Migration intensified in Moldova after proclamation of independence

The Republic of Moldova reached the 22nd year of independence. The IPN Agency decided to present the accomplishments and failures in the country’s development in a number of articles. Representatives of the current government, experts, former and current politicians stated their view on the steps taken by Moldova after August 27, 1991.

Article No. 4 of the IPN series “Moldova-22. Steps forward and steps backward”, on the occasion of the Independence Day

After the proclamation of independence, migration intensified in Moldova. The period of transition that was aimed at economic restructuring and stabilization, liberalization and privatization turned into a long-lasting economic crisis, said the head of the Bureau for Relations with the Diaspora (BRD) Victor Lutenco, when asked by IPN to characterize the phenomenon of migration in the 22 years after Moldova declared its independence. The Moldovan diaspora considers that during the 22 years of independence, the country’s development was minimal, insignificant compared with what could be done and what was done in other countries after the proclamation of independence.

Tatiana Nogailic, head of the Italian Association “AssoMoldave”, Italia, considers that the 22 years of independence brought freedom to Moldova. “Everyone is free to choose their destiny. We were able to take steps towards economic welfare, prosperity and personal development, to fight famine and to promote our products abroad, to attract foreign investments to nine free economic zones and to assert ourselves at world level as a people. We now can make free and democratic choices, to anticipate a prosperous future for our children, for Moldova and its people,” stated Tatiana Nogailic.

Tamara Schiopu, rural development consultant in the UK and a founding member of the Moldovan-British Association for Culture and Development “Vatra”, considers that the people’s mentality underwent the greatest change in the independence period. The people became freer in expressing their opinions and have more chances of developing these opinions, while the young generation has more and better opportunities for developing the own personality. “At the same time, I think that democracy is yet to cover a long path before arriving ‘home’, while the information is not very accessible. As a result, many areas are lag behind in development as it is hard to move on without accessible and updated information, said Tamara Schiopu.

Ion Ciobanu, chairman of the French association “Pro-diaspora”, said that steps forward in the 22 years were made only in the implementation of reforms and selection of the pro-European course. “But the attempts made in these areas are yet sterile regretfully. Steps backward were made by the political class by their incompetence as they worsened the social situation, the living standards and the quality of education and the moral values. The ordinary corruption diminished, but the clan corruption, political nepotism and the conflicts of interests intensified,” he stated.

Poverty – exodus of population

Victor Lutenco said that in these 22 years, the contradictory character of the economic, social and political transformations had a negative impact on the social sphere. Poverty generated multiple problems, including the mass exodus of the economically active population. Though Moldova was affected by increased emigration rates in the Soviet period, the massive migration of Moldovans abroad started in 1998 and continued until 2007, being influenced by economic factors and a series of internal and external shocks.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the number of economic migrants in 2000-2012 increased about three times, besides the approximately 100,000 persons who settled abroad after 1991. Victor Lutenco said that the Bureau focuses on this category of people – the Moldovan Diaspora that includes the Moldovans who live abroad on a temporary or a permanent basis, their descendents and the communities formed by them.

The head of the Bureau for Relations with the Diaspora said the emigration in Moldova has a general character and affects all the people, while the approach to the problems faced by the Moldovan emigrants is complex and multi-disciplinary. The necessity of active policies of the Government that will enable to minimize the negative effects of migration and will maximize the advantages for developing the country and ensuring the welfare of the Moldovans, regardless of their whereabouts, derives from here.

Creation of the BRD was ‘biggest step forward’

Victor Lutenco said the 2001-2009 period was characterized by the Government’s residence to the problems of the diaspora. “There was no state approach to the migrants and of cooperation with the diaspora because the authorities didn’t have political will to build an efficient institutional system for supporting the diaspora. At the same time, those who left in this period associated their emigration with the inefficient policy of the state. This fact was seen in all the elections. Though Diaspora Congresses were held in 2004porei, the Coordination Council of the Moldovan Diaspora was created in 2005 and the public authorities and the embassies started to more actively become involved in activities for and in concert with the diaspora in July 2009. The participation in the fourth (2010) and fifth (2012) congresses of the diaspora was considered as the most democratic and representative,” said Victor Lutenco.

