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Procedure : 2017/2282(INI)
Document stages in plenary
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Texts tabled :

A8-0320/2018

Debates :

PV 13/11/2018 - 11
CRE 13/11/2018 - 11

Votes :

PV 14/11/2018 - 14.9
CRE 14/11/2018 - 14.9
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0457

Debates
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

11. Implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement - Implementation of the EU-Moldova Association Agreement (debate)
Video of the speeches
PV
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  Președintele. – Următorul punct de pe ordinea de zi este dezbaterea comună privind:

- raportul domnului Andrejs Mamikins, în numele Comisiei pentru afaceri externe, referitor la punerea în aplicare a Acordului de asociere UE-Georgia (2017/2282(INI)) (A8-0320/2018) și

- raportul domnului Petras Auštrevičius, în numele Comisiei pentru afaceri externe, referitor la punerea în aplicare a Acordului de asociere UE-Moldova (2017/2281(INI)) (A8-0322/2018).

 
  
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  Andrejs Mamikins, Rapporteur. – Mr President, since the signature of the report in 2014 Georgia has undertaken substantial reforms for the successful implementation of an association agreement (AA). Its European path is now even enshrined in the constitution of Georgia and enjoys cross—party support. Unlike here in the EU, in Georgia there are no serious anti—European movements. Georgia has shown a good absorption capacity and between 2017 and 2020 the association programme has been supported with funds of between EUR 371 and 453 million. It is reflected in the report that the EU takes very seriously the oversight of this financial spending.

I believe that Georgia is making enough communication efforts to guarantee that its citizens know about the projects realised with the help of the European Union. The AA has a very positive effect on EU—Georgia relations. It has allowed us to extend our political relations under the security dialogue so that now Georgia is even taking part in our CSDP missions. Georgia provides an example that the EU’s structural foreign policy really works.

Even if the EU is still silent on the concrete membership process, the Georgian side is really putting a lot of energy into it. Many say that Georgia has gone much further than other association countries in its ambitions and performance, and has made a series of ministerial reforms to achieve the objectives of the AA. That is why Georgia needs more highly—qualified personnel from the EU. They need our expertise in energy, in the environment, in safety standards and other fields. If you want our engagement in Georgia to be sustainable, we need to boost it with knowledge, not only with money. Georgia has achieved huge progress on many democratic issues, including free media and journalism. In the last five years the number of TV channels with nationwide coverage rose from 3 to 13. This is important considering that TV is still the major source of information for the people. In its judiciary reform, Georgia can already claim many achievements. Among them one can mention accessibility for the media, the removal of politicians from the High Council of Justice, the reform of the High School of Justice, and so on. The parliament is now working on further reforms of the judiciary to address disciplinary proceedings, caseload and other issues.

Recent constitutional reforms transform Georgia into a truly parliamentary democracy with strong powers in the hands of the parliament, particularly as far as its oversight over the executive is concerned. Georgia expects a transition to a fully—proportionate parliamentary election system in 2024. This will make political life even more vibrant, and the active engagement of civil society in Georgian policymaking is a good precursor of this new trend.

The report also reflects major improvements in human rights standards, and freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and of association are now protected much better than before in Georgia.

Some challenges need to be tackled however. Let’s say that our current association agenda has to take account of the legacy of the previous government Georgia had since its independence in 1991. Therefore this report does not only contain an assessment of achievements but also provides concrete recommendations for further work.

On a separate note, I would like also to underline that this report gives support to Georgia in its pursuit of peaceful conflict resolution and reconciliation. The report welcomes Georgia’s efforts to maintain constructive dialogue with Russia and supports its committed participation in the Geneva international discussions.

My report proposes a decision to draw up such implementation reports on Georgia on an annual basis, and considering the recent positive dynamics I think that the next report will reflect even more achievements.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius, Rapporteur. – Mr President, I wish to start by highlighting the importance of the very fact that this House has decided to evaluate and deliver its reports on the implementation of the association agreements with the associate partners of the European Union. These are Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The deliberations and today’s and tomorrow’s vote on this report must be viewed as additional confirmation of the EU’s strong political commitment vis—à—vis best performance in the Eastern neighbourhood.

In my capacity as standing rapporteur on Moldova, I hereby wish to dwell on the main findings and conclusions of my report. I will do so in all frankness and sincerity as a true friend of European Moldova. The EU—Moldova partnership is not abstract. The EU and Moldova are bound by a very solid and comprehensive association agreement document which contains a set of legal and political obligations. It is a partnership based on common values, and respect for democratic principles and fundamental freedoms.

This is exactly what worries me the most: a continuous and even deliberate back—sliding in relation to democratic standards in Moldova over the last couple of years. To begin with, I do regret that the Moldovan authorities choose to confront or even disregard the joint opinion and recommendations of respected European institutions – the Venice Commission and the ODIHR – as regards the recent changes in national electoral legislation. This House, as well as other European institutions, has been doing its utmost to explain to Chișinău that electoral legislation must not be tailor—made and changed a year before elections, bypassing civil society and other political actors in Moldova. I am very upset that the advice of the European bodies has not been taken into account.

I must also say that the Moldovan authorities’ actions that led to invalidation of Chișinău’s mayoral elections earlier this year were very disturbing. Equally disappointing was – and continues to be – the lack of real progress and transparency in the investigation of a USD 1 billion bank fraud case. I wish to repeat our call in the report, namely that the findings and recommendations of the two independent Kroll reports must be published in full, and those responsible for the fraud must face real justice.

To continue, I wish to stress that the so—called fiscal reform package is giving us grounds for another serious concern. Our report states that this tax amnesty scheme is substantially doubtful, insufficient and lacks transparency – and sometimes even logic. For all the reasons mentioned above, I must say – and I am saying this with regret – that the  EU was left with no other choice in deciding to put on hold the macro—financial assistance and budget support programmes foreseen for Moldova. Moldova seems to be the first country, at least in recent years, that has had to face such strict conditionality measures from the EU side, resulting in the suspension of EU assistance. I am sure you will agree that this is a fact that speaks for itself.

Colleagues, in sending this message we continue to extend our hand of cooperation to the Moldovan authorities and civil society at large, in order to stay in close touch. In exchange, I believe we will reach our goal. Moldovans will understand that the only way forward is Europeanisation – meaning a comprehensive package of political and economic reforms.

 
  
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  Johannes Hahn, Member of the Commission, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, I wish to start by thanking Parliament for its continued support for our eastern partners and helping associated countries to progress in implementing the reforms set out in the Association Agreements.

Before I enter into the specificities of the two countries, let me mention one very important element, a crucial part of our relations with these countries: our engagement with civil societies. The situation is different in the two countries, but they would like to thank the civil society partners that are monitoring the implementation of their Association Agreements. Their contribution is highly valued. I welcome the draft reports prepared by the Committee on Foreign Affairs and would like to thank in particular the rapporteurs Mr Mamikins and Mr Auštrevičius for their remarkable work.

