Achievements made in the area of migrant integration by the OSCE participating States are noteworthy. However, more remains to be done. Progress is uneven across the region as migrants continue to experience various barriers, indirect and direct, that prevent them from integration in the life of the societies of their receiving countries.
The Republic of Moldova (hereinafter – Moldova) has been confronted with the issue of integration of migrants only recently. The number of various categories of migrants entering Moldova is still low, although statistics show a gradual increase in figures over the last few years.
The issue of migrant integration is relevant in view of Moldova’s membership of the OSCE and its adherence to implementation of the OSCE commitments. Being an EU Associated Country Moldova also continues to work on approximation of its legislation in line with the provisions of European Union law as a part of the process of establishing a country’s closer co-operation with the European Union.
Moldova is one of the few OSCE participating States that has adopted a special Law on the Integration of Foreigners to facilitate the integration of migrants. It was developed as part of efforts of the competent state authorities to implement the National Strategy on Migration and Asylum and the National Action Plan, as well as the National Program for the Implementation of visa liberalization regime with European Union. The co-operation of Moldova and EU Member States in the area of fair treatment and the integration of regular migrants is also a part of the EU-Moldova Association Agreement signed on 27 June 2014.
The Bureau for Migration and Asylum under the Ministry of Internal Affairs is the administrative authority responsible for the coordination of the integration process of foreigners on the territory of the Republic of Moldova. In October 2014 the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Moldova requested ODIHR to conduct a MIPEX assessment for Moldova. Based on this request MIPEX assessment was conducted by ODIHR in co-operation with Migration Policy Group.
The MIPEX assessment is a tool that authorities can use to identify and advance issues relevant for migrant integration in order to make further progress in meeting related OSCE commitments. The assessment identifies key issues pertinent for migrants’ integration, such as labour market mobility, family reunion or anti-discrimination measures. Most of all, the assessment provides solid data on the basis of which the authorities can make further policy improvements. It provides Moldova with information about the best practices of other participating States in the area of migrant integration, giving access to comparable data for scrutiny and debate. The MIPEX assessment allows Moldova to share its experiences on migrant integration with other countries in the region and also learn about new integration measures introduced by states with a longer migration experience. It may facilitate a meaningful dialogue on migrant integration with relevant regional actors, such as neighbouring migrant sending countries, as well as internal stakeholders, such as civil society. In addition, the results of the assessment also permit the authorities to monitor and evaluate progress achieved in migrant integration in the future.