Moldova's priorities for cooperation with the EU in the field of transport are broadly aimed at creating the necessary conditions for integration into the EU's internal market (priority being given to the aviation and road transport), including by supporting the development and modernisation of the sector.
Aimed at achieving this goal, the dialogue with the EU is conducted both bilaterally and multilaterally:
- The RM – EU Association Agreement includes a separate chapter for cooperation in the field of transport, which envisages to cover the following objectives:
- Development of sustainable transport systems;
- Promotion of efficient, safe and secure transport operations, as well as interoperability of transport systems;
- Endeavour to enhance the main transport links.
- The progress achieved in the transport field is being assessed on annual basis within the RM – EU Cluster on energy, transport, environment, climate action and civil protection, set up under the RM – EU Association Agreement.
- In 2012, the Common Aviation Area Agreement between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union was signed, in view of:
- Getting free access to the EU market, thus committing to ensure equal conditions of competition, and respect of the same rules – including in the areas of safety, security, air traffic management, social aspects and the environment;
- Facilitating the expansion of air transport opportunities to consumers and air transport services, including through the development of air transport networks designed to provide high quality air services.
The implementation of the Agreement is being assessed by the EU – RM Aviation Committee.
The Moldovan experts actively participate within the Transport Panel meetings, launched under the Eastern Partnership. Within this framework, discussions on integration into the EU's internal transport market, including through the development of infrastructure that would allow an adequate connection to the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), was initiated. In result, on November 24, 2017, a high-level understanding on the extension of the TEN-T to the RM was signed in the margins of the Eastern Partnership Summit held in Brussels.
Based on the indicative TEN-T Investment Action Plan prepared by the European Commission, along with the World Bank, a total of 17 projects worth €917 million are needed for the RM’s connection to the TEN-T network. 12 projects are foreseen for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the roads; one investment project is needed in the rail sector and one for the development of the Giurgiulesti Free International Port’s infrastructure. In addition, 3 logistic centres in Balti, Chisinau and Giurgiulesti are planned to be created.
Country's connection to the TEN-T network is planned to be completed by 2030. The infrastructure projects are subject to be financed from the national budget, along with the support of the EU, international financial institutions and private companies.
The 2030 Energy Strategy of the Republic of Moldova provides clear vision towards integration of the country into the EU and its internal energy market. Moldova’s participation in the Energy Community Treaty confirm this path, including by signing in June 2017 the Agreement on the conditions for the future interconnection of the energy system of the RM with the power system of Continental Europe, i.e. the ENTSO-E system (with an implementation period of 6 years) and an eventual membership to ENTSO-G.
The process of legislative harmonization is facilitated by Moldova's participation in the Energy Community Treaty. By adhering to this Treaty, Moldova has committed to implement the second and third energy package, for the latter achieving a derogation on the implementation of Article 9 of Directive 2009/73/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas by 2020, which refers to the separation of transport activities from production and supply on the gas market.
Concurrently, in October 2015 the RM joined the Central and South-Eastern European Connectivity (CESEC) initiative in order to improve the investment climate in EU and Energy Community member states, thus creating a stable regulatory and market environment in the natural gas sector. Aimed at enhancing the energy security, in September 2017 the RM uphold the extension of CESEC mandate to the electricity, energy efficiency and renewable energy areas, by way of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Bucharest in 2017, along with an Action Plan which sets the measures and priority energy projects to improve the electricity market and strengthen the energy security. Among other infrastructure priority projects, the CESEC list includes:
- The asynchronous interconnection between Isaccea (RO) and Vulcanesti (MD) with the construction of a back to back station in Vulcanesti (MD) and OHL 400kV Vulcanesti (MD) - Chisinau (MD);
- Expansion of the Iasi – Ungheni gas interconnector to Chisinau with an annual capacity of 1.5 billion cubic meters (the first phase of the Ungheni-Iasi gas pipeline project being put into operation on August 27, 2014, along with a gas metering station);
An important step towards strengthening the energy security of the country was made via the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding, through which the national TSOs committed to ensure the reverse flow on the Trans-Balkan pipeline within the framework of the CESEC Initiative.