11/10/2019 GIP

Five Years of EU-Moldova Visa Free Travel


Iulian Rusu
Publish Date:
Iulian Rusu*

The visa free travel regime with the EU is considered one of the key results of EU-Moldova cooperation since the Eastern Partnership (hereinafter EaP) was launched in May 2009. To date, over 2.1 million Moldovan citizens (over 60% of the population) have travelled to the EU without visas. Moldova continues to respect the requirements for visa free travel to the EU: state-issued documents comply with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) security standards. The number of asylum applications from Moldovan citizens to EU countries has increased from 480 in 2014 to 3,835 in 2018. However, the number is still relatively small. The application of the readmission agreement with the EU is well implemented. The Moldovan government has generally complied with requests for readmission of Moldovan citizens and third country nationals.

Some issues remain problematic, however. For instance, important policy actions are needed to reduce the risks of money laundering. Specifically, off-shore jurisdictions should be excluded from certain categories of transactions (including privatisation, public procurement, concessions and public-private partnerships) and there should be increased monitoring of suspicious transactions as well as improved mechanisms for freezing and seizing illegal funds. Additional data from abroad is essential to identify the real assets of public officials and investigate their source. That will allow the Moldovan public to hold officials accountable if allegations are proven, thus reducing the risks of corruptive or criminal activities.

Reviewer and International Consultant:

  • Alexandra Stiglmayer – Senior Analyst in Brussels, European Stability Initiative (ESI).


  • Iulian Rusu – Deputy Executive Director, Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE, Moldova);

 The publication was produced within the framework of the project – “Facilitating Effective Visa Liberalization in Georgia, Moldova and Armenia through Experience Sharing“, implemented by the Georgian Institute of Politics (GIP, Georgia) together with the Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE, Moldova) and the Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation (ACGRC, Armenia).

This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Iulian Rusu and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

The project benefits from support through the EaP Civil Society Forum Re-granting Scheme (FSTP) and is funded by the European Union as part of its support to civil society in the region. Within its Re-granting Scheme, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) supports projects of its members that contribute to achieving the mission and objectives of the Forum.

Grants are available for CSOs from the Eastern Partnership and EU countries. Key areas of support are democracy and human rights, economic integration, environment and energy, contacts between people, social and labour policies.

, , , , , , , , ,