On 27 June 2014, the EU and Moldova signed an Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), which entered into force in July 2016. In April 2014, Moldova became the first country in the Eastern Partnership to benefit from a visa-free regime. Moldova is the country which is very much affected by the influx of refugees from Ukraine, after the Russian aggression against the country.
In a speech to the European Parliament on 18 May 2022, Moldovan President Maia Sandu called on EU countries to rally behind her country’s European aspirations. In her address to MEPs in Brussels, President Sandu outlined how Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine had echoes of Europe’s troubled past, with its ‘unabashed land grabs, geopolitical conquests and spheres of influence’.
Against the backdrop of the war, Moldova formally applied for EU membership in March 2022 and President Sandu stated her firm conviction that the country is part of the European community.