Ex-EU official: Moldova’s brain drain issue can be solved with easier travel in EU
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, most of the former Soviet republics deal with a high emigration rate among their population. The fact is explained by the bad quality of life and the low wages. Many citizens of Moldova have chosen to migrate to Russia, especially to cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg to find work. Others left Moldova to work as babysitters, or shop assistants in Italy, Portugal, Spain or other European states.
Moldova’s biggest loss is the massive “brain drain” process. Many teenagers with a steady education choose to go abroad to find work and most of them decide to remain in their host country after a couple of years.
According to Moldova’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, over 332,000 citizens reside legally in other countries, while the real number including those working illegally could exceed a half million.
EU’s former Special Representative to Moldova Kalman Mizsei told Moldova.ORG that both the national authorities and the European Union have tasks and moral obligations to deal with the migration level of Moldova which is very high.
“One crucial common challenge is, paradoxically, to make travel to Europe easier. The Moldovan authorities do a lot in order to accelerate this negotiation. Sometimes things get difficult such as with the anti-discrimination law that the EU rightly expects from the Moldovans,” Mr. Mizsei said.
According to him, Moldova should fight against corruption. However, he thinks that the recent structural changes of the Center for Combating Economic Crime and Corruption are not that efficient.
“The ordering of the Center for Combating Economic Crime and Corruption under the Parliament is only one, modest step. This institution should not exist and paradoxically it can even be a source of more corruption as it has always been used to achieve political goals more than to fight corruption. European countries do not have such institution; this is a bad, bureaucratic, typically post-Soviet non-solution. This organization should simply not exist,” the former EU envoy to Moldova said.
“Corruption can be fought by liberalizing the economy much more than it is currently done, by increasing transparency of the public sphere, including procurements and by privatizing the economy in a transparent manner. The EU needs to be here an intelligent, well-informed demander. So, overall, the task for maintaining people in Moldova is identical to the task of making it a prosperous country,” Kalman Mizsei claimed.
The official, who currently works for Open Society Institute, said that both public officials and judges need higher salaries in order not to feel inclined to accept bribes from people and private businesses.
“A state which does not pay its employees well, shows it does not respect itself. Of course, with higher pay should come high expectations,” concluded Mr. Mizsei.