Consequently, the biggest step forward was made by creating BRD that coordinates the implementation of the state policies in the relations with the diaspora, contributing to the preservation and promotion of the ethnical, cultural and linguistic identity of the Moldovans abroad and the development of the human and material potential of the diaspora.

By 2017, the BRD is to become a consolidated state institution that has all the necessary capacities to make sure that the rights of all the Moldovans are respected, regardless of their place of residence.

“We want visible changes”

Ion Ciobanu believes that an important event in these 22 years were the elections of November 2010 when the pro-European parties came to power. “This event marked the diaspora, as the local population, as it generated hopes for a better life generate,” he stated.

Igor Mocanu, who works as a doctor in Portugal, said that Moldova had a positive development in these 22 years, but the pace of changes leaves much to be desired. “I got the impression that everyone does what they do carelessly and consider that things can go on like this... We want visible changes as we are tired of promises. We want good roads, not kilometers in the media or millions borrowed from abroad. We want sewerage systems and the necessary medicines,” he stated.

Three migration periods

Victor Lutenco analyzed the phenomenon of migration and divided the 22 years of independence into three waves: The First Wave – migration generated by despair (1994-2004), mainly after the economic crisis in Russia – the Black Sea of October 1994 and the Black August of 1998. The mass migration of labor force in the period increased considerably following the political and social instability and the impossibility of satisfying the minimal needs. This process had an impact in the country of origin (destroyed families, abandoned children and elderly persons, the impossibility of having a real contact real), and in the destination country (residence and irregular trips, discrimination and abuses, lack of social and medical protection, informational isolation).

The Second Wave was characterized by migration generated by opportunities (2005-2009), economic development in the U.S. and the EU, and the less corrupt development opportunities, for starting businesses, and the discrepancy in living standards. This wave had consequences in the country of origin: the exodus of ‘brain’, the number of migrant workers rose about two times during 15 years; the remittances (23% of the GDP) weren’t put to good us; the ties and information channels were destroyed. It had also effects in the country of destination: difficulties in finding employment, employment of skilled workers for unskilled works, return home after retirement.

The Third Wave – migration generated by openness (2010- until present). It involves mainly the persons who go abroad to continue their studies and those who want to assert themselves abroad. These migrants can become Moldova’s promoters and ‘ambassadors’ in their countries of residence.

Drawbacks in 22 years of independence

The most important drawbacks mentioned by Victor Lutenco are the insufficient protection and information of migrants by the state as regards the legal migration ways; the lack of credibility of the state authorities in the migrants’ eyes (the low number of citizens abroad who establish connection with the embassies or need consular registration); the fact that the diaspora/migrants don’t know the intentions, projects, concessions and programs promoted by the state. Also, the migrants/diaspora have a low interest in the election process. About 65,000 people or 10% of the estimated number of Moldovan migrants took part in the November 2010 parliamentary elections.

Ion Ciobanu considers that the Republic of Moldova experiences problems in ensuring professionalism, expertise, competence, in implementing social policies, in ensuring a high level of education and culture.

Olesea Tanasciuc, head of the Media Association “Pro-Diaspora Moldava” based in Lisbon, Portugal, considers that not only the government and the politicians are to blame for the problems confronting society. “Every citizen apart should realize that everything starts from the family – education, honesty, common sense. These qualities can be improved without incurring costs. We should follow the positive examples and learn from the positive experience of other countries,” she stated.

According to the BRD, about 600,000-700,000 Moldovans are now abroad. This is 25-27% of the national labor force. 66.6% are men, while 49% are skilled workers. The migrants last year transferred US$1.5 billion to Moldova. A migrant’s family abroad consists of 1-3 persons. They earn an annual income of about €17,300. 42% of their revenues go on expenses in the country of destination, 25% are transferred home, while 33% are not used.

The Moldovan migrants go mainly to the EU member states, including Italy, Spain, and Portugal, and the Commonwealth of Independent States, namely Russia and Ukraine. Usually, the men from villages go to the CIS, while the women from towns migrate to the EU.

Irina Turcanu, IPNA
August, 2013

Вы используете модуль ADS Blocker .
IPN поддерживается от рекламы.
Поддержи свободную прессу!
Некоторые функции могут быть заблокированы, отключите модуль ADS Blocker .
Спасибо за понимание!
Команда IPN.