Some political parties advocate for the merging of Romania and Moldova:

Some political parties within both Moldova and Romania advocate merging the two countries. Such a scenario would incorporate the current territory of Moldova into Romania and thus into the EU, though the Transnistria problem would still be an issue.

Assuming that Transnistria problem is somehow solved (maybe even allowing it to be an independent region), although most Moldovans favor EU membership, there are still several issues that prevent Moldova to become a EU member:

The government of Moldova is actively pursuing EU membership, but it seems a distant prospect. With a GDP-per-capita of just €1,840, it is the poorest country in Europe; Freedom House gives Moldova low scores for democracy and rule of law indicators

Nevertheless, Moldova’s long-term EU ambitions have clearly displeased the Kremlin. Moldova is heavily dependent on imported energy and, with the Russian state-owned Gazprom currently the main supplier of gas to the country, gas prices have been rising ever since Moldova signed an Association Agreement and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU back in June 2014.

Import bans on Moldovan wine and agricultural products, and new restrictions prohibiting Moldovan workers in Russia from sending home remittances have further hampered economic growth (remittances make up a staggering 30% of the country’s GDP, and up to 65% of these remittances come from Russia).

Question: Assuming that Romania and Moldova agree to merge, can this be done without previous discussions/agreements at EU level?

I am asking that because Romania as a EU member has to obey some rules related to inflation, public debt, corruption, justice. After a virtual merge most of the associated indicators would most probably fall outside of agreed values.

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    Some might say that the German unification sets a precedent, but the EU has changed quite a lot since then.
    – Federico
    Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 14:09
  • 1
    @Federico - yes, but I think in Germany's case it was somewhat easier (common language and culture) and clearly it did not have the problems of eastern members that required tricks like Cooperation and Verification Mechanism
    – Alexei
    Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 14:44
  • @Federico: IIRC even then EU had to consent to it (which it had to anyway because Germany). Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 22:58
  • @Alexei in what sense do Romania and Moldova not share a common language and culture?
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 13:00
  • 2
    They wouldn't even have to answer the Transnistrian question; Cyprus was able to join the EU despite an ongoing territorial difference of opinion regarding a full third of the country.
    – Vikki
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 0:39

2 Answers 2


The obvious precedent would be the German Reunification. However, there were some differences:

  • The division of Germany was tied into the Four Power agreements after WWII. West Germany always took great care to point out that the division was temporary and resolved it in the 2+4 talks.
  • Technically, East Germany joined West Germany using a provision that had been intended for cases like the Saarland. There was legal continuity in the (West) German institutions.

So I guess that if Moldova were to join Romania, the enlarged Romania would stay an EU member. Even if it were to rename itself in the process. If Romania were to join Moldova, it would leave the EU. Anything in between needs to be negotiated.

The big sticking point would be the border issues, which could leave the question dead in the water. I believe that after short dithering the EU would stand with any member that is being pushed by Russia, but it might not back a member that is actively provoking Russia that way. There might be quiet backroom warnings that any conflict resulting from reckless unification would not be seen as a NATO Article 5 situation ...

On a practical level, there would have to be plenty of negotiations. The EU has a multi-year budget process, if the newly joined regions want "post-accession pre-accession assistance" they need the agreement of the other 26 members. Probably unanimous.

There is the gross oversimpification that Kohl agreed to the Euro in exchange for Reunification to answer French fears of German economic domination. Romania is not large enough to cause similar fears, the concern of the others would be that Moldova becomes an economic black hole. And compared to the EU, Moldova is not very big.

The EU depends on a consensus. Many decisions have to be unanimous. Others need a supermajority. We've seen examples where individual member states held the whole process hostage to specific issues. If that goes too far, one of the big net payers might use the "nuclear option" and vote against the long-term budget, that harms everyone.


The short answer is NO.

mid-length answer : It is never difficult to join EU. However, it is difficult o change any country institutional and economy that heading south to the high corruption level that eventually mismanages the country. In certain extent, EU is an economic zone that helps members country to embrace globalisation and resist neoliberalism speculative economics practice.

It is impossible for EU To take corruption rampant and nationalism craze country as members: both are easy apples to be plucked by neoliberalism speculative, EU has no intentioned to fuel it.

There is two corrupted country that in the EU waiting list but hardly make it. First is Georgia. Back then, Georgia "mismanage" Georgia economy and try to divert the problem using nationalism by fooling around with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The second example is Ukraine, which corruptions are way worst than Georgia: despite the heavy industrialized infrastructure, vast agriculture landscape, Ukraine corruptions are so rampant that, Ukraine GDP and economic output are way behind "poor" Greece. Again, Ukraine attempt to play around with nationalism, again, EU simply withdraw the economy support.

Some may argue that EU doesn't have the "guts" to against Russia. While in fact, EU can't fix a corrupted country. Neither it is wise to join those failed state nationalism agenda.

Back to Moldova, it is another rampant corruption country. It is just a matter of time that the country politicians will resort create a political diversion to save their ass.

  • 2
    This is a reasonable practical answer, but doesn't seem to directly answer what rules would apply.
    – user9389
    Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 15:49
  • @notstoreboughtdirt It will be an insult for EU to say : thou country political culture is way beyond fixing.
    – mootmoot
    Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 15:59
  • @mootmoot, we're not diplomats here, and not official either. I don't think any EU country is beyond fixing, but for example the Euro crisis strained the EU right to the breaking point.
    – o.m.
    Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 13:35
  • @o.m. If you check out EU current membership countries political and production structure, "breaking point" is exaggerated. Take away noise created by financial derivative product noises, you will see pretty strong production based economy,
    – mootmoot
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 9:45
  • @mootmoot, quite a lot of Greeks were either willing to bluff that they'd leave the EU, or actually willing to leave.
    – o.m.
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 11:13

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