Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) met with the heads of state and government of Moldova in Chișinău on Monday, where he saw the results of development cooperation between Estonia and Moldova.
"I remember very well how important support and encouragement was for Estonia when we were aspiring to become a member of the European Union," Ratas said at his meetings with Prime Minister Pavel Filip, President Igor Dodon, Deputy Prime Minister Iurie Leancă and Chairman of the Democratic Party of Moldova Vladimir Plahotniuc, according to a government press release. "Although our aim was clear and our wish genuine, there were still those who doubted us. Therefore, we understand Moldova's situation and support Moldova on its path to Europe."
Moldova has implemented several reforms during the last few years. "The purpose of reforms, aid, and development cooperation is to visibly and recognisably improve people's lives," noted the Estonian prime minister. "Through this, people measure the success of a government and feel pride for their country."
Moldova has been a priority countries for Estonian development cooperation since 2006, and the estimated size of development cooperation between 2016 and 2018 is up to €3 million. 18 joint projects between the two countries are currently underway, and another ten are to be added going forward.
The joint projects cover areas including 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 Centre of Eastern Partnership (ECEAP), the EU's Eastern Partnership policy as well as 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 Chișinău. In addition, Ratas met with students and academics at Moldova State University, where he delivered a lecture about the integration of Estonia into the EU.
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 as well as the vision for the future of Europe to the MEPs. "I emphasised to the European Parliament that I hope to see the Ukrainian head of state in the same role of presidency one day," recalled the Estonian prime minister. "I hope the same for Moldova."
Editor: Aili Vahtla