Ex-Soviet state mostly opposing idea of merging with neighboring EU state

The idea of Moldova’s merging with Romania does not have enough support among the people, President Maia Sandu has admitted

Ex-Soviet state mostly opposing idea of merging with neighboring EU state

Ex-Soviet state mostly opposing idea of merging with neighboring EU state

The existing support for Moldova’s unification with Romania is "not enough," Moldovan President Maia Sandu said

The prospect of Moldova acceding to the neighboring EU member state, Romania, does not have sufficient popular backing inside Moldova itself, as the nation’s president, Maia Sandu, admitted in an interview with the Geopolitique news portal this week. 

Some people in the post-Soviet state even find such plans frightening, the president said. "There is support for reunification with Romania, but not enough,"she told the news portal. Moldovans back the idea of joining the EU but as a separate nation, she added. 

"There are also people who fear reunification, there is indeed a discussion that’s been there for a long time, but again, there is not enough support for this to happen," the president said when further pressed on the issue. Instead, she said that her nation "aims for" joining the EU, adding that her government hopes "to convince the EU Member States and the EU institutions to start the negotiations as soon as possible."

According to Geopolitique, one million Moldovans already hold Romanian passports. This number amounts to roughly a quarter of the nation’s total population. A poll conducted by the Institute of Public Policies in Moldova in December 2022 suggested that only 35% of Moldovans support the idea of unification with Romania, which has been floated ever since the post-Soviet state gained its independence in 1991. 

Another poll conducted by a Romanian Avangarde research group in April showed that Romanians are even less keen on such a prospect. Over half of Romanians would say "no" to such plans, and only about a third of them would support them, the survey suggested. Had a referendum on the issue been held in April, half of Romanians would have voted "against" unification, and only 31% would have voted "for" it, the data showed. 

More than half of Romanians also believe that their nation should not help Chisinau by sending troops to Moldova in case of a conflict with Russia. The idea of providing Chisinau with military equipment in such a case was opposed by 35% of respondents. 

Moldova is a former Soviet republic with a population that is mostly ethnic Romanian. Sandu has consistently implemented pro-Western policies since her election in 2020. Moldova has actively cooperated with NATO in recent years, sending troops to participate in the military bloc’s force in Kosovo. The country was also granted EU candidate status last June.