Visegrád Fund’s projects in Moldova, which are significantly less than in other regions.
The V4 group should not only convince the EU to be more enthusiastic with its offers, making Moldavian ambitions to be reflected on EU representatives’ declaration on future adhesion, (Dariusz Kałan, 2013) but also and more important, to engage Moldova more in Visegrád cooperation, which may become a first step towards approaching the EU.
Taken together, we could summarize that V4 member states and the Visegrád Fund, should support Moldovan authorities helping them with policies aimed to develop their democratic institutions, giving aids to modernize their economy and backing the Moldovan authorities when it comes to the European integration and the process of reforms related to it.
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