Deepening EU-Moldovan Relations: Updating and upgrading in the shadow of Covid-19. Third edition.

Michael Emerson, Denis Cenusa, Tinatin Akhvlediani, Steven Blockmans, Guillaume Van der Loo

This Handbook, now in its third edition, represents the most comprehensive and independent assessment of the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the EU and Moldova. It is one of a Trilogy of Handbooks, alongside comparable publications on Georgia and Ukraine.


The purpose of Deepening EU-Moldovan Relations is to make the complex political, economic, and legal content of the Association Agreement readily understandable. This third edition, published seven years since the Agreement’s implementation is substantially new in content, both updating how Moldova has been enacting the Agreement, and introducing new dimensions (including the Green Deal, the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber security, and gender equality). The Handbook is also up to date in analysing Moldova’s dramatic political swings between the recent pro-Russian and new pro-European presidencies.


For Moldova, the signing of the Association Agreement and the DCFTA with the European Union in 2014 was an act of strategic geopolitical significance. Of all the EU’s eastern neighbours, Moldova is objectively the most European on several counts, including sharing a common history, language, culture and border with EU member state Romania. These provide a positive foundation for a successful Agreement, notwithstanding the major political challenges that confront contemporary Moldova.


Two teams of researchers from leading independent think tanks, CEPS in Brussels and the Expert-Grup in Chişinău, collaborated on this project, with the support of the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). This book is co-edited by Michael Emerson, Associate Senior Research Fellow at CEPS and Denis Cenușa, Associate Expert at the Expert-Grup think tank, Chișinău, Moldova. Other contributors to this volume include: Vadim Gumene, Iurie Morcotylo, Dumitru Pîntea, Tatiana Savva.


“These books offer a one-stop guide to the Association Agreements—the authors have painstakingly analysed the incredibly complex Agreements to deliver a compact and accessible overview to all those who need to grasp their contents. The national teams also shed light on the salience of the content for domestic reforms. Even though the books are not meant to be read like a book, the reader who does so is rewarded with a panoramic overview of the sheer scale and ambition of the AA-DCFTA. The books offer a plethora of pivotal insights into the Agreements while at the same time raising a number of important questions. A ‘Bible.’” — Kataryna Wolczuk, Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies, University of Birmingham


Co-published with Rowman and Littlefield International (RLI), this book can be purchased from the RLI website