Parliament in Chișinău, Moldova

Moldova Moving closer to the European Union

In the west, Moldova borders on Romania and, thus, on the EU. In the north, east and south, Moldova is surrounded by Ukraine.

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Women in a shop in Moldova
Map of Moldova with neighbouring states

Map of Moldova (red) with neighbouring states | increase map size

Map of Moldova (red) with neighbouring states | increase map size

This country in South-Eastern Europe emerged when the Moldavian Socialist Soviet Republic declared its independence when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. Nearly at the same time, a conflict broke out over Transnistria, a stretch of land between the Dniester River and the Ukrainian border, which has since been a breakaway territory in Moldova.

Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe. Poverty particularly affects rural people, women, youth, and ethnic minorities. Nearly one million people have already left Moldova in search of better living conditions. Apart from this exodus, the greatest challenges facing the country are deficits with regard to the rule of law and widespread corruption in the private sector and in government authorities.

The government that was elected in mid-2021 has made judicial reforms, anti-corruption and the promotion of economic development its top political goals.

Since 2014, an Association Agreement has been in force between Moldova and the EU, with the aim of bringing the country closer to the EU in political and economic terms. After Ukraine applied for EU membership, Moldova followed suit in March 2022. As of 23 June 2022, Moldova is a candidate for EU membership.

In the course of the war in Ukraine, Moldova has taken in more refugees per capita of the population than any other country.

Ukrainian refugees at the Palanca border crossing between Ukraine and Moldova on 12 March 2022.

Ukrainian refugees at the Palanca border crossing between Ukraine and Moldova on 12 March 2022.

Ukrainian refugees at the Palanca border crossing between Ukraine and Moldova on 12 March 2022.

German development cooperation with Moldova

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has assisted the Republic of Moldova since 1993 in its transition to democracy, the rule of law and a social market system as well as in its efforts to move closer to the EU. Moldova is one of the so-called transformation partners for German development cooperation in the EU neighbourhood region.

At the Moldovan-German government negotiations in November 2021, the BMZ committed a total of 34.5 million euros to its partner country (23 million euros for Financial Cooperation and 11.5 million euros for Technical Cooperation). Another 4.3 million euros was approved in 2020 and 2021 in order to cushion the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide additional resources for projects in the areas of economic development and vocational education.

The Parliamentary State Secretary Niels Annen in the Republic of Moldova

In view of the impact of the war in Ukraine on Moldova, the BMZ has launched a programme to strengthen the resilience of the Republic of Moldova. The support package currently has a total volume of 149 million euros (as at January 2023). It includes measures for acute crisis response and for the medium-term stabilisation and development of the country. The focus of the crisis response is on swift and flexible assistance for refugees from Ukraine, host communities and government institutions. The stabilisation component involves support for reform processes and sustained efforts to strengthen municipalities and the economy. . In addition, a contribution to the social cushioning of the sharp rise in energy prices for needy households is being implemented. Another contribution to increase energy efficiency in buildings is in preparation.

Development cooperation focuses on the following core areas:

  • Sustainable economic development, training and employment | Areas of intervention: private sector and financial sector development; technical and vocational education and training
  • Climate and energy, just transition | Area of intervention: sustainable urban development

In order to lend support to reform processes, all projects under Moldovan-German development cooperation give attention to, and promote, good governance as a cross-cutting issue. The focus is on anti-corruption and on human resource cooperation aimed at building the capacity of government institutions.

Moldova is also benefitting from numerous German and European regional programmes under the EU's Eastern Partnership.

Winery in Moldova

Core area “Sustainable economic development, training and employment” Creating jobs and training skilled workers Internal link

The BMZ is assisting Moldova's government in improving the business climate for local and international investors and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their role as potential supplier companies. In order to address the shortage of skilled labour, Germany is also providing support to vocational training.

Landscape near Chisinau

Core area “Climate and energy, just transition” Fostering municipal development Internal link

In order to improve the living conditions of Moldovans and contribute to environmental protection, the BMZ assists authorities in providing municipal and social infrastructure.

Current situation

Social situation
Women in a shop in Moldova
Economic situation
Construction work on the outskirts of Chisinau

As at: 13/01/2023