On June 7, 2005, the President of the Republic of Moldova requested the signing of an Individual Action Plan (IPAP) between NATO and the Republic of Moldova at the North Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels. The elaboration of such a document is of great importance, qualitatively changing the relations between the Republic of Moldova and NATO.
The document covers all areas of the security sector, such as cooperation with the European institutions, certain security reforms, participation in joint operations.
IPAP is a means of organising and harmonising all aspects of relations with NATO under the Partnership for Peace Program and the North Atlantic Partnership Council. The IPAP Plan was developed by the Specialised National Commission, established by a presidential decree of August 5, 2005. Between September 2005 and March 2006, the National Commission for the Development and Implementation of IPAP in collaboration with the NATO International Secretariat worked on the draft Plan.
On 19 May 2006, the NATO North Atlantic Council adopted the Moldova-NATO Partnership Individual Action Plan.
A key objective of the IPAP mechanism is to strengthen the political dialogue and consultancy between NATO and the Republic of Moldova, in order to ensure cooperation in the view of encouraging and supporting the internal and external environment, which supports democratic reform. As part of this enhanced dialogue, Moldova has the opportunity to discuss and argue its desire and ability to further implement the basic principles set out in the Partnership for Peace Framework Document and the Basic Document of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in its internal policies and external.
The Moldova-NATO IPAP Plan, launched in the internal national procedure on June 16, 2006 by the Government of the Republic of Moldova, consists of four basic chapters:
- political and security issues;
- military and defence issues;
- public information, science and emergency planning;
- administrative issues, information protection and resources, comprising two distinct parts: the main political and reform objectives of the Republic of Moldova (I) and the reform areas that are the subject of consultations with NATO (II).
Political association and economic integration through the implementation of the Association Agreement with the European Union, as well as the strengthening of political dialogue and practical cooperation with Euro-Atlantic structures remain the main strategic development objectives of the Republic of Moldova. The cooperation of the Republic of Moldova with NATO is based on respect for the constitutional neutrality of the state. In view of its neutral status, the Republic of Moldova, through the implementation of the Individual Action Plan of the Partnership, does not pursue the objective of joining the North Atlantic Alliance. The Moldovan authorities intend to implement this Plan to advance the process of reforming and modernising the security and national defence sector in line with new developments and requirements of the current security environment, to develop the necessary capabilities to meet new challenges, strengthen the security of citizens of Moldova and the state. For this purpose, the Republic of Moldova will use the political-legal basis, including the relevant institutional mechanisms, created at the previous stages of IPAP implementation. At the same time, the Republic of Moldova is determined to develop cooperation with NATO member states and partners in combating new common security threats such as terrorism, cyber threats, which no longer recognize national borders and are increasingly varied and complex, and to contribute to promote stability and security in the region and on the European continent.
IPAP is signed every 2 years and is the main document outlining the areas and objectives of Moldova’s cooperation with the North Atlantic Alliance and guiding practical bilateral cooperation. That plan is of special importance to our country in several respects. First of all, it offers the possibility to promote the interests of the Republic of Moldova in the political dialogue and practical cooperation with NATO, which is a key player in ensuring security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area, is the organisation with the greatest capabilities, expertise and experience in the field of security and defence and is constantly looking for optimal solutions to meet new security challenges. Secondly, the main goal of IPAP is to reform and modernise the security and defence system of the Republic of Moldova in accordance with the new requirements of the current security environment, building the necessary capacities to respond to new threats and ensure the security of the country and citizens of the Republic of Moldova. The objective pursued by the Republic of Moldova within IPAP is to benefit from the expertise and advanced experiences of the Alliance in various fields, to assist in the implementation of reforms, in strengthening the defence capacities of our country and to build the necessary capacities to respond to new risks and challenges. Respectively, the aims pursued by the Republic of Moldova through the implementation of IPAP are the assistance of the North Atlantic Alliance and the Member States in increasing the capacity of security and defence institutions, adjusting the legal framework and policies in this field to the requirements of the current security environment, reforming and modernising the security and defence sector, raising the level of professionalism of officials and experts in the field, implementing new projects, strengthening the security of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova and the state. In the context of restoring state integrity, the Republic of Moldova advocates for a peaceful, lasting and all-encompassing settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, in