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.
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.
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 140 million euros (as at 21 November 2022). 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.
As at: 21/11/2022