Central European Midday Report: "European Integration Efforts: Moldovan SMEs and Schengen Accession for Bulgaria and Romania"

Central European Midday Report: "European Integration Efforts: Moldovan SMEs and Schengen Accession for Bulgaria and Romania"

Politics

President Maia Sandu Champions Moldovan Entrepreneurs' Role in EU Integration: Today, President Maia Sandu delivered a compelling message at the "Empower Locals 2024: Local Businesses Go EU" event, underscoring the pivotal role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Moldova's journey towards European integration. Praising entrepreneurs for their resilience and innovation, President Sandu emphasized that SMEs are the cornerstone of Moldova's economy, driving growth and fostering prosperity.

Acknowledging the challenges faced by businesses, President Sandu highlighted government initiatives aimed at easing bureaucratic hurdles and fostering a conducive business environment. Through efforts to reduce red tape and embrace digitalization, Moldovan companies are being empowered to thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape.

President Sandu reaffirmed Moldova's commitment to a free and digital economy, positioning it for seamless integration into the European Union market. With support from development partners and initiatives such as the FACEM Program and the Credit Guarantee Fund, thousands of SMEs are poised for sustainable growth.

In her closing remarks, President Sandu called upon entrepreneurs to champion the message of EU accession as a transformative opportunity for Moldova's future. Underscoring the collective responsibility to shape a democratic and prosperous state, President Sandu emphasized that the success of Moldovan entrepreneurs resonates as a testament to the nation's progress.

European Commissioner Johansson Advocates for Bulgaria and Romania's Full Schengen Accession: European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ilva Johansson, reiterated her commitment to the full accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Schengen Area during a joint briefing in Sofia. Joined by Bulgarian and Romanian officials, Johansson emphasized the need for decisive action to lift restrictions and facilitate seamless travel across land borders.

Highlighting the European Commission's adoption of the annual Schengen report, Johansson emphasized the importance of setting a specific date for the lifting of restrictions, a key agenda item for the upcoming European Council meeting in June. With Bulgaria's recent accession to the Schengen Area by air and sea, Johansson underscored the significance of abolishing border checks after years of deliberation.

During her visit to Bulgaria, Johansson engaged in discussions with Bulgarian and Romanian counterparts, culminating in the signing of a bilateral Protocol amending cross-border police cooperation agreements. Visiting Sofia Airport, Johansson familiarized herself with the operational changes following Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen Area, reaffirming the European Union's commitment to strengthening cross-border cooperation and security.

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