the “5 + 2” negotiated format, based on respect for the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, within its internationally recognized borders, granting a special legal status for the Transnistrian region. Monitoring and ensuring the protection of human rights in the Transnistrian region is a constant priority and prompt action is to be taken, including in resolving individual violations, by mobilising the efforts of “5 + 2” actors and other international partners. Securing the central (Transnistrian) perimeter of the Moldovan-Ukrainian state border and organising joint control over this segment remain key measures to be taken in cooperation with the Ukrainian government and with the active involvement of the EU Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM). With regard to politico-military issues, the Republic of Moldova will continue to promote the goal of prompt, orderly and complete withdrawal of illegal Russian troops, as well as the opportunity to transform the current peacekeeping operation into a multinational civilian mission with an international mandate. Maintaining stability in the Security Zone, democratising and demilitarising the Transnistrian region, as well as evacuating / destroying ammunition stocks from the Cobasna depot will be ensured in a transparent manner, under the auspices of the OSCE and in cooperation with relevant external partners. Moldova will intensify its cooperation with other states under the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe, BSEC (Organization for Economic Co-operation in the Black Sea), SEECP (Political Cooperation Process in South-Eastern Europe), SEEGROUP (South-East Group European Security Cooperation Organization) and GUAM as a way to help strengthen regional stability and security.
The IPAP outlines the objectives of the Moldova-NATO partnership, the most important being the following:
– Promoting democratic reforms in various fields, strengthening the rule of law, fighting corruption, respecting human rights;
– Conducting political consultations on security issues and on developments in the region;
– Implementation of the NATO Assistance Package for strengthening Moldova’s defence and security capabilities;
– Cooperation in reforming the security sector of the Republic of Moldova, in particular in improving the legislative and institutional framework, in increasing the capacity, efficiency and transparency of the institutions in this sector;
– Raising the level of professionalism of officials and experts in the security and defence sector by implementing the Professional Development Program;
– Promoting gender policies in the security and defence sector;
– Strengthening democratic control of the Armed Forces;
– Cooperation in modernising and developing the capabilities of the armed forces of the Republic of Moldova – developing the command and control system, improving the management of defence resources, modernising the military training system, improving the personnel management system and recruitment, etc .;
– Cooperation in combating new security threats such as cyber attacks, terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, etc .;
– Increasing the resilience of national institutions to new challenges and threats;
– Cooperation in the field of exceptional situation management, development of Moldova’s capabilities in this field;
– Expanding cooperation within the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) program;
– Implementation of projects through the NATO / PfP Trust Funds and the SPS program;
– Cooperation in the field of public diplomacy and promotion of truthful information about the benefits of Moldova-NATO cooperation, development of strategic communication capabilities, etc.
In the view of the Republic of Moldova, democratic control over the armed forces is essential for a democratic society and is an indispensable element of the country’s stability and security. Strengthening the function of democratic control over the armed forces will contribute to good governance, as well as ensuring the security, including the military, of the citizens of the state. The Republic of Moldova is building viable capabilities to ensure the security and democratic development of the country, ensuring, for this purpose, including the development of the armed forces. As a result, efforts will be made to increase the role of Parliament and to involve the relevant committees in overseeing the activities of security and defence institutions, to strengthen the role of civilians in decision-making at all levels, to implement democratic standards in the restructuring of the armed forces, promoting the access of the media and the public to security and defence issues, the involvement of civil society in activities associated with the process of developing and promoting security and defence policies.
On January 19, 2022, the Individual Action Plan of the Republic of Moldova-NATO Partnership was approved.
Through this document, the Chisinau authorities aim to modernise the security and defence sector in line with the new developments and requirements of the current security environment, in order to meet the new challenges.
In order to achieve the established objectives, the Republic of Moldova will work with the European Union and other international organisations, pursuing the goal of complementing the IPAP with the Moldova – EU Association Agreement and the National Development Strategy.
It should be noted that IPAP sets out cooperation objectives in several areas of strategic importance, such as: cooperation with European and Euro-Atlantic structures and institutions, democratic reforms, human rights, the rule of law, the fight against corruption, territorial integrity and relations with neighbors; security and defense sector reform, democratic control of the Armed Forces, counter-terrorism, cyber defense, sustainable economic development and energy security.