4th Jun 2023

EU sending anti-coup mission to Moldova in May

  • Refugees on Moldova-Ukraine border crossing in February 2022, after the Russian invasion (Photo: Moldova government)
Listen to article

The EU is aiming to launch a new government-support mission to Moldova in May to counter Russia's "destabilising activities".

Called the EU Partnership Mission in Moldova (EUPM Moldova), the team of civilian advisors is to be set up using a "fast-track" process for an initial period of two years, "with a view to launching the mission at the Foreign Affairs Council on 22 May 2023," according to an internal EU memo.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The Foreign Affairs Council is a regular meeting of EU foreign ministers.

The mission's tasks will be "enhancing the resilience of Moldova's security sector in the area of crisis management as well as enhancing resilience to hybrid threats, including cybersecurity, and countering foreign information manipulation and interference", the memo, dated 29 March and seen by EUobserver, said.

The mission's size and budget remain to be determined, but it is to be "scalable and modular in nature so that it can, over time, adapt to changing realities".

Its staff is also to have "specific expertise" on countering foreign espionage "as well as access to state-of-the-art technology".

The project comes amid what the memo called "destabilising activities by external actors", referring to previous accusations by Moldova, Ukraine, the EU, and the US that Russia is trying to stage a coup against Moldova's pro-Western government.

Moldovan authorities recently arrested seven allegedly Russian-trained saboteurs and blocked hundreds of suspicious foreign nationals from crossing the border as a precaution.

But Chișinău remains on edge amid popular discontent over the economic and refugee crisis arising from Russia's invasion of neighbouring Ukraine last year.

"Moldova's hosting of the European Political Community summit on 1 June 2023 could result in heightened hybrid and information manipulation threats," the EU memo also warned.

The European Political Community is an intergovernmental forum launched by France last year.

In other provisions, EU countries are buying Moldova €40m worth of non-lethal military equipment, including a mobile long-range radar system, after Russia fired missiles through Moldova's airspace earlier this year.

The US is planning to add a similar amount, more than doubling the impoverished country's tiny defence budget.

The EU already invested €47m in modernising Moldova's army in 2021 and 2022.


How the EU's money for waste went to waste in Lebanon

The EU led support for the waste management crisis in Lebanon, spending around €89m between 2004-2017, with at least €30m spent on 16 solid-waste management facilities. However, it failed to deliver.

Latest News

  1. Spanish PM to delay EU presidency speech due to snap election
  2. EU data protection chief launches Frontex investigation
  3. Madrid steps up bid to host EU anti-money laundering hub
  4. How EU leaders should deal with Chinese government repression
  5. MEPs pile on pressure for EU to delay Hungary's presidency
  6. IEA: World 'comfortably' on track for renewables target
  7. Europe's TV union wooing Lavrov for splashy interview
  8. ECB: eurozone home prices could see 'disorderly' fall

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  2. ICLEISeven actionable measures to make food procurement in Europe more sustainable
  3. World BankWorld Bank Report Highlights Role of Human Development for a Successful Green Transition in Europe
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic summit to step up the fight against food loss and waste
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersThink-tank: Strengthen co-operation around tech giants’ influence in the Nordics
  6. EFBWWEFBWW calls for the EC to stop exploitation in subcontracting chains

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us