The Republic of Moldova, as a candidate country, from June 2022, is part of the annual enlargement package of the European Union (EU). Thus, the European Commission (EC) is to issue an annual report on the Republic of Moldova on two dimensions: on the general preparation of Moldova for EU accession and on the progress made during the year, compared to the previous year's report.
The report covers annual progress and is based on input from a variety of sources, including input from the Government of Moldova, EU Member States, reports from the European Parliament and information from various international organizations and non-governmental organizations (international and national).
In this context, the state entities are currently involved in the elaboration of the contributions to the Annual Report of the EC, on the areas of responsibility included in the 33 chapters, the activities being coordinated within the Working Groups involved in ensuring the Coordination Mechanism of the European integration process of the Republic of Moldova, established throughout the Government’s Decision no. 38 from March 2, 2023.
The representatives of the Court of Accounts of the Republic of Moldova (CoARM) are members of two Working Groups: Working Group 32 /Financial Control/ and Working Group 33 /Financial and budgetary provisions/. Also, recently, upon the request of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Development, which coordinates the activities within Working Group 22 /Regional policy and coordination of structural instruments/, the Court of Accounts delegated a representative as a member of this group and presented its contributions to complete the country responses on the reference field.
The CoARM has prepared and provided input on the progress recorded in its areas of competence on a number of other chapters, the main input being presented in Chapter 32. Financial Control, Section II. External Audit. We mention that the public audit is the exclusive area of responsibility of the CoARM, because there is no other institution in the state that carries out activity in this field, which would know the rigors of the legislation and of the international standards that are the basis of the EU requirements (art. 133 of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova).
We remind that the Analytical Report on the application for the accession of the Republic of Moldova to the EU, published on February 1, 2023, notes the positive results recorded in the field of aligning the external public audit with the EU acquis. At the same time, the report mentions that the financial, functional and operational independence of the Court of Accounts is not ensured, which is contrary to the requirements of the International Auditing Standards of INTOSAI.
Following the analysis of the conclusions presented in the EC report, the Court of Accounts organized working sessions in the Parliament and the Government, to explain the actions to be taken to ensure progress on the problematic aspects identified by the EC in its report. As a result, the CoARM developed the draft of a package of legislative amendments, submitted to the Parliament on March 24.
The legislative amendment project is aimed at ensuring the exhaustive regulation regarding the organizational and functional independence of the Court of Accounts, as well as the mechanism for drawing up and approving the CoARM’s budget, which is an independent budgetary authority reporting directly to the Parliament.
The operative approval by the Parliament of the legislative amendments will allow substantial progress to be registered in the reporting period June 2022 – June 2023, in the context of the European Union's annual enlargement package. It should be mentioned that Chapter 32. Financial Control (which includes Section II. External Audit) is included, along with Chapters 23: Justice and Fundamental Rights, 24: Justice, Freedom and Security, 5: Public Procurement, 18: Statistics, in Cluster 1: FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ACCESSION PROCESS, which would imply measures to be taken as a priority by the Republic of Moldova to register the necessary progress in the accession process.