CM(2009)99 8 June 20091
1063 Meeting, 8 July 2009
6 Social cohesion
6.2 European Committee on Migration (CDMG)
a. Abridged report of the 57th meeting (Strasbourg, 28-29 May 2009)
b. Draft terms of reference of the Ad hoc Advisory Group on migrants who suffer injury, violence or trauma whilst crossing borders (MG-S-VT)
Item to be prepared by the GR-SOC at its meeting of 30 June 2009
1. The European Committee on Migration (CDMG) held its 57th meeting in Strasbourg on 28-29 May 2009.
2. The meeting was chaired by Mr Chris Hedges (United Kingdom).
3. The agenda appears in Appendix I.
4. The detailed report of the meeting, including the list of participants is available from the Secretariat (document CDMG(2009)22).
Results of completed activities
Project 2007/DG3/1137 Labour migrants – improving their integration and migration management
5. The committee approved for publication a second series of reports on national policies on irregular migrants in 5 member states: France, Portugal, Poland, Spain and United Kingdom (documents CDMG(2009)58-62).
6. As a follow-up to these reports the committee agreed to bring forward from 2012 to 2010 the organisation of a seminar on regularisation procedures within the framework of the Project 2009/DG3/1970 on protecting human rights and dignity of vulnerable migrants.
Roma and Travellers
7. The committee approved for publication the explanatory memorandum on Recommendation CM/Rec(2006)10 on access to health care for Roma and Travellers in Europe (document MG-S-ROM(2009)7 Add I).
Planning of future activities
8. The committee instructed its bureau to take all necessary decisions concerning implementation in 2010 of the projects 2009/DG3/1966 and 1970 including the choice of the most appropriate working methods and the preparation of draft terms of reference for any ad hoc advisory groups it might consider appropriate.
Migrants injured in transit
9. In accordance with the request of GR-SOC at its meeting on 26 May 2009, the committee re-examined the proposed draft terms of reference for the ad hoc advisory group on migrants who suffer injury, violence or trauma whilst in transit and the memorandum prepared in support of the activity (document CM(2009)38 corr).
10. The committee held a lengthy exchange of views following which it approved the changes to the draft terms of reference (including a new title for the group) as they appear in Appendix II and agreed to submit them to the Committee of Ministers for adoption.
11. Moreover, the committee instructed the Secretariat to revise the memorandum in the light of the exchange of views and, once approved by written procedure, submit it to GR-SOC in time for its next meeting on 30 June 2009.
12. The Committee stressed that the phenomenon raised pressing human rights issues to which a collective response from the Council of Europe was required in order to guide the governmental and non-governmental action on the ground. The IOM representative, in particular, referred to the existing gap of international standards in this area and the value of a Council of Europe instrument in this respect. The UNHCR representative also confirmed the importance of the proposed Council of Europe activity, stressing the relevance of a human rights based approach and the need to improve interstate co-operation and responsibility sharing. In concluding its exchange of views, the committee underlined its view that member states currently and directly affected by this phenomenon should legitimately be entitled to expect support from other member states in the implementation of the proposed common guidelines.
13. The committee agreed to hold 2 two-day meetings in 2010 subject to necessary financial resources being available.
Review of activities in progress
Projects 2009/DG3/1966 on empowering migrants and strengthening social cohesion and 2009/DG3/1970 on protecting human rights and dignity of vulnerable migrants
14. The committee held a detailed review of the activities of projects 1966 and 1970 that had already been commenced in 2009 and of the preparation of those to start later in the year. In particular, the committee took note of the following:
- the international seminar hosted by Belgium on policies and practice concerning elderly migrants in Council of Europe member states (Brussels, 2-3 March 2009);
- the invitation of the City of Barcelona to host in October a conference on empowerment, participation and interaction;
- the invitation of the Portuguese authorities to host a seminar on the welfare of migrant women (activity to be organised in co-operation with the Steering Committee on Equality between Women and Men CDEG);
- the invitation of the Turkish authorities to host in October a meeting of the Consultative Committee of the European Convention on the Legal Status of Migrant Workers;
- implementation of the migration elements of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine.
Projects VC 2229 on life projects for unaccompanied migrant children and VC 2295 on support to IDPs – training in inter-community relations (Georgia)
15. The committee took note of the voluntary contributions that were enabling implementation of project VC 2229 (Andorra, Belgium, France) and project VC 2295 (Council of Europe Development Bank) and the manner in which these projects were supporting the implementation of policy guidance developed by the committee in member states.
