Prime Minister Vlad Filat received today the award "Man of the Year" at the Economic Forum in Krynica. This award is offered annually for outstanding achievements that had a significant influence in Central and Eastern Europe, MOLDPRES informs by citing the Government Department of communication and public relations.
Donald Tusk, the Prime Minister of Poland said that Vlad Filat is the hero of the event and received the prize "Man of the Year" because he showed courage and determination in promoting reforms for Moldova's European integration.
"A few years ago, nobody would have said that Moldova's efforts to join EU will be so intense. This is due to the political will shown by the leaders of Moldova" Donald Tusk said.
The Polish Prime Minister wished his Moldovan counterpart a lot of success, noting that the award he received today is a sign for all those who question the importance of the essence of the European Union.
Donald Tusk assured that Poland will give full support to countries that work hard to achieve the objective of European integration.
Prime Minister Vlad Filat held a speech at the opening of the Krynica Economic Forum, saying that this meeting with the motto "New Challenges for Europe: a pragmatic vision" is a challenge because it attempts ambitiously to come up with ideas on how to reconcile things that sometimes are contradictory.
Vlad Filat said that he welcomes this approach as it puts us in the position to reflect, and expressed hope that these reflections will contribute to policy-oriented debate.
"Solidarity is a comprehensive phenomenon, one of the few human qualities that we all appreciate without doubt – it is one of the major significant components, that defines human beings. When it comes to humanitarian disasters and relief assistance, then all nations react the same, because we all feel human beings in the face of such tragedies. But solidarity is not just about helping those in need. Often, this is an investment in a common future - a future that is more democratic, prosperous and stable. This is why solidarity is the cornerstone of European integration. Solidarity among European states ensured in the beginning a democratic and peaceful Europe, later on expanding this area over Central Europe. The best expression of solidarity with Moldova at the moment would be the confirmation of its European perspective", the Premier said.
At the same time, Vlad Filat said that solidarity must transcend EU borders as such, because the EU is interdependent with respect to its neighbors. In this context, the Prime Minister pointed out how the crisis from the neighborhood reverberates quickly throughout the EU - whether it's energy crises, wars or democratic revolutions in North Africa. "There is no way for the EU to isolate itself from its neighbors and therefore, events guide it for expressing solidarity with neighbors", Vlad Filat emphasized.
The Prime Minister said that the current situation is challenging for all European countries, however expressing confidence that the present difficult moments will be overcome. "I am an optimist, because for us, Europeans, economic solidarity is also built on a foundation of shared history, interdependence and cultural affinity. This is the European integration software", the Prime Minister said.
In his speech, the Prime Minister referred to the energy sector, which in his opinion, it is much more difficult to deal with due to the quasi-monopolistic features, especially when it comes to gas and electricity. "We all need more competition in this field, not by splitting the existing networks of distribution into small fiefs, but by bringing new suppliers, supporting renewable energy, the overall efficiency and alternative sources, including through joint research and development projects", Vlad Filat added.
At the same time, the Prime Minister drew attention to environmental issues and the need to identify solutions to climate change. Vlad Filat called for a global and regional analysis and approach in this regard.
The prime minister also spoke about the necessary conditions for business prosperity and ensuring the property right, which requires courts with an independent judiciary system.
Referring to the situation in Moldova, Vlad Filat said that in a few days, it will be two years since he became Prime Minister.
In this context, the prime minister stressed that although Moldova has not yet a formalized accession perspective, everything was done for Moldova to act as a country that is de facto candidate. "We have applied this philosophy in several fields and areas. As a result we are moving quickly to DCFTA, towards a EU common aviation area, we are actively working to improve border management and other conditions that would allow Moldova to qualify for visa-free regime, as the Western Balkan states have recently done", the Prime Minister specified.
Vlad Filat pointed out that Moldovan authorities have focused efforts to ensure gradual convergence with the EU regarding the energy sector.
"While we support and welcome the energy integration of EU states, we also try to become part of this process. Our objective is to work together to form a consolidated and competitive regional market, well integrated into the European common market. We became part of the European Energy Community, which means that we will gradually take over and implement the acquis communautaire in this field", the Prime Minister said.
The premier said that work is carried out for modernizing the electric power infrastructure and bringing it in line with the European standards in order to achieve the accession criteria to the European Continental Network of Energy.
The Prime Minister stressed that in order to achieve an ambitious energy agenda, the EU has to be ready to launch a more generous offer of cooperation with countries in its immediate neighborhood, including Moldova. "Moldova has an imperative need for EU financial support to complete its energy projects, especially those of interconnection to the European energy network. Hopefully we will have access to the EU financial mechanisms for this matter, to cover at least part of the costs needed for the energy infrastructure projects", Vlad Filat said.
In this context, the Prime Minister informed that at present, Moldova has the Presidency of the Energy Community, and as such, it will host a conference at ministerial level on October 6th, in Chisinau. "We hope to see many of you as participants in that conference, to identify together the best practical solutions to challenges faced by European countries in the energy sector", Vlad Filat emphasized.
Finally, the Prime Minister congratulated the Polish hosts for organizing this forum and very interesting debates that will contribute to a better understanding of the issues of energy security. "I am confident that, under these debates, our cooperation based on solidarity will increase and deepen for the common good", Vlad Filat concluded.