Turning first to Georgia. The report demonstrates the achievements in progress made in particular regarding reforms related to the implementation of the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. It also notes the positive trends in terms of closer links with the European Union, which is Georgia’s largest trade partner, representing almost one third of its total trade, as well as the most significant donor and the largest source of foreign direct investments.

Relations between the European Union and Georgia are close today. As a tangible sign we will be hosting a high-level meeting between Members of the European Commission and of the Georgian Government in Brussels on 21 November, chaired by President Juncker and Prime Minister Bakhtadze. This meeting will provide a unique opportunity to discuss areas of future cooperation and driving the political association of economic integration process forward.

On the EU side we will highlight the importance of working on the implementation and sustainability of reforms and increasing reform efforts in the area of law enforcement and justice. We will continue to focus our support on key areas for sustained growth in jobs with our programmes, and matching skills with the labour market and economic and business development. It is rightly pointed out in the report that some key structural reforms are still needed for a transparent and competitive economy that ultimately provides more jobs and economic perspectives for citizens. For instance, ensuring proper functioning of the labour market, an efficient social protection mechanism, strengthening economic governance and public financial management, and further improving the business environment and financial infrastructure.

These efforts will also be supported through our macro-financial assistance of EUR 45 million. Payment of the first tranche is still foreseen for this year if the Georgian Parliament ratifies the Memorandum of Understanding in time.

Another area which requires further improvement is the system of checks and balances. Against this background, we have been working with the Georgian Parliament to strengthen its oversight function. For instance, we are supporting the Budget and Finance Committee on public finance policy reform and will continue to do so through a programme on governance and fiscal accountability which we are currently putting in place.

Additional support for parliamentary oversight of the security sector is planned as part of an overarching programme on security and the rule of law. This innovative programme on security will address many of the key issues identified as crucial in the report such as, for instance, supporting the fight against corruption, organised crime and money laundering; strengthening the capacity of state institutions to prevent and fight crime; and enhancing integrated border management.

The actions foreseen also respond to the recommendations under the visa suspension mechanism. Very closely linked to this is the need for further reform in the justice sector, as also clearly highlighted in the report. We will focus our support on commercial justice, which is one of the few areas where Georgia still needs to undertake reforms. At the same time, effective implementation of human rights protection and anti-discrimination measures remain a challenge.

We are also fully committed to a policy of non-recognition and engagement with Georgia’s breakaway regions. Our approach is to include these territories in our sector support programmes in Georgia, where possible, as we are doing in the area of agriculture, rural development, for civil society, and for vocational education and training.

Furthermore, improving transport links and infrastructure, boosting energy resilience through strengthening energy interconnections, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy is a main priority for our work with Georgia and the other partner countries.

As you know, Georgia is keen to enhance its participation in EU programmes and agencies. To respond to this, as well as to the great success of Erasmus+, in Georgia we have included a top-up of EUR six million in this year’s assistance package, which will provide more young people, youth workers, students and academic staff from Georgia with the opportunity to engage in more exchanges. Thanks to this, we will be supporting some 700 additional mobility opportunities for academic staff and students.

Investment in youth is crucial. In early September I had the pleasure and privilege to open the first European School outside the European Union in Tbilisi for students from all six Eastern Partnership countries. This represents a very important milestone not only for Georgia, but for the whole Eastern Partnership and the young.

All of this demonstrates our very close relationship with Georgia and you, the European Parliament, have a key role to play in this. The Georgian Parliament and Government are very closely following your work and they have paid considerable attention to this report. It’s also in your hands to ensure that Georgia will wholeheartedly continue its reform efforts in all sectors.

Moving now to Moldova, let me start by thanking this Parliament for the continuous attention paid to the Republic of Moldova and for the ongoing work at political level and with civil society in particular. This is vital for our relations. I agree with the report’s finding that Moldova has made some progress in economic reforms, fiscal consolidation and bank restructuring following the banking fraud exposed in 2014. The EU, together with other international institutions, provided substantial assistance to the signing and implementing of these reforms for the benefit of Moldovan citizens.

I also take positive note of the constant increase in bilateral trade between the EU and Moldova. Let me thank in particular, as you also do in your report, the people who continue to work hard for positive change in the country. They have a fundamental role to play in driving political and economic reforms. I reiterate our expectation that the Government of Moldova will provide them with an enabling environment to pursue their activities.

At the same time, this report touches upon all of the key concerns of the European Union: respect for the rule of law, ensuring free and fair elections, and the independence of media and civil society. As you know, the Council shares these concerns, as clearly stated in the Council Conclusions on Moldova adopted at the end of February. Since then, there has been a worrying deterioration in the rule of law following in particular the invalidation of mayoral elections in Chişinău. On this, the High Representative and I immediately expressed strong concerns and called to take appropriate measures to ensure that the results of the elections reflect the will of the voters.

The resolution adopted in this House on 5 July echoed our concerns. Furthermore, and in line with the principle of strict conditionality, the Commission put on hold payments under the macro-financial assistance and EU budget support programmes. I would like to assure you that in all our contacts with the authorities we consistently underline the need for the continuation of implementation of reforms for the benefit of Moldovan citizens. In this respect, we expect immediate and urgent actions to be taken in the area of the prosecution of the banking fraud, the independence of the judicial system, the fight against high-level corruption, and the need to ensure that the next parliamentary elections are conducted in a free and fair manner. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen progress on the Moldovan side in addressing our main concerns.

The EU remains committed to the implementation of the Association Agreement with the Republic of Moldova, and it expects the same level of commitment from the Moldovan authorities.

The EU is also committed to continuing to provide substantial assistance to Moldovan citizens – I stress Moldovan citizens. However, considering the lack of commitment of Moldova to implementing agreed reform objectives, we proposed to reduce overall EU support to focus only on what will bring direct benefits to citizens and supporting agents of change, including civil society, independent media, reform-minded local authorities and SMEs. While this recalibration is being planned we are ready to come back to the level of assistance as initially planned, should the authorities deliver on their commitments taken within the Association Agreement.

Finally, we are all aware of the risks posed by the changes in electoral law on the multi-party system introduced by the Moldovan Parliament in spite of the recommendations of the Venice Commission and the recent invalidation of a mayoral election. Let me stress that we expect the parliamentary elections, which are now scheduled for 24 February next year, to be free, fair and in line with international standards.

We also expect that the banding recommendations will be addressed, in particular when it comes to non-biased coverage of candidates in the media, the registration of opposition candidates and respecting transparent rules for campaign financing. It will therefore be crucial to monitor the situation in the run-up to the elections and to continue passing coordinated messages concerning our expectations.

 
  
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  Jaromír Štětina, za skupinu PPE. – Pane předsedající, jako stínový zpravodaj skupiny Evropské lidové strany chci zdůraznit, že Gruzie má velký potenciál lidský, kulturní i ekonomický. Navzdory geografům, kteří vedou hranici po hlavním hřebenu vysokého Kavkazu, považuji Gruzii za evropskou zemi. Přirozené je její členství v Evropské unii. Přirozené je i její členství v atlantických strukturách, jako je NATO.

