On 14 November, the Foreign Ministry’s Parliamentary Secretary, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, opened a conference entitled “Latvia’s Support for the Integration of Moldova with the EU: A Short Term and Long Term Perspective of Latvian-Moldovan Cooperation”. The conference analysed current experience with the implementation of bilateral cooperation projects and opportunities for further cooperation between both countries.
In her opening remarks, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica made note of the close dialogue between Latvia and Moldova established by the government institutions, local authorities and civil society organisations. Development cooperation projects directly promote the reform process in Moldova and its integration with the EU.
Moldova is one of the countries prioritised by Latvia in its cooperation for development. For more than a decade, development cooperation projects implemented by Latvia have been providing support for Moldova’s reform process and successful integration of the country with the European Union, for instance, in enacting a Free Trade Agreement and supporting public administration and judiciary reforms and sustainable regional planning.
In 2016, Moldova was the second largest recipient of Latvia’s assistance: 14% or EUR 75,510 of bilateral development cooperation funding administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was invested in Moldova. A number of bilateral and regional development cooperation projects are also being carried out in 2017, with total contribution from the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs amounting to nearly EUR 100,000.
Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica emphasised: “In the area of development cooperation, we are following the principle that the needs of Moldova itself should be a primary consideration. Moldova’s readiness to assume responsibility for its own development and implementation of the necessary reforms is of key importance here. We will continue investing in capacity building in Moldova through support for tangible and practical initiatives.”
“Latvia is interested in a continued cooperation and in offering its expertise in new areas with potential for development, for instance e-governance. Latvia has one of the highest shares of population in the EU who are using e-governance services for their communication with the State. Although much remains to be done in order to develop and expand these systems, we are definitely among the leaders by international comparison and we can share our knowledge and experience,” said the Parliamentary Secret as she considered directions for future cooperation.
The conference was organised by the Latvian Rural Communities Parliament (Latvijas Lauku forums) association and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development as part of a project, “Support for the establishment of a national level cooperation platform and measures to foster growth in Moldova’s rural regions”, co-financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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