Prime Minister Vlad Filat today signed a draft financing agreement between the Moldovan government and the European Union meant for the Confidence-Building Measures programme, the government's communication and press relations department has said.
The head of the EU Delegation in Chisinau, Ambassador Dirk Schuebel participated in the event.
The agreement comes to back the Moldovan government's efforts to bolster confidence between the people from the two banks of the Dniester river. The budget of the five-year programme stands at 13.1 million euros, of which 12 million euros is granted from European funds and 1.1 million euros is provided by the UNDP.
The main goal of the programme is to foster a settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, by ensuring the social and economic development of the local communities. The programme is also meant to contribute to bolstering confidence between the people from both banks of the Dniester, by involving the local authorities, non-governmental organizations and other interested sides.
Filat said that Moldova's reintegration is one of the fundamental objectives of the Moldovan government.
"The government programme sees specific actions and social and infrastructure projects for Moldova's eastern districts, which would create genuine conditions of reintegrating the Transnistrian region into the economic, political, social and informational area of the Republic of Moldova," the prime minister said.
Vlad Filat thanked the foreign partners who fully engaged in backing the Moldovan government's efforts in the reintegration process.
"The Indicative National Programme for 2011-13 signed by the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the European Union (in 2010) envisages funds of 273 million euros, of which 15 per cent are meant for confidence-building measures. Another 28 million euros will be earmarked in 2013 for similar actions," Filat said.
The prime minister noted that the recent events in the security zone proved once again that the populated areas and people from this region need special care and attention, which will be paid to them through the implementation of projects of social and economic development.
Filat expressed confidence that the agreement will help bolster the confidence of the people from both Dniester banks and will open up additional opportunities for the implementation of joint economic, social and informational projects.
For his part, Dirk Schuebel said that the EU has always been an active partner in the process of settling the Transnistrian conflict and the agreement is an additional proof of that.
He welcomed the progress made in the five plus two negotiations on a settlement of the Transnistrian issue, in particular their official resumption. In the context, he pointed out the role played by the informal ties between Prime Minister Vlad Filat and Transnistrian representatives in adding dynamism to the settlement process.
The ambassador confirmed that the EU will further back Moldova, including to promote some projects meant for the Transnistrian region.
He noted that the 12 million euros granted by the EU in line with the agreement signed today is part of the 40-million-euro support the EU planned for 2011-2013.
Dirk Schuebel said that the EU's assistance is not meant only for the Transnistrian region, but also for the Republic of Moldova on the whole, adding that the projects will produce long-term benefits for the people.