Estonia intends to launch ten new projects in development cooperation with Moldova, in addition to the 18 joint projects already in progress, Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said in the capital of Moldova on June 18th, informs LETA/BNS.
“I remember very well how important support and encouragement was for Estonia when we were aspiring to become a member of the European Union. Although our aim was clear and our wish genuine, there were still those who doubted us. Therefore, we understand the situation of Moldova and support Moldova on its path to Europe,” Ratas said at meetings with Moldova’s Prime Minister Pavel Filip, President Igor Dodon, Deputy Prime Minister Iurie Leanca and Vladimir Plahotniuc, the chairman of the Democratic Party of Moldova.
In his remarks to BNS by telephone, Ratas expressed hope that reforms in Moldova will continue, naming the fields of finance, economy, healthcare and pensions as examples.
“The purpose of reforms, aid, and development cooperation is to visibly and recognizably improve the lives of people. Through this, people measure the success of a government and feel pride for their country,” Ratas said.
Commenting on potential progress of Moldova in integration with the European Union, Ratas referred also to the importance of the upcoming parliamentary elections in Moldova.
“I believe that these parliamentary elections should bring clarity for the society of Moldova. Because it is clear that this society upholds quite different positions when it comes to the topic of Europe. Today, I expressed Estonia’s strong support for Moldova,” Ratas said.
Moldova has been one of the priority countries of the development cooperation of Estonia since 2006 and the estimated size of development cooperation between 2016 and 2018 is up to three million euros. The joint projects cover areas such as e-health, availability of healthcare, sexual health of young people, promotion of preventive work and rehabilitation education, as well as the support of women and young people in starting their own businesses, the fight against corruption, and the strengthening of the police and border guard system. In addition, Estonia supports Moldova through the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership, the Eastern Partnership policy of the European Union, and other international agencies.
One of the most significant joint projects is the supporting of the health insurance fund of Moldova, the work of which Ratas witnessed in Chisinau.
In addition, Ratas met with students and academics in the Moldova State University and gave a lecture about the integration of Estonia into the European Union. Ratas referred to a speech he gave last year, in which he introduced the aims of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the vision for the future of Europe to the members of the European Parliament.
“I emphasized to the European Parliament that I hope to see the Ukrainian head of state in the same role of presidency one day. I hope the same for Moldova,” said Ratas.