European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, made her first visit to Moldova on 6-7 October. Her visit signaled the deepening of relations between the EU and Moldova in two important ways: the Commissioner opened a new Delegation of the European Commission to Moldova on 6 October, to be headed by Cesare De Montis, and on 7 October she signed in Palanca a Memorandum of Understanding between the European Commission, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine paving the way for the launch of an EU Border Assistance Mission.
Referring to this mission, Benita Ferrero Waldner said: “its purpose is to build capacity for border management, including customs, on the whole Moldova-Ukraine border. This will help prevent trafficking in people, smuggling of goods, the proliferation of weapons and customs fraud. We will deploy a number of mobile teams, consisting of approximately 50 border guards and customs officials from EU Member States, to the most relevant locations along the entire border, including the Transnistrian segment. These experts will make unannounced visits to any location on the Moldovan-Ukrainian frontier. We want to help you manage your border in a more modern and efficient way. This will also make an important contribution to reaching a solution to the Transnistria conflict.”.
During her visit, Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner met among others President Voronin, and Prime Minister Tarlev to discuss in particular, progress in implementing Moldova’s Action Plan under the European Neighbourhood Policy.