During 29-30 September, the ICMPD Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia paid a visit to Moldova with the view to learn about the country's new vision on migration and exchange views on top priorities for future programming. The visit comes after recent Parliamentary elections and the establishment of a new Cabinet, with subsequent changes in top management in areas related to migration, as well. In addition to meeting various stakeholders, the mission also took stock of ongoing projects' progress and explored follow-up options.
The mission kicked off with an enlarged meeting at the Moldovan Ministry of Internal Affairs – the primary actor in the sector – which gathered also representatives from the Border Police, Bureau for Migration and Asylum, and Centre for Combatting Trafficking in Persons, among others. The Moldovan side announced a new integrative and cooperative approach to managing migration and invited ICMPD to support with developing a new country Strategy on Migration and Asylum.
For a broader view, the mission team also approached the Bureau for Diaspora Relations and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration. Both meetings proved very reassuring in terms of opportunities for continued support, especially in light of ICMPD’s successful project experience in the region that could roll out in the Moldovan context. Equally important, the mission allocated time for civil society representatives who offered some alternative perspectives over the country’s migration situation and perceived priorities.
The visit was also an opportunity to take stock of some ICMPD resident projects’ progress, especially the halfway implemented “Development of a Forced-Return Monitoring System in the Republic of Moldova” (FReMM), funded by the Ministry of the Interior and Administration of the Republic of Poland. The project beneficiaries – the Ombudsman Office, Bureau for Migration and Asylum, and the NGO Law Centre of Advocates – all thanked for the support with the recently launched system of forced return monitoring in Moldova, and expressed commitment to continue working together towards its further development. The other project visited was the EU-funded Police Reform Technical Assistance, where ICMPD acts as a consortium member.
Finally, ICMPD met selected donors, the Austrian Development Agency and the EU Delegation to Moldova, that were debriefed on the mission's preliminary findings and were invited to consider those in their respective funding programmes.
Picture: The country visit was led by the Regional Coordinator for Eastern Europe and Central Asia – Mr. Radim Zak, accompanied by the Regional Portfolio Manager – Mrs. Violeta Wagner, and the in-country Project Officer – Mr. Alexandru Mocanu.