V naší zprávě poukazujeme na řadu úspěchů dosažených při implementaci asociační dohody. Pokud je naše zpráva v některých bodech kritická, například v částech týkajících se soudnictví či svobody médií, vyplývají naše připomínky ze snahy o lepší budoucnost Gruzie. Podle mého názoru je potřeba důsledně bojovat s případy selektivní justice.

Jsem rád, že se skupina Evropské lidové strany aktivně zasadila o důsledné používání pojmů okupovaná území Abcházie a regionu Cchinvali a odmítá používat eufemismy. Ruská federace porušuje okupací gruzínských území mezinárodní právo.

 
  
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  Victor Boştinaru, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, we believe that Georgia and Moldova are key countries for the EU and they have both made – in particular Georgia – incredible progress. Think, for example, of the stability and democracy level reached by Georgia as shown also in the very smooth presidential elections – even though we think that a former Russian ambassador such as Mr Vashadze, the UNM candidate, wouldn’t be a suitable Georgian president. Or think of the stability and growth of Moldova after many years of instability, political crisis, continuous changes of government and the USD 1 billion theft.

The vote on the two reports would have been better postponed to avoid interference with the current and forthcoming elections in the two countries. Moreover, in the case of Moldova, the content has been heavily influenced by the Conservatives on the basis of their political interests rather than based on the real situation on the ground. We don’t want – and we cannot associate as a group to – this game. We agreed that many of the shortcomings that still need to be addressed in Moldova will have to be addressed, but we cannot offer Moldova and the golden plate to Russia, completely forgetting the European interests and our strategic needs and closing all channels of communication.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  Jaromír Štětina (PPE), otázka položená zvednutím modré karty. – Pane kolego, vy jste zmínil, že se nemáme vměšovat do průběhu prezidentských voleb, a přitom jste zcela jasně jednoho z prezidentských kanditátů před chvílí odsoudil. Myslíte si, že to je v souladu s posláním poslanců Evropského parlamentu?

 
  
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  Victor Boştinaru (S&D), blue-card answer. – Mr Štětina, it’s hard for me to accept lessons when launched by the EPP, because usually the EPP is doing every day and on every case exactly the same. But still, as a Romanian and a pro-European, it’s hard for me to believe that a former Russian ambassador is the best choice for any country, be it Georgia or any other.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, I strongly support the EU Association Agreement and the DCFTA with Georgia. It’s clear that there’s more work to do, particularly in the areas of judicial reform and fighting high-level corruption, but overall the picture is one of progress. I also welcome the efforts made to realise the visa liberalisation regime with the European Union Schengen area, as well as the passing of electoral reform, which will see Georgia’s Parliament moved to a fully PR system by 2024. As Georgia prepares for the second round of its last direct presidential elections, the fallout from the street protests earlier this year is still clearly dominating the political and social landscape in Tbilisi, particularly following the release of the alleged Subeliani audio recordings last month, and I call for a full and transparent investigation into all the controversial claims that have been made.

I also welcome the reference in the report to the EaP+ model, as proposed by the Parliament, and believe that this level of ambitious closeness between Georgia and the European Union is fully justified for the future.

 
  
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  Norica Nicolai, în numele grupului ALDE. – Domnule președinte, domnule comisar, fără îndoială și eu susțin Acordurile de asociere cu Georgia și Moldova. Sper, domnule comisar, ca eventuale accidente politice să nu întrerupă parcursul european al acestor țări și să avem de a face și pe viitor cu un discurs coerent și foarte susținut pentru sprijinirea Parteneriatului estic și nu pentru ignorarea acestuia în detrimentul altor politici sau în beneficiul altor politici. Domnul Štětina are dreptate, Federația Rusă violează integritatea celor două țări și cred că permanent în discursurile noastre ignorăm această realitate geopolitică.

Îmi doresc, stimați colegi, ca alegerile următoare să aducă la putere în Georgia și în Moldova forțe politice care să urmărească în continuare parcursul european și care, într-o zi, să nu întoarcă spatele Uniunii Europene, să meargă spre Moscova iar noi să rămânem fără obiectul muncii în astfel de dezbateri. Fără îndoială, în ceea ce privește Moldova, o serie de progrese s-au făcut. Pot să înțeleg și îngrijorările Comisiei, dar niciodată nu vom sprijini un stat cu discursuri politicianiste și cu reproșuri de acest tip.

 
  
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  Rebecca Harms, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Die Abkommen, über die wir heute diskutieren, gehören meiner Meinung nach zu dem großen Prozess, in dem wir auf dem Kontinent gemeinsam als Bürger und Politiker der EU mit Bürgern und Politikern in unseren assoziierten Partnern Demokratie und damit eben auch dauerhaft Frieden erreichen wollen. Es ist meiner Meinung nach alles Teil dieses Wiedervereinigungsprozesses auf dem Kontinent, der zuletzt durch den Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion möglich geworden ist, und das ist schwierig. Nicht nur die Hinterlassenschaften des sowjetischen Systems, sondern auch 20 Jahre Oligarchisierung fordern einen Preis.

Wenn ich heute über Moldawien urteilen soll, dann mache ich mir da wesentlich mehr Sorgen als um das zweite Land, das zur Diskussion steht, Georgien. Moldawien – der Ein-Milliarden-Betrug unaufgeklärt, russische Geldwäsche in ganz großem Stil, Nichtanerkennung von Wahlen, ein Wahlrecht, das auf die Regierenden zugeschnitten ist – also, es gibt wirklich Grund, mit unseren Kollegen im moldawischen Parlament, aber auch weiter mit der Zivilgesellschaft um eine bessere Entwicklung zu ringen.

In Georgien ist die Lage heute viel besser. Eine systematische Umsetzung des Assoziierungsabkommens verspricht eben wirklich Erfolge. Wenn jetzt noch der Security Service und die Justiz genauso systematisch reformiert würden und Minderheitenrechte größer geschrieben würden, wäre das alles super.

Beide Länder sind einem unglaublichen Druck aus der Türkei ausgesetzt. Während in Moldawien türkische Lehrer entführt werden konnten, hat Georgien das verhindert, nicht zugelassen, und türkische Schulen und die türkische Universität können weiter arbeiten – nur um einen Unterschied heute deutlich zu machen.

 
  
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  Helmut Scholz, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Die Ausgestaltung der Beziehungen mit den Assoziierungsländern basiert auf den beidseitig akzeptierten Regeln der Europäischen Union.

Erstmalig seit der Unterzeichnung dieser Abkommen schaut unser Haus nun konkret hin, wie die Realität in diesen Ländern aussieht. Im Europäischen Parlament besteht breite Übereinstimmung, dass die Lage besorgniserregend ist. Denn trotz gradueller Unterschiede zwischen Moldau und Georgien sind wir weit von den Zielen der Stabilität, der Sicherheit, der wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Prosperität oder einer Modernisierung dieser Länder im Hinblick auf ihre Politik, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft entfernt.

