Honourable Ministers,

Excellences,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is of course a great pleasure to be here in Paris and to address the third meeting of the Moldova Support Platform.

I would also like to thank our hosts (President Macron and President Sandu) and also all the Ministers who are here (Catherine Colonna, Annalena Baerbock, Bogdan Aurescu and Nicu Popescu) for the occasion to bring us together again.

Because we are here to show our solidarity and friendship towards Moldova as it navigates through very difficult times. It is not an exaggeration to say that the meeting today to find a common way to support the people of Moldova just before the winter sets in, is not only crucial and urgent, but could be lifesaving.

The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine continues to cause an extremely high threat level to sustain Moldova’s security, economy, energy, and the daily lives of Moldovan citizens.

However, let me underline that Moldova is facing this crisis not alone. Moldova – since the European Council decision which granted EU candidate status – is part of the European family.

We are standing next to you, and we do our utmost to help you face the burdens and find common solutions when it comes to energy security or your economic situation. I would also like to acknowledge the impressive work done by President Sandu and the Moldovan Government to manage several overlapping crises while also making significant progress with the essential reforms.

Today, the most urgent issue to address is the energy crisis, which remains a persistent challenge. Thanks to the joint work of Moldova, the EU, our Member States, the Energy Community Secretariat, and the many partners gathered here today, Moldova has alternative energy sources it did not have last winter.

To address the latest supply problems, Moldova has implemented harsh energy-saving strategies, achieving a 15% reduction in demand which certainly had a significant impact on the everyday life of the Moldovan people.

We are all here today to do what we can to help further. As it was announced by our President in Chisinau on 10 November, we have a new 250 million euros package of energy support to Moldova, which I am pleased to present to you today.

This package aims to help Moldova meet its energy needs, fight energy poverty, and increase its energy security.

EUR 200 million from the package will help meet gas supply needs for this winter.

EUR 50 million in budget support will help the most vulnerable to deal with the energy prices which continue to rise.

And an innovative Energy Rescue Scheme set up by the Energy Community Secretariat will help partners across the international community to swiftly channel additional financial support to Moldova to deal with the energy crisis during the following months. I am pleased that some partners gathered today are already considering donations, and I would certainly encourage all of you to do the same.

In parallel, we continue to roll out our assistance announced in previous meetings. In August, the European Union disbursed the EUR 75 million which I pledged in Bucharest, together with the first tranche of macro financial assistance worth another EUR 50 million.

The hospitality of Moldova and her people towards those fleeing the war will never be forgotten. Last month the Commission mobilised a further EUR 25 million to provide humanitarian assistance for this winter.

Moldova has recently requested power generators and other heating devices through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. I hope that partners here today can also support this request.

The Eastern Partnership Economic and Investment Plan, with the potential to mobilise public and private investments up to EUR 1.6 billion for Moldova, helps partners sitting around this table pool their efforts and achieve tangible, sustainable, and visible change. I am pleased to note that to date we have already mobilised over EUR 540 million under the five flagship initiatives.

[A large share of this funding has been dedicated to supporting SMEs, with nearly EUR 153 million in credit lines already contracted over the last two years. We have also been focusing on transport. We mobilised EUR 174 million in support of Moldova’s roads and railway programmes and in support of the Solidarity Lanes.]

On energy, we have supported projects to improve energy efficiency in public buildings, and discussions within the Platform have helped us to shape a Residential Energy Efficiency Fund.

The connectivity flagship has swiftly supported Moldovan infrastructure, like roads and railways, in the context of the Solidarity Lanes and the Trans-European Network for Transport.

I also welcome the Moldova Support Platform’s work in critical security areas. Supporting other areas, like the fight against corruption, will help Moldova advance on its EU path.

Through the Platform’s newest working group on public administration reform and public finance management, we are joining forces to mobilise expertise and provide crucial support for Moldova’s progress towards joining the EU.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The EU will continue to support Moldova in addressing the multiple challenges and we will support the country to progress on its European path. Our support and dedication are also extended to our continuously active participation in the work of this Platform.

Thank you very much.