Moldova at a crossroads: The impact of emigration on the internal social and economic development

Moldova independence

In the post-Soviet period, Moldova has been deeply affected by the transition policies towards a market economy. In the beginning of the ’90, the number of jobs has decreased substantially due to the privatization of the state-own companies and the breakdown of the collective agricultural farms. The high rate of inflation and the low economic incomes were predominant across the rural and urban population. A first social phenomenon characteristic for that period was the gradual resettlement of the countryside middle-aged people to the urban areas and Eastern Europe. A second phenomenon was related to the emigration of educated social class from the cities to the Western Europe. These emigration trends, based on the type of community and educational background/professional skills, remained actual until nowadays and have an important impact over the internal social and economic development of this country.

When referring to the title of this paper, a few clarifications should be given for a proper understanding of the key terms. First, I measure the ‘impact’ in terms of social and economic consequences, therefore focusing over these specific policy areas. Second, I define ‘emigration’ as ‘the act of departing or exiting from one State with a view to settling in another’[1], using a comparison between the migration towards the Western region and the Eastern one. Nonetheless, the ‘development’ refers to the socio-economic growth or progress, assumed as the main objective of Moldova in the transition period.

In my attempt to develop a comprehensive argumentation over this topic, I will argue that the massive emigration from Moldova in the last 25 years had a negative leverage over the socio-economic development and has been addressed insufficiently by the governmental authorities. Through an overall analysis over the emigration trends, my aim is to establish the link between the migrants’ profile, regions where they emigrated and the average period of resettlement. Furthermore, this study will focus on the consequences of the emigration over the economic and social sectors, including the national GDP and the role of remittances for the annual budget. Another dimension of the paper will cover the public policies of the governments for decreasing the migration flows and the results of these measures on the short and medium period of time. In the end, I will propose a set of recommendations for combating the socio-economic problems related to emigration and establish a better communication between the public institutions and the diaspora.

[1], 20 April 2017.

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Author: Mihai Mogîldea

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