Real ist, dass auch heute Opponenten weggesperrt werden, die Meinungsfreiheit eingeschränkt ist, dass die Eliten ihre Länder ausplündern, dass sie stehlen, ausbeuten, sich persönlich bereichern und international anerkannte Rechte und Normen – seien es die von Gewerkschaften oder Minderheiten – mit Füßen treten. Die Schere zwischen Arm und Reich vergrößert sich wieder. Zukunft suchen viele für sich außerhalb ihrer Ländergrenzen. Eine solche Realität bringt weder Stabilität, Sicherheit, Prosperität noch Modernität.

Es ist gut, dass unser Parlament dies nun beim Namen nennt, klar seine Erwartungen kommuniziert und beginnt, politische Verantwortung für die östliche Nachbarschaft zu übernehmen.

Die Bevölkerungen dieser Länder knüpfen an die EU große Hoffnungen: auf Unterstützung sozialer, politischer und wirtschaftlicher Transformationen. Sie werden aber so lange enttäuscht bleiben, wie sich die EU nicht aus der gegenseitigen Abhängigkeit befreit. Die Plahotniucs brauchen die EU für ihre eigene egoistische persönliche Bereicherung, die am besten in einem zunehmend autokratischen System gedeiht. Noch glauben auch EU-Politiker, die Oligarchen zu brauchen – als geostrategisches Bollwerk gegen den Osten.

(Der Vorsitzende entzieht dem Redner das Wort.)

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo, a nome del gruppo EFDD. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, a distanza di quattro anni dalla firma degli accordi di associazione si iniziano a vedere alcuni risultati. La Georgia ha dimostrato un significativo impegno, la Moldavia parecchie difficoltà in più. Ma questi accordi e la più recente liberalizzazione dei visti sono solo un buon punto d'inizio di un lungo percorso, nulla di più. A fronte di alcuni progressi esistono infatti limiti evidenti su cui è necessario lavorare.

Di recente sono stato in Georgia, proprio come osservatore per le ultime elezioni presidenziali dirette, e per questo ancora più simboliche e cruciali per l'avvenire di questo paese. Pur in un contesto elettorale tutto sommato positivo, ho constatato una pressione più che opinabile sulla società civile dai piani alti della politica. Per non parlare di discutibili attacchi contro le organizzazioni impegnate nel prezioso compito di osservazione elettorale, definite come complici del fascismo soltanto per aver cercato di svolgere il proprio ruolo. Parole pesanti, soprattutto considerando che la Georgia è membro del Consiglio dei diritti umani e del Consiglio d'Europa.

Il rispetto dell'indipendenza della società civile è una conditio sine qua non per costruire un partenariato più costruttivo. Lo ribadiamo e lo ribadiremo ai nostri amici di Chişinău e Tbilisi.

 
  
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  Dobromir Sośnierz (NI). – Panie Przewodniczący! Ja zwracam uwagę, że Mołdawia otrzymała od nas zalecenie adresowane do jej rządu, żeby nie przestrzegał prawa, żeby wbrew prawomocnemu wyrokowi Sądu Najwyższego uznał wyniki wyborów na mera Kiszyniowa. Jeśli, drodzy Mołdawianie, ktoś z was to ogląda i jesteście zadowoleni z takiej praworządności, w której zaleca się łamanie prawa, to zapraszamy do nas, dostaniecie tego jeszcze więcej. Ja spytałem panią Mogherini o to nieszczęsne orzeczenie, ona odpowiedziała mi na zasadzie, że no tak wezwaliśmy rząd do tego i niech rząd tak zrobi, no i co z tego, nie będziemy się przejmować jakimś tam prawem, praworządnością. Jeśli ktoś tam w Mołdawii miłuje praworządność i prawo i chciałby, żeby ono było stanowione w sposób porządny, to raczej powinien się zastanowić jeszcze raz, czy na pewno Mołdawia wybrała dobrą drogę. Niech obejrzą głosowania z naszego Parlamentu i ich parlamentarzyści – przyszli europosłowie – niech już dzisiaj ćwiczą refleks na głosowanie, bo tutaj refleks jest podstawowym wymogiem dla parlamentarzystów.

 
  
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  Andrey Kovatchev (PPE). – Mr President, when it comes to choosing between East and West, no country is currently more divided than Moldova. The invalidation of the mayoral elections in Chișinău of June 2018 and the controversial elections reform from 2017 are only two of the more striking symptoms of the erosion of the democratic principles that has taken place in the country lately. The use of selective justice and a tool to intimidate opposition members along with the judiciary intervention in the electoral and political process also serve to illustrate the undermining of the rule of law. Media freedom is deteriorating, and there are attacks to discredit representatives of civil society, while there is still no transparency on the USD 1 billion bank fraud.

The Moldovan Government has been very good at assuring us of its positive intention to improve the situation in the country. Still, for a successful continuation of the dialogue between the EU and Moldova – and most importantly to improve the lives of the Moldovan citizens – it is time for the Moldovan Government to take actions instead of speaking. And in Georgia I welcomed the competitive atmosphere and the absence of violence in the first round of the presidential elections and, for sure, the European Parliament has condemned the occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

 
  
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  Ana Gomes (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, (início da intervenção inaudível - microfone desligado) passar na via democrática e integração euro—atlântica apesar dos muitos desafios, da influência oligárquica à ocupação russa e outra difícil vizinhança. Demonstrou-o a forma pacífica e competitiva em que decorreu a primeira ronda das eleições presidenciais no final de outubro, que tive a honra de observar por este Parlamento.

O ambiente de campanha tornou-se, entretanto, tenso, com uma escalada de ataques polarizados. É fundamental que todos, autoridades, candidatos e media, assumam as suas responsabilidades para não agravar a polarização e não acicatar ódios. Ataques ao patriotismo de uns e outros e abuso machista relativamente à candidata que é mulher são inaceitáveis numa sociedade democrática e não servem, certamente, o povo da Geórgia.

Já quanto à Moldávia acompanho o relator Auštrevičius na apreciação muito preocupada e sombria. O nível de captura é alarmante. A Moldávia é utilizada para lavar dinheiro sujo e fomentar corrupção e criminalidade. A União Europeia não pode continuar a assobiar para o lado, apelando à contenção, mas sem nada fazer.

 
  
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  Monica Macovei (ECR). – Domnule președinte, în ultimii doi ani, Uniunea a devenit cel mai important partener comercial al Republicii Moldova. În același timp însă, Plahotniuc și oligarhi aserviți Moscovei distrug statul de drept și justiția independentă. Moldova este cea mai săracă țară din Europa, dar Plahotniuc și acoliții săi trăiesc în lux. Invalidarea alegerii lui Andrei Năstase în funcția de primar al Chișinăului, presiunile împotriva magistraților, încălcarea drepturilor omului sunt motive pentru care finanțarea europeană dată guvernului trebuie să înceteze. Banii trebuie să ajungă la oameni, iar atunci când oamenii ies în stradă și își cer dreptatea, trebuie să știe că suntem alături de ei.

 
  
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  Heidi Hautala (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, I would like to thank Mr Mamikins for his report on Georgia, and Commissioner Hahn for his excellent work on the Eastern Partnership. If we put Georgia on a map we can see that in certain international rankings Georgia does better than many EU Member States. In the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2017 Georgia is No 46, whereas, for instance, Romania is No 59, so we see that Georgia is steadily making progress and we have to encourage Georgia to do even more.

