MIA leadership undertakes a study visit to the European Union Agency for Asylum in Malta

On April 18, 2024, Andrei Cecoltan and Jana Costachi, Secretaries of State from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), along with Mihail Voda, the Head of the General Inspectorate for Migration (GIM) of MIA, undertook a study visit to the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) in the town of Valetta, Malta.

The aim of the visit was to enhance cooperation with EUAA, aligning with Moldova’s commitments in its journey toward EU membership. This initiative is an integral part of Moldova’s National Action Plan for EU accession for the period 2024-2027, as well as MIA’s Roadmap for the accession process.

The key topics covered during the visit included presenting the strategic objectives of the MIA and GIM, discussing the current asylum situation in the Republic of Moldova, identifying modalities of cooperation and enhancing capacity building in the field of asylum, particularly in light of the new Pact on Migration and Asylum.

During his address, Andrei Cecoltan, Secretary of State at MIA, emphasized the importance of continuing efforts to adhere to European standards and foster a society rooted in democratic principles and respect for human rights. “The decision of the European Council in December 2023 to open accession negotiations with Moldova motivates us to persist in dedicated and productive work towards implementing European standards and cultivating a society founded on democratic values and respect for human rights”, he stated.

Furthermore, Andrei Cecoltan emphasized the national priority of facilitating the integration of displaced persons from Ukraine. He underscored the need to grant them access to education, healthcare and social protection systems to uphold a safe and inclusive society within the European community. Additionally, he informed the participants that on March 20, the institutions responsible for Chapter 24 participated in an explanatory screening session with the European Commission in Brussels, where the Moldovan delegation was introduced to the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, offering a valuable opportunity to assess the country’s progress, identify areas for improvement, and ensure alignment between the country’s actions and goals and values.

On her part, Jana Costachi, Secretary of State at MIA, highlighted the collaboration with the Council of Europe and the Project „Strengthening the Human Rights Protection of Refugees and Migrants in Moldova”, which aims to provide customized assistance to Moldova in the field of asylum and migration, particularly in light of the refugee situation in Ukraine.

“We appreciate the collaboration with the Council of Europe and the successful implementation of the Project, which facilitated the organization of this visit and the presentation of updated statistical data on asylum, temporary protection and other migration and asylum-related matters”, Mrs. Costache said.

Finally, the official addressed the upcoming amendment to asylum legislation, scheduled in 2024, and the associated challenges in light of the implementation of the new Pact on Migration and Asylum. She also discussed the new national framework on the admission and regulation of foreigners’ stay and state border management. The Secretary of State emphasized the importance of viewing migration not merely as a challenge but as a solution for addressing society’s long-term needs and benefits.

MIA representatives reiterated Moldova’s commitment to the EU accession process and its determination to adhere to European standards in asylum and human rights. The European Union Agency for Asylum has been acknowledged as an essential partner in furnishing operational and technical support to national authorities of EU member states in asylum procedures and the reception of asylum seekers.