Unfortunately the coverage is highly unfair and has tended to be sensationalist, focussing on the 'peril' of allowing 4m Moldovans into Western Europe's labour markets and claiming that Moldova is adhering to the EU through the back door.
Let me make the following points:
- Romania is not issuing citizenship, but restoring it. This is a very different process from what Russia (and to an extent, Ukraine) has been up to in Transnistria, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
- The journalists appear to be unaware of the hypocrisy of their positions. During the 1990s Germany gave citizenship to people whose link with the country was through 800-year old ancestors. In 2003 the United Kingdom created hundreds of thousands of new citizens overnight when those with UK mothers were given citizenship alongside those with UK fathers. Bulgaria sells its citizenships freely.
- Moldovans working in Western Europe are generally well behaved, place little strain on host country resources and do many of the dirty or manual jobs that make a modern society work. They are an asset to their host.
- Many Moldovans already live and work in Western Europe. Most of those that are left behind lack the language skills, ability or drive to emigrate, so do not pose a major threat.
It smells as if this whole story has been created at the behest of you-know-who in order to blunt Romania's diplomatic initiatives to remove Russian forces from Transnistria. European leaders should recognise the 'Moldovan peril' for the nonsense that it is. European journalists should be more responsible and present the facts.