We have seen lately that Georgia is working on the association agenda – for instance on labour law inspections, protection of the labour force – which is very important in order to be at such a high place in the international rankings as ninth best business environment, but it definitely needs labour protection. Let me mention that we just had the seventh Parliamentary Association Committee meeting recently and we raised a new topic – environment. We hope that Georgia is doing a very important job on improving environmental protection in the fight against climate change.

 
  
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  Siegfried Mureşan (PPE). – Domnule președinte, prin această dezbatere, transmitem un mesaj foarte clar cetățenilor Republicii Moldova și cetățenilor Georgiei, că suntem alături de ei pe parcursul lor de integrare europeană. Avem aceste acorduri de asociere care trebuie implementate. Aceste acorduri de asociere au fost negociate de la egal la egal între autoritățile din Georgia și autoritățile din Republica Moldova, pe de o parte, și Uniunea Europeană, pe de cealaltă parte.

Dorim să ajutăm cetățenii Republicii Moldova și cetățenii Georgiei însă, din păcate, vedem că autoritățile de la Chișinău, Guvernul Republicii Moldova, este în momentul de față un obstacol în dorința Uniunii Europene de a ajuta cetățenii Republicii Moldova. Dacă guvernul, dacă autoritățile de la Chișinău nu recunosc alegeri libere democratice pentru primăria municipiului Chișinău, înseamnă că acționează împotriva oamenilor. Dacă nu asigură funcționarea unei justiții independente, înseamnă că acționează împotriva oamenilor. Dacă nu permit cetățenilor din diasporă să voteze liber, înseamnă că acționează împotriva oamenilor. Noi vom fi în continuare cu beneficii concrete alături de cetățenii Republicii Moldova.

 
  
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  Clare Moody (S&D). – Mr President, I would like to thank the rapporteur, Mr Mamikins, for his work on this report. It really is an important report: its job is to reflect on what has been achieved since the association agreement came into force in 2016, and – as it says – we welcome the sustained reform and progress that has been made. We also welcome the cross-party and popular support that there is in Georgia for its continuing European orientation. We must ensure that we build on this support, and to that end, keep our focus on how the agreement is delivering benefits for the people of Georgia.

Of course, this report also includes our support for Georgia’s territorial integrity, and we must always be crystal clear on this. Georgia is a front-runner in the region. It is a star in the region for its commitment to European values, underlining that Georgia’s future is European.

 
  
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  Ryszard Czarnecki (ECR). –Panie Przewodniczący! Panie Komisarzu! Ważna debata dzisiaj, ponieważ dzisiaj możemy po raz kolejny powiedzieć obywatelom Gruzji i Mołdawii, że są Europejczykami, że ich europejska droga, ich europejski wybór jest dla nas ważny. To trzeba im powiedzieć. Ja bym przestrzegał przed upartyjnieniem tej debaty. To znaczy każdy z naszych środowisk, z naszych rodzin politycznych ma partie zaprzyjaźnione i w Mołdawii, i zwłaszcza w Gruzji. Ale nie mówmy w ten sposób, że jak partia z nami pracująca jest w opozycji, to my się obrażamy na rząd danego państwa. Przestrzegam przed tym, ponieważ wydaje mi się, że jest to niesprawiedliwe wobec obywateli na przykład Gruzji, Mołdawii czy innych krajów. Myślę, że trzeba bardzo mocno wesprzeć i powiedzieć jednoznacznie – bo tak jest, drodzy państwo – że to jest mecz polityczny między Wschodem a Zachodem. I musimy wesprzeć tych, którzy są po zachodniej, po jasnej stronie mocy.

 
  
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  Cristian Dan Preda (PPE). – Domnule președinte, Moldova și Georgia seamănă în bine și în rău. E bine că există încă o ambiție europeană la Chișinău și la Tbilisi, e rău că politica e confiscată în ambele țări de oligarhi. E bine că în Georgia și în Moldova se organizează alegeri, dar e rău că dreptul la informație al cetățenilor e neglijat, întrucât politicienii influențează mai mult mass-media decât mass-media influențează politicienii. E bine că există schimburi comerciale cu Uniunea Europeană, dar e rău că justiția e politizată iar corupția enormă. E bine că există în ambele țări acorduri de asociere cu Uniunea Europeană, dar e rău că și Moldova și Georgia sunt doar vecini, nu și țări candidate la aderare. Pentru a face acest pas suplimentar e nevoie de mai mult decât de ambiție.

 
  
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  Andi Cristea (S&D). – Domnule președinte, stimați colegi, ca și președinte al delegației Parlamentului European pentru Republica Moldova o spun clar și răspicat, să înțeleagă toată lumea: stabilitatea Republicii Moldova și menținerea ei pe orbita europeană sunt elemente-cheie. Acum, cetățenii Republicii Moldova așteaptă de la noi un raport instituțional echilibrat, obiectiv, care să analizeze implementarea Acordului de asociere semnat în 2014. Altfel spus, un mesaj comun din partea grupurilor politice din Parlamentul European.

Din păcate, unii din colegii noștri din „corul bocitoarelor” le oferă un text politizat, un comunicat de presă politic, parte a unei strategii de comunicare a opoziției de la Chișinău pentru alegerile legislative. Ce trebuia să fie un mesaj instituțional a devenit un comunicat de presă, prin care unele grupuri politice din Parlamentul European își exprimă pozițiile față de partidele de la Chișinău. Nu voi susține acest demers. Grupul meu politic știe că lucrurile nu sunt roz în Republica Moldova. Sunt lucruri pe care le vom discuta, dar niciodată nu vom lua prizonieri cetățenii Republicii Moldova pentru interese politice înguste.

 
  
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  Laurenţiu Rebega (ECR). – Domnule președinte, domnule comisar, vreau să spun de la început că, per ansamblu, sunt de acord cu recomandările propuse pentru cele două acorduri. Aș vrea să mă refer acum la acordul cu privire la Republica Moldova. Cred că în Republica Moldova s-a trecut o linie roșie odată cu invalidarea alegerilor pentru primăria Chișinăului. O acțiune care nu a primit o explicație mulțumitoare nici până în ziua de astăzi. Parlamentul European nu poate trece cu vederea aceste lucruri și nici alte „ciudățenii” ale democrației moldovenești.

Există un larg consens asupra carențelor politice de la Chișinău. Există însă mult mai puțină înțelegere față de realitățile de la fața locului și față de argumentele geopolitice considerate de raportor neconvingătoare. În raport se folosește expresia „stat capturat de un grup de oligarhi”. După părerea mea, e mult mai rău. Nu este vorba numai despre stat în sine, este vorba și despre cetățeni, care sunt captivi și rămân captivi. Pentru mulți cetățeni ai Republicii Moldova, libertatea a venit doar prin eliminarea vizelor pentru statele Uniunii Europene. Întrebarea este: cum putem sancționa oligarhii fără să sacrificăm cetățenii?