Roma and Travellers
16. The committee took note of the abridged reports of the 26th and 27th meetings of the Committee of Experts on Roma and Travellers (MG-S-ROM) respectively in The Hague (5-7 November 2008) and Seville (26-27 March 2009).
17. The committee approved the request of the committee of experts MG-S-ROM to invite the following new observers to take part in its work and agreed to request the Committee of Ministers to revise the terms of reference of the committee of experts MG-S-ROM accordingly:
- Secretariat of the Decade for Roma Inclusion,
- the Roma Education Fund (REF),
- the Forum of European Roma Young People (FERYP).
18. Moreover, the committee approved an updated opinion on the return of Roma to Kosovo2 and to South-East Europe prepared by the committee of experts MG-S-ROM as it appears in Appendix III and agreed to submit it to the Committee of Ministers. It took particular note of the replies of several members of MG-S-ROM to the questionnaire prepared by the Commissioner for Human Rights on Roma migrants.
19. The committee took note of the work in progress relevant to migration of the following bodies of the Council of Europe: European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ), European Health Committee (CDSP), European Committee on Social Cohesion (CDCS), Steering Committee for Culture (CDCULT), Ad hoc committee on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CAHVIO), Parliamentary Assembly, Congress, Commissioner for Human Rights, North-South Centre, Council of Europe Development Bank, Platform on children’s rights.
20. The committee held an exchange of views on language acquisition of migrant children with the Secretariat responsible for language education and policy. The Bureau was instructed to examine the possibility of organising a joint CDMG/CDED conference on linguistic integration of migrants, as a follow-up to the similar joint conference organised in June 2008.
21. The Committee appointed Mr Tamás Molnar (Hungary) to assist the rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly responsible for preparing a report on readmission agreements.
22. Representatives of the following organisations participated in the meeting of the committee: OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Organisation for Migration (IOM), International Catholic Migration Committee (ICMC), Church Committee for Migrants in Europe (CCME) and Association of European Administrative Judges.
23. The committee took note of the proposals to organise two activities jointly with UNHCR in 2009 on the welfare of migrant women and unaccompanied migrant children.
24. The committee took note of proposals of its Bureau concerning possible future co-operation with the Network of Cities for Local Integration Policies (CLIP).
Other matters discussed
25. The committee adopted opinions on the following recommendations of the Congress and agreed to submit them to the Committee of Ministers:
- Recommendation 261 (2009) on intercultural cities,
- Recommendation 262 (2009) on equality and diversity in local authority employment and service provision.
The opinions appear respectively in Appendix IV and Appendix V.
26. The committee approved, on the basis of a proposal of its chairperson, a short statement on the impact of the economic crisis on migrants and how it would be taken into account in its activities. The committee agreed that the statement should not refer to specific member states.
27. The committee elected its chair, vice-chair, and three members to its bureau.
28. As a result of these elections, the Bureau of CDMG is composed as follows:
Chair: Chris Hedges (United Kingdom)
Vice-chair: Michael Hagos (Sweden)
Other Bureau members:
Ecaterina Buracec (Moldova)
Luisa Maia Goncalves (Portugal)
Damir Hrlic (Croatia)
Athanassia Ioannou (Greece)
Petr Novak (Czech Republic)
Melih Ulueren (Turkey)
Michel Villan (Belgium).
29. The 58th meeting of the committee will be held in Strasbourg on either 4-5 or 11-12 February 2010.
II. Adoption of the agenda
III. Statement of the Chair and Secretariat
IV. Co-operation with other bodies of the Council of Europe in the field of migration
V. Activities of the European Union and other International Organisations
VI. Activity reports
- Empowering migrants and strengthening social cohesion (Project 1966)
- Protecting the human rights and dignity of vulnerable migrants (Project 1970)
- Life projects for unaccompanied migrant children (Project VC 2229)
- Roma and Travellers
- Reports for publication
VIII. Adoption of the abridged meeting report
IX. Any other business
X. Date and place of next meeting
Revised draft terms of reference of the Ad hoc Advisory Group on migrants who suffer injury, violence or trauma whilst crossing borders
in transit (MG-S-VT) prepared by CDMG at its meeting on 28-29 May following discussions at the GR-SOC on 4 and 26 May 2009
Name of Group:
Ad hoc Advisory Group on migrants who suffer injury, violence or trauma whilst crossing borders
in transit (MG-S-VT)
Compliance with Resolution Res(2005)47:
Programme of Activities: project(s)
2009/DG3/1970 – “Protecting the human rights and dignity of vulnerable migrants”
Action Plan of the Third Summit – Chapter III.8 “Managing migration”;
Final Declaration of the 8th Conference of European Ministers responsible for migration affairs (Kiev, 4-5 September 2008) and in particular paragraph C.ii of the Action Plan.
