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Moldova and the EU: a Comprehensive Overview of Security and Defence Partnership

Written by: Kristina Velimirović

Edited by: Oliver Reschreiter

Supervised by: Riccardo Angelo Grassi

On the occasion of the establishment of the civilian CSDP EU Partnership Mission in the Republic of Moldova (EUPM) in April 2023, Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR/VP) noted: “As one of the countries most affected by the fallout of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, we witness increased and continued Russian attempts to destabilise Moldova with hybrid actions” (Council of the EU, 2023). In light of geopolitical tensions and persistent threats from Russia, Moldova and the EU are seeking to establish greater cooperation in the field of security in defence. After the deployment of the EUPM in May 2023, the representatives from the EU and Moldova signed the Security and Defence Partnership (SDP) on 21 May 2024. Moldova is the first third state to sign such an agreement with the EU (Euractiv, 2024). The Partnership is envisaged to enhance the resilience of the country, allowing the EU and Moldova to jointly address shared security challenges and explore new areas of cooperation and dialogue (EEAS, 2024). The EU’s goal is to create a network of selected partners in the field of security and defence, boosting cooperation in fields ranging from cyber security, hybrid threats, disinformation, training, and capacity building (Benakis, 2024; Euractiv, 2024). Moldova’s alignment with European standards, fostering interoperability and robust cooperation, is important for reinforcing regional security and advancing Moldova’s European integration aspirations. This paper gives a comprehensive overview of EU-Moldova cooperation in security and defence. It proceeds as follows: The first section briefly outlines the relations between Moldova and the EU against the background of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The second part explores and contextualizes the newly established Security and Defence Partnership.