At this year’s Moldovan European Integration Debate Forum, which took place on 30 November 2017 in Chisinau, I contributed to the panel discussion “Towards a Common Vision in the Transdniestrian Settlement”. Alongside Dr Ion Stavila from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova, Wolf-Dietrich Heim, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the Transdniestrian Settlement Process, Vladimir Yastrebchiak, the former Transdniestrian chief negotiator in the 5+2 format, and Andrei POPOV, the Deputy-Chairman of the Foreign Policy Association of Moldova, I explored three questions in my talk: what the content of a common vision might be, who may share it, and how it can be achieved.

Noting the need for an inclusive vision that works for all citizens of Moldova on both banks of the river and the need for an inclusive process of developing such a common vision, I emphasised that political leadership on all sides will be absolutely critical, and that for such leadership to be successful, a common vision of the future is essential, but so are the skills and determination to develop and implement it. In this sense, my conclusion was that the endgame for a settlement of the Transnistrian conflict begins, rather than ends with a common vision.