Project added value:
Concerning tasks i and ii
There are no common guidelines on specific action to prevent migrants suffering injury, violence or trauma whilst crossing borders
in transit or to provide care, support and assistance in cases where they do. An instrument of the Committee of Ministers, prepared by technical experts, would provide (i) an important collective standard on the appropriate action to be taken, (ii) guidance on how to achieve the standard, and (iii) an incentive to member states to pool their resources in providing mutual support.
Concerning tasks iii and iv
The proposed additional tasks relating to the training of responsible officials (including preparation of a training manual) are a recognised means of assisting member states in applying standards that have been agreed in the form of CM recommendation and will contribute to the practical impact of the recommendation should it be adopted by the Committee of Ministers.
The activity will be undertaken in close co-operation with UNHCR, IOM, International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The following will also be invited to participate: European Commission, UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), International Labour Office (ILO)
, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the Churches Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME).
The following bodies will be invited to participate in the work of the Group: the CDSP, CDDH, CDCJ, Parliamentary Assembly, Congress, INGO Conference, Commissioner for Human Rights and the North-South Centre.
In addition, the working methods include a hearing with these and other Council of Europe bodies with a view to consulting them on the Group’s draft proposals for a recommendation and avoiding duplication.
A. Budget for the recommendation and explanatory memorandum
3 two-day meetings in 2009; 1 two-day meeting in 2010.
€ 8,100 per meeting to cover travel and subsistence for the 9 members of the Group.
Total budget for 2009 = € 42,655 of which € 24,300 (travel and subsistence), € 14,800 (interpretation), € 3,450 (translation), € 105 (printing).
Provisional budget for 2010 = € 13,180 of which € 8,100 (travel and subsistence), € 4,000 (interpretation), € 1,050 (translation), € 30 (printing).
B. Budget for the training manual
1 two-day meeting in 2010; 2 two-day meetings in 2011.
[Fees for a training consultant to assist in preparation of manual (should such expertise not exist within the Group). Fees to include travel and subsistence for the consultant’s participation in the meetings).]
€8 100 per meeting to cover travel and subsistence for the 9 members of the Group.
Provisional budget for 2010-2011 = €44 455 of which €24 300 (travel and subsistence), €6 000 (fees), €12 000 (interpretation), €2 100 (translation), €55 (printing).
C. Budget for the training sessions
3 two-day sessions in 2011 – number subject to requests.
Approximate cost of 1 two-day session: €8 000 (including fees, mission, interpretation).
Provisional budget for 2011 (3 x 8 000) = €24 000.
Draft revised terms of reference of the Ad hoc Advisory Group on migrants who suffer injury, violence or trauma whilst crossing borders
in transit (MG-S-VT)
Name of Group:
Ad hoc Advisory Group on migrants who suffer injury, violence or trauma whilst crossing borders
in transit (MG-S-VT)
Type of Group:
Ad hoc Advisory Group
Source of terms of reference:
Committee of Ministers, on the proposal of the European Committee on Migration (CDMG)
Terms of reference:
Having regard to:
Resolution Res(2005)47 on committees and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and working methods;
the Warsaw Declaration and the Action Plan adopted at the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government (Warsaw, May 2005) and more particularly Chapter III.8 “Managing migration”;
the Final Declaration of the 8th Conference of European Ministers responsible for migration affairs (Kiev, 4-5 September 2008) and the decision of the Committee of Ministers at the 1039th meeting of its Deputies instructing the European Committee on Migration (CDMG) to take account of the Action Plan in the Final Declaration when preparing proposals for the Programme of Activities, namely the development of measures to promote and protect the human rights of especially vulnerable migrants, in particular to secure appropriate humanitarian assistance to migrants who suffer injury or trauma whilst crossing borders or at sea.
