Advancing toward EU accession: Moldova engages in Explanatory Screening Meeting on Chapter 24 “Justice, Freedom and Security”

As part of Moldova’s efforts to align with European standards and prepare for accession to the European Union, a delegation led by Andrei Cecoltan, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, along with representatives from the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Public Services Agency, is currently in Brussels engaging in technical discussions with European experts.

The discussions cover Chapter 24 “Justice, Freedom and Security”, which is part of the European Union’s acquis communautaire and one of the 33 chapters addressing key EU policy areas that Moldova is expected to negotiate with each EU member country.

During the explanatory screening meeting, the team of the Working Group on Chapter 24, together with EU experts from the Directorate-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) and the Directorate-General Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME), will discuss and evaluate in detail the pertinent issues for alignment with the acquis communautaire, ensuring compliance with the specific requirements of the Chapter.

The Working Group on Chapter 24, led by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, is tasked with coordinating and implementing reforms to align the country’s legislation and practices in such areas like fight against organized crime; law enforcement cooperation; fight against terrorism and prevention of radicalization; judicial cooperation in criminal, civil and commercial matters. Member institutions of this Working Group include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education and Research, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Economic Development and Digitization, Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, Customs Service, Intelligence and Security Service, National Anti-Corruption Centre, Criminal Assets Recovery Agency, National Centre for Personal Data Protection, General Prosecutor’s Office, Medicines and Medical Devices Agency, State Protection and Security Service.

The explanatory screening phase is an important opportunity to enhance dialogue and cooperation between Moldova and the European institutions, underscoring the commitment and substantial progress achieved by our country toward EU accession.

It is worth noting that during the European Council meeting on June 23, 2022, EU leaders granted the Moldova candidate status for EU membership, and on December 14, 2023, the European Council decided to initiate accession negotiations with Moldova – a historic milestone for the country.

The explanatory screening marks the initial phase of accession negotiations. It is carried out jointly by the European Commission and the candidate country and covers 33 chapters of the EU acquis. The explanatory screening will be followed by bilateral meetings resulting in a screening report. Negotiations will commence after the Republic of Moldova meets the criteria for opening negotiations and the EU Council of Ministers adopts a decision in this sense.