European Commission finds out that Moldova fulfills commitments related to free visa regime with EU
17:51 | 06.12.2022 Category: Official
Chisinau, 6 December /MOLDPRES/ - The European Commission has published the fifth report on the European Union’s Visa Suspension Mechanism, in which it found out that Moldova had undertaken the actions needed, in order to fulfill the recommendations formulated in the previous report. In practical terms, this means that the Moldovan citizens can further benefit from the free visa regime with the Schengen Area states, the Foreign Affairs and European Integration Ministry’s (MAEIE) press service has reported.
The report contains a detailed assessment of the developments in the fields of 1) migration, asylum and readmission and 2) juridical cooperation, public order and security, with special emphasis on the implementation of the recommendations of the European Commission, formulated in the fourth report on the European Union’s Visa Suspension Mechanism from 4 August 2021. The document refers to the states from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia) and Eastern Partnership (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), which benefit from free visa regime with EU. The report also formulates a string of recommendations specific for each state separately.
In case of Moldova, the recommendations refer to:
1. continuing adjusting the information campaigns dedicated to the free visa regime to the relevant migration profiles, including the vulnerable groups, the people who exceed the period of legal stay in the European Union and people who submit unfounded applications on asylum in European Union member states;
2. clear-cut division of the powers of the authorities of prevention and combating of corruption, which investigate the cases of high-level corruption, as well as strengthening the coordination within the concerned authorities;
3. finishing the adjusting of the national legislation to the EU legislation in the field of prevention and combating of money laundering, adoption of the normative acts on the enforcement of the law concerning the sanctions for the infringements in the field of prevention of the money laundering and implementation of the recommendations of the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL).
4. enhancing efforts of combating the organized crime, including certain networks of organizing the illegal migration and smuggling of goods in the European Union, in close cooperation with the European Union’s institutions, EU member states and international partners;
5. consolidation of efforts to combat the bank fraud through adoption of the national strategy of recovery of crime assets and establishing a new and efficient mechanism for the freezing, sequestering, confiscation and turning to good account of the crime assets.
Besides, the European Commission continues to maintain on the list of the specific recommendations, for each state concerned in the report, including Moldova, the urge to adjust their policies in the visas sector to the list of the third countries the nationals of which must hold visas for crossing the external borders of the European Union’s member states, especially as regards the third countries which pose risk of illegal migration or security risk to the European Union.
The Foreign Affairs and European Integration Ministry takes note of the findings and recommendations of the report and expresses willingness to continue, along with other competent national authorities, the cooperation for their enforcement.
The European Commission’s recommendations are correlated with the status of Moldova as candidate for accession to the European Union. On the one hand, the carrying out of a string of recommendations is already concerned by the action plan for the implementation of the measures proposed by the European Commission in its Note on Moldova’s application on accession to the European Union, adopted by the National Commission for European Integration on 4 August 2022. On the other hand, starting from 2023, the European Commission’s annual enlargement package will be added to the instruments of monitoring the fulfillment of the conditions, which stayed at the basis of the free visa regime with the European Union.
Note: During 8 years of work of the free visa regime for short-term travels by Moldovan citizens holding biometric passports, in the Schengen Area, 2,435, 082 Moldovans benefited from this regime, travelling to the European Union for more than 10.5 million times.