Moldova Report: Migration

Migration from Moldova, which progressively increased over the recent years, peaked in 2008, with remittances reaching more than 30 percent of GDP. In the next five years remittances are expected to again increase to pre-crisis levels. It is estimated that up to 40 percent of Moldovan working-age population is currently abroad. Moldova has become more aware of the potential development outcomes of migration and negative consequences such as brain-drain, affecting the public and the private sectors, as well as the exploitation of migrants abroad and the phenomenon of children and elderly left behind.

Migration patterns and characteristics, such as gender, destinations, and types of employment, have not significantly changed over recent years. Nevertheless, it must be expected that diaspora communities advance in their maturity cycle and that the share of permanent emigration and family reunifications will increase in the medium-term. Such changes could entail a drop in remittances and the risk that a large number of migrants will be permanently lost for the country, negatively impacting its demographic, human and economic development. Support is required to further develop Moldova's capacity to maintain contacts with and support Moldovans abroad and to foster diaspora CSOs to direct financial and human capital accumulated abroad to homeland development, philanthropic activities and productive economic investments and business creation.

The overarching priority for policy orientation regarding migration is supporting Moldova's EU approximation and integration goals with project activities and evidence-based policy advice, including within the context of the EU-Moldova Mobility Partnership and the EU-Moldova Visa Liberalization Action Plan, while aiming at the highest possible standards of protection of the rights of migrants in Moldova.

As a source and transit country of irregular migration aspiring to visa-free travel to Europe, Moldova requires continued capacity-development assistance to enhance the effectiveness of institutional migration management frameworks and policies. In addition, the need is foreseen for support to assisted voluntary return and reintegration of migrants and assistance for vulnerable migrants and persons affected by migration. Assistance to these groups could be linked to a pending social protection reform. Support should also be provided to efforts to ratify the International Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. To ensure sustainability of the pension system, further efforts must be directed towards concluding bilateral agreements with main destination countries for the portability of social security benefits.
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