 
  
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  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE). – Per vieną minutę pakalbėti apie dvi mums svarbias šalis Gruziją ir Moldovą, su kuriomis mus sieja asociacijos sutartys, misija neįmanoma. Todėl tik telegrafiškai.

Spalio 28 d. Gruzijoje įvyko prezidento rinkimai, jų pirmasis turas. Vadovavau Europos Parlamento rinkimų stebėjimo delegacijai. Antrojo turo data, nors po pirmojo jau praėjo daugiau kaip dvi savaitės, vis dar nežinoma. Mūsų delegacijai susirūpinimų ir abejonių sukėlė kandidatų rinkimų kampanijos finansavimas, labai negatyvi rinkimų kampanija. Kai kurių aukščiausių valstybės pareigūnų verbalinės atakos nukreiptas prieš rinkimų eigą stebėjusias pilietinės visuomenės organizacijas. Dvi Gruzijos teritorijos – Abchazija ir Cchinvalis, arba Pietų Osetija – yra atplėštos nuo Gruzijos ir kontroliuojamos Kremliaus marionetinių režimų. Ten gyvenantys Gruzijos piliečiai negalėjo balsuoti, Pietų Osetijos de fakto valdžia rinkimų dieną uždarė visus administracinės linijos perėjimo punktus. Šie rinkimai – Gruzijos valdžios ir visos valstybės pasirengimo tolesnei Eurointegracijai egzaminas. Tikiuosi ir linkiu, kad Gruzija šį egzaminą sėkmingai išlaikytų.

 
  
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  Boris Zala (S&D). – Pán predsedajúci, geopolitický význam Gruzínska a Moldavska je pre Európsku úniu obrovský. EÚ si však stále geopolitické aspekty uvedomuje veľmi málo. Aj posun nálad. Ešte pred pár rokmi bola v Gruzínsku veľmi proamerická atmosféra. Dnes je pre Gruzínsko modelom a túžbou EÚ. Preto vítam starosť Európskeho parlamentu aj Európskej komisie aj o implementáciu dohôd. Ale nezabudnime, že geopolitické záujmy má tak v Moldavsku, ako aj v Gruzínsku aj Rusko, aj Turecko. Posudzovaním implementácie skúsme obe krajiny viacej pritiahnuť k EÚ, ako sa pliesť do ich vnútropolitických a vnútrostraníckych zápasov. Skúsme dať obom krajinám jasnejšie garancie, bezpečnostné aj ekonomické. Ak to dokážeme, potom môžeme byť kritickí aj v implementácii asociačných dohôd.

 
  
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  Eduard Kukan (PPE). – Mr President, I will speak on Moldova. The Association Agreement and DCFTA entered into force two years ago, yet the EU needs to remind political leaders in Moldova that these are binding agreements with a clear commitment for major reform processes and with an obligation to respect core democratic values. The developments in 2016 have given us a mixed picture. On the one hand, Moldova has acted in reforms relating to financial sector and has high alignment to the CFSP and cooperation CSDP missions. Positive advances were also noted in regards to relations with Tiraspol. These positive steps were overshadowed, unfortunately, by a general decline in the rule of law and fundamental freedoms. The most obvious problems concern the electoral reforms adopted against the recommendation of the Venice Commission, and the 28 June invalidation of the local elections in Chișinău. While I support the call for the creation of an EU support group for Moldova, I would also like to recall the contents of Articles 2 and 455 of the Association Agreement.

 
  
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  David McAllister (PPE). – Mr President, the situation in Moldova is obviously deeply worrying. Economic and political powers are increasingly concentrated in the hands of a select group of people, and basic democratic standards in the country are deteriorating.

Let me make three points. Firstly, I call on the Moldovan Government to ensure the principle of judicial independence and to renounce the anti-democratic practice of politicising the judiciary for political ends. Secondly, political pluralism needs to be guaranteed – the harassment and the intimidation of the opposition must stop. Thirdly, the authorities in Chișinău have to ensure the fundamental principle of democratic representation and must respect the will of voters as expressed in the 2018 Chișinău mayoral election. This is extremely important in view of the upcoming parliamentary elections in the country.

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Pane předsedající, byla jsem zvolena europoslankyní v zemi, kde byl po celých čtyřicet let u moci totalitní režim řízený z Moskvy. Rozumím tedy velmi dobře situaci Gruzie. Její strategická poloha představuje pro Ruskou federaci důležitou kořist, a proto plně podporuji úzké partnerství Gruzie a Evropské unie.

V těchto dnech jsem měla možnost se osobně setkat s poslankyněmi gruzínského parlamentu. Bylo zřejmé, že mají obavy, aby Evropská unie nepolevila v podpoře Gruzie, včetně finanční podpory, kterou nutně potřebují pro reformy, které je potřeba, aby uskutečnily, včetně boje proti korupci. Dnes probíhající prezidentské volby ukazují, že Gruzie je na dobré cestě, a my si přejeme, aby byl zvolen proevropsky orientovaný prezident.

Přes všechny nedostatky, které v Gruzii nacházíme, chci, aby Evropská unie stála Gruzii po boku.

 
  
 

Intervenții la cerere

 
  
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  Cristian-Silviu Buşoi (PPE). – Domnule președinte, Uniunea Europeană este cel mai mare investitor și principalul partener comercial al Republicii Moldova și cetățenii Republicii Moldova se uită cu speranță către Uniunea Europeană. Sunt însă extrem de îngrijorătoare anularea alegerilor democratice, controlarea sistemului judiciar, monopolizarea mass-mediei, punerea constantă sub presiune a opozanților politici, a societății civile, a jurnaliștilor și a judecătorilor independenți. Sunt inacceptabile anularea alegerilor pentru primăria Chișinău și adoptarea unei legislații electorale în ciuda recomandărilor Comisiei de la Veneția, persecutarea unor lideri locali ai platformei „DA” și ai PAS, neinvestigarea furtului acelui miliard și a altor lucruri total în neregulă în ceea ce privește finanțele Republicii Moldova. Din păcate, toate aceste lucruri anulează progresele făcute în ultimii ani de Republica Moldova și pun în pericol ceea ce s-a obținut, din păcate, până acum în relația cu Uniunea Europeană și, poate cel mai important, regimul liberalizat de vize.