Under the authority of the European Committee on Migration (CDMG), and in relation with the implementation of Project 2009/DG3/1970 – “Protecting the human rights and dignity of vulnerable migrants” of the Programme of Activities, the Group is instructed to:
prepare proposals for a draft recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to member states on guidelines, based on the fundamental principles in the field of human rights, to inspire practices in member states in
, as appropriate
(i) providing care, support and assistance
in places of safety to migrants who have suffered injury, violence or trauma whilst seeking to cross borders of Council of Europe member states by land, sea or air and
(ii) providing assistance to migrants at risk of so suffering with a view to preventing them from taking such risks.
The term “migrants” includes refugees and asylum-seekers.
Search and rescue operations at sea are excluded from the terms of reference.
prepare an explanatory memorandum to the draft recommendation, describing the context and rationale of its proposals on policy and practice;
prepare a training programme and handbook for relevant service providers, including voluntary organisations working in the field, on implementation of the recommendation (if adopted by the Committee of Ministers);
organise, at the request of member states, seminars for national policy-makers and training sessions for trainers on implementation of the recommendation, subject to its adoption;
consider practical means by which member states can support each other in implementing the guidelines of the draft recommendation.
The Group will in its work:
- take account of the legal and political positions of member states on maritime delimitation and sovereignty issues;
- exclude the co-ordination of search and rescue operations at sea;
- refer to all classes of migrants.
Composition of the Group:
The Group shall be composed of 9 specialists.
The Group should include (i) specialists in the field of providing psycho-social, medical and protection services to migrants who suffer injury, violence or trauma whilst crossing borders
in transit, (ii) border officials, and (iii) officials responsible for policy.
[Moreover, one of the specialists should have competence and qualifications in training and/or the preparation of training materials.]
CDMG shall appoint one specialist who shall chair the Group. The Secretary General shall appoint the remaining specialists on the advice of CDMG or its Bureau.
The Council of Europe budget will bear the travel and subsistence expenses of these 9 experts.
The European Health Committee (CDSP) may send a representative to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote and at the charge of the corresponding Council of Europe budget sub-head.
The Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) may send a representative to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote and at the charge of the corresponding Council of Europe budget sub-head.
The European Committee on Legal Cooperation (CDCJ) may send a representative to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote and at the charge of the corresponding Council of Europe budget sub-head.
The Parliamentary Assembly may send a representative to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote and at the charge of its administrative budget.
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe may send a representative to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote and at the charge of its administrative budget.
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights may send a representative to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote and at the charge of its administrative budget.
The European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity (North-South Centre) may send a representative to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote and at the charge of its administrative budget.
The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe may send a representative to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote and at the charge of the sending body.
The European Commission may send a representative to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.
The following intergovernmental organisations may send a representative to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);
- United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA);
- International Labour Office (ILO);
- International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
- International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
The following non-governmental organisations may send a representative to meetings of the Group without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:
- Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME);
- International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC);
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Working methods and structures:
Within the limits of its budgetary appropriations, the Group will undertake its tasks through meetings and contacts between its members between meetings.
One or more meetings may, at the invitation of interested member states and within the available budgetary appropriations, be held outside Strasbourg with the objective for the Group of better understanding the issues facing organisations and their staff involved in delivering services to migrants in post-rescue/post-arrival reception areas.
For the purposes of internal co-ordination, and within the available budgetary appropriations, the Group shall also organise a hearing on its draft proposals for a recommendation with relevant bodies of the Council of Europe (in particular, the Steering Committee on Human Rights (CDDH)), Parliamentary Assembly, the Commissioner of Human Rights) and other international organisations.
[The Group may, if the need should arise, have recourse to the services of an independent consultant.]
These terms of reference will expire on 30 June 2011.
