Moldova: unleashing diaspora potential

The Bureau for Diaspora Relations and MIEUX+ joined forces to enhance the country’s involvement with its diaspora and to bolster stakeholder capacities in policy drafting.

This is one of two ongoing projects with the Moldovan governmental authorities, and of the many implemented since MIEUX’s was established in 2009. While the Moldova VI Action focuses on border management and security, Moldova VII centres on diaspora engagement and policy development.

Why is the diaspora important in the Moldovan context?

Moldova is primarily a country of origin and, to a minor extent, a country of destination or transit for migrants. Notwithstanding the progress achieved in recent years, it remains one of the poorest countries in Europe with high emigration rates and a decreasing population.

Furthermore, Moldova has some of the highest levels of labour and youth emigration in the world, with an estimate of more than one million Moldovan citizens living abroad, with 47% residing in the European Union.

The attraction and reintegration of diaspora members is a high priority for the government. In this regard, the Bureau for Diaspora Relations has undertaken targeted activities, such as the development of the National Strategy on Migration and Asylum for the period 2011-2020 and the National Diaspora Strategy 2025.

Empowering the whole of government

In this context, the Bureau for Diaspora Relations requested MIEUX+ assistance to evaluate the ongoing Strategy and to draft a Concept Note for the upcoming Sectoral Programme for Diaspora.

Throughout the various Action phases, the Bureau for Diaspora Relations retained ownership of the whole process and led on the organisation of the different activities. The MIEUX+ team accompanied and equipped the Moldovan representatives with the necessary knowledge to evaluate, produce and implement policies in a peer-to-peer approach.

The Moldova VII Action consisted of three steps:

  • MIEUX+ experts from Moldova and the Netherlands evaluated the National Strategy Diaspora 2025, through desk research and interviews with diaspora members and national and local authorities.
  • In the next step, the MIEUX+ team and partners held a series of capacity building workshops on policy development and implementation to bolster the government, diaspora and academia representatives’ skills.
  • Finally, representatives from the Bureau for Diaspora Relations drafted the Concept Note for the upcoming Sectoral Programme for Diaspora, and as a result of the evaluation and workshop steps.

The main highlight was the opportunity to adopt a whole-of-government approach, by including representatives from national, central and local public authorities and agencies.

Another added value was the participatory feature through joint decision making, since diaspora members as well as returning migrants could contribute with their views and shared ideas during the evaluation and workshops.

Wrapping up the project

 On Wednesday 17 May 2023, the MIEUX+ team concluded the Moldova VII Action with an online event, aimed at presenting and validating the Concept Note for the upcoming Sectoral Programme for Diaspora.

More than 40 representatives from the Moldovan government, diaspora and international organisations took part in the virtual gathering.

Sophie Dagand, Programme Manager at the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Moldova, praised the efforts that the  Bureau for Diaspora Relations makes in order to engage with the Moldovan diaspora abroad. She also reiterated the readiness of the European Union to support initiatives in the field of migration and mobility.

Nadejda Zubco, Director at the Bureau of Diaspora Affairs, underlined that “the Bureau for Diaspora Relations realised the need to unleash the Moldova diaspora’s potential. Through the Sectoral Programme, we will improve the communication flows and local policies to value the diaspora engagement in the country’s long-term development strategy”.

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