 
  
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  Doru-Claudian Frunzulică (S&D). – Domnule președinte, este important să susținem parcursul european al celor două țări, dar aș vrea să mă refer în primul rând la Republica Moldova. Domnule comisar Hahn, consider la ora actuală o mare eroare, o eroare strategică actuala poziție a Comisiei Europene privind stoparea sprijinului financiar pentru Republica Moldova - cele două tranșe pentru reforma justiției din 2017, prima tranșă din asistența macrofinanciară pentru 2018 - pentru că deja această situație este folosită de partidele prorusești și antieuropene din Republica Moldova. Este important să susținem partidele proeuropene din Republica Moldova acum, înainte de alegeri, și nu după, așa cum prevede și raportul și politica Comisiei Europene. Va fi prea târziu! Atunci, dacă partidul socialiștilor câștigă, împreună cu domnul Dodon vor duce Republica Moldova în Uniunea Euroasiatică. Este momentul să susținem acum cetățenii Republicii Moldova în mersul lor către libertate, către democrație, către Uniunea Europeană.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, θα ήθελα να επισημάνω ότι η θέση μου σε σχέση με τη Μολδαβία είναι εντελώς αρνητική, και αυτό διότι η Μολδαβία έχει αναγνωρίσει τα Σκόπια ως δήθεν «Μακεδονία». Επομένως, καλό θα είναι οι Μολδαβοί να πάνε να πάρουν στήριξη από τα Σκόπια αν θέλουν να έχουν ευρωπαϊκή πορεία. Είναι σίγουρο ότι ο ελληνικός λαός δεν επιθυμεί την ευρωπαϊκή τους πορεία, μόνο και μόνο επειδή αναγνωρίζουν τα Σκόπια ως δήθεν «Μακεδονία», πράγμα που σημαίνει υφαρπαγή του ονόματος της Μακεδονίας μας και της ιστορίας μας. Αυτό, από άποψη αρχής, θα ισχύει για κάθε χώρα που αναγνωρίζει τα Σκόπια ως δήθεν «Μακεδονία».

Σε σχέση με τη Γεωργία, η χώρα αυτή δεν έχει καν σχέσεις με τα Σκόπια, πράγμα το οποίο θεωρώ ιδιαίτερα θετικό. Βεβαίως, πρέπει να εξεταστούν και άλλες παράμετροι, όπως το τι πρέπει να γίνει στην εσωτερική κατάσταση και τι αλλαγές πρέπει να γίνουν. Επίσης, πρέπει να ρυθμιστεί και το θέμα με τις ελληνικές περιουσίες που υπάρχουν στη Γεωργία.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Schaffhauser (ENF). – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, la politique de l’Union à l’égard de sa frontière orientale est schizophrénique et viciée par deux poids, deux mesures. On félicite la Géorgie parce qu’elle est pro-européenne, mais on condamne la Moldavie parce qu’elle tend les bras à Moscou.

Le rapport de mon collègue Mamikins présente la Géorgie comme une réussite économique grâce à l’accord d’association, mais son taux de pauvreté est trois à seize fois supérieur, selon les calculs, à celui de la Moldavie, dont le rapport du député Austrevicius dit qu’elle est pourtant le pays le plus pauvre d’Europe.

Notre politique ne construit pas des ponts pour une unité continentale, mais des murs contre la Russie. Je suis extrêmement opposé à cette politique de Drang nach Osten (marche vers l’Est). Elle a conduit à la guerre, elle conduira de nouveau à la guerre. Elle est contraire aux intérêts de l’Europe et ne profite qu’aux puissances extérieures à l’Europe qui veulent couper en deux l’Europe continentale de civilisation et de culture.

 
  
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  Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Mamy dziś ocenę dwóch bardzo różnych państw, jedną wspólną debatę i dwie różne oceny. Różne oceny polityki europejskiej wspierania tych państw, wspierania często konsekwentnego, ale czasami bez pewnych konsekwencji. Warto zwrócić uwagę na te różnice, najpoważniejsze różnice. Gruzję de facto możemy ocenić jako element pozytywnej polityki, pozytywnego wspierania w aż trzech elementach. Po pierwsze, wdrażania układu o stowarzyszeniu, po drugie trzyletniego planu realizacji celów zgodnie z pozytywną oceną Komisji Weneckiej, ale także skutecznego wdrażania systemu bezwizowego. W przypadku Mołdawii nie możemy odnotować żadnego, podkreślam, żadnego pozytywnego elementu w tym długoletnim procesie wspierania tego państwa. Odnotowuję to ze smutkiem, z konstatacją finalną, ale też po to, żeby wzmocnić decyzję pana komisarza Hahna, jeżeli chodzi o konkluzje.

 
  
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  Maria Gabriela Zoană (S&D). – Domnule președinte, domnule comisar Hahn, vreau să dau un mesaj foarte clar: susțin Acordul dintre Uniunea Europeană și Moldova. O parte din cetățenii moldoveni sunt cetățeni români. Nimic nu trebuie să întrerupă parcursul european al cetățenilor moldoveni și al Republicii Moldova. Țările estice nu sunt privilegiate și am văzut lucrul acesta clar astăzi, în timp ce am discutat rezoluția referitoare la România și modul în care colegii noștri din Parlamentul European au înțeles să își dea votul. Însă blocul estic trebuie încurajat. Moldova, și nu trebuie să uităm acest lucru, Moldova este graniță cu Rusia, domnule președinte, și Uniunea Europeană trebuie să dea atenție acestui lucru. Europa trebuie să ajute Moldova să scape de influențele altor țări. Uniunea Europeană este cel mai important partener comercial al Moldovei. Nu totul este perfect în Moldova, clar, însă trebuie să recunoaștem că s-au făcut progrese în acest sens. Ne dorim să încurajăm integrarea Moldovei în Uniunea Europeană. Susțin cetățenii moldoveni care nu trebuie să sufere din cauza unei agende politice încărcate a altora.

 
  
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  Sajjad Karim (ECR). – Mr President, I’m obliged. If one was to cast their mind back 10 years from where we are today, it would have been very difficult for anybody to predict that we would have an Association Agreement, a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), visa liberalisation, a resolution passed by this Parliament on 10 years of occupation, a European school, etc. These are tremendous challenges that have been faced and achievements made by Georgia. May I thank my colleague, Andrejs Mamikins, for this very balanced report that he has put before this Parliament today. But we have been able to achieve it because of Georgia’s chosen European path. So much progress they have made – particularly in areas of judicial reforms.

Today, we have that deep and comprehensive relationship that is reflected in this report. Occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia – it is this Parliament that has taken the lead, and we hope, Commissioner, that your institution will follow and the empty benches of the Council will follow as well. Attempts to pick apart incorrectly this report inadvertently serves the agenda to pick apart EU—Georgia relations, and I hope the people of Georgia will see those attempts for what they are.

 
  
 

(Încheierea intervențiilor la cerere)

 
  
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  Johannes Hahn, Member of the Commission, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, first and foremost, I would like to thank this House for giving the Commission the opportunity to express our views on your reports. We will continue following the implementation of the Association Agreement very closely, as well as the political developments in Georgia and, of course, in Moldova.

Let me reiterate that we are fully committed to supporting Georgia’s reform efforts on its path to prosperity. A key focus will, of course, be sustaining growth. Georgia’s GDP is growing by a remarkable 5% per year and, of course, it’s about jobs. This will be done by actively providing support in the areas which require most attention and ensuring proper implementation through our continuous policy dialogue. May I say that in Georgia in particular, we are concentrating on, I think, three specific regional areas where we are trying to invest more in order to see and make a difference and to understand what it means to get support from the European Union.