Updated opinion of the MG-S-ROM on the return of Roma to Kosovo3 and South Eastern Europe
as adopted by the MG-S-ROM following its 27th meeting in Seville, Spain
The Committee of Experts on Roma and Travellers (MG-S-ROM),
Recalling its Opinion on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1633 (2003) on Forced returns of Roma from the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including Kosovo, to Serbia and Montenegro from Council of Europe member states dated 6 April 2004; and its Opinion on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1708 (2005) on the current situation in Kosovo and the reply of the Council of Europe Coordinator for activities concerning Roma to the same PACE Recommendation, both dated July 2005;
Bearing in mind UNHCR’s position on the Continued International Protection Needs of individuals from Kosovo from June 2006, which states that “Roma and Serbs are in need of international protection and their return to Kosovo should be limited to return on voluntary basis”;
Bearing in mind, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights’ appeal to governments in Europe to avoid forced returns to Kosovo and to grant people coming from Kosovo, at the very least, a permission to stay in the country until conditions in Kosovo permit their safe return, as well as the Commissioner’s statement following his visit to Kosovo in March 2009: “Such deportations should still be avoided and I do not think it is appropriate to put pressure on local authorities to accept such forced returns in the present situation" ;
Having regard to Readmission Agreements signed between the European Union and a number of governments in the Balkans, as well as taking note of the European Roma and Travellers Forum’s call in October 2007 for a moratorium of at least two years regarding the implementation of those parts of readmission agreements concerning the return;
Recalling the Conclusions of the Regional Conference on Durable Solutions for Roma Refugees, IDPs and Returnees in the Balkans organised by the Council of Europe, in particular its Parliamentary Assembly, and Serbian authorities, in the Parliament of Serbia, Belgrade, on 29-30 October 2007, which stated inter alia that “in order to guarantee durable solutions, the return of all refugees and IDPS, including Roma refugees and IDPs, should be voluntary and conducted in safety and dignity without any fear of harassment, discrimination, arbitrary detention and physical and material threat”;
Bearing in mind the Conclusions of the International Round Tables on challenges and prospects of sustainable integration of Kosovo Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians in host countries and in Kosovo itself organised in Vienna in October 2008 and in Pristina in February 2009 by the Project on Ethnic Relations (PER) with the support of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, which state inter alia that “policies of forced return by the host countries are ineffective and unsustainable as many of those returned by force leave the country shortly after their return”;
Nothing the fact that many Kosovo Roma have spent already more than ten years in host countries and started a new life there, and that their children have integrated in schools in host countries and may have lost ties with and the language of the area of origin of their parents and taking note of the good practice of some member states, such as Germany and Switzerland, in providing residence permits in certain circumstances determined on a case by case basis according to national asylum and migration laws of the host countries;
Bearing in mind that returnees may be considered as “foreigners”, and thus be subjected to discrimination;
Considering the fact that some Roma from South Eastern Europe are, de facto, stateless and could be thus prevented from accessing the same rights as other citizens in their country of origin if they do not acquire the nationality of this state;
Bearing in mind the obligation of relevant authorities under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 to enforce the principles of pluralism and respect for human rights and freedoms and the rule of law and their duty to promote and facilitate a safe and dignified return of refugees and internally displaced persons;
Having in mind the “Readmission Policy” paper of UNMIK dated 1 January 2008 as a uniform procedure for the carrying out of forced returns to Kosovo that is geared to origin from Kosovo and not to ethnicity;
Considering the DECISION No 575/2007/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of establishing the European Return Fund for the period 2008 to 2013 as part of the General Programme “Solidarity Management of Migration Flows”;
Recalling that within the framework of the readmission process, all relevant integration programmes should be financed;
While acknowledging some improvements in Kosovo and in South Eastern Europe with regard to Roma communities, the MG-S-ROM is of the opinion that:
- following the fundamental rights of every person and following the concurring opinion inter alia in the EU member-states that a multi-ethnic Kosovo has to be preserved, refugees and IDPS, including Roma, originating from Kosovo must be given the real possibility to return there;
- given the still fragile security situation in Kosovo, any claims for asylum by Kosovo Roma should be carefully considered by national authorities on an individual basis in accordance with international law and national laws. All asylum seekers should have access to a fair and efficient asylum procedure, including a right of appeal for applicants who have been refused asylum;
- member states should not create a secondary displacement by sending Kosovo Roma to other parts of South Eastern Europe, particularly given the limited resources presently available for successful integration of new returnees. New returns to this region would jeopardize the current authorities’ efforts to integrate the domestic Roma population and Kosovo Roma asylum seekers and refugees already present on their territory;
- governments in South Eastern Europe should speed up the process of implementation of national programmes, strategies and action plans aimed at better integrating their Roma communities, including refugees, returnees and displaced persons. They should allocate budgetary resources for the establishment of institutional frameworks and adequate mechanisms required for tackling the problems of Roma refugees, displaced persons and returnees, as well as strengthening the administrative and institutional capacities at national and local level;
- the process of return of persons on the basis of readmission agreements should be conducted with transparency, including provision of information on conditions of return, and in compliance with international human rights standards;
- the authorities of member states and organisations involved in the return of Roma to Kosovo should take all appropriate measures to ensure that returns are conducted primarily on a voluntary basis, in an orderly, gradual and dignified manner, and in co-operation with the relevant authorities under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244.
