The European Union on Tuesday launched talks on abolishing its visa regime for Moldova in a bid to strengthen ties with the EU aspirant nation. Moldovan citizens still require a visa to enter the EU, even though it is one of the six countries in its "Eastern Partnership" initiative. "Provided that the relevant conditions for well-managed and secure mobility are put in place, a visa-free regime can add a very tangible element to Moldova‘s closer relations with the EU," EU commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, said in a statement.
Tuesday‘s decision launches talks between the EU and Moldova on the technical problems which the latter would have to solve in order to qualify for a visa-free regime. That will include issues such as making Moldovan passports more secure and bringing border and migration systems in line with EU standards, the EU statement said. Foreign relations and domestic security policy are also likely to feature in the talks. The EU sees visa freedom as one of the main incentives it can offer neighbouring states to improve their performance on human rights and the rule of law.
The other members of the Eastern Partnership are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine.