- Trade liberalisation will help overcome economic loss due to Russia’s war on Ukraine
- Initiative concerns seven agricultural products
- The current measures expire on 24 July 2023
Parliament gave its green light to suspending EU import duties on Moldovan exports of agricultural products for another year to support the country’s economy.
MEPs approved on Tuesday, by 577 votes, with 36 against and 18 abstentions, a proposal to renew the current suspension of import duties on Moldovan exports to the EU for another year, against the background of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine that is creating a difficult situation for Moldovan producers and exporters.
As most Moldovan exports already benefit from duty-free access to the EU market under the Association Agreement, this measure concerns seven agricultural products which are subject to tariff-rate quotas: tomatoes, garlic, table grapes, apples, cherries, plums and grape juice.
"Before Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, Moldova's exports were largely dependent on Russia's markets and heavily reliant on Ukrainian transit routes and infrastructure. In light of the current circumstances, Moldova faces a significant challenge in selling its products beyond its borders. Considering that the country has been showing nothing but solidarity by supporting Ukrainian refugees and imposing a majority of EU sanctions against Russia, it is now our turn to reciprocate this solidarity and bolster its economy. I am therefore glad that the European Parliament acknowledges the dire state of Moldova's economy and has approved the necessary legislation without delay. I believe the renewal of trade liberalisation measures will help to stabilise Moldova's economy and facilitate better integration of the candidate country into the EU market", said rapporteur Markéta Gregorová (Greens/EFA, CZ).
The EU's relations with the Republic of Moldova are based on the EU-Moldova Association Agreement including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, providing for stronger political association and economic integration between the EU and Moldova.
In a May 2022 resolution, the Parliament called for suspending import duties on all Moldovan exports to the EU, increasing the quotas for Moldovan agricultural products and facilitating labour access for Moldovans in the EU.
The European Council on 23 June 2022 granted Moldova EU candidate country status.
Once approved by the Council, the measure will be published in the Official Journal of the EU and apply on the day following its publication.