Opinion of the European Committee on Migration
on Recommendation 261 (2009) of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities –
1. The European Committee on Migration (CDMG) is pleased to learn about the importance which the Congress attaches to promoting cultural diversity and facilitating inter-cultural dialogue at the local level. CDMG fully supports all the efforts aimed at promoting the idea of ‘intercultural city’ where diversity is an integral part of policy and practice in every domain. It shares the view expressed by the Congress that the intercultural city has far greater potential to success in modern global world and has a wealth of resources, skill and creativity to develop as an attractive place for life and investments.
2. CDMG believes that, in the context of promoting the idea of ‘intercultural city’, the issues of migrants’ participation in political, economic, social and cultural life as well as the presence of effective mechanisms ensuring and facilitating constant interaction between migrants and local communities are of paramount importance. The current work of CDMG focused on advancing the integration policy and practice in Europe through measures aimed at empowering migrants to become fully-fledged, active, contributing and valued citizens of European countries pursues the same objective – to promote and facilitate participation of migrants and their interaction with the societies they live in.
3. CDMG recognised the pivotal role of local authorities in addressing these issues. That is the reason why CDMG has co-operated with the Network of European Cities for Local Integration Policies (CLIP) from the moment it was established and supports the joint Council of Europe / European Union ‘Intercultural Cities’ project. Moreover, the regional conference that is expected to launch a European debate on new approaches to integration in Europe will be organised by CDMG in October 2009 in close co-operation with the authorities of Barcelona (Spain). The theme of the conference is participation of migrants and their interaction with the receiving societies. Experiences from the local level will be the key contributions to the discussions at this conference.
4. CDMG also recognises that considerable efforts will be required to promote the idea of intercultural city and concerted efforts of local and national authorities are needed to raise awareness of civil servants, service providers and ordinary people of the values and benefits of diversity. CDMG has reflected this need to give the personnel of relevant national and local services the necessary support and guidance in the form of training, counselling and financial provisions in its recent recommendations on the integration of migrant children (Rec(2008)4) and access of migrants to employment (Rec(2008)10). The current activities of CDMG include considerable follow-up element to these recommendations.
Opinion of the European Committee on Migration
on Recommendation 262 (2009) of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities –
“Equality and diversity in local authority employment and service provision”
1. CDMG welcomes the interest of the Congress to the issue of the integration of migrants in the labour market and, particularly, their access to the municipal employment. CDMG strongly believes that the local authorities play a crucial role in ensuring equal opportunities with regard to the access to employment and combating discrimination against migrants. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is especially well-placed to address these issues as well as to promote integration at the local level.
2. The strong belief that the policy and practice at local level is pivotal for the integration process was the key reason why CDMG has supported the network of European Cities for Local Integration Policies (CLIP) from the moment it was established in 2005. Moreover, CDMG was particularly pleased to learn that the issues of equality and diversity with regard to municipal employment was identified among the network’s priorities and became the theme of one of the first modules of CLIP.
3. CDMG has consistently treated the issue of access of migrants to employment and, especially, employment in the public sector as one of its priorities. Indeed, it has prepared a recommendation on access of non-nationals to employment in public sector, which was adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 24 March 2004 (Rec(2004)2). It recommends initiatives to promote diversity in public services as well as to eliminate discrimination in the areas of recruitment (inappropriate recruitment on language skills, etc), promotion, employment conditions and salaries. It urges states to examine its nationality requirements for various posts and, when possible, to make more jobs open to migrants.
4. CDMG also prepared a specific recommendation on access of migrants to employment (Rec(2008)10, adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 10 July 2008), which offers practical advice on how to combat inequality and discrimination and assist migrants in overcoming existing barriers in access to employment opportunities. This recommendation prioritises actions taken at the local level and stressed the important role to be played by the local authorities in this issue.
5. CDMG is also pleased that the Congress recognises the importance of the issue of recognising migrants’ skills and qualification and wishes to reaffirm its intention to prepare a recommendation together with an accompanying training manual on this issue in 2009-2011.
6. At the same time, CDMG wishes to stress that its current activities do not directly focus on legal access of migrants to employment, which remains the authority of national governments.
Note 1 This document has been classified restricted until examination by the Committee of Ministers.
Note 2 All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.
Note 3 All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.