Moldova sets 2030 as EU accession target at massive pro-EU rally in Chisinau
Some 80,000 attended a pro-EU rally in Chisinau at the initiative of President Maia Sandu – who came up with a Rezolution and set 2030 as the European Union accession target for the country.
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola also attended the meeting and addressed the people in Romanian, besides President Sandu.
“Europe saw your courage, [saw] how you chose freedom over autocracy. The world saw your extraordinary generosity with the Ukrainians, you opened your homes and hearts to them. We are ready to support you as needed,” President Metsola said, according to Hotnews.ro.
In her speech, President Sandu admitted that the road to EU membership is lengthy and requires building from scratch state institutions but also praised the country’s resilience demonstrated during the three decades since it declared independence.
“Moldovans know how to make the right choice because there is no family that does not have brothers or grandchildren in Europe. We know that peace and prosperity are in Europe. Moldova will join the European Union, and this must happen by 2030,” President Sandu stated.
Speaking of the separatist region Transnistria, seen as an obstacle to the country’s EU integration, President Sandu argued for a negotiated solution that should go hand in hand with rising the wealth in the region.
Maia Sandu also called for amending the Constitution so as to include EU membership as a target for all political parties that would rule until the target is achieved. Notably, the Constitution can only be amended with the vote of at least half of the Moldovan electorate.
Polls indicate support for EU membership from over 50% of the population. But securing a smooth process requires winning at least the goodwill of the Russian-speaking population still subject to intense Russian propaganda. The recent elections in Gagauzia, where the pro-EU parties have not participated, leaving the two pro-Russian parties to compete for Moscow’s support, proves much has to be done to turn ethnic diversity into an asset for Moldova.
The rally in Chisinau, with a magnitude that exceeds the mere counting of participants (a record in itself for the 2.7-million country, out of which some 1 million are working abroad), was replicated in some 30 European cities where Moldovans are working to support their families at home.
The rally comes less than two weeks before the meeting of the European Political Community on June 1, when heads of state and EU bodies are expected in Chisinau.
In response to the pro-EU rally in Chisinau, the pro-Russian party headed by Ilan Shor organised protests in the cities of Ohei and Balti in the northern part of the country and Comrat – in the semi-autonomous region Gagauzia. Ilan Shor, who recently was given a 15-year jail sentence but still hides in Israel, addressed the participants and promised to initiate a referendum to establish whether the country’s population really supports EU membership.
(Photo source: Facebook/Maia Sandu)