Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 02/2010

SSR in the Republic of Moldova: Strengthening Oversight of the Security Sector

Erik Sportel, editor, Sami Faltas, editor

January 2010

Centre for European Security Studies


Although a small country, Moldova is of great geostrategic importance. Sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, it borders both the former Soviet Union and the Euro-Atlantic Bloc. In the years after independence, Moldova was ambivalent about its foreign policy orientation. Situated on a geopolitical crossroads, Chisinau could not decide whether to deepen its relations with Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) or to follow a policy of Euro-Atlantic integration. In recent years, the country has clearly chosen the latter option, albeit with the reservation that integration into NATO is incompatible with Moldova’s neutral status. First, Moldova pushed for the involvement of the European Union (EU) and the North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in negotiations to find a settlement for the Transnistrian conflict. Second, Moldova intensified its co-operation with NATO within the PfP programme by agreeing upon an Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) in 2006. By signing the IPAP, Moldova expressed its intention to move closer to Euro-Atlantic standards and institutions. Third, the EU-Moldova Action Plan was adopted in February 2005 in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Its aim is ‘to encourage and support Moldova’s objective of further integration into European economic and social structures’.1 Closer EU-Moldova relations are also evident in the EU’s higher visibility in Moldova and in the Transnistrian conflict settlement process. In March 2005, the EU appointed a Special Representative to Moldova, and in October 2005, the EU established a border control mission on the frontier between Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM). At the same time, the European Commission opened a delegation office in Chisinau.