As for Moldova, the European Union remains committed to the implementation of the Association Agreement but it expects the same level of commitment from Moldova. I have listened very carefully to some statements concerning the fact that we have for the moment suspended financial support. But may I say, sometimes I have the feeling that people pretend to be pro—European, pro—Western, but in terms of how they act I can’t see the European values, the European commitment.

So in a way we have to take decisions if all our recommendations and advice, almost all of which comes not only from the European Union – the Commission, this Parliament – but also from the Venice Commission, have not been respected. Almost always quite the opposite was done and, in that respect, we have to take consequences, otherwise it’s about our own credibility.

But, once again, not to be misunderstood, we are also committed to continuing to provide substantial assistance to improve the lives of Moldovan citizens and we are ready to re—engage also with financial means, provided that the situation is changing.

First and foremost, our intention concerns ordinary citizens. They should not suffer from these developments, so be reassured that we will do everything to serve the interests of Moldovan citizens. It’s not about backing a specific political party or a specific government. No, it’s about taking care of ordinary citizens and improving their living conditions, which is, I think, the most important issue. So, when it comes to the next elections we will have a very close eye on the run-up to these elections because again, these elections must be free and fair, and the will of the voters has to be respected.

I count on the further support of honourable Members to strengthen the relations with Georgia and Moldova, boosting cooperation as well as keeping up the momentum for reforms. Once again, these are two countries with an Association Agreement, a DCFTA, so there’s a clear commitment on both sides to further deepen the relationship, but this can only be based on the respect of mutual agreements, conditions, incentives, however you might call it.

 
  
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  Andrejs Mamikins, Rapporteur. – Mr President, I would like to thank everyone for supporting this first implementation report on Georgia and for their comments. I know that the Georgians have been impatiently waiting for it, because it provides an assessment of what has been done for the last two years or even four years.

But this is not only the assessment of the Georgian establishment. This is also the assessment of the European capacity to promote democracy, the rule of law and good governance. The concrete example of Georgia confirms that the EU is a good model for imitation, and the European perspective – no matter how near or far it can be – still exerts an important attraction. But let’s not make Georgia the hostage of its own success. As I have said before, Georgia still needs to solve many problems, and it needs to keep in mind the social dimension of policy change.

I would like to thank also those Members who brought substantial contributions to the report with the amendments on the implementation of the Association Agreement between the EU and Georgia, and I want to thank them for sticking to the scope of the report. Unfortunately, some other colleagues felt the need to introduce amendments on some very negative aspects, and I sincerely regret that the spirit of confrontation of some colleagues still overrides the logic of cooperation and dialogue. And then, in addition, Georgia is now in a politically delicate moment. Now is the period between two presidential election rounds, with the second round on 2 December, and as you well know this is the last time the President of Georgia is elected directly. Even though I understand the colleagues who tabled the amendment of the first round of elections, I personally cannot support it, because I think this House cannot allow itself to interfere with the electoral process and try to influence the balance of forces within Georgia.

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius, Rapporteur. – Mr President, I wish to thank everybody taking part in the debate on Moldova and Georgia today in this House. I don’t think our position should be defined by political sides or the political groups we belong to. I don’t think our reports are politicised. I reject that suggestion from the very beginning. The key words we are trying to send and are using to assess the situation are bilateral commitment, partnership and merit—based assessment. These were, and will be, the key principles for the EU—Moldova relationship in the future.

The European Union wishes for nothing more, but nothing less. We wish to give a chance to the irreversibility of democratic transformation in Moldova. We wish to see an independent judiciary, fair elections and free media working in Moldova. Presently there is still far too big a deficit of Europe in Moldova.

I wish to conclude by emphasising that the coming parliamentary elections are of defining importance for years to come for Moldova, as well as for its relations with the European Union. I hope that the Moldovan authorities will act in accordance with primary principles: in democracy, it is not about who wins, it is about how they win. I hope those principles will be obeyed, and we will see the elections we expect.

Commissioner, thank you for your clear message. It is indeed in line with this report. I hope in our joint efforts we will build a different future for Moldova – a Moldova where people will freely be European.

 
  
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  Președintele. – Dezbaterea a fost închisă.

Votul va avea loc miercuri, 14 noiembrie 2018.

Declarații scrise (articolul 162)

 
  
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  Karol Karski (ECR), na piśmie. – Sprawozdanie, nad którym dziś debatujemy, dotyczy umowy z państwem, które jako jedno z trzech ratyfikowało i wprowadza w życie umowę stowarzyszeniową z Unią Europejską, najbardziej zaawansowany rodzaj partnerstwa, jaki mamy do zaoferowania oprócz członkostwa.

Sprawozdanie przedstawia obraz dosyć pesymistyczny, jeżeli chodzi o sytuację polityczną w Mołdawii, jednakże musimy pamiętać, że obecne władze obrały kurs zdecydowanie proeuropejski, i choćby dlatego zasługują na nasze wsparcie. Być może powinniśmy przyjrzeć się bliżej mołdawskiej scenie i wyciągnąć rękę do nowych partii politycznych, pozbawionych balastu starego systemu komunistycznego, które mogłyby doprowadzić do prawdziwej zmiany jakościowej mołdawskiej polityki, w pełni respektując zasady państwa demokratycznego i zasad gospodarki wolnorynkowej przy zachowaniu wrażliwości społecznej na potrzeby ludzi wywodzących się z biednych warstw społeczeństwa.

Jedno jest pewne. Odwróceniem się od Mołdawii i zdecydowanym karaniem za brak postępów osiągniemy tylko jedno: popchniemy kraj w stronę Rosji. Powinniśmy więc działać rozważnie, nagradzając pozytywne zmiany, być może szukając nowych partnerów do rozmów, pokazując jednak obecnym władzom, że przestrzegając demokratycznych standardów, zyskają w dłuższej perspektywie o wiele więcej, będąc w rodzinie UE oraz, być może, w NATO. Poświęcanie tych wartości dla doraźnych korzyści politycznych w ostatecznym rozrachunku z pewnością im się nie opłaci.

 
  
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  Urmas Paet (ALDE), kirjalikult. – Gruusia ja Moldovaga sõlmitud assotsieerimislepped tuleb korrapäraselt üle vaadata. Hea meel on tõdeda edasiminekut Gruusias demokraatia, majanduslike ja sotsiaalsete reformide vallas, mis peab kindlasti jätkuma. Viisavabadus Gruusiaga on samuti positiivne samm, mis loob võimaluse veelgi edendada inimestevahelisi kontakte. Samas on jätkuvalt osa Gruusia territooriumist okupeeritud, mistõttu on oluline ELi jätkuv ühtsus Gruusia toetamise küsimuses ning ELi ühine välispoliitika Venemaa suunal.

Moldova on teinud mõningaid edusamme, näiteks finantssektoris ning energiavaldkonnas, ent kahjuks on toimunud pigem tagasiminek demokraatlike väärtuste vallas. Moldova peab edasi liikuma nii valimisreformi kui ka õigusriigi, meediavabaduse ning tsiviilühiskonna edendamisega. Edasine abi saab kindlasti sõltuma Moldova edusammudest nendest valdkondades.

 
Last updated: 8 April 2019Legal notice