Project ‘Moldova’ started in cooperation with Natalia Gavrilita, former Moldovan prime minister

Niels Honkoop, lecturer at Mandeville Academy, started the course ‘Moldova’ in cooperation with Natalia Gavrilita, former Moldovan prime minister.

Some serious challenges are to be faced before Moldova can become a member of the EU. First of all, the Soviet past of Moldova has left it with a legacy of deep-rooted corruption and economic inefficiency. The country is being challenged by serious Russian interference, using existing corruption in its advantage. Also, the breakaway region of Transnistria has not been under government control since a brief independence war that was fought in the 1990s. Transnistria now houses a significant Russian military presence, and also serves as a foothold for Russian influence. And eventually: all other EU member states will have to agree unanimously to the accession of Moldova to the EU. EU member state government will often be led by the public opinions in their respective countries. And in these countries, Moldova is unknown and often associated with poverty and corruption.

On November 2023 Natalia Gavrilita, former Moldovan prime minister and current member of the supervisory board of the National Bank of Moldova and Mandeville lecturer, co-founded Parteneriate pentru Noua Economie (PNE; Partnerships for a New Economy). PNE is an independent think tank that will serve as a platform to mobilize people and solutions in order to make Moldova resilient for the future. They focus on bringing together experts from Moldova and abroad to work on ways to support sustainable growth of the Moldovan economy, all in context of the European Union accession.

We are honored that Gavrilita is willing to cooperate with Mandeville Academy on the topic of Western readiness for Moldovan EU accession. Questions we will be tackling: Is it possible to create a positive undercurrent in the public opinion on Moldova? What topics would be interesting and effective to make an impact? Is it through Erasmus exchanges, tourism, wine, sunflowers, traditional dances, cuisine, O’Zone, IT startups, foreign investmens? What would be a feasible start and a long-term strategy? Can we make a proposition in order to improve Moldova’s